What’s Happening on Main Streets

O Come all ye faithful, joyfully and triumphantly, to do your holiday shopping in a local Main Street district. My goal this year is to make over 90 percent of my gift purchases from Boston neighborhood businesses and I’m determined to pull it off. Achieving 100 percent perfection will not occur. I bought a custom gift for my brother from a non-local artisan.

Each year I rant about my general dislike of shopping malls. This year, I’m denouncing the incessant measure of media coverage received by out-of-state mega-companies. It strikes me as a bit unfair to so many local storefront businesses that do so much to maintain a community flavor for hamlets across America. Small business provides the lifeblood for neighborhoods. The swinish way that the internet shopping industry tries to monopolize the marketplace is becoming repugnant.

Mayor Marty Walsh appreciates this and is once again promoting the #5onMain Challenge. Hizzoner believes if everyone can make five purchases from local businesses during the holiday season, you’ll be doing your part to support local business. I recommend gift cards. They are always the right size, and can be easily re-gifted if the recipient displays Grinch-like tendencies!

Our little business district matures ever stronger each year with greater investment interest than the year before. Even though we lack some traditional storefronts, two enterprises from outside our area apparently have captured the Mission Hill market due to their outstanding reputations. Folks say “word of mouth” advertising is the best. This explains why Gormley Funeral Service in West Roxbury and Coleen’s Flower Shop in Dorchester appear to get the lion’s share of the Mission Hill trade. Nothing succeeds like success.

The holiday hero of Mission Hill has done it again. Those twisted double evergreen holiday circles with the festive white bows were purchased with an unsolicited donation from resident Adam Sarbaugh and his staff at Cornerstone Realty. No need to ask him; Adam just shows up with a check. A thank you, as well, goes to Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins for arranging the installation of the Mission Hill Main Streets wreaths to the light poles of Tremont Street and on Huntington Avenue. His ladder crew consisted of men from the South Bay House of Correction nearing the completion of their sentences who volunteer in helping their hometown before reentering society. As their time dwindles down, the guys are happy to be outside of the wall before reentry begins. These captives are our neighbors who’ve messed up, most often compounded with drug and alcohol issues, who’ve paid for their crimes. They deserve our support, encouragement and our prayers.

Thank you for the warm sentiments extended to me on the announcement of my anticipated retirement from Main Streets the end of this coming March. The search for my successor is beginning and the job is wide open. This is an enjoyable and challenging post, so please help spread the word. Inquiries or application letters can be sent to the Search Committee-MHMS, 812 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115 or by emailing [email protected]

Each holiday season, support for the nutcracker banners comes via donations from President Charlie Monahan at Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University and Longwood Properties CEO, Eric Alden. Installing the lit, four-foot snowflakes is masterfully done through the generous assistance of Maverick Construction President Mike McNally. Wentworth’s Courtney Wright corralled some of her WIT students to replace several hundreds of those little lightbulbs that brighten our decorations…Thanks.

The support of our Corporate Buddy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mike’s Donuts, Penguin Pizza, Laughing Monk, Mission Hill Health Movement, Michel Soltani, Kings Hill Church, the Tobin Center and the always reliable New England Baptist Hospital made Santa and Mayor Walsh’s arrival for the Tree Lighting on December first a hit. So far, Mike’s Donuts and the Mission Bar have the early lead with their enticing window painted depictions…we have weeks to go and other businesses will be festooning and spangling their storefronts.

Gob smacked by the recent main stream media coverage of the passing of President George H.W. Bush, I felt compelled to pinch myself to check if I was dreaming. My recollection of the time is that Old Poppy got unfairly maligned by the press on a consistent basis. (Full disclosure, I campaigned extensively for Governor Dukakis, so I’m not some Rah-Rah Bush guy). What caused this change? Did a majority of reporters take to heart that high school Latin adage, De mortuis nil nisi bonum roughly translated to “Speak no ill of the dead?” Do they seek a “kinder, gentler nation?” I doubt it!

The ceremonial tribute to the former Commander-in-Chief was noble and dignified and worthy of a fine family man who loved his country. Delivering remarks on behalf of the Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it best…”God bless the 41st President of the United States.”

With that, I’ll close with best wishes for the holidays and paraphrase the carol… I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




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