Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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The Central Burial Ground was established on Boston Common in 1756.

‘Knitted Together: Mystical Experience and Community Discernment’

Everyone is invited to join the BHFH Ernest and Esther Weed Memorial Lecture 2021 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. The speaker will be Sarah Gant with the lecture "Knitted Together: Mystical Experience and Community Discernment." The event will be held at Beacon Hill Friends House, 6-8 Chestnut St. and on Zoom.

The 2021 Ernest and Esther Weed Memorial Lecture takes a quick romp around the cultural shifts and practices that shaped Christian mysticism, the context of early Quakerism, and the role of community in accompanying those engaged in this profound journey now.

Visit https://lu.ma/eeweed-2021 for more information and registration.

Book Talk with Kate Larson  

Kate Clifford Larson's biography of Fannie Lou Hamer – born the 20th child in a family that had lived in the Mississippi Delta for generations, first as enslaved people and then as sharecroppers, in a world in which white supremacy was an unassailable citadel – is the most complete ever written. Stirring, immersive and authoritative, “Walk with Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer” does justice to Fannie Lou Hamer's life, capturing in full the spirit and the voice that led the fight for freedom and equality in America at its critical moment.

A book talk with Larson will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. and on Zoom.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and registration (In-Person Tickets: Members Free and Visitors free with admission ($10) | Virtual Tickets: Members and VESP Holders - Free and Visitors - $5).

Building Better Bones by Joy Tsai, M.D.

One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone during their life due to osteoporosis.

Dr. Joy Tsai will review the epidemiology of osteoporosis in the U.S. as well as the latest treatment strategies for this disease. Osteoporosis care encompasses both pharmacologic and non-drug therapy. She will review the broad categories of types of prescription drugs as well as lifestyle interventions that patients can carry out every day.

This virtual program, slated from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 is presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library, as part of Beacon Hill Village’s Living Well Ending Well series.

Go to www.beaconhillvillage.org for more information and Zoom registration.

MOS Sci-Fi Book Club

The Science Fiction Book Club for adults will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 to discuss From the Neck Up and Other Stories by Aliya Whiteley (virtually, of course).

Visit www.mos.org/public-events/sci-fi-book-club-for-the-curious for more information about this Museum of Science program and to register.

Tuesday Jazz Series

Join The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, 18 Phillips St. for a relaxing hour of jazz in a socially-distanced but intimate cabaret setting at their newly renovated community room, featuring Berklee School of Music’s finest new and emerging talent at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Jan. 18.

The evening will begin with wine and cheese on their patio plaza at 6:30 p.m.

Visit https://vilnashul.org/events/event for more information and tickets ($54/series or $18/evening).

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. 20.

Visit www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time or phone 1-800­-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767) to reserve a space.

Fall Chat: Janet Seckel-Cerrotti & Friendshipworks

Beacon Hill Village will host a seasonal chat with Janet Seckel-Cerrotti at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Janet Seckel-Cerrotti is the Executive Director of FriendshipWorks, where she has been helping to match volunteers with socially isolated elders in the Boston and Brookline area for 30 years.

Visit www.beaconhillvillage.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Read the Room Book Club – ‘Frankenstein’                                

The Gibson House Museum and the Nichols House Museum will co-host Read the Room, their book club inspired by the literary salons of the 19th century from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20. 

The group will discuss Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The first science fiction novel was written over 200 years ago but its legacy and relevance continue today. Discuss the novel’s context and implications just in time for spooky season.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/read-the-room-book-club-frankenstein-1818-by-mary-shelley-tickets-169542733881 for more information and Zoom registration (Members: Free | $12 per meeting | $45 for season).

Book Talk with Howard French: ‘Born in Blackness’

The Boston Athenæum will talk with Howard French from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20 about his latest works Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War.

In a sweeping narrative that traverses 600 years, one that eloquently weaves precise historical detail with poignant personal reportage, Pulitzer Prize finalist Howard W. French retells the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in America, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe’s dehumanizing engagement with the “darkest” continent.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and registration (Members and VESP holders - free | Visitors - $5).

Everything: Presented by Valerie Green/Dance Entropy

Everything is a dance performance installation evoking the ever-expanding universe, transforming the performance space into a constellation of stars and human bodies in various states of formation and explosion.

Conceived and directed by Valerie Green and inspired by astrophotography, string theory, interconnectivity and meditations on space and time, the new dance work weaves together a visual, physical, and emotional translation of the cosmos.

Valerie Green/Dance Entropy in collaboration with local artists, Urbanity Dance and Nate Tucker will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Museum of Science Boston.

Visit www.mos.org/explore/subspace/everything-valerie-green-dance-entropy for more information and tickets ($15).

‘Living a Triggered Life Podcast’

The Museum of Science will present a live production of “Triggered Project’s Living a Triggered Life” podcast from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Created and hosted by Keith Mascoll (SAG-AFTRA, AEA) and Roxann Mascoll (MSW LCSW), this groundbreaking podcast asks “how do you navigate being triggered while in a relationship?”

Join Keith and Roxann, a Black couple who have their own trauma histories, as they talk love, mental health, relationships, and family dynamics as they explore the impact on their long-term marriage.

Go to www.mos.org/explore/subspace/triggered-life-podcast for more information and tickets.

Fall-O-Ween Children's Festival

The first annual Fall-o-Ween Children’s Festival will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22 at the Boston Common Frog Pond.

Adults and children are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and participate in many free festive family activities. There will also be lots of spooky activities and giveaways for all ages.

The event is presented by Parks and Recreation, in partnership with The Skating Club of Boston.

Go to www.boston.gov/calendar/fall-o-ween-childrens-festival for more information.

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga         

Join the Boston Public Library remotely from 4 to 5 p.m. on Fridays for a gentle yoga class by Hands to Heart Center (HTHC). Participants can expect a beginner-level one hour yoga flow, with plenty of options and modifications for all bodies and ability levels. All are welcome.

These classes will be live-streamed on HTHC's YouTube channel, where previously recorded sessions may also be found.

To attend, visit https://bit.ly/BPLY0GA. No registration is required.

‘Discovering Spirit Within Ourselves’ series

The Beacon Hill Friends House will present a three-part series “Discovering Spirit Withing Ourselves” - an exploration of mystical spiritual traditions led by Jen Higgins-Newman from 2 to 4 p.m. on select Saturdays as follows:

– Session 1: “Awakening” on Oct. 23

​The group will explore the question of what it looks like to cultivate inward lives.

​– Session II: “Unknowing God” on Nov. 4

The group will explore queries – such as what do you think you know about God – and more, and give ourselves permission to let go of our answers to them by exploring the ancient mystical spiritual practice of “unknowing” God – also known as apophatic or “negative” theology, or even unsaying God.

– Session 1II: “Seeking” on Dec. 4

The group will focus on what it means to be a seeker. How to hold uncertainty and lack of clarity in order to forge a unique relationship with that which is greater than ourselves.

These interactive hybrid workshops, where participants will engage with readings, queries, journaling and discussion to engage deeply, will be held in-person at Beacon Hill Friends House, 6-8 Chestnut St. and on Zoom.

​These workshops are for everyone – Quakers and non-Quakers, no matter where you fall on the question of "God" (including theists and non-theists) or whether you have engaged in a practice such as this before. Attend any or all of the sessions.

Visit https://bhfh.org/events for more information and registration.

Welcome back

The King's Chapel Choir will present a program of all the music people have missed the most, bookended by Carson Cooman's "What Is Holy?" - commissioned by King's Chapel on the occasion of Heinrich Christensen's 20th anniversary as music director, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24 at King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St.

Go to www.kings-chapel.org/concert-series.html for more information and tickets ($15-$20).

Simple morning meditation practice

Beacon Hill Friends holds a simple meditation practice that helps reduce stress and ease you into the morning. The meditation is 15 minutes long and begins and ends with a brief introduction to the practice. Orientation for newcomers begins at 8 a.m., and the practice begins at 8:10 a.m. on weekdays. 

Join once or join regularly – this meditation is free and open to the public.

Go to bhfh.org/virtual-events for more information and the Zoom link.

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 www.kings-chapel.org/tuesday-recitals.html 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 bhfh.org/midweek 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.

DivorceCare

If you are separated or divorced and need healing, the Park Street Church invites you to attend DivorceCare, a 13-week support group, from 6:30 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 divorcecare@parkstreet.org to receive the link for the meeting.  

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 through Oct. 28.

The theme for October is “Exploring Whiteness.”

Visit https://bhfh.org/events for more information and Zoom registration ($100/series).

Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel operating  

The Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Tickets: $3/ride | 10 Ride Card: $25.

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

Boston By Foot tours and Architectural Cruises  

Boston By Foot has resumed their in-person public walking tours as well as the popular 

Architecture Cruises, presented in partnership with the Charles Riverboat Company, through Oct. 31.

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

Tour the Nichols House Museum

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

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

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

Black Heritage Trail® Tour

Join a park ranger from the National Parks of Boston to explore the rich history of Beacon Hill's 19th century Black community. 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 www.eventbrite.com/e/black-heritage-trail-tour-tickets-153151587521 for more information and reservations.

BBF Beacon Hill walking tours

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

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

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

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

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

MOS experience onsite/online

The Museum of Science has reopened following health and safety guidelines – face coverings and reservations are required for admission.

Highlights of your visit can include permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and newly refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

MOS at home also offers an array of programs and events. Schedules change weekly and may include a weekly STEM challenge, virtual planetarium visits, live animal visits, science stories, science-related question and answer panels, and Sub-space events.

Visit www.mos.org for more information and reservations.

The West End Museum open

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. (Unit 7) is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Museum offers in-person, virtual, and strolling tours and hosts events.

Visit thewestendmuseum.org for more information.

Boston Athenæum online/onsite  

Boston Athenæum offers many activities online (some free of charge), serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer tours of the first floor of their landmark building and artworks from the special collections.

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org/visit/covid-19-response for more information.

Museum of African American History online/onsite                   

The Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.

Visit www.maah.org for ticket and scheduling information along with virtual programs and events.

Big Sister mentoring                                                                                    

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little Sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit www.bigsister.org.

Free meals/food resource information                               

Boston Eats will provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under – through 2021. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens, along with other information is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

Contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything – or are willing to assist them in outreach – please email office@stjosephboston.org or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email, and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

Old West Church Community Lunch/Dinner

Everyone is invited to the community meals at the Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. – served rain or shine and holidays, too. While these meals primarily serve people who are housing insecure or elderly, it’s for anyone.

The Community Lunch is served from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Community Dinner is served from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays.

During the pandemic, the meals are served to go. Everyone is welcome to come by and grab a hot meal to takeaway.

Visit www.oldwestchurch.org for more information.

Wednesday Night Supper Club – ‘Takeout Meal in a Sack’

The Wednesday Night Supper Club is held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Paulist Center Auditorium, 5 Park St. Place. At this time, they have shifted to a “takeout meal in a sack.”

The Paulist Center volunteers have been serving more than 200 people a week who don’t have access to a good hot meal. The program has been running for more than 50 years. 

Visit www.paulistcenter.org to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.

Support the parks – give the gift of membership                                                  

Give the gift of membership to ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at friendsofthepublicgarden.org.