What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker

Special to the Gazette

“Celebrate endings as they precede new beginnings.”

Johnathan Lockwood Hui, author

“Christmas parties are back in business!” as stated by one of MHMS Board members at a community holiday gathering. I felt the festive spirit as I strolled through Mission Hill. Traditionally colorful lights, window displays, and decorations are all visible signs that the holidays are here. In the neighborhood, December was a fun, event filled month! The Mayor’s Trolley and Tree Lighting in Brigham Circle Had a huge turnout and so many small smiling faces that cheered Santa and Mrs. Claus on as they handed out gifts and candy. Mayor Wu’s blinking Christmas light necklace entranced many youngsters at the event, and they followed the Mayor around much to everyone’s delight! 

Not missing a beat, Mission Hill Main Streets hoisted holiday banners, lighted snowflakes and distributed Nutcracker posters throughout the neighborhood. Small business promotions included showing your support of your local businesses with sparkling, signed snowflake cards posted in the shops. In addition the four hair salons and two barbershops in the area ran  raffle prize contests (MHMS Swag!) – thanks to Carman’s Salon, In The Cut Barbershop, Liz’s Hair Salon, Sully’s Barbershop and Vanity Loft Salon for participating in this fun event.

Mission Hill Artists Collective held two craft fairs this year that were extremely well attended. On December 16th, items ranged from original artwork, jewelry, hand-made products and more. A great effort by Diana Sabella, Lydia Polanco, LeShonda Zene and Britney Zene to making this a success. We look forward to more pop-up events like this in 2023!

In the spirit of giving, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences generously donated 100 chrome books to the Tobin Community Center in time for the Tobin to get them to their young members before Christmas! Executive Director, John Jackson was thrilled with the unexpected gift that he was able to share with so many of Mission Hill and Roxbury’s young residents. A big thank you to MCPHS’s Sue Gorman, Chief Advancement Officer for thinking of the young people in Mission Hill!

Mission Hill businesses continue to remain strong, creative and entrepreneurial in our still ever-changing environment. Recently the Boston Building Resources (BBR) at 100 Terrace Street, welcomed a new leader after 30 years. Kord Jablonski, most recently from the DeCordova, will serve as President of BBR’s consumer cooperative, which sells new building materials such as cabinetry, windows, and doors, as well as Executive Director of the nonprofit reuse center, which takes in donations of high-quality reusable building materials and sells them at a fraction of their fair market value, mainly to lower-income community residents. He began his tenure on November 28. “Knowledge about repairing one’s home is not only empowering, but also builds economic resilience,” Jablonski said. “Housing, food, financial, and climate security are all intimately intertwined, and BBR is uniquely positioned to engage and educate on these topics. I am incredibly excited by the opportunity to serve and by all that is ahead for Boston Building Resources.”

BBR is always a great place to stop by and find that treasure you need for your home … or to learn how to install that treasure! Check out their latest inventory and classes and say welcome to Kord.

Date to keep in mind include the Museum of Fine Arts’ MLK Day on Monday, January 16, 2023 from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The MFA, in in partnership with Citizens Bank offers FREE admission, including access to “Life Magazine and the Power of Photography”, for Massachusetts residents. Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by surrounding yourself with art making, performances, and talks with members of the MFA community!

For the first time ever, Boston will host the National Main Streets Conference this coming March. The 20 main street districts here in the City of Boston are part of organization and follow their established criteria and guidelines. MHMS is super excited as it is an opportunity to promote Mission Hill from a business perspective, historical significance and …. We will be looking for volunteers to help with established tours and onsite mobile workshops for attendees here within the community. Drop me a line via Facebook or through my email:  [email protected]!

In the meantime, stay safe and watch out for your elderly neighbors. They need you even more at this time of year!

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