Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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There is plenty of natural beauty to be seen and enjoyed this season on Beacon Hill.

Memorial Day: Remembering All Victims of War

Join the Smedley Butler Brigade from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

The group will gather at Park St. T Station at 11:30 a.m., then parade up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Boston Common behind the bagpiper at noon.

Several Smedleys will do Memorial Day readings; Place carnations on the monument in remembrance of the Victims of War; Realign around the field of flags and ring the bell for departed Smedley Brothers. Taps will then be played and Parade back to Park St. T Station behind the bagpiper.

Go to https://masspeaceaction.org/event/memorial-day-remembering-all-victims-of-war for more information.

Book Talk: ‘The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America’

Eric Cervini will talk about his new book, The Deviant Wars, from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2.

The Deviant's War unfolds over the course of the 1960s as it traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love and ultimately victory.

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

Tempest Talks: Access for All                                                        

In anticipation of this summer’s production of The Tempest on Boston Common, Tempest Talks give audience members the opportunity to take a look behind the curtain with the creative team that is working to bring the play to life.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, they’ll look at how the team that works with ASL, audio describing and other techniques ensure that their productions really are accessible to everyone and explore how these talented performers prepare for their roles and learn how to interpret Shakespeare’s complex language.

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tempest-talks-looking-behind-the-curtain-registration-141162293219 for more information and registration (Suggested donation - $10).

Book Talk: ‘The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir’

Sherry Turkle will talk about her new book The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 3. In this vivid and poignant narrative, Turkle ties together her coming-of-age and her pathbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics.

Turkle's new book is about her own life growing up in Brooklyn in a working-class Jewish family, becoming a standout student and earning her way to Harvard, learning new social skills and becoming a brilliant scholar, and entering a world at MIT, where her gender and her original thinking created friction with the mostly male tech-oriented faculty.

It’s also a story of family secrets and her discovery in her 20s of things she never knew about her past. The Empathy Diaries captures all this in rich detail—and offers a master class in finding meaning through a life's work.

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

MOS Science Book Club for the Curious             

The Science Book Club for the Curious will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 10 to discuss The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast by Andrew Blum.

Visit www.meetup.com/Science-Book-Club-for-the-Curious/events/275107683 for more information and registration.

Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Virtual Tour                             

Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill Virtual Tour will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30.

People are invited to in and be guided through seven enchanting and treasured gardens featured in a film created this May.

The virtual tour will offer a new lens on the Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill, which will be fresh, beautiful and inspiring.

Since its founding in 1928, the Beacon Hill Garden Club has encouraged the love of horticulture and urban gardening. All proceeds from the tour provide direct financial support to environmental, conservation and civic improvement projects.

Virtual ticket: $25; Virtual ticket and book - Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill: Creating Green Spaces in Urban Places: $45.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/hidden-gardens-of-beacon-hill-virtual-tour-2021-tickets-145307287007 for tickets.

The Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel

The Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Tickets: $3/ride | 10 Ride Card for $25. Face Masks required.

Visit https://bostonfrogpond.com/frog-pond-carousel 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 elementary, 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.

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.

Hill House summer programs and camps registration  

Registration for the summer programs and camps at Hill House, 127 Mount Vernon St., is open for all participants.

Summer Art & Music Classes (for 1-to-3-year-olds and their caretakers) include Art in the Park and Art in Nature and music with Little Groove.  

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.

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 permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and 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.

Boston Athenæum online/onsite   

Boston Athenæum offers many activities online free of charge, serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer a tour of the first floor of their landmark building and artworks from the special collections.

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

Museum of African American History online/onsite                   

The Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Visit https://www.maah.org for ticket and scheduling information along with virtual programs and events.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.