News Briefs

Councilor Josh Zakim Calls for a Hearing Regarding Sandwich Boards on Public Walkways

Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has filed a hearing order to review the current rules for Free Standing Signs (also known as sandwich boards) on city sidewalks. “Ensuring unimpeded access to our public sidewalks is an important issue of equity and safety for the City of Boston, while sandwich boards may be appropriate in many business districts there are some areas where they create significant obstacles to access,” Zakim said. Last year the pilot program was extended for an additional year to allow for continued discussion of these rules with community stakeholders.

Frost Fit Fest Will Bring Hundreds to the Esplanade for Multi-faceted Morning Workout

An outdoor celebration event on the Esplanade will bring locals out of hibernation to enjoy a heart-pounding, energetic, and fun workout on Sunday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to noon. Frost Fit Fest, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, will be filled with a series of workouts for all backgrounds and experience levels, including a warm-up hosted by the November Project, a fun run kicked-off by Adrianne Haslet, and a silent disco with a live DJ. The first 400 participants will receive a free Frost Fit Series tank top. First at 9 a.m., the November Project will lead a warm-up workout on the docks at Community Boating, Inc.. Community Boating opens officially April 1, but they are hosting a special regatta on March 31, so white sails will serve as a backdrop to the morning’s festivities. Then, at 10 a.m., Adrianne Haslet will kick-off a “3K” fun run that begins and ends at the Hatch Memorial Shell. Adrianne is an athlete, an internationally-ranked ballroom dancer, a corporate executive, and a triumphant Boston Marathon bombing survivor. After losing her leg, she has become a globally-recognized speaker, sharing her story of resiliency, strength, and courage in the face of adversity. Finally, at 11 a.m., a live DJ will lead a Silent Disco on the pathways around the Hatch Shell Lawn. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will serve as Presenting Sponsor of Frost Fit Fest, demonstrating the company’s commitment to helping the people of Massachusetts stay active and healthy all year long. Interested participants can find more information and register for the event at

Back Bay Happenings

•Commonwealth Avenue Mall Lighting: Dark stretches of Commonwealth Avenue Mall will stay bright year round, thanks to the launch of a plan to design and install permanent lighting of the statues on each block of the Mall. The first project will be the Morison statue in the Spring of 2019, followed by the Garrison and Collins statues. We are currently raising funds for the Commonwealth Avenue Mall Statue Lighting. If you’d like to help, you can donate online at or by sending a check in the mail. For more information, email Margaret Pokorny at [email protected], or call 617-723-8144.

•Friends of the Public Garden Annual Meeting: Save the date for our 49th Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 28, featuring a presentation by Chris Cook, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Omni-Parker House, 60 School St. R.S.V.P. at

•The BPDA is hosting a public meeting to present proposed changes to the Taj Hotel on the corner of Newbury and Arlington Streets on March 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the main dining room of the Taj Hotel.

•The Map Room at the BPL’s central location in Copley Square has been transformed into a Tea Room, according to a Boston Globe article. It features bar seating and cocktails made with tea and named after “literary greats,” along with snacks, beer and wine. It is open now, but the official grand opening will be in May.

•Serafina restaurant opens on Newbury Sreet.: The brainchild of Seth Greenberg, Serafina Back Bay is now open in the heart of Boston. Bathed with light and located in a prime location at 237 Newbury St. in a comfortable and fashionable setting, Serafina Back Bay will specialize in serving an elegant familiar menu of authentic Italian dishes in a warm and inviting Tuscan-style setting that offers a true neighborhood vibe.“We are really excited to be part of the Newbury Street community. To open Serafina in the heart of the historic Back Bay and on Newbury Street, the most trendy area of the city is very special. It’s always been my favorite street in Boston and it’s a natural habitat for Serafina. We are so happy to be part of the community next to celebrated fashion brands,” Greenberg said. Famous for authenticity and freshness, Serafina’s founders Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato began the Serafina tradition in 1995 by seeking out only the finest ingredients, something that continues to this day and is evident across the menu. “We are incredibly excited to open a second location in this historic neighborhood,” said Assaf and Granato.  “Boston and Back Bay in particular is home to so many young people, many great characters and talents from all over the world. The people and energy makes it feel like Boston is the door to the future and we couldn’t be happier that Serafina found a home in such a dynamic part of the city.”Serafina Back Bay features fabulous thin-crust pizzas just like its downtown location, cooked until perfectly crisp in a signature MarraForni oven imported directly from Italy, and also a handful of dishes unique to Newbury. The menu includes Artichoke and Avocado Tartare, Quinoa and Mushroom Tortino and Cacio e Pepe, the classic Roman pasta dish, as well as a great kids’ menu. Designer Petra Hausberger, of Somerton Park Interiors, the same designer behind Greenberg’s Bastille Kitchen, brings a warm, light Mediterranean-inspired color palette of creams, yellows and golds and a curated collection of Italian fashion photography of the ‘60s and ‘70s courtesy of the Condé Nast archives. The collection pays respect to the identification of Newbury as the fashion capital of Boston. Serafina Back Bay is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with the bar open until 1 am. Serving brunch also on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

South End Dates

•Boston Center for Youth and Families has brought back its free, Family Gym time to the Blackstone Community Center. The program is a weekly activity for children ages 3-8. It runs on Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. This session of Family Gym will run through April 13. In the fall the program will expand to additional BCYF community centers. For updated information or program cancellations follow @BCYFCenters.

•The Blackstone/Franklin Neighborhood Association will resume meeting on March 26 at 7 p.m. in the D-4 Police Station. The meeting will include an update from the state on the move of the Shattuck Hospital to West Newton Street, as well as changes being considered at Franklin Square regarding a needle kiosk station, increased lighting and a book collection bin for More Than Words. Member David Stone will also update on developments in the cannabis proposals for the neighborhood.

•The South End Forum Opiate Working Group has released its meeting schedule for Winter/Spring 2019. The group will meet at 4 p.m. in the Crosstown Hilton on March 19, April 23, and May 21.

•The South End Forum will have its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 6 p.m. at the AC Hotel, 225 Albany St. Other meetings will be May 7 and June 11.

Fenway Times

•The Peterborough Senior Center holds bingo at 12:30 p.m. and a Tech Café at 11 a.m. every Wednesday. Come play bingo and meet new people, or can get help with your phone or tablet/computer.

• The 44th Annual Gardeners Gathering – On Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Northeastern University Shillman Hall and The Egan Center, Join local and regional gardeners at this annual event hosted by The Trustees of the Reservations–all free and open to the public! *Over two dozen gardening, urban homesteading, and community organizing workshops**Keynote address and presentation of the Community Garden Awards by Mayor Walsh**Special guest speaker Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director of New York City Community Garden Coalition**Exhibitors’ gallery: Boston-area agriculture, gardening, and environmental organizations*A detailed itinerary will be available at a later date.

• The Fenway CDC’s 46th Annual Meeting will be on Thursday, March 28 from 5:30-8:30pm at Fenway Health. For more information and to register, go to Join us for light dinner, celebrate our community awardees, and welcome new board members.

South End Authors Book Fest

On Thursday, April 4, from 4-8 p.m., the South End Authors Book Festival committee will be holding its fourth annual event.

The event will be held at Tent City, 130 Dartmouth St., in the Harry Dow Community Room – across the street from the Back Bay Transit Station.

This event is held every year, so that local authors can present their writings to the General Public for sale. Through the years the itinerary has been pretty much the same, with authors introducing themselves and their books to the attendees. Guests intermingling with each other discussing the books being presented. All enjoying good conversation centered around a bit of light refreshments and drink. Also, sometime during the evening, a short presentation by a guest speaker. All and all everyone, authors and guests always end up having a good time.

The Festival Committee would like, this year, to offer a special invitation to all the would be young adult/teenage writers in the community to come to the festival to discuss their writings, the authors’ writings, or just writing in general.

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