Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Holiday house tour

The Nichols House Museum’s 21st annual Beacon Hill holiday house tour featuring a selection of some of Beacon Hill’s finest homes will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Private homes that represent the quintessence of Beacon Hill will be open to tour-goers. The tour showcases outstanding examples of historic preservation, as well as creative modern interpretation and adaptation in a broad range of architectural and interior design styles.

In addition, the tour ticket will allow admission to the Nichols House Museum at 55 Mount Vernon St., which will be decorated for the holiday season. The Back Bay Ringers will perform at the museum from 1 to 3 p.m. A reception will be held at King’s Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon St., from 3 to 5 p.m.

Proceeds from the tour will be used to support on-going preservation efforts and educational programming at the Nichols House Museum.

Call 617-227-6993 or visit to purchase tickets or to get further information.

Jingle bell run

The 2017 Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis will be held from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 starting at the Boston Common, corner of Beacon and Charles Streets. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. with the first wave of runners leaving at 9 a.m. A Kids’ Fun Run will be held at 10:30 a.m.

The 5K Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive while racing and walking to raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. Runners are encouraged to put on their favorite holiday costumes and tie jingle bells to shoelaces. This year a competitive open division for organizations, colleges, high schools, families and other teams is being introduced.

All proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis.

To register or for more details, visit or call 617-762-2126.

Polarization of American politics

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will welcome author David A. Hopkins at noon on Monday, Dec. 11.

Hopkins is the author of “Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics.” He will explore the deep partisan divide in American politics and place it in historical context, explaining how social issues since the 1980s has redefined the Republican and Democratic parties geographic bases of support and the critical role that American political institutions play in intermediating between the behavior of citizens and the outcome of public policy-making.

Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members.

Reservations are recommended, at or by calling 617-227-0270.

Holiday favorites

King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets, will present a lunchtime holiday concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The Pioneer Singers of Lynnfield will sing holiday favorites in this annual Christmas concert.

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

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

Poets’ Theatre to perform

The Poets’ Theatre will perform “The New Colossus: A Poets’ Theatre Presentation on Immigration and its History in Boston” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St.

American poet Emma Lazarus’s 1883 sonnet on the Statue of Liberty transformed the statue’s original purpose, turning it into a welcoming symbol for wave after wave of immigrants to the U.S. The poem and the statue have a tangled history, for both were contemporaneous with a virulent anti-immigration movement that started in Boston. This presentation draws from the athenaeum’s collections and explores resentment of immigrants in turn-of-the-century Boston, as well as poetic responses sympathetic to the immigrant cause.

Admission is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Call 617-227-0270 or visit for more details.

French new wave cinema

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., is screening a series of films from the French New Wave from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays during December.

The offering will include “Jules and Jim,” the 1961 film by Francois Truffaut on Dec. 13; “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” by Jacques Demy on Dec. 20; and “Le Boucher” by Claude Chabrol on Dec. 27.

Admission is free.

Call 617-523-3957 for further information.

Classical piano

Acclaimed pianist Frederick Moyer will perform in concert from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St.

Moyers will perform a program of classical piano masterpieces including time-honored favorites and newer pieces audiences may be hearing for the first time.

Admission is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Registration is recommended, online at or by calling call 617-227-0270.

Boston Ballet story time

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will offer story time with Boston Ballet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 18.

Children and families are welcome to hear stories about a famous ballet or dancer. The story time is also supplemented with a movement experience that highlights major themes of the story. Boston Ballet faculty dance educators will lead the program, which is for children, ages 2 and up. Younger children will need parental supervision.

Call 617-523-3957 for further details.

Frog Pond skating

The Frog Pond on Boston Common is open for skating from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays (except Mondays when the rink closes at 3:45 p.m.) and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

It will also be open on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., New Year’s Eve from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and New Year’s Day from noon to 5 p.m. The rink will be closed on Christmas Day.

Admission is based on skater’s height and is $6 for those over 58 inches and free for those under. Season passes are available. Skate rentals are $5 for children 13 and under, $12 for 14 and over. Lockers are also available.

The Frog Pond continues freestyle skating on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 to 9:45 a.m. for $12 a session. There are no rentals during this time.

For more information, call 617-635-2120 or visit

Travels through Impressionism

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., is displaying “Thomas Buford Meteyard (1865-1928): Travels through Impressionism” now through Feb. 24.

This new exhibit will feature more than 50 of Meteyard’s works, including paintings, watercolors and works on paper, as well as books and other publications to which he contributed designs and illustrations. It will also explore his travels through French and American Impressionism and his relationships with contemporary avant-garde artists and writers.

Admission is free. Call 617-227-0270 or visit for more details.

Picturing Douglass

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

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

The holiday season has arrived on Beacon Hill.