Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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Here is what the State House looked like from Park Street in January 1893. Learn more from Digital Commonwealth at

Weekly Wellness

The Beacon Hill Friends House invites everyone to join them, online or in-person, at 8:30 a.m. on select Mondays to explore both personal meditation practice as well as a group meditation practice led by Sofia Post.

The group will end with some guiding questions to help assess how the practice can serve your wellness as well as some fellowship to connect with others who are seeking similar things.

Guided meditation topics include – Jan. 17: sound, Jan. 21: breath; Jan. 31: movement. 

Visit for more information and registration for series or individual sessions).

Book Talk: 'Literature for a Changing Planet'

Reading literature in a time of climate emergency can sometimes feel a bit like fiddling while Rome burns. Yet, at this turning point for the planet, scientists, policymakers and activists have woken up to the power of stories in the fight against global warming.

In Literature for a Changing Planet, Martin Puchner ranges across 4,000 years of world literature to draw vital lessons about how people out themselves on the path of climate change - and how to change paths before it’s too late.

This hybrid book talk will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. and on Zoom.

Visit for more information and registration (In person: Members free and Visitors free with admission - $10 | Virtual: Members free and Visitors - $5).

Prostate Health: Innovations and Prospects

Dr. Faina Shtern, Executive Director of the AdMeTech Foundation, will discuss how, in the last 10 years, the exploding awareness about prostate health is catalyzing new ideas and modalities for treatment of prostate conditions. 

This virtual program, presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library, as part of Beacon Hill Village’s Living Well Ending Well series, will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration.

Tuesday Jazz Series

Join The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, 18 Phillips St. for a relaxing hour of jazz in a socially-distanced but intimate cabaret setting at their newly renovated community room, featuring Berklee School of Music’s finest new and emerging talent at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

The evening will begin with wine and cheese on their patio plaza at 6:30 p.m.

Visit for more information and tickets ($18).

An Evening of New Yiddish Song

Hosted by BackRoom at The Boston Synagogue, co-presented by JArts, the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music will present an evening of new Yiddish song, featuring the winners of the BFNJM composition competition performed live at and live-streamed from The Boston Synagogue, 55 Martha Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Visit for more information and registration (Donations welcome).

‘Gems of Art on Paper: Illustrated American Fiction and Poetry, 1785–1885’

In the immediate aftermath of the Revolutionary War, only the wealthiest Americans could afford to enjoy illustrated books and prints. But, by the end of the next century, it was commonplace for publishers to load their books with reproductions of fine art and beautiful new commissions from amateur and professional artists.

From noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, Georgia B. Barnhill, an expert on the visual culture of this period, will explain the costs and risks those publishers faced as they brought about the transition from a sparse visual culture to a rich one.

Establishing new practices and investing in new technologies to enhance works of fiction and poetry, bookmakers worked closely with skilled draftsmen, engravers, and printers to reach an increasingly literate and discriminating American middle class. Barnhill argues that while scholars have largely overlooked the efforts of early American illustrators, the works of art that they produced impacted readers' understandings of the texts they encountered, and greatly enriched the nation's cultural life.

Visit for more information and registration (In person: Members free and Visitors free with admission - $10 | Virtual: Members free and Visitors - $5).

Reflecting on Our Collective Well-Being: Earth and Racial Justice Interconnectivity

In this Beacon Hill Friends House gathering for conversation, facilitated by Gail Melix and LJ Boswell from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 22, the group will explore the deep interconnections between climate and racial justice, issues too often treated as separate. What happens when we bring them together?

Visit for more information and the link to Zoom.

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ at the Museum of Science

Experience the epic science-fiction feature on New England’s only IMAX® Dome screen.

From visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski comes “The Matrix Resurrections,” the long-awaited fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre, and people can watch this action-packed new film release at the Museum of Science in the relaxed, socially distant comfort of the Mugar Omni Theater at 7 p.m. on Fridays and at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays through Jan. 29.

Visit for more information and tickets ($15).

Ice Skating at The Boston Common Frog Pond

The Boston Frog Pond will be open to welcome skaters to the ice for the 2021-2022 season.

Visit for more information, including open hours, admission, plus rental and services.

College Night at the Frog Pond

All college students will receive half price admission from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays during ice skating season. Frog Pond will also feature surrounding colleges with free admission, so check out the schedule to see when your school gets in for free. Just show your current college ID.

Go to for more information.

‘MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness’

The Beacon Hill Friends will host “MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. This facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos is open to everyone.

Go to for more information about the facilitators and the practices they offer along with program details and Zoom registration. These closed-captioned programs are free, although donations to support their work are welcome.

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga         

Join the Boston Public Library remotely from 4 to 5 p.m. on Fridays for a gentle yoga class by Hands to Heart Center (HTHC). Participants can expect a beginner-level one hour yoga flow, with plenty of options and modifications for all bodies and ability levels. All are welcome.

These classes will be live-streamed on HTHC's YouTube channel, where previously recorded sessions may also be found.

To attend, visit No registration is required.

Operation ABLE                                                                                                     

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.  

All services, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services, are being conducted remotely, including a new Remote Employee Skills Training program for Massachusetts residents 55 and up.

Visit for more information and registration.

BCYF programs and services                                                         

The Boston Center for Youth and Families offers a variety of arts and computer activities,

recreational programs, virtual field trips, workshops and services both remotely and in person for children, youth, individuals and families at 36 facilities, including community centers and pools.

Visit for more information and registration.

MOS experience onsite/online

The Museum of Science has reopened following health and safety guidelines – face coverings and reservations are required for admission.

Highlights of your visit can include permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and newly refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

MOS at home also offers an array of programs and events. Schedules change weekly and may include a weekly STEM challenge, virtual planetarium visits, live animal visits, science stories, science-related question and answer panels, and Sub-space events.

Visit for more information and reservations.

The West End Museum open

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. (Unit 7) is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Museum offers in-person, virtual, and strolling tours and hosts events.

Visit for more information.

Boston Athenæum online/onsite   

Boston Athenæum offers many activities online (some free of charge), serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer tours of the first floor of their landmark building and artworks from the special collections.

Visit for more information.

Museum of African American History online/onsite                  

The Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.

Visit for ticket and scheduling information along with virtual programs and events.

Big Sister mentoring                                                                                    

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little Sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit

Food access and resources information                             

The Mayor's Office of Food Access works to improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy food that reflects the diversity of the residents of Boston.

– Visit for a list of programs and initiatives, including food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets, school meal and summer eats sites, among others.

– Visit for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

– Visit or contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything – or are willing to assist them in outreach – please email or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email, and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

Old West Church Community Dinners

The Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. will serve a community dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays – rain or shine and holidays, too. While these meals primarily serve people who are housing insecure or elderly, it’s for anyone.

During the pandemic, the meals will be served to go. Everyone is welcome to come by and grab a hot meal to takeaway.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday Night Supper Club – ‘Takeout Meal in a Sack’

The Wednesday Night Supper Club is held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Paulist Center Auditorium, 5 Park St. Place. At this time, they have shifted to a “takeout meal in a sack.”

The Paulist Center volunteers have been serving more than 200 people a week who don’t have access to a good hot meal. The program has been running for more than 50 years. 

Visit to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.

Support the parks – give the gift of membership                                                  

Give the gift of membership to ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at