• Making Gingerbread Houses

    Meghan Cleary and her son Gus, 3, worked to add decorations to their gingerbread house roof during the Hampshire House’s Gingerbread House Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 27. Gus carefully squeezed frosting on before adding marshmallows and gumdrops. The Hampshire House on Chestnut Street will hold Gingerbread House Brunches every Saturday and Sunday through Christmas.
  • ‘Decorating Days’ Return Dec 3 and 4

    By Dan Murphy
    As she has for the past 21 years, Ivy A. Turner will help lead this weekend’s volunteer effort to adorn 1,100 gas lamps throughout the neighborhood with garlands and bows.
    On Saturday, Dec. 3, beginning at 9 a.m., Turner asks neighbors to join her at the Harrison Gray Otis House Museum at 141 Cambridge St. to cut garlands into the correct length, attach wire to them and bag bows. The garlands will then be delivered to teams of volunteers who have already committed to decorati
  • Winthrop Sq Project Meeting on December 5

    By Beth Treffeisen
    The Boston Planning Development Agency (BPDA) will be holding a meeting regarding the controversial proposed building for 115 Winthrop Square in Downtown Boston  on Monday December 5, from 6:30  to 8:30 pm at the Suffolk Law School at 120 Tremont Street. The meeting will discuss the multi-use tower that might rise as high as 775 feet above Boston’s skyline.
    The proposed tower, which is slated to replace the current deteriorated Winthrop Square Garage, will cast
  • Nichols House Museum to Celebrate 20th Holiday House Tour Dec 11

    By Suzanne Besser
    In 1995 three Beacon Hillers put their heads together to devise a creative fundraising scheme that would support the small house museum on Mt. Vernon Street that provides a unique glimpse into the neighborhood’s domestic life in the 19th and 20th centuries.
    What they came up with was so successful it’s been repeated twenty times since.
    The 20th annual Nichols House Museum Holiday House Tour, which has become one the neighborhood’s most beloved holiday traditio
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  • Downtown View:Good Reads

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    Every year about this time I recommend a few books about Boston or by Boston authors that might make good holiday gifts for your friends or relatives. Here are three for you to consider.Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand
    This book is not literature. But it is also not junk, as I feared. It was quick and fun.
    The story follows an extended family whose members have complicated, theatrical lives. One has two boyfriends, one is at war, another is in jail, still another is a news
  • Karol Named COO of Watermill Group

    Beacon Hill resident Julia Karol was recently appointed president and COO of the Watermill Group, a Lexington-based strategy-driven, private-investment firm.
    In her new role, Karol is responsible for overall fir operations and helping Watermill portfolio companies develop and implement their strategies. Previously, as a Watermill principal, she helped guide the day-to-day operations of the firm, directed the firm’s investor relations and managed fundraising initiatives for acquisitions.
  • Bike Courier Industry Transitions to Compete in Modern Times

    By Beth Treffeisen
    For two years bike courier Mike Oakhem, 33, from Quincy, has been zig-zagging throughout Boston’s downtown streets to hand off various goods from piping hot pizza to architecture design rolls, offering Boston residents and companies one of the quickest forms of delivery.
    To him, taking on this job is more than just getting from point A to point B; it has been keeping him busy, earning money and his freedom.
    Owning only the clothing on his back and his bike, Oakhem took o
  • A One-Woman Show:Jill Donahue has Built A Successful Public Relations Agency on Newbury Street

    By Cary Shuman
    Jill Donahue took over a decade to get to the field of public relations but her clients are sure glad she got there.
    “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I always liked the wellness industry,” recalled Donahue, principal of JD Consulting on Newbury Street. “Who doesn’t love a good spa day?” she jokes.
    After studying business management at Endicott College in Beverly and medical esthetics at the Catherine Hinds Institute in Woburn, Dona
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  • SoWa Market this Weekend

    Shop outside-the-box this holiday season at SoWa Boston’s Winter Festival.  Beginning Friday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 4th, 2016, SoWa Boston is kicking off the seasonal festivities with its annual three-day SoWa Winter Festival.  This year, the festival will take place in the iconic SoWa Power Stationlocated at 540 Harrison Ave., hosting over 100 of the area’s best artisans and specialty food vendors to create the ultimate winter wonderland.
    Ditch the crowds,
  • Garlands and Greens Holiday Fundraiser

    Lindy Roethlisberger, Tom Kershaw, and Lisa and Spencer Macalaster during the Garlands and Greens Holiday Fundraiser on Wednesday., Nov. 16, at the Hampshire House. The proceeds from the event go towards the 21st Annual Beacon Hill Holiday Decorating – which has 1,100 gas lamps decorated with 2,860 yards of garland and some 2,400 red bows.
  • BHCA Supports Campaign to ‘Tag’ Natural Gas Leaks

    By Dan Murphy
    The Beacon Hill Civic Association is getting behind an upcoming awareness campaign to “tag” 215 known natural-gas leaks in aging infrastructure in Beacon Hill, Back Bay and parts of the South End.
    In a letter to elected officials, the BHCA board of directors voiced its support for the Dec. 10 effort, which will be led by volunteers for the national nonprofit Mothers Out Front. Besides marking gas leaks with small signs, the campaign also intends to garner support for th
  • Downtown View:Winter Ahead

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    This is the week that seems to begin winter even though we know December 21 is the actual date.
    So after the turkey is finished and the guests have gone, some people look ahead and see months of cold and bleakness.
    I may have mentioned that I’m not that way at all. And I hear from many of you that a silent majority out there actually likes winter too. Here are some reasons.
    First, the length of winter is way over-rated. It gets cold after Thanksgiving, but December is
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  • Residents Speak Out on 45 Temple St Project

    By Beth Treffeisen
    The controversial 45 Temple Street proposal, which includes the Archer building and Donahue Building formally owned by Suffolk University, was brought in front of the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (BHAC) this past Thursday, November 17, to transform the former institutional buildings into residential units.
    The proposal includes modifying the north, east, and west façades, creating a passageway between Temple Street and Ridgeway Lane, and constructing a rooftop a
  • Hamersley Table Tips and the ‘Beast’ that is a Thanksgiving Day Turkey

    By Seth Daniel
    Popular writer and former restaurateur Gordon Hamersley made a name for himself cooking in the South End, often also appearing with early culinary celebrities like Lydia Shire and Julia Child, and always with a Red Sox cap on and  a wonderful recipe for chicken.
    This week, however, he talked turkey.
    In his first talk since he and his wife, Fiona, closed their destination eatery Hamersley’s Bistro on Tremont Street in the South End two years ago, Hamersley was to appear
  • Friends of the Public Garden Completes Restoration of White Memorial Fountain

    By Dan Murphy
    Following a multi-year fundraising campaign, the Friends of the Public Garden has completed its restoration of the George Robert White Memorial fountain in the park.
    “Thanks to the generous support of many community members, the fountain is now fully operational after being dry since the 1980s,” wrote Elizabeth Vizza, executive director of the nonprofit group. “The two rams head cornucopias are spouting water into the pebble-lined water-filled basin and the &lsquo
  • Remember Those in Need

    For the vast majority of Americans, Thanksgiving and the holiday season is a joyous time when the abundance that life offers is most apparent in a wealthy nation such as ours.
    But the sad reality for many of our fellow citizens is that the holiday season brings little, if any, joy. Those who are homeless or who are barely scraping by are in no position to take part in the traditional merriment that makes the holiday season so special and memorable for the rest of us.
    So we ask that during this h
  • A Healthy Serving of Love

    For Shelby Stevens and Chris Long, working together as chefs in the same kitchen helped them to perfect their recipe for marriage. The couple were married on Oct. 30 at the Danforth Inn in Portland.
  • Local Teacher Debuts Work at BPL Series

    By Beth Treffeisen
    Beau Kenyon
    The first Composer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library, Beau Kenyon, a teacher at Kingsley Montessori School debuted his first free concert on Saturday, November 12, in the Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square.
    The multi-platform and multidisciplinary event called, “The Sound of,” connected various members of the Boston community in multiple ways all through the action of finding and creating stillness through sound.
    As part of this p
  • Homeless Focus of BHCA Meeting

    by Dan Murphy
    A crowd of about 60 residents came to 74 Joy Street Thursday evening to hear representatives from the city’s Emergency Shelter, Area A-1 Boston Police Department and the Suffolk University Police Department discuss ways to interact with homeless individuals and what is being done to get them off the street and into a place where they receive the help they need. Further programs on understanding the homeless are currently being planned by the BHCA.
    At a “town meeting&rdq
  • Downtown View:Acts of Kindness and Humor

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    Last week’s election produced fear and despair among most Massachusetts voters, who went for Hillary two to one.
    But amidst the misery, some lightheartedness, humanity and kindness showed through.
    Alecia told me making marijuana legal in Massachusetts was the best thing that happened on election day. “Anything to alter one’s state of mind for the next four years is an act of kindness in my book,” she said.
    A friend whose son is living abroad told the
  • Two Residents Struck by Truck

    Two longtime residents of Temple Street, Denise Hirschel and Harry McCue, were struck by a commercial truck while crossing a street in Woburn on Nov. 1 and seriously injured. Tragically, Denise died from her injuries on Nov. 5. Harry is at Massachusetts General Hospital facing surgery and a long, arduous recovery.
    A professional landscape designer, Denise was deeply involved for many years in the Temple Street Park. She was passionate about protecting its impressive east wall, the back of St. Jo
  • Election 2016 Results:Voters Overwhelmingly Support Hillary

    By Beth Treffeisen
    For many in Boston the election results for the presidential election did not come out as expected. But in the heart of Beacon Hill and the West End, it is clear that they wanted one candidate over the other.
    “It’s incredibly disappointing, but I’m proud of the results in Massachusetts, and particularly in places like Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, where people overwhelmingly voted for the candidate who stood for inclusiveness, equality and justice for all of
  • New Memorial May Soon Come to Lederman Park Along the Charles River Esplanade

    By Beth Treffeisen
    Situated along the Charles River Esplanade, the Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Field at Lederman Park may soon get an added addition.
    The Boston Landmarks Commission approved the design concept for a new memorial honoring the Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon and Navy Commander Melvin Lederman who was killed while participating in field operations during the Vietnam War.
    The project that was brought forward at the October 25, hearing includes a permanent memorial and lands
  • Officials,Residents Wrestle with Intrusive Shadows

    By Beth Treffeisen
    The building proposed redevelopment that might go as high as 775 feet, at the deteriorated Winthrop Square Garage, may cast a shadow as far as a third of a mile away on the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall, breaking existing shadow laws.
    The current laws restrict any new shadows on the parks outside of certain permitted conditions. This will need to be modified in order to permit this or any other tall project to proceed on this site.
    The Friends
  • SoWa Market Celebrates Successful Summer, Looks to Put District on Map

    By Seth Daniel
    The SoWa Market in the South End has wrapped up an extremely successful summer season, and already organizers of the venture are looking to take the next step in making the entire SoWa District the hub for art and design in all of Boston.
    To that end, as the Market has wrapped up, SoWa organizers have begun solidifying their base of visitors with more events throughout the winter, and also reaching out to hotels throughout Boston to make sure concierge services know just what SoWa
  • Light Boston Turns 20

    By Dan Murphy
    Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Light Boston seeks to illuminate architectural landmarks and other notable locations by championing for appropriate exterior lighting to enhance the city’s nighttime social vitality, aesthetics and public safety.
    The origins of the not-for-profit, citizen’s advocacy group dates back to 1996, when longtime Mount Vernon Street resident Anne B. R. Witherby summoned her brother-in-law, Todd Lee, an architect, then of Bellingham Place, f
  • Raise the Sails Gala

    Raise the Sails Committee members Paris Geraniotis, Brittany Topper, and Jessica Beyer show off their masquerading style at the Community Boating Inc. Gala on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at The Liberty Hotel.
  • Downtown View:A Modest Proposal

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    The noise is always a surprise. Your cab stops in the street to let you out. The driver can’t pull over because parked cars line both sides of the narrow street. A short time passes while you pay and get ready to climb out.
    Before you have time to count out the money for the driver or swipe your credit card, the guy in the SUV behind you lays on his horn. With him, it’s me first, all the time. Who are you to stop in front of him? Who do you think you are to delay
  • DCR to Review Road Surface Improvements to Storrow Drive

    By Dan Murphy
    In the coming weeks, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will begin reviewing surface improvements to Storrow Drive and the Storrow Drive Tunnel, said DCR spokesman Troy Wall.
    The state agency will work with the Waltham engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger to improve bicycle and pedestrian access between the Charles River Esplanade and the adjacent neighborhood.
    “As the agency looks towards the future regarding the Storrow Drive Tunnel, the DCR will work wi
  • BHV Announces A Series on Living Well / Ending Well

    With the publication of Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal in 2014, the difficult subject of death and dying was brilliantly reframed as living to the last with autonomy, dignity, and even joy. In it, Dr. Gawande, a renowned surgeon, writer and public health researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, describes how we can better live with age-related frailty and approaching death and how we can change the philosophy of care giving.
    Gawande’s philosophy is echoed in
  • Designing A Dream:Sara Campbell at BHWF Tonight

    By Kathy Hull
    We often wonder whether or not women today can “have it all”:  can you happily have a big career and a family at the same time?  Can you have a successful business while also working for the common good?  Tonight, at Hampshire House, the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum (BHWF) welcomes Sara Campbell, local designer and founder of Sara Campbell LTD, for a discussion about her creative life and career in the fashion industry over the past thirty years—
  • All Star Pizza Bar Closer to Opening Cambridge Street Location

    By Dan Murphy
    One of the owners of All Star Pizza Bar outlined his plans to open a second location on Cambridge Street during a meeting of the Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing Committee on Wednesday.
    Kosta Diamantopoulos, who opened the original location in Cambridge’s Inman Square with his brother Johnny in 2012, intend to convert the former Griddler’s restaurant at 204 Cambridge St. into a pizzeria. The new restaurant’s hours of operation would be 11 a.m. to
  • Boston Public Library Offers Free Homework Help

    Boston Public Library’s free Homework Help program is underway and runs through May 25, 2017, offering free afterschool help and mentorship provided by high-achieving high school students. The program, offered Monday through Thursday from 3:30 -5:30 p.m. is open to students in grades K-8; no registration required. Boston Teacher’s Union tutors are also available during select weekdays from 4-6 p.m. for students in grades K-12. Visit www.bpl.org/homework for complete information.
  • A Day in the Life of Council President Michelle Wu

    By Joseph PreziosoIn spending a day with Council President Michelle Wu, one quickly sees her talk is her walk.
    The sun hadn’t quite made it up Thursday morning when City Council President Michelle Wu began rushing around her Roslindale home to get out the door and get on the go.
    A lone jogger chugged up her hill.
    Most of the city remained quiet – aside from the crickets – yet Councilor Wu’s door could be heard closing behind her.
    Having wished her husband, Conor, and son,
  • City of Boston Permanently Implements Successful Pilot Commercial Loading Project

    The City of Boston recently completed a pilot program on Cambridge Street designed to afford better access to curbside commercial loading zones in an effort to reduce the incidence of double parking by commercial vehicles, improve safety for people riding bicycles and provide a smoother flow of traffic.  During the trial period, the hours of operation at all commercial loading zones on this active stretch of roadway were standardized from 7 AM to 7 PM.  As a result of the success of th
  • Lighting of the Park’s Signature Trellis Set for November 21

    Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP), and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will host the 14th annual lighting of the park’s signature trellis on Monday, November 21, beginning at 5 p.m.
    Located at 110 Atlantic Avenue on Boston’s historic waterfront, Christopher Columbus Park is transformed into a holiday wonderland when the park’s 260 feet of trellis are set aglow with 50,000 blue lights along with 14 decorated trees near Tia’s
  • The 2016 Election – What’s on the Ballot?

    Q.1 Expanded Slot Machine Gambling
    This proposed law would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license which would permit operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines.
    The proposed law would authorize the Commission to request applications for additional license to be granted to a gaming establishment located on property that is at least four acres in size, adjacent to and within 1,500 feet of a race track, includi
  • Halloween At Hill House

    Zach and Benjamin Block, dressed as monsters, graced the Hill House Halloween Party at the Firehouse on Thursday, Oct. 27. Numerous children reported to the event in costume and enjoyed cookies and crafts.
  • Downtown View:Thanks Donald for the Big Reveal

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    One good thing Donald has done for America is that the regrettable frequency of sexual assault is now out in the open, and it’s not just a bunch of drunk college sophomores committing the crimes.
    I had read that women were revealing their own experiences with it to their mates and to other women. Then I landed with several women friends I see a two or three times a year. They started talking and talking and talking. I was observing the disclosures first-hand.
    At first
  • BHCA ‘Town Meeting’ to Focus on Homelessness

    By Dan Murphy
    Paula O’Keeffe, chair of the Beacon Hill Civic Association Safety Committee, and Captain Kenneth Fong of Boston Police Area A-1.
    Boston police will be on hand next week for a “town meeting” to discuss homelessness sponsored by the Beacon Hill Civic Association.
    Captain Kenneth Fong of Boston Police Area A-1 and Kerri Wells, the district’s community service officer, will join Paula O’Keeffe, chair of the Civic Association’s Safety Committee, at 74
  • Councilors Start Looking at Parking Meter Rates

    By Beth Treffeisen
    Parking in the city of Boston continues to draw sharp criticism from both people who argue that the city needs more parking and those who think it needs less.
    At the hearing to discuss parking in the City of Boston that was at the City Council held on October 18, the sharp contrast could not be clearer between some of the city councilors. But one thing everyone agreed on is that one of the biggest issues surrounding the city is public transportation.
    “In most of the neig
  • Early Voting is a Success in Boston

    By John Lynds
    According to Mayor Martin Walsh and elections officials the city’s new early voting program has exceeded expectations.
    “Ensuring all Boston voters are able to vote conveniently, and on their own schedule, is paramount to ensuring voter turnout,” said Mayor Walsh. “Voting is core to our democracy, and I encourage Boston voters to take advantage of all the resources the City provides during this election season.”* As of Monday afternoon, 27,000 registere
  • Local Group Looks to Raise Awareness of City Gas Leaks

    By Dan Murphy
    With the problem reportedly costing Boston-area consumers $90 million a year as utilities companies routinely bill them for the expense, a group of 350 concerned mothers, grandmothers and other children’s caretakers statewide are now working to bring the issue of natural-gas leaks to the forefront.
    Ania Camargo, who is leading the awareness campaign for Mothers Out Front, said the leaks are now the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in Boston, with according to a 2103
  • Yes on 5 A:Better Boston Holds Fundraiser at the Hampshire House

    By Beth Treffeisen
    During a breakfast reception, residents from Beacon Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods gathered together to learn more about the Community Preservation Act for Boston (CPA), during a fundraiser to help promote the November 8, ballot question.
    Yes on 5 A Better Boston hopes to raise funds to promote residents of the City to vote yes on the City Council’s ballot measure. CPA will generate $20 million annually in Boston to revitalize neighborhoods with new and improved
  • Fashion Design Entrepreneur at BHWF on November 8

    By Kathy Hull
    On Tuesday, November 8, the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum (BHWF) welcomes Sara Campbell, founder and creative spirit behind the retail boutiques which bear her name.  An avid sewing-machine whiz by age seven, Ms. Campbell went on to study Design at UCDavis, Art Education at Lesley College, and Textile Arts at Mass College of Art.  Her first business was a mail-order catalogue of women’s art.
    In 1985 Sara offered her first clothing line—manufactured in Boston
  • City Plans Capital Improvements to Common

    By Dan Murphy
    The Boston Parks Department will undertake several capital-improvement projects on the Boston Common in the coming months.
    Michele Folts, project manager, said the biggest endeavor would be the $3.5 million renovation of Parkman Plaza and the park’s Tremont Street edge, including the redesigning the semi-circular plaza, restoring interior pathways and relocating the plaza’s three statues near a newly constructed seat wall. The project is expected to go out to bid in Nov
  • Touring Maine’s Newest — and Largest — Parcel of Federal Land

    At 87,500 acres, the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument offers hiking, fishing and solitude. A visit to the area tests out its readiness for tourists.
  • Nobel Peace Prize Winner:Bengt Holmstrom of West Cedar St Awarded Prize for Economic Science

    By Suzanne Besser
    Bengt Holmstrom
    Bengt Holmstrom has become a worldwide celebrity. Thousands of emails flow into his Inbox, waiting his reply. Frenzied media in countless countries captured the news. Even his 91-year old mom, happily ensconced in a Finish retirement community, granted some lucky reporters a private interview.
    Holmstrom just won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. Those who know him are not surprised. An uncommonly modest man, his distinguished career and significant c
  • Downtown View:Make America Grope Again

    By Karen Cord Taylor
    First, thank you to my friend Alicia for the title of this column. It’s the sign her daughter’s roommate held at the second presidential candidates’ debate at Washington University in St. Louis.
    We have to endure only two more weeks. Then this toxic election will be over. Let’s be clear: there is one sinister person—the orange predator—who has made it toxic. No more false equivalencies.
    Friends tell me how they are coping. Some refuse to w
  • BHAC Wrestles with Fitting A 21st Century Design on Beacon Hill

    By Beth Treffeisen
    At the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (BHAC) hearing this past Thursday, October 20, applicants for 45 Temple St. went in front of the Commission for an advisory review to transform two previously owned buildings by Suffolk University into residential units.
    The proposed work included modifying the north, east and west facades, creating a passageway between Temple Street and Ridgeway Lane, and construct a rooftop addition to cover mechanical equipment with a roof deck.

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