Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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Even on a hot day, the spray at the Frog Pond might feel a bit too cold.

Art and Architecture Tour

Join a Boston Athenæum docent for a tour focused on the history of the Athenæum, its iconic building and its special collections at 10½ Beacon St. from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 28.        

Whether you are visiting for the first time or are a member who frequents the building, the stories are sure to fascinate you as you walk through the historic library.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and registration (Members: Free | Visitors: $2 plus admission).

Walking Tour – The Old West End: Boston’s Lost Neighborhood                    

The West End Museum’s history buff Jim Briand will explore the history of three West End buildings that survived urban renewal, but are likely to be lost to development in 2021-2022: The West End House, Winchell School and one of the last original brick tenements and what they tell us about education, immigrant assimilation and day-to-day living in the tight confines of the old West End.

The 90-minute tours will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-old-west-end-bostons-lost-neighborhood-tickets-163396476259 for more information and registration (The West End Museum Members: $5 | General Admission: $10).

Out of the Park                                                                    

In partnership with the Boston Red Sox and the City of Boston, the Highland Street Foundation will present Out of the Park on the Boston Common on Saturday, Aug. 28. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. and the game begins at 4:05 p.m.

Watch the Red Sox vs. the Cleveland Indians on a big screen and enjoy games, entertainment and refreshments. All are welcome at this free event - no advance registration required.    

Out of the Park attendees will get a chance to meet Red Sox mascot Wally, savor Fenway Franks and other ballpark treats, hear from the Hot Tamales Brass Band, and enjoy activities such as face painting, caricatures, balloon art, and baseball-themed games.

Visit www.highlandstreet.org/programs and/or www.mlb.com/redsox/community/out-of-the-park for more information.

Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum

Explore the Nichols House Museum from behind-the-scenes.

What did it take to make the house run in the Victorian era? How do staff manage its preservation today? Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs, and explore more than 200 years of this old house’s secrets. 

Tours will be held at 11 a.m. and noon on Sunday, Aug. 29.  Tours lasts approximately one hour and visitors will take three flights of stairs. Masks are required.

Visit www.nicholshousemuseum.org/programs-and-events for more information and registration (Member: $12 | Non-member: $17).

Free August Adventures with Highland Street Foundation

The Highland Street Foundation will partner with special Massachusetts cultural institutions to provide one free activity each day for 31 days in August. Here is a list of the Boston venues:

– Aug. 28: Out of the Park, Boston Red Sox & City of Boston

– Aug. 31: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

For safety reasons, many of the participating venues have limited capacity and are requiring advanced registration.

Available spots are distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Visit www.highlandstreet.org/programs/community-events/august-adventures for a downloadable August Adventures calendar, links to the venues and more information.

LivingRoom Conversations VI: The Search for Purpose

In the current economy, people’s value is often based on earning power or visible signs of success. In interactions with each other, people transact their business, relationships and lives. But what would happen if we set up a different valuation system - one that supported a “happiness quotient” in the measure of success? What would that world and/or economy look like?

Join this Boston Public Library facilitated living room conversation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept 1 where participants can practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships.

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

ARC Blood Drive                                                     

A blood drive will be held from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Park Plaza Hotel,

64 Arlington St.

Visit www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time for more information and registration.

DivorceCare

If you are separated or divorced and need healing, the Park Street Church invites you to attend DivorceCare, a 13-week support group, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from Sept. 9 through Dec. 16 via Zoom.

You’ll find a warm, caring environment and will come to see the group as an oasis in this difficult season of life. There are three key elements to this experience: video seminar, group discussion and a personal workbook.

Each Biblically-based session is self-contained. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand the hurt that comes from separation and divorce. That’s why many of friends and family might not fully understand what you are going through and may not know how to best help you.

If you are interested in attending, please register by emailing divorcecare@parkstreet.org to receive the link for the meeting.  

Run to Home Base                                         

The Run to Home Base, presented by Raytheon Technologies, is a unique 9K run and 5K run/walk through scenic Boston, ending with a once-in-a-lifetime experience of finishing the race by crossing Fenway Park’s famed home plate.

The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25. The opening ceremony will begin at 7 a.m. and the race will start at 8 a.m.

Friends and family can watch participants from the stands at Fenway with food, entertainment and fun family activities in the concourse of America’s most beloved ballpark.

The Run to Home Base is their most critical, annual fundraiser providing vital funds for the clinical care and support for veterans and their families who are impacted by the invisible wounds of war. 

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

BBF Beacon Hill Walking Tours

From the golden dome of the State House to the elegant homes of Louisburg Square, the Boston By Foot Beacon Hill tours travel picturesque streets, highlighting examples of early American architecture with particular emphasis on the work of Charles Bulfinch. Experience Beacon Hill’s ornate past, from its rural beginnings to the vision of the Mount Vernon Proprietors, while walking among this historic collection of Federal and Greek Revival row houses.

Participants will also hear the stories of Boston’s prominent citizens who have called Beacon Hill their home.

Tours are offered at 6 p.m. on select weeknights and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays through October.

Visit www.bostonbyfoot.org/tours/Beacon_Hill for more information and reservations (Adults: $15 | Child: $8 | Child under 6: Free).

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.

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.

heart journaling drop-in sessions

Beacon Hill Friends invite you to join heart journaling sessions from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Sept. 23.

In a nurturing and supportive environment, explore the wisdom of your own inner landscape and the power of art journaling to help process life. Each session is designed as a collective and spiritual experience in which deep themes of life emerge. 

Through the flow of each session, and silently witnessing each other, experience the invitation to shift perspectives and gain insights. 

Visit https://lu.ma/heartjournaling-fall21 for more information and registration ($125/series | $25 per session).

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.

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: $25.

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

Boston By Foot tours and Architectural Cruises  

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, through Oct. 31.

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

Tour the Nichols House Museum

The Nichols House Museum 1804 Federal townhouse, 55 Mount Vernon St., was home to landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist Rose Standish Nichols and her family. Their home and its original art and furnishings provide a glimpse into life on historic Beacon Hill from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. The museum educates and inspires the public through innovative tours and programs.

Tours take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in August with advanced reservation.

Visit www.nicholshousemuseum.org/visit for more information and tickets (free to $12)

Black Heritage Trail® Tour

Join a park ranger from the National Parks of Boston to explore the rich history of Beacon Hill's 19th century Black community from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 2. The tour begins at the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial (24 Beacon St.) and ends at the Museum of African American History, covering about 1.4 miles.

The Black Heritage Trail® showcases residences and community buildings associated with a Black community that thrived on, and near, the north slope of Beacon Hill before, during and after the American Civil War.

Throughout that time, this community struggled and organized for equal rights and access to equal education. Community members championed the movement to abolish slavery and even housed freedom seekers on their journey along the Underground Railroad.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/black-heritage-trail-tour-tickets-153151587521 for more information and reservations.

BCYF programs and services                                                         

The Boston Center for Youth and Families offers a variety of arts and computer activities, recreational programs, virtual field trips, workshops and services both remotely and in person for children, youth, individuals and families at 36 facilities, including community centers and pools.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/boston-centers-youth-families for more information and registration.

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 (some free of charge), serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer tours 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 Saturdays.

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 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.

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.

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.