Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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Children have a lot of fun on the slide in the Tadpole Playground in Boston Common.

‘The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and The Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream’

Charles Spencer will talk about his latest book from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4.

The sinking of the White Ship in 1120 is one of the greatest disasters England has ever suffered. In one catastrophic night, the king’s heir and the flower of Anglo-Norman society were drowned and the future of the crown was thrown violently off course.

In a riveting narrative, Spencer follows the story from the Norman Conquest through to the decades that would become known as the Anarchy: a civil war of untold violence that saw families turn in on each other with English and Norman barons, rebellious Welsh princes and the Scottish king all playing a part in a desperate game of thrones. All because of the loss of one vessel – the White Ship – the medieval Titanic.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration (Members and VESP holders - free | Visitors - $5).

Fall Chat: Marc Eichen and The Writers’ Room of Boston

Join Marc Eichen and members of Beacon Hill Village at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6 for a virtual introduction to the Writers' Room of Boston. Members of the Room will do a couple of brief readings followed by a question-and-answer session in which the group will discuss, not only the written pieces, but the function and availability of the Room itself. All are welcome to join the conversation.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

How Pixar makes you cry

What are the secrets to Pixar’s impeccable storytelling? How do they enthrall and inspire audiences of all ages? More important, how do they always make people cry?

Dean Movshovitz, Israeli author of Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar’s Greatest Films, explores Pixar’s genius (and tricks).

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, he will join a live audience in the Mugar Omni Theater remotely from Los Angeles to share how Pixar maintains their unique and unprecedented emotional connection with audiences all over the world, and to change how people experience the films and stories they love forever.

Visit for more information and registration.

ARC Blood Drive at  Big Night Entertainment Group                                        

The Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St., will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7.

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

The Advocates: The Parthenon Marble Debate

When the Parthenon fell into ruins in 1801, a British ambassador with permission from the Ottoman Empire preserved about half of the sculptures and then later sold them to the British Museum. For decades, the people of Greece have argued that the Ottomans were occupiers and questioned the validity of the arrangement with Lord Elgin.

In this debate-style event, Boston attorney Joseph Hern, former Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis and a panel of experts will argue against or for the return of the marbles to Greece. At the end, the audience will decide who had the most compelling argument. 

This event will be held in person at the Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. in partnership with the English-Speaking Union and the Greek Consulate and on Zoom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7. Reception to follow.

Visit for more information and registration (In-person tickets: Members and Partners - $10 | Visitors - $15; Virtual Tickets: Members and VESP holders - free | Visitors - $5).

HeART-filled Racial Justice series: ‘Exploring Whiteness’

The Beacon Hill Friends House will present the HeART-filled Racial Justice Series from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, from Oct. 7 through Oct. 28.

The theme for October is “Exploring Whiteness.”

Visit for more information and Zoom registration ($100/series).

​ Kanopy Club: ‘Man on Wire’                                           

Following the Boston Public Library’s yearlong Reading Challenge's October theme of A Story Under 100 Pages, the Kanopy Club will be watching and discussing films that are 100 minutes or less.

Watch Man on Wire (2008, PG-13) on Kanopy then join the group from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 for a Zoom discussion.

About the film: On Aug. 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York. Academy Award winner. Official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

For more information and to register, visit online at

‘Queer Purgatory: A Fashionably Late Event’ 

What if the things that have ruled people’s lives don't exist? What are the endless possibilities yet undiscovered within you?

“Queer Purgatory: A Fashionably Late Event,” produced by The Theater Offensive, will feature QTPOC designers: Harbison, Nicole Zizi Studio and Francisco Sews with the latest fashions from across the United States.

The event will be hosted by The Liberty Hotel Boston, 215 Charles St from 10 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Go to for more information and registration.

The unvarnished history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Slavery and segregation were not just in the South. The slave economy in New England was brought in by the Massachusetts Bay Colony and segregation still existed in this area as recently as 1964.

​In this workshop from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, Nur Shoop of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will talk about some of the unvarnished Black history of this region from the slave trade to civil rights. She will tell stories of resilience, versatility and courage.

It is essential to acknowledge and know the past in order to understand and address the systemic inequities and continued racial struggles in society.

​After Shoop 's presentation, LJ Boswell of the Beacon Hill Friends House will offer a guided opportunity for participants to reflect and process.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration.

Before Boston: Shawmut Peninsula Through 1630                                             

Boston is celebrated for its long and storied history going back to when English Puritans settled the Shawmut Peninsula and gave it the name Boston in 1630. And yet, 97 percent of Boston’s human history occurred before 1630. 

In this Boston By Foot tour, attendees will learn about the Native peoples who first walked here up to 12,000 years ago by exploring several archaeological sites in the Greater Boston region. 

From material culture uncovered by archaeologists, people can learn about how Native people hunted, fished, created ceramics, made decorative arts and even traded with people who lived hundreds of miles away. They will also learn of their encounters with the first European explorers and settlers in the area and how the Shawmut Peninsula became the town of Boston.

Tours will be offered at 10 a.m., at 10:30 a.m. and at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Visit for more information and registration (Adult: $17 | Child: $10; Child under 6: free).

ARC Blood Drive at  Big Night Entertainment Group                                        

Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St., will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

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

MOS Science Book Club for the Curious                  

The Science Book Club for the Curious will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14 to discuss AI in the Wild: Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Peter Dauvergne.

Visit for more information and Zoom 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 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 for more information and the Zoom link.

King's Chapel Tuesday Recitals                                                     

King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St. hosts Tuesdays Recitals at 12:15 p.m. on site and on Zoom through Dec. 28.

The 30-to-40-minute recitals feature a wide variety of performing artists ranging from local students to traveling performers. The performances range from jazz and folk music from numerous ethnicities to classical music from medieval times to the present.

Visit for more information (Suggestion donation: $5, given to the performers).

‘MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness’

The Beacon Hill Friends will host MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. This facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos is open to everyone.

Go to for more information about the facilitators and the practices they offer along with program details and Zoom registration. These closed-captioned programs are free, although donations to support their work are welcome.


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 to 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 to receive the link for the meeting.  

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 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 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.

The 45-minute tours take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 30 with advanced reservation.

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. Tours will be held at various times from Wednesdays through Sundays through Oct. 23. 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 for more information and reservations.

Operation ABLE                                                                                                     

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds and for those over 55 years of age.

All services, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services, are being conducted remotely. Class enrollments are open for Computer Skills, Medical, Health Care and Social Services training, among others.

Visit for more information and registration.

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.

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 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 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 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 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

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.

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 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 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 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