Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
Luo is one of the musicians entertaining people in the Park Street MBTA station. The relaxing tone of his music certainly helps make waiting for trains easier.

Athlete Frank Hart and America's Walking Craze

Before baseball became known as “America’s favorite pastime,” pedestrianism or long-distance competitive walking gripped the country in the 1870s and 1880s as a popular spectator sport. Haitian-American Frank Hart (1858-1908), who worked at a Boston grocery store prior to his athletic career, became one of the sports’ biggest stars during a time of overt racism towards Black Americans.

Join Assistant Curator Ginny Badgett from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 as she shares research sparked by the Boston Athenæum’s recent acquisition of a rare cigarette card of pedestrian Frank Hart.

Visit bostonathenaeum.org for more information and Zoom registration (Members and VESP holders: Free | Visitors: $5).

Data-driven histories of 19th century art book talk

Painting by Numbers presents a groundbreaking blend of art historical and social scientific methods to chart, for the first time, the sheer scale of 19th century artistic production. With new quantitative evidence for more than five hundred thousand works of art, Diana Seave Greenwald provides fresh insights into the 19th century and the extent to which art historians have focused on a limited – and potentially biased – sample of artwork from that time.

She addresses long-standing questions about the effects of industrialization, gender and empire on the art world, and she models more expansive approaches for studying art history in the age of the digital humanities.

Visit bostonathenaeum.org for more information on this book talk slated from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and Zoom registration (Members and VESP holders: Free | Visitors: $5).

Anna Malaika Tubbs: ‘The Three Mothers’

An online conversation with Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

In her groundbreaking debut, The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black mother¬hood by telling the stories of the women who raised and shaped remarkable, heroic Americans: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin.

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

This program is co-sponsored by Boston Public Library, Museum of African American History (MAAH), the State Library of Massachusetts, and American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society (AA/NEHGS) and is part of the BPL's Repairing America Series.

Reno Family Foundation Symposium

Join the Museum of Science from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 for a special virtual symposium and evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson for a conversation about her new book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and the hierarchy of human divisions that define our lives today.

Visit mos.org/explore/subspace/evening-with-isabel-wilkerson for more information and registration.

Demystifying Technology

Confused about current technology?

Join Beacon Hill Village and the Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 for an overview of current technology and how it can benefit you. All are welcome to join, regardless of knowledge or technology experience.

Go to www.beaconhillvillage.org or phone Beacon Hill Village at 617-723-9713 for more information and registration.

An interview on ‘Franklin & Washington’

Join moderator and journalist Gordon Edes for an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Larson on his dual biography Franklin & Washington - The Founding Partnership from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24.

Two of our most notable founding fathers shared a partnership that was key to the independence of the United States.

This lecture is co-sponsored by Boston Athenæum, Boston Branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, and the New England Genealogical Society.

Visit www.americanancestors.org for more information and registration.

Kanopy Club: ‘River of Grass’ (1994)

Rivers of Grass: Acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt's (Certain Women) first film follows Cozy and Lee, lovers who are as criminally inclined (and hopelessly incompetent) as they come. Ironically, their robbery spree gets disrupted when they find themselves running from the police for a crime they didn't commit.

Watch the film on Kanopy, then join the group for a Zoom discussion from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25.

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

ARC needs blood – critical shortage

The American Red Cross is urging people to make a blood donation to help maintain their supply amid the pandemic. Help save a life by donating blood.

A blood drive will be held on Friday, Feb. 26 at the following places:

- 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Boston Blood Donation Center, 274 Tremont St.,

- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St.

- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at AC Hotel by Marriott Boston Downtown, 225 Albany St.

Every blood donation will be complimentary tested for the coronavirus antibody.

Sign up at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive or phone 1-800¬-RED CROSS (1-800¬-733-2767).

Hill House 2021 spring program and summer camp registration open

Registration at Hill House, Inc., 127 Mount Vernon St. is open for new and returning participants for the spring program and summer camp.

Check out the wide variety of offerings, including baseball and softball leagues, in their Spring Athletic and Program Guide and Summer Camp Guide.

Hill House Camps (Kiddie Kamp for 3–5-year-olds and Day Camp for 5-to-12-year-olds) offer weekly Kiddie Kamp onsite adventures; Day Camp field trips; expanded enrichment opportunities; sailing, theatre, sports and film camp options; weekly themes; extended day options for Day Campers; and expanded LIT program for 13-to-15-year-olds.

Learn more at www.hillhouseboston.org.

BPL Reading Challenge

As the pandemic drags on and Boston residents remain cooped up in their homes, the Boston Public Library invites readers throughout the city to participate in “Reading Together.”

In the challenge, each month has a distinct theme and participants are asked to read a book tied to the theme.

The library offers recommended book lists for the monthly themes for adults, teens and children at bpl.org/yearlong. Participant patrons can track their progress as well.

Visit bpl.org for more information.

Lyric Stage To-Go ‘The Walking Plays’

The Walking Plays is a new free audio play series of six short plays by Boston-based playwrights which unfold on a continuous route around the Back Bay, Downtown, and Theatre District neighborhoods.

The Walking Plays explore the private moments that we experience in public. Rediscover Boston through new eyes as you walk alongside intricate characters or experience these intimate stories in the comfort of your home.

The first two plays - On Paying Attention by David Valdes and Monster in the Sky by Ginger Lazarus - are now available with four more being released in the spring.

Visit www.lyricstage.com/to-go/walking-plays for more information and access to the plays.

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.

Art journaling as a spiritual practice

LJ Boswell will lead art journaling workshops from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sundays through March 14, hosted by the Beacon Hill Friends House.

Each class will begin with an introduction to a simple art lesson you can choose to incorporate into your art journaling time. Then relax into a guided meditation and the meditative flow of creation. From a space of listening, open to Spirit’s guidance as a way of creating what you most need to express or remember in this moment. The group will close with an opportunity for those who are inspired to share from your heart. If no one is moved to share, the group will simply enjoy the gifts of a meditative space.

Visit bhfh.org/virtual-events for more information and registration (Investment: $25/workshop or $125/for the full series. Sliding scale rates available).

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.

‘Responding to the Call’

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

Slated through Tuesday, Feb. 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.

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, including the weekly topics and Zoom registration.

‘MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness’

The Beacon Hill Friends will host MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. This facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos is 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 donations to support their work are welcome.

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.

‘Hatched: Breaking through the Silence’

The Esplanade Association will present Hatched: Breaking through the Silence, a multi-sensory winter illumination experience at the Hatch Shell in celebration of their 20th Anniversary.

The 15-minute visual and sound performance shaped specifically for the 80-year-old amphitheater will begin at 5 p.m. and re-start every 20 minutes until 9 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 21.

Hatched is free and open to the public. Masks and physical distancing mandated.

Visit esplanade.org/hatched to learn more.

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 hosts a weekly conversation on all things musical from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays via Zoom. Topics announced 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 with composer and videographer Graham Gordon Ramsay recorded a series of videos of new music after dark. Read the blog post on their website about their reflections on these Introspections

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

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

‘The Happiness Project’: Book discussion for a happier life

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun, the author chronicles her adventures during the 12 months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rather than uprooting herself, Rubin focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about the results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts from Epicurus to Thoreau, Oprah to the Dalai Lama – to see what worked for her and what didn’t.

Following the book discussion that took place in January, the participants will meet monthly to discuss their personal resolutions, swap ideas, build enthusiasm, give encouragement, and – perhaps most importantly – hold each other accountable. Being part of a group is a terrific way to build friendships, have fun and figure out ways to make yourself happier.

The group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays as follows:

- March 3: Personal commandments

- April 7: Inspiration

- May 5: Happy memories

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom 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, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services, are being conducted remotely. 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.

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.

MOS experience onsite/online

The Museum of Science has reopened following health and safety guidelines – including face coverings – and advance reservations for admission.

Highlights of your visit can include: the new permanent exhibit, Arctic Adventure: Exploring with Technology; All Aboard! Trains at Science Park (temporary exhibit departing Feb. 28); temporary exhibit, The Science Behind Pixar; a variety of shows in the Planetarium; and Superpower Dogs in the newly refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

MOS at home also offers an array of programs and events. 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 for more information and reservations.

Hill House winter programming – online/onsite

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

On-going registration for online/onsite 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.

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 younger. 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 (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.

Boston Athenæum

Boston Athenæum 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.

‘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.

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 more than 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.

Support the parks – give the gift of membership

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.

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.

Visit www.beaconhillgardenclub.org for more information.