Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

Link Boston Homes
This is a view of Acorn Street on Beacon Hill. It is one of the most photographed streets in the country.

Candlelit Crypt Tours at King's Chapel

Home to one of the few surviving church crypts in New England, King's Chapel, 58 Tremont St. invites people to descend beneath the church to discover the darker side of the 18th-century crypt. Walk among the 21 tombs to learn about historic burial customs and the people laid to rest beneath the chapel.

In-person tours will be offered at 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 30.

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/tales-from-the-crypt-candlelit-crypt-tours-at-kings-chapel-tickets-183721454817 for more information and registration ($15).

A virtual version of the program will be offered at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/tales-from-the-crypt-a-virtual-visit-to-the-kings-chapel-crypt-tickets-183739980227 to sign up for this event (Donations welcome).

‘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.

Mayor's Movie Night: 'Hotel Transylvania'

“Hotel Transylvania” will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 on Boston Common.

The film tells the story of Count Dracula, the owner of a hotel called Hotel Transylvania where the world's monsters can take a rest from human civilization.

This series is hosted by Boston Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with Soxcessful.

Visit www.boston.gov/calendar/mayors-movie-nights-hotel-transylvania for more information.

Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum

Explore the Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St. from behind-the-scenes. What did it take to make the house run in the Victorian era? How do staff manage its preservation today? Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs and explore more than 200 years of this old house’s secrets.

This tour will be given from 11 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24. Visitors will take three flights of stairs. Masks are required.

Go to www.nicholshousemuseum.org for more information and reservations (Member: $12 | Non-member: $17).

King’s Chapel Concert Series: ‘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 about the series and tickets ($15 to $25).

Glass art workshops for 20s and 30s

How do we mark a space and make it our own? Local artist Sasha Kopp will guide participants in a series of glassmaking workshops to create objects that have the opportunity to be visual reminders of who we are, where we come from, and the values we hold. 

These workshops will be held The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, 18 Phillips St. at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7. Wine and cheese will be served on the patio plaza at 6:30 p.m.

Visit https://vilnashul.org/events/event/glass-art-making-series for more information and registration ($75/series or $25/session).

Ghosts in the Museum: The Leverett Street Jail

Join The West End Museum for a Halloween talk at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Located approximately where the West End Museum is today, the Leverett Street Jail served as the city and county prison for some three decades in the mid-19th century (1822–1851). The institution was a flashpoint for such hotbed issues as capital punishment, slavery and abolitionism, blasphemy, and women’s rights.

The jail was infamous for overcrowding and intermingling inmates with no regard for severity of crime. Seven of 10 women incarcerated there were innocent, arrested purely on the word of others for such offenses as speaking out about politics. Numerous executions by hanging took place within its walls, in close proximity to West End residences.

Go to www.eventbrite.com/e/ghosts-in-the-museum-the-leverett-street-jail-tickets-182922735827 for more information and registration (admission is free with a costume OR $5 to $10).

Curator's Choice: Spooky Show & Tell

Join Dr. Christina Michelon from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 for a spooky show & tell featuring highlights from the BA's special collections. Ranging from early magic and demonology texts to spirit photographs and representations of the famed Granary Burying Ground (the historic cemetery that lies just beyond the Athenaeum’s walls), Dr. Michelon will unearth some of the creepiest collection items that lurk in storage. Learn more about what haunts the Athenæum at 10 ½ Beacon St. in this immersive and interactive onsite presentation just in time for Halloween!

Visit www.bostonathenaeum.org for more information and registration (Members: Free | Visitors: $10).

‘Inner Space: A Collective Journey’

“Inner Space: A Collective Journey” is an accessible, free and immersive album release concert by Genie Santiago. The evening features local drag and Bomba performances, followed by a performative meditation before being invited into the Inner Space experience with Santiago, where she will perform the entire new album live alongside producer and engineer, Mertz at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Learn more and register at www.mos.org/explore/subspace/inner-space.

Tai Chi for Wellness with Eddie Watkins

Eddie Watkins will present an online introduction to Tai Chi, an ancient exercise rooted in China which consists of postures that are gentle and flowing, from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 and Dec. 9.

Movements are slow and repetitive and are coupled with a focus on the breath.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys Halloween Happening

Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys are musically sophisticated, immensely talented and wildly unusual; diverse in material and presentation. Kick off Halloween at the Museum of Science as they present their annual evening of masquerade, music and mayhem. Beware, they’re not alone - other tricks and treats lurk around every corner of the Toys’ macabre Museum.

Walter Sickert has designed the art and music to be an immersive voyage from start to finish. Join the Museum of Science for an apocalyptic party in space that starts on Earth and jettisons out through surrealist multiverses into rabbit black holes straight through the psychedelic Planetarium maw.

Check out the Halloween Happening before and after the show, slated from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. Cash bar and complimentary light snacks opens at 6:30 p.m. Arrive in a Halloween best for a chance to win a costume contest judged by the Toys.

Go to www.mos.org/explore/subspace/walter-sickert-halloween-happening-2021 for more information and registration ($20 advance/$25 day of).

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, Nov. 3.

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

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).

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.