Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
The Prudential Tower is the city's second tallest building. It's part of the popular Prudential Center.

Fabiola Méndez Trio

The Fabiola Méndez Trio will present a Puerto Rican folk and jazz concert from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 at CROMA at the Arlington St. Church, 351 Boylston St.

Visit for tickets.

‘A Wrinkle in Time’

The Trident Cinema will feature Ava Duvernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

For other information, visit

‘A Celtic Sojourn’

Brian O’Donovan will broadcast “A Celtic Sojourn” live from the WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.

There will be live in-studio performances throughout the show.

To reserve a seat, visit

Children’s Candy Cane Tea

The Boston Public Library and The Catered Affair will host the annual Children’s Candy Cane Tea from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2.

The fun-filled afternoon that celebrates all the joyful traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will include a variety of festive holiday-themed crafts, book readings dedicated to the season, and a true tea experience.

To learn more, visit

Copley Square Tree Lighting

The Copley Square Tree Lighting will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2 at 560 Boylston St.

Wreaths with red bows will decorate Copley Square and the Old South Church bells will toll when the lights on the Copley Square tree go on.

Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty, plus live music by local groups, including the Boston Pops Brass Quintet, will round out the affair.

The Fairmont Copley Plaza will host a family reception immediately following for all in attendance. The reception will include cookie decorating, photos with Santa, and treats.

Dude Diet author talk

Author and Chef, Serena Wolf, will lead a discussion of The Dude Diet’s principles, how The Dude Diet Dinnertime came to be, followed by a cooking demo and Q&A from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St.

Visit for other information and registration.

Holiday tree lighting and skating show

The annual “Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting and Frog Pond Skating Spectacular” takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5. This family event will be held near the Visitors Information Center on Tremont Street.

This festive event begins at 5 p.m. with a free skating show on the Frog Pond, featuring Theatre on Ice of Boston, national and international skater and the Team Excel Synchronized skaters.

Mayor Marty Walsh, Santa Claus and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be at the tree lighting. Every year Nova Scotia gives the City of Boston a special tree.

At 7:55 p.m., the 7,000 lights on the tree go on as do the lights on the other 80 trees through the Common and Public Garden.

Refreshments, music and other entertainment will be provided by local groups.

Mt. Holyoke Holiday Vespers at OSC

The Mount Holyoke Club of Boston will present its Christmas Vespers Concert at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.

Holiday Vespers is a long-standing popular tradition of the College, during which the community comes together to celebrate light and togetherness on a dark and cold December night. The production includes performances by the choral ensembles, jazz ensembles, and the English Handbell Ensemble. Cherished aspects of the event include a chant processional sung by candlelight as well as ample opportunities for community singing.

Visit for tickets (prices range from $25 to $150).

An Evening of Lessons and Carols

An Evening of Lessons and Carols will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury St.

The program will feature the NE Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, and Brass Ensemble with special guests Tourjee Singers, Back Bay Ringers and Thomas Handel, organ under the direction of Conductors Erica J. Washburn and Jonathan Richter.

Visit for other information.

Cultural Survival Bazaar

A Cultural Survival Bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St.

This family-friendly festival will feature art, crafts and other ethically-made cultural products such as finely embroidered tapestries and scarves; jewelry of silver, glass and stone; aromatic woven natural fiber baskets; brilliantly colored paintings; handmade clothing; and carved, knit, wire and beaded animals created by indigenous artists from dozens of countries.

Enjoy demonstrations by and conversations with artists, Indigenous cuisine, and live music from around the world.

Visit for more information.

OSC Christmas Craft Fair

Thirty New England artists will be vending their unique offerings in pottery, knits, photography, fine art, jewelry, blown glass, beeswax candles, turned wood and much more from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.

Families can enjoy Christmas greens and the scent of hot mulled cider in the air as they make their selections at the Cookie Walk.

Visit for other information.

Classic Streetcars and Interurbans of the World

The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. will meet at the Midtown Hotel (South Beacon Room) at 220 Huntington Ave. from 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Clark Frazier will present classic streetcars from around the world that were still in service in the 1980s, in a whirlwind tour of systems from Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Isle of Man, Japan, China and Mexico.

To learn more, visit

‘slow dreams of eternity’

The Chameleon Arts Ensemble Chamber Music Series 2: “slow dreams of eternity” will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 and at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St.

Visit for tickets and other information.

Pindell exhibition/opening reception

A solo exhibition of Pamela Pindell will be on view now through Dec. 7 at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St.

Pindell presents various landscapes and still life paintings. She also creates “suites,” arrangements that combine sculpture with a preliminary charcoal sketch or a completed oil painting of the same subject matter.

Visit to learn more.

Jingle Bell Run Boston 5K

The annual Jingle Bell Run Boston 5K will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Boston Common.

The Arthritis Foundation’s original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive, while racing to raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability.

Visit for registration and other information.

Season of Music

The 2019-2020 Season of Music at Trinity Church Boston (206 Clarendon St.) will include the following performances by the Trinity Choirs and orchestra:

Handel’s “Messiah” (Advent and Christmas portions) on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. and

Vivaldi’s “Gloria in D Major” and Mozart’s “Requiem” on Friday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets will be available starting in October, email

Esplanade guided history tour

The Esplanade Association will be hosting a free guided history tour of the Esplanade from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 11.

The almost hour-and-a-half tour will cover about a mile of the park and over 150 years of history. The group will meet at the Community Boating Inc. 21 David G Mugar Way.

To register, visit tickets 54537671644.

Helping people in need

The Mary Baker Eddy Library, alongside The Mother Church Sunday School and The Christian Science Publishing Society, will be collecting items from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Dec. 17 on behalf of selected Boston area charitable organizations that support individuals in need.

You can drop off new, unwrapped items in the Library Gallery at 200 Massachusetts Ave. or visit the Mapparium on Sunday, Dec. 8 and donate your admission to a representative from one of these organizations: School on Wheels Massachusetts, Casa Myrna, the Home for Little Wanderers, Project R.I.G.H.T. and Toys for Tots MA.

For more information about this program and the selected organizations, visit

Holiday gift drive

St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. is holding a holiday gift drive for their guests through Friday, Dec. 13.

If you would like to help bring holiday joy, visit to receive a name and wish list ideas of $40 or less for either a Next Step Resident or a Workforce Development guest.

Candlelight Carols Benefit

The Candlelight Carols Benefit Service – which celebrates the birth of Christ through Scripture readings, carols and anthems offered by the Trinity choirs and instrumentalists – will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.

Tickets are now on sale via email at or by phone at 617-536-0944, ext. 210.

‘The Invisible Presence’ exhibition

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St. presents the work of local visual artist A’Key, Agbokey Denis Abounan.

Originally from the Ivory Coast, A’Key paints scenes inspired by daily life in West Africa using recycled materials: newspaper cut-outs, cardboard, and even coffee.

The display of 11 of his pieces “The Invisible Presence” which celebrates women in Africa will be on view through Dec. 16.

To learn more about the artist and the artwork and to reserve a space at the reception, visit

Light bites and refreshments will be provided. The evening with be in English and en francais.

‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” will be performed Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 22 at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St.

Just after midnight, a snow storm stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The famous train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by morning it has one less passenger. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. With a locomotive full of suspects and a killer on board, it’s the perfect mystery for detective Hercule Poirot, n’est-ce pas?

Visit to learn more.

For tickets, email or phone 617-585-5678.

Choral Evensong

A Choral Evensong will be held at 5:45 p.m. every Wednesday at Trinity Church Boston, 206 Clarendon St.

Choral Evensong, Rite 1, offers 30-minutes of worship, prayer, scripture and reflection led by the Trinity Choristers youth singers.

To learn more about the Choristers, visit

Santa in the City!

Capture the magic of the holiday season and bring the kids for a special photo with Santa through Dec. 24 at the Prudential Center.

His newly designed Santa Set is located in the Belvidere Arcade, featuring a Back Bay living room scene with fireplace and oversized couch for family photos.

A variety of photo packages are available, starting at $19.99

Visit for Santa’s hours and other information.

Trinity organ recitals

The Trinity Organ Recital Series will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Fridays through June 5 at Trinity Church Boston, 206 Clarendon St.

This (almost) weekly series of 30-minute organ concerts featuring innovative programs by recitalists from across the United States and abroad.

There is no charge for admission; however, they invite a donation of $10.

For a schedule, visit

Stitching in the Spirit

The Stitching in the Spirit group will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month in the PH angel Room at Trinity Church Boston, 206 Clarendon St.

The Stitching in the Spirit group is a monthly gathering open to stitchers from all disciplines (knitting, quilting, needlepoint, etc.) as well as those who want to learn.

They come together to create scarves, mittens, prayer shawls, and other items for those in need of special care from within the parish as well as from the broader Boston community and across the country.

For more information, visit

261 Fearless group run

The 261 Fearless Boston Run Club of Back Bay meets from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Women, ages 18 and older, are invited to an hour of social, fun running. Come to inspire or be inspired.

Walkers wanting to learn how to run, beginners and experienced runners are welcome.

There will be fun games and/or drills for warm-up and a group run led by one or more of the 261 certified coaches. The group runs focus on proper running technique for efficiency and injury prevention in a non-competitive, non-judgmental way.

Experience a group run for free; then have the opportunity to join for a minimal yearly fee thereafter. Locker room use (restroom, lockers, showers, towel, bodywash and blowdryer) is included.

The group meets at Healthworks Back Bay, 441 Stuart St., 2nd floor.

Variety of services

The Old South Church at 645 Boylston St. holds a variety of church services to meet the needs of the community. Here are a few of them:

First Worship (informal and vibrant) will be held at 9 a.m. and the Festival Worship (grand and expressive) will be held at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

A Healing Service (gentle and tender) will be held at 10 a.m. on the second Sunday and Jazz Worship (with sax and soul) will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

There are also a variety of children and youth programs from Godly Play and Children’s Music (interactive programs that include singing, playing music and play-acting) to youth groups (exploring life, faith and service).

Bible studies, small groups and special events are also held throughout the year.

To learn more, visit

MS Run Club

Join the Marathon Sports Boston Run Club every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a run around the Charles River.

The MS Run Clubs are free, all inclusive weekly events that begin at the store at 671 Boylston St. They’ll track your mileage, and as you hit significant milestones you’ll become eligible for a MS Running Group discount, unique members-only gear, and other great kickbacks.

For more information, visit

Recovery Eucharist

Recovery Eucharist will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays in the Lindsey Chapel at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.

A healing service will include prayer, Eucharist and laying on of hands with a simpler service without the Eucharist being held on alternating Fridays.

These welcoming services are open to everyone, especially those who struggles with addiction and behavioral issues.

For more information, visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Bach Cantata Series

The Bach Cantata Series will be held on Sundays at 10 a.m. through May 10 at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.

Continuing their 49-year- old tradition, The Orchestra and Chorus of Emmanuel Music will present Bach’s astounding human document, in the liturgical setting for which it was intended, as well as other sacred works.

To learn more about the history of Bach cantatas and how Emmanuel Music presents them, visit

‘Women of the White Buffalo’

Leica Gallery Boston, 74 Arlington St. in the Back Bay, will present the New England premiere of Deborah Anderson’s photo exhibition, “Women of the White Buffalo” now through Jan. 12.

The photographs are images shot during the creation of Anderson’s feature documentary “Women of the White Buffalo” about the Native Women from the Ogala Lakota Nation, the backbone of the community and keepers of their ancient wisdom, and the ongoing rising up against the forces that continue to suppress them.

The gallery is located within the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

For more information and registration to any of these events, visit


The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave. is hosting story time at the Book Nook from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Young visitors will listen to stories and engage in playful activities surrounding the theme of the book.

This event is recommended for bookworms, ages 5 years old and younger with adults.

No registration is needed.

For more information about this and other programs, visit

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.

Freedom Trail Tour

The Freedom Trail Tour will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Mar. 31.

Join Boston by Foot and stroll the Freedom Trail’s ancient streets, past historic cemeteries and colonial stone houses all the while hearing tales of rebellion, war, and independence of a nation.

It is the epic stories of Boston’s rise and America’s birth.

The tour will meet outside the Park Street MBTA station on the Park Street side of the Boston Common and end at Faneuil Hall.

For more information and to reserve a spot on this “name your price tour,” visit

Emmanuel Church tour

For a taste of 19th-century Boston and an eyeful of fine architecture in the oldest building on Newbury Street, schedule a free-guided tour of Emmanuel Church at 15 Newbury St.

This church is the home to thriving communities from Emmanuel Church and Central Reform Temple, Twelve-Step programs, ministries to homeless and dozens of music and performing-arts events from Emmanuel Music and other organizations.

Check out for more information.

Email or phone Dylan Hillerbrand at 617-536-3355 x 21 to arrange a tour.

Esplanade run club

Marathon Sports, at 671 Boylston St., hosts a meet up every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to go running with others. All ages and levels are welcome to join and choose between a 3, 5, or 8-mile run along the Esplanade or Charles River pathways. Classes are led by Marathon Sports Run Groups.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged in order to participate.

For more information or to pre-register, visit

These meet ups are partnered with The Esplanade Association; for information, visit

BTU homework help

The Boston Teachers Union will provide homework assistance for students in grades K-12 from 4 to 6 p.m. every day through May 28 at the Central Library in Copley Square.

There will be no assistance when Boston Public Schools are not in session (vacation week or snow days).

For more information, visit

Model room tours

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.

Free tours are conducted in the BPDA Model Room at Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, on the 9th Floor every Wednesday at 10 and 11 a.m. in two 30-minute sessions.

For more information, visit

For individuals or groups of up to 15 people, register at

For groups larger than 15 people email to arrange a tour.

Art and architecture tours

Boston Public Library offers free public tours highlighting the celebrated art and architecture of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building (1895), a designated National Historic Landmark. The hour-long tours explore the work of architect Charles Follen McKim and murals by John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey.

Led by volunteer tour guides, the art and architecture tours begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square from 11 a.m. to noon on most Wednesdays throughout the year for teens and adults, ages 13 and older.

No appointment is necessary for parties smaller than eight people. For more information and a full schedule of public tours, please visit


Since 1935, more than 10 million people have traversed the 30-foot glass bridge that spans the Mapparium, taking visitors to a unique spot: the middle of the world. This world-famous, three-story, painted-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave.

The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

The Library is also showing a complementary exhibit, "The Mapparium: An Inside View," featuring never before made public letters, documents, and artifacts showcasing the construction, history, and significance of this magnificent architectural and artistic achievement.

The Mapparium® is available for view on a tour only. Tours of the Mapparium run every 20 minutes, lasting 15-20 minutes. The first tour of the day starts at 10:20 a.m., and the last tour starts at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit or phone 888-222-3711.

ASD workshop

Has your child recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Boston Children's Hospital offers a 90-minute workshop for parents and caregivers to connect with each other and to learn more about your child's diagnosis, including: common recommendations, therapies and services plus resources and tips.

The next workshop is at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9.

The workshops are held at Boston Children's Hospital Longwood Campus at 300 Longwood Ave. in the Byers Conference Room B (in the Enders Building, to the right of the main hospital emergency department entrance).

For more information, call Kelly Federico at 617-355-5999.

Parking validation is provided for the main Children's Hospital parking garage.

‘Late Night at Emmanuel’

Emmanuel Music will present “Late Night at Emmanuel” on May 2 at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.

The one-hour performances at 8 and 10 p.m., curated by members of the ensemble, will be presented in a cabaret setting with food and drink.

Visit, to learn more and purchase tickets.