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.
Hyde Jackson Square Main Street looks to build upon its successful 2018 event series by welcoming an even more vibrant, social Café in Mozart Park prior to Friday and Saturday night's Teatro en el Parque live theater shows. Teatro en el Parque makes live theater accessible for residents with few opportunities to experience theater in a language and culture that reflect many within the neighborhood. This year’s performance by Escena Latina Teatro – “It is Forbidden to Commit Suicide in the Spring” (Prohibido Suicidarse en Primavera) – will take place on the evenings of July 18, July 19, and July 20. Although performed in Spanish, English language supertitles are projected on a large video monitor so that non-Spanish speakers may also enjoy the play and learn about Spanish theater. Bridging Communities at Teatro en el Parque aims to bring together both Spanish and non-Spanish speaking communities for engaging, fun evenings in Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain.
The defunct Jamaica Plain World Fair will be returning to the neighborhood after a 10-year hiatus, and is being renamed as the Latin Quarter World's Fair (LQWF). The new version of the fair is scheduled to be on September 15 and will be on Creighton Street to Bynner Street, and also scattered throughout the Blessed Sacrament Campus. The multicultural celebration will kick-off National Latinx Heritage Month, and recognize the neighborhood’s designation as a Cultural District by both the Mass Cultural Council and Boston, according to a press release. “The Latin Quarter Cultural District’s new take on the JP World’s Fair will focus on celebrating the neighborhoods long, rich history of Afro-Latin art, culture, food, and music,” said Cisnell Baez, LQWF Committee member and former resident. “By creating spaces and events that are led by the community who lived, work, and own businesses there, we are empowering them to make decisions about their neighborhood.”
Through the years residents and merchants have wanted the fair to return.