What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Richard Rouse/Special to the Gazette

New York might have a song about it, but nothing beats autumn in Boston. Although the days grow shorter, the nights cooler, and the flora begins to fade, the smiles from the faces of the people in Mission Hill seem to become brighter and warmer.

As I write this column on Sat., Sept. 28, I witness throngs of neighbors as they “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” raising funds for the “Friends of the Poor” of Mission Church’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul. When someone performs a good deed for another, their smile gets brighter and their step seems lighter. Kudos goes out to parishioners John Reese and Rose Brayboy who organized the volunteers and to the many local businesses, individuals and institutions that helped make this inaugural event such a hit.

Maggie Casey from the Mission Hill Youth Collaborative and the Tobin Center’s John Jackson are all revved up to outdo last year’s auspicious “Halloween on the Hill” event on the afternoon of Oct. 31. It is estimated that over 700 kids participated last year, an event that featured a haunted house inside the Tobin, pony rides and other kid-focused activities, as well as costumed Wentworth students at designated businesses along our Mission Hill Main Streets district distributing candy to the pint-sized Cinderellas, superheroes and goblins. If you wish to donate candy or pumpkins, you can drop them off during business hours at the Main Streets office at 1534 Tremont. Iff you want to volunteer, email [email protected].

October will see at least 2,000 additional daffodil bulbs being planted in the neighborhood by Mission Hill Main Streets volunteers courtesy of the Boston Parks Department. A few springs ago, while making a visit to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mayor Menino was so impressed by the vivid display of blossoms along our Tremont Street that he made fall bulb planting an annual citywide priority. Let’s hope that either Rep. Walsh or Councilor Connolly continues these bulk purchases from Holland when he assumes the mayor’s chair next year. On that note, the coalition of Main Streets directors who hosted the multi-candidate forum at the Strand Theater during the preliminary are scheduled to meet with the two finalists this month to further elaborate their proposed improvements to encourage local businesses.

Finally, I received a call recently from a young lady who lives on the Hill and attends the Boston Conservatory of Music asking if anyone found a violin in the Brigham Circle area. The disconcerted (couldn’t resist the pun) woman reported it lost and was reaching out to others after having met with our go-to guy, Boston Police Officer Jerry Smart. One of our farmer’s market vendors, Brooke Wilkins from the Gary’s Too Farm stand of Townsend, Mass. (no joke, she truly is the pretty farmer’s daughter), retrieved the fiddle, attempted to find the owner and brought it home for safekeeping. The Stradivarius is now safely in the hands of its owner who wanted me to report how deeply grateful she is to all her many kind neighbors for their encouragement and empathy. She stated to me, “Mission Hill folk are the sweetest people in the world.”  I agree.

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

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