Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

String quartet

A lunchtime concert will be held at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 at King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets.

The Craft String Quartet will play works by Fanny Mendelssohn and Caroline Shaw.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians.

Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Organ concert

The Old West Organ Society will present a free organ recital at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St.

Jennifer Hsiao was recently appointed organist at Old West Church where she plays the weekly services. She will perform Bruhns’ “Praeludium in G Major,” Vierne’s “Naïades,” Messiaen’s “Transports de joie (L’Ascension)” and

Dupre’s “Variations sur un Noël.”

A freewill donation is requested. For more details, call 617-739-1340 or visit

North End history

Alex Goldfeld of the North End Historical Society will be the guest speaker at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1.

A small but storied stretch of land, the North End is the oldest neighborhood in one of the nation’s most historic cities. Local author and historian Goldfeld will discuss the history of the North End in a free lecture. From the Boston Massacre to Revere’s heroic ride the North End embodies almost 400 years of strife and celebration, international influence and true American spirit.

Call 617-523-3957 for more information.

Spring fête

The Nichols House Museum will host its annual spring fête from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St.

Patrons will include delicious food and creative cocktails. The event will include a silent auction of various items that include unique artwork and jewelry, weekend getaways, sports tickets and more. Local shops and restaurants, including E.R. Butler & Co., St. John, Hermes and GOOD, are partnering with the Nicholas House in this fundraising effort.

Proceeds will be used for conservation efforts of objects at the museum.

Tickets are $150 each. For more information, visit www.nicholshousemuseum or call 617-227-6993.

The Nichols House Museum, located at 55 Mount Vernon St., is open for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, offering a glimpse of late 19th and early 20th century domestic life on Beacon Hill.

Painting in the garden

The community is invited to paint with members of the Guild of Boston Artists from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at the Boston Public Garden near the Lagoon.

Members will provide paint and instruction.

Visit for more details.

Art walk

The 28th annual Beacon Hill Art Walk will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, rain or shine. Starting at 135½ Charles St., at the corner of Cambridge and West Cedar streets, tour goers will be able to view a wonderful display of artwork throughout the North Slope.

Residents will open up their private gardens, alleyways and courtyards and allow artists to display and sell their work. More than 100 artists are expected to participate, with a variety of styles, media and subject matter. This is a wonderful chance for visitors to tour the private spaces of Beacon Hill while viewing original, handmade artwork.

Volunteer musicians will play in various gardens throughout the afternoon. The tour is free.

Visit for more information.

Life of Nietzsche

The Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., will present welcome author Christopher Hamilton at noon on Tuesday, June 6.

Hamilton will discuss Nietzsche as a “Philosopher of Lightness and Dynamite.” He will trace the outlines of Nietzsche’s thought, exploring his most famous theories; eternal recurrence, the “Ubermensch,” slave revolt in morality and the death of God, as well as some lesser-known elements of his work.

This talk is free and open to the public.

Call 617-720-7600 or visit for further details.

British and American cultures

The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St., will present “The British Yiddish and Yankee Doodle Jews: Exploring Differences Between Two Cultural Traditions” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8.

The community is invited to join in a riveting discussion on the differences between American and British Jewery with Rabbi Simon Taylor. Tickets are $18 and include conversation and appetizers and beers on the Vilna front plaza.

Visit or call 617-523-2324 to register and 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