Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
According to Historic New England, the Otis House is the last surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square in Boston's West End neighborhood. Charles Bulfinch designed the house for Harrison Gray Otis, a lawyer who was instrumental in developing nearby Beacon Hill, served in Congress, and was a mayor of Boston.

Frog Pond skating

The Frog Pond on Boston Common is now open for skating. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

The pond will be closed on Christmas Day.

Skating on open day, which is Nov. 21, is free for everyone.

For more information, call 617-635-2120 or visit www.bostonfrogpond.com. 

SHVAM Opening Ceremony

The Survivors of Homicide Victims (SHVAM) Opening Ceremony will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 22 at the MA State House Grand Staircase, 24 Beacon St.

For more information about this and other events that will take place during the 19th annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month recognized from Nov. 20 through Dec. 20, visit Louis D. Brown Peace Institute at ldbpeaceinstitute.org.

Beacon Hill Holiday Fine Art & Craft Sale

Beacon Hill Holiday Fine Art & Craft Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 at Hill House, 127 Mt. Vernon St. (the old Firehouse)

Presented by the Artists Crossing, the holiday sale will showcase award-winning local artists, including potters, jewelers, painters, photographers, and fiber artisans who create original, hand-crafted work.

The holiday event is free, open to the public, wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Visit fineartists.boston for a list of artists and their specialties.

‘More Love’ Concert

The Mystic Chorale “More Love” Concert and Sing will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 23 and at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 at the Tremont Temple, Converse Hall, 88 Tremont St.

Led by Mystic Founder, Nick Page, 200 singers will soar in celebration of the love that shapes our moral decisions with songs like U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love); the love that draws us to each other, including How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You; and Jewish, Muslim and Christian sacred songs expressing the deep joy of spiritual love. The stirring repertoire further includes a jubilant South African wedding song, barbershop and madrigal pieces, Brian Wilson’s God Only Knows, Lady Gaga’s Shallow, and a rollicking medley of Motown hits.

For more information and tickets ($15), visit mysticchorale.org.

MGH walking tour

A guided tour of the Ether Dome, the historic operating theater where surgical anesthesia was first successfully and publicly demonstrated in 1846, will be followed by an introduction to the Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital, 2 North Grove St.

The group will meet in the main hospital lobby, located at 55 Fruit St. for the 1 to 2 p.m. tour on Monday, Nov. 25.

Registration is required. To secure a spot, visit eventbrite.com.

For more information, visit massgeneral.org.

MIRA’s Thanksgiving luncheon

The annual Thanksgiving luncheon celebrating “Citizenship and New Americans,” hosted by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Massachusetts State House, Hall of Flags, 24 Beacon St.

The “Our Shared Table: MIRA’s Thanksgiving luncheon” and program is free and open to all, but space is limited.

Visit eventbrite.com for reservations and other details.

Chilean films

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will be celebrating Chile from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. The November Films Series will feature “The Maid” on Nov. 27.

For more information, visit bpl.org/events.

Prayer Circle

A Prayer Circle will be held at noon on Fridays at St. John’s Chapel at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St.

Everyone is welcome to come and pray, or be silent, and/or sit and talk for a while.

Visit st.paulboston.org for more information.

‘Big Bird’s Adventure’

“Big Bird’s Adventure: One World, One Sky” will be presented on Dec. 1 and Jan. 5 at the Museum of Science.

Explore the night sky with your favorite friends from “Sesame Street” and follow along with Big Bird, Elmo, and their friend from China,Hu Hu Zhu, as they take you on a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon.

Enjoy the special showings in the Planetarium with softer volume, lights left up, and relaxed house rules. Timed tickets are required.

Visit mos.org for tickets and other information.

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.

Pajama Palooza

PJ Library will present the “Havdalah Lights, Havdalah Nights Pajama Palooza” at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, Jan. 11, Feb. 1, Mar. 14, Apr. 11 and May 9 at The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St.

Put on your cutest pajamas as Ellen Allard helps us sing bye-bye to the sweetness of Shabbat and hello to a brand new week. Come prepared to dance, sing and jump for joy!

Visit vilnashul.org for more information.

‘From Sarnoff to Seinfeld’

Join Professor Rachel Greenblatt for “From Sarnoff to Seinfeld: Televisual Jews in Historical Context” - a six-session series that explores the relationship and portrayal of Jews on the small screen and Jews and Jewish culture in American society from 7:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 16 (except Dec. 2) at The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, 18 Phillips St.

Visit vilnashul.org for more information.

The Polar Express 4-D Experience

The Polar Express 4-D Experience will be presented at various times through Sunday, Jan. 5 at the Museum of Science.

When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Featured in digital 3-D and brought to life with 4-D multisensory effects, this is an immersive experience (approximately15-minutes) for the whole family to enjoy.

Visit mos.org for other information, including show times and tickets.

Young Adults Cafes

The Park Street Church, One Park St., offers Young Adult Cafes from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Tuesday café is primarily comprised of young adults in their late 20s and 30s while the Wednesday café is designed for youth in their early 20s. Both are open to young adults in the Greater Boston area.

The evenings include fellowship around a meal (usually pizza, but occasionally home-cooked), a time of worship and small group Bible Study.

If you're interested in checking this out, there is no need for you to sign up anywhere; all you have to do is show up and enter Park Street Church on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (through the side entrance, the glass doors) and the welcome table will get to know you and help you get oriented.

For more information, visit parkstreet.org or email Zane at zkang@parkstreet.org.

Black Seed Writers Group

The Black Seed Writers Group will meet every Tuesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Upper Sproat Hall at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St. to produce a steady stream of poetry, protest, memoire, prayer and reportage which will be featured in “The Pilgrim” literary magazine showcasing the work of hundreds of homeless, transitional and recently-housed writers.

For more information, visit http://www.stpaulboston.org/index.php/writersgroup.

Visitor Story Time

Visitor Story Time will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays at the Boston Athenæum 10½ Beacon St.

The first half hour will include favorite stories, rhymes, songs and games. The second half will incorporate time for making a take-home craft, helping to feed the fish and meeting new friends.

Story time is a great opportunity to discover new books, try new activities and explore the Children’s Library.

All ages are welcome. This program is free for all children under age 13. Other non-members are free with admission ($10). Registration is not required.

For more information about this and other events, visit bostonathenaeum.org.

SCSEP information sessions

If you are an income eligible job seeker, age 55 years or older from Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester counties, you can attend an information session to learn about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) at 10 a.m. on most Fridays at Operation ABLE, 174 Portland St. (5th Floor).

This is an earn-while-you learn program which can led to a return to the regular workforce.

Pre-registration at opeationable.net is encouraged; walk-ins are welcome.

P3 Boston

Young adults and young professionals are invited to attend P3 Boston – Prayer, Penance, Pub – which will meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month.

Adorations & Confession will be held at 7 p.m. followed by Meditation and Benediction at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 68 William Cardinal O’Connell Way.

The group will then gather at 8:15 p.m. at the Hill Tavern, 228 Cambridge St. for socialization.

For more information, visit p3boston.org.

Jazz exhibitions

The Museum of African American History (46 Joy St.) celebrates Boston’s rich jazz history with two new exhibitions – “Jazz Scene in Boston: Telling the Local Story” and “Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection” – that will be on display through Mar. 30.

A sizeable collection of photographs, handbills, posters and memorabilia capture the images of the legendary artists and notable personalities and the reactions of the audiences from varied genres in music and dance in a variety of settings from the 1920s through the 1980s.

For more information, visit maah.org.

College gathering

The Park Street Church College Community will meet from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. on the third Friday of each month at the Park Street Church, One Park St.

There will be student bands, peers sharing about their lives and what is happening on campus, and Christ-centered talks by guest speakers for all students enrolled at one of the 24 Boston colleges.

For more information, visit parkstreet.org.

‘Music under the Dome’

“Music under the Dome” will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at the Museum of Science, Planetarium.

Premiering this fall will be The Drake Experience in November.

For more information and $10 tickets, visit mos.org.

Spanish/English conversations

Informal Spanish/English language conversations (with and for adults) will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

For more information, visit bpl.org/events, email hbender@bpl.org or phone 617-523-3957.

Tai-Chi

Tai-Chi classes will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at the West End Library, 151 Cambridge St.

For more information on this low impact energy exercise class with yang-style tai chi instructor Arthur Soohoo, email hbender@bpl.org or phone 617-523-3957.

Chinese-Style Mahjong

Chinese-Style Mahjong will be played from 2 to 4 p.m. on most second and fourth Fridays of the month at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

For more information, visit bpl.org/events or phone 617-523-3957.

‘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 mos.org or phone 617-723-2500.

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 marathonsports.com.

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

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 www.thewestendmuseum.org.

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.

‘National Parks Adventure’

The Omni Theater at the Museum of Science will be showing MacGillvray Freeman’s “National Parks Adventure” which takes you on the ultimate IMAX off-trail adventure into the nation’s awe-inspiring great outdoors and untamed wilderness.

Spectacularly wild and beautiful places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Everglades, the Redwoods, Arches and Canyonlands are illuminated with immersive giant-screen cinematography, revealing a tapestry of natural wonders that will inspire the adventurer in all of us.

This family-friendly film runs 50 minutes. For more information on tickets and show times, visit mos.org/imax.

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 www.evolvebootcamp.com/schedule.

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 www.facebook.com/events/775622202793234.

‘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 www.eventbrite.com/e/let-there-be-light-meditation-tickets-53110754697.

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 eventbrite.com tickets 54537671644.

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 30 years. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your situation.

Volunteers are welcome to join the team as well.

For more information, visit www.stpaulboston.org.

Freedom Trail Tour

The Freedom Trail Tour takes 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 freetoursbyfoot.com.

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 bostonplans.org.

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

For groups larger than 15 people email bpda@boston.gov 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 walktothesea.com.

BTU homework help

The Boston Teachers Union will provide homework assistance for students in grades K-12 from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays through May 28 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

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

For more information, visit bpl.org/events.

‘Great Bear Rainforest’

Experience one of the planet’s most diverse wildernesses – Canada’s “Great Bear Rainforest” – with the new giant-screen documentary at the Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science through Dec. 31.

This family-friendly film runs 40 minutes. For more information on tickets and show times, visit mos.org/imax.