What’s Happening on Main Streets

Each year, seasonal transformation prompts a marvel of nature with over 1.7 million wildebeests trekking the Serengeti performing their yearly migration. Our Mission Hill neighborhood undergoes a much smaller annual response each Sept. 1 when the students return on Move-In Day. The City, the various colleges and MASCO attempt to make the operation a painless one by providing extra police presence, special parking and driving restrictions, inspectional agency officers at the ready, and extra trash removal trucks. Various college administrators are ubiquitous providing assistance and warnings to new off-campus arrivals about proper neighborhood etiquette. Local businesses rearrange their regularly scheduled deliveries in order to assist in this amazing synergistic fandango of families and their offspring unloading various U-Haul-it vehicles throughout the Hill. We hardly rival Northern Tanzania and Southwestern Kenya, yet, all in all, it is quite a sight to behold. Thank you to all who help with the experience.

Sadly, one important choreographer in our annual neighborhood ballet was missing from the stage this year. I called him our “key guy” because of his line of customers waiting by the whir of the grinder producing duplicate keys on Move-In Day. For many of the young people experiencing Mission Hill for the first time, meeting the late Cholo Cruz, with his merry manner and infectious smile, set a most welcoming tone. The loss of our beloved AC Hardware owner left a huge hole in the heart of Mission Hill. Nonetheless, if ever there was one person who wanted everyone he encountered to “face each day with joy and gratitude”, it was the owner of the 2017 Main Streets Businessman of the Year, Andres “Cholo” Cruz.

Milkweed Cafe & Bistro on the corner of Burney Street at 1508 Tremont St. has ironed out their wrinkles and are welcoming customers to their cozy and attractive portal just in time for the local population uptick. Holly, Dave, Kelsey, Katie, Tricia, Brianna, and Ben with their friendly and welcoming hospitality are making it THE hot new venue. Reviews by locals are top-notch. Even At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George confessed to me she recently tried Milkweed with her husband on their wedding anniversary and said it was “bright, airy, and happy…I loved it!” Steak Frites and Cacio e pepe are hot sellers on the dinner menu and Kenoi & Eggs goes like crazy at breakfast time, flying out the door with take-out. Neighbors report that the cold-brew coffee is tasty and I can certify that their piping hot “Barry’s Tea” rivals those cups I enjoy at home. Reservations aren’t required but may be very soon. You can call 617-516-8913 or contact eatatmilkweed.com. Milkweed will not disappoint.

Want a pleasant Saturday adventure? The year’s “Friends of the Poor Walk” conducted by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul will be held on Saturday morning, Sept. 30. You’ve probably encountered someone who has benefited from the society’s volunteers whose noble purpose is “to serve the poor of Boston.” This charity helps our truly deserving neighbors in need. One of the oldest (175-plus years) and most effective charitable organizations in the world, individual St. Vincent chapters will hold walks in 230 locations across the US. Registration begins at Mission Church at 7:15 a.m. with a brief opening ceremony at 8:00 a.m., then, the walk. Those of every fitness level can participate…it is a ramble, not a footrace! The total walk is 5.2 miles (or less) along the Southwest Corridor beginning and ending at Mission Church. Plenty of free coffee, beverages, and goodies graciously donated by Maria Weinograd from Mike’s Donuts and Elizabeth Silveira from Dunkin’ Donuts will be available. Please drop by and enjoy meeting some of the very best folks from Mission Hill. All are welcome. Contact fopwalk.org or [email protected] for more information or how you can help. Any donation, large or small, will be graciously appreciated.

My longtime pal, the unrivaled former state Rep. Tommy Finneran of Mattapan thoughtfully remembers my beautiful bride (a rabid Red Sox-aholic) each birthday with a pair of Sox tickets. This year’s Aug. 16 game welcomed the return of the still-living 1967 “Impossible Dream” team featuring jumbotron video clips of the hullabaloo of a half-century ago, prior to a game between the current lineup and their long ago World Series opponents, the St. Louis Cardinals. Seeing Reggie Smith, Yaz and Rico Petrocelli and the other golden anniversary greats on a splendid summer night capped with a ninth inning walk-off win was magic. The uplift that professional sports excellence can bring to our New England region is like no other. Here’s a toast to the eternal optimism provided by our heroes in Fenway Park!


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