What’s Happening on Main Streets

Zombies inside the haunted house at the Tobin Community Center.     (Courtesy Photo by Claire Comeau)

Zombies inside the haunted house at the Tobin Community Center.
(Courtesy Photo by Claire Comeau)

Mission Hill reveled at this year’s Saturday celebration of ghouls and ghosts with an even bigger and better Halloween on the Hill, sponsored by the Mission Hill Youth Collaborative (MHYC). Hundreds of goblins, large and small, enjoyed the spooky sojourn through the expanded haunted house at the Tobin Community Center, and next door, the little ones rode ponies (always a hit) on Jason Savage’s parking lot.

Costumed mobs of kiddos solicited candy at local businesses manned by college volunteers in MHYC shirts throughout the neighborhood. Face painting, games, music, a drum circle from Sociedad Latina, pumpkins and apples from the Farmers Market and the Health Movement, and even free toothbrushes from Great Hill Dental were presented.

Local businesses opening their decorated doors this year include Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta, Kush Groove Apparel, The Puddingstone, Sully’s Barbershop, Halal Indian Cuisine, JP Licks, Kwik-E Subs and Penguin Pizza. Thank you to the wide array of institutions and groups who donated money and volunteers to make the 2015 Halloween on the Hill such a success for the children. Nobody does it like us.

It is fitting to recognize the vision and brilliance of the Tobin Center’s chief John Jackson once again. John’s eye for talent led him to hire a real rising star to head up the MHYC after Maggie Casey moved on earlier this year. Hometown product Claire Comeau (she grew up in the Whittier Street Development) brings intelligence, organization and common sense to her role in coordinating the many MHYC programs. As a young mother of two boys (with another child on the way), Claire brought a focus on safety to this year’s Halloween activities. In addition to her many efforts, Claire is earning her master’s degree at Simmons. I predict great things from this charming dynamo and congratulate her on a job well done.

Another annual mainstay, the Mission Hill Road Race was huge hit on Oct. 24. Runners and walkers of all abilities grinded their way through the hilly course, while neighbors cheered them on from the sidewalks and front porches. Proceeds from the event go to the upkeep of the breathtaking Kevin Fitzgerald Park off of St. Alphonsus Street.

The mayor and the local pols were there, as well as oldsters, youngsters and students who’ve developed a genuine affection for this urban gem of a neighborhood. The colleges competed for the Pudding Pot trophy and prizes were awarded for various ages and levels. My own personal award for most clever running outfit this year goes to Beta Burger owner Adrian Wong. He ran a very respectable time, while adorned as a giant hamburger to promote his new business across from the Roxbury Crossing T Station. Is Adrian posing a subtle challenge to neighbor Mash Abdirahman to run next year’s race dressed as a falafel? We’ll see.

While visiting the senior bingo at Roxbury Tenants of Harvard last week, one of my favorite lifelong residents Ellen Saucier told me a wonderful story about her son’s longtime girlfriend Sarah Demires. That week’s scuttlebutt was about the MBTA bus #2093 on the Route 39 outbound, which jumped the sidewalk at the Brigham Circle monument and stopped just short of the benches and flagpole on Sunday night, Oct. 25.

Susan was on board as a passenger and noticed that the bus was weaving and could see that the operator was trembling. She raced to the front to assist the driver, who by then was slumping over at the wheel experiencing a seizure, applied the brakes and brought the massive vehicle to a stop. The half-filled shuttle’s passengers breathed a sigh of relief and emergency vehicles responded immediately for the operator. Sarah has earned the appreciation of the entire neighborhood for her quick thinking selflessness.

A new restaurant wishes to open shop at 1508 Tremont Street at the corner of Burney Street across from the library. Ben Johnson and David Cawley, the popular owners of the highly successful Blarney Stone Restaurant in Fields Corner, wish to open a restaurant similar to the Paramount cafes in Beacon Hill and South Boston. They recently made presentations before the Community Alliance, Neighborhood Housing Services and the Main Streets boards. They are scheduled to meet with other people in the neighborhood in the coming weeks. It’s nice to see such well-established business owners wishing to invest their dollars in what they perceive as a booming future in Mission Hill.

The new Tremont Street lights have been installed by the Public Works Department, as well as an upgrade of the underground wiring system. What an improvement in both luminescence and appearance. These stylish black apparatuses cry out for decoration for the upcoming holidays. Five-foot tall lamppost lights in the shape of snowflakes appear to be the most popular choice. If you wish to assist Mission Hill Main Streets with the purchase of pole-mounted decorations, please refer to our Thanksgiving ad in this month’s Gazette.

Finally, I concur with Concord’s Henry David Thoreau who said, “I am grateful for what I am and have, my thanksgiving is perpetual.” However, there is something special about the Thanksgiving Holiday that has always made it my favorite day of the year. This uniquely American celebration focuses on family and friends gathering around a sumptuous meal and expressing gratitude for their good fortune. Please accept my gratitude and have a wonderful holiday.

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