What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker, Special to the Gazette

Move in week has been a tradition for many years.  I run into professionals and colleagues who tell me memorable times they had as a student living on Mission Hill.  Yes, the traffic is busier and the other side of that is the students bring vitality to our community as well as being an important source of revenue to local businesses.

The first day of September will be upon us soon.  And, as in the past, municipal officials, college representatives, and landlords work together to pre-plan and organize the onslaught as best they can. Police officers re-route the traffic flow at the intersections and discourage those “just a sec” types. Responsible landlords hire cleaning and moving crews to supplement the scores of volunteers from the schools tasked with aiding the movers. Private rubbish haulers toss discarded furnishings and trash into their hoppers while City inspectors traverse the hill clutching citation books in their grip.

Mission Hill Main Streets works in advance with merchants to reschedule their deliveries to help lessen the traffic woes and storefronts sport all manner of greetings to entice new patrons. The Boston Police greet U-Haul drivers with a friendly welcome and a stern warning that revelry and misbehavior will not be tolerated on Mission Hill.  BPD Captain Leighton Facey instructs his officers to deliver this message to every renter personally, instructing parents that there will be swift and severe response to any foolishness by their precious offspring. Handshakes and smiles abound while reminding these young people that they are joining a long-established neighborhood of families. Attempts to turn this community into an off-campus amusement park will not be tolerated. Despite the logistical pressure of moving so many in a short time, the consensus is that each year seems better than the last one.  (My predecessor stated this so concisely and clearly last year, that I took the liberty to recycle his update -almost verbatim – thank you Richie!)

Remember, if you have any questions or feedback regarding this process or the Problem Property Task Force, make sure you attend the monthly Crime Watch meetings to have your voice heard.  The meetings are scheduled at 7:00pm on the last Thursday of the month at Mission Church, 1545 Tremont Street.

Breaking News – Mission Hill/Fenway’s Pop Warner’s Buccaneers had a small glitch in getting their uniforms for this season.  However, East Boston Bank’s Jillian Jurilla and Daniel Fuller came to the rescue and provided the needed resources to make this happen.  Thank you, Jillian and Daniel, for supporting the Mission Hill community!

In July, we also celebrated the BCYF Tobin Community Center’s Annual Mission Hill Day Basketball Clinic and VIP Breakfast which was a great success!  Special guests on Saturday, July 27th included three former NBA stars who all got their start here with the Tobin Community Center.  Their love and dedication were impressive and radiated throughout the audience.  They are all believers and practice “never forget where you came from.”   BCYF Commissioner William Morales of spoke and then presented, along with John Jackson and BCYF Deputy Commissioner Chris Byner, certificates to each of the special guests from Mayor Walsh.   A special thank you to Wayne Turner, Will Blalock, Randell Jackson and Robert Morris Basketball Hall of Famer and Mission Hill Main Streets 2019 Inspiration to Youth Award recipient, Tony Lee.   Food donations were provided by New England Baptist Hospital and Mike’s Donuts.

On July 22nd, the Mayor’s Annual Trolley Tour of the districts honored, Mission Hill Main Streets 2019 award recipients Milkweed Café, Business of the Year, while Mossy Martin was acknowledged as the Volunteer of the Year.   The event took place in front of the Brendan Behan Pub in Jamaica Plain as Mission Hill and Hyde/Jackson Square shared the stage this year.  It was a great turn-out for our recipients and the Mayor.  Food and beverages were donated by Milkweed Café and Mike’s Donuts. 

A big thank you goes to the small business owners who participated in this year’s Welcome Students campaign with discounts for the month of September.  There were over a dozen businesses who decided to be a part of this promotion to welcome and familiarize the students with the Mission Hill neighborhood.  Over 3,000 flyers were printed and distributed to the students by several of our wonderful educational institutions:  Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Tufts/SMFA and Mass College of Art and Design.  Thank you to each of these outstanding educational institutions that Mission Hill is fortunate to have in the neighborhood!

We have a new neighbor in Mission Hill.  Take a stroll down Tremont Street to Boba Me at 1520 Tremont Street and welcome new owner Thomas Pham and say hi to his brother Phillip, Deborah and Kevin!  They deliver bright milk teas in red, purples and yellow with flavors like strawberry, taro, match and more.  Check them out the next time you stroll along Tremont Street.

If you haven’t walked by Sparr’s Drugstore at 635 Huntington Avenue recently, there is a new exhibit to enjoy!   The paintings are very colorful and have a sense of delight in them.   As you probably know, the art space is a collaborative effort between Harvard School of Public Health (who owns the building) Mass Art and Mission Hill Main Streets.  Alison Pultinas, who is well-known in both the Mission Hill and Fenway area for her extraordinary efforts, and Elena White of Mass Art, continue to run “Sparring Partners” throughout the year.

Please remind your neighbors that a free Wentworth Institue of Technology education is available to Mission Hill residents under the Jimmie Beverly Scholarship. This scholarship is named after long term resident and Wentworth Task Force member, Jimmie Beverly, who advocated for local youth to have access to education. This coming January marks a decade since her untimely passing. For more information, please contact Johanna Sena at 617-989-4526 or [email protected].

Citizens Bank, Blaise DaCosta recently spoke about community business loans that Citizens Bank in Brigham Circle offers to local, small businesses.  If you want more information, stop by and say hi to Blaise and ask to speak with Matthew Rodriguez about the Vantage Link and find out if it is right for you.  You may also catch Blaise at the Farmers Market where he has been seen purchasing fresh vegetables and supporting the Brigham Circle Farmers Market on Thursday’s.

A few dates to hold for special events this fall include:

•    Saturday, Sept. 14 – The Redemptorists 150-year gala!   Tickets can still be purchased at www.bostonsbasilica.com/150 or by phone at 617.445.2600

•    Saturday, Sept. 21 – the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Senior Prom which is always a super time for all who attend

•    Saturday, Sept. 28 – the annual Mission Hill Road 5K Race and Walk!  There is still time to register for the race if you are interested – just go to Racewire.com or you can email them at [email protected]

•    In October, Sociedad Latina’s 50th anniversary gala is on Wednesday, October 9th and tickets can still be purchased at the following link:  https://tinyurl.com/50thGalaCelebration

 Please friend us on Facebook, “like” our page and watch for more changes.  Our current website is www.missionhillstreet.com and you will see more updates soon.

Mission Hill Main Streets welcomes new and returning students and wishes everyone continued enjoyment of our beautiful, summer days!

“You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.” -Toni Morrison, author

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