What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Richard Rouse/Special to the Gazette

It remains to be seen if the expression, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is relevant this year, but the ferocity of our recent weather affected local businesses. One part of the business sector that received a weather bounce was that associated with the selling or serving of spirits. I’m told that purchases increased as people “weathered the storms” either at home or at licensed premises. Cabin fever hit New England this year at a rate not seen in many years, and like everything else, has had an impact on local commerce. As in years past, Mission Hill Main Streets wishes to thank those hearty souls who came to assist their aged and infirm neighbors by placing a check-up call or manning a shovel to help those who aren’t physically able to clear their steps and sidewalks. These unsung heroes always pitch in by clearing hydrants and storms drains and do it because it is the right thing to do and not to seek approbation. More than a few prayers have been said for them at our places of worship and, rightly so.

On the subject of cocktails, I attended the Boston Licensing Board hearing last week for the SoulFire BBQ restaurant application to serve beer and wine at its Brigham Circle location. There were kudos offered by supporters to the fine job SoulFire has done since opening in our area last year, and for the outstanding reputation its Allston store has earned over the years. Perhaps there’ll be some cold lagers and pilsners available soon to cool down the hot, hot, hot ribs. SoulFire’s Wyeth Lynch will have a challenge to compete with the hundreds of exotic brews featured at the Penguin Pizzeria next door. Incidentally, Penguin owner Dermot Doyne spoke in favor of SoulFire’s license application. There are very few communities where the competition would speak up like that in favor of such an application. It speaks volumes about the spirit of neighborliness in the Mission Hill business community.

Alison Pultinas and the stalwart volunteers who keep Mission Hill Little League a thriving endeavor are midway through the registration process for this coming season. Tryouts and registrations continue on Sat.,  March 9 and 23 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Tobin Community Center Gym on Tremont Street. Eligible girls and boys must be 7 years old by May 1 and not be 13 years old before May 1, and must bring his or her birth certificate, proof of address and a parent/guardian to sign their consent. Nothing says hometown America more than watching those bright-eyed youngsters giving it their all on the Little League diamonds atop Mission Hill on a balmy early evening. Do yourself a favor sometime and drop by to encourage and support the next generation.

Perhaps prompted by the change in the weather, two different people this week asked me, when is this year’s “Boston Shines” day? Mark your calendars for Fri., April 26 and Sat., April 27from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. as the times for the 11th annual citywide cleanup. This popular community spring cleaning event has turned into festive fun and fellowship for hundreds of Mission Hill folks of all ages, with the City providing the tools and trucks, volunteers providing the labor, and businesses donating the food and beverages. Many hands make light work in this healthy, green and worthwhile community celebration. If you wish to register early, call Shaina Aubourg at the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, 617-635-3485.

This month marks the evacuation of the British Redcoats from their occupation of Boston during the American Revolution. Gen. George Washington dispatched Col. Henry Knox to transport the captured cannons from Fort Ticonderoga via sleds pulled by oxen to the top of Dorchester Heights overlooking the British fleet blockading Boston Harbor. Many folks fail to realize that both Washington and Knox traveled right through this neighborhood to accomplish that historic military maneuver. Evacuation Day coincides with the feast of Saint Patrick on March 17, thereby compounding the local celebrations. A Happy Feast of the Saint to all!

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

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