One of the newest businesses in Egleston Square is the independently-owned Bravo Pharmacy, which opened earlier this year and prides itself on its exceptional customer service. Owner Dmitri Limkov explained why he opened up in Egleston Square. "It had to be in JP," said Linkov, of the business nestled between Anique Nicole Hair Salon and Pin Bochince Restaurant at 3158 Washington St. "I see JP as the Liberty Island of Massachusetts. That's where everything started.
Jamaica Plain's Neighborhood Council will be discussing the JP/Rox plan on Wednesday. It will be a special meeting through the council's Housing and Community Development Committee. The public meeting on Wednesday June 22, 2016, at the Farnsworth House (90 South St.) at 7 pm. This meeting is being held in the wake of the June 1 decision by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to extend the JP/Rox plan process into September. The BRA will not take a vote on the plan until October it said in a letter sent to the 26-member JP/Rox plan advisory group.
Irish step and Latin dancing, percussionists, free ice cream, yoga and more. All of this was jam-packed into the former Jackson Glass garage space this past Sunday as CityPOP Egleston held a grand opening. CityPOP Egleston, is a pop-up art space, created by City Realty, the owner of the property at 3193 Washington St. CityPOP is a collaborative art space to assist emerging artists and CityPOP has more than seven artists-in-residence, who have contracts running through next April. The afternoon kicked off, literally, by the JP Irish dancers led by Jackie O'Reilly with three step dancers Lauren Milford, Samantha Jones and Amanda Kerry, who moved in unison accompanied by a fiddler and squeeze box duo.
In a victory for many in the Egleston Square, Jackson Square and Forest Hills corridor, the Boston Redevelopment Authority has agreed to a 3-month extension of the JP-Rox Plan process after several organizations in the study areas had asked for an extension. On June 1, a joint letter from Brian Golden, director of the BRA and Sheila Dillon, Dir. of Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) was delivered to the 26-member JP-Rox Plan Advisory Committee announcing that decision. The letter said in part:
"After carefully considering the thoughtful feedback that we heard from many groups of community members... we believe it is prudent to extend the Plan JP/Rox by an additional three months."
The Double Edge Theater put on a fantastic Latin American Spectacle show in the soaring vaulted hall of the former Blessed Sacrament Church this past Saturday and Sunday nights during Memorial Day weekend. The show was part three-ring acrobatic circus, part political theater and part High Mass. The ensemble of musicians and dancers from Charlestown Working Theater and the Hyde Square Task Force put on a story-song about a community in change. The audience was part of the performance although the audience weren't quite aware of that during the Sunday evening performance. The program began with a costumed vocalist singing traditional songs with her accompanying guitarist standing on the church steps. Then came two costumed women, mother and daughter, circulating with bunches of long stem flowers that the younger one gave away; Following them was a merchant in dark suit coat and flowered fedora pulling a kiddie wagon with samples of his wares, working the audience with jokes and comments as his assistant gave away watermelon slices saying "eat it quickly" as he warned one tyke "or it'll melt."
Four brightly colored wooden benches designed and painted by Egleston Square YMCA teens under the direction of artist Sydmarie Arroyo were delivered to the Waldren Road sitting park during the Love Your Block Day on May 21. Urban Edge and the Eglston Square YMCA received a $1,170 grant last January from the Love Your Block program administered through the Mayors Office of Neighborhood Services. Residents from Wardman Apartments -- owned by Urban Edge and managed under its contract with WinnResidential -- helped write the grant and planned the improvements with Urban Edge community organizer Nicole Chandler in March and April. Sydmarie Arroyo and the Eglston YMCA presented draft ideas to the Wardman residents on March 18, designed and painted the benches -- each one featuring a black artist such as Tupac Shakur, Lauryn Hill and Prince -- at the YMCA thoughout April and early May. A dilapidated fifth bench already on site was repaired by WinnResidential maintenance men on Saturday and a new undisclosed design begun that afternoon with neighborhood youngsters joining in with paint rollers.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Housing and Community Development Committee unanimously rejected the proposed 44-unit 3353 Washington St. rental development at its meeting last week. The opposition point of view was summed up succinctly by committee member Pam Bender: "You are doing the bare minimum" for affordable housing and community benefits, she told developer Boston Community Ventures. The May 10 meeting followed a contentious Small Project Review public meeting April 28 sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) at which neighbors expressed little love for the project, which would be located at the corner of Washington and Green streets across from the E-13 district police station. The JPNC may register its own vote on the project at its meeting Tuesday, May 24.
On a sun-flooded morning, hundreds of families from Bromley Heath apartments sat in overflow chairs in a crowded tent to listen as Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Housing Authority William McGonagle renamed the development Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Joining them was Anna Mae Cole, a friend and comrade in arms for over 60 years and former chair of the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation that Mrs. Hailey (and yes she was always Mrs. Hailey) directed for 40 years. Mrs. Hailey died of cancer at the age of 82 on Nov. 18, 2015 . Walsh remembered her memorial service: "At the end Billy [McGonagle] came up to me and said, "I've never asked you for anything but I'd like to ask you to name Bromley Heath after Mildred Hailey."
About 700 people flew kites, rode bikes, danced, played steel drums, picnicked and just plain hung out at the Playstead in Franklin Park during the annual Kite Festival, held on a perfect spring day Saturday, May 14. An institution since 1968, the festival for 20 years was a family event so enormous that it stretched across the entire park, and would close the park to all through traffic that day. After the golf course was refurbished in 1990, the Kite Festival was banished and languished for years, but it has made a comeback the past five years thanks to Discover Roxbury and The Franklin Park Coalition, in cooperation with the the Boston Parks Department. This year's Kite Festival was the largest since its reboot in 2011. Among the highlights was the presence of DJ Jammin Joe Johnson, formerly a popular jock on the old radio station WILD -- which co-hosted the old Kite Festival with the Parks Department and broadcast live from Franklin Park all that day -- who livened up the crowd with the island sounds of the band Tempo International.
Plan B went into full effect at the 6th Plan JP/Rox workshop last Wednesday as 50 protesters marched into the room clapping. Just as the emcee, Senior Planner Marie Mercurio, was concluding her opening remarks, the protesters grabbed what they called "the people's mic" to "fight not for profit but for the community." For over an hour, "Keep it 100% for Egleston," a well-organized and well-rehearsed group, listed its demands to stop the Boston Redevelopment Authority-sponsored Plan JP/Rox for three months. Plan JP/Rox is a once-in-a-generation rezoning process for the whole Washington Street and Columbus Avenue corridors in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The protest group, which is comprised both young people as well as adults, alternated speakers using a call-and-response format.