What a vivid time of year this is! Flowers abloom, graduates adorned in academic regalia strolling with their proud families, iridescent sunsets, Old Glory flapping in the breeze… Mission Hill suffuses color at this time of year and the boys of summer at Fenway are on fire. Could it be any better?
One of my favorite annual neighborhood events brings together longtime residents, young families, and old alumnae in support of the Mission Parish Grammar School. Principal Aliece Dutson emcees a delightful commemoration at Emmanuel College with this year’s student step squad rivaling the stage brilliance of the professional Riverdancers. Mrs. Tricia Fitzgerald and her son John presented “Kevin Fitzgerald Alumnus Awards” to Ellen Saucier and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, who both gave heartfelt and humble acceptance remarks. Longtime neighborhood favorite John Coppola was recognized for his decades of generosity to the school where he annually underwrites the tuition expenses for needy pupils. Finally, Father Philip Dabney was presented a plaque for the inspiration and example he provides to the children at the school. The assignment of this talented Redemptorist priest to Boston has been an incredible gift not only of the youngsters at the school, but to our entire Mission Hill community. An eloquent and persuasive preacher, the humble Father Phil is but another in a series of great clergymen who’ve made their mark at the Mission Basilica.
Speaking of preachers, on a recent Saturday morning I caught my beautiful bride tuned into the ornate televised nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chicago Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry roused the stuffy setting with a good old-fashioned Southern style stem-winder. The cameras cleverly panned to the stoic pusses of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. In her lime outfit and hat, QEII looked like she just sucked on a lemon…the scene was priceless! Thank heavens our nation’s forefathers blew off that British Royalty nonsense two centuries ago…God save the Queen, indeed!
The Mission Hill Main Streets Awards Night will be held on June 21 at the new Hale Building for Transformative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at 60 Fenwood Road from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. This year’s “Volunteer of the Year” Chad Rosner, and “Business of the Year” Laughing Monk Café will be recognized along with several other neighborhood notables. Slated to receive this year’s Outstanding Public Servant Award is our Congressman Michael Capuano who has been a champion for small business and passionate advocate for Community Development funding revered by Main Streets programs across the United States.
The highest award here at MHMS is our “Kevin W. Fitzgerald Friend of Mission Hill Award” chosen by the Fitzgerald family and is presented to a person who lives his/her life according to the uplifting ideals and positive spirit embodied by our late longtime state representative. Past recipients include community luminaries such as Theresa Parks, John Jackson, Christine Dwyer, Mary Todd, Maria Weinograd, Laura Adams, Tom Glynn and Mayor Marty Walsh; all good friends of Kevin who consistently try to make things better for others. This year’s worthy recipient is a beloved Mission Hill treasure, Mission Grammar School Principal Aliece Dutson. More honorees will be feted on June twenty-first along with the presentation of the highly coveted “Golden Broom Award” to the area’s cleanest business. There will be terrific raffle prizes, music, beverages, outstanding hors d’oeuvres and an impressive roster of notables in attendance from every facet of that gem we call, Mission Hill. It’s an evening you definitely do not want to miss.
Mission Hill is becoming a dining destination. The fare at the Milkweed Café is delectable along with the aforementioned Laughing Monk. It is no accident that the Mission Bar still packs them in every night. The Puddingstone’s cozy seating on their rear patio is a neat little escape on a warm evening that should not be missed and Flann O’Brien’s across the street is an authentic Irish Pub. Lilly’s Pasta delicacies has earned for them a reputation for excellence across the city and the home-cooked Grecian delicacies at Mama’s Place keeps their staff hopping. For pizza lovers, Tremont House of Pizza, Il Mondo, Crispy Dough, AKs and Penguin each produces a distinctive recipe with loyal followings for each, near and far. Butterfly Falafel’s fascinating creations can’t be beat and the genial atmosphere of the Squealing Pig makes it a dining hide-a-way which never disappoints. Wok n Talk, Chachos, Montecristo, Flames, Halal Indian Food and Mission Sushi and Wok each specialize in choice ethnic recipes that make Mission Hill a United Nations buffet, with something for everyone. Each of these local establishments is proud of their products and tries its best to make you want to return. Do yourself a favor… Dine locally.