Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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This statue of David Ignatius Walsh is located along the Charles River Esplanade. Walsh was the 46th governor of Massachusetts and a United State senator.

Happy Birthday, J.S. Bach!

King’s Chapel will host a birthday celebration in honor of J.S. Bach on Sunday, March 21. The concert premieres at 5 p.m. on YouTube followed a Zoom Bacchanal at 6 p.m.

Heinrich Christensen plays the C.B. Fisk Organ.

Visit www.kings-chapel.org for more information and registration.

Conversations With...Carl Scovel                                      

The Reverend Carol Scovel has just published his latest book, I Do: Quotes on Marriage from the Married, the Unmarried and Me. Scovel, the Minister of King’s Chapel for many years, has presided at more than 600 weddings, and once remarked that his own marriage of more than sixty years had been a sequence of different marriages.

Join the conversation at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22 presented in partnership with King’s Chapel, as part of Beacon Hill Village’s Conversations With… series

Go to www.beaconhillvillage.org for more information and registration.

Book Talk: ‘How Rights Went Wrong’

Rights are a sacred part of American identity. Yet they were an afterthought for the Framers and early American courts rarely enforced them. Only as a result of the racial strife that exploded during the Civil War – and a series of resulting missteps by the Supreme Court – did rights gain such outsized power. The result is a system of legal absolutism that distorts the law and debases politics.

Eminent legal scholar Jamal Greene reveals how the explosion of rights is dividing America and shows how we can build a better system of justice in an online conversation with Randall Kennedy from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, March 22.

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

Up Close Tour: Carvings and Quandaries

Join Boston Athenaeum docent Carolyn Hilles-Pilant from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24 for an exploration of the life and work of Horatio Greenough and Thomas Crawford, two American Neoclassical sculptors who expatriated to Italy in the early 19th century despite quarantines and other misadventures.

The politics and popular aesthetics of their day provide a context for understanding the importance of these artists to their time, as well as ours. The tour will spotlight three sculptures in the Athenaeum's collections: Venus Vitrix and Judgement of Paris by Greenough and Adam and Eve by Crawford.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Charosets from around the Jewish World

In this interactive, intergenerational cooking demonstration and story workshop slated for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, the group will visit the various types of charoset from around the world and hear from people from various countries, including someone from Persian/Iranian descent and Morrocan/Israeli descent, about their family recipes and traditions.

Feel free to cook along with Chef Daniel Heinrich as the group explores how charoset binds a shared tradition and can hold the Jewish people together for thousands of years and across continents, or join them to listen and learn. 

Visit https://vilnashul.org for more information and registration.

In the Neighborhood: A Celebration of Allan Rohan Crite

Join Jackie Cox-Crite and WBUR’s Cristela Guerra from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25 to discuss the life and work of artist-reporter Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007) and the extraordinary collection of personal work that he donated to the Boston Athenæum.

Cox-Crite will share stories of her husband’s artistic process and her efforts to sustain and grow his legacy through local projects and national initiatives.

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

Kanopy Club: ‘Driving with Selvi’ (2016)                                     

Kanopy Club will follow the March theme of Own Voices. Watch the film Driving with Selvi on Kanopy, then join the discussion from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.

About the movie: Selvi, like so many girls living within India's patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day in deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under the wheels of a bus. Instead, she gets on the bus, choosing to live... and goes on to become South India's first female taxi driver.

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

‘kiss kiss, BANG BANG: The Dutch ReBelle Experience’

Check out this one-night-only chance to get into the mind of “Queen of the Bean” Dutch

ReBelle, discover her favorite voices from across the nation in a dynamic lineup of original performances and experience her talents as she takes the digital stage with her own jaw-dropping live set that fuses together her revolutionary music with the cutting-edge visuals of the Planetarium.

This virtual offering will stream live from the Museum of Science from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 25 for registrants to enjoy.

Visit www.mos.org for more information and registration (free; donations welcome).

Old West Church Community Lunch/Dinner

Everyone is invited to the community meals at the Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. – served rain or shine and holidays, too. While these meals primarily serve people who are housing insecure or elderly, it’s for anyone.

The Community Lunch is served from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Community Dinner is served from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays.

During the pandemic, the meals are served to go. Everyone is welcome to come by and grab a hot meal to takeaway.

Visit www.oldwestchurch.org for more information.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

Hill House spring programs and summer camps online/onsite

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

Check out the wide variety of offerings in their Spring Athletic and Program Guide and Summer Camp Guide from spring baseball and softball leagues, STEM and creative expressions to summer onsite and offsite opportunities.

Hill House Camps (Kiddie Kamp for 3-to-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.

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

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

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.

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

Following the book discussion of 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 by Gretchen Rubin that took place in January, 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:

-          April 7: Inspiration

-          May 5: Happy memories

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

Operation ABLE                                                                              

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) 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 – face coverings and reservations are required for admission.

Highlights of your visit can include: the new permanent exhibit, Arctic Adventure: Exploring with Technology; the 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.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything – or are willing to assist them in outreach – please email office@stjosephboston.org or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email, and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

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

Boston Eats provides 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. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens, along with other information 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.

Contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

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.

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.