Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

LRC: Self-Care Series

Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of your mind, body and soul by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances the ability to live fully, vibrantly and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds people that their needs are valid and a priority.

Join this facilitated living room conversations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through Feb. 24.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Read the Room Book Club: ‘The House of Mirth’

Read the Room Book Club will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The Nichols House Museum will feature The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.

Go to eventbrite.com/e/read-the-room-book-club-the-house-of-mirth-at-nichols-house-museum-tickets-133394641965 for more information and registration (Nichols House Museum and Gibson House Museum members - Free | Non-members - $12).

‘Against Civility: The Hidden Racism in Our Obsession with Civility’

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the Museum of African American History (MAAH) for an online conversation with author Alex Zamalin, moderated by MAAH Director of Education and Interpretation L'Merchie Frazier at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21. This program is part of the BPL's Repairing America Series.

Spanning 200 years, Alex Zamalin’s accessible blend of intellectual history, political biography and contemporary political criticism shows that civility has never been neutral in its political uses and impacts. The best way to tackle racial inequality is through “civic radicalism,” an alternative to civility found in the actions of Black radical leaders, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Audre Lorde.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

Kanopy Club: Tabu (2012)

Winner of Critic's Prize at the Berlin Film Festival 2012, Tabu is the exquisitely surreal two-part tale of Aurora, who upon her death-bed will make a mysterious request to see a man no one had ever heard of, transporting us to the foothills of 1960s Africa in order to tell a story that occurred 50 years ago - the story of an irrational taboo and its extravagant consequences. Shot in lush black & white 16mm and 35mm.

Watch the film on Kanopy, then join a discussion on Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

‘Persona Non Grata: The Story of Chiune Sugihara’

Join film director Cellin Gluck, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation Chairman Linas Venclauskas, and Staci Rosenthal from Facing History & Ourselves for a discussion on the unknown story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat (sometimes called the Schindler of Japan). What influences his decision to issue more than 2,000 visas to Jewish refugees in Kaunas, Lithuania resulting in saving the lives of more than 6,000 people?

The film will be available for viewing on Wednesday, Jan. 20 for only 5 days. The film follows Sugihara's life from his early days in Manchuria to his eventual posting in Lithuania and his appointment with destiny which would forever brand him a hero.

Watch it at your convenience, and then join The Vilna Shul at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 for the panel discussion via Zoom.

Check out the film on official film website (Japanese only) and the Nippon TV website for the film (English only).

Visit vilnashul.org/events for more information and registration.

Family Book Group: 'The Book Itch'

Join friends, family and fellow Yearlong Reading Challenge participants at the Boston Public Library from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21 to discuss the January Community Read for families – The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson.

The discussion will be moderated by a librarian and will take place on Zoom. Caregivers are also welcomed to participate.

People do not need to be participating in the Reading Together challenge in order to take part in this book group, but are urged to join. Learn about the different monthly challenges, get recommendations for books to read and find other ways to connect with the reading community on the website.

Go to bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

‘Hatched: Breaking through the Silence’

The Esplanade Association will present “Hatched: Breaking through the Silence,” a four-week illumination and sound experience to provide a family-friendly and physically-distant celebration at the famed Hatch Memorial Shell in celebration of their 20th anniversary. “Hatched” will cut through the darkness of the winter months, offering a public space for joy and optimism in the New Year.

The work is an original 15-minute visual and sound performance led by Boston-based creative Maria Finkelmeier of MF Dynamics and is shaped specifically for the 80-year-old amphitheater itself.

Hatched is free and open to the public, taking place nightly from Friday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 21. Viewers will be able to tune in to the original synchronized soundtrack on their personal devices while watching the illuminations. The work, made possible by collaborations with LuminArtz and projector sponsor Epson, will begin at 5 p.m. and re-start every 20 minutes until 9 p.m., offering more than 300 opportunities to enjoy the work in the open-air landscape of the historic Hatch Shell Oval Lawn. Masks and physical distancing mandated.

Visit https://esplanade.org/hatched to learn more about Hatched: Breaking through the Silence.

‘Responding to the Call’

The Beacon Hill Friends House will present “Responding to the Call,” a two-month, weekly workshop to do this critical work of climate justice, dismantling white supremacy and beginning reparations.

Slated through Tuesday February 23, the group will meet every other week from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in a whole group Zoom session, with alternating weeks dedicated to on-going small groups.

As the work of systems transformation – both the societal systems we engage with daily and ourselves as systems of change – is not purely academic, this workshop will use somatic and Quaker spiritual practices along with discussions, readings, and videos.

Visit bhfh.org/responding-to-the-call for more information and registration.

Taste of Israel 2021

Israeli food is so much more than hummus and falafel, and in 2019, JArts (Jewish Arts Collaborative) established Taste of Israel to celebrate this diverse cuisine. While there are a handful of Israeli restaurants already in Boston, Taste of Israel, which runs from Tuesday, Jan. 26 through Tuesday, Feb. 2, will feature restaurants from all culinary persuasions presenting their unique take on Israeli cuisine.

Each restaurant will create three-to-five special dishes that will be on the menu. Prices, hours and reservations will be set by the restaurant.

This year, particularly in light of the challenges the food industry is facing due to COVID-19, JArts is inviting all Boston-area food enthusiasts to support local restaurants while savoring the many flavors of Israeli food.

For a list of participating restaurants along with more information, visit jartsboston.org/taste-of-israel.

JArts Executive Director Laura Mandel shares thoughts on the restaurants at www.jewishboston.com/restaurants-matter-to-me.

Blessing Barn Beacon Hill

The Blessing Barn at 122 Charles St. is a thrift and antique shop, as well as a self-described “sharing center,” that accepts donations of and sells new and gently used clothing, linens, home decor, furniture, kitchen items, toys, records, books and wall art, among myriad other items.

BBBH exists to provide simple, short term housing for patients and their support individuals needing medical care away from home. They are proud to provide a ROOM IN THE CITY.

Join them by giving in the following ways: Offer to be a host home; Pay for a room in the city for one night; Purchase items in their store; Give a monetary donation using their secure form.

Visit theblessingbarn.com for more information.

Give the gift of membership through January

Give the gift of membership to ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at friendsofthepublicgarden.org/2020/11/06/give-the-gift-of-membership-now-through-january.

MOS at Home

Engage with Museum Educators Live at MOS at Home. Schedules change weekly and may include a weekly STEM challenge; virtual planetarium visits; live animal visits, science stories; science-related question and answer panels; and Sub-space events.

Visit www.mos.org and/or eventbrite.com for more information and reservations.

Simple morning meditation practice

Beacon Hill Friends holds a simple meditation practice that helps reduce stress and ease you into the morning. The meditation is 15 minutes long, and begins and ends with a brief introduction to the practice. Orientation for newcomers begins at 8 a.m., and the practice begins at 8:10 a.m. on weekdays.

Join once or join regularly – this meditation is free and open to the public.

Go to bhfh.org/virtual-events for more information and the Zoom link.

Music at Home from King’s Chapel

Music remains an important aspect to the virtual presence of King's Chapel. Here are a few offerings to enjoy:

- “Talk About Music!” – Music Director Heinrich Christensen will host a weekly conversation on all things musical from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays via Zoom. Topics will be announced weekly on their website and social media.

- “Weekly Musical Meditations” – This virtual glimpse of King's Chapel is accompanied by soothing music performed by their talented musicians. Every Monday they will add a new musical meditation on their social media channels with the hashtag #MusicAndMeditationMonday and on their YouTube channel.

- “Music in the Time of Covid: A Series” – In this pandemic world, Music Director Heinrich Christensen got together with his composer and videographer friend Graham Gordon Ramsay and recorded a series of videos of new music after dark. Read the blog post on their website about Heinrich's and the composer Graham Gordon Ramsay's reflections on these Introspections

- Music from Virtual Worship Services – On King's Chapel YouTube channel, they've curated a playlist of songs from their weekly online worship services.

Go to kings-chapel.org/musicfromhome.html for more information and links to enjoy.

Online ESL conversation groups

Practice speaking English with other adult learners in an informal and friendly group setting from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on most Mondays, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. on most Tuesdays, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on most Wednesdays, and from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on most Fridays through Aug. 31. The group is led by a native speaker and will take place online.

Online intermediate and advanced ESL classes are also offered at select times.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

Black Seed Writers Group

The Black Seed Writers Group meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on most Tuesdays 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.

Visit www.stpaulboston.org for more information.

Young Adults Cafes Zoom gatherings

The Park Street Church offers Young Adult Cafes from 7 to 9:15 p.m. on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open to all young adults in the Greater Boston area.

The Tuesday café is comprised of young adults in their late 20s and 30s while the Wednesday café is designed for youth in their early 20s.

The Cafes meet virtually to help people stay connected in a healthy and safe way during these challenging times. The participants meet in a large group for worship, bible study and/or and fellowship and then break up into a variety of small groups, including ones for newcomers.

For more information, visit www.parkstreet.org or email cafe@parkstreet.org.

‘MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness’

In the Quaker tradition of Midweek (Wednesday) worship, the Beacon Hill Friends House (6 Chestnut St.), presents MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is a weekly, facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos open to everyone.

Go to bhfh.org/midweek for more information about the facilitators and the practices they offer along with program details and Zoom registration. These closed-captioned programs are free, although they welcome donations to support this initiative and all of their work.

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga

Unwind with Gentle Yoga – sponsored by Hands to Heart Center and the Boston Public Library – will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

The yoga classes are geared for beginners with plenty of options and modifications for all bodies and ability levels.

The class will be live-streamed on YouTube/Hand to Heart Center – Yoga for the People.

You can also get the link at bpl.org/online events. The recorded sessions will remain online.

Community Read Book Group

Join friends, family and fellow Yearlong Reading Challenge participants at the Boston Public Library 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 to discuss the January community read for adults – An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The discussion will be moderated by a librarian and will take place on Zoom.

People do not need to be participating in the Reading Together challenge in order to take part in this book group, but are urged to join. Learn about the different monthly challenges, get recommendations for books to read and find other ways to connect with the reading community online.

Go to bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

Operation ABLE

Operation ABLE, 174 Portland St. (Fifth Floor) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.

All services at Operation ABLE are being conducted remotely, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services. Class enrollments are open for computer skills training and Health Care and Social Services training, among others.

Visit operationable.net for more information and registration.

Hill House winter programming

Ready for a warm, safe and fun winter with Hill House, Inc., 127 Mount Vernon St.?

On-going registration for winter programming that includes basketball, music, art, STEM and much more continues for all members and nonmembers.

Pod spots will be available for those looking for semi-private classes with their instructors.

Give to Hill House's 2020-2021 Fundraising Appeal to help keep programs running.

Visit www.hillhouseboston.org for more information and sign ups.

College worshiping communities

The Park Street Church College Community seeks to provide a church home for undergraduate students from around Boston – a welcoming space where students experience the heart of God and engage with the mission of God through their encounter with the people of God.

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, they invite you to join them at Park Street Church and in a ministry on your campus. (PSC partners with Cru Boston on campus).

Some students at Park Street Church are involved in other campus ministries, which include Christian Union, InterVarsity and Navigators. Park Street Church encourages student involvement in any of the on-campus fellowships.

Visit parkstreet.org/ministries/college for more information, including events and groups.

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information

Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –

18 years of age and under. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Big Sister mentoring

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide award-winning (virtual) support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit www.bigsister.org.

‘Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill’ books for sale

Beacon Hill Garden Club’s Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill: Creating Green Spaces in Urban Places is a combination wish book and reference book all in one. Throughout the book, people will discover the many solutions Beacon Hill’s gardeners have used to make their gardens appealing.

The 85th anniversary edition is a full-color, hard-bound book with more than 110 professional photographs by Peter Vanderwarker and Thomas Lingner. It is filled with pages offering practical solutions to a variety of garden conundrums: walls, paving, levels, gates and doors, ornaments, furniture, light and color.

In addition, there is an addendum listing common and Latin names of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, ground covers, bulbs and rhizomes, wild plants and annuals that succeed in our gardens.

The book can be purchased at Blackstone’s at 46 Charles St. and Gary Drug at 59 Charles St.

Visit www.beaconhillgardenclub.org/our-book for more information.

Boston Athenæum

Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. offers many activities online free of charge, serving their members, the Boston community and beyond.

The Athenæum is open to members for book pick-up and drop-off in the lobby, and by appointment to use the reading rooms. Up to five Day Passes are now available for non-members each day.

Phone 617-720-7604 with questions and to reserve time in the building.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/visit/covid-19-response for more information.

MANNA Community Program at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

Although many other programs have closed during this pandemic, the feeding ministry of the MANNA Community at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St. has expanded its ministry to accommodate the growing number of people in need.

In addition to the Monday Lunch Program, they are now serving breakfast and giving out water on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Serving these individually-packaged meals to a larger of people in need comes at a greater expense to the church. Help keep this program alive by donating money to help purchase food and supplies.

Visit www.stpaulboston.org for more information.

Wednesday Night Supper Club – ‘Takeout Meal in a Sack’

The Wednesday Night Supper Club is held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Paulist Center Auditorium, 5 Park St. Place. At this time, they have shifted to a “takeout meal in a sack.”

The Paulist Center volunteers have been serving more than 200 people a week who don’t have access to a good hot meal. The program has been running for 50 years.

Visit www.paulistcenter.org to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.

Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.)

Park Street Church’s Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.), formerly "TNO," will prepare and package a hot meal, then distribute them along with a package of socks, underwear and toiletries for men and women outside their church from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday nights and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays to their vulnerable neighbors on the streets of Boston.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation of money, food, toiletries or gift cards, or would like additional information on ways to make a difference, contact missions@parkstreet.org.

Visit www.parkstreet.org for more information.

Beacon Hill Garden Club – Donations welcome

Since its founding in 1928, the Beacon Hill Garden Club has encouraged the love of horticulture and urban gardening.

Even though the Beacon Hill Garden Club has canceled two of its most prestigious events last year – the Beacon Hill Garden Soiree and the BH Hidden Gardens Tour – they are still making donations to various organizations in Boston and Massachusetts, and they encourage you to do so in your local community to help organizations dedicated to horticulture, conservation and civic improvement.

They look forward to seeing you at the annual Beacon Hill Garden Soiree and Gardens Tours this year.

Visit www.beaconhillgardenclub.org for more information.

This snowman is enjoying a nice winter day on Boston Common.