Like salmon and herring heading upstream and the gazelles and wildebeests trekking the Serengeti, the Mission Hill neighborhood undergoes an annual migration each Sept. 1 when the students return on Move-In Day.
The City and the various colleges attempt to make the operation a painless one with extra police presence, special parking and driving restrictions, Inspectional Services Department officers at the ready and extra trash removal trucks. Various college administrators are ubiquitous providing assistance and warnings to new off-campus arrivals about proper neighborhood etiquette. Local businesses rearrange their regularly scheduled deliveries in order to assist in this amazing synergistic choreography of families and their offspring unloading various u-haul-it vehicles throughout the Hill. All in all it is quite a sight to behold.
When arriving to attend the Aug. 24 open house reception at the roof deck atop the recently completed apartments on Tremont Street directly opposite the Tobin Center, I encountered local bon vivant David Welch exiting the building. His two-word description of the complex, “first class” describes it perfectly. Even Arnie Pressman, longtime owner of the Clutch Works building that inhabited the tired onetime yellow brick A & P supermarket where the apartments now stand, marveled at the transformation along with scores of Mission Hill attendees. Almost all of the 66 units have been booked and it is easy to see why. Stylish comfortable good taste is apparent throughout the complex right down to the framed black and white photos of various spots throughout Mission Hill that adorn the hallways. It is obvious that Jason and Melanie Savage put their hearts into this project with intense attention to the smallest details. The structure is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood.
Local sprinters who excel each year at October’s Mission Hill Road Race do so because many choose to warm up at the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Road Race in mid-September. This year’s meet on Sept. 11 marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mission Hill native and longtime Boston Police Detective Danny Adams coordinates this competition with the Boston Police Emerald Society and bills itself as “Boston’s Toughest 5K” to benefit Cops for Kids with Cancer. Dozens of neighborhood running enthusiasts bring a Mission Hill feel each year to this US Track and Field-approved course that begins in Rozzie Square and meanders through the hills of the Arnold Arboretum. If you wish, you can support this very worthy cause by visiting bit.ly/2bTo17z.
The old FTD slogan “Say it with flowers” comes to mind as I venture about Mission Hill. Each year I’ve witnessed a continuous increase in the number of annuals, perennials and plants throughout the community. Homes, businesses, and institutions have added hanging plants, flower pots, window boxes, and gardens everywhere I look. To me, these blooms “say” that people recognize and esteem their habitat and wish for others to enjoy the surroundings, as well. These planting gestures evidence appreciation of place and speak to the vibrancy of a neighborhood. I will not single out any particular businesses because I do not wish to slight anyone by omission. Many of our small businesses make amiable efforts toward beautification. Kudos, as well, go to our various colleges and their landscaping crews. They all look sharp. However, two institutional planting beds this year are especially eye catching despite the unusual lack of rainfall. Check out the front of Mission Church and also the grounds of New England Baptist Hospital. Both are spectacular! Well done.