Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

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A bird is greeting people on a Swan Boat that is on its journey in the Public Garden.

2021 Regional Juried Exhibition Selected Works

The New England Regional Juried Exhibition will be on view at the Guild of Boston Artists Gallery, 162 Newbury St., through Saturday, Sept. 25.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for non-member New England artists working in the realist tradition to exhibit their work and compete for prestigious awards.

An award winners panel and meet-and-greet will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11. Each artist will discuss their award-winning painting and take questions from the audience.

Visit for more information, including the viewing of the show prospectus.

BDSA New Member Orientation

New to Boston DSA? Not sure how to get started? Not a member yet, but looking to dip your toe in? Or maybe you're a not-so-new member, but haven't been active in a while?

Join Boston Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) at 2 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 11 via Zoom for a new member orientation call.

Comrades from the Membership Committee will walk through the chapter's structure, answer questions, facilitate discussion about socialist organizing in Boston and discuss how the chapter is responding to the COVID-19 state of emergency and the associated crises of capitalism it has accelerated.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Place-Making Through Short Fiction

Chandreyee Lahiri and Grace Talusan are Boston-based authors who have both participated in the Boston Book Festival’s annual “One City One Story” program and the annual flash fiction writing contest “Boston in 100 Words”—two programs committed to strengthening place-based community through short fiction.

Join “Boston in 100 Words” lead organizer Jane De León Griffin from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 as she speaks with Lahiri and Talusan about how they approach writing short fiction and the role they see it play in building place-based community in Boston.

This event will take place at the Central Library in Copley Square and on Zoom.

Visit for more information and registration.

Memory & Hope                                                                  

The Juventas ensemble honors the significance of this moment with beautiful music reflecting on the past year at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Listen in person at the Multicultural Arts Center, East Cambridge or via live YouTube broadcast

Visit for more information and tickets (prices vary).


The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) will meet online at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 (to avoid conflict with the Labor Day holiday) for a short business meeting followed by an entertainment program.

– Program: Car Barns of Boston Elevated in West Roxbury, Brookline and Brighton.

Leo Sullivan returns to present more Boston Street Railway Shops and Car Barns through the 19th and 20th centuries. This will include pictures, plans and narrative, and includes many locations that are still active or that were active within the last 50 years. 

Check out the BSRA online store for a great selection of 2021 traction, transit and railroad calendars; books and magazines; DVDs; home décor and accessories; vintage items and more.

Rollsign, a bi-monthly publication on New England transit news and history, is also available.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Barre en français

Improve your health and vocabulary during an online barre class in French from 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 13 and Sept. 27.

These instructor-led classes will help people to focus on strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing. All levels of French and barre welcome.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration (Members: $8 | Non-members: $12).

‘The Dressmakers of Auschwitz’

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society for an online author talk with Lucy Adlington from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive powerfully chronicles the stories of the women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, stitching beautiful clothes in an extraordinary fashion workshop within Auschwitz concentration camp.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

ARC Blood Drive at Old South Church                                        

Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., will host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Visit or phone 1-800­-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767) to reserve a space.

LivingRoom Conversations VI: Hope

Instead of resigning to current situations, people can dream and build new possibilities. This is hope in action. In this way, hope is an energy source that resides in everyone. It is a type of knowing beyond the five senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste.

When people hold hope in their hearts and minds – when they hold the vision or dream of something new, better and more life-giving – people are compelled to move toward it.

Everyone has a choice: to keep hope alive or to give in to doubt and let hope fade away, calling it a waste of time, useless daydreaming and overly optimistic thinking.  

Join this Boston Public Library-facilitated living room conversation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept 15 where participants can practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

World: A Conversation with Tana French                                                           

In collaboration with PBS Books, GBH’s A Celtic Sojourn Brian O’Donovan will moderate a discussion with Irish author Tana French from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15 as part of their sequel partnership with The Library of Congress for the 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival “Open a Book, Open the World.”

Come prepared to ask the author questions about her most recent novel The Searcher, her collected works and journey into becoming an author.

Visit for more information and registration.

A History of Theater on Cape Cod

Join author Sue Mellen for a lecture, selected readings and a Q&A about Cape Cod theater from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Theater on the Cape began in 1916 when a group of artists and writers in Provincetown mounted a production of a one-act play, Bound East for Cardiff, by a little-known playwright Eugene O’Neill. They staged the play in a rickety old theater on a wharf in what was then little more than a sleepy fishing village.

From that artists’ colony - and others like it across the Cape and Islands - it grew into the constantly expanding theater universe it is today. The theatrical descendants of O’Neill and the Provincetown Players continue to present classical drama, contemporary hits and new, experimental works to audiences that have come to expect the best. In her tour of the theaters from Provincetown to Falmouth, author and entertainment columnist Sue Mellen reveals the rich past behind a unique cultural treasure.

Older Adults’ Chair Yoga                                                  

YogaHub will present an Older Adults’ Chair Yoga session from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, Oct. 14 and Nov. 18, hosted by the Boston Public Library.

Older Adults’ Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced while sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. Participants will learn calming postures and breathing techniques to open energy channels, release tension and alleviate pain. This type of yoga is great to improve physical comfort, cultivate balance and move easily through daily activities.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Teen Book Discussion: ‘Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal’   

The Teen Book Discussion Group will meet on Twitch from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16 to discuss the graphic novel, “Ms. Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal” (2014) by G. Willow Wilson. 

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman?

Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm. As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well.

Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle?

This teen librarian led monthly group is part of the year-long #ReadingTogether challenge.

Visit for more information.

Researching New England Planters to Nova Scotia

Following the Acadian Expulsion from Nova Scotia, an estimated 2,000 families from New England settled Nova Scotia (and parts of what is today New Brunswick) between 1759 and 1768. Largely farmers and fishermen, these Planters marked the first large-scale migration of English-speaking settlers to Canada who had not come directly from England.

This webinar, presented by Sheilagh Doerfler from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, will discuss the historical context of the migration and point you to several published and primary resources that can help people trace their New England Planter roots.

Visit for more information and registration.

Barre/Pilates/Cardio fusion class                                                                          

A Barre/Pilates/Cardio fusion class will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 at 

Greenway Wharf District Park (corner of Atlantic Avenue and India Street).

Join the French Cultural Center’s French teacher Chloé Mizuta for a class that will help people to focus on strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing while listening to the birds singing and enjoying some fresh air.

All levels of French and fitness welcome. Event in English and French.

Visit for more information and reservations (Member: $8; Non-member: $12).

Museum Day                                                                                                            

Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 18, for two people.

Boston attractions include:

– Gibson House Museum,137 Beacon St., from 1 to 4 p.m.

Experience the house through a guided tour that interpret class and culture through the stories and objects of the people who lived and worked there. 

– Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stroll through the house’s period rooms at your own pace. Experience an 1804 Bulfinch townhouse, Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculptures, and Japanese woodblock prints. Encounter stories of family, staff and Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. 

Visit for more information and tickets.

2021 Moondance En Plein Air

The Esplanade Association will host the Moondance Gala at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18 on the grounds of Charles River Esplanade.

The elegant event will feature a tantalizing dinner, inspired cocktails, music and lawn games while celebrating 20 Years of Community in the Park.

The Charles River Esplanade has been the backyard to many and the front door to the city for visitors from around the globe. The Esplanade Association is the voice and actor of change in the park, a catalyst to make things happen.

Visit for more information, including Sponsorships and Tickets.

Gibson House Museum Benefit and Raffle           

Gibson House Museum will hold its 24th annual benefit on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at St. Botolph Club, 199 Commonwealth Ave.

Celebrating with a “Roaring Twenties” theme, the party will feature drinks, food, trivia and music and dancing from the 1920s. They will also offer fun ’20s-themed raffle items to take a chance on.

The honoree will be the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, which has worked tirelessly for more than 65 years to preserve Back Bay’s architectural beauty and residential character.

Raffle items can be viewed online. Tickets – $10 per ticket, six tickets for $50 – are available online and by mail.

Visit for more information and tickets.

Cocktails in the Park 

Party in the Park, a unique cocktail party at Pinebank Promontory overlooking the picturesque Jamaica Pond, will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

All proceeds support the revitalization of Charlesgate Park, a critical link in the region’s park network.

Visit for more information and tickets.

Beyond the Page: ‘The First to Lie’ with Hank Phillippi Ryan                          

Can an investigative journalist reveal a pharma company’s disturbing truth? Who will be the first to lie in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s deceitful and thrilling tale? Find out what happens in September’s featured novel, The First to Lie.

To uncover the truth, join a live discussion with Beyond the Page author from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 22 via Zoom. Ask Ryan about her journey as an author and discover how she combines her investigative journalism experience with her love for thriller fiction.

Visit for more information and registration.

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 our Veterans and their Families who are impacted by the invisible wounds of war. 

Visit for more information and registration.

Fresh Paint 2021: Inside | Outside 

The Copley Society of Art will host its 33rd annual Fresh Paint event as a virtual, live auction from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23. The event will be hosted by leading auctioneer and general appraiser of Skinner Auctioneers, Stuart Slavid. All paintings will be available for bidding online through Thursday, Sept. 23 at 

Established in 1988, Co|So’s Fresh Paint was one of the first plein air painting events with an accompanying auction. The fundraiser supports innovative exhibitions of emerging and established artists, lectures, scholarships, residencies, and outreach programs. Fresh Paint is the gallery’s biggest and most important fundraiser. 

Visit for more information.

American Cancer Society: ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’

The American Cancer Society will host the annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Hatch Memorial Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way.

For more information and registration and/or to make a donation, visit

Catie's Closet: Fill the Bus

Help Catie's Closet help under-served students feel prepared and confident this school year by participating in the Fill the Bus campaign through Thursday, Sept. 30.

Having a safe place such as Catie’s Closet and access to basic necessities helps them envision a future where they can proudly be themselves and celebrate their uniqueness and identity.

There are three ways to have a major impact this year as an individual, with your family, or as a company: Run their Virtual 5K | Donate items, Host a drive or Fund the items | Buy a confidence pack.

Catie’s Closet Distribution Centers are located at 63 Sprague St. in Hyde Park and at 19 School St. in Dracut.

Learn more at

Community Boating kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals

Community Boating offers an opportunity to view Boston from an angle rarely seen. Rent a kayak and explore the Charles River Basin and Frederick Law Olmstead esplanade lagoon system while enjoying breathtaking views of historic Back Bay, Beacon Hill, MIT and the Zakim and Longfellow bridges. Available through Sunday, Sept. 26.

Two-hour kayak (single or tandem) and stand-up-paddle-boards rentals are available for $32 per person plus taxes and fees. Membership includes kayaks and SUPs at no cost (not including Wicked Basic Sailing Pass).

Visit for more information and registration.

Critical shortage of blood at MGH Blood Donor Center

There is currently a critical shortage of blood – please give.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Blood Donor Center, 55 Fruit St. (GRJ 120) is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Visit for more information and appointments.

Monday Mettā                      

Join Rev. Kim at the Arlington Street Church at noon on Mondays for a half hour of loving kindness meditation. She will give brief instructions, and the group will join in sending loving kindness to ourselves and to the world. No meditation experience necessary.

Join with video at or participate by phone by dialing 929-436-2866. For either option, the meeting ID is always 895 886 6876.

Gay Men's Coffee Connections

Gay Men's Coffee Connections will meet at 5 p.m. on the first and third Monday of the month.

Feel free to listen or engage in discussion about experiences as gay men.

Visit for more information, including the week’s discussion prompt and the Zoom link.

The Buddhist book discussions and meditations

Buddha's Belly and Arlington Street Meditation Center (feel free to come to one or both) will meet via Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

– 6 p.m. Buddha's Belly: a book discussion group that explores a variety of books from Buddhist teachings. All are welcome.

– 7 p.m. Arlington Street Meditation Center: these gatherings include seated meditation, a brief reading from Buddhist teachings, and conversation. Beginners and experienced meditators from all traditions (or none!) are warmly welcome.

Visit for more information and links to attend.

Kundalini Yoga Class

Experience fun exercises and poses, breathing techniques, chanting, meditation and deep relaxation in this unique class at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Moving energy through your body brings positive change and growth. All are welcome.

There is a $10 charge that goes to the Arlington Street Church.

Email for Zoom access. 

A safe space for people of all colors

If you identify as a person of color, Old South Church invites you to a time of connecting, a moment of breath, a reprieve from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The group is open to people of all ages.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Virtual Jazz Coffee House                                                              

The Virtual Jazz Coffee House, featuring the Willie Sordillo Ensemble, will be livestreamed from the Old South Church in Boston from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at

Music for Food concert series                                                         

In this time of crisis, neighbors who experience food-insecurity are among the hardest hit. In lieu of their regular concerts, Music for Food is presenting online performances to support multiple food pantries.

A weekly series of videos will be released at noon on Fridays on MFF’s YouTube Channel ( Each video features MFF Artists and friends from all over the world.

Friday Night Trivia

Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St will host a weekly Trivia Night from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays.

The event will feature seven rounds of general knowledge trivia with a few wildcards along the way (follow on Instagram to get a sneak peak of the evening's categories) and excellent prizes for the top three teams. 

Visit for more information.

LGBTQ Catholics Unite monthly meetings                                              

LGBTQ Catholics Unite meetings are held virtually at 1 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month. The meetings provide an opportunity for LGBTQ Catholics and friends to gather and openly discuss relevant topics, scripture, and current events and share faith experiences, thoughts, beliefs and feelings.

Hosted by the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry, they hope that all LGBTQ+ Catholics will know that “God loves you, God created you, God is on your side, Jesus cares about you, and the church is your home.” All, including allies, are welcome.

For more info on how to connect via Zoom, email

Tiffany stained-glass windows

The Tiffany Education Center at the Arlington Street Church, 20 Arlington St. offers self-guided tours with an audio guide as well as docent-guided tours. Experience the resplendent beauty and history of the 16 Tiffany opalescent stained-glass windows – the largest Tiffany window collection of its kind in any one church.

The visitors center will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays (closed Tuesdays). Group tours are also available.

Visit for more information.

Boston Open Market at Copley Square

In partnership with the Friends of Copley Square, New England Open Markets will operate the Boston Open Market - a new weekly arts market held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 27.

Visit for more information.

Copley Square Farmers Market

The Copley Square Farmers Market – Boston's biggest and busiest farmers market featuring more than two dozen Massachusetts farmers offering a vibrant selection of local and delicious produce and meat – will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays through Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Accepts: SNAP, HIP & Nutrition Vouchers

BB Mom’s Group

The Mom’s Group is being revived for Moms in the Back Bay to meet and connect. Their goal is to offer support and be a resource for local Moms. When possible, outdoor events will be planned. 

For more information on joining, send an email to:

Future Readers Book Club/Events

The Boston Public Library hosts the Future Readers Club for children, ages five years and younger, and their caregivers, with a goal of reading 1,000 books together before the child begins kindergarten.

Register at to keep track of the books you read together and earn badges for your young milestones at

In addition, the BPL offers an assortment of programs as part of the Future Readers Club to engage children in stories, songs, finger play and crafts.

Visit for more information and registration to each event.

BPL reading challenge                                                        

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 Participant patrons can track their progress as well.

Visit for more information.

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 for more information and registration.

Genealogy for the next generation                                                 

Several free, easy-to-do fun activities that will keep kids entertained and get them thinking about their family history are available at

These exercises are designed to teach critical skills while encouraging kids to explore their personal connection to the past. Studies show that young people who know facts about their heritage have a stronger sense of self, which can help them perform better in school and life.

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

Boston Ballet videos                                     

Enjoy a variety of behind-the-scenes videos, virtual choreography, performance clips, and articles on along with exclusive, ballet videos posted Mondays through Fridays at and/or

Support Boston Ballet at

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 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 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.

Friday Night Supper Program – needs help for and with onsite/to-go meals

The Friday Night Supper Program (FNSP) at the Arlington Street Church – the longest running program in Boston – has served more than 13,000 meals a year to more than 130 guests from all over Boston since 1984.

FNSP offers seated, family-style dinners at the church at 5 p.m. on Fridays or hot to-go meals for those who prefer or if room reaches its limited capacity due to the pandemic.

The Clothing Closet will also be opened every other Friday.

Donations make a difference in the lives of people in need, whether through philanthropic dollars or individual gifts of money, clothing, toiletries and gift cards.

FNSP is also looking for help to serve the onsite and “to go” meals.

Visit for more information.

Support BostonWarm/common art and common cathedral programs 

The drop-in center, BostonWarm; the art program, common art; and common cathedral, all under the umbrella of Ecclesia Ministries at Emmanuel Church (15 Newbury St.), needs partners to help them serve the increasing number of homeless and underserved during this critical time.

There are three specific ways that you can help make a difference:

1) Purchase supplies from BostonWarm and common art Amazon wish lists.

2) Donate individually wrapped homemade or purchased sandwiches, soft fruits, granola bars and water.

3) Donate your time, your treasures (donations) and your prayers – they are always welcomed and valued.

Visit for other information, including links to keep this mission alive.

Support Women’s Lunch Place                                         

Women’s Lunch Place, 67 Newbury St. continues to serve women while maintaining all three of their core services areas – healthy meals, direct care and advocacy.

WLP is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday to Saturday serving breakfast and lunch along with essential care packages.

Women’s Lunch Place needs donations – money, gift cards, toiletries, underwear and other basic necessities – to keep their mission going.

Visit for more information.

Support the Esplanade Association                       

The Esplanade is the stretch of public green space that extends for three miles one way along the Boston shore of the Charles River from the Boston Museum of Science to the Boston University (BU) Bridge.

In addition to providing a beautiful natural landscape, the park is home to the iconic Hatch Memorial Shell, various historical monuments, recreational facilities and more than five miles of pathway for walking, running or biking.

Please consider making a donation to the Esplanade Association to help keep the green space thriving and the activities alive. All donations are tax deductible and people can use any means to send their support, including Donor Advised Funds.

Visit for more information and links to donate.

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