The Hyde Jackson Jackson Square Main Street organization has changed its name and is now Three Squares Main Street JP. "Rebranding to Three Squares Main Street JP clearly positions our organization to advance the Main Street model in the three squares of our business district in Jackson Square, Hyde Square, and Canary Square," said Gerald Robbins, executive director of the organization. "Our role is unique and critically important to the business district and we want to stand apart as such." The district's geography is not changing, as it encompasses Centre Street from Jackson Square to Canary Square, with Hyde Square in between Jackson and Canary squares. Three Squares Main Street JP was formed in 1998, and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Businesses are being asked to offer their opinions on what they'd want to see if Centre/South Street were redesigned. The Boston Cyclists Union and JP Centre/South Main Streets are conducting a survey of businesses in the district, and will be sharing the survey's results with the Boston Transportation Department. The city's plans for the Centre/South redesign are on hold, but are expected to restart soon, according to the JPCSMS newsletter. It is part of the already completed redesign of Jackson Square and Hyde Square. The city has allocated more than $700,000 for the design alone, which would go from Hyde Square down Centre and South streets to the Arborway, said Ginger Brown, director of JPCSMS.
The survey asks business owners to rank seven options on what they feel is most important in a redesign: increased pedestrian/sidewalk space; improved bike infrastructure and bike parking; improved bus service; improved streetscape (like benches, lighting, greenery, public art); better signage for the business district; and increased parking for cars.
A new documentary "Boston's Latin Quarter," which takes a close look at the Hyde and Jackson Squares neighborhoods, is debuting in Jamaica Plain on August 12. Colombian filmmaker Monica Cohen, a Jamaica Plain resident, spent much of the last year producing and directing the 30-minute, bilingual documentary. The film looks closely at how the Hyde-Jackson Square neighborhood on the border of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury has transformed during the past three decades and recently received the designation of being Boston's Latin Quarter from the Massachusetts Cultural District. In the documentary, the director examines issues such as the strengths of the immigrant communities, Latinx entrepreneurs, the role of Afro-Latin Arts/Culture, place-keeping, and problems of crime, violence and gentrification. Following the film, a panel including Cohen; Celina Miranda, Executive Director of Hyde Square Task Force; Damaris Pimental, owner of Ultra Beauty Salon; and Elaine Mondy, a Boston Latin Quarter residents, will discuss the issues raised in the film.
The recent extreme heat delayed Mayor Marty Walsh touring around Main Street districts highlighting local businesses and volunteers, including several of Jamaica Plain's favorite businesses. Some of the JP part of the tour was rescheduled for July 22, and some of the tour was rescheduled for this weekend. During three separate days, Mayor Walsh will visit nine different locations, honoring 20 Main Street volunteers and numerous businesses. This weekend the PikaloX restaurant and volunteer Eugenia Arroyo, will be honored as part of Egleston Square Main Streets. The Little Dipper restaurant, and volunteer Melvin Tutiven will be honored by the Jamaica Plain Centre South Main Streets program.
Share a table, a story, and a meal with your neighbors while enjoying free appetizers from a local chef on July 24. Please bring your own dinner to enjoy along with free delicious appetizers prepared by Chef Cecilia from Coco Verde Vegan. This event is on July 24 on the Blessed Sacrament Plaza (361 Centre St., Jamaica Plain) at 6 pm. Share your stories of food and culture while you eat. This event is part of Hyde Square Task Force's Viva el Latin Quarter Summer Series.