Boston-area to do list



He made their work his

James Abbott McNeill Whistler was fascinated by the workers, women, wharves, and wherries (our word for the day; light boats) of Victorian London. The area around Battersea Bridge
was of particular interest to the painter, and can be of interest to you at
“An American in London: Whistler and the Thames,” an exhibit of more than 70 paintings, drawings, and prints. Pictured: detail of “Old Battersea Bridge” (1859-63) .
Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 1-5 p.m. through April 13. Free. Addison Gallery
of American Art, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4015.


Whitney vs. Whitney  Red Sox vs. Yankees isn’t the only Boston-New York rivalry. In the late 19th century, Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and brother William Collins Whitney of New York each hoped his metropolis could lay claim to the first US subway. Who won? Doug Most, author and a Globe editor, will talk about his new book, “The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway.” 6 p.m. Free. Boston Public Library Commonwealth Salon, 700 Boylston St., Boston. 617-536-5400.

The Doctorow is in   From the man who brought us “Ragtime,” “The Book of Daniel,” and “Billy Bathgate” comes “Andrew’s Brain.” Here’s the first paragraph: “I can tell you about my friend Andrew, the cognitive scientist. But it’s not pretty. One evening he appeared at the door of his ex-wife, Martha, with an infant in his arms — because Briony, his lovely young wife after Martha, had died.” E. L. Doctorow is in Cambridge. $5. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-661-1515. Update: This event has been rescheduled to March


No, no, and bossa nova  No member of the Brazilian Girls is Brazilian. They are not all girls. What they are is a band of three men (Didi Gutman, Jesse Murphy, and Aaron Johnston) and one woman (vocalist Sabina Sciubba) who blend bossa nova, reggae, electronica, and jazz. 9 p.m. $20. 18+. Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston. 800-745-3000.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

New on the scene  Vinx, your master of ceremonies, will share his talent discoveries at the new monthly Soul Recital Sessions. This month’s emerging artists from the folk, R&B, and funk worlds include Raquel Quinones-Rivera, Katerina Pejak, and Kel do Nascimento. 8 p.m. (first Tuesday of the month). $10. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679.


February flowers  It’s hard to imagine anything blooming now in these parts, but at Historic New England’s Lyman Estate Greenhouses it’s camellia blooming season. Cuttings from the 100-year-old flowering plants are available for purchase — if you have any heat in your place to keep them warm. Feb. 5, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (through March 12). The Lyman Estate Greenhouses, 185 Lyman St., Waltham. 781-891-1985.

June Wulff can be reached at

Update: The E. L. Doctorow event has been rescheduled to March 18. Also, “Napoleon to Dr. King: Where Are the Heroes?” at Jordan Hall has ben cancelled and not yet rescheduled.