What’s Happening on Main Streets

The chairman of the Republican National Committee cautioned his party about putting a brash, egotistical, and outspoken loudmouth in the White House. Calling this wealthy media celebrity a “Madman,” the GOP chairman worried about the sanity of this candidate. Railing on about the rigged system of entrenched special interests and how his fellow rich people were destroying America, this moneyed New Yorker’s obsessive need for attention is so great that a relative of his once said, “When he attends a wedding he wants to be the bride and when he attends a funeral he wants to be the corpse.” Constantly at odds with the Washington press, this affluent blowhard wishes everyone to believe that he’s the smartest guy in the room. That a Republican President who behaves like such a bully is shocking to a majority of the people in the United States. Picturing our new Commander in Chief Donald J. Trump? I’m describing a President whose countenance now emanates from atop Mount Rushmore, Teddy Roosevelt.

My point is that NO ONE can truly predict the future. Lincoln described the United States as “The last best hope of earth.” History has blessed our nation from tyrants because of the theories of shared powers and the checks and balances among our co-equal branches established in the Constitution. Dreaming of such a republic, James Madison wrote, “You take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens.” This “competing factions” concept has kept ours the most envied nation on the face of the planet.

Don’t be quick to label me as another swamp-draining “deplorable” Trumpkin! On most occasions I find that The Donald can be an incredibly loathsome character. However, he is now our President. We all have a stake in what happens. Because this Gazette issue is dedicated to history, I encourage folks to consider keeping the long view. Rhetoric is one thing, governing another. Lawmaking was deliberately designed by our Founders to be convoluted and slow. The intention was to harness the winds of popular opinion to make headway on a steady forward course, lest we sail away with fashionable current notions. We should all have a greater appreciation for our shared history and a lesser one on histrionics. Henny Penny pontificators and doomy talking heads need to take a chill pill! The reason our Republic holds fair, frequent (and unrigged) elections is analogous to the MBTA; in time, another ride is bound to come along. I still have an optimistic faith in the promise of America.

Want to win $500. Cash? How about second prize of $200? Boston Green Realty on Tremont Street, across from the Basilica, is hosting a Green Building Challenge open to all ages and the competition will be open until Feb. 24. Write an essay or create a video response answering questions about the benefits to Mission Hill of green buildings and their potential impact. Check out the Challenge questions and register for the contest at [email protected]. Good luck!

This is usually marvelous Mossy Martin’s journalistic bailiwick, but I just learned of the untimely passing of 62-year-old Kevin McCarthy. A lifelong Hillside Street resident, Kevin was a 1972 graduate of Mission High who enlisted and served honorably as a medic in the US Army Airborne, later becoming a registered nurse. Requiescat in Pace.

At the most recent Crime Committee meeting, I enjoyed chatting with Northeastern student Emily Huang. She’s one of the NU Student Ambassadors, but I recognized her as a member the Breakfast Club. I confess to loving the concept of the Breakfast Club. It is philanthropy in its most innocent form. A few years ago a small group of students living on the Hill decided they enjoy waking up early on Sunday mornings and getting some exercise and chuckles by picking up litter for an hour or two. They then adjourn to Mike’s for donuts and coffee. No fanfare, just bookish college students looking to clear their brains and do something nice for their adopted neighborhood. One time the group told me they value the simplicity of the concept. Most just want to do something nice but are reluctant to let it interfere in any way with their studies. I get it! If you see them, give them a thumbs-up to let them know their efforts are appreciated.

The recent closure of Soulfire BBQ at 737 Huntington Ave. caught many by surprise. Two local entrepreneurs have come forward with a proposal and an attractive design that looks to me to be a winner. They call it the Laughing Monk Café with the motto “Thai by day and Sushi by night.” Partners Dome Nakapakorn and Todd Lamothe lived in Jamaica Plain for thirteen years and ran an orchid importing business. However for a long time, Dome has yearned to return to the business he grew up with and still loves. His large immigrant family runs a successful chain of Thai restaurants in Houston where he performed every job in the business before relocating to Boston. (I’m sure Dome’s family will be serving many happy Bostonians in town to watch the Patriots win their fifth Super Bowl.)

Dome and Todd have been planning this venture and looking for the right location. An upscale 34-seat restaurant with a distinctive menu at that Brigham Circle location has been very warmly received by the Mission Hill business community. They seem like two great guys who’ll fit right in and whose Laughing Monk Café hopes to become a new neighborhood landmark. Mission Hill will be rooting for them.

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