What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker

Special to the Gazette

Mission Hill Framer’s market is open for business this Winter.  Yes, it’s true and it’s thriving!  In addition to picking up your organically grown vegetables and using SNAP, you can also find some delightful, rustic birdhouses to purchase at the market.  Conveniently located at the Orange Line Roxbury Crossing MBTA Station it is open from 11:00am-6:00pm depending on the weather.

Despite COVID, February has been a busy month in Mission Hill.  Several community meetings took place to discuss a variety of topics.  Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Johanna Sena presented at the Community Task Force Meeting to discuss the proposed two-year IMP (Institutional Master Plan) renewal, stating there would be no changes to the campus at this time and talked about potential plans.  IMPs must be renewed every 10 years by educational and medical institutions and includes development projects, growth projections and community benefits.  As you can imagine, it takes a few years to put one together and if not ready to put one forward, an extension can be requested, as Wentworth did due to delays by both a change in Presidents at WIT and COVID restrictions. 

Gary Walling, President of CAMH (Community Association of Mission Hill) led a lively discussion about development projects on Terrace Street at the latest CAMH meeting. It is great to see how active and committed the Mission Hill community is by their participation in these meetings and conversations about the development and trends here.   More details can be found in CAMH’s monthly article in this issue.

Gary is a familiar face in the neighborhood as he has been here since 2009 with his lovely family.  He went on to say “I love Mission Hill because it is a tight-knit community that is very welcoming.  I know almost all my neighbors here in the Historic Triangle and have gotten to know so many people through my involvement in CAMH, Main Streets, and Ward 10 Democratic Committee.  I love that we have so many great local places we can go to:  Milkweed Café, The Mission, Penguin Pizza, Mike’s Donuts, Solid Ground Café, Laughing Monk, etc.  We have great pubs (well when you could hang out in pubs before COVID): Puddingstone, Squealing Pig, Flann’s.”   Gary’s last statement reflects the nature of our neighborhood the best – “Mission Hill feels like a small town in the middle of Boston.” 

We hope you caught the Chronicle WCVB Channel 5 show February 25, that featured several Mission Hill business owners!  If not, you can catch in on You Tube:  All Walks of Life Call Mission Hill Home.  As part of a series on Happening Hoods this one focused on “Happening Hills” and included businesses on Tremont and Terrace Streets here in the neighborhood.  Among those local business owners who were featured is Pedro Aguirre of Vanity Loft Salon, Mike Pires of Kush Groove Shop, Ellen Garvey from Diablo Glass taught Chronicle’s co-anchor Shayna Seymour how to make a glass paperweight while Milkweed Café’s Ben Johnson made some mouthwatering dishes.  

Do join in our Winter promotion “Love your Mission Hill restaurants” for a little fun and to help support ALL restaurants in Mission Hill.  There are over 30 restaurants here and MHMS, with social media help from Northeastern University’s Community Ambassadors (CA’s) and support from Needham Bank, is running a promotion with new tee shirts offered each month designed to encourage more people to dine-in, order takeout or delivery.  It’s easy to win!  Just post 10 Facebook or Instagram photos of your meal from any of the restaurants in the neighborhood to win a FREE tee shirt!  Last month’s theme was “Show your love for Mission Hill restaurants!” while this month is “Celebrate your love for Mission Hill restaurants!” with a big shamrock and the MH skyline.  You can also mail in 10 receipts to receive a tee shirt (MHMS, 1542 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02120). 

Under Mayor Walsh, the City of Boston last year recognized the importance of local, small businesses, especially those that have been operating for 20 years or more.  Mission Hill boasts over 16 Legacy businesses with Hillside Market (which first opened in 1919) being the oldest, continuous run business for 102 years!   One family in Mission Hill is an example of the strength of hard-working small business owners and the success they can achieve.  Nick Patel, owner of the Hillside Market at 82 Hillside Street, is one of those who has seen the results of years of effort.  His market offers everything one needs – cleaning products, ice creams and a selection of international foods that appeal to his customers.  Nick, a Mission Hill resident for over twelve years, has owned Hillside Market for three years and just recently purchased the Huntington Market at 818 Huntington Avenue across from Roxbury Tenants of Harvard.   He says his success is due to hard work and “being good to people.”  Nick loves his neighbors and says, “they are all good people.”

Until next month, please be safe, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

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