What’s Happening on Main Streets

Photo by Richard Rouse Theresa Parks holds up a gift shirt at a Central Boston Elder Services award ceremony honoring her and Mary Lydon Oct. 25 at Mission Park.

         Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday because of its focus on being grateful for our many blessings. We should do it more often. Each day, I appreciate the many kindnesses bestowed on Main Streets and me by the people of Mission Hill.

Photo by Richard Rouse Northeastern University students pose in front of the Knights of Columbus building at 1455 Tremont St. after they gave it a new paint job on Oct. 15.Photo by Richard Rouse Theresa Parks holds up a gift shirt at a Central Boston Elder Services award ceremony honoring her and Mary Lydon Oct. 25 at Mission Park.

         Special thanks go out to the hundreds of Northeastern students who performed cleanups all over the Hill on their public service days.  Enthusiastic young college students repainted the facade of the Knights of Columbus building on Tremont Street on Oct. 15 with supplies donated by Northeastern.

         Francis Street resident and Grand Knight Bob Healy said, “As our Knights get older and fewer, we are always torn between using our meager resources to keep up the building or provide aid to the poor, which is our primary mission. The [Mission] Church, the Main Streets merchants and Northeastern have been our most steadfast supporters…Thank them all from the K of C.”

         On Oct. 29, NEU students planted close to 2,000 City of Boston daffodil bulbs in tree pits along Huntington Avenue, Tremont Street; inside Sheehy Park; and in a couple of surprise plots of grass that will blossom gloriously next spring, along with the tulips we planted last fall. Mayor Menino told me that he was impressed with how our Mission Hill Main Streets looked this past April and directed his Parks Department to replicate what we did across the City. Thank you, Parks and Rec. and Mr. Mayor.

         Neighborhood buzz is growing over the upcoming Savor the Flavor of Mission Hill event on Nov. 16. Tickets are selling fast and it is hard to determine whether it’s the cuisine or the featured speaker that is sparking the interest.

         It is amusing to watch the various foodies being circumspect about the food item they plan to present that night. Matt Postal from Lilly’s Pasta says his pasta puttanesca and chicken marsala are his personal favorites, but upstaging Diarmuid O’Neill’s Squealing Pig pasta dishes is his foremost goal. Naser Othman’s El Mundo meatballs are purportedly the best in Boston, but he has been making threats to Dermot Doyne of Penguin about a gourmet pizza challenge. Flames will not tell its next-door neighbor Montecristo Mexican Food what it plans to serve. Nathan and Richard from Wok n’ Talk have been seen lurking around the Main Streets office and Michel Soltani’s Mission Bar trying to get a leg up on the competition. Mash Abdirahman’s Butterfly Café sells great pastries, but he wants to present a Somalian item, and Tina Savvidis of Mama’s Place will provide something homemade and Greek. We haven’t yet heard if Al from the Wan deli or whether our chain stores, TGI Friday’s, J.P. Licks and Domino’s will participate, but who knows? It seems that everyone is trying to get into the act, and we say…Welcome aboard!

         The institutions have shown an interest hearing from speaker Peter Meade, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, about all the upcoming development plans in the area. Some of the BRA board members have said they are attending as well. Peter is such an interesting speaker that he never fails to wow a crowd. Local pianist Nick Perez, Joshua Raymond on drums and bass player Jackson Mann (featured in last month’s Gazette) will provide musical entertainment that evening.

         As the weather gets colder, everyone is looking to conserve energy and save money. The Renew Boston program provides no-cost building energy assessments and upgrades to qualifying Boston residents. That’s right: no-cost energy upgrades. To see if you qualify, go to renewboston.org and click on the “Request an Energy Audit” button at the right. This program is a by-product of the Stimulus Legislation passed by Congress and the president, so you paid for it.

         The holidays are approaching, and Mission Hill Main Streets will be hanging wreaths and banners and assisting the Mayor’s Office with the Christmas Tree Lighting in Brigham Circle on Dec. 3. Northeastern and Main Streets will once again be displaying those colorful banners celebrating our neighborhood during the holiday season.

         A crowd of 90 to100 folks gathered at the Flynn House Senior Center on Oct. 25 to see Central Boston Elder Services Director Catherine Hardaway award elegant engraved clocks to two of the most caring and deserving individuals on Mission Hill: the one and only Theresa Parks and 101-years-young Mary Lydon. In addition to the flowers, cake and applause, there was a love, respect and appreciation by all for these beautiful, selfless women. Happy Thanksgiving.

         The writer is the executive director of Mission Hill Main Streets.

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