Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Link Boston Homes
This home is decorated for Halloween and the fall season.

‘Sisters of the Brush and Palette: Women Artists of the Guild’

The Guild of Boston Artists will present “Sisters of the Brush and Palette: Woman Artists of the Guild” at its Newbury Street gallery from Saturday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 27.

In this moment rich with discourse concerning diversity and gender equity in every industry, this exhibition celebrates the significant contributions of the Guild's contemporary female members to the cultural life of the city of Boston.

The Guild's women artists bring immense skill, considered thought and unflagging passion to their work and have found enduring success within an organization that was built on the belief in the democracy of art.

An opening reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

An artist panel will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6. The featured artists will discuss their various paths within the profession while touching on their role as women artists and offering their opinions on issues of inclusion and gender equity in the arts.

Visit for more information and reservations.

Open Mic Poetry Night: Halloween

It's a Halloween edition of Open Mic Poetry Night at the Trident, 338 Newbury St.

Costumes are encouraged and they welcome performance of spooky works around the theme of fear, sorrow, and surprise. 

The sign-up list opens at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs cafe and the mic opens at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31.

Visit for more information.

Virtual pumpkin carving contest

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the spooky season with a pumpkin carving contest. Boston residents of all ages can participate in the online competition using photo submissions welcomed through Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 31.

Find contest rules and enter your jack-o’-lantern into the contest at Pumpkins. Winners of each of the three categories: Most Creative, Scariest and Boston Parks-themed will receive a $75 gift basket courtesy of the farm families who own Cabot Creamery Co-operative.

Remember to compost your pumpkins.

Barre en français                                                                 

French instructor Chloé Mizuta will guide participants in a barre class that focuses on strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing from 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Nov. 29 via Zoom. All levels of French and barre are welcome.

Visit for more information and reservations (Member: $8; Non-member: $12).

MHS author talk, seminar, retrospective keynote panel

The Massachusetts Historical Society will hold an author talk, an environmental history seminar and a special retrospective keynote panel as follows:

– “Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter” by Gordon Rhea from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1.

– “The ‘Science’ of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective” from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4.

– “Looking Back at the Centennial and the Sesquicentennial: How Far Has Research on the 15th and 19th Amendments Come?” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Visit for more information and Zoom registrations.

AA/NEGHS: ‘The Yiddish of Yankeeland’ and ‘Intro to Heraldry’

The American Ancestors/NEGHS will hold two online courses as follows:

– “The Yiddish of Yankeeland: The Jews of Boston and America, 1840–1924”

Dr. Aaron Welt will present the live broadcasts from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16, and Nov. 23 ($85)

– Introduction to Heraldry for Genealogists

Joseph McMillan and Nathaniel Lane Taylor, FASG will present the live broadcasts from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 ($85).

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

French Taco Tuesday at Cósmica

Did you say “French Tacos?”

Foodies, join the French Cultural Center to taste the new French food phenomenon, the French Taco from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Cósmica, 40 Berkeley St. in the South End.

Franco-Mexican menu: Parisian Margarita; Guacamole, chips and salsa; Tuna tartare; French tacos (duck and pork confit, pomme anna, comté, fennel slaw, apple pear gastrique); Chocolate coconut mousse

All participants will be seated at a table of 2, 4, or 6 throughout this French-Speaking event. 

Visit for more information and reservations (Member: $50; Non-member: $60).

‘Too Many Marys: Solving Identity & Same Name Conundrums’

One of the most common issues people face when doing family research is determining whether a particular John Smith is "our" John Smith. People often "pick one" before they determine that they have no competing candidates.

The naming practices of certain cultures (e.g. Scandinavian and Irish), inherited names appearing in multiple generations, and women who marry and are "lost" are all examples of the problems people face every day. There is no silver bullet for parsing out your ancestor from all the others.

Using examples, Jill Morelli will explore three different types of same-name issues of increasing complexity and develop research strategies for each from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

An Evening with Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Join the Boston Public Library for a discussion with Larry Spotted Crow Mann, award-winning author and Citizen of the Nipmuc Tribe of Massachusetts. He will talk about his new book, Drumming & Dreaming, an inspiring and healing journey of Algonquian Tales of the Nipmuc Tribe. 

Boston Public Library President David Leonard will provide opening remarks.

This program will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at the Central Library in Copley Square and over Zoom.

Visit for more information and registration.

Flower Shows 101 

Kaye Vosburgh, a Garden Club of Back Bay (GCBB) member and award-winning floral designer and teacher, will present an overview of flower shows – how to enter, skill levels, flower show schools, and where to learn more at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Ave.

Go to for more information.

Anne Willan with ‘Women in the Kitchen’

Culinary historian Anne Willan traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of 12 essential women cookbook writers – beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, Women in the Kitchen as well as contemporaries such as Fannie Farmer, Julia Child and Alice Waters – highlighting their key historical contributions over the past 300 years and recipes.

Learn more during a moderated discussion by award-winning food writer, Sheryl Julian from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, presented by American Inspiration Author Series in partnership with State Library of Massachusetts.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration.

Bonsai Bar – A Bonsai Creation Event

Join the Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 338 Newbury St. from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 for a bonsai class that teaches people about the art of bonsai and lets participants create their own bonsai tree.

Every attendee will be able to select their own bonsai tree and pot and be provided with the tools to prune, pot and design the tree under the instruction of a bonsai expert.


for more information and registration ($50).

Charlie Gibson’s Queer Boston

The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St. is a time capsule of domestic life from the mid-19th to early-20th centuries.

Explore the Gibson House and the gay subculture of early-20th-century Boston through Charlie Gibson's eyes at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2.

The story of the Museum's founder is one of legacy and family history, of the fading grandeur of Victorian-era Boston and of Boston's LGBTQ history.

Visit for more information and reservations (prices vary).

Celebrating Ellington, Vaughan, Douglass and de Lavallade

A tribute concert honoring the inaugural Berklee Legacy Awardees - legendary artists Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Joseph Douglass and Carmen de Lavallade - will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave.

Berklee faculty member and Grammy-nominated artist Tia Fuller directs a big band to celebrate Duke Ellington. Berklee Harmony Department Chair George Russell Jr. leads an ensemble to recognize Sarah Vaughan’s riveting artistry.

From Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Dr. Johnathan Bailey Holland, chair of composition, contemporary music and core studies, pays homage to the turn-of-the-20th-century violinist Joseph Douglass.

And Dr. Mila Thigpen, chair of the Dance Division, choreographs a tribute to the riveting Carmen de Lavallade.

Go to for more information and tickets ($15/$20 advance | $20/$25 day of show).

The Impact of the China Trade on New England Architecture

Thomas Michie will talk about the impact of the China Trade on New England Architecture from 4 to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5. This talk considers a group of houses built between 1780 and 1850 by Providence, Newport and Boston merchants and traces the impact of China upon both the merchants and their houses.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration ($15).

Guided Art in the Park Tour                                 

Explore the variety of public art featured along the Charles River Esplanade through the Esplanade Association’s Art in the Park Guided Tour at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6.

By experiencing the Guided Art in the Park Tour, people will learn about the artists behind the art murals, their inspiration behind each mural and more. The Esplanade Association’s Guided Tour typically last 90 minutes and covers about a mile of the Esplanade. 

Visit for more information and registration (Suggested donation - $10).

Warren Miller's ‘Winter Starts Now’

Warren Miller is back to say that winter starts now. Kick off the season with a road trip through the Rocky Mountains, a voyage to New England and an adventure up the coast of Alaska.

Join friends Marcus Caston, Amie Engerbretson, JT Holmes and more. Meet rising stars Madison Rose and Noah Elliott and follow along on a disabled ski descent of Denali with Vasu Sojitra and Pete McAfee.

This season celebrates with the 72nd annual film, Winter Starts Now at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave. 

Visit for more information and tickets ($22 in advance | $23 day of show).


The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) will meet at 7:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month for a short business meeting followed by an entertainment program.

– Nov. 6: Boston, New York, Poland and Ukraine

Eric Oszustowicz will present a brief look at Boston-area photographs taken by the late Richard and Joseph Braun during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Then it is on to the photography of Eric Oszustowicz: Boston views between 1985 and 1999; behind the scenes views of the New York subway system; views of the Metro North Commuter Railroad; transit views in the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow; and transit views in the Ukrainian cities of Odessa, Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Kamianske.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

ARC Blood Drive at Old South Church

Donate blood to help end the critical shortage status with the Red Cross from 1 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.

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

Critical shortage of blood at MGH Blood Donor Center – 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 to schedule an appointment.

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.

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.

– Buddha's Belly at 6 p.m.: a book discussion group that explores a variety of books from Buddhist teachings. All are welcome.

– Arlington Street Meditation Center at 7 p.m.: 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

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.

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 can be enjoyed in person at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. at 10 a.m. on Sundays through May 15 with a live stream option.

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

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

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