Jamaica Plain neighborhood notes

Link Boston Homes
In this 1938 Jamaica Plain view, Car 5338 travels down Centre Street. A tiny Atlantic & Pacific (A&P) grocery store can be seen with a large awning below the billboard. To the right, just to the left of the two women walking with a baby stroller, sits a truck parked at the curb with a sign on it for "Gentles Swedish Health Bread." To learn a lot more, visit the Jamaica Plain Historical at www.jphs.org.

Walk: Useful plants among us                                                                    

There are helpful and even edible plants all around, especially in springtime. Learn how to identify and use helpful plants that grow in the wild on a leisurely stroll along Franklin Park’s Valley Gates with Pam Kristan, author and wild food practitioner, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 24.

Find out what is growing, where, when, which parts are edible or useful for other purposes, and preparation techniques.

Go to https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/event/walk-useful-plants-among-us-3 for more information and registration (Free: Donations to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy gratefully accepted).

Arbor Week celebrations                                        

Speak for the Trees Boston (SFTT) will host a variety of events in celebration of Arbor Week:

– Saturday, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 – Guided Tree Meditation with Megan from SFTT at Arnold Arboretum.

– Sunday, April 25 at noon – BoSTEM Movie, Make and Meet. Screening: Intelligent Trees.

– Monday, April 26 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.  – Experience Studying the Effects of Climate Change on New England Forest Webinar with Megan and Jamie Harrison.

– Tuesday, April 27 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Trees, Faith, and Tradition talk with Rev. White-Hamond, Rabbi Friend and Prof. Ives.

– Wednesday, April 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. – Exploring trees and Equity in Boston through Literature with Boston Public Library.

– Thursday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to noon – Invasive Insects in Our Urban Forests Webinar with Tawny Simisky.

– Friday, April 30 – City Proclamation for Arbor Day event.

– Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm. – Savor the Square: GreenRox Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Giveaway at Blair Lot, Roxbury.

– Saturday, May 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Guided Tree Meditation at Arnold Arboretum.

Visit https://www.sfttbos.org/events for more information and links to join.

Restorative Yoga Workshop: Nervous System Soothing for Turbulent Times

Join yoga therapist Alex Bauermeister (JP Yoga) for a gentle practice that blends restorative yoga, meditation and trauma-informed mindfulness. Together, the group will cultivate space for metabolizing physical, emotional, mental and energetic stress, to emerge refueled, rebalanced and reinspired.

This is a practice of self-care to bring forward our most resilient selves, in service of our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our relationships and communities.

This workshop will be held virtually from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.  A recording will be available for 48 hours, so you can practice on your own time if you can't attend the live event.

Visit https://www.jpcentreyoga.com/yoga-workshops-events-jamaica-plain for more information and Zoom registration (tiered pricing).

Bring Your Own Book Club: National Poetry Month     

Do you have a favorite book or poem that everyone should read? Show and tell with fellow young adults and teen readers from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

For this month's Bring Your Own Book Club, East Boston YA librarian Paul is reading the book Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth. 

About the book:

The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside."

In Apple, Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family – of Onondaga among Tuscaroras – of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.

Gansworth shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that lives up to the word “heartbreaking.”

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

A Celebration of Faith, Art and Justice at The Centre

Celebrate the faith, art and justice that moves us all to freedom from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 with The Centre for Faith, Art & Justice, the non-profit organization sponsored and housed by First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, 633 Centre St. This event will be held outside on the front lawn and on Zoom.

The event will feature live music and performances from local artists, speeches from community leaders and activists, as well as more information on the work the Centre does in the community and the work they hope to do in the future with their newly renovated space.

Masks will be required and physical distancing will be observed at all times.

Go to www.facebook.com/events/3759766737404735/?event_time_id=3759766747404734 for more information.


The Footlight Club, will livestream Patrick Hamilton’s play Rope at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

A thriller about two college students who murder a third and hide the body in the middle of a cocktail party, the performance takes place in continuous motion.

Visit https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/48369 for more information and registration (Members: Free | Non-Members: $10).

Tai Chi/Qigong Class with Loring Greenough House                 

Qigong, or the movement of Qi (energy/life force) through the body, is the foundation of tai chi. Using simple, standing movements, the participants will explore the body/mind connection, how breath is central to this connection and experience stress release. From the Chen style, the group will also practice some simple agility movements. Suitable for beginners or practitioners of any level.

Zoom into the Loring Greenough parlor with Laura Smeaton from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 25.

Go to eventbrite.com/e/tai-chi-virtually-tai-chiqigong-class-tickets-138848031199 for more information and registration ($7).

Remarkable photos of Leon Abdalian                                           

Aaron Schmidt of the Boston Public Library’s Prints Department will talk about Leon Abdalian and his amazing photographs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, hosted by the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.

Leon Hampartzoum Abdalian was born in 1884 in what was Cilician Armenia, then located in the Ottoman Empire (now modern Turkey). He migrated with his family to the United States in April 1896 and they eventually settled in Jamaica Plain.

It is believed that he was largely self-taught as a photographer. For most of the time he was photographing (1913-1967), he also worked full-time as a conductor on the Boston Elevated Railway. Leon Abdalian retired as a conductor in 1951 but continued his career as a photographer, primarily with large formats, into the 1960s almost to the year of his death in 1967.

Go to www.eventbrite.com/e/the-remarkable-photos-of-leon-abdalian-tickets-132681408665 for more information and Zoom registration.

Bark: Get to know your trees

Join naturalist and conservationist, Michael Wojtech at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 26 to learn how to identify tree species by their bark and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while others are thick and broken? Why does bark peel?

This webinar is co-hosted by Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens and The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Visit https://arboretum.harvard.edu/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Greater Boston's Olmsted Bicentennial Community Open House

Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Olmsted National Historic Site invite people to discover Olmsted Now from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 26 - Frederick Law Olmsted's 199th birthday.

Learn more about Olmsted's public work - spanning journalism and abolition, public health and emergency relief, urban planning and natural preservation against privatization - and why, 200 years later, Greater Boston and other cities around the country will host initiatives that reanimate Olmsted's ideals.

Hear about the values and goals for Olmsted Now, meet their amazing partners, share your park stories and ideas, discover great resources, upcoming events and many ways to get involved.

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olmsted-now-greater-bostons-olmsted-bicentennial-community-open-house-tickets-147861978157 for more information and registration.

Connolly Book Discussion Group: ‘Red at the Bone’                                          

The Connolly Branch Library book group will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 26.

The group will discuss Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.

About the book: An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other.

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

‘Rebuilding the Community of Our Ancestors Shtetl in Poland’

Gąbin, a small town on the central plains of Poland, once had a thriving Jewish community. It was destroyed during WWII, when fewer than 10 percent of the Jewish population survived. No Jews live in Gąbin today. But survivors and descendants have kept memories alive by preserving stories, images and artifacts.

Anita Greenbaum-Brush will look at prewar and wartime life in Gąbin and how descendants have worked to preserve and commemorate what once existed while reaching out to form new relationships with institutions in Poland and today’s Gąbiners at 7 p.m. on Tuesday April 27. The talk is hosted by The Loring Greenough House.

Go to www.eventbrite.com/e/reconstructing-memories-rebuilding-the-community-of-our-ancestors-shtetl-tickets-146808414921 for more information and Zoom registration (0-$5).

‘Create, Connect, Catalyze’                                                            

Curated by Urbano scholar-in-residence Raquel Jimenez, “Create, Connect, Catalyze” is a series of community discussions that aims to create space to understand, reflect on, and chart new courses for civic change through the arts.

Sessions will be hosted by a selection of trailblazing, transdisciplinary artist-educators from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28 and on Tuesday, May 11 and May 25 via Zoom.

Visit http://urbanoproject.org/events for more information and registration.

Tree Mob™: Dredging to Renew the Ponds

Maintaining ponds is messy business.

Join Associate Project Manager Danny Schissler at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28 to learn about the history and upcoming restoration of two of the Arnold Arboretum's most well-loved water bodies -  Faxon and Rehder ponds.

Both provide habitat for wildlife and visual delight for humans, and also are part of an essential drainage network within the Arboretum’s landscape.

Visit https://arboretum.harvard.edu/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Eliot School Salon Series: ‘Bold BOOM Universe’ artist talk                            

Artist Cagen Luse will talk with comic artists and illustrators – Jerel Dye, LJ-Baptiste, and Zahirah Nur Truth – from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, hosted by the Eliot School Salon Series as part of Boston Design Week.

Bold BOOM Universe highlights the vision and voices of these three Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts art educators who bring the craft of comics and self-expression to curious minds, children and adults, with passion and purpose.

The exhibition runs through Sunday, May 2 at Galatea Fine Art, in Boston’s SOWA District.

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bold-boom-universe-eliot-school-salon-series-artist-talk-tickets-142513408441 for more information and Zoom registration.

Around the World Story Time                               

Parents and caregivers with children, ages 0-5, are invited to join the Boston Public Library from 11 to 11:45 a.m. on Friday, April 30 for a story time celebrating Día.

They’ll be singing and rhyming in lots of languages.

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

‘400 Souls’ book discussion

In the new collaborative book, Four Hundred Souls, which is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans, the editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled 90 writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that 400-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws and objects.

The Roslindale and Jamaica Plain branch libraries will co-sponsor two three-part book discussions on Saturday, May 1, May 8, and May 22 with 20 people in each group.

Morning sessions: 9:15 to 11 a.m. – Afternoon sessions: 2 to 3:45 p.m.

The groups will also discuss the current debate around including antiracist education in schools led by local educator Josh Frank. 

To register, email JP Branch librarian Laura Pattison at jamaicaplain@bpl.org. Write "400 Souls Book Discussion" in the subject line when you RSVP.

Creative Music Series: PorchBolt

PorchBolt: Jorrit Dijkstra (saxophones, electronics), Junko Fujiwara (cello), Eric Hofbauer (guitar), Nate McBride (bass), Eric Rosenthal (drums) will perform in an outdoor concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 in Jamaica Plain – at the SW Corridor Park, between Hall and Rosemary streets, off of Centre St.

Visit www.creativemusicseries.com/events for other events in the series (Donations gratefully accepted).

‘The Window Show:’ SIM Silent Showcase                                  

"The Window Show" is an ever-changing art exhibition in the Boston Cyberarts Gallery (141 Green St.) windows in Jamaica Plain.

The Studio for Interrelated Media Majors at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design have responded to the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic by launching SIMtv - a concept, a context, a website and an episodic venue for sharing SIM student and alumni art.

For this exhibit on view through Sunday, May 16, people will see a silent installation of SIMtv displaying the work by SIM students and alumni responding to these challenging times.  

Visit https://www.bostoncyberarts.org for more information.

Registration Open for Boston Parks Summer Sports Centers  

Registration is open for summer Sports Centers at White Stadium in Franklin Park, Almont Park in Mattapan, East Boston Memorial Stadium, Garvey Park in Dorchester and M Street Park in South Boston.

Each location offers instruction in several popular sports. All Sports Centers are offered free of charge to Boston residents and open to boys and girls, ages 7 to 14. The summer programs will be held from Tuesday, July 6 through Friday, Aug. 20 – register for one or more weeks. Lunch will be provided, transportation will not.

Visit https://www.boston.gov/news/registration-now-open-boston-parks-summer-sports-centers for more information and registration. 

JP Jubilee                                                                 

The next session of the JP Jubilee Chorus will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon from Friday, April 30 through Friday, June 4 via Zoom (until they can return to the Jamaica Plain Branch Library). This singing class is open to all people (50+) from all communities – no auditions or membership fees required.

This session will be more for outreach so there will be songs that everyone can sing together for an hour. In lieu of concerts, they hope to reach new folks who are at home or in residential or day centers.  

Visit http://jpjubilee.com for more information and registration.

25th Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace

The Mother's Day Walk for Peace is a beloved Boston tradition and celebration of the potential to create more peaceful communities. It is the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s (LDBPI) largest fundraising event to grow and sustain services, advocacy and training. 

This year’s virtual walk is all about celebration and remembrance of 25 years of walking for love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice and forgiveness while honoring lives impacted by homicide. 

Join the 25 Days of Walking, beginning in April, leading up to the online broadcast at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 9.

Visit https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org for more information and registration. 

Project Place Benefit: ‘A Place for Hope’

Join Project Place online at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 13 for “A Place for Hope,” hosted by Karen Holmes Ward, to experience a place for hope, hear stories of resilience and come together in community.

This event will replace their annual Open Door Gala. Registration is free with opportunities to help the non-profit organization support the clients to find pathways to jobs, housing and hope.

Go to https://projectplace.org/event for more information and registration.

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

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

BPL’s New Parent Group                                                                           

The Boston Public Library’s New Parent group will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. on (most) Tuesdays for an informal – and informative – program for families with infants, birth to 12 months.

It’s a great way to meet other new parents and learn from guest speakers.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including a weekly speaker/topic and Zoom registration.

Somatic Musicians' Lab

A Somatic Musicians’ Lab will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays via Zoom hosted by the Feldenkrais in Jamaica Plain.

These ongoing weekly sessions are an online space for musicians. Each session consists of a 20-minute Feldenkrais® movement lesson, an hour of individual musical practice time, and 10 minutes of reflection. Less isolation, stress, and pain; more enjoyment, ease, curiosity, community and learning.

Visit feldenkraisjamaicaplain.com/somatic-musicians-lab for more information and registration ($20/month | $5 session).

Jamaica Plain New Parents Group

The Jamaica Plain new parents group hosted by Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. Parents with a baby under the age of one are invited to attend.

The parent groups provide safe and nurturing spaces for parents and their babies to give and receive support.

Visit jfcsboston.org for more information and required Zoom registration.

Community vigil                                                                                         

A community vigil in Support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month on the lawn of the First Baptist Church, 633 Centre St.

The purpose of the vigils is to stand out and speak up for racial justice and human rights while speaking out against white supremacy and will include speakers amidst moments of silence. Everyone welcome.

These Black Lives Matter vigils have been ongoing since Dec. 2015.

For further information, contact Mary Lenihan at maryfranlenny@gmail.com or Penny Wells at pwells222@gmail.com.

Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action

Where arts, education and community collide.

Want to explore acting, learn dance or play music? Learn Afro-Latin arts, participate in mentoring and get involved in your community?

Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action (JEA) is a free, year-round program for youth in grades 8 through 12 that combines Afro-Latin arts, education and mentoring support, and civic engagement and youth organizing training. Participants also benefit from social-emotional support both 1:1 and in small groups.

The Spring Session runs through Friday, June 11.

Visit www.hydesquare.org for more information. Links will be available for youth in high school and for 8th grade youth.

Ethos Live                                                                             

Ethos hosts an online Wellness on the Web program. Health and wellness presentations, conversations with elected officials, exercise classes and other activities will be streamed regularly on their website and social media platforms.

Visit ethocare.org for more information and quick links to the programs.

BPL online Homework Assistance Program (HAP)

The Boston Public Library offers online homework help, mentorship and afterschool activities provided by trained high-achieving high school students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through May 14 (except during school holidays and vacations).

Students in grades K-8 are welcome on a drop-in basis, no registration required.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the Zoom link.

FBCJP Meals/Groceries delivered

Due to the COVID-19 virus, First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain are delivering meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and groceries on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you need food please call 617-971-8840 or email food@firstbaptistjp.org. 

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.

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

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston onsite/online

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston provides in-person day-time learning support during school hours and in-person and virtual interactive after-school programs such as academics, arts and music, character & leadership and healthy lifestyles on their Facebook and YouTube platforms.

Go to bgcb.org for more information and registration.

#ZooToYou/Kids’ Corner and onsite fun 

Tune in on Facebook at 1:30 p.m. for #ZooToYou: a daily dose of animal cuteness, chats with the care staff, crafts and activities to do at home, and lots more. Visit the Kids’ Corner online for more fun.

Franklin Park and Stone zoos are open for a roarin’ good time following COVID guidelines and online reservations. Virtual tours and other activities will continue.

Visit zoonewengland.org to learn more about the re-opening procedures before you visit.

Urbano Works

Urbano is a nonprofit that brings together practicing visual artists, local youth and community members to learn and experiment through place-based projects. They foster public and participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation, community cohesion and social change. Their projects consist of Artists in Residence, youth projects, apprentices and workshops all of which intersect around an annual curatorial theme.

Visit urbanoproject.org for more information, including art exhibitions and links to purchase their works.

JP Centre Yoga online

JP Centre Yoga (670 Centre St.) offers a variety of Yoga classes live streamed on the Mindbody platform at various time of each day. They also offer workshops.

JP Centre Yoga has implemented tiered pricing to keep increased accessibility and equity measures in place, yet be able to sustain as a business.

Visit jpcentreyoga.com for more information, including online class schedule and a link to register.

Kadampa Meditation Center Boston online                                          

The Kadampa Meditation Center Boston (360C Centre St.) offers a multitude of varied and inspiring classes that allow people to learn meditation, bring real meaning to life and access the timeless wisdom of Buddha’s teachings.

KMC Boston is the sister-center of Serlingpa Meditation Center in New Bedford and the centers currently have joined together to provide online classes six-to-seven days a week. Meditation in Maine is a branch of KMC Boston, also streaming along with them.

Whether you have practiced meditation before or are brand new, you will find a range of classes and courses to choose from.

All programs are posted weekly. Prices vary; free for members.

Kadampa Meditation Center Boston is a non-profit entity; donations are welcome.

Visit meditationinboston.org for more information.

Thrift shop open

Check out the thrift shop at Christ the King Jamaica Plain + Roxbury, 39 Germania St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays for a great selection of clothing, books, music, furniture, and other hidden gems!

Go to www.ctkjproxbury.org for more information.

Jamaica Plain Garden Tour (Virtual)                    

The Jamaica Plain Garden Tour is a key fundraiser for The Trustees’ network of 56 community gardens in Boston. Generally, a self-guided walking tour that winds through a section of JP, highlighting beautiful gardens, this virtual tour features a sampling of exceptional gardens throughout the neighborhood as well as interviews with their owners. The sites range from a productive urban homestead complete with chickens to professionally designed formal gardens.

Experience the tour and be delighted and inspired by a diverse array of gardens from the comfort of your own home.

The video of the tour is available at thetrustees.org/jpgt (Member: $15; Nonmember: $20).

The funds raised by the JP Garden Tour directly support operations and educational programming in the community gardens.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston provides a comprehensive array of services for people in need.

Please consider donating food, gift cards or toiletries to keep their food pantries and basic needs operations open and fully stocked.

Phone their administrative offices at 617-464-8500 for donation guidelines.

Visit www.ccab.org for more information, including a list of places that they service.

Mutual Aid Jamaica Plain & Roxbury Network                                                  

The Neighborhood Aid Network, coordinated by The Human Network Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, provides a central place where neighborhood digital platforms can aggregate and standardize and where volunteers receive information and training.

For information and to get involved in the Mutual Aid Jamaica Plain & Roxbury Network, visit bit.ly/jpmutualaid to find, among other information, links to resources.

Email mutualaidjamaicaplain@gmail.com with questions about the Network and/or ways to participate.