Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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These flowers add to the beauty of Ashburton Park at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill.

Beacon Hill Friends House 2022 Summer Cookout

Beacon Hill Friends House will host their annual summer cookout from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 at the Beacon Hill Friends House, 8 Chestnut St.

​Friends, family, BHFH board members and others connected to BHFH are all welcome to join the BHFH residents at this jubilant open house event for food, fellowship and even some ping-pong. ​

​Potluck contributions of non-refrigerated side dishes, desserts and snacks are appreciated, but not required. (Please note this is an alcohol-free event.)

Visit https://bhfh.org/events for more information.

Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum

Explore the Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St. from behind-the-scenes at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs and explore over 200 years of this old house’s secrets.

Visit www.nicholshousemuseum.org/programs-and-events for more information and tickets (Member: $12 | Non-member: $17).

Budgeting: Creating a Plan

In this workshop presented by PNC Bank from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 19 at the West End Branch Library, attendees will practice a five-step plan for building and managing a budget; learn to balance wants and needs - a key element of any budget plan - and how to increase their savings and manage debt; plus gather motivational tips to stick with a budget and improve their financial situation.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information.

Kanopy Klub: Summertime (1955)

An American spinster’s dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome - but married - Italian man while vacationing in Venice. Katharine Hepburn’s sensitive portrayal of the lonely heroine and Jack Hildyard’s glorious Technicolor photography make Summertime an endearing and visually enchanting film.

Watch the film on Kanopy. Then join the discussion from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

‘The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia’ With Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has a deeply personal connection with dementia, which affected the lives of his grandfather, grandmother, and mother. Wallace will share the story of his book and traveling exhibit, "The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia," which was created to destigmatize those living with dementia from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20. 

Visit www.beaconhillvillage.org for more information and registration for this UMass Boston OLLI collaborative presentation.

Shakespeare on the Common 2022: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will present William Shakespeare's “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common on Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, Aug. 7 (no Monday performances). Showtimes: 8 p.m. - except July 30: 4 p.m.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and frequently performed plays. More than just a comedic romp, the play tackles serious themes too: trust and betrayal, power and privilege, gendered expectations around chastity and violence. This is a comedy entangled with a tragedy, where love and justice nevertheless manage to prevail with vigorous joy - a perfect play for our uncertain times.

Audience members can bring blankets or chairs; rent chairs on site for $10; or purchase “Friends Section” chairs ($60-$75 donation per chair).

Visit https://commshakes.org/production/much-ado-about-nothing for more information.

Tadpole 10 Summer Series

Drop by the TADpole Playground on Boston Common from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays through Aug. 25 for stories, games, additional activities, books, giveaways and snacks.

Visit www.highlandstreet.org for more information.

Woods Hole Film Festival Presents ‘After Antarctica’

Join the Museum of Science and the Woods Hole Film Festival for a screening of “After Antarctica” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 21 which takes a pole-to-pole look at the changing planet with a 30-year gap.

Get tickets at www.mos.org/explore/subspace/summer-thursdays/woods-hole-film-fest-july21 ($15).

Friday Films

West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St, will show a variety of movies from 1 to 3 p.m. on Fridays through September.

The July selections relate to Disability Pride Month; Casey’s Picks in August are diverse genres; and September’s titles focus on Hispanic Heritage Month.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and titles.

The Summer Party

Join the Friends of the Public Garden from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27 at the UMass Club overlooking the Common, Garden and Mall.

This annual summer bash raises funds for the #threeparks and supports their work to renew, care and advocate for these iconic downtown greenspaces.

Tickets are $95 and include generous hors d’oeuvres and a selection of beer & wine. Garden Chic attire encouraged.

Visit https://friendsofthepublicgarden.org/2022/06/13/july-27-2022-the-summer-party for more information and tickets. Donations welcome.

Book Bi Book: A Bisexual Book Club

This book club, geared towards members of the bi+ community, will read and discuss books by bi+ authors and books that feature bi+ characters.

The group will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St. to discuss Starling Days by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information.

Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series: Virtual Classes

Free fitness classes will be held in neighborhood parks and on Zoom through Saturday, Oct 1.

Here are the virtual classes:

– Virtual Dance Fit: Mondays from 5 to 6 p.m.

– Virtual HIIT Training: Tuesdays from 7 to 8 a.m.

– Pre- and Postnatal Friendly Barre from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays

– Fit Fusion: 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on Thursdays

– Virtual Chair Yoga: Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.

– Virtual Zumba: Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m.

– Virtual Yoga: Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m.

Visit boston.gov/fitness for full details/schedule and Eventbrite registration. 

Free Tai Chi

Coach Stephanie Orme will lead free Tai Chi classes near the bandstand on Boston Common from 9 to 10 a.m. on Sundays through November (weather permitting).

Visit https://daoistgate.com for more information.

Parks Summer Fitness: Frog Pond Yoga

Free fitness classes will be held in neighborhood parks and on Zoom through Saturday, Oct 1, including Frog Pond Yoga from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Boston Common Frog Pond.

Visit boston.gov/fitness for full details/schedule and Eventbrite registration. 

BCYF Summer Program Registration is Open

A variety of land and pool programs will be offered at the BCYF community centers across the city this summer.

Go to Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration for more details and registration.

Registration is Open for Hill House Summer Programs

Hill House, 27 Mt. Vernon St. is offering a range of week-long camps and programs through Aug. 19. Registration is open for Kiddie-Kamp, Day Camp and Leadership in Training (LIT).

Visit www.hillhouseboston.org for more information and registration.

Boston Summer Camp Listings

For a comprehensive listing of and links to Boston Summer Camps – Art, Sports, Academic and Specialty – visit https://bostonsummercamps.com.

The Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel is Open

The Carousel will be open for the summer and fall seasons daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit bostonfrogpond.com/frog-pond-carousel for more information ($4/ride | $30/10 Ride Card).

Brewer Fountain Plaza open – music, food and fun

The tables, chairs and umbrellas will be set out daily around the Brewer Fountain in the Boston Common for the public to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through October.

Live solo piano performances by Berklee College of Music students can be enjoyed Monday through Friday from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Four food trucks will rotate through two spots on Brewer serving diverse cuisine during the lunch hours each day.

Visit friendsofthepublicgarden.org/our-parks/the-common/brewer-fountain-plaza for details.

Boston By Foot tours

Boston By Foot offers a variety of daily tours throughout the neighborhoods for adults, little ones and/or families.

Visit www.bostonbyfoot.org for the schedule and tickets ($8 to $17).

Art and Architecture Tours (updated)

Join a Boston Athenæum docent for an onsite tour focused on the history of the Athenæum, its iconic building and its special collections at 10½ Beacon St. Tours is offered at noon on Mondays and Fridays, 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, 3 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. on Saturdays in July.

Whether visiting for the first time or as a member who frequents the building, the stories are sure to fascinate people as they walk through the historic library.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/calendar for more information and registration (Members: Free | Visitors: $5).

West End Walking Tours (updated)

The West End Museum will host a walking tour of the West End neighborhood covering the area's history from settlement through to modern times at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 10.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/west-end-walking-tours-tickets-355330421857 for more information and registration ($8-$12).

Black Heritage Trail Tour

Join a Park Ranger from the National Parks of Boston to explore the rich history of Beacon Hill's 19th century Black community.

The guided walks will be held at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 4.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/black-heritage-trail-tour-tickets-153151587521 for more information and registration.

BPDA's Model Room is Open

The BPDA's model room houses a 1:40 inch scale, physical, basswood model of Boston's downtown and portions of Beacon Hill, the North End, Charlestown, Back Bay and the South Boston waterfront.

Visit the model room on the 9th floor of Boston City Hall at One City Hall Square - open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Visit www.bostonplans.org/about-us/model-room for more information.

Colonial Society of Massachusetts open house/tour

Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 87 Mount Vernon St. will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.

Take a tour of the interior of a house that was designed and built by Charles Bulfinch in 1807, one of the earliest Beacon Hill mansions. Collections on view include 19th-century furniture and decorative arts.

A short program on the history of the Society, the house and collections, and the elegant neighborhood will begin at 2 p.m.

Visit www.colonialsociety.org for more information.

King’s Chapel History Tours 

The King's Chapel History Program is open for guided (on the hour) and self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturdays (Summer Schedule). ​

Discover more than 330 years of history at King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St. with a 40-minute guided tour of the historic sanctuary and church crypt containing 21 tombs.

General admission includes self-guided exploration of the chapel’s ground level, access to a selection of mobile tours, and informal interpretive programs offered by their team of Historic Site Educators.

General admission - available for purchase on-site: $0 to $5.

Guided Tours - available for purchase on-site and online: $0 to $10.

Visit www.kings-chapel.org/plan-your-visit.html for more information.

Online/Onsite ESOL Conversation Groups and Classes 

The Boston Public Library offers a variety of elementary, intermediate and advanced ESOL conversation groups and classes on select days and times throughout the week. Practice speaking English with other adult learners in an informal and friendly group setting.

Visit bpl.org/events 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 www.boston.gov/departments/boston-centers-youth-families for more information and registration.

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, ages 55 and up.

Visit operationable.net for more information and registration.

MOS Experience Online/Onsite

Highlights of your visit to the Museum of Science can include permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and recently 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 www.mos.org for more information and reservations.

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.

Admission is free for all on Second Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/visit/hours-admission 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 Tuesdays through Sundays.

Exhibits, programs and education activities showcase the stories of black families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom from Colonial Period through the 19th century.

Tours include The African Meeting House, Abiel Smith School and The Museum’s Black Heritage Trail. They also offer virtual programs and events.

Visit www.maah.org for more information and reservations (0 to $10).

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 www.bigsister.org.

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 www.boston.gov/departments/food-access for a list of programs and initiatives, including food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets, school meal and summer eats sites, among others.

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

– Visit www.projectbread.org/get-help or contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

Support The WEM as they rebuild

Please consider supporting The West End Museum as they work to rebuild after flooding destroyed the Museum on Jan. 15. 

The Museum has worked for more than a decade to preserve the story of the West End, foster community for the displaced and current residents of the neighborhood, and ensure that the lessons of Boston’s urban renewal program are not forgotten. They make sure that the memory of Boston’s most ethnically diverse and dynamic neighborhood survives as a guide for the next generation of planners, urbanists and community builders across the world. 

Your contribution will support their efforts to rebuild the Museum as an even more effective space for learning and community. Every little bit helps.

Go to thewestendmuseum.org for more information and the link to donate.

Support The Boston Parks 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign

Help support three transformative projects in all three parks by making a donation to the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

Donations will support enhancements that will invite and inspire visitors to the Public Garden, Commonwealth Avenue Mall and Boston Common for years to come.

Go to friendsofthepublicgarden.org/50th for more information and donation links.

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 office@stjosephboston.org 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 to go

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 open 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 www.oldwestchurch.org/calendar for more information.

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

The Wednesday Night Supper Club will be 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 www.paulistcenter.org to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.