What’s Happening on Main Streets

Papa’s a hit! I’m not referring to Ernest Hemingway or Goldilocks’ friend. I’m talking about the restaurant run by Konstantine Papadopoulos called Papa’s Pizza Company at 682 Huntington Ave. which opened last month. Located next door to The Squealing Pig on Huntington at the intersection of Wigglesworth and Smith Streets, it features dine-in, take-out, catering and a free delivery service. Like a fancy wine list, Papa’s menu lists delicious pizza under white or red headings. Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo as well as the Buffalo Chicken (both under the white category, incidentally) earned a definite thumbs-up from my discerning palate. Calzones, subs, specialty wraps, salads and dinners are available at competitive prices and the place is immaculate. Best of all, they’re nice people from the neighborhood. Give Papa a try!

Mission Hill Main Streets Awards night (continued) Kudos still come in about the scrumptious presentations and dining delicacies prepared by the Milkweed Café as the event caterer. Here is more information about our Honorands.

Last year, MHMS instituted its first “Inspiration to Youth Award” and this year presented it to a man from Annunciation Road who made it all the way to the NBA, Will Blalock. Local basketball fans remember Will from his playing days at the Tobin Center, East Boston High, Notre Dame Prep and Iowa State before being drafted and playing with the Detroit Pistons in 2006 and 2007. Will also played pro ball in Israel, Germany, and Canada but over the past four years has been instilling focus and discipline into the lives of young men serving time at the Suffolk County House of Correction. Officer Blalock now changes lives, one person at a time, one day at a time, for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.   This dedicated family man, joined by his wife and seven year old daughter, humbly accepted his prize while talking about the love, generosity and kindness he received growing up in the Mission Hill neighborhood.

The cherished “Golden Broom Award” presented to Mission Hill’s cleanest business was graciously accepted this year by The Mission Bar co-owner Harry Walsh. Volunteer of the Year recipient Chad Rosner and Business of the Year “The Laughing Monk” owner Dome Nakapakorn received framed copies of their street pole banner renderings.

This year’s “Distinguished Public Official Award” recipient Will Onuoha could not attend the festivities because Mayor Walsh named Will that week as the executive director for the Mayor’s Office of Fair Housing, which required him to attend Department of Justice training in Washington. Will’s father, Dr. Everest Onuoha, dutifully filled in and eloquently accepted the tribute for Will’s work as assistant housing commissioner for the Inspectional Services Department. Professor Onuoha spoke proudly of his son’s affection for the neighborhood in which he was raised.

A “Community Philanthropist Award” was bestowed upon a pleasant young man from Colorado who moved to Mission Hill as a Northeastern University undergrad and never left. While studying, he began cleaning and setting up apartments and eventually started his own company, Cornerstone Real Estate. Adam Sarbaugh, an Oswald Street resident, supports numerous community charities and performs kindnesses every week in the neighborhood he loves without seeking acknowledgement. Main Streets is grateful that this kind man was willing to be recognized by us this year.

A decade ago, Michelle Flynn took a job at the Mission Bar to supplement her meager elementary school teaching pay and quickly became passionate about supporting Mission Hill causes. She has become the go-to person in the neighborhood to organize charitable events, collect prizes, sell tickets, and guarantees success whenever she gets involved. Beloved by this neighborhood, Michelle’s quiet elegance and personal charity has earned for her the MHMS “Salt of the Earth Award.”

Finally, the 2018 “Outstanding Public Servant Award” was conferred upon someone beloved among Main Streets programs nationally. This awardee led the fight for the restoration of Community Development Block Grant funding when President Trump zeroed out the line item in his first budget submission to the Congress. A favorite each year at Mission Hill Main Streets our awardee was precluded from accepting the award this year in person because the U.S. House was debating an immigration bill that evening. However, the audience was not disappointed. Congressman Capuano deputized his son Michael Capuano Jr. to accept the plaque in his stead, which now proudly hangs in dad’s office. It is uncanny (no hilarious, really) how much junior resembles his dad, in mannerism, appearance, and speaking style. The congressman’s wife Barbara (a Boston State graduate, incidentally) loves joking to audiences “what have I done?” when people comment about the ghostly resemblance of the two Mikes.

All in all, I’d say this year’s event was hard to top. Once again, thank you to all who helped to make the event a winner.



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