Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

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A father and son are having a fun time at the Children’s Fountain at the Christian Science Plaza.

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.

Claudio Ragazzi Quartet: Tributes and Tangos

GRAMMY-winning guitarist and composer Claudio Ragazzi brings the influences of his native Argentina to his Latin jazz-inflected quartet. The band will play selections from a forthcoming album as well as other selections from Ragazzi's extensive catalogue at 3 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 18 at Arlington Street Church, 25 Arlington St.

This performance will also be available to stream on-demand on YouTube on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Visit for more information.

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.

National Recovery Month: Author Talk with Patrick Radden Keefe

The City of Boston and RIZE Massachusetts are proud to welcome award-winning author

Patrick Radden Keefe for a discussion of his recent bestselling book, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. The event will take place at Old South Church in Boston, Main Sanctuary, 645 Boylston St. at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19. The event will also be livestreamed.

Empire of Pain is a grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin.

Visit for more information and registration.

Poetry Open-Mic Night at Trident Booksellers

Join Trident Booksellers and Café, 338 Newbury St. for a fun evening of open-mic poetry from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19. Open-Mic will start at 7 p.m. with sign-ups beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Bring your own works and perform them in front of a supportive crowd. Find your voice and share it with the world. 

Visit for more information.

Back Bay Chorale ESL Chorus                              

Do you love music or enjoy singing? Do you want to learn English and sing with new friends? The E.S.L. Singing Group will meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on (most) Tuesdays from Sept. 21 through Dec. 7 on Zoom and/or at the Central Library, 700 Boylston St. in Copley Square.

Associate Conductor Katherine Chan from the Back Bay Chorale will teach basic singing skills and songs in English.

At the end of each class, participants will have the opportunity to practice English conversation skills and develop friendships. No singing experience required.

Go to or for more information and (Zoom) registration.

African American Lives in Federalist New England: Scouring the Archives

Keeping family members safe, acquiring skills in multiple vocations, nurturing friendship networks across state and national borders, pushing back against harassment and denial of rights: these are some of the important, quotidian aspects of Black lives in the late 18th century that are found in the region’s extensive documentary record.

Panelists will discuss how following obscure clues and small details in a wide range of documents and artifacts can lead to surprising revelations. The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites everyone to join the conversation from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

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.

Trash into Treasures: Desk Decorations for Teens

Want to brighten up the desk area as you return to school and homework? Join teen librarians Dani and Laura to learn two fun crafts from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Central Library in Copley Square.

First, learn how to re-purpose any square piece of paper into a crane. Need something to do with your hands while listening in class? Origami is the fidget toy that can be made anywhere. 

Then, learn how to create a hedgehog out of an old book. These are a cute way to decorate a desk or bookshelf.

All materials will be provided. This event is for tweens/teens in grades 6 through 12.

Visit for more information and registration.

Free guided tours on the Esplanade                                                                                  

The Esplanade Association will offer free guided walking tours on the Esplanade to share the park’s amazing stories, plants, trees and wildlife. Guided walking tours will last about an hour-and-a-half and cover roughly a mile of the Esplanade and more than 150 years of history.

The 2021 Guided Tour Program Schedule:

– Guided History Tour at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22 and at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16

– Guided Art in the Park Tour at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6

Visit for more information and registration.

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.

‘Minus One: Love, Loss and Resilience in Fiction and in Life’

Join the Central Library in Copley Square from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 for a talk

by local author Doris Iarovici, who, with tenderness and honesty explores the plunging depths of the human experience, lingering on moments of familial warmth and joy but never shying away from conflict and tension. Minus One reveals a glimmer of hope and possibility, even in the darkest times.

Visit for more information.

‘Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America’

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center for an online talk with Eyal Press, author of Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.

Professor of history at New York University Kim Phillips-Fein will moderate this discussion from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Visit for more information and Zoom 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.

‘Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy’

Join the Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/NEHGS, and the GBH Forum Network from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 for an online conversation with Nathaniel Philbrick about his latest work revealing the dynamic history of the United States.

Does George Washington still matter? Written at a moment when America’s founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with Washington’s legacy as a man of the people, a reluctant president and a plantation owner who held people in slavery.

Written in a first-person voice about his own journey following Washington’s presidential excursions, the narrative in his new book moves smoothly between the 18th and 21st centuries looking at the country through both Washington’s and Philbrick’s eyes.

Register at:

Writing History: An Extended Q&A with Nathaniel Philbrick

Following his Zoom webinar public talk (separate registration required), Nathaniel Philbrick will engage in further conversation and Q&A. He’ll answer questions about his inspirations, research and process behind writing Travels with George and his other works of American history.

Ryan Woods (NEGHS) and Catherine Allgor (MHS) will facilitate this more intimate Zoom meeting from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration (Tickets: $50 – includes Q+A event link and personalized signed book shipped priority mail).

Family Book Group: ‘Hands Up!’                         

The librarian-moderated Family Book Group will meet from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 to discuss the September Community Read: Hands Up! by Breanna McDaniel. 

In this picture book, a young girl lifts her hands up in a series of everyday moments before finally raising her hands in resistance at a protest march. 

Go to for more information and Zoom registration.

Lyric Stage Company: ‘Be Here Now’

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St. will present matinee and evening performances of “Be Here Now” – a quirky romantic comedy about a professor of nihilism who experiences joy for the first time – from Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Oct.  17.

The 3 p.m. performance on Sunday, Sept. 26 will be followed by a Q&A.

Visit for more information and tickets (prices vary).

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.

September 2021 Watercolor Painting Workshops

Practice landscape painting skills at this free and fun watercolor painting workshop from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Boston Public Garden, George Robert White Memorial (Corner of Arlington and Beacon streets).

Hosted by a local artist-instructor, all instruction and materials will be provided for Boston artists aged 9 and up, of all skill levels.

Visit for more information and registration.

Live from France with Janet Skeslien Chales

Lovers of Paris, join the French Cultural Center for an interview with award winning author Janet Skeslien Charles, who will discuss her latest book The Paris Library, a historical fiction between France and America that resonates with the FCC's own past, The French Library in Boston.

Charles will also share her favorite parts of Paris and anecdotes of being an American woman in Paris. This author talk will be followed by a live Q&A.

This online event will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 in English.

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

Béla Fleck ‘My Bluegrass Heart’ concert                                      

Banjo wizard Béla Fleck along with multi-instrumentalists Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz and Bryan Sutton will delight the audience bringing together a cross-generational banjo festival highlighting the best of the best of bluegrass at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave.

Visit for more information and tickets (prices vary).

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.

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

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

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.

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them Book Group

Geared toward young adults in their 20s and 30s, the Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them Book Group at the Central Library in Copley Square will meet online from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 to discuss Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

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

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

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