Beacon Hill-West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Inspired by Proust

Les Amis de Vinteuil will perform in concert at the Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1.

The ensemble is composed of pianists Anne-Lise Gastaldi and David Saudubray and actor and theatre educator Camille Deveranantes. Based on Gastaldi and Saudubray’s 2015 record “L’Oreille de Proust” (The Ear of Proust), the performance will feature four-hand piano arrangements typical of 19th century French salons interwoven with excerpts from the author’s works. This unique tribute to Marcel Proust is presented in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I as an ally to France.

The performance is free and open to the public.

Further information is available at or by calling 617-720-7600.

Author talk

Comedian, character actor and author Stephen Tobolowsky will be the guest speaker at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at the Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips.

Tobolowsky is currently on “The Goldbergs,” “Silicon Valley,” “Fuller House” and “One Day at a Time,” and has appeared in over 200 other shows, as well as roles in the films “Mississippi Burning,” “Groundhog Day” and “Miss Congeniality 2.” He will read from his new book, “My Adventures with God, A Personal Pentateuch,” a funny, introspective collection about love, triumph and catastrophe, told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is “God.”

Tickets are $25 and include a signed copy of the book.

Visit or call 617-523-2324 to register and for more details.

Classical guitar

A lunchtime concert will be held at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 at King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets.

Classical guitarist Peter Griggs will perform “New Directions.”

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians. Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Esplanade update

The Esplanade Association will host its 16th annual meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 at the Algonquin Club, 217 Commonwealth Ave.

The association will reflect on all that the organization has accomplished in partnership with the DCR over the past year, and look at what is planned for 2017.

The keynote speaker will be John Alschuler, Chairman at HR&A Advisors.

Admission is free, but registration is requested, online at

Organ recital

Members of the Boston Organ Studio will perform in concert at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St., from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2.

Admission is free.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Historic home treasures

Historic New England will present a curator’s tour of the Otis House Museum, 141 Cambridge St., from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3.

Otis House not only tells the story of one Beacon Hill house over time, it also showcases some of Historic New England’s best Boston-made furniture. Senior curator Nancy Carlisle will offer an in-depth look at some of these treasures.

Registration is recommended, by calling 617-994-5920. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

Visit for further information.

Coffee hour

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Parks and Recreation Department will host the 19th annual neighborhood coffee hour from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3 at the Myrtle Street Playground, 50 Myrtle St.

Residents will enjoy coffee and breakfast treats from Dunkin’ Donuts and Whole Foods Market while they discuss open space and recreational needs with the mayor.

There will be prizes, including gift certificates, swan boat rides, free downtown parking and gift baskets. Attendees will receive a flowering plant grown in the city’s greenhouses.

Call 617-635-4505 for more information.

Public Garden benefit

The Friends of the Public Garden will host the 20th annual Green and White Ball at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at the Taj Boston, 15 Arlington St.

The festive black-tie party will feature a lively cocktail reception, music by the Pops Jazz Trio and the band Night Shift and a seated dinner in the Taj Grand Ballroom that will be transformed into a garden oasis.

Funds raised will enable the Friends to carry out projects that are critical to the preservation and improvement of the Boston Common, the Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

For more information, visit

Walking tour

Historic New England will present a tour of Beacon Hill from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. Participants will meet at the Otis House Museum, 141 Cambridge St.

The tour will focus on the development of Beacon Hill in the Federal era, and how the ambitions and struggles of the early residents, both wealthy and working class, shaped the architecture and character of the neighborhood.

The program begins with a tour of the Otis House, the earliest intact Beacon Hill mansion, and continues through the historic streets.

Registration is recommended, by calling 617-994-5920. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

Visit for more details.

Swan boats

The famous swan boats have returned to the Public Gardens. Spring hours of operation (now to June 20) are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting.

Established in 1877, the swan boats are a family-owned and -operated business with a unique tradition and place in the history and beauty of the city. A ride on a swan boat lasts about 15 minutes and provides a picturesque voyage on the waters of the lagoon.

Tickets are $3 or $2 for seniors and $1.50 for children. For more information, call 617-522-1966 or visit

Contemporary art in Boston

A new exhibition that sheds light on contemporary art in Boston is on display at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., now to Sept. 3.

This exciting exhibition will showcase contemporary prints, drawings, and photographs by New England artists. The works on display, drawings, watercolors, linocuts, lithographs, hand-toned silver gelatin prints, digital photographs, and more, reflect artistic interpretations of New England’s built and natural environment.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-227-0270.

Photographs of the West End

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord” now to Aug. 31.

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Picturing Douglas

The Museum of African American History is presenting a new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., now through July 31.

Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, more frequently photographed than Abraham Lincoln, and was immediately recognizable to millions in his own lifetime. Douglass used photography as a tool of reform and to elevate the image of the African-American in contradiction to the demeaning depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.

Based on the book of the same name by Drs. John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, co-curators of the exhibit, it features more than 90 objects, including historic photos, books, newspapers articles and original letters by Douglass.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at