IN MAY 2021


Click below for previous months:










With the end of the pandemic in sight, you may be thinking of traveling again.  Maybe you’ll consider the “New Seven Wonders of World” proposed by the New York Times in 2017.  Click here to see very short videos of each one of these 21st century wonders.

If you’d rather have a more in-depth experience, a longer exposure to a single place, you can watch David Attenborough’s video of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Click here to begin your visit. 

Did you know that Google has a site devoted to art and culture?  Click here to go to the Arts and Culture site (artsandculture.google.com) where you’ll find slide shows (about 10 slides in each one) on world renown sites, museums, and short presentations on artists, composers, and various topics.  The home page will present the “Top Picks” of the day, but you can scroll down and choose from many other possibilities.

How about a virtual tour of the Musée du Louvre in Paris?  Rather than a video or slideshow, you’ll use your cursor to navigate from one room to another, where you can click on a painting, sculpture, or an objet d’art to see it up close or access a detailed description.  Click here to start your visit.

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APRIL 2021

Take a trip on the oldest suspension railway in the world in Wuppertal, Germany, that started running in 1902.  Click here to follow the train on its entire route and here to read about the railway’s history in the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

How about a visit the Guinness Brewery in Dublin to learn about Diageo, the world-leading stout?


History buffs may be interested in visiting the website of The Center for American War Letters, a unique and extensive manuscript collection of war letters from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan.   From the site you can access the virtual “Museum of American War letters,” or you can click here to go directly to the museum.


Those of you who remember the book or movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty,” you might enjoy a trip to Pitcairn Island.  Click here to view a 36 minute documentary, “Exploring Pitcairn Island by Drone, which offers views you wouldn’t see even if you were there in person.  Note that you will see ads a few times during the video, but you can click almost immediately on “Skip Ads.”

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MARCH 2021

The Wellesley Chamber Players, who performed at Dana Hal in pre-pandemic times, will be giving their second virtual concert on Saturday, March 27th, at 7:30 PM.  The program will include Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 2 and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1. Click here to sign up.


Thelonious Hermann, a young composer in Germany, missed playing to live audiences during the pandemic so he came up with an unusual way to play his music and make an audience happy – he gave a concert for the animals in the Cologne zoo.  Click here to view the performance. Under two minutes long, it will give you a smile that will last well after you finish listening. 


Art and Culture at Wellesley College:  Tres Vidas Chamber Music Theatre on Thursday, March 11, at 5 PM.  A performance based on the lives of three legendary Latin American Women:  Mexican Painter Frida Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist Rufina Amaya, and Argentinean poet Alfonsina Stormi. For more information, click here.


“A Brimful of Asha,” streamed on demand, March 10 – 22, from the Arts Emerson Theatre, is a critically acclaimed hit and an instant favorite with audiences everywhere. Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage and tell this true (and very Canadian) story of generational and cultural clash.  Click here to sign up.  The online admission ticket is $15.  You can check out the trailer before making your decision.


Free streaming performances from New York’s Metropolitan Opera – The Met’s web site says:  During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to

brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 pm on the day of the concert."  Go to https://metopera.org and scroll down to find links to the performances.

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February 2021

NEW Forget the snow, think about spring and birds and find out about birding, an outdoors activity you can do even during a pandemic!  WGBH is offering an “Ask the Expert:  Birding” virtual event on February 26th at 12 pm. The event is free but tickets are required.  Click here for registration and more information.


Put a touch of spring in your life by visiting the “Monet and Boston” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, which will reopen to the public on February 3rd.  If, however, you don’t want to venture into Boston in the winter cold, or if you’re among those who are still avoiding indoor gatherings, click here to access an online presentation with slides, a short presentation by the curator, and Monet inspired music.


Sadly, the BSO has been closed since last spring because of the pandemic, but you can still view streaming performances.  In February the orchestra is offering the concert series, Music in Changing Times – The Spirit of Beethoven. Click here for more information.  Note that the concerts are not free.

As the expression goes, “there’s no free lunch,” but, luckily for us, during the pandemic there are free courses online.  The Khan Academy offers an art history course covering the years 1750-1980 with articles and videos about artists such as Goya, Manet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cassatt, Much, and many more.  Click here to get started.


YouTube has a special section called “Biographics,” which has short biographies about nearly everyone worth knowing about.  They’re not glitzy but usually present information objectively.  For example, their video about Fred Rogers, from “Mr. Rocgers’ Neighborhood,” starts with black and white photos from his childhood.  Click here to see the video.

Celebrate Black History Month by watching the multicultural Benkadi Drum and Dance group perform dances showcasing traditional West African rhythm and movements.  Accessible on YouTube the performance is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.  There is no charge but you have to register on their site.

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January 2021

So you think it’s cold in Massachusetts?  Try northern Sweden in the Arctic Circle.  If that’s what interests you, you can try staying in an ice hotel there.

Click here to find out more about it.


Most of us have heard of Billie Holiday, but how much do we really know about her?  Watch this BBC documentary to find out about her life and her art.


Stuck indoors in the winter?  Don’t want to travel by plane?  Try a remote visit to Cornwall with Rick Steeves.  You’ll learn a bit about the history and see the beaches and the mountains, the moors and the villages.  And, of course, as with all Rick’s videos, you’ll sample the local cuisine with his “friends.”


Explore the Brooklyn Botanical Barden from your armchair.  The website offers a number of possibilities, including a virtual visit to the Rose Garden, a stroll through the Japanese Garden , an article on the garden during the pandemic of 1918, performances in the garden, and more.


NEW… If you haven’t OD’d on virus information, you might want to find out more from the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture’s exhibit, “A World of Viruses” which explores what they are, where they can be found, and how they behave in both a positive and negative way.

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                            DECEMBER 2020


The AARP is offering a “Holiday Soul Concert” Blues, jazz, and soul music fans: you’ll love the Holiday Soul concert featuring award-winning actress and singer Miche Braden and the dynamic blues and soul talents of the Alexis P. Suter Band. Date:  Friday, December 18, at 7 pm - 8:30 pm. This virtual event is free, and registration is required.  You can register online or call 877-926-8300.


It’s never been easier to attend concerts at the New England Conservatory.  No traffic, no parking, just click here for a choice of programs from now until May 14, 2021.  In December you can stream scenes from a number of operas, a holiday concert, “Winds on Wednesdays,” and the NEC Saxophone Ensemble. 


Many Wellesley Neighbors members have attended concerts by the Wellesley Chamber Players at Dana Hall in the past.  Not able to offer live performances during the pandemic, the group is offering a virtual concert  on December 12. Click here for the details.


If you’re feeling nostalgic, you might like some videos about “The Sound of Music.” One option is to watch the ABC news segment about the 40th anniversary of the movie, with the original cast.  You can also see “The Story Behind The Sound of Music,” and conversations, including a yodeling lesson, with Julie Andrews and Maria Von Trapp.


Have you ever heard of Florence B. Price?  Click here to learn about her, the first major female African-American classical composer.  Although recognized during her lifetime (1888-1953) her compositions were lost until 2009.  You can also see a performance of her Symphony No. 3 in C Minor.


“Dancing with Fred Astaire”

N. T. Binh, a cinematographer and director living in France, made this compilation of dance scenes from Fred Astaire movies for Barbara Dent, an Australian author, to comfort her. Fred dances with Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell, Rita Hayworth, and Cyd Charisse. The  30 minute film has subtitles in French.


“Standing on their shoulders” is a virtual tour of the history of women students at Harvard.  Click here for an introduction and a link to the tour.


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in November


Have fun in Paris watching Vincent van Gogh art ALIVE - Atelier des LumiŹres (Paris, France) STARRY NIGHT. Lots of color, a feast for the eyes, and you can sing along!!!

Maggie Smith fans might enjoy an interview with her, which includes a conversation about her role in “Downton Abbey.”

How about 1 hour 40 minutes wafting above the Fiji Islands?  A relaxing way to get your mind off the winter worries

Learning about past pandemics might depress you or interest you.  If the latter, you can watch  the documentary, “The Spanish Flu and How the World Recovered (1918-1929).”  You can click on “Skip Ads” in the lower right corner  for a better viewing experience.


Visit the 25 Most Beautiful Medieval Towns of Europe.
Touristy, but you get to see old towns from north to south and east to west, all over the continent.  BUT there are ads.  To avoid them, click on “Skip Ads” on the lower right side of screen.  If a Skip Ads box comes up in the middle of the screen: don’t click the words, do click ‘x’ on the right side of the box.
Click here for the YouTube video.
Bon voyage!


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