What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Courtney Wright

Special to the Gazette “May is a month of rebirth, of renewed vitality and energy.” -Lailah Akita Despite April being a wash weather wise, I am optimistic for a sunnier May and season ahead (even if the Farmer’s Almanac disagrees). May 1st officially kicks off Outdoor Dining and patio season in the City of Boston and I know we are all looking forward to spending more time outside as the weather warms up and our nice days multiply. Our local restaurants are busy this week setting up their seating areas, picking up their “No Parking” signs at City Hall and planting their flower boxes- even Yellow Door- don’t let the scaffolding fool you- the patio vibes are coming to Wigglesworth. On behalf of MH Main Streets, thank you for all the effort you all put into creating inviting and bright spaces for our community to enjoy together after months of rain and cold- we appreciate you! As the patios come out over the next couple of weeks, the light pole banners have been permitted and will be returning to the business district, as well as the American flags in anticipation of Memorial Day on May 27th. One thing you may notice missing this spring are the usual  grey planters that have been placed around the business district for the last half decade or so. As we as a Main Streets Board consider ways to use incoming beautification grant funding, we are exploring some upgrades in terms of spring planters and holiday décor more broadly. We are talking through some ideas with business owners and as a Board to find ways to bring some color and vitality to the neighborhood as we work with vendors and the City to acquire updated streetscape décor. If you’d like to put forth an idea or types of planters/greenscapes/etc., please feel free to email me as always at [email protected]. Another update/upgrade to be aware of is our City of Boston Mission Hill neighborhood sign that has been missing for close to a year now from the median in Brigham Circle. I have been told that the City has a bid out to replace all of the neighborhood signs, with an anticipated completion date of mid-August. May is Small Business Month and the Main Streets districts will be working with the Office of Economic Development and Inclusion to highlight businesses and commercial districts throughout Boston. Look out for our very own Mission Hill spotlight at the end of this month. Throughout May, Boston’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion (OEOI) will be hosting workshops and networking opportunities between Small Business and relevant resources and departments. I will share the dates and types of opportunities as they are released and marketed over the coming weeks. While looking forward to May and the summer months, I’d be remiss not to highlight some of the great things that happened in April. Boston Building Resources had a very fun, enlightening and successful Earth Day event on April 20th- despite the rain, which thankfully tapered off as the day went on. Participants got to enjoy plantings, tie-dye, live music and much more as BBR proved yet again how lucky we are to have them in our neighborhood as our go-to source on all things sustainability and green. On April 26th, Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services had a beautiful Friday for their Annual Arbor Day event in Kevin Fitzgerald Park. It was a great event that featured live music, community gathering and lots of intense volunteer work pruning and planting the park and now officially designated Arboretum. Thank you to MHNHS for continuing to bring fun events and opportunities for collaboration to Fitz Park for the neighborhood to enjoy! This past Saturday, Mission Hill Little League had a bustling opening day up on Parker Hill Ave. I don’t know if it was the warm sunny weather, or the full court (neighborhood) press on recruitment by Dan Weldon, but sign-ups hovered around 150 and necessitated the creation of a couple more teams to accommodate the interest in the League this season. I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a couple of times seeing all of the enthusiasm of new players running into the park and up to Dan and his clipboard to sign up, and later a couple of those players first hits at bat- (I blame the pollen). In addition to sunshine and a packed field, there was grilling, refreshments (thank you Maria and Mike’s Donuts), youth dancers, and an impromptu glimpse at the vocal stylings of Mitch Hilton as he took one for the team and sang the National Anthem. City Councilor at-Large Henry Santana was in attendance and spoke about his days in the League and the importance of accessible programs for youth in the summertime. He was joined by the new Office of Neighborhood Housing’s Mission Hill liaison Maccon Bonner who hung around throughout the event meeting constituents in his new role. Thank you to the Puddingstone Tavern for providing space and food after the event for coaches, friends and fundraisers of the Little League. May is a very busy month city-wide and around the neighborhood! It is exciting but also still being evolving so please stay on the lookout for upcoming events and opportunities that may not be included here. Don’t Miss… -THIS Saturday, May 4th from 6-9 p.m. Solid Ground Café is hosting another food pop-up in their space! This time, Hanoahan Laos Food and Solid Ground will be blending the vibrant flavors of Laos cuisine with a modern American twist. Go to https://www.solidgroundcafe.com/ or stop by the Café to pre-order your plates for the pop-up! -May 4th,5th,11th, 12th,16th,17th Emily’s Flower Kitchen will be back at Solid Ground with bouquets available to preorder (also at solidgroundcafe.com) and pick up for all of the May festivities (local colleges graduations, Mother’s Day, etc) -May 23rd, Mission Hill Grammar School’s 8th Annual Road to College Gala…check out missiongrammar.org for more details on tickets and timing. Did you know that 2024 marks 135 years that Mission Grammar has served this neighborhood?! -Annual Memorial Day remembrance event with the Mission Hill Post and Main Streets, May 27th in Brigham Circle. Time TBD -May 28-31 Small Business Week -June 19th- third annual MHMS/MFA/Mission Hill Artists Collective Juneteenth event at the MFA. We are excited to once again exhibit Mission Hill artists at the Museum of Fine Arts free community celebration. Please join us in the Atrium between 10:00am and 3:00pm to view the artwork of LeShonda Zene, Aminata Dakowa, Zahira Nurtruth, and Michelle Zene.  Enjoy an array of paintings, fabric creations, fluid art of handcrafted paper items, resin and more.   If there is anything I missed that you’d like to promote or have shared on social media, or the soon to be resurrected newsletter, please reach out: [email protected]. GO CELTICS!

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