Charlestown - Navy Yard neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Sea chanteys

The USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, will host the “Chantey Sing!” sing-along of chanteys and maritime songs from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 21.

The Northeast Chantey Sing will host an afternoon of contemporary and historic maritime music that tells of the history of battles, the mystery and science of the weather and the romance of family and patriotism that spurred a sailor out to sea.

Between songs, visitors can check out the 1812 Discovery Center and its exhibits, games and interactive programming. The program is presented in cooperation with the Boston National Historical Park and Northeast (and MIT) Chantey Sing.

Call 617-426-1812 or visit for more information.

Watercolor painting

The Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St., will offer an introduction to watercolor painting class from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Monday, May 22.

Local artist Elisa Solignac will lead the free workshops for adults focusing on one or two basic watercolor techniques or effects. Participants will work on simple compositions, portraits, landscapes and abstracts. This will be an opportunity for beginners to learn the basics of watercolors and for more experienced painters to improve their techniques in a fun and relaxed workshop.

Space is limited. For further details and to register, visit the library, call 617-242-1248 or send an email to

Musical tribute

Billy Novick and Guy Van Duser will perform a musical tribute to “Friend of the Year” Edward F. Kelly at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 25 at the Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St.

The Friends of the Charlestown Branch will host an award presentation to Kelly at 7 p.m. followed by the concert. It is free to all, with a reception following the performance.

Charlestown native and long time resident Kelly will be honored for his lifetime library membership and his commitment as a benefactor and supporter of the library.

Finger style guitar virtuoso Van Duser and clarinetist Novick have been together as a duo for 40 years, playing in concerts, clubs and festivals all over North America and Europe and are frequent guests on “Prairie Home Companion” and other radio shows.

Coffee hour

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Parks and Recreation Department will host the 19th annual neighborhood coffee hour and opening celebration from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 25 at John Harvard Mall, 29 Harvard St.

Residents will enjoy coffee and breakfast treats from Dunkin’ Donuts and Whole Foods Market while they discuss open space and recreational needs with the mayor.

There will be prizes, including gift certificates, swan boat rides, free downtown parking and gift baskets. Attendees will receive a flowering plant grown in the city’s greenhouses.

Call 617-635-4505 for more information

Honoring heroes

The USS Constitution Museum, Building 12, Charlestown Navy Yard, will host Memorial Day weekend activities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to Monday, May 27 to 29.

Families are invited to participate in hands-on activities and interactive programs. They can learn about the daily struggles of a marine or sailor at sea and how their stories still inspire people today.

Throughout the weekend the museum will partner with Operation Gratitude to create and send paracord “survival” bracelets to deployed troops overseas and first responders in the U.S. There will also be fun activities and demonstrations throughout the weekend.

The museum is free throughout the weekend for all active duty, retired and reserved military personnel.

Call 617-426-1812 or visit for more details.

Marines in action

The National Park Service will present “1812 Marines in Action” from 10 a.m. to 2:3 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 on the great lawn by the flagpole in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Visitors will witness the pageantry of early 19th century militia life with the re-enactment group the 1812 Marine Guard, an all-volunteer division of Historic Marine Education. They will see the cannon and musket firings, with firing hourly on the hour, and learn some of the trades and drills practiced by the uniformed Marines.

Visit or call 617-426-1812 for more information.

Play festival

The Charlestown Working Theatre and Theater on Fire is presenting “The Cabinet of Curiosities” now through May 27 at the theater, 442 Bunker Hill St.

This is a festival of new and experimental works created and adapted by Boston-based artists and companies. It will feature one-act and full-length pieces from Imaginary Beasts, Anthem Theatre, Heart and Dagger Production, Massachusetts Theater Experiment, Ingrid Oslund, Fool’s Journey and many more.

Tickets are $15.

Visit or call 617-242-3285 for a complete schedule of performances and to purchase tickets.

Memorial Day observance

The National Park Service will present concurrent Memorial Day remembrance services from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, May 29 at the USS Cassin Young at the Charlestown Navy Yard and a moment of silence at Bunker Hill Lodge, Monument Square.

Visit for more details.

Student art

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave., is displaying the annual visual and media arts department’s senior show now through Friday, June 16 in the Mary L. Fifield Gallery.

Students in the visual and media arts will display their end-of-year work, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, photography and more.

Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Visit or call 617-228-2093 for more information.

Ecosystem science

The Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St., will host the New England ecosystem science program at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, now through May 31.

Children will look at local habitats to understand them better and see what can be done to support wildlife. They will consider what kinds of animals live locally, what these creatures need and which ones only visit for a short time.

Reservations are required as space is limited. This program is suited for children in grades 1-3.

To reserve a spot, call 617-242-1248.

‘Old Ironsides’ hours

The oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution, is now in its spring hours of operation.

“Old Ironsides” will be open to the public free of charge from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The ship is closed on Mondays.

Now located in Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard for a multi-year planned restoration period, the 217-year-old warship is open to the public.

Visitors will be able to board Constitution and explore the ship’s top (spar) deck only, as its lower decks will be off limits due to the extensive restoration work being conducted.

At the ship, visitors can interact with active duty crewmembers of Constitution and take photos by the ship’s wheel and bell.

To board USS Constitution, all visitors age 18 and older must show a valid state or federal-issued photo I.D. or passport.

After boarding Old Ironsides, visitors are encouraged to explore the USS Constitution Museum, located adjacent to Dry Dock 1. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those interested in following the progress of Constitution’s restoration work are encouraged to visit the museum’s blog at

For more news and information, visit or call 617-242-7511

Marine museum

The Boston Marine Society at Building No. 32, Charlestown Navy Yard, is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

The society hosts a large collection of art and artifacts depicting maritime history and life on the sea, as well as a research library, detailing the history of sailing and marine commerce and the history of one of the oldest and most important ports in the country.

Its website includes selected objects from its collection and the history of the organization. Visit or call 617-242-0522 for more information.

Diorama display

The Bunker Hill Monument Museum, 45 Monument Square, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located on the Freedom Trail, the museum displays the history of the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument as well as a diorama of the historic battle. A cyclorama shows a 360-degree view of the battlefield.

The Charlestown Historical Society keeps its archives in this building, which once served as the neighborhood’s public library.