By Ellen Walker
Special to the Gazette
What an exciting month! Thousands of students returned to Mission Hill, the E Line tracks were fixed in record time providing safe passage across Huntington Avenue for all and the 2nd annual MHMS Restaurant Week was a huge success!
In early September, Acting Mayor Janey visited Mission Hill Mission Hill and spent time with a few local businesses. Both Representative Nika Elugardo and City Councilor Kenzie Bok joined us as we toured Brigham Circle businesses and avoided the torrential rains. First stop on the tour was the always hopping Mission Bar & Grill where we met with Harry, the owner. Then we walked across the street to Laughing Monk Café where Mayor Janey was impressed as Pae showed her the cafés sushi station. Our next stop was just down the street at our newest Legacy business, Liz’s Hair Care where Liz has been making Mission Hill neighbors look good for over 20 years! Congratulations and thank you Liz. The well-received tour of the neighborhood ended with a stop at JP Licks for delicious ice cream cones – the perfect end to any day.
One of the best parts of my job here at Mission Hill Main Streets is that it allows me to connect with many interesting people – business owners, students, community leaders and residents. Just last week I had the pleasure of meeting two Mission Hill residents who graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and are Mission Hill’s newest business owners, Mit Patel and Jamille Coy. They are launching a retail store on Tremont Street that will offer unique goods for the international and multi-cultural needs of the community in the neighborhood. Follow us on Facebook (https://facebook.com/MissionHillMainStreets) and we will post their store opening this month. I am sure we all look forward to seeing what exciting line of products they will offer!
Then I met a long-time resident whose grandparents moved here in 1916. To maintain her privacy, I will refer to her as “Ms. L.” She welcomed me into her home, and we talked about Mission Hill history, politics, family and more. Ms. L’s father and uncle bought the house, which is in the historic district of Mission Hill, for their parents (her grandparents) and a family member has lived there ever since. She has delightful memories of her doting grandparents whom she spent Summers with as a child. In some of her historic research, Ms. L learned about the 1940 Census which indicated no black people living there. Who knows what else they missed? Raised as a black woman in a Jewish neighborhood, being an active member of the Protestant Church and a graduate of the Boston school system and Boston University, her wonderful life journey and experiences all led to her richness of character which was instrumental in her success as a social worker. These diverse experiences also helped Ms. L connect with the multi-national populations of her clients and I have been told many of her students have become very successful professionals. I think this is a perfect demonstration of the strength within our community.
Finally, Mission Hill’s 2nd Annual Restaurant Week was a resounding success! Thanks to the students being back in town, most institutions bringing their staff back to the office and the nice weather, the restaurant owners were ecstatic with the turnout. Pamela, owner of Penguin Pizza, said “our most popular dishes for the week included chicken pesto tortellini and the Tuscan fig pizza too. Many customers said they would never have ordered it had it not been on the restaurant week menu. They loved it and would order it again!” According to Pae, general manager at Laughing Monk Café, restaurant week brought their total to over 1,000 dishes of Pad Thai served for the month. One customer stated, “Man on man was the Pad Thai delicious!” As restaurant week was winding down, Dome, owner of Laughing Monk, had a surprise visit from Mayor Janey who stopped in for lunch. Thank you for supporting small, local business and thank you to Maverick Construction for the installation of MHMS Restaurant Week banners!
Please continue to support local, small business. Enjoy our beautiful parks and the great Fall weather ahead of us this month. Not sure where to go in Mission Hill or what to see? Check out https://explore.missionhillmainstreet.com. Until next month, be safe and enjoy you’re your wonderful neighborhood!
“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” – Picabo Street, Olympic Gold Medalist and alpine skier