What’s Happening on Main Streets

As daylight shrinks, the upcoming holidays seem to rush in too quickly with Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year occurring in rapid succession, to be followed by those little white snowflakes from above. I hope this observation doesn’t toss a wet blanket on your day. Congrats to the Kush Groove store across the street from the Basilica. It has definitely captured the prize for the best Halloween storefront with Mission Bar as a close runner-up.          Once again, the Mission Hill Youth Collaborative (MHYC) has taken the lead in making their 2016 “Halloween on the Hill” the envy of the rest of the city. MHYC’s new honcho Marta Rivera along with Tobin Center director John Jackson choreographed hours of Trick or Treat fun for more than 500 kiddos of all ages from the neighborhood. This year Mother Nature cooperated nicely for the pony rides, pumpkins (donated by the farmers market) decorated at the Health Movement, ghost making and the Monster Match with the Museum of Fine Arts and Sociedad Latina in Sheehy Park.

The Tobin Center Haunted Halls were bigger than ever and students from MCPHS, Harvard, Northeastern, Wentworth, and MassArt volunteered (in costume) to supervise and direct the hordes of children. Local businesses such as Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta, Kush Groove, Sully’s barbershop, Penguin Pizza, Mike’s Donuts, Great Hill Dental, JP Licks, Halal Indian Cuisine, the Puddingstone Tavern, and Montecristo Mexican Grill were designated as official stops to receive goodies and free prize chances. Many of the other small shops got caught up in the Halloween fever and generously gave out goodies this year as well. So many folks to thank like Chris Dwyer from New England Baptist Hospital, Courtney Wright from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Ivis Berrios Ayuso, Barry Twomey and MaryAnn Nelson from the Health Movement, the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Youth Group, Mission Safe, Jesse from local Sen. Chang-Diaz’ Office along with Collin from local state Rep. Sanchez’ staff, the Phillips Brooks House and many, many more. Bravo.

Boston’s robust economy has kindled a multitude of both positive and negative effects. The critical deficiency of housing for all income levels challenges our elected leadership. Building creation is at its historically highest level and trends indicate it will continue into the future. Last week, Tony Nader invited me to tour his new Serenity development currently underway at 105 South Huntington Ave. A few years ago, I was selected to serve on this project’s Impact Advisory Group when it was proposed to the City’s leadership, so I’ve been watching this edifice arise on this never developed tract of land with great interest. This building will serve a segment of the housing marketplace that I will never be able to afford, but after viewing it, whoever does move there will enjoy a castle second to none! The views from nearly every unit are breathtaking with quality construction throughout. When completed, it will be a glistening gem on Boston’s Emerald Necklace.

Impressing me even more was an exchange I had with one of the union construction workers who I’ve known since I was a teenager. He told me that his fellow tradesmen have been astonished with the kindness and generosity Mr. Nader displays to his fellow workmen. I replied that I’m not surprised since that is how many of Tony’s neighbors feel about him. This professional mechanical engineer added, “I’ve never seen so many different craftsmen want to do a good job because every few weeks on the project, Tony orders in a first-rate catered lunch for all the workers. In all my years of construction, I’ve never seen a builder do such a thing. He shows a genuine regard for each of the tradespeople. We respect him and want his project to be the best and for Mr. Nader to do well.” Tony says the project is moving along on schedule and on budget. I think I know why!

Newcomers sometimes ask, what are those buses marked LINK cruising the neighborhood? Begun in the late 1970s, the LINK bus has been supported by a combination of institutional funding (most notably the MBTA and New England Baptist Hospital) and rider’s fares of $1.50 for adults and $.50 for seniors. A fund raising campaign is underway to keep the service operating. Currently it operates weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and circles Mission Hill from Brigham Circle to Mission Main and Alice Taylor to the Benjamin Nursing Home on the back of the hill and New England Baptist Hospital on the top of the hill. In order to keep the bus operating The Mission Hill LINK Board will be collecting data with the goal of reviewing and revising the times of service and the route, so that the LINK best serves those who need it. (For more information, visit gofundme.com/save-the-link.)

As Veteran’s Day approaches, I salute retired Air Force officer and longtime Mission Hill resident, Enoch Woodhouse II on the 75th anniversary of his former unit, the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Woody, a 1944 graduate of Boston English, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and enjoyed a distinguished military career rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, in addition to an outstanding vocation as a member of the Massachusetts bar. Bravo to University of Massachusetts-Boston Chancellor Keith Motley for recently recognizing Colonel Woodhouse and three other members of that greatest generation of Tuskegee Airmen who sacrificed for us all during World War II.

Finally, mark Dec. 3 at 3:00 p.m. on your calendar, when Santa Claus and his Elves visit Brigham Circle along with Mayor Marty Walsh to light the Mission Hill Christmas Tree. There will be music, refreshments, and goodies to welcome in the holidays. Kids of all ages are welcome!

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