Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
Here is a view of Boston Common as seen from the penthouse on the 61st floor at One Dalton.

Boston African Festival

The 9th annual African Festival of Boston, hosted by the Shalupe Foundation, will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Boston Commons.

Among the vendors, organizations and groups promoting diversity/inclusion and community building through the arts will be African arts, latest African fashion trends, food, musicians, dance and other performers.

For a schedule of events, visit

Green Concert

The annual Green Concert will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Boston Esplanade.

In collaboration, the Boston Landmark Orchestra and the New England Aquarium will present a thought-provoking program addressing the environmental impacts of climate change.

Music will be accompanied by photos and video, including a new film shot in Antarctica.

The rain date will be on Aug. 15.

For a complete list of programs at the Hatch Shell, visit

Free Friday Flicks

Here's the perfect way to spend a Friday night this summer: grab a blanket or lawn chair and some friends and watch a free movie under the stars at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade by the Charles River.

Fridays from through late August, the movie starts at sundown (around 8 or 8:30 p.m. in August).

Co-sponsor WBZ News Radio hosts will have games, giveaways and free food samples starting at 6 p.m., so come early, stake out your spot on the grass, relax and have fun.

The movie lineup is:

Aug. 16: “Captain Marvel” (7:38 p.m.)

Aug. 23: “Dumbo” (7:26 p.m.)

For more information, including the movie schedule and weather cancellations, call the Free Friday Flicks Hotline at 617-787-7200.

Butterfly and caterpillar weekend

The Museum of Science will be hosting Butterfly and Caterpillar Weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.

Learn about caterpillars and butterflies through live presentations, interpretations and hands-on-activities throughout the Museum and see an array of native New England caterpillars in various stages of development.

To learn more, visit

Swan boats

The famous swan boats are now operating in the Public Garden. 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.

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day.

For more information, visit or call 617-522-1966.

Summer Dock Party

Community Boating – the nation's oldest public sailing center, incorporated in 1946, provides "Sailing for All" for youth, adults, and individuals with special needs.

Their Summer Dock Party fundraiser will be held from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23. It will include a night of dancing, mingling and watching the sunset over the Charles at 21 David G. Mugar Way. There will also be a DJ, lawn games and an open bar (beer/wine/spiked seltzer).

For more information and to purchase tickets ($40), visit

Adaptive sailing for teens

Adaptive Sports New England and Community Boating invite teens with a visual impairment and/or mobility impairment to go sailing on the Charles River from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, now through Aug. 27.

Meet at Community Boating Center, 21 David G. Mugar Way. No experience is necessary and each participant can bring a sibling or friend.

For more information and to register, visit, email or phone 617-690-9103.

Music and Movement

Sing along to music that gets all ages moving every Sunday and Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on the Boston Common.

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy live music and interact through sound, sight and touch. Grownups and children can join in with drums, tambourines and other noise-makers. Toddlers can meet other children and participate in group activities in this safe and fun environment.

All classes are led by trained music educators from Little Groove.

For more information, check out

Women of Beacon Hill Tour

Boston by Foot will partner with the BWHT (Boston Women of Beacon Hill) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28, Sept. 26 and Oct. 12 and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12 for a tour around historic Beacon Hill.

The tour guides will introduce a variety of notable women who lived and worked in this neighborhood, including abolitionists, suffragists, artists, nurses, lawyers, educational advocates and authors who not only changed the city, but made important strides for the country and in some cases for the world.

For tickets and more information, including private tours, go to

Guided bird watching walk

The Esplanade Association, in partnership with Feminist Bird Club will be leading a leisurely one mile guided bird walk along the park – great for beginners and experts alike – identifying birds and learning how to use binoculars and field guides. The guides will have a limited number to share; otherwise bring a pair.

The walk will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, starting at Community Boating Inc., 21 David G Mugar Way.

To learn more about the guided tour series and bird sightings, visit

To learn more about the Feminist Bird Club, visit

Free yoga

Drop in for free summer yoga sessions at the Frog Pond (next to the carousel) on Boston Common. Instructors, who are an eclectic mix of writers, musicians, athletics, cyclists, runners and more, welcome students of all levels to participate.

The group meets from 6 to 7:15 p.m. every Thursday through Aug. 29. Bring your own mat, blocks, towels and belt.

‘The Housing Act of 1949’

The West End Museum (150 Staniford St., Unit 7) is hosting the exhibit, “The Housing Act of 1949,” through Aug. 31.

The re-configured and updated exhibit explores the circumstances that led Harry S. Truman to put urban renewal on the national agenda, inadvertently setting in motion the final chapter in the old West End’s story.

The show comprises graphic panels, photographs, and artifacts and gives context to the permanent exhibit, “The Last Tenement.”

For more information, phone 617-723-2125 or visit

‘Book Club for the Curious’

The Museum of Science will host a “Book Club for the Curious” at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month.

Created at the Museum of Science, Boston and presented in partnership with the CIC, this reading group is designed especially for those who are interested in science and technology and how it impacts society.

For more information about this free book club, visit or phone 617-723-2500.

River Fit Summer Fitness Series

The Esplanade Association will present the River Fit Summer Fitness Series on the Esplanade.

Zumba, led by Healthworks, will feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms are combined with resistance training from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sept. 3 at the Hatch Shell.

Fitness trainers from Lynx Fitness Club will present a high intensity interval training workout performing a wide range of functional and sports driven movements followed by a relaxing cool down stretch from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept 4 at Fiedler Field.

Sunset Yoga for beginners to experts, led by Sara Divello, will focus on increasing flexibility and muscle tone while achieving calmness, stress reduction and overall body awareness will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays from through Sept. 5 at Fiedler Field. Namaste!

To learn more and to pre-register, visit

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

Concerts at the Plaza

The Brewer Fountain, gifted to the city in 1868 by Gardner Brewer, is one of the most memorable features in the historic Boston Common.

Every weekday this summer, there will be a Berklee pianist playing music next to the fountain at noon on the solar-powered piano.

Performances are brought to you by the Friends of the Public Garden (

For a full schedule of performers, visit

First Caturday

First Caturday will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 7 at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common on Charles Street, open to everyone - with or without a cat.

First Caturday is a day to reclaim the glory of the outdoors for our feline friends, a day for delightful outdoor cat-napping and socializing.

Some cats actually like leash walks, others stroller walks, and still others just to come to the park in their pet carriers to listen to the birds singing.

It’s a day to freely exchange information, friendship and joy to help make cats happy and healthy.

For more information about the event along with cat tips, visit

West End photographs

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

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. For more details, call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Coloring for adults

“Color Your World,” coloring for adults, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Fridays at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Studies have shown the relaxing benefits of coloring for adults as well as children. Patrons are invited to drop in and enjoy a relaxing afternoon coloring. Coloring pages, pencils, crayons and markers will be provided.

For further details, call 617-523-3957.

Evolve Bootcamp

The Evolve Bootcamp will meet on the Boston Common at the Boston Public Garden entrance (84 Beacon St. between Charles and Arlington streets, across from Cheers) from 6 to 7 for an early Friday morning run.

Join the gang and challenge yourself with fun-filled, functional fitness training outdoors.

The Evolve Bootcamp, Boston Common location boasts a surrounding terrain full of variety. In this class you will experience dynamic workouts fueled and inspired by a city environment that includes steep hills, stairs, fields, urban obstacles and more. Rain or shine, expect the unexpected.

For more information and to sign up, go to

Tours of Beacon Hill

Boston by Foot is offering tours of Beacon Hill from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays now through Oct. 30, meeting at the Massachusetts State House steps on Beacon Street.

The tour travels picturesque streets from the golden dome of the State House to the elegant homes of Louisburg Square, highlighting examples of early American architecture with particular emphasis on the work of Charles Bulfinch.

Participants will experience Beacon Hill’s ornate past, from its rural beginnings to the vision of the Mount Vernon proprietors, and hear about the lives of its prominent citizens while walking among this historic collection of Federal and Greek Revival row houses.

Tickets are free for members, $13 for adults and $8 for children if purchased online in advance, or an additional $2 if purchased from the guide.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-367-2345.

‘Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life’

The world-renowned Gunther von Hagens' “Body Worlds and The Cycle of Life” exhibition is at the Museum of Science, 1 Science Park.

Visit the Museum during this unique exhibit's stay to look within yourself and gain a whole new perspective on what it means to be alive.

More than one hundred preserved human specimens reveal the wonders of human development and demonstrate how poor health, good health, and lifestyle choices can shape your body. Don't miss out on this potentially life-changing experience.

Museum of Science is open Saturdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information and tickets, visit or phone 617-723-2500.

Free swing dancing

“Swing” the night away. Swing dancing takes place on the Boston Common every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit

Picturing Douglass

The Museum of African American History has extended its new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., through August.

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

Job seekers

An information session will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 25 at Operation A.B.L.E. (174 Portland St. 5th Floor) for job seekers, those underemployed, in career transition and military veterans to talk about available programs and services.

Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcomed.

For more information, visit or phone 617-542-4180.

55 and older job seekers

An information session will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Fridays through Sept. 27 at Operation A.B.L.E. (174 Portland St. 5th Floor) to talk about various A.B.L.E. resources available in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

SCSEP is a federal back-to-work program for income-eligible individuals age 55 and older. It pays qualified participants a stipend for 20 hours of work per week at a community-based government agency or non-profit organization. Participants earn-while-they-learn and may lead to a return to the regular workforce.

Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcomed.

For more information, visit

To pre-register, visit or call 617-542-4180.

‘Let There Be Light’

Meditation sessions are held from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. on Fridays and 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Mondays in the Library Room at the Beacon House, 19 Myrtle St.

There will be guided commentary with singing bowl sounds in background during the sessions. Please come early to sign in at security desk. Meditations start and end on time. The event is free, but donations are welcomed.

To learn more, visit

Monday lunch

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St., hosts The Monday Lunch program from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Sproat Hall.

The Monday Lunch program has been serving a freshly cooked hot lunch every week for thirty years. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your situation.

Volunteers are welcome to join the team as well.

For more information, visit

Musicians wanted

The St. Joseph Music Ministry is looking for musicians to join their music ministry team.

The weekend Masses are held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and on Sundays at 9 and 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For more information about St. Joseph Catholic Church, 68 William Cardinal O'Connell Way, visit or call 617-523-4342.

To contact David, email

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.

Walk to the Sea

The Walk to the Sea encompasses four centuries of Boston history.

Beginning at the State House on Beacon Hill, overlooking Boston Common, the Walk passes among historic landmarks and skyscrapers. The Walk crosses ground that, centuries earlier, was not ground at all, but an active harbor.

Boston's history is tied to the sea, whose smells and sounds once pervaded the town. The Walk from summit to sea, spanning one mile and descending 100 feet, brings that history to life.

Mayor Thomas Menino dedicated the Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea in 2008.

For more information, visit

Astronomy after hours

Astronomy after Hours will be held at the Gilliland Observatory, on the roof of the Museum of Science’s parking garage on Fridays from April through October.

Small telescopes will be available outside to view stars, planets, the Moon and other astronomical phenomena. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the evening’s featured astronomical object through the 11” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope in the observatory.

Because sunset times shift throughout the season, program hours vary as follows: from May through August the event will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.; in September and April from 8 to 10 p.m. and in October from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

When the weather is uncooperative, a variety of indoor hands-on astronomy and space science activities with museum staff with be offered.

Visit for more information and scheduling details.

This program is free to the public thanks to the support of the Lowell Institute.