What’s Happening on Main Streets

“There’s a tree in the (EnVision) Hotel, one in the park as well, the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.” It truly is “Beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and Mayor Marty Walsh kicked off the Mission Hill holidays with Santa and his elves on Dec. 5 by lighting that sturdy tree in the Brigham Circle Park. A perfect day brought out the neighbors to our annual event to promote shopping locally in Boston neighborhoods.

You’ve read it here many times that small business makes a community vibrant and strengthens our economy, helping everyone. This year the City and all the Main Streets organizations are promoting the Mayor’s #5onMain effort, which is all over digital media and on television. Even if you don’t live in the hashtag world, you can participate by making five purchases this holiday season in local businesses by purchasing presents, gift cards to local shops and restaurants, or by attending local holiday events.

Once you get into the habit, you get into a groove. You learn, as I have, that there is a direct correlation by making fewer mall visits and maintaining a positive outlook on life. We can all use less stress in our lives.

It appears that all the approvals are in place for the creation of a new eatery at 1508 Tremont St. at the corner of Burney Street by the owners of the Blarney Stone in Fields Corner. Ben Johnson and David Cawley garnered widespread support for this sit-down restaurant over the past few months by being upbeat, upfront, and willing to listen and learn.

Ben tells me that he’s seeking community input in the naming of his new establishment and plans to conduct a contest with a prize for the winning suggestion along with a donation to the Mission Parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. The specifics have yet to be set, but this should stimulate your creative juices to flowing. Maybe you’ll conjure up the “perfect” name for bragging rights at this new addition to the neighborhood business mix. The contest will be featured in future issues of the Mission Hill Gazette.

This past month the community came out en masse in tribute to the passing of wonderful Mission Hiller. The crowd for Catherine (Clifford) Gately’s funeral at the Mission Church bore witness to a life well led by this beloved neighborhood fixture. If you met Cathy Gately, you liked her and became her friend.

Father Phil Dabney’s eulogy captured her perfectly, emphasizing her love of others and lifelong devotion to her son Jimmy. Cathy’s daughters Paula Gately and (RTH Executive Director) Karen Gately both gave moving tributes celebrating their mother’s qualities and bore eloquent testimony to Cathy’s success as a mother in raising two extraordinarily classy women.

On the development front, S. Huntington Avenue is receiving lots of much needed attention. The Goddard House project by Eden Properties and Samuels and Associates is undergoing its community review process for the adaptive reuse of that handsome historical structure, in addition to further campus enhancements to make it a marketable undertaking.

The Nader family’s “Serenity” project at 105A S. Huntington Ave. finally broke ground this month after years of meetings and negotiations and should be an attractive addition to that long vacant parcel.

In late November, I attended the first meeting with the immediate abutters of what will be extensive community meetings for the vacant parcel at 35 S. Huntington Ave. next to the Wok n Talk Restaurant. This neglected missing tooth in that procession of row houses will be amplified by the attractive design preliminarily proposed by Rode Architects. This site has witnessed several proposals over the years and it was gratifying to see this parcel rehab proposal team respect and work with the longtime neighbors of that area. It was a nice first step.

Mission Hill is fortunate to have the oldest continuous crime watch group in the City due to the dedication of many stalwart local citizens like Mary Todd, Toni Komst, Maria Weinograd, Ida Graves, David Armstrong, Eric Alden, Seth Burns, Mitch Hilton and John Todd and countless others throughout the years. I try to attend each meeting I can and can’t say enough good things about these caring folks and dedicated Boston and MBTA police officers and the campus police departments.

Longtime group leader and good guy David Welch states that several neighbors have reported that people have been stealing packages left at residents’ doorways by delivery companies throughout the neighborhood. The Mission Hill Crime Committee urges you leave a sign indicating that packages should not be left if no one is at home and to give instructions about your delivery wishes when making purchases.

Boston Police Officer Jerry Smart cautions you that (human) predators are always on the lookout for easy opportunities. An unguarded package screams, “take me,” and also suggests a vacant household to those looking to ruin the upcoming holidays. It would be a shame to lose “Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk (that) is the hope of Janice and Jen.” If you’re like me, that tune will be stuck in your head for hours to come. Have yourself a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

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