Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Wayne Braverman
Link Boston Homes
Many homes on Beacon Hill are decorated with flowers for the season.

Yoga for a Cause Yoga                                                                    

Stonewall Sports Boston has teamed up with Down Under School of Yoga to provide Yoga for a Cause.

The outdoor yoga classes will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sundays through July 18 at Roberto Clemente Field, 160 Park Dr. (Boston Fens).

Each session is $10. All proceeds will be donated to St. Francis House and Women's House Place, to support our local unsheltered neighbors. 

Visit https://stonewallboston.leagueapps.com/events/2325159-yoga-for-a-cause for more information and registration.

‘Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence’

In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through rousing public speeches, the burgeoning Black press, and the formation of militia groups, black abolitionist leaders mobilized their communities, compelled national action, and drew international attention. Drawing on the precedent and pathos of the American and Haitian Revolutions, African American abolitionists used violence as a political language and a means of provoking social change. Through tactical violence, Black abolitionist leaders accomplished what white nonviolent abolitionists could not: creating the conditions that necessitated the Civil War. 

Force and Freedom takes readers beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.

Join this virtual book talk from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and registration (Members of sponsor organizations and Boston Athenaeum VESP holders: Free | Visitors: $5).

West End After Work Tours

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. will host a walking tour of the West End neighborhood covering the area's history from settlement through to modern times at 5:30 on Wednesday, July 14.

This tour traces a circle around the neighborhood while discussing the people and places of the area over the past four centuries.

For those new to the West End, this tour serves as an introduction to the neighborhood story and a means of understanding the neighborhood’s place in Boston’s immense history.

For those with more exposure, the tour offers a chance to discuss specifics of the West End story as Museum Director Belfanti will happily adjust based on attendees’ questions and interests.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/west-end-after-work-tours-tickets-158736857213 for more information and registration ($6-$9).

Kanopy Club: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (2019, R)      

Following the Yearlong Reading Challenge's July theme of an LGBTQ+ author, the Kanopy Club will be discussing films that feature LGBTQ+ stories.

Watch the film Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Kanopy, then join the Zoom discussion from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 15.

About the film: Marianne is hired to paint the wedding portrait of Heloise. As the women orbit each other, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Heloise's first moments of freedom.

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

HOH Summer Yoga Series

Young professionals in their 20s and 30s are invited to join Havurah on the Hill for an interactive yoga class that mixes Jewish wisdom with gentle flow. The group will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 16 and Friday, Aug. 20 at Community Boating on the Esplanade at 21 David G. Mugar Way.

Whether you are an experienced yogi or beginner, this class is designed for all levels. After the 45-60-minute flow, join other young adults over a BYOP (bring-your-own-picnic). Please bring a picnic meal with you at the start of the class. 

Visit https://vilnashul.org/events/event/hoh-summer-yoga-series for more information and registration ($12/program or $18/both).

MOS Sci-Fi Book Club                                                                                                        

The Museum of Science Fiction Book Club for adults will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20 to discuss Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan (virtually, of course).

Visit www.meetup.com/Science-Book-Club-for-the-Curious/events/278280659 for more information and registration.

Shakespeare on the Common: ‘The Tempest’                  

Get ready for a magical evening of Shakespeare on the Common as the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company stages The Tempest, this year's annual family-friendly "Shakespeare in the Park" production of free Boston theater.

The Tempest, Shakespeare’s final play, transports the audience to a mysterious and enchanting island. In this tale of magic, betrayal, love and forgiveness, the wise and powerful Prospero struggles to maintain the world he’s created as order is thrown off balance by those around him: his curious daughter, Miranda; a man who’s just washed ashore, Ferdinand; the half human, half monster, Caliban; two fools, Stephano and Trinculo; and the mystical spirit of the air, Ariel, among many others.

With elements of tragedy and comedy, the performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 7 p.m. on Sundays from Wednesday, July 21 through Sunday, Aug. 8.

The production will remain free, but due to expected capacity constraints, attendees will be asked to register ahead of time. Registration is open.

Learn more at https://commshakes.org/free-shakespeare-on-the-common-2.

Boston By Foot tours and Architectural Cruises resume

Boston By Foot has resumed their in-person public walking tours as well as the popular 

Architecture Cruises, presented in partnership with the Charles Riverboat Company.

Visit www.bostonbyfoot.org for more information, including a full schedule and list of tours/prices.

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.

Parks Fitness: Yoga at The Boston Common Frog Pond                        

Yoga with Friends of The Public Garden will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through Sept. 30 on Boston Common Frog Pond, 38 Beacon St.

Visit boston.gov/events for more information and registration.

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.

Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel operating

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.

Visit https://bostonfrogpond.com/frog-pond-carousel for more information

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.

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.

The West End Museum open

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. (Unit 7) is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Museum offers in-person, virtual, and strolling tours and hosts events.

Visit thewestendmuseum.org for more information.

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 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.

Free meals/food resource information                               

Boston Eats will provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under – through 2021. 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.