by Janice Williams
The Bulletin Newspapers
A Roslindale Perspective - 4/8/02
Positively - 4/1/02
Spring into Art - 3/25/02
Parkway Melting Pot - 3/18/02
New Optimism - 3/11/02
What no Chopin? - 3/4/02
Discover Lifes Little Treasures - 2/28/02
Surfing the Parkway -2/21/02
Soup Days - 2/14/02
Local Love Shopping - 2/7/02
Be a Hero - 1/24/02
The Suburb Superb - 1/17/02
Let the Pageantry Begin - 1/10/02
Travel with a Roslindale Icon - 12/17/01
Visions of Sugarplums - 12/10/01
Say Cheese - 12/3/01
Musing Through Life - 11/26/01
Tea Talk - 11/12/01
Good Hair Day - 11/5/01
Center Stage- 10/30/01
The Art of Halloween - 10/23/01
Dance is good for the soul - 10/16/01
History Out of the Box - 10/08/01
Public Art - 10/04/01
Books are only the beginning - 9/24/01
"No Man is an Island For Whom the Bell Tolls" - 9/17/01
Festival Fever - 9/10/01
Dog Stories - 9/2/01
Summer Medley - 8/27/01
A Ride with "Community Police" - 8/20/01
"Dunk It" on Roslindale Pride Day - 8/16/01
Deli-cious or "I'll have what she's having" - 8/8/01
Medical Center takes center stage - 7/23/01
Neighborhood residents take a bite out of crime - 7/16/2001
Down on the Farm - 7/9/2001
Womens Work - 7/2/2001
Artists Colony - 6/24/01
The Girls of Summer - 6/17/01
All the Right International Ingredients - 6/10/01
Surround Yourself in Green -6/3/2001
A Roslindale Perspective - 4/8/02
One of the most prolific yet virtually unnoticed businesses in the area are insurance providers. The Latest Verizon telephone book for Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury, lists over 60 insurance agencies. Insurance is big business- According to The Washington Post; Author Jackie Spinner, "The life insurance industry has $3.2 trillion in assets. Last year it paid $44.1 billion in claims on 3.8 million policies". Insurance takes a big slice out of consumers paychecks. Figures show that an average family could easily spend a combined total of $3,000 each year for auto, home, life, and health insurance coverage. While insurance is big, it is the small community based insurance companies that service us well.
These businesses while getting little notoriety provide a vital service to the residents in our community. Insurance can be complicated and while some insurance is mandatory like car, home and business insurance, there are other insurance products that we purchase such as life and health insurance that are equally important. "Although most Americans feel they have about the right amount of insurance coverage (67 percent), only 28 percent say they understand the details of the coverage "very well," according to a recent survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). When it comes to insurance, knowledge is your best policy".
Here in Roslindale, if you want to know about insurance, just ask somebody who has been in the insurance business virtually all his life. Wilbert R. Lannon (Bill) of Joseph C. MacQuarrie Insurance in Roslindale at 2 Corinth Street not only knows insurance but also is a walking Roslindale historian. Lannon who spent thirty-five years selling nationally with the Monarch Insurance Company has always had ties to Roslindale. He was born in Roslindale on Garden Street during World War I. His family then moved to Prospect Street. He left Roslindale to be a pilot in the Air Force and eventually settled in Dedham, MA.
Lannon loves to talk about the "old" Roslindale. His wife Mary and daughter Verne both were faithful and long time employees of MacQuarrie insurance. Most days Lannon would end up at the MacQuarrie office originally located where Citizens Bank is now on South Street where he would lend some of his insurance expertise. One of Lannons favorite tales is the trolley service where you could ride around the city for ten cents all day getting on and off the trolley at various shopping districts. His favorite shopping district of course was Roslindale. He still occasionally wears a tie that he purchased from Park Snows Department store that was located in the heart of Roslindale. Lannon can regale you with the ever-changing landscape that Roslindale Village has seen over the years.
Today, Lannon still works the insurance business helping Don MacQuarrie carry on a business that his father Joseph started 60 years ago. Lannons wife and daughter have passed on. Lannon faithfully works his day job at MacQuarrie insurance, commuting each day from Medfield to the community that he knows and loves best. Lannon participates in the community in a number of ways. He is very active with the local Kiwanis and he helps out with the Parkway Little League.
So, if you have an insurance question, stop by and ask Lannon. He can give you the latest insurance information but what is most important is that he can give you a perspective on Roslindale that is entertaining and hard to find.
Note: The best way to educate yourself on insurance is to visit the Massachusetts Division of Insurance at www.state.ma.us/doi at One South Station, Boston, MA (617) 521-7794.
Positively - 4/1/02
Nancy Levy, a Business Coach, once said, "Teenagers are the victims of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We view them negatively and then they meet our expectations". So often teenagers are labeled as mischievous but for the most part teenagers are giving participants in our society. Most times the good deeds go unnoticed while the bad acts get all the press. For instance, every month Erin Rosen Watson from Natick, MA sends out an email newsletter that updates people on her progress in providing "Essential Care Packets" for foster children. Erin is a teenager who positively uses her time and energy to make a difference in the world. Erin has provided 700 placement bags since June 2001 and 1809 afghans since October 2000 to foster children of all ages.
Rosen is just one of those teenagers who gives generously to society. Here in the Parkway there are dozens of stories to be told about great deeds by teenagers, too many in fact to mention here. One such group of teenagers who make a positive impact is the Rossie Reps. The Rossie Reps under the tutelage of Cathy Slade and Healthy Roslindale is a great program for pre-teens and teenagers. The kids are given the freedom to plan and organize events that satisfy their needs while learning and maintaining civil and social behavior. Some community events that the Rossie Reps have impacted positively are National Night Out and every Roslindale Village Main Street Event. The latest project for the Rossie Reps is assisting with the awareness part of the Anti-Litter campaign in Roslindale. They are currently coordinating a poster contest. Kids are encouraged to submit a poster with the theme "Keeping Roslindale Clean". The deadline for entries is April 23. Entries can be dropped off at the Roslindale Branch Library. The Rossie Reps will also be doing performance skits at local schools to teach children about managing litter.
While we applaud great deeds by teenagers, the best way we can serve teenagers is by simply listening to them. Hearing and understanding what teenagers are thinking can help us as adults to guide teens. A locally published (out of Satch Publishing in Jamaica Plain) magazine "Positive Teens" while published for the teenage audience should be a must read for the parents of a teenager. The magazines intro says "Positive Teens is pleased to be the magazine where young adults wish to share their ideas, express their frustrations, and showcase their talents." For Christina Marie Davis, age 17 of Roslindale, her poem published here and in the latest issue (March/April) of "Positive Teens" reveals the need of teens for self-identity. "Positive Teens" magazine will be holding its 2nd Annual Teen Poetry Slam at the Boston Public Library on April 13th from 1-4 p.m. Says Susan Manning, publisher of Positive Teens and coordinator of the event. "A poetry slam is a great venue for teens to showcase creative writing through dramatic and lyrical presentations, Once upon a time, only adults were interested in slams; now theyre popular with teens, too. Its a great experience to see spirited young people genuinely enjoying themselves during these competitions."
So while it is our responsibility as adults to lead, we must first listen. For more information about Eric Rosens "Essential Care Packets" visit www.massyouthinaction.org. For information about the Rossie Reps, call Cathy Slade at Healthy Roslindale at 617-323-9022. All are welcome to join. Meetings are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 at the Roslindale Branch Library. For information about "Positive Teens" Magazine, visit www.positiveteensmag.com.
The reasons why
I do the things I do
Is not to impress you
But to let you know without you
I will always continue to grow
I believe in me and for that one reason alone
I will succeed
Christina Marie Davis is all I need
I will let no one hold me down
I will always be at level with the ground
I will never drown my chin stays up
And I will always love who I am
No matter what
Christina Marie Davis
Spring into Art - 3/25/02
Little patches of color can be seen poking through the earth. These hearty flowers hold the promise of an event that New Englanders hold precious. That event is springtime and the onset of new life in the form of bright sunshine, green grass and beautiful aromatic flowers. While this past winter has been moderate, we still welcome spring and the energy it brings us for renewal. Oscar Wilde said, "It is through Art and through Art only that we can realize our perfection; through Art and Art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence." Winter can be at times that "sordid peril" and the doing and seeing of art is a worthy springtime starting point.
Two Roslindale residents will be exhibiting their work in the month of April. Amanda Barrow is a Roslindale resident who has a passion for art. Barrow just received a Professional Development grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to work at the Grafisch Atelier Utrecht, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands to work in their printmaking studio. Barrow also received a grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. This grant will allow Barrow to continue work on her current project called "Asian Wall Series". The first series in this project will be on exhibit at the Mayors Gallery at Boston City Hall through May 3, 2002. A reception will be held on April 4th from 6-7 p.m. For more information about Barrows art, visit www.amandabarrow.com.
An exhibition of creations by George Pagliuca "Pops Pag" will be held at the West Roxbury Library, 1961 Centre Street, West Roxbury during the month of April. His work will include oils, pastels, watercolors, and charcoal and pencil sketches. A reception will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2002, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. For library hours visit www.bpl.org.
April is also the month of the Museum of Fine Arts "Art in Bloom" exhibit. Using artwork displayed in the museum as models, local garden clubs create floral arrangements that are exhibited throughout the museums galleries. Other events during "Art in Bloom" include a Sunday brunch, floral demonstrations by national and internationally recognized floral designers, fashion shows, and lectures. "Art in Bloom" begins on April 27. For more information visit www.mfa.org.
And of course locally, you can see our own version of "Art in Bloom" at the Arnold Arboretum on what is known as "Lilac Sunday". This year "Lilac Sunday" will take place on May 12 in celebration of 130 years of successful lilac cultivation at the Arnold Arboretum. On that day enjoy picnicking, watch Morris dancing (English folk dancing), and take tours of the lilac collection. Another "artful adventure at the Arnold Arboretum is "An Evening of Tree Poetry" that will take place on April 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the Arboretum will hold a poetry reading honoring trees. For more information visit www.arboretum.harvard.edu
Speaking of flowers as art, a wonderful place to visit this spring is the Massachusetts Horticultural Societys Elm Bank. Elm Bank is a 36-acre horticultural and education center in nearby Wellesley, MA MHS will be holding a class "Art in the Garden" on Saturday, May 11 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The MHA says of this class, "This class will explore the placement of sculpture in gardens of today, from contemporary to realistic and from sublime to the ridiculous".
So "Spring into Art" and shake off the winter doldrums by participating in some "artful" activities beginning this Saturday, March 30 at the Roslindale Village Main Street "Egg Hunt". There will be a craft table available for young and old.
Janice Williams is a freelance writer from Roslindale, Co-Host of "Its All About Arts" a local BNN Cable Show shown on Channel 9 on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. and owner of www.artfulgift.com, a resource web site for artists and art supporters.
Parkway Melting Pot - 3/18/02
No doubt about it, Boston is truly a "Melting Pot" of people. Recent US Census statistics reveal that the Greater Boston area ranks 12th in the Nation for foreign-born residents. Starting with the huge Irish influx in the 1840s due to the famine in Ireland to the 1990s when Haitians, Chinese, Irish, Dominicans, Italians, Jamaicans, Vietnamese, Cape Verdeans, and Russians immigrated in large numbers, Boston is a city of multiple cultures. A wonderful array of languages, art, food and skills surround us and expand our horizons citywide and locally.
For history buffs, a recent literary night held by the Greater Roslindale Medical Center at the West Roxbury Pub revealed the rich journey of change that Boston has seen heavily influenced by the immigrants who have settled here. Thomas H. OConnnor, University Historian and Professor of History, Emeritus, at Boston College talked about his most recent book "The Hub" Boston Past and Present. The book talks about Bostonians who "have played a colorful and often controversial role in shaping the Nations political, economic, and cultural landscapes". Most fascinating was the discussion on the Irish who came to embrace and shape Boston in a big way. OConnor writes, " After the Civil War, the future seemed much more promising for the members of the Citys Irish community. Ambitious construction projects furnished additional employment for Irish Laborers. With this first step up on the rung of economic success, the Irish began moving out of the old, congested waterfront sections of Boston into such nearby neighborhoods as Charlestown, South Boston, East Boston and Dorchester. Then, in the late 1860s and early 1870s, using new forms of transportation such as the horse drawn streetcar, many were able to move out into more suburban neighborhoods such as Roxbury, Brighton and West Roxbury."
It is with great pride that we can note that Bostons Irish population gave the United States a great president in John F. Kennedy. The JFK Library web site says this of Kennedys immigrant past, "The early Kennedys and Fitzgeralds worked as peddlers, coopers and common laborers; later they became clerks, tavern owners and retailers. By the end of the century, Patrick "P.J." Kennedy and John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the presidents other grandfather, had become successful Boston politicians." According to OConnor in another book he wrote, The Boston Irish, "one fifth of Bostons population was born in Ireland". One only has to send an afternoon at the West Roxbury library studying its extensive Irish history collection to appreciate the Irish cultural influence on Boston and the Parkway area.
Who are the new immigrants who live in the Parkway area? Look around and you will see influences of many cultures delicious food (Village Sushi- Japanese, Tonys Market- Italian, Droubi Brothers Middle East, Ali Rotis Wraps- Caribbean, Wapo Taco-Mexican and Roslindale Fish Greek) to name a few. Stop by the Roslindale Library on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. or Mondays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Here you can join in and help newcomers practice English in an informal, enjoyable setting. A visit to the Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center reveals a wide range of cultures being serviced in the area (Roslindale, West Roxbury and Hyde Park). Currently the staff is able to accommodate four different languages Chinese, Spanish, Albanian, and Greek.
You can get to know "Boston Past and Present" in a number of fascinating ways. Pick up a copy of OConnors book. Visit the Dream of Freedom Immigration Museum at 1 Milk Street www.dreamoffreedom.org.
Janice Williams is a freelance writer from Roslindale and owner of www.artfulgift.com, a resource web site for artists and art supporters.
New Optimism - 3/11/02
There is nothing like newness to make us feel optimistic and invigorated. A shiny new car, a new haircut and new clothes helps us see and face our world in a refreshed way. So it goes for businesses too. A fresh coat of paint, new windows, and new signs not only make a business feel better but gives a positive upbeat message to the customer and to the community at large. While there is no shortage of contractors willing to do renovations there is a shortage of money and time. Most small businesses marginally exist financially or are at the mercy of the landlords who own the buildings. Add to this the time needed to plan and execute these kinds of projects and it becomes an impossible task for the small business owner who generally is the lone person running the business every day. Whats a business to do?
The Parkway area has many reasons to be optimistic and invigorated. Both Roslindale and West Roxbury have brand new and newer supermarkets. West Roxbury saw some new signage under the City of Bostons Restore program. Roslindale is fortunate enough to be in a boom of building renovation thanks to the Storefront Improvement Program through Roslindale Village Main Streets. Right now renovations are going on at Travel by Judie on Corinth Street and at the block of stores from Fornax Bread to Blue Star Restaurant on Corinth Street. Previous renovations from the program in Roslindale include Wallpaper City, Tonys Market, J.B. Edwards Uniforms and Sons of Italy. Thanks to funding by the City of Boston White Fund soon we will see the beginning construction of a brand new Greater Roslindale Medical Center on South Street in Roslindale.
Whats behind all this construction? On the surface it may seem that these businesses are the lucky recipients of funding via city programs. What is really behind all this newness are communities and businesses and landlords that care. The process is long and complicated. The RVMS Design Committee, all volunteers from the community, works to assist the businesses, landlords and contractors to come up with a viable plan that preserves architecture, fixes structural problems and works within a budget. Months of long meetings, design reviews and adapting designs to budgets take place unseen by the community at large. The funding received while appreciated is only part of what the business or landlord has to put into renovation both financially and physically. As for the new medical center, a dedicated board, once again mostly community volunteers have worked tirelessly under the leadership of Walter Michalik and Barbara Lottero to realize the dream of providing expanded health care for the community. They continue to work to raise money for the furnishing of the new medical center.
For Tom Chan and Sally Chung, owners of Alex Liquors on Corinth Street for nine years, the stores new storefront is wonderful. Chan remembers though that it was a long time in the planning stage. And it has added more work. Days are long because Chan has to be at the store hours earlier for the contractor. Then there is the ton of dust that has to be swept. Chan says that the customers are happy with the new look. Chan has also done some arranging inside the store to accommodate the new larger front windows. This renovation has allowed him to display his extensive wine selection. Its a win, win situation.
It is exciting that West Roxbury is gathering community strength by taking on the Main Street Program. The business district and subsequently the community will see newness spread beyond the Roche Brothers Supermarket. While the decision and application process came about through what may seem like a small group of people, the community at large will and must now get involved.
If you are feeling impatient and think that things should move more quickly, take note of a passage from an article written in 1990 by Peter Anderson that appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine. "I did not see a familiar store at the square. Parke Snow's department store burned down and is an empty lot. Kresge's and the First National and Publix supermarkets are gone, as are the smaller stores: Thom McAn's, where I got a new pair of $3 sneakers each summer; the hardware store that sold sports equipment and, before such things were banned, fire works. The Liggett's drugstore, where I worked while in high school, is a laundromat." Change is inevitable.
Weve come along way and kudos to the residents, business owners, organizations and landlords who have put the energy into making a vital and growing environment for us all. Be patient and be helpful.
Janice Williams is a freelance writer from Roslindale and owner of www.artfulgift.com, a resource web site for artists and art supporters.
What no Chopin? - 3/4/02
Boston is a mishmash of 17th-century cow paths and 19th-century landfill penned in by water. With this statement found in numerous places on the Internet (author unknown) lets look at the naming of streets. There's no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, no water on Water Street. If the streets are named after trees (Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you're on Beacon Hill. If they're named after poets, you're in Wellesley. In the Parkway area streets are named after composers. The streets include Mozart, Lizt, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Vogel and Wolfe.
The growth of urban settlement took place along streetcar lines. A major street happened where the streetcar line ran. Out of that grew closely spaced parallel streets with long blocks of houses on narrow lots. According to the "History of Roslindale" by David and Judith Kunze, "Roads played a great part in the development of all the early communities. The main road, which now passes through Roslindale, is Washington Street, but this road, called the Dedham Turnpike, was not built until 1804. Before that date, the main path or road from Boston to Dedham was what we now call Centre Street. This road was called by many names, including the Dedham Post Road, and was not given the name Centre Street until 1825. The old road traveled up the present Centre Street from Jamaica Plain, and turned left after passing Allandale Street, over what is now called Walter Street, and up South Street to the present junction of Church and Centre Streets, and then on to Dedham via Centre and East Streets. The Dedham Road not only connected the east and west portions of Roxbury, but connected Boston with providence and points west and south."
When urban development began streets were named for landmarks such as Church, Market, Canal. Streets also were named for features like Hill or Water. At one time it was popular to use surnames. In 1850 "love of nature" took hold and street naming took on a whole new dimension. It was at this time that trees were used for naming streets. The most popular name is Oak. Between 1890 and 1910 words like "boulevard" and "park" and "court" became commonplace in street names of this period. The appearance of the automobile found that the word avenue was replaced by the word drive. Developers (who gave most streets their names) gave names that would inspire a positive image, a practice that continues to this day.
For Tom Noren of Roslindale, streets named after famous composers are one reason to like living in Roslindale. A native of Rio de Janeiro Brasil, Noren came to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory and decided to settle here. Noren is a classical guitarist who has performed at many prestigious concert venues, including Jordan Hall, The Oregon Bach Festival, the Miller Theater in New York City and the Taipei National Theater. While Noren spends his days as a real estate agent for Innovative Moves Real Estate, his passion is classical music. He teaches at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. He also performs with two groups, New World Guitar and HourGlass Music. He will be performing on Sunday April 28 at 3 p.m. at the Flint Memorial Library in North Reading. To learn more about Noren and his classical passions visit wwwhourglassmusic.com or www.newworldguitar.com. CDs are available at www.amazon.com.
Boston has come a long way from cow paths and today is touted as the "walkable city". A great book called "Mapping Boston" Edited by: Alex Krieger and David Cobb with Amy Turner. Forward by: Norman B. Leventhal has historical maps of the city and maps that show the gradual emergence of the New England region. One particular map of interest is Henry McIntyres Map of the city of Boston with immediate neighborhood Boston, 1852. The book is available through MIT Press and you can get an overview at www.mappingboston.com. You can see some of these maps at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, and at the Hotel Meridien at Post Office Square.
Lastly, for more Boston history attend the Roslindale Historical Societys next meeting on March 12 for a slide lecture presented by Dr. William Marcione called "Boston in the Federal Period, 1786 1825". The meeting will take place at the Roslindale House on Poplar Street and begins at 7:30 p.m. More information about the RHS is available at www.roslindalehistoricalsociety.org. Also there will be a book lecture and signing at the West Roxbury Pub on March 13 at 7p.m. Author Thomas H. O'Connor will discuss his newest work "The Hub, Boston Past and Present". Call (617) 327-4560 for tickets. This is a fundraiser for the Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center.
Janice Williams is a freelance writer from Roslindale and owner of www.artfulgift.com, a resource web site for artists and art supporters.
Discover Lifes Little Treasures - 2/28/02
A favorite Roslindale activity is arts and crafts. At almost all Roslindale Village Main Street events, the arts and crafts table is the hub of activity. March is National Craft Month and a great time to work on craft projects, take crafts classes or purchase hand made crafted items for your home. The value of the craft & hobby industry in the United States grew to $25.7 billion in 2001, an 11% increase, compared to $23 billion in 2000, according to new research released by the Hobby Industry Association (HIA). The five most popular crafts in order of popularity are: cross- stitch, home décor painting, scrapbooking/memory crafts, floral arranging and crocheting. Cross-stitch remains to be the top most participated in craft in 2000 and 2001. Doing crafts is an activity that can be done by all ages. Just think of the possibilities: ceramics, jewelry, stamping, collage, decorative painting, stained glass, scrapbooking, quilting/sewing and the list is endless.
Craft Projects The array of craft projects is immense. For a good overview of craft projects visit the I-craft.com web site. Locally, Joanne Fabrics on Route 1 Dedham has all the supplies and ideas you could need to start crafting. You can also visit the Flying Yankee Hobby Shop at 1416 Centre Street, Roslindale owned by John Hughes. They specialize in model trains and models. For craft activities for kids visit Kids R Kids at 1952 Centre Street in West Roxbury. And dont forget your local library where you can find great books that show you how to do a wide variety of crafts.
Craft Classes Close by at the Eliot School of fine and applied arts Jamaica Plain you can sign up for a spring class in Paper Marbling Japanese Style (Suminagashi). According to the schools class description, "Float ink on the surface of moving water to create graceful and delicious patterns on paper. Suminagashi dates from the 12th century, the rich era of tea ceremonies, poetry, and calligraphy. Learn the basics, the tools, the philosophy and take home work from each class. Materials fee: $20. 4 Saturdays starts 4/9. 2 4 p.m. $60". Or you can take a quilting class at the Ohrenberger Community Center in West Roxbury. For seniors there are art classes at the Roslindale Community Center on Thursday mornings. The West Roxbury Community Center (Roche Center on Centre Street) offers Sticky Fingers Arts & Crafts for ages 18 months to 3 years. So call your local community centers or pick up a catalog from the Boston Center for Adult Education (usually available at local libraries) or visit bcae.org to find the perfect craft class to match you need.
Purchase Crafts Locally the queen of crafting is Joanne Rossman, a West Roxbury resident who maintains a shop of "delightful treasures" on Birch Street in Roslindale. Rossmans shop is filled to the rafters with hand made items made by Rossman and other craftspeople. Roslindale resident Elizabeth Fixler, runs a wonderful artisans shop called Indigena on South Street in Jamaica Plain. Here you will find gifts and home accessories cleverly and artistically made from local as well as national artisans. Other places in the area to shop for hand made craft items is "Things Remembered" on Centre Street in West Roxbury and at The Gift Box, a new store 147 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale.
The next Roslindale Village Main Street Event will be the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 30. For information about this event visit roslindale.net or call 617-327-4065.
Authors Note: I maintain a comprehensive listing of online arts & crafts resources at http://www.artfulgift.com/craftsupplies.htm
Surfing the Parkway -2/21/02
As of February 11, 2002 according to NetNames International Ltd. there are 32,146,432 domain names registered around the world and counting. Communication is greatly changed by this proliferation of instant information via the Internet and the Worldwide Web. Now anyone with a computer and Internet connection can partake of shopping, entertainment, local and world news, weather reports, art, group interests, medical information, reference materials, business/people directories and the list goes on. Likewise the ability to create web sites is readily available to the general public. While the Internet gives us links to the world at large, here in the Parkway local web sites are an important part of finding out what is going on around us and getting to know our neighbors.
The most interesting way to surf the Parkway is to go to one of the search engines such as Yahoo or Google and type in Roslindale or West Roxbury. Hundreds of sites that mention our towns will appear. You can spend hours clicking away discovering all kinds of tidbits. While a great many of these links are outdated or are not of much literary merit there are some fascinating finds. Like a passage from the history of the Cavanaugh family from Roslindale which reveals, "Jean remembers growing up in Roslindale, MA on Hyde Park Ave. at the corner of Ashland Street, (now Cummings Highway). She says much of that area was farmland, including her fathers land, on which he kept chickens and horses. Their yard backed up to the railroad tracks, which still run toward Boston. Up the hill from Jeans house, on Cummings Highway, is the Sacred Heart Church, where Father Cummings married her parents. Jean remembers Father Cummings parish thinking of him as a saint, and upon his death, they renamed named Ashland Street Cummings Highway after him. Jean attended the Steven M. Weld School, which was just up the street from their home in Roslindale. Also during this search you can find out that the Parkway likes to recycle. According to an American Plastics Council study in 1998, "Measured monthly participation rates were low for East Boston, ranging from 11.5 to 14.5 percent on the two routes there. They were relatively high for Roslindale and West Roxbury, at 64 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
Roslindale has a web ring, which allows you to surf from Roslindale site to Roslindale site. Here you will find thirteen Roslindale related web sites. To surf (or join) the web ring go to http://n.webring.com/hub?ring=roslindale. Here you will find Roslindale Village Main Streets great web site at roslindale.net that is loaded with both current news and information about Roslindale. Find out about upcoming events in Roslindale and press coverage about Roslindale. The site offers a business directory as well as demographic information. West Roxbury also has its very own site at westroxbury.com, edited by Mike Vasil. The site is jam packed with local information including news provided by this newspaper that also has a web site at westroxburybulletin.com.
Other Parkway web sites of note to surf are Bentley the Wonder Dog for fun and info on Samoan dogs at dwellings.com/bentley/ and a review of Roslindale poet Marc Widersheins book "Life of All Worlds". According to Jack Powers, Stone Soup Poets. "This brilliant energized portrait of a once-ago urban neighborhood (Boston in 1947-1960) throbs with affection and detail. Kudos!" Web site at marccreate.com.
And last but not least a web site called Rozzie Square Roslindale on the Web that is a bit outdated but has some delightful links to photos of the area, is part of a great site called Boston Online. Access it at boston-online.com/Neighborhoods/Roslindale. So surf away and discover the Parkways digital world. Internet access is available at both the West Roxbury and Roslindale Libraries.
Authors note: If you are a Parkway resident or business and have a web site, email the URL with a brief description to email@example.com. I will be compiling a list of area web sites.
Soup Days - 2/14/02
Brrr As this article is coming together the temperature has dropped within hours from 40 degrees to 20 degrees with a predicted low of 10-17 degrees. "Baby its cold outside". Or as we say in Roslindale, perfect days for hot soup. Soup has become a trendy lunch and dinner item here in Roslindale and until now one of its best-kept secrets. Are you craving a delicious bowl of hearty and hot soup? Then by all means come to Roslindale and have your fill.
"Our Lord took a piece of unleavened bread, and dipping it into the broth of bitter herbs at the Paschal meal, gave it to Judas." (John 13:26; comp. Ruth 2:14). The word soup originated from the word sop. The first soup was broth poured over bread and that bread was known as sop. It is documented that the Greeks hawked lentil/bean soup on the street as early as 600 B.C. While soup may be old and even biblical it is not tired as evidenced by the creative selections available at different venues in Roslindale.
Just ask Adam and Lisa Goldberg owners of Emack and Bolios on Belgrade Avenue in Roslindale about soup. The Goldbergs offer up three types of soup a day but the prized recipe is one that Adam got from his grandmother Estelle. The chicken vegetable soup is personally made by Adam and has become a tonic for people feeling the onset of a cold. According to Lisa Goldberg, "People come in for the chicken soup along with a glass of our freshly squeezed orange juice for a natural cure". Another popular soup sold at Emack & Bolios is the lobster bisque. All soups come with bread (freshly baked on the premises) or crackers. For a special and satisfying meal order the "bread bowl" soup.
For really hearty soup, visit Roslindales newest restaurant the Village Sushi & Grill on Corinth Street. Soup here is a feast unto itself. A popular and elegantly presented soup is Spicy Seafood Udon a spicy Japanese thick noodle soup with assorted fresh seafood. Or if you are looking for something light and vegetarian, try the Miso Soup, which is soybean paste soup with tofu, wakame (seaweed) and scallion. A nice accompaniment to the Miso Soup is Ohitashi Salad, steamed spinach marinated in sesame oil with sesame seeds, garlic and salt. And it is rumored that the employees of Fleet Bank on Corinth Street make a beeline across the street everyday at lunchtime to partake of Village Markets popular "Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder". Village Market stocks 16 different hot soups for a quick take out meal.
For those looking to pair soup and sandwich, make a stop at Fornax Bread on Corinth Street. Here you can get a gourmet sandwich on heavenly fresh baked bread with such selections as Butternut Squash Soup. Just walking into Fornax Bread and smelling the fresh baked bread is an experience worth the trip. Fornax Bread offers two varieties of soup each day. If your tastes run to Southern cuisine, take a short trip down Washington Street to BBQ Town. Here they offer a homemade Chicken Gumbo soup that is truly out of this world.
Probably the best-kept soup secret in Roslindale is found at the Blue Star Restaurant on Corinth Street. Here you must order up the Fish Chowder. Lovingly prepared by owner Manny Ignatidis, the chowder has been a staple at the restaurant for years. Ignatidis developed the recipe while he was a chef at the famous Boston restaurant No Name.
While we are lucky to have at our fingertips, a bounty of soups to choose from, consider the role that soup plays for those less fortunate than us. Each night, there are 6,000 homeless men, women and children in the City of Boston, a 54 percent increase over the past decade. Many of these individuals turn to places like the Pine Street Inn and Rosies Lunch Place for shelter and substance. Make a donation to a homeless shelter to help feed the hungry. Information can be found at www.pinestreet.org and www.rosies.org.
Lastly as we cheer on our athletes as they participate in the Winter Olympics, consider purchasing a Limited Edition Commemorative Soup Mug from Campbells Soup. Each mug purchase for $3.99 will give a $.50 donation to the US Olympic Team. Mugs (4 kinds Bobsledder, Skier, Hockey or Skater) can be ordered online at www.campbellsoup.com.
So many soups, so little time!
Local Love Shopping - 2/7/02
As you prepare for the upcoming love holiday, Valentines Day on February 14, consider shopping for your love locally. Retail history of Valentines Day goes back to the 1800s. A Mount Holyoke College student named Miss Esther Howland crafted the first American valentine here in Massachusetts. In 1890 Howland created a business making fancy hand made valentines that netted about one hundred thousand dollars a year. Today consumers buy 7 billion greeting cards with 25% of them Valentines Day cards. While Valentines Day cards are a thriving business, the real romantic exercise is in gift giving. Here are some suggestions on how to romance your love locally with the perfect gift or moment.
Flowers, especially roses have always been a popular Valentines Day offering. According to the Society of American Florists, An estimated 103 million roses were sold for Valentine's Day in 2001. While roses are always a wonderful gift, why not give a flower gift that speaks to the exotic, like an orchid plant. Jeff and June Margulies owners of Blooms and Greens on Washington Street in Roslindale are the orchid experts in the area. Jeff Margulies recently gave a course for the Boston Center for Adult Education called Orchids 101. The class will be repeated on April 16th (meets at Blooms and Greens 4014 Washington Street). Margulies maintains a green house at his retail shop where he lovingly grows and tends the beautiful orchids. Stop in for a visit and let Pito, the greenhouse manager, take you into orchid exotica. Oh and if you are a traditionalist, Blooms and Green offers roses. If you go for the roses pay attention to the color message as follows: White roses are for true love and purity of the mind, red roses are for love and passion, yellow roses are for friendship, black roses mean farewell and pink roses mean friendship or sweetheart
Along with flowers, chocolate is a big seller at Valentines Day. And while a box of chocolates is never a bad gift, why not be adventurous and take your sweetheart out for a decadent hot fudge sundae! Americans love ice cream. The annual sales of ice cream in the United States exceed $3 billion. The United States produces more ice cream than any other country, about 13 quarts a year per capita. It is sad that the Parkway lost the local Brighams Ice Cream store, but you can get a delicious sundae at Emack & Bolios and Larrys Ice Cream in Roslindale and at J.P. Licks on the VFW Parkway.
Another idea for making Valentines Day special is to plan an indoor picnic. Do a little shopping in the Parkway area and spread out a blanket for an intimate and fun time. Some ideas for your picnic: stop by Fornax Bread on Corinth Street, Roslindale and select a delicious aromatic loaf of bread. Purchase a sweet treat at Hanleys bakery on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Visit Solera wine on Corinth Street in Roslindale and ask the owner Maria Valencia to help you select the perfect wine. Picnic menu possibilities are endless in the Parkway area.
For those who are in need of making a very strong romantic statement, jewelry is the only answer. Visit the House of Leslie on Centre Street in West Roxbury. They have been making sweethearts happy since 1946.
For a romantic evening that doesnt cost anything, bring your sweetheart to the West Roxbury Branch library on Valentines Day. The library is open until 8 p.m. and you can enjoy the current art exhibit, "The Colors of Light" by Dr. Walter Koltun and then sit and read a book of love poems together.
These are just a few creative ideas to get your love meter in motion. Remember the words by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways".
Be a Hero - 1/24/02
As reported a few weeks ago in this paper, the youth population of Roslindale has increased 12.4% based on the year 2000 census. The actual number is 8,049 youth. That sure is a lot of children who need tender loving care from the community. The age group most at risk for problems is the 9-14 year olds. According to the Afterschool Alliance, "These children (who have no where to go after school) are at significant risk of getting poor grades, being victims of crime, or participating in anti-social behaviors that have grave consequences and costs to society. They are also missing significant opportunities to learn and grow". Studies have shown that mentoring is one of the best ways for this age group to develop life skills that keep them out of trouble. Roslindale and West Roxbury are lucky to have a wonderful program that is mentoring based called Citizen Schools.
According to Carmin Frededrick, Citizen School Campus Director at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, "Citizen Schools works with students with a wide range of skill levels, abilities, family backgrounds and personalities. Across the board, I have seen nearly all of our students come away from the program with increased self-confidence, a larger circle of friends, an increased capacity to express themselves, and an established relationship with one or more adults who care about them. Over the past year and a half Citizen Schools at the Irving has also made a serious commitment to improving students' writing and oral presentation skills and I have seen many of our apprentices make great progress in these areas". So what is this program and how does it work?
Citizen Schools offers after school programs that are fun, challenging, hands-on "apprenticeships" that unite volunteer Citizen Teachers and small groups of children, ages 9 to 14. Citizen Teachers are ordinary citizens who teach apprenticeships in practically anything they love and know how to do. For instance, During the summer program of 2001, an aerospace engineer and Roslindale resident, David Goldstein, led students in an apprenticeship on rockets. In the fall of 2000, Jude Goldman, a Roslindale resident taught a debate apprenticeship with Citizen Schools. Students learned the ins and outs of debate format and protocol. In the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001, Mark Cornforth, a Roslindale resident and then a graduate student at Babson College's School of Business, led students in an apprenticeship on entrepreneurship called "Be Your Own Boss". In addition to learning about starting and managing their own businesses, students also honed their public speaking skills and learned about professionalism.
Right now you can be a hero and volunteer as a Citizen Teacher. Besides the Irving Middle School location, the R. G. Shaw Middle School in West Roxbury also the program. Citizen Schools offers volunteer opportunities on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. The spring session will begin February 25th and end May 13th. No teaching experience is necessary to volunteer. Whatever your profession or passion, whatever your skill, Citizen Schools will help you design a course to teach once a week. It is a worthwhile program that will not only help a child but makes our community a better place. For more information: Please call Jon Spack, Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, at 617-695-2300, ext. 361 or e-mail him at JonSpack@CitizenSchools.org. You can also check out the volunteer section at www.CitizenSchools.org. Founded in 1995 and now running at twelve Boston campuses, Citizen Schools serves 1,200 students a year and is a national model for excellence in reforming education and building community.
Authors Note: I was a Citizen Teacher a few years ago. I taught a course on web development. It was very rewarding for me and something I recommend doing without hesitation.
The Suburb Superb - 1/17/02
It was not too long ago that Roslindale was the shunned area of Boston. Today, Roslindale is enjoying a major comeback as a thriving and coveted place to live, work and maintain a business. One only has to read the headlines: "ROSLINDALE It's getting rosier in Rosi all the time" By Beth Greenberg, Boston Globe December 30, 2001; "Rozzie rejuvenated" by Nina Willdorf, Boston Phoenix July 12, 2001 or "Village People, Small town familiarity meets big town diversions as Roslindale comes into its own" by Jennifer Soong, Boston Magazine July 2001 to believe. What is the impetus behind this energy that has raised Roslindales status? The answer is people.
On a recent evening, a large group of volunteers met at a home in Roslindale to continue their work on an event that speaks to the new energy of Roslindale. The group is working on a fundraising event that will not only further the work of the Roslindale Historical Society, the Dolphin Youth Swim Team at the Flaherty Pool and Roslindale Village Main Street but speaks to the ability for people to make change happen. The group is planning a Roslindale House and Garden tour that will take place on June 2, 2002.
What started out as an idea to raise money, now has blossomed into much more. House tours are not new and for years places like Beacon Hill and the South End have held house tours that bring people from all over the state and raise thousands of dollars. What makes Roslindales first house tour unique is that it has brought many people together creating community activism and pride that knows no boundaries. Roslindales history as a "garden suburb" lends itself wonderfully to this upcoming event.
According to the "History of Roslindale" written by David and Judy Kunze in 1974, "By the turn of the century, many families were moving to Roslindale for various reasons, mainly as part of a general movement out of the citys core as Bostons population overflowed into the suburbs. Real estate dealers capitalized on this phenomenon, and Roslindale began to be called a "garden suburb" of Boston. Roslindale was no longer the country. Mr. Dick Davis (a long time resident) says of this change in the Roslindale area: "Ive seen it grow to be one of the best residential areas in the city. And, they gave it the name "The Suburb Superb". That name was coined by the Roslindale Board of Trade. And it really was a superb community. It was a community of homes and a minimum of manufacturing, and it became known as the bedroom of Boston."
For Kat Brennan one of the organizers, a board member of Roslindale Village Main Street and member of the Roslindale Historical Society, her home on Florence Street has just turned 100 years old and she will proudly showcase her home in the tour. Other homes on the tour will include 58 Fletcher St., 4 Belgrade Ave., 35 Walter, 19 Albano, 106 Kittredge and 830 South. For Linda Burnett of Innovative Moves Real Estate, the major sponsor for the event, "Roslindale has so much to offer and I love living here and working here."
Whats to be garnered from this activity? Whether you get involved as a participant, spectator, advertiser or sponsor, you will meet wonderful people who take pride in their community and who want to make a difference. The majority of the proceeds will benefit The Historical Societys plans for restoring some of their archives and in helping to establish a permanent display space for their records and photographs. The Dolphins, a youth swim team, plan to use the money for bus rental charges, coaches fees, new goggles, jerseys, and suits, and to help some parents pay the season pool fee.
For information about the event visit www.roslindale.net or call Roslindale Village Main Street at 617-327-4065.
To read the "History of Roslindale" in its entirety, visit www.roslindalehistoricalsociety.org
Let the Pageantry Begin - 1/10/02
It involves 18 girls, 8 instructors, 2 directors, 8 parent helpers, 10-15 hours a week of practice for four months, thousands of dollars and mostly a lot of faith and courage. The Sacred Heart Color Guard now in its 22nd season will begin competition with the Winter Guard International (WGI) in just a few short weeks. When the girls set up the props on the auditorium floor at Salem High School on January 19th for their first competition they will be dressed in elegant costumes. They will be carrying swords, sabers and flags. They will be nervous but it is now that the moment of courage and faith will happen. What seemed like a dance of torture and chaos in the past months will delight the packed stands of fervent spectators with an entertaining and stellar precision performance.
It will take a number of performances (there will be one almost every weekend through April) before the girls begin to believe the magic has happened. It seems unbelievable given that this group has steadily risen over the past five years to the number 2 position in the Independent A category. Last year in Milwaukee, WI the girls became the silver medallists in world competition shining over 80 plus guards from around the world. This year they will be competing in Independent Open status and so the pressure is on to reach once again for the stars. Betty Warren, assistant director recently encouraged the girls with these words, "It is what you possess inside you that makes YOU as a team, successful. You have a bond of friendship, camaraderie and love for each other that will never allow you to be alone. Your talent, hard work, dedication, persistence and your positive attitudes is what differs you from all the other guards". Warren is not only a dedicated parent to Sacred Heart Guard Kelly Warren but has been actively involved in Guard for many years.
According to WGI, "Winter Guard is a creative experience incorporating a wide range of the visual arts in an exciting and entertaining pageant of color and drama". The girls perform a dance to music but one that requires exacting technical skill (dancing with equipment), teamwork, design and creative interpretation. WGI was formed in 1978 in Illinois to foster positive life experiences for all that participate, by promoting education, creativity and freedom of expression through the unification of pageantry and the performing arts. WGI Winter Guard now exists in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Germany, England, Ireland, Korea, Japan, and Africa. Each year over 600 local competitions are performed and enjoyed by over 40,000 spectators. Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion are the fastest growing of the pageantry arts.
As though practice and performance werent enough to keep a young girl busy, the group has to constantly be fundraising. The girls themselves sell candy and do canning to raise money. The parents in the meantime hold many different kinds of events to help offset the incredible expenses needed to fully partake of the Winter Guard experience (paying instructors, equipment, costumes, travel, etc.). This year the group will be holding its annual "Home Show" at Brockton High School at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd and this event yields some funding as advertising is sold in the program book and door proceeds after expenses are helpful. A special fundraising event is being planned for Sunday, January 27th at Sacred Heart School, 1035 Canterbury Street, Roslindale from 5-8 p.m. The group will be holding a Spaghetti Supper and Bake Sale. The cost of the supper is $7 adults and $5 children. Mr. Glenn Williams will provide musical entertainment. So if you are looking for a prepared meal or some scrumptious home baked goods and would like to meet a great group of girls, plan on attending this event. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling Marie Marshal the director at 781-326-5225. Please call Marie also if you are interested in advertising in the program book.
The team members of Sacred Heart Color Guard come from Roslindale, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dedham, Norwood, Hyde Park, Burlington and Salem. Their ages range from 14 to 18. For information about WGI visit www.wgi.org.
Travel with a Roslindale Icon - 12/17/01
Travel, a great American pastime has suffered severely since the September 11 attack on America. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, twenty percent of flights in September 2001 were cancelled, compared to 2 percent in September 2000. Judie Leon, owner of Travel by Judie in Roslindale is keeping a positive attitude and keeping her doors wide open for those who choose to still travel and for those who must travel.
Leon, a true community activist has owned her business on Corinth Street since 1985 and has worked in the travel industry since 1975 in Roslindale. Her participation in events and organizations is tireless. She recently played the role as Mrs. Claus to hand out gifts at a Xmas party at ABCD Southside Head Start in Roslindale. Local children delightfully decorate her store windows with holiday drawings. Other accomplishments include years of participation in the Roslindale Board of Trade and being a sponsor of the West Roxbury Soccer Team. Leon says, "Whenever there is a fundraiser for anything in our community I will either work or support the event. Since I not only own a business here but I live here, shop here and worship here in the community. My brother built the house I purchased in Roslindale so I have real roots here. Much of my family still lives in the Roslindale, West Roxbury area". I had fun being a judge for the Sacred Heart Cookoff and one of my proudest moments was being Grand Marshall of the Roslindale Day Parade in 1994."
According to Judie, Life continues and though my business has dropped dramatically people are still traveling and making vacation and business plans that involve travel. Because of the diversity of our community, I am very fortunate to have clients from many different countries and cultures who have migrated here and who travel home to places like Europe, Middle East, East Africa, Caribbean, Asia and South America to name a few." One travel area that Leon is particularly fond of is planning honeymoons. She recently had the pleasure of putting together a package for Captain Parlon and his new bride to St. Maarten a favorite honeymoon destination. Leon always facilitates group travel arrangements like an upcoming Holland Flower Tour for the Parkway Garden Club of West Roxbury.
Nothing beats experience and Leon who has been around the world twice uses her knowledge to personally assist clients to get the best travel deal available. Leons most recent trip was to Antigua and Canada with her husband, Joseph. It is also personal attention that Leon attributes to being able to stay in business even with the ability for people to book travel arrangements via the Internet. After the September 11th attacks, Leon says that her phone was ringing off the hook. "So many people were stranded on September 11th and I got calls because I was a live person with solutions. You cant call a computer and say I need help".
The good travel news is that right now there are incredible deals to be taken advantage of as the travel industry works to get back on track. Stop by and visit Travel by Judie at 42 Corinth Street and plan your dream vacation or warm weather get away. Leon will personally assist you to book the right destination that meets your budget. Leon says that Disney is literally a hot destination right now. For Leon its all about people and passion, "I love traveling and I love people so it is really a wonderful job for me especially when you make the experience worthwhile and something your clients will remember". Leon urges people to shop locally even for travel -, as it is support of small businesses that keeps our communities thriving.
Visions of Sugarplums - 12/10/01
"Twas the night before Christmas .The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads." This much read and recited poem by Clement C. Moore, is as relevant today as it was in 1822 when it was written. Empty stockings waiting to be filled with presents and sweet treats is a vision we all cherish for others, especially children and ourselves.
The reference to sugarplums has an interesting history. A sugarplum today is considered a small round or oval piece of sugary candy. It is believed that in 16th century England when sugar was a scarce commodity, that actual plums preserved in sugar was a special treat. Or some say that sugarplums were originally sugarcoated coriander, a treat that offered a sweet start and then a spicy burst of flavor. The message though is that sweet treats at Christmas are a wonderful tradition and one that Roslindale can readily fulfill. Roslindale is the sugar capital of Boston. Roslindale is home to eight establishments that sell delicious baked goods and offer up some of the sweetest treats imaginable. The selection is so immense, cookies, cakes, tarts, loaf breads, sweet buns, eclairs and more at Boschettos Bakery, Dianes Bakery, Vouros Bakery, Johns Bakery, Fornax Bread, Emack & Bolios, Droubi Brothers and the Village Market, that selection can be challenging.
A few recommendations According to Susan Vittorini, a cake decorator with Dianes Bakery for twenty-six years, "Christmas decorated cakes are a big seller but really trays of cookies and pastries fly off the shelves at this time of year." Vittorini is especially proud of the gingerbread houses that the bakery offers. Each house is lovingly decorated with candy and frosting and makes for a wonderful table decoration or a feast for children. Dianes bakery is located at 9 Poplar Street in Roslindale. For a very special treat visit Boschettos Bakery at 4172 Washington Street, Roslindale for a "Dream Cake". This delectable treat is a white cake frosted with whipped cream with strawberries inside and decorated with cherries and peaches on top. Be sure and have one on your holiday table, as your guests will really appreciate it.
While sweet treats are wonderful for giving and receiving, let us also consider giving to those less fortunate than us. One worthy local program is called "Big Wishes for Little Wanderers". The Home for Little Wanders works with families to ensure the healthy development of children at risk, their families and communities. Located in Jamaica Plain, the program serves children of all ages but the majority of children are ages 11-17. These children are often forgotten when it comes to gift donations at Christmas. According to the Homes web site, "Each year we receive an abundance of toys for our younger children. Our teenage girls and boys have holiday wishes too! Gift certificates are especially popular - they make parties, shopping trips, and weekend outings possible. They also enable parents to pick out special gifts for their children when they otherwise could not." To donate a gift to the Home for Little Wanders, drop off at 161 South Huntington Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. For information call 617- 267-3700 or visit www.thehome.org.
Another way to help the Home for Little Wanders is to donate or buy clothing and household items at the Thrift Shop of Boston. Located at 15 Corinth Street, this shop formerly located in Jamaica Plain exists solely for the purpose of generating funds for the Home. The Thrift Shop of Boston is loaded with books, clothing, dishes, household items, jewelry, furniture, toys and art. Stop in and say hello to Peggy Pettaway, the store manager and her assistant Patti Volz. They are very friendly, very helpful and make the shopping experience very worthwhile.
Say Cheese - 12/3/01
Imagine if you can a time when there were no photographs. Look around and see how photography impacts our lives. Newspapers, magazines, books, television, computers, movies, astronomy and medical imaging use photography in some way. Photography was invented in 1826. Photography's full impact wasn't felt until the technology matured in the second decade of the 1900s. At that time photography was a specialized skill. The average person didnt own a camera. Today, everyone has access to a camera and photography not only lets us capture and share memories but allows us to be global and instantaneous with digital imaging.
While photography is global and continues to improve technically, a good photographer is an important part of our society whether they are taking pictures for social events or doing art. One only has to look local to find talent and inspiration for photography here in the Parkway. Donna Cabral, owner of Photo Image Plus at 760 South Street in Roslindale, knows photography passionately. Cabral a graduate of the New England School of Photography has owned her photo business in Roslindale for the past twelve years. While a great many photo shops have disappeared over the years (last weeks Bulletin announced the closing of Moto Photo in West Roxbury), Cabral has toughed it out and stayed true to her neighborhood roots and her skill. Cabral was the recipient of the 1996 Pinnacle Award - Women in Business Achievement Award in City of Boston. One of the ways that Cabral has managed to stay in business is to use all her photographic talents. Along with film processing (one hour and enlargements), Cabral does many weddings throughout the year, processes passport photos and maintains a full portrait studio in her shop. Her shop offers photo accessories like film and frames. Cabral also does photo restoration.
Speaking of portraits, a few years back some clever photo studios made their money by going to peoples houses and doing family photos. This was very fashionable, sought after by parents and a yearly event. The kids were all dressed in their finery and sat in angelic poses. A professionally done portrait makes a wonderful gift. Theres still time to have one done for Christmas! Cabral who adores animals also does pet photography. She is shown in the photo with her adorable dog "Buddy" and a pet photo and a child portrait.
For the person interested in knowing more about photography, the Boston Photo Collaborative (BPC) is close by in Jamaica Plain. The recipient of the Distinguished Community Arts/Cultural Institution award for 2001 from the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), the BPC offers many wonderful programs. They include programs for amateurs and working professionals, offering nearly thirty workshops and lectures per year. Topics include: basic b&w and color photography, lighting, hand coloring, nature photography, and digital imaging, as well as free classes for the community on different aspects of computer technology. You can get more information about BPC by calling 617/524-7729 or visit www.channel1.com/users/bosphoto.
And for further inspiration, check out Photojournalist David Binder at Boston City Hall through Dec. 28. "The Neighborhood" documents the transformation of Washington Street, Boston. Reception Dec. 6 from 6-7 pm. at the mayor's Art Gallery, 5th Floor City Hall. This exhibition is supported by the promotion campaign BOSTON NOW, an initiative of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. Visit www.cityofboston.com/arts.
For more information about Photo Image Plus, call 617-327-7880 or visit www.plusphotolab.com.
Authors Note: One of the pleasures of writing this weekly column is that I get to do photography also. Although I am an amateur photographer and I work strictly with a digital camera, I get to be somewhat of a photojournalist, which I truly enjoy.
Musing Through Life - 11/26/01
When was the last time you wrote or read a poem? Whether you write poetry or read poetry, your emotional and intellectual horizons will be delightfully broadened. According to the Poet Laureate Billy Collins "To study poetry is to replicate the way we learn and think. When we read a poem, we enter the consciousness of another" (Chronicle of Higher Education 11/19/01). A highly published poet, Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he has taught for the past 30 years. He is also a writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College and served as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library. His most recent collection of poems entitled, "Sailing Alone Around the Room" was a topic of discussion recently at the West Roxbury Poetry Workshop held on Monday evenings (6:30-8 p.m.) at the West Roxbury Library.
As is the custom with poetry workshops, the discussion was a jumping off point for reading and constructive criticism for the members poems. Melinda Kirstein shared her experience of delirium during a fever bout. Alice Aronow spun a poetic tale of the distinct differences between two young cousins. Fran Kaplow read her symbolic poem, "My Last Egg", rich with sensory images. And Mary E. Joyce Waite, the workshop coordinator wrote "After the Beach" about a cherished childhood memory that spoke to loneliness.
These few but passionate poets of the West Roxbury group are ordinary people like all of us who use poetry to express feelings, tell tales and share memories. The sharing of these poems is a treat and a lesson in "entering the consciousness of another". Marc Widershein of Roslindale recently published a book of poems called "The Life of All Worlds". The poems written in narrative form tell of an ordinary life (his own) in Dorchester, MA. What is revealing and entertaining is that the tales take place in the 40s, 50s and 60s. For those who have grown up in the area, we recognize the landmarks spoken to such as a wooden streetcar at Egleston Square, the green ectoplasm at Franklin Park, 50 cent bras at Filenes basement and so on. Widersheins Book is a delightful read. Published by Ibbetson Street Press for $10. Call 617-628-2313.
While poetry groups and readings may not draw the crowd that movies like "Harry Potter" do, it is a thriving art. The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress now contains recordings of over 2,000 poets reading their own work. It is available at http://lcweb.loc.gov. Surprisingly there are many nearby venues for both hearing poems read and for sharing your own poetry. The Barnes and Nobles store in the Walpole Mall holds writing workshops on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. There is the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge at 738 Massachusetts Ave, Central Square Cambridge on Wednesday evenings. In Bridgewater at the Daly Grind Coffeehouse, there is an open mic, featured artist and slam every other Saturday at 7:30 p.m. For a schedule visit http://mothwing.com/dailygrindpoetry.
An adventure into reading or writing poetry need not be a public event. Our public libraries offer many books of poetry to read in private. The Internet offers many wonderful sites devoted to poetry. For local poetry happenings visit www.bostonpoet.com. A good way to get involved in the poetry scene and to contribute to a good cause is to attend "Words To Comfort", A Poetry Reading To Benefit The World Trade Center Relief Fund, Friday, November 30, 6:30-9:30PM, Cathedral of Saint Paul, 138 Tremont St. (Off Boston Common), $15 Suggested Donation.
Tea Talk - 11/12/01
The editor of Vogue once fired a large number of female secretarial workers for "wasting their time at tea dances". Tea dances were afternoon social events held in hotels in the early 20th century that were a popular place for young men and women to mingle. The dances were a clever marketing ploy to attract business by way of the hotels elegant tea service. Beginning in the late 1880's in both America and England, fine hotels began to offer tea service in tearooms and tea courts. Served in the late afternoon, Victorian ladies (and their gentlemen friends) could meet for tea and conversation. The tradition of afternoon tea is still found in upscale hotels. Here in Boston, afternoon tea is available at the Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton. The citizens of Hong Kong currently hold the world record for the biggest tea party. 4,950 people took part in the event that was held at the Tamar Site, Central Hong Kong, on November 27, 1999
Tea has been around for centuries (discovered in China) and played a theatrical role in Americas revolution, the Boston Tea Party in December 1773. Tea has been overshadowed in our recent culture by coffee. Yet tea has a fascinating history of ceremony and medicinal benefits. There are more than 3,000 varieties of teas, each with its own flavor, body, color and aroma. The latest craze in tea is Chai that has been around for a long time but was re-introduced on the West Coast. Chai is a mixture of black teas, milk, sugar, honey, and various spices, popular in Southeast Asia.
So where in the Parkway does one find a refreshing cup of tea? While most restaurants and cafes will accommodate the tea drinker by way of a bag and hot water, dedicated tea drinkers seek a higher experience. That need can be satisfied in a number of local establishments. For traditional tea connoisseurs, the only place to find hearty, quality tea is at A Taste of Ireland on Centre Street in West Roxbury. For the past eight years, Mary Devlin, the owner has stocked and sold only the best teas imported from Europe. At Devlins shop you can find teas bags and loose tea such as Barrys Tea, Lyons Tea and Bewleys tea. Devlin says that one of her best selling teas is Roberts Roberts decaffeinated tea. Devlin says that it is expensive but her customers say that it is the best decaf tea that has real tea flavor. And, of course should you want a "spot of tea" Devlin serves tea and delicious scones and Irish soda bread to go along with it.
For those who are into natural and herbal tea, Emack & Bolios in Roslindale has a wonderful selection to choose from. Owner Lisa Goldberg loves her tea (her favorite is Roibos Melange from South Africa). According to Goldberg, "The Roibos Melange is a fruity tea that blends tea, flowers and herbs that is refreshing and makes you alert yet it has no caffeine in it." The nice thing about tea at Emack and Bolios is the quality. The tea comes loose and therefore is visibly fresh and not over processed. They utilize a special tea-brewing packet that can be filled at the moment of ordering. Emack and Bolios offers a nice selection of herbal teas as well as Earl Grey for those not so adventurous. And you must have a peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate with your tea. For Chai Tea try Dunkin Donuts in West Roxbury or Roslindale for the newest addition to their menu.
So while tea may not be as popular as coffee, it definitely has its place and as noted above can be a social magnet. An upcoming event of tea note are the Third Annual Teddy Bear Tea to benefit the Teddy Bear Foundation that will be held at the Omni Parker House on November 18. Information and tickets can be found at www.teddybeardrive.org or by calling 978-356-2602. Another tea event will be held very Thursday evening from 5 7 p.m. throughout the winter at Gadgets, a delightful kitchen store located near the Monument on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. And for those willing to travel a little bit there is a Free Story and Tea Time at the Colliins Branch Library in Cambridge from 3:30 pm-5pm; Stories at 4pm. Children ages 3-5 enjoy stories; adults enjoy a spot of tea. Everyone gets cookies...a good deal all around. Call 617.349.4021 for dates.
Good Hair Day - 11/5/01
Lily Tomlin once said, "If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" Truth is people are passionate about their hairdressers. For that reason beauty salons and barbershops proliferate in every business district. Consider the fact that Bostons fashionable Newbury Street has over 30+ salons along its one-mile stretch. In the Parkway area, beauty salons and barbershops are plentiful and thriving. We often take them for granted and dont realize just how important they are to the quality of our life.
Americans spend about $40 billion a year clipping, curling, coloring, and cleaning hair. The average person gets a haircut every six weeks. So is it any wonder that there are shops on almost every street corner. Each and every one of these shops serves a steady clientele and the occasional walk-in. Like most service oriented businesses, new customers come by way of referrals. Satisfied customers tell their friends, co-workers and relatives about their experience.
Success in this business means different things to different people but for Terry Fitzgerald owner of Centre Cuts in Roslindale and her partner Edna OMalley success is a direct measure of their customers satisfaction. According to Florence Slepian, a real estate agent with Innovative Moves, "For a decade I have been a loyal customer of Centre Cuts. Edna and Terry have accommodated my whimsical schedule and have provided the highest quality of personal service."
And after eleven years in business (first in Jamaica Plain and in Roslindale since 1998), Centre Cuts is a thriving business about to expand into additional space that will offer spa services such as massage, facials, and pedicures. While the road to success has not been trouble free (fire damage in the shop a year ago caused a complete renovation), Terry has never given up on her dream or wavered from her mission. "I want to make people feel relaxed and leave my shop with a professional hair style and a good frame of mind", says Fitzgerald. Like any industry, professionalism comes from continual education and the team at Centre Cuts takes regular classes from industry experts to provide the latest in style and coloring. The good frame of mind comes from relaxed attention and easy, casual conversation.
Another area in which Centre Cuts is a step above is in their shop appearance. Fitzgerald who has artistic skills personally decorates her shop windows changing them with the seasons. They are a delight to see and they are very creative. Step inside and a contemporary decorating scheme blends nicely with a line of tasteful and reasonably priced accessories for sale. A nice package all around.
Fitzgerald who lives in Roslindale loves that she can walk to work. She loves owning a business in an area where there are so many diverse and useful businesses. Since opening her business Fitzgerald has given back to the community in many ways. For the past two years she has volunteered her time as the Treasurer for the Roslindale Board of Trade. She donates money, gift certificates and time to Roslindale Village Main Street.
Having a bad hair day? Consider this tale, A real bad hair day figures prominently in the Inuit myth of Sedna, the Sea-woman, who is the custodian of seals, whales and narwhals. If humans have violated the souls of the animals Sedna's hair is dirtied and the animals remain entangled in her dirty hair until a shaman descends to her home at the bottom of the sea. The shaman has to comb Sedna's hair to set free the animals so that they can be hunted otherwise the people may starve. Lucky for us we have beauty salons and barbershops enough to go around.
Center Stage- 10/30/01
The oldest community theatre in America, The Footlight Club located in Jamaica Plain has been performing plays continuously since 1877. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to keep community performances going year after year. Special thanks to the volunteers, performers and sponsors who give their time to our local communities. They provide entertaining and affordable performing arts.
Here in the Parkway we are blessed with a dedicated group who has performed for over 55 years. The Parkway Concert Orchestra will open its 56th year next week at Monsignor Donahue Hall, St. Theresa's School, West Roxbury on November 4th. Formerly the West Roxbury Concert Orchestra, it consists primarily of amateur musicians whose ages range from young students to senior citizens. The Parkway Concert Orchestra was founded in 1945 by West Roxbury music teacher, Ferdinand Fassnacht. The Orchestra performs four to six concerts each season and since 1989 has been led by Paul J. D'Angelo, a retired Massachusetts music educator. The opening concert will feature the St. Theresa Choirs, directed by Dr. Richard R. Bunbury. Bunbuy has been Organist and Director of Music Ministries at St. Theresa Avila since 1979.The concert is being chaired by West Roxbury resident Nancy Giunta. The concert called "Fall Pops" is dedicated to the fallen heroes who died in the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.
Muriel Porter, who attended Roslindale High School and lived in West Roxbury is one of those dedicated people who keep local performing arts alive. A Flutist for the Parkway Concert Orchestra for the past 49 seasons, Porter also is the corresponding secretary for the Orchestra. Along with her husband William (who she met in the Orchestra and plays First Trombone), Porter does most of the behind the scenes work of running the Orchestra. Porter who taught music in Dedham loves mentoring and hopes that the children of present orchestra members who are playing side-by-side with adult mentors may have the same chance to enjoy a rich cultural life while playing.
For "Kelley" (pictured), her musical career was all about mentoring. Her mother, Nellie Boetcher Kelley was the West Roxbury Concert Orchestra Concertmistress. Kelley joined the Orchestra when she was eleven years old. Now a First Violinist in the Orchestra and Concertmaster, Kelley will take great pleasure in the planned piece for the opening concert called "Meditation from Thais" by Massenet. This same piece once played years ago by her mother will be dedicated in memory of Priscilla Blake, a former Flute Player with the Orchestra who recently passed away.
The opening concert is sponsored by P. E. Murray-George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home. The Program is also sponsored in part by the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Tickets for the concert are $6 for adults, $5 seniors and $4 for children. Further information about the Parkway Concert Orchestra is available online at www.parkwayconcertorchestra.org or call 617-325-7825.
Other season performances include Music For Life at Westwood High School, Westwood on November 14. Holiday Pops Concert at St. Mary's Parish Center, East Walpole on Sunday, December 2, and Holiday Pops Concert at Dedham Masonic Building, Dedham Square on Sunday, December 9.
The next performance of the Footlight Club will be "Damn Yankees" and begins Friday, November 2, 2001. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 students, $13 seniors and $12 for children. Further information is available at www.footlight.org or call (617) 524-3200.
The Art of Halloween - 10/23/01
Halloween has always been a controversial holiday. Some groups promoting sinister behavior have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," but the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a New Year, and out of medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. Whatever your view of this day, Halloween is a holiday that invokes a great deal of creativity.
This creativity finds its outlet in the creation of costumes and decorations. Jack O Lanterns are one of the most recognizable decorations. These lighted carved pumpkins had their origin in ancient Ireland. The pumpkin or turnips as were originally used sheltered a light burning in the cold, windy darkness for those souls sentenced to wander into eternity. The custom of dressing up at Halloween has its base in hideous masks worn to frighten off the demons that brought misfortunes. The idea of monsters keeping demons away may seem like an oxymoron but the subject is one that to this day fascinates and continues to be a source of creation.
For Roslindale resident, Tim Casey monsters are an unending source of creative energy and home decoration that always illicits interesting comments. The living room in The Casey's home looks like a typical living room with a twist. A couch, two end tables with lamps, a comfy chair, a TV, a stereo... and shelves full of monster models. While the visitor is watching TV, he is being watched in return by the likes of Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein. Caseys journey in monster creation began at an early age. According to Casey "I accidentally purchased my first model, The Wolfman, when I was eight years old. I brought it home from Kresge's thinking it was some kind of a toy - I had lusted after it for two weeks. When I opened it, it was in a million pieces! I was so upset! Then my mother told me the idea was to build it and paint it. I couldn't believe they'd make me do all that work myself! But after awhile I was hooked."
Casey is not alone in this creative venture. In the 1960s The Aurora Plastics Company licensed all of Universal Studio's monster likenesses when the company was trying to sell these films to local TV stations for broadcast. While the industry has had its ups and downs, by the late 80s, a "garage industry" had sprung up of very talented artists producing small runs of high-quality figures, usually priced at a hundred dollars or more. The price reflects the amount of time a sculptor has to put into producing the work vs. how many units they'll be able to sell. A small market, most of today's sculptors do it as a second job. Many of them work in Hollywood in special effects, set design and makeup, so you can see they never strayed far from model making.
The internet is full of modeling information for the curious. For beginners, Casey has pictures of all of his models posted at www.lowbudgetrecords.com. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the "model museum" text. You can also get lots of info from a modeling bulletin board at www.hobbytalk.com and the retailer www.monstersinmotion.com.
What do visitors to the Caseys say, "Most people think they're fascinating and can't stop examining them, and of course all the kids think they're just so cool. A few people probably wondered what was going on around here, like the mom who came to pick up her kids one day near Halloween. She thought we had done a great job of decorating the house. I was puzzled and told her that actually, we hadn't done anything. She must have figured we were related to the Addams Family or something. I don't think she ever came back". On the family side Casey says, "Monsters in the living room are not unusual "The kids are so used to them, they don't think it's unusual at all", says Casey, "They've seen all the classic horror films a number of times, so these figures are almost like an extended family."
Dance is good for the soul - 10/16/01
Technically you can put dance into two categories doing dance and watching dance. The types of dance are many Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Salsa, Jazz to name a few. Dance is universal and something that every culture has used for centuries for rituals, exercise and entertainment. Whatever your favorite category and whatever your favorite type, dance is good for the soul.
For those who enjoy doing dance there is ample opportunity in and around the Parkway to dance the night away. Out to Dance is a dance company here in Roslindale and West Roxbury that will teach you Swing, Ballroom, Latin and Country. Liz Nania, owner of Out to Dance has been teaching partner dancing for more than 10 years. She has taught for Best Foot Forward, Simmons College, the JCC, Bentley College, Harvard Business School, Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nania has also turned her teaching skills and love of dance into a smorgasbord of venues. She is available for private and semi-private instruction as well as available for social events. A great way to "break the ice" at parties is to hire Nania and get everyone moving. For information about upcoming lessons call 617-363-0029 or visit www.outtodance.com.
Cathy Calhoun Bosch of Roslindale does dance but she does it to entertain others. A performer with Snappy Dance Theater, Bosch says that what she likes best about performing is, "Performing something over and over is about my favorite. I like to know the piece so well that I am beyond any technical problems and can really take risks with it...that might mean anything from balancing a precarious position extra long to trying a different approach to a comedic moment and seeing if it gets a better laugh. I love the connection with the audience". Technical skill at Snappy Dance Theater is what it is all about. A collaborative ensemble, Snappy Dance Theater performs amazing athletic dance routines that incorporate imaginative fluidity that esthetically challenges the dancer as well as the audience. Bosch joined Snappy Dance Theater in 1997 after a dance career with Nai-Ni Chen, ISO Dance Theater and Mummenschanz as part of the Big Apple Circus. Now married and with a two year old son, Bosch performs with Snappy Dance Theater and is choreographer and teacher for the Stonehill College Dance Club. Martha Mason co-founder of Snappy Dance Theater recently started Dance Action Network, which is a think tank for the dance community with an eye on promoting dance in the cultural scene. For more information about Snappy Dance Theater visit www.snappydance.com.
The dance community is alive and well in Boston. The amount of dance information on the www.bostondancealliance.org web site is astounding. The Wang Theatre recently showed "Burn the Floor", cutting edge ballroom dance choreography that recently returned from a smashing European tour. Ethnic dance has taken on a passionate following and recently the MIT Bhangra Dancers performed at the Hatch Shell during India Day. The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers and the Salem Light Infantry (the Salem Zouaves) will be having a Civil War Ball with music, dances, refreshments and entertainments appropriate to 1860s. For more information visit www.vintagedancers.org or call (781)-396-2870. The Boston Ballet will be performing "From Distant Shore" through November 4th. The Boston Swing Dance Network runs public swing dances with live music one Saturday per month from September through June. The dances are held in nearby Watertown. For more information call (617) 924-6603 or visit www.bostonswingdance.com. Locally there are ballroom and country line and couples dances at Moseleys on the Charles (Dedham). For a comprehensive listing of places in and around Boston where you go to dance and take dance lessons visit www.havetodance.com.
So no matter what your age, dance is alive and well and more available than you think. Get out to dance or take in a performance, your soul will thank you for it.
History Out of the Box - 10/08/01
For years Roslindales history has been located in boxes in private homes. David and Judy Kunze who wrote a History of Roslindale in 1974 have generously and selflessly stored some of this precious material. So too has Dennis Houle a former teacher at Roslindale High School who has accumulated a number of pieces of memorabilia such as Yearbooks, issues of the School Newsletter "Tattler", Sports Uniforms, Trophies, Banners and Prom Favors. Roslindale High School opened to students in 1936 and closed its doors in 1976. Houle who has been teaching at West Roxbury High School and is about to retire has maintained these items at West Roxbury High and wishes that they be preserved for the community. The Roslindale Historical Society in the next few months will work to collect, inventory and hopefully catalog these items and others that will surface. Space has been allocated at the Roslindale Public Library to store these items. In addition, through the sponsorship of Linda Burnett of Innovative Moves Real Estate, a web site is being produced for the Roslindale Historical Society so that the history and images of the memorabilia are available to a wider audience.
The history of preserving history began in 1974 with the incorporation of the Roslindale Historical Society. In 1975 the Society created a venue which would eventually become the Roslindale Day Parade. Founding members Rosemary and Leo Waters, Tess Gately, Maureen Costello, Jeff Farren, David and Judy Kunze and Al and Helen Goetz created a Memorial Day Service. They, other members and a one-man band made their way from Adams Park to the Walter Street Burial Ground. There they placed American Flags at tombstones of soldiers who died during the revolutionary war of small pox. This show of patriotism was born out of a call sent out to Boston neighborhoods by then Mayor Kevin White to prepare for the celebration of Boston 200. Now twenty-six years later, the Roslindale Day Parade, which will take place this Sunday, October 14th, is a yearly community event that not only celebrates our existing community but also reverberates the history of Roslindale. The Roslindale Day Parade has gloriously grown from a one-man band to over hundreds of participating bands, floats and community groups and so too the Roslindale Historical Society is embarking on a new level of preservation. To achieve this reinstated goal of past and future preservation, the Roslindale Historical Society has turned over the reigns of the parade to the newly formed Roslindale Day Parade Committee.
Hopefully by January 2002, a call for help will go out as the Society begins the process of inventory of stored items. For those interested in helping to preserve the history of Roslindale, supporting the Society by becoming a member is important and will keep you informed of upcoming events. Membership is $10 for an individual, $15 for a family, $5 for senior citizens. Send check to P.O. Box 356, Roslindale, MA 02131
The current Board of Directors for the Roslindale Historical Society includes Cathy Slade, President, Marty Taylor, Vice President, Louise Gilmore, Anna Manganiello, Frazier MacKinnon, Marna Persechini, Bestsy Robichaud and David Kunze. The next meeting of the Society takes place on November 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Roslindale House at 120 Poplar Street. The Roslindale Historical Society along with Roslindale Village Main Street is also working on a Roslindale House Tour that will take place on June 2, 2002. Proceeds from the tour will benefit both organizations as well as the Flaherty Pool Dolphins Swim Team. For information about the Roslindale House Tour, visit www.roslindale.net.
Public Art - 10/04/01
As stated on the City of Boston, Boston Arts Commission web site, "the belief that artworks should not be limited to the - sometimes -relative isolation of museums and galleries, but should be woven into the fabric of the City itself, providing a visual focus in the urban landscape. As art is thus integrated more successfully into the experience of daily life, one hopes that one result might be an increased appreciation both for art and for the quality of the visual environment of which it becomes a part". Look around Boston and you will see public art in the form of contemporary sculpture and murals that delightfully enhance our urban landscape.
The most famous piece of public art in Boston is Mrs. Mallard and her 8 Ducklings done by Newton artist Nancy Shon and taken from the drawings of Robert McCloskey in his famous book "Make Way for Ducklings". This charming sculpture is on a 35-foot pathway of old Boston cobblestone in the Boston Public Garden. There is always a line of children waiting to sit and climb on the pieces. Other contemporary public art can be seen at the Mall on Commonwealth Avenue, Faneuil Hall and the Boston Common. For information about public art in Boston see the book "A GUIDE TO PUBLIC ART in Greater Boston from Newburyport to Plymouth "written by Marty Carlock. Published by The Harvard Common Press. Contact 1-888-657-3755. www.harvardcommonpress.com
Parkway residents are lucky to have in their back yard, a contemporary public art exhibit to enjoy. A yearlong exhibition of contemporary sculpture by 25 artists, called "The Sculpture Path" that opened September 15th is available at the Forest Hills Cemetery. The Forest Hills Education Trust is aggressively working to highlight existing fine sculpture from the Victorian era that exists in the cemetery and incorporate the work of new artists. The exhibit is rich with diverse artistry and is staged in such a way so as to make the experience even more visually pleasing. The "Sculpture Path" is available daily from dawn to dusk. At the cemetery entrance you can pick up a map and brochure.
Mark Del Guidice, a Roslindale resident is one of multiple artists who are participating in this masterful exhibit. Del Guidice handcrafts fine furniture that is functional as well as pleasing to the eye and senses. Del Guidices museum quality work is usually found in high end craft shows or purchased by private parties. Del Guidices piece at Forest Hills Cemetery is called "Moments Eternal Bench and Four Stools" and is made of mahogany. Like the "Ducklings" sculpture previously mentioned, the piece is functional and people sit on it to enjoy the tranquility of Lake Hibiscus. Del Guidices intent when he crafted the piece was "to create a place where people can relax physically and reflect on their experience in the moment". Del Guidice also says, "I chose to echo the forms of family plots found in the older section of the cemetery, where the family headstone predominated, augmented by the smaller stones that represent the individuals of the family". A signature element that Del Guidice incorporates in all of his furniture is hieroglyphs. In this piece he has carved intuitive images that pay homage to the eternal statements presented by memorials in all cultures. Del Guidice was recently won the 2000 Excellence in Craft Award in Furniture presented by the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston. Del Guidice will be exhibiting at the 6th Annual Fine Furnishings Show in Providence, RI on November 2-4. For information visit www.finefurnishingsshow.com.
For more information about the sculpture exhibit, visit www.foresthillstrust.org or call (617) 524-0128.
Books are only the beginning - 9/24/01
One constant in this ever changing and volatile world is the public library. Here is an amazing place to go for everyone young and old that is not only free but offers an endless array of quality entertainment. The Boston Public Library (BPL) has the distinction of being the first publicly supported municipal library. The first library was located on Mason Street. From a modest beginning in 1845, the BPL now has more than 6 million books; serves more than 2 million people in its 27 branch libraries around the city and is one of only two public libraries in the country that are members of the Association of Research Libraries. The current location at Copley Square was designed by architect Charles Follen McKim and was nicknamed "palace for the people".
Each branch library offers a solid array of reading material for all ages as well as some specialties. The Roslindale Branch was established in 1898 and after a number of moves finally settled in its present location on Washington Street (formerly a fire station) in 1961. The Roslindale Branch has strong collections of plays, poetry, literary criticism, and popular health materials. There is also a large ESL collection. The West Roxbury Branch on Centre Street, which became a full branch in 1986, has a large Irish history collection, literature collection, and world language materials. The children's room has a strong collection of fiction and Folktales.
At the BPL and at our local branches (Roslindale and West Roxbury included), "Books are truly only the beginning". In general, things other than reading material (both visual and audio) available at the library are Internet access, art exhibits, story telling, slide shows, performances, passes for museums, lectures, films and book discussion groups. An upcoming event at the Roslindale Branch Library is "A Conversation with Roger Swain, Host of PBS's The Victory Garden" Mr. Swain along with being a popular TV host is also the science editor of Horticulture magazine. The event co-sponsored by the "Friends of the Roslindale Library" takes place on Wednesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. The Roslindale Branch Library also offers great reading programs for children. At the West Roxbury Branch Library you might want to consider attending the Friends annual meeting on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Author Maureen Dezell will speak about her book Irish America: Coming into Clover. In October, the Gallery at the library will feature "Beyond the Looking Glass" an exhibit in stained glass, fabric, acrylic, and oils by artists Evelyn Hines and Steve W. Shumaker.
Neighboring branches like Jamaica Plain, offersspecial collections including local history, travel guides, adult new-reader materials, children's picture books, and a special children's collection on peace, respect, and creative conflict resolution. Egleston Square offers an extensive African-American collection and a broad choice of Spanish language materials. Hyde Park offers a large collection that emphasizes technology, local history, and children's picture books. Note: The Hyde Park branch library won a prestigious national architecture award for the design of its recent addition and renovation project. The project at the 100-year-old branch building has been awarded the Honor Award for Outstanding Architecture from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). For the person looking for business information, the BPL has the Kirstein Business Branch, a specialized business reference and research service near Boston's financial district. The Copley Square location offers a Music Department with 150,000 volumes on every facet of musical study, are biography, history and criticism, ethnomusicology, theory and composition, and music education, as well as the collected editions of all the major composers, many musical first editions and other rare items
No matter what your interest, it is worth the trip to visit the BPL (a short commuter rail trip to Back Bay station) or one of its branches to see what is happening and possibly volunteer some time. The BPL recently updated their web site and it is a treasure trove of information and features. One new feature that is fabulous is the free "OnLine Book Club". You can receive chapters from popular books in your daily e-mail. Each day, Monday through Friday, they will send you a portion of a chapter that takes only five minutes to read. After you've read 2 or 3 complete chapters from a book you can decide whether to take the book out of the library. The web site for BPL is www.bpl.org
"No Man is an Island For Whom the Bell Tolls" - 9/17/01
The urgent battle cry that has come out of last weeks American tragedy is "How can I help?" The response by people all over the world has been a tremendous outpouring of volunteerism. In November of 2000, the United Nations sent a challenge to the world to recognize, promote and celebrate volunteer service by proclaiming the year 2001 "The International Year of Volunteers the year that changes the world". These words now poignantly and actively reverberate throughout our country and the world as we watch and participate in the rescue and recovery of our fallen comrades and deal with a dramatically changed world.
According to Independent Sector, a coalition of leading non profits, foundations and corporations strengthening not for profit initiative, philanthropy and citizen action, a national survey "Household Giving and Volunteering 19871998 in America" revealed that 56% of adults aged 18 or over volunteered a total of 19.9 billion hours. This is the highest ever-recorded level of participation in volunteering during the Independent Sector survey series, a 13.7% increase in the rate of volunteering. No doubt in this past week, we have significantly increased the numbers ten fold.
The Parkway area has never suffered from lack of volunteers. Here people give endlessly of their time, money and resources to make a community that supports and nourishes each other. The list of organizations that facilitate volunteers and community giving is endless and includes: The Kiwanis, the Rotary Club, the Roslindale Board of Trade, Healthy Roslindale, Sons of Italy, Ethos, Greater Boston Intefaith Organization, Roslindale Village Main Street, West Roxbury Main Street, the West Roxbury Business Association and Parkway Churches to name just a very few. Specific names of residents who volunteer continually that come to mind: Tom Donahue, Marna Persechini, Mary Ellen Gambon, Adriana Cillo, Monsignor Francis Kelley, Lois Baho, Linda Burnett, Cathy Slade, Donna Cabral, Judie Leon and more. The theme of this years Roslindale Day parade is, Roslindale People Who Care and the grand marshal will be Vinny Marino. As we think of ways to individually help out with the recent disaster (see www.helping.org for a contact list), lets think about how we can as a community make volunteerism a way for a better world for us and others. Today make a commitment to visit a housebound elder, read to a child or blind person, work with community leaders to provide affordable housing for people, contribute food to a food pantry or be a leader for a teenagers activity group. Neighbor to neighbor interaction brings new understanding, new hope and critical assistance to those in need. As we try to find our way back to a normal existence in the wake of horrible atrocities, contemplate a passage from Meditation 17 from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, 1624 by John Donne (1573-1631). "No Man is an Island Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
For anyone interested in finding out more about the International Year of Volunteers, visit www.iyv2001.org. Anyone interested in forming a local chapter here in the Parkway to coordinate and recognize our volunteers, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-325-2388.
Note: There will be a candle light walk in memory of the Attack on America around Jamaica Pond this coming Saturday, September 22 at sundown around 7 p.m.
Festival Fever - 9/10/01
If you missed the Jamaica Plain Worlds Fair held last weekend do not fret, the season for local festivities is upon us and there is ample opportunity to participate. The first event in the area worth putting on your calendar is the Jamaica Plain Open Studios that will take place September 22 and 23. This venue now in its eighth year is a project of the Jamaica Plain Arts Council and is one of many open studios held citywide and coordinated by the City of Boston Department of Cultural Affairs. At Jamaica Plain Open Studios you can meet artists (including artists from Roslindale and West Roxbury) and view art (paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, art quilts, pottery and more) at over 50 locations all identifiable by a yellow banner and all free. The Jamaica Plain Open Studios will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. To begin your tour visit one of four information locations - 59 Amory Street artists building, Rhythm & Muse Bookstore and Café, 403A Centre Street, Gallery @ Green Street inside the Green Street MBTA Station, Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts, 24 Eliot Street to pick up a map guide. For a complete list of participating artists, their media and locations for viewing visit http://www.jamaicaplain.com/mapa.htm. A great way to get involved in Jamaica Plain Open Studios is to volunteer to work a short shift at one of the information booths. If you are interested call Vanessa Trien, JP Open Studios Director Jamaica Plain Arts Council at (617) 623-0501 email@example.com. For a complete list of Open Studios in Boston visit http://www.cityofboston.com/arts.
During the same weekend, the Hyde Park Arts Association is having its first Neighborhood Arts Festival on Saturday, September 22. A wide range of cultural activities will take place in and around Cleary Square. Entertaining events include dance performances at the Hyde Park Community Center by OShea Chaplin School of Irish Step Dance, Arc-En-Ciel Dance Troupe performing Haitian dance and The Dance Academy. Paintings and drawings will be on display all day at the Hyde Park Library, Riverside Theater, Hyde Park Community Center, and the River Street Grill. Artist Paula Hutchens will have an illustration booth for children in Logan Square. And there will be a classical piano recital by John Ferguson in Menino Hall at the Hyde Park Library at 3:00 PM. And for theatre lovers there will be a preview performance of "Back to Manhattan" will be given at the Riverside Theater Works at 4:00 PM. And for those looking for a painting to decorate with dont miss the "Artists Sacrifice Sale" at Hyde Park Community Center. For a schedule of events visit http://www.artfulgift.com/hpart.htm or call 617-364-9336.
Come October, Roslindale festival fever takes center stage. On October 12, 13 and 14, the annual Roslindale Village Main Street Fall Festival and the 26th annual Roslindale Day Parade (Sunday at 1 p.m.) take place. The theme of this years parade is "Roslindale People Who Care" and the grand marshal will be Vinny Marino. The parade with over 100 units planned begins on South Street at Adams Park and winds its way up Belgrade Avenue to Centre Street ending at Fallon Field where the Longfellow Neighborhood Association will hold their annual field day. And just to get your festive attitude in gear, there will be a Comedy Night on September 20 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Nectarios Church on Belgrade Avenue. Guaranteed to make you laugh, enjoy the antics of Kenny Rogerson, Paul DAngelo and Jim Lauletta for a mere $15, with proceeds to benefit the Roslindale Parade Committee. For information call 617-323-8832. The Roslindale Village Main Street Fall Festival will offer amusements, crafters, food vendors and live on stage entertainment in Adams Park. On Saturday, October 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can also visit the Farmers Market at the Roslindale commuter rail to take advantage of the bountiful fall harvests by Massachusetts farmers.
And although technically not a festival, the 4th Annual Roslindale Village Main Street Trick or Treat Trot takes place on Saturday, October 27 at 10 a.m. This 5K road race offers lots of festivity and entertainment as many of the runners dress in Halloween costumes. For more information about Roslindale events, visit www.roslindale.net. To volunteer for any of the Roslindale events call Roslindale Village Main Street at 617-327-4065.
So get out the party hats and catch the festival fever!
Dog Stories - 9/2/01
Dogs are popular pets and Roslindale has some unique dog stories to tell. A few months back when Adam and Lisa Goldbergs Rhodesian Ridgeback dog Wednesday was tragically killed by a car, the Roslindale community comforted the owners with flowers, hugs, kind words and even a home made apple pie. This wonderful outpouring is a result of a special community of dogs and owners that add to the charm of this friendly village. Roslindale is a dog haven with its generous green space that allows for frequent dog romps and socializing. On any given morning or evening you can see dogs happily playing at Fallon Field, the Arboretum or Jamaica Pond. Dogs love to socialize and so too do their owners.
In the spring of 1998, an informal group formed unexpectedly at Fallon Field. Mostly new residents, they met while walking their dogs and since have become supportive friends. As anyone who owns a dog in the city knows, logistical problems arise when owners are gone to work all day and have evening commitments. The dog group shares the responsibility of the proper care and feeding of all the dogs. As one might guess, the favorite home away from home for a lot of Roslindale dogs is Aunt Lisa and Uncle Adams house. As one frequent dog guest Maya says: "When I stay at Lisa and Adams, the possibilities are infinite. I am no DOG there! I am treated to pig ears, sleeping in their bed, resting on the couch and hanging out with CATS!" According to Sarah Churchill, "Not only does my dog Libby get a chance to play regularly with familiar dogs but I have met some wonderful neighbors which made my move to Roslindale from Georgia quite comfortable". The Fallon Field group has now mostly moved their socializing and dog antics to Peters Hill in the Arboretum.
For the month of September, you can learn more about Roslindale dogs and their stories at the exhibit called "Dog Stories" now in place at Emack and Bolios. Some of the stories will make you laugh. Some of the stories will make you cry but all will delight and entertain you. The dogs all have adorable names and photos. Come see photos of Wednesday Williams, Libby, Georgia, Scout, Truman, Randy, Chelsea, Pumpkin, Jake, Neko, Maya. Winnie, Timber, Zoey, Tank, Molly, Nina, Zeke, Liberty, Sammy, Wiley, Jasmine, Clara, and Willow. While Wednesday Adams Goldberg is the star of the show, Bentley the wonder dog shines and even boasts his own web site at www.dwellings.com/bentley. Personal favorites are "Neko, then 26 months old, administering a kiss and complimentary ear cleaning to Dylan, then 4 months old" and "Winnie was still singing in the last summer of her life, letting me lean against her and clown for the camera after a long day".
Domestic dogs are believed to have evolved from the wolf. When humans and wild animals began interacting together (more than 15,000 years ago), the dog quickly became both companion and worker. Todays multiple types of dog are a result of breeding different traits such as hunters (for food), stamina (to withstand the elements) and aggression (to guard people) to name a few. Studies have shown that pets provide humans with much needed affection and unconditional love that improves the quality of life. So whether you are a dog lover or not, this exhibit will introduce you to some sociable dogs and their owners.
The exhibit space was offered as a way for Adam and Lisa Goldberg to say thanks to all the wonderful support they got. The exhibit is a community art project created and produced by Glenn and Janice Williams. Linda Burnett of Innovative Moves Real Estate generously sponsored the exhibit with funding for supplies.
The public is cordially invited to a reception for the exhibit (to meet the dog owners, no pets please!) that will be held on Friday evening September 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Emack and Bolios, 2 Belgrade Avenue in Roslindale. For information call 617-323-3323.
Summer Medley - 8/27/01
Frank Blanchard and Judy Coughlin of Roslindale really know how to throw a summer party. For sure there were hot dog and hamburgers grilling and permeating the air with robust BBQ smells. Side tables were laden with lavish or simple salads and delicious desserts of every variety. For refreshment there was the keg of beer and some wonderful home made wine. Friends, family and neighbors sat in chairs scattered about the yard talking and eating. Sounds like a typical summer party. Yet it was not your typical party and hasnt been for the 18 years that Blanchard and Coughlin have been staging these marvelous backyard parties.
What makes these parties different is the live music coming from inside the barn. Local musicians enthusiastically gather with instruments and voices to entertain the mixed crowd of young and old. Musical and arty decorations make the stage inviting and fun. People listen and dance to the sounds of such bands as Mr. Curt Trio, The After Hours Jazz Ensemble, Random Access Memory, The Sky Blues and the Funeral Barkers. For sure Blanchard and Coughlin appreciate music and open their hearts and home to local musicians. Coughlin says, "The real treat for me is to share live music with my guests. Some of them never get to hear live music in a relaxed non commercial setting". Kudos to Bill and Ruby Mason, Roslindale residents and musicians who also throw a great party each summer with live music. Their band Sky Blues rocks and they get people up dancing and feeling good.
The opportunity for hearing musicians in local settings is one that Curt Naihersey takes on with a passion. He helps to organize the musicians for Blanchard and Coughlins parties. "Mr. Curt", as he has been affectionately named is a one-man crusader who never tires of promoting local musicians and organizing venues where they can play. He books musicians for Perks Coffeehouse in Norwood. Recently he also arranged for weekly music at Mocha Javas in Hyde Park and Dedham. His distant past included booking the room at Guilty Pleasures Coffeehouse in Roslindale, definitely a venue before its time. A musician himself, Mr. Curt writes songs and plays guitar. When asked about the performances at this years party, Mr. Curt responded, "What a treat the music was this year. Each band brought new members and new songs. This type of venue allows musicians to relax and be very creative." Hats off to the musicians who volunteer their time and energy to play.
One other important reason that Blanchard and Coughlin throw a great party is that they involve the community. They invite all their neighbors in the area. Coughlin says that she especially enjoys inviting the senior residents of neighboring Roslindale House. Coughlin personally delivered over sixty invitations and was pleased that a number of the residents came to the party. It is a great place to meet new people and new neighbors. Roslindale is that kind of town.
This summer Boston has been a wonderful place to hear live music with the free concerts in Adams Park, concerts in City Hall Plaza and the Hatch Shell. This year the Boston Landmarks Orchestra played in local neighborhoods like Jamaica Pond and Franklin Park. As summer winds down, the outside music will unfortunately dwindle. One last opportunity to hear music locally will be at the Roslindale Village Main Street Fall Festival that will take place on October 15 and 16th in Adams Park. For information about the festival call 617-327-4065 or visit www.roslindale.net.
To contact Mr. Curt, call Camaraderie Music Company at 617-364-8783. To find out where Sky Blues is playing next visit www.lollyland.com/skyblues. For more information about Random Access Memory visit www.lowbudgetrecords.com.
A Ride with "Community Police" - 8/20/01
Generally a ride in the backseat of a police cruiser is a stressful experience. For this writer though a recent trip in the "back seat" was an opportunity to meet some wonderful people who probably never get enough credit for the community minded things they do. The ride was to the Transportation Building in Park Square with officers Richard Laham and James Hagerty and Marguerite Cullen. At the Transportation Building, these community officers host a BNNLive cable show called "District 5 Community Police". Cullen answers the incoming calls and feeds them on air to Laham and Hagerty. The show airs live on Mondays from 5-5:30 p.m. The show is now in its fifth year and answers questions, disseminates information on public safety and notes community events.
The idea proposed by Laham for the show came out of a 1996 strategic planning session. The police department was looking for ways to interact with the public to get personal involvement in the pursuit of crime free communities. It was a matter of finding outlets for communication. Laham along with the help of Alex Guerntous from Councilor Dan Conleys office created the show that now has a faithful following of viewers.
Laham speaks passionately about helping people live safe lives. A Certified Crime Prevention officer, Laham says, "I want to see people become educated about crime and to avoid becoming victims. According to Area E5s Captain Timothy Murray, "The cable show is an important link to letting people know what to do in different situations. For instance, we are able to get information out to the public on how to handle graffiti. Most people think that graffiti is just a nuisance but in reality it is a felony. We need the eyes of the public to report to us when they see graffiti happening (call 911). We need those 100,000 public eyes to help augment our police team who work hard but cant be everywhere."
Laham says "West Roxbury and Roslindale have always supported the local police and that is why the area has low crime rates. In particular the Healthy Roslindale Coalition with their quarterly crime watch meetings make a huge contribution to the effort. Its all about leadership from the police captain, the city officials and the public. Every little piece that we can put together with the help of the community makes us a formidable force against the criminal element".
Community Policing is also about being accessible to the community. Laham is always thinking of ways to be involved. On September 20, along with the Roslindale Parade Committee he will host a fundraiser Comedy Show at the Saint Nectarious Church on the VFW Parkway. Whats in the future for the cable show? Laham says, "More of the same providing we continue to get sponsors and he quickly added our current sponsors are West Roxbury Motors, Law Offices of John J. McCarthy and Lois Baiho".
According to the BNN web site at www.bnntv.org, "Boston Neighborhood Network is operated by the Boston Community Access and Programming Foundation. Established by Bostons cable franchise agreement in 1983, BNNs primary goals are to serve Boston and expand the constitutional rights of freedom of expression for all people". As a co-producer of "Its All About Arts" that airs live on Mondays from 6-7 p.m., I can attest to what a wonderful experience it is to work with the BNN group and to produce a cable show. There is something for everyone at BNN. The organization provides training, assistance and production facilities for residents of Boston and non profits to share their experiences, communicate important information and just have fun. For more information about BNN call 617-720-2113.
"Dunk It" on Roslindale Pride Day - 8/16/01
It started as a casual conversation between two people taking a walk around the Roslindale business district. The two remarked about the litter that seemed a constant reminder of peoples lack of pride. One told about her recent trip to Italy. In Italy she said you do not find litter because the people have pride and are not shy about telling you to pick up after yourself. The two wondered how to instill pride in the people of Roslindale. So began the "Dunk It!" campaign.
Anti litter programs are not new. In the 1950s there was the "Keep America Beautiful: Dont be a Litterbug" campaign. On Earth Day 1971, Actor Iron Eyes Cody became the crying Indian in a public service announcement campaign called "People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It". Today our urban lifestyles litter our streets and sidewalks and cost us billions of dollars in clean up and maintenance. According to the "Keep America Beautiful" web site (www.kab.org) litter comes from the following sources: "Household trash handling and its placement at the curb for collection, dumpsters used by businesses, loading docks, construction and demolition sites, trucks with uncovered loads, pedestrians, motorists. Litter is blown about by wind and traffic or carried by water. It moves until trapped by a curb, building or fence. Once litter has accumulated, it invites people to thoughtlessly add more".
In the City of Boston, an ordinance was recently passed called "Site Cleanliness - Operating or maintaining a bulk refuse container without a license or failing to operate or maintain a licensed dumpster or site in accordance with the terms of an issued license. Penalty: - Fines of up to $1000.00 per day and/or closure of the business for repeated violations". To report a violation of this ordinance, call the City of Boston Public Works Department 617.635.4900. The Massachusetts Lottery Commission recently ran "The Clean Fun Sweepstakes" to curb the instant ticket litter problem throughout the Commonwealth. This was a pilot program designed to have ticket buyers return tickets rather than throw them on the street. 100% of the paper from non-winning Clean Fun Sweepstakes entries submitted was purchased by Hanna Paper Recycling Inc. of Mansfield, Massachusetts.
There are many active anti-litter campaigns now going on across America and the world from which we can learn. "Dirty Dublin" has a web site (www.dirtydublin.com) that shows pictures and names actual areas that are littered. The Litterbug is a registered mark of the Pennsylvania Resources Council and they have a comprehensive program and web site at (www.litterbug.org). CigaretteLitter.Org is an informal, non-profit organization dedicated to dramatically reducing cigarette litter across the United States.
Roslindale Pride Day will take place on Saturday, September 29th. It is planned that all people from Roslindale (residents and business owners) will spend a few hours picking up litter and raising awareness of pride in having clean neighborhoods. The City of Boston Public Works Department has agreed to supply trash bags and pickup on this day. The organizations behind the campaign who have been meeting and recruiting help on a monthly basis are Councilor Dan Conleys office, Healthy Roslindale and Roslindale Village Main Streets. The group has developed a logo that will be available for purchase as a decal so that all residents and businesses can affirm their pride and commitment to helping alleviate the litter problem. In the fall the Rossie Reps, a youth program of Healthy Roslindale will develop educational programs in local schools to raise awareness.
How can you get involved and help to "For a Clean Roslindale". The "Dunk It" group are looking for neighborhood captains who would be willing to distribute flyers to neighbors and sign up people to participate on September 29. If you want a clean neighborhood and are willing to spend a few hours please call Adriana Cillo of Councilor Dan Conleys office at 617-635-4210 or Tom Litke, Director of Roslindale Village Main Street at 617-327-4065 or Cathy Slade of Healthy Roslindale at 617-325-9022.
Litter Litter Everywhere - © Peter DuBois 1995
Out the window, on the streets, in the ocean on the beach
Do those people really care? Litter litter everywhere
In the ditches, in the seas, on the roads, and in the trees
Do those people really care? Litter, litter everywhere
Litter its waste out of place, litter its messing up the place
Litter don't toss that jug, cause you don't want to be no litterbug
In the park, on a hike, on a trail, now that ain't right
Do those people really care? Litter, litter everywhere
Song by band Enuf. Band member Peter DuBois is a Waste Reduction Specialist for Clark County, WA.
Deli-cious or "I'll have what she's having" - 8/8/01
Where have all the Delicatessens gone? Delicatessen is described in the dictionary as "Ready-to-eat food products (as cooked meats and prepared salads)". Remember the days when there were the likes of Clauss Deli on Corinth Street in Roslindale or Stan Saltzers on VFW Parkway. Delis were the place to go to get "real meal" sandwiches like heaping corned beef or pastrami on rye bread and rich potato salads. And who can forget the barrels of half-sour pickles? Heavenly sandwiches such as these and other delicacies emerged from Eastern Europe in the 1700's and were brought to perfection when Germans, Romanians, Poles, and other Eastern Europeans immigrated to America. In the mid-1930's, New York City boasted 5,000 delicatessens. Today, sadly these icons of lavish and hearty ready-to-eat food products have slowly given way to fast food and sub shops or are used as settings in movie scenes. Katz's Delicatessen in New York is where they filmed the famous deli scene in "When Harry Met Sally" ("I'll have what she's having"!). Do not despair, as there are local food gems that will conjure up deli-cious memories.
For John McEachern, Deli Manager for the past 19 months at the Village Market on Corinth Street in Roslindale, deli food is comfort food. McEacherns philosophy is that prepared food, salads, luncheon meats and fish buying needs the trust of a friend. Customer service is key and that means personable service (McEachern takes the time to get to know the names of his customers) and providing fresh, quality products like Boars Head meats and daily deliveries of fish. Since McEachern has taken helm over the deli, his department accounts for 14% of the overall business. The industry average is 9% eliciting kudos from owner Jim Mcinnis, "John has done amazing work in the deli department. I am extremely lucky to have hired him". McEachern who learned his trade on the job for twelve years at Lamberts in Dorchester and Westwood was raised on Beech Street in Roslindale and says, "I love what I am doing and I love the people of Roslindale."
The Village Market deli department is a one stop shopping and eating extravaganza for busy working people and families. At the Village Market deli you can pick up pizza or sandwiches for lunch (just ask and they will make any sandwich you want from a vast selection why not try the corned beef) and while there consider some of the hot prepared foods for your dinner. In the fall McEachern says that will have nine different soups daily. A best seller in the deli is the in-store made calzones. If you are planning a party stop in and talk to McEachern and he will put together platters to fit your tastes.
So, where does one find an old fashioned delicatessen these days? By and far you have to travel to New York City to know the real delicatessen experience. Few old fashioned delicatessens exist and I urge you to visit if you can before they become just a memory. The Carnegie Deli located at 854 Seventh Avenue, between 54th and 55th Streets in New York City opened in 1937. Today they still offer corned beef sandwiches that consist of half a pound of meat or more, thinly sliced and layered between slices of seeded rye bread (the half-sour pickles are already on the table). Locally, Rubins Kosher Deli in Brookline on Harvard Street and B & D Delicatessen on Beacon Street come close. Steve Slynes in West Roxbury on Centre Street retains some of the old time sandwich tastes. According to The Frugal Gourmet Doyles Café in Jamaica Plain has ``The best corned beef and cabbage I've tasted. The gray brisket is out of this world."Medical Center takes center stage - 7/23/01
One of the best-kept secrets in the Parkway area is the Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center (GRMDC). The only community medical center servicing Roslindale, West Roxbury and Hyde Park is located at 6 Cummins Highway on the ground floor of the municipal building. The GRMDC has been in existence since 1975 and has recently been awarded a number of grants that will allow for expansion of both space and services. In a population dense area, quality health services are critical and the convenience a facility like GRMDC affords the community is a bonus to busy and stressful schedules.
Years ago community medical centers mostly served uninsured lower income residents. Today, community medical centers are a wonderful mix of providing convenient in-neighborhood primary care for both insured and uninsured. GRMDC, like 14 other centers in Boston, are part of a unique partnership of Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine called HealthNet. The GRMDC accepts most health plans. For those without health insurance patients can meet with a Boston HealthNet Outreach Coordinator at the Center and receive assistance in applying for Mass Health.
Who needs a community medical center? Last year the GRMDC serviced 20,000 visits. According to a market study done by Chadwick Martin Bailey, Inc. in 1997, the GRMDC could service 42,000 visits. The patients who currently use the Center range from age 0-100 and are a diverse racial mix. They came to GRMDC for Family Practice (adults & children), Internal Medicine (adult), Pediatrics, Teen Health (adolescents), Obstetrics, Social Service, Gynecology, Onsite laboratory, Dermatology, Podiatry, Nutrition, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Pre-marital testing and HIV testing. Along with the above services, GRMDC also provides health screenings, flu shots and smoking cessation programs. The Center employs 44 and is known for friendly and caring health service.
The GRMDC is an integral part of the community. As part of a community outreach program, the GRMDC created an award program (nominated by residents) for individuals from the community who dedicate themselves to the health and well being of the community. The award, named after community activist Hermena Clark, was received last year by Greg Laham of Sullivans Pharmacy for his contributions to senior health care maintenance. Nominations are currently being sought for this years awardee. If you would like to nominate someone call Barbara Lottero at the Center at 617- 323-4440.
Another program at the GRMDC that has been well received is the "Reach out and Read Program". This program makes early literacy part of pediatric primary care. Pediatric and dental providers encourage parents to read aloud to their children and give our patients books to take home at all checkups from 6 months to 5 years of age. It also encourages local businesses to get involved. Avi Davis and Linda Burnett of Innovative Moves Real Estate have not only donated books but have spent time at the Center reading to young patients in the waiting room. The GRMDC recently received additional money for the program based on the contributions of Innovative Moves.
As you can clearly see, the benefits of a community medical center are far reaching and make a profound impact on the quality of life in our community. An active community medical center also provides positive economic impact. According to Barbara Lottero, Director of GRMDC and an employee since the Center opened, "I am feeling really good about the exciting things happening at GRMDC. With the award from the George Robert White Fund of the City of Boston to build a new facility, we are moving forward to better servicing the health needs of the Parkway area. Of course, the next two years are critical for not only building the new facility (to be built on South Street across from Adams Park) but also in raising the necessary funds to equip the facility with state of the art equipment." President Walter Michalik leads our board of directors made up of residents from all three communities. They (the board) are working hard to not only raise the visibility of this valuable resource but in finding funding resources to make the facility the best community medical center in the city." For further information visit www.bmc.org/roslindale.
Neighborhood residents take a bite out of crime - 7/16/2001
Crime in the Parkway area is down 23% from the year 2000*. This is good news and something that every community likes to hear. One of the contributing factors to this statistic is community awareness and involvement. While the police from Area E5 are to be congratulated for their programs and diligence, the community also deserves kudos for their efforts in crime prevention. What follows are two wonderful examples of community involvement that effectively work to help prevent crime in our neighborhoods.
Roslindale resident Sarah Churchill works for the James D. St. Clair Court Public Education Project of the Boston Bar Association at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse. Churchill a former teacher, wrote the curriculum for "Children Discovering Justice". The curriculum includes the reading of Charlotte Zolotows book "Williams Doll and Faith Ringgolds book "Aunt Harriets Underground Rainbow in the Sky". This innovative program was piloted this past spring in 14 first grade classrooms in the Greater Boston area. The programs goal is to help students understand both the need for rules in their daily lives as well as the countrys set of rules and the federal court system. After integrating the curriculum with other subjects in the classroom, the students visit the courthouse to meet with a judge and an attorney. Additionally Churchill works with other programs such as legal apprenticeships where middle school students are teamed up with lawyers to produce mock trials. Students from both the Washington Irving and the Shaw through Citizen Schools have participated in this program. Churchill says, "It is wonderful to mentor children by showing them the justice system in a non threatening way and to teach them why it exists. Not only do we hope to influence future crime statistics but we also show children careers that they can consider. To contact the James D. St. Clair Court Public Education Project call 617-748-4186.
The Healthy Roslindale Coalition directed by Cathy Slade of Roslindale and a dedicated board of residents helps to coordinate over 40-neighborhood crime watch groups in Roslindale (there are 1,003 crime watch groups in the city of Boston). Every three months the coalition holds public safety/crime watch network meetings. Here residents, police and local leaders gather to discuss issues, incidents and solutions. Slade says, "Crime watch is for neighbors to get to know each other, interact with the local police and watch out for each other. By doing this there is an open line of communication when things come up that effect the neighborhood safety". Along with the support of the Healthy Roslindale Coalition, individual groups meet in each others homes on a schedule that meets the needs of that individual group. Healthy Roslindale also works with the youth of the community having formed the Rossie Reps, a group of 11-14 year olds who keep busy doing community service and planning events. More information about Healthy Roslindale is available by calling 617-325-9022.
A great way to get involved and become a part of community crime busters is to attend the Annual National Night Out sponsored by Healthy Roslindale. The event this year will take place on Tuesday August 7th in Adams Park, Roslindale from 6-8 p.m. National Night Out will feature music, childrens activities and entertainment. Local and city organizations will be on hand to answer questions and give out literature. Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Police will visit via the Mayors Cavalcade that makes stops all evening in different parts of the city. Since 1984, "National Night OutAmerica's Night Out Against Crime" has grown to involve over 30 million people from more than 9,000 communities across America.
A great web site that gives you great information about crime prevention is the National Crime Prevention Council at www.ncpc.org.
*As reported to Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans by Stephanie Babcock, Research Analyst Office of Research and Evaluation and available online at http://www.cityofboston.com/police/default_media.asp.
Down on the Farm - 7/9/2001
Most city dwellers think that farms exist in far away places like Iowa. But according to the report, "Agricultures Hold on the Commonwealth" published out of the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts agriculture economy is the strongest it had ever been. The report reveals, "While the commonwealth has lost nearly 85,000 acres of farmland during the past quarter century, the number of farms has increased". The report goes on to say, "Our farms appear to be quite healthy, in contrast to farms nationally. Farmers seem to have discovered ways to make their farms more viable, getting the most from each acre. Census data also reveal that there is a significant variety of farming activity across regions in the state. Roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own crops, and subscription farms (also known as community supported agriculture) play a major role in increasing agricultures profitability." As city dwellers in Boston we are lucky to have truly fresh produce available to us. An appreciation for the hard working farmers is always appropriate.
For Christina Deodora of Roslindale farming and selling has been her passion and job for the past seven years. Deodora came to farming in an international way. She went to France to study French and took a job working on a farm in Figeac. Here she learned to love the freedom of working as a farmer and the satisfaction of working with the soil and making things grow. Upon her return to the United States, Deodora worked on a farm in Franklin, MA. There she learned the basics for starting her own farm operation. Three years ago, wanting to be more creative, Deodora rented some farmland and a greenhouse in Needham, MA. Today her business called Sacred Seasons Nursery offers seasonal produce, herbs, plants, cut flowers and related gift items. Deodora not only sells from her greenhouse but also does three weekly farmers markets Roslindale, Harvard Square and Mission Hill. Deodora says, The Roslindale Farmers Market is my absolute favorite place to sell. I have regulars that come by each week and year after year. They are appreciative and friendly. Business is good in Roslindale". Deodora has a web site at www.sacredseasonsnursery.com.
Another long time farmer at the Roslindale Farmers Market is Peter McArthur. McArthur began farming in 1969 as a young man and says that his training came from high school work-study and mostly on the job at local farms. McArthur graduated from Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, which is still training young people in agricultural activities. McArthur then married into the Volante Farm family from Needham. The Volantes farming goes back 125 years. In 1982, McArthur ventured out on his own and began farming and selling. His 2-acre farm located in Holliston also has greenhouses and a retail shop where he sells flowers and produce in season. McArthur also rents an additional 20 acres. During the months from June through October, McArthur sells his produce at Farmers Markets at City Hall, Copley Square, Mission Hill and Roslindale. McArthur doesnt discount that the work is grueling but he has made it a family affair and is assisted by his three children, Brad, Danny and Katie. According to McArthur, "When I started out the one missing piece to running a successful business was financial training. I learned the hard way how to survive in this business. Today, business courses are part of the regular curriculum at agricultural. Farming is just like any other business, you have to know your market and adjust to it."
So stop by the Roslindale Farmers Market at the Roslindale Commuter Rail on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and say hello and thank you to Deodora and McArthur for bringing us fresh, Massachusetts grown produce. As for local farms in the area that you can visit, Allandale Farm, at 259 Allandale Road Brookline has been in business since 1860 and is the last working farm in Boston and Brookline and one of only six farms still operating inside Rte 128. For directions to Allandale Farm visit www.allandalefarm.com. Other local Farmers Markets include Jamaica Plain (behind Fleet Bank on Centre Street) on Tuesdays and Saturdays at noon and Hype Park (across from the library on Harvard Ave.) on Tuesdays from 12-6 p.m.
For additional information about "Massachusetts Grown" and locations and times for Farmers Markets visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture web page at www.massgrown.org. Mark Your Calendar for Massachusetts Marketplace 2001 Festival that will take place Friday, August 24th and Saturday, August 25th at Elm Bank Reservation on the Wellesley/Dover line. Call 617-626-1752 for further details.
Womens Work - 7/2/2001
This coming September Merry Conway and Noni Pratt from New York will bring an exciting public project to Boston. The project called "A Womans Work is never Done" will examine ways that female identity is constructed and the nature of womens roles today through a wide spectrum of experience. Women and their "never done" work are creating new and exciting opportunities that are changing our economy and culture for the better.
Roslindales recent revitalization is in large part due to women entrepreneurs who for a variety of personal reasons decided to become business owners. These women are not alone. According to the National Foundation for Women Business owners - Between 1992 and 1997, the number of women-owned firms increased two-and-a-half times faster than all U.S. businesses (16% compared to 6%). Employment in women-owned firms grew more than three times the rate for all firms (28% compared to 8%). While each of the following women profiled started their businesses under different circumstances, a couple of underlying themes emerge when you ask them why they started a business. The themes are independence (being your own boss), the ability to make day to day decisions about time and doing something they love doing.
Angie Fotiadis is owner of a business that is not main stream for a woman. Fotiadis is owner of Todescas Market a convenience store plus at 4441 Washington Street in Roslindale. Fotiadis has owned the market for five years and worked there as night manager for seven years prior to taking it over. Her days run twenty-four/seven, as her business is brisk with a full deli department that also serves sandwiches and platters. Fotiadis is particularly proud of the meat department where she sells quality cuts of meat at low prices and where you can get your hamburg ground to order. A single mom, Fotiadis was working at the store and going to college when the opportunity to buy it came about. She decided to give it a try and has no regrets. According to Fotiadis, "Although I put in a lot of hours, being my own boss has allowed me to be there for my kids. I learned how to run a business by just being there and paying attention to customer service".
Judie Leon is to be commended for taking a little bit of experience (working for another Roslindale business) and making a lifetime career out of it. Judie a long-time woman business owner in Roslindale and resident owns a very successful travel agency at 42 Corinth Street. Leon offers residents more than the usual travel agency fare. She offers travel advice as well as life advice. On any given day you will find Leon behind her desk bright and early and ready for the continual flow of customers and acquaintances who make their way through her doors. Leons day continues long after she locks her business door each night as she takes care of the community by being helping others in whatever way she can.
Donna Cabral, owns Photo Image Plus at 760 South Street. A graduate of the New England School of Photography and also a single mom, Cabral opened her retail photo shop in 1989 when the Roslindale business district was a virtual ghost town. "I wanted to try my hand at my own business and I lived in Roslindale and it just made sense to be close to home. I grew my photography business the hard way by being active in the community and by taking advantage of low cost business building programs provided by the City of Boston." Today, Cabral has clocked countless hours of dedicated community service and is kept busy doing photo processing, photography (weddings are her specialty) and even finds time to write poetry. Cabrals web site is www.plusphotolab.com.
Another woman business owner in Roslindale who is also a pioneer is Leisa Stanchak owner of the popular Zia at 22 Birch Street. Stanchak gave up an established career in the medical field to open what she calls "a shop that sells eclectic womans clothes, jewelry and accessories". In October Zia will be opened for three years and its success has brought foot traffic to the business district and other businesses to Birch Street (all woman owned). Stanchak says that opening a business for the first time was thrilling and scary. She spent 7-10 months preparing by taking classes with the Small Business Administration, classes in Cambridge on "How to Start a Business" and countless hours of reading and research. Stanchak is also very active in the community. She continually acts as ambassador of Roslindale by recruiting new businesses and helping others with their businesses. Stanchak is an active member of both the Roslindale Board of Trade and Roslindale Village Main Street.
Kristen Keefe, also a first time business owner started Ampersand Designs two years ago. Her store located at 16 Birch Street is a delight to behold and visit. Offering a constant inventory of trendy and useful household items, baby clothes and jewelry, Keefe learned her business acumen at the Center for Women and Enterprise in Boston. Shortly after opening her store, Keefe gave birth to her first child. Today mom, baby and business are thriving.
Joanne Rossman who recently opened Joanne Rossman Designs at 6 Birch Street got her interest in her own business from her father who told her "Go into business for yourself and you will never have to worry about being fired". Rossman has always been self-employed. With sewing machine at hand Rossman has managed a long successful career. Beginning with a designer line of clothes for kids and adults to one of a kind museum and high-end dress shop textiles and custom work, Rossman spent twenty years running her business in the South End of Boston. Rossman has continually redefined her independence and skills to meet the market and her needs. Her current shop she retorts "is a source of wonderful goods that are not your average run of the mill nonsense. I spend all day every day here and I want to be surrounded by what makes me happy. I want my customers to be inspired to be creative". With the gift of gab, Rossman delights customers with conversation and hand made or found baubles that you will not find anywhere else.
For information about "A Womans Work is Never Done" project coming to Boston visit www.conwayandprattprojects.org.
Where to get help and advice on starting a business
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Massachusetts District Office
10 Causeway Street, Room-265
Boston, MA 02222-1093
(617) 565-5590 Phone | (617) 565-5598 Fax - www.sba.gov
Center for Women and Enterprise
1135 Tremont Street Suite 480
Boston, MA 02120
Tel: 617-536-0700, Fax: 617-536-7373 www.cweboston.org
Office of Business Development City of Boston
Department of Neighborhood Development
26 Court Street, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617.635.2000, Fax: 617.635.0282 www.cityofboston.com
Artists Colony - 6/24/01
In 1995, Roslindale residents Mary McCusker and Helen Hummel put out a call to artists. They invited area artists to a meeting at the Roslindale Library to consider forming an art association in the area. They were pleasantly surprised when over thirty people came to the meeting. Thus was formed the Greater Roslindale Arts Association (GRAA). Still in active existence and under the leadership of Mary McCusker, the GRAA members bring contemporary art in all its forms to our delightful attention. The Parkway area is host to many artisans who create in quiet anonymity yet enrich the lives of ordinary citizens. Here you will find flutists for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, renowned ceramists, dancers, book illustrators, quilters, fine artists, musicians, singers, art teachers and puppeteers. Following are a few of the delightful artistic discoveries.
Stephen and Janice Babcock, long time Roslindale residents have been delighting audiences for years with their Poobly Greegy Puppet Theatre performances. They perform in many venues but can be seen regularly at the Puppet Theater Showplace in Brookline. Janice Babcock also creates fabulous painted furniture with found objects. Oscar Lazo who emigrated here from Chile with his family over seven years ago and settled in Roslindale creates large collages and beautiful acrylic paintings in his basement. He is frequently asked to create murals for institutions. Lazo also shares his talent with youth and creates art projects where everyone can get involved.
From the emerging to the established, one finds ceramists such as Chris Gryder in his studio in West Roxbury, MA, creating unusual and earthy ceramic containers made in the "negative". Working with silt (85% sand and 15% clay) Chris designs each individual piece using a simple but ingenious casting method that he invented. To visualize, picture building a sandcastle vertically downward rather than upward. Gryders work is selling in craft shops throughout the country and won him the Citizens Bank Excellence in Craft for Media/Ceramics at Crafts at the Castle, Boston. After many years in graphic design Kim Seeber, a Roslindale resident is starting her junior year at Massachusetts College of Art as a full time student of Ceramics. And this summer Seeber will be employed at the Fessenden School, in West Newton, as a Day Camp Ceramic's Instructor.
Roslindale resident Randy Nehila works as a Special Studies Analyst in the Office of Enrollment Planning and Retention at Boston University but when not at work, he spends his time making art, painting in oils and printmaking, or studying tai chi chuan. To see his delightful artwork visit http://people.bu.edu/erlrsn/thmb.html. Roslindale resident Mary Newell DePalma, a childrens book illustrator won Third Place in a contest sponsored by the illustration directory RSVP. DePalmas entry was a piece titled "I Shall Fly" from a fund raising calendar that she participated in for Bridge Over Troubled Waters. That same piece won an honorable mention in the Society of Illustrators 42nd Annual Exhibition in March 2000, and has been published in their annual, Illustrator's 42, Watson-Guptill Publications, NY 2000. DePalma also wrote and Illustrated a children's book that was published by Houghton Mifflin in March 2001. The title is The Strange Egg. It is sold at Kids 'R Kids in West Roxbury, Jamaicaway Books in JP, Barnes and Noble, Curious George Bookstore in Harvard Square, the Children's Bookshop in Brookline Village, The New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, and online at Amazon.com.
Liz Nania combines talents. Nania is a jewelry designer and dance instructor. Her jewelry is glitzy, retro-inspired pieces from tiaras to brooches. Her dance instruction "OUT to Dance Studio" (www.OuttoDance.com) in Roslindale specializes in swing, Latin and ballroom dancing. Lydia Fondacaro, a long time Roslindale resident is known for her charming and lifelike portraits of cats. For those lucky enough to have been introduced to Lydias full array of talent, her miniature oil paintings are museum quality. To give you an idea of how long Lydia has been painting, consider that she was often a guest at Isabella Stewart Gardners parties in the Fenway. Recently featured on "Its All About Arts", a weekly cable show hosted by Roslindale resident Glenn Williams, Mr. O aka Rob Obdycke showed off the talents of a cappella group, Similar Jones. Obdycke is Director of Music at the Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury.
Just a few of the areas artisans are highlighted in this article. To learn more visit The Parkway Artists Directory available online at http://www.artfulgift.com/arts/Parkway.htm. To be included in the directory send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Area Art Associations
Greater Roslindale Arts Association PO Box 54, Roslindale Contact: Mmcgallery@aol.com
Hyde Park Art Association - C/O CHERYL MURPHY, 258 TURTLE POND PARKWAY, HYDE PARK, MA 02136 Contact: email@example.com
West Roxbury Art Association Contact: Michael Sameski (WRAA ) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Girls of Summer - 6-17-01
"The Boys of Summer,'' a book by Roger Kahn is a sports story about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the late 1940s and 1950s. It was during this period that the team went from laughingstocks to champions. The book follows a group of black and white ballplayers dedicated to beating their rivals, the New York Yankees. Today that quest for championship ball is mirrored right here in the Parkway but with a strong female persuasion. Girls softball in this area is finally trying to catch up to the rest of the state, country and world.
Historically, girls sports especially softball were little more than childs play. Michelle Quintaglie, now thirty-two who grew up in West Roxbury was the first female pitcher for the Parkway Little League Majors. She had to play on the boys team because there were no competitive ball teams for girls. Quintaglie remembers playing endless catch in the middle of Walworth Street in Roslindale with her mother. Her mother Kathy remembers the era with a great anecdote, "The boys mothers would tell me after the games that some of the boys cried at the hands of Michelles pitching. They didnt like being defeated by a girl." It was in the 1980s, when women's sports became a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. With the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the addition of women's championships to the NCAA in 1981 and 1982, women were at the forefront of a decade of change. The number of women in intercollegiate sports increased by 81 percent (from 90,000 to 163,000 participants) between 1981-82 and 1998-99 (Government Accounting Office Report) 03-08-2001. By 1980, the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women also had created 41 national championships for women in 19 sports and had signed a four-year television contract with NBC. Softball became an Olympic sport in 1996 and the United States took a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics, beating Japan 2-1.
While the majority of Massachusetts and the rest of the country integrated competitive softball rapidly, the Parkway area is a "Johnny Come Lately". Softball coach Kathy Berardi of Roslindale says, Girlssoftball in the Parkway area has made progress thanks to the efforts of Ken Gunther of Roslindale and the Parkway Little League Association but there is still more that can be done to make the experience as competitive as it is for boys". Berardi also says that the game lacks available trained coaches and field time, which limits participation. Berardi who is a coach for the Fontbonne Academys varsity softball team also coaches the Parkway Wildcats and coaches the Boston Cougars, a travelling team that she started over five years ago. Berardi hopes that more quality coaches will come forward to teach the game and help develop the skills for competition. Obviously Berardi knows how to coach softball as she coached the Cougars to championship a few years ago and her current team the Parkway Wildcats are going into the playoffs undefeated.
Other options for serious softball playing is the tournament teams like the one that Elaine Matthews plays with. Elaine is a recent graduate of Sacred Heart School in Roslindale. According to her Dad, Mike Matthews," Elaine takes softball very seriously. Along with playing on the local teams Elaine plays with the Mass Drifters, a Junior Olympic Travel Team comprised of seven teams in four levels. Her schedule involves multiple games each week and lots of travel out of Boston with me being the driver. I will drive her anywhere she wants to go because she loves the game so much."
While competitive sports contribute to the character and healthy well being for girls, the Parkway area also offers teams that are less rigid and designed for summer fun. Local parishes like Sacred Heart and St. Theresas to name a few support Girls CYO softball teams. Here everyone gets to play and learn about teamwork. Kudos to Tom Grandy for establishing a ball field on the grounds of the Sacred Heart School in Roslindale. More dedicated people like Grandy, Gunther and Berardi are needed to make champions out of "The Girls of Summer". For information about Parkway Little League call 617-323-9194.
All the Right International Ingredients - 6/10/01
In Europe, food shopping is an experience unlike anything we know here in America or is it? Europeans shop by going to food markets or specialty shops on a frequent (most times daily) basis to pick only the freshest items available. Here in America we are slaves to "super" supermarkets where freshness is sometimes questionable and where choices in spite of large inventories are bland. Take a moment to reflect on our good fortune to live in an area of Boston (Roslindale) where ethnic diversity brings us freshness, variety and all the right ingredients for an international eating experience.
With Italian cooking in mind, bite into a tender and tasty veal cutlet purchased from Tonys Market at 4253 Washington Street and you will think you are eating in a gourmet restaurant. Anthony DeBenedictis has been selling veal and other fresh cut meats including rabbit in his market in Roslindale since 1969. The market also sells imported Italian groceries and cheeses. Tonys homemade sausage is an absolute must for the BBQ grill. A native of Avellino, Italy, Tony came to America with no idea of what he would be doing in his new life. He opened his first Italian market in East Dedham in 1963 and moved the store to Roslindale in 1969. We are lucky to have our own little piece of Italy in our neighborhood.
Robert Khouzami is the proud owner of Bobs Pita Bakery or Droubi Brothers, as it is also known located at 748 South Street in Roslindale. This bustling Lebanese market has been in Roslindale for 22 years. Besides being the location for a bakery that bakes and sells fresh pita bread to the entire East Coast, Bobs Pita Bakery sells a wide variety of healthy and interesting ethnic food ingredients. One delicious ingredient to keep in the refrigerator is Labne. Labne is a soft cheese that is made out of yogurt that you can make at home but why bother when you can so conveniently pick it up here. While you are picking up the Labne no doubt you will want to also sample some of the fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and hard to find canned goods such as carob molasses and fig marmalade.
Another long time business is Roslindale Fish at 38 Poplar Street, owned and operated by William and Hope Bregianos. Greek is the food language spoken in this market. And although the freshest of fish like scallops, octopus and squid is the specialty of Roslindale Fish, the tiny space offers up other recipe staples like buckets of delectable olives, grains of every kind and a charming wagon offering fresh herbs and greens. And if you are looking for Feta cheese, here you can select from Greek Barber, Greek Dodonis, French, Bulgarian and domestic varieties. Be sure and get to this market early in the morning as the fish goes fast and is stocked on a daily basis.
The newest of markets in Roslindale is the Village Market at 26 Corinth Street owned by Jim McInnis. This supermarket is a well-stocked store that sells food staples but also has small specialty markets in it. The store has a huge fresh produce section that includes organic offerings and a salad bar. Another section offers bulk food such as grains, beans, granola, dried fruits and nuts. The deli department also has a "meals to go" section that has become very popular. When you are in the mood for something fresh cooked but dont want to cook this is the place. While at Village Market visit the Parkways only olive bar, very cool.
To round out an international shopping experience visit Solera Wine at 12 Corinth Street. Stop in and meet the owner, Maria Valencia. Maria recently opened her store to share her love and knowledge of wines. Maria searches out and offers a large selection of wines from over ten different countries 85% which are under $12. Maria is proud of her new selection of wine from Mexico and recommends the perfect accompaniment for rice and beans Monte Xanic, a Cabernet and Merlot blend. Dont be shy when you visit Solera wine. Ask lots of questions as Maria and her staff love to talk wine. Oh and dont pass over the fancy truffles at the cash register made by Chocolate Charlie another Roslindale institution.
The perfect ending to a Roslindale market shopping trip (and an international meal) is of course dessert. Whether your taste runs from Baklava a Greek honey pastry to a lemon square Roslindale offers seven bakeries + (Fornax Bread, Boschettos (Italian), Vouros (Greek), Johns (Italian), Dianes (American), Bobs Pita (Lebanese), Village Market (American) and the newest dessert ice cream cakes from Emack and Bolios. Stop by Emack & Bolios at 2 Belgrade Avenue and be sure to order your cake with hot fudge in the middle.
And last but not least, stop by the Roslindale Village Main Streets Farmers Market at the Roslindale Commuter Rail on Saturday mornings for fresh Massachusetts grown produce. Roslindale definitely offers all the right international ingredients.
Surround Yourself in Green -6/3/2001
In the Parkway area, we have the advantage of being surrounded by precious green space. Boston, which gave the country its first park, in 1634, was awarded a top ranking last year by The Trust for Public Land and the Urban Land Institutes review of the best urban park systems in the USA. Mayor Thomas Menino was recently honored by the American Public Works Association with a Distinguished Service Award citing the transformation of the old Gardner Landfill into Millenium Park in West Roxbury. No other section of Boston can boast the amount or variety of green space that enhances our urban environment.
Roslindale has Adams Park, a gem of a green space located in the middle of the business district. Surrounded by majestic trees and filled with flowers, shrubs and monuments, the space is owned by the City of Boston and maintained by Roslindale Village Main Street. Funding for the care and upkeep comes from a Fleet Bank grant with additional enhancements provided through the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund. The park, created in 1920 was named in honor of Irving Williams Adams, reportedly the first Massachusetts man to die in World War I. Residents and visitors enjoy the mini-park for year round community activities including free concerts on Thursday evenings during July and August. Plans are currently underway to create another green space in Roslindale, The Village Courtyard. The Village Courtyard to be located in the rear of stores on Birch, Corinth and South Streets will offer landscaping, seating, outdoor dining and a fountain feature. For more information visit www.roslindale.net.
West Roxbury has the newly created Millenium Park located behind Home Depot and West Roxbury High School. Formerly the Gardner Landfill, the 100-acre park offers walking and bicycling paths with scenic views of the Charles River and Brook Farm. The park also has a tot lot, picnic tables and a canoe launch. This area of the Charles River is getting much needed attention. According to the Charles River Watershed Teams web site, "As part of EPAs Clean Charles 2005 Initiative to make the Charles fishable and swimmable by Earthday 2005, we are working to remove pollution from the river and restore the ecology of the river. The Charles River has become substantially cleaner over the past year, receiving a grade "B", up from a "B-" a year ago. The river was clean enough for boating 90 percent of the time last year, up from 83 percent in 1998, and met swimming standards 65 percent of the time, compared to 51 percent in 1998."
Additionally there are other public green spaces close to Roslindale and West Roxbury. The Arnold Arboretum, which is in both Roslindale and Jamaica Plain, is a 265-acre park, owned by the City of Boston and on long-term lease to Harvard University. Founded in 1872 as part of Boston's Emerald Necklace park system, The Arnold Arboretum is a tranquil place for walking, bike riding and enjoying plants, flowers, trees and shrubs. The Arnold Arboretum also offers tours, classes and special events. Offerings in June include a drawing and watercolor class, "Propagating Woody Plants in Summer" and on June 22 and 23 there will be a performance by Diane Edgecomb, Storyteller and Margot Chamberlain, Celtic Harper. For more information visit www.arboretum.harvard.edu.
Another beautiful green space nearby in Jamaica Plain is the Forest Hills Cemetery founded in 1848. Created as a rural garden cemetery, the Forest Hills Cemetery offers the visitor 273 acres of pathways, a lake (the only lake in Boston), sculpture, botany and history. Artists and writers, entrepreneurs and inventors, social reformers and philosophers are buried here. Here too you can partake of tours and special events. On July 12th the Forest Hills Cemetery will have its Third Annual Lantern Festival. This family event offers picnicking and musical/dance performances. At twilight participants will float lanterns on Lake Hibiscus. Forest Hills Cemetery grounds are open to the public every day, from 7:30 a.m. to dusk. For more information visit www.foresthillstrust.org.
The latest addition to welcome green space is the Massachusetts Audubon Societys Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Mattapan located on the grounds of the old Boston State Hospital. The Center comprises 67 acres with over two miles of scenic wheelchair accessible trails and boardwalks offering visitors a chance to explore the sanctuary. Wildlife abounds at the Boston Nature Center, with deer, hawks, and migratory birds. The Boston Nature Center offers education programs for local schools, day care and day camp groups, children, adults and families. Some great summer programs are planned. The trails open at a "Neighbors and Nature" Festival that will take place on Sunday, June 10. Call 617-983-8500 for information.
Other areas that surround us in green include Larz Anderson Park (Brookline), Jamaica Pond (Jamaica Plain), Franklin Park (Dorchester), and Stony Brook Reservation (Enneking, Dedham and Turtle Pond Parkways). It is so easy to take these spaces for granted. Plan some time to visit these spaces and surround yourself in green. For more information about outdoor activities in and around Boston visit "Get Outdoors New England" an Internet bulletin board for outdoor activities in and around New England at http://www.gonewengland.org.