What’s Happening on Main Street

Spring has finally arrived! Evidence is found in tulip buds bursting forth from their frozen slumber, announcing nature’s annual rebirth. Precipitation by the bucketful is more hospitable than by the shovelful.

On March 23 I convened with a group of worried residents from Wigglesworth and Worthington streets for a sit-down in one of those charming rowhouses with Boston Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Brian Golden and Director of Development Review Erico Lopez, and watched those in attendance come away impressed. I’ll admit that even I was struck by the way both men attentively listened to those making their case, and I realized how fortunate Mayor Walsh is to have people like this on his team. Many residents of Mission Hill got their initial introduction to Mr. Golden when he spoke at our Main Streets Awards Reception last June where we feted Mission Hill product and Senate President Therese Murray. Brian’s eloquence, sense of humor and sincerity won for him many new fans in these Roxbury Crossing precincts.

Mark a note in your calendars for the night of Tues., June 2, when Mission Hill Main Streets will return to the Parkman House mansion on Beacon Hill for its annual Awards Night celebration. Last year’s gala was so well-received that the event merited an encore at that classy address. The lavish repast showcasing the catering skills of Lilly’s Pasta Express owner Matt Postal was a huge hit. Matt promises to “knock the ball out of the park” at this upcoming shindig. So many folks enjoyed the event (combined with those disappointed at missing the affair) that our board of directors made a special request to use the locale once again. More information will be publicized as the event draws closer. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting Mission Hill Main Streets at 617-427-7399 or [email protected] This event will definitely sell out quickly.

As the great snowpack of 2015 dissipates revealing the residual grime of winter, I want to tell you about a couple of opportunities to make new friends, improve the neighborhood, burn a few calories and earn yourself a cool Mission Hill T-shirt. On Sat., April 11, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., an army of local college students will be volunteering in a massive neighborhood cleanup as part of Northeastern University’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor community service day program. Mission Hill Main Streets needs your help! We need adult volunteers to help supervise crews of students and it is fun! Dorms-full of enthusiastic young people will descend upon Mission Hill ready to assist “real Bostonians” in spiffing up the streets and sidewalks. In years past, I have met so many wonderful energetic kids from all over the globe ready to perform a good deed for others. They bring laughter and exuberance to their chores. All you need to do is help direct their efforts. It’s a great way to enjoy some fresh air spending a few hours on a Spring Saturday that will benefit everyone in Mission Hill. We’ll meet at Sheehy Park next to Mission Church to begin at 10. If you can join us, please call Main Streets at 617-427-7399 or email me at [email protected] to let us know, or… just show up that Saturday.

Similarly, two weeks later, on Sat., April 25 will be the annual Boston Shines cleanup day sponsored by Mayor Walsh’s office. The hours and meeting place mirror those of the April 11 volunteer effort, but with other tasks like mulching, planting and vacant lot cleanups. We anticipate that there will be plenty of places still in need of spiffing-up due to the record-breaking wear-and-tear that has beset the entire region this year. You can sign up with the fabulous Shaina Aubourg from the Mayor’s Office at 617-635-2679 or at [email protected] or with Mission Hill Main Streets at the places cited above.

The Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services Annual Meeting on April 6 will feature a greatly overdue community recognition ceremony for its retiring longtime executive director, Jim Hoffman. Those of us who recall a time before One Brigham Circle, Kevin Fitzgerald Park or the soon to be completed Roxbury Crossing Senior Housing Complex on Gurney Street know that this trinity of physical monuments to Jim’s vision and leadership will be his legacy with us for decades to come. As a founding member of Mission Hill Main Streets, Jim Hoffman’s many contributions will always be appreciated. However, no gold watch or rocking chair can compare to the affection and appreciation felt by the entire neighborhood for this quiet gentleman who toiled amongst us. Thank you, Jim.

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

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