Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

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Richard Fried entertains people enjoying the Public Garden. He is a retired high school science teacher from New York City. He moved to Boston because he wanted to be in a more peaceful, safer city.

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).

Cityscape collage drop-in craft

Stop by Central Library in Copley Square from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 for cityscape collages. They’ll provide the materials for you to make a beautiful 2-D view of the city. Recommended for ages 4 and up, and their caregiver.

Visit for more information.

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

Bach Cantata Series at Emmanuel Church                      

Continuing their 50-year-old tradition, the orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present Bach’s astounding human document in the liturgical setting for which it was intended, as well as other sacred works.

The performances will be held on Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. from Sept. 26 through May 15. They will also be livestreamed.

The performances can be enjoyed in person at the Emmanuel Church with a live stream option.

To learn more about the history of Bach cantatas and how Emmanuel Music presents them, visit

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 – 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).

Barre en français                                                                 

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

A Revolutionary Encounter in London

On May 8, 1773, enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley left Boston to travel to London to promote her book of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, to be published there later that summer. During her six-week stay, Wheatley would have the opportunity to meet many notables, one of whom was American founding father Benjamin Franklin. The play recounts the meeting of these two Colonial American icons.

A special version of the full-length play will be presented as a staged reading from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27.

Local actors Cathryn Philippe and Steve Auger are featured in the roles of Wheatley and Franklin.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Berklee Summer in The City: Sayaka Alessandroni

Sayaka Alessandroni will perform at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at The Prudential Center (South Garden), as part of Berklee's Summer in the City Concert Series.

Inspired by the likes of Moonchild and Sara Bareilles, Sayaka allows her vulnerability to soar through her honest lyricism and unique arrangements. 

Visit for more information.

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.

Sean McConnell concert

Sean McConnell will perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 in the Red Room at Cafe 939 at 939 Boylston St.

Singer-songwriter and producer Sean McConnell explores what it means to be human in his honest, introspective, country-laced songs. 

His newest collection of work, A Horrible Beautiful Dream, the dark warmth of the piano, the quiet, rhythmic picking of acoustic guitar, and the droning tension of strings paint this work in a moment of levity. 

Visit for more information and reservations ($15 - Advance / $18 - Door).

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

Talking Trash & Recycling

Are you confused about what should go in the trash barrel and what should go in the recycling bin?

Join Keep Massachusetts Beautiful from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 for a presentation and discussion of ways everyone can reduce waste and improve recycling.

The Talking Trash & Recycling program is an interactive presentation that will teach what really happens to trash and recyclables in Boston.

People will learn ways to reduce the amount of trash they generate, improve recycling habits, make small changes to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and help Boston achieve its solid waste reduction goals.

They also provide an overview of MassDEP's RecycleSmartMA program.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

LivingRoom Conversations VI: Healing                            

Healing takes many forms and can mean many things to different people. Going to the doctor and pharmacist can be part of the process of becoming healthy again. Accessing internal power to engage in the process of becoming and/or remembering wholeness may be part of healing. From an Indigenous perspective, healing is a process, rarely a one-time event. Everyone can choose to be “good medicine” or “bad medicine” for ourselves or others.

Good medicine is anyone or anything that brings into alignment the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Bad medicine is anyone or anything that takes our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing out of alignment.

The desire to be happy and to avoid suffering means that people can draw on the gift of healing in their lives daily, helping to become the whole, healthy human being they want to be.

Join this Boston Public Library-facilitated living room conversation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 where participants can practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Half Gringa concert

Half Gringa will perform at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in the Red Room at Cafe 939 at 939 Boylston St.

Emerging from Chicago’s flourishing indie music scene, Half Gringa creates music informed by contemporary indie rock and Latin American and midwestern folk.

Visit for more information and reservations ($15 - Advance / $18 - Door).

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.

The Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front

The Nazis of Copley Square provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the American far right. The men of the Christian Front imagined themselves as crusaders fighting for the spiritual purification of the nation, under assault from what they believed were “godless Communism.” They were hardly alone in their beliefs.

Charles Gallagher chronicles the evolution of the Front, the transatlantic cloak-and-dagger intelligence operations that subverted it and the mainstream political and religious leaders who shielded the Front’s activities from scrutiny.

This grim tale of faith perverted to violent ends serves as a warning for those who hope to curb the spread of far-right ideologies today.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration regarding this event which will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Raising the Dead

Cemetery records can offer important clues to understanding the lives of those who came before us.

Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society's Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert - author of A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries – to learn how headstones, family plots and burial documents can shed new light on your ancestors' lives from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

City-Wide Friends Book Sale                                             

Support the Boston Public Library by buying used books from the City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Visit for more information.

Crotchet 101 For Teens

Crochet 101 is a beginner-friendly course that covers all the basic stitches and techniques of crocheting.

This class, slated from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Central Library in Copley Square, will cover chaining, single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet and slip stitch. Attendees will also learn how to read patterns and even begin their own scarf.

Visit for more information and registration.

‘The Healing Power of Singing: Raise Your Voice, Change Your Life’

Join the Boston Public Library for a discussion, musical performance and book signing with Emm Gryner, author of The Healing Power of Singing: Raise Your Voice, Change Your Life (What Touring with David Bowie, Single Parenting and Ditching the Music Business Taught Me in 25 Easy Steps). 

The event will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Central Library in Copley Square and on Zoom.

Visit for more information and registration.


The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) typically meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month for a short business meeting followed by an entertainment program. Everyone is welcome to attend this online gathering.

– Oct. 2: Donald Nevin’s Trackless Trolley Potpourri

Donald Nevin will show 1970s-vintage trackless trolley operations in Dayton, Seattle, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Cambridge and Hamilton (Ontario).

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.

ARC Blood Drive at  Park Plaza Hotel                                                      

Park Plaza Hotel, 64 Arlington St. will host a blood drive from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

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

Reading the Rainbow: ‘Alice Isn't Dead’

Reading the Rainbow – a Boston Public Library online-exclusive book group geared towards members of the LGBTQ+ community – will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 for a lively discussion of Joseph Fink's Alice Isn't Dead.

Visit for more information and Slack registration.

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.

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.

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 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.

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