News Briefs

ELLIS WINE MARCH 22

The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce a wine tasting tour of Italy. To help guide through this complicated terroir, there will be the expert assistance of George Schwartz, a distributor with deep knowledge and experience of the country and its wines.  We’ll taste a selection of wines (white, orange, rosé and red) from various varietals and gain a sense of the quality and diversity coming from Italy.  Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn as we celebrate the departure of winter with some very classy wines accompanied by appropriate fare. Join your neighbors for this fun, educational event.

The tasting is on Weds., March 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Paul Duffy, Clarendon Street.

By necessity, this tasting will be a smaller group and space will be limited, so reserve now by replying with an email and sending your check for $35 ($40 for non-ENA guests) by March 19 payable to:  “Ellis NA”, c/o Bill Gregor, 92 Appleton St., Boston, 02116 or by paying on the Ellis website: http://www.ellisneighborhood.org/.  Please include the name(s) of those who will be attending. Questions?  Contact Bill Gregor at [email protected]

Sorry, no refunds after March 19.

COMMUNITY CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR PETERS PARK ART WALL PROJECT

Washington Gateway Main Street (WGMS) in partnership with ALA Collective led by artists PROBLAK and Marka27, City Lights Performing Arts School, and Friends of Peters Park/Old Dover announced this week details for a community crowd funding campaign in support of the Peters Park Art Wall Project. The campaign kicks off on March1 at 6 a.m. and will be live for 30 days closing on Thursday, March 30 at midnight. The campaign aims to raise $12,000 to cover the costs of the artist, materials and supplies, as well as stipends for youth.

“This mural will be located in prominent public space in the neighborhood, so it is important that everyone have the chance to contribute, no matter how big or small, to this historically and culturally significant piece of art, ” said Jenny Effron, executive director, Washington Gateway Main Street.

The Peters Park Art Wall was proclaimed a legal graffiti wall in 1986 in an effort to decrease vandalism in the South End. The City, in partnership with area organizations and businesses, seeks to continue the tradition of curating and programming the Art Wall, both for the enrichment of the neighborhood as well as the preservation and celebration of this area’s diverse cultural history.

“For over 30 years the Peters Park Art Wall has stood as a neighborhood icon in Boston’s South End. Artists and community members alike have viewed the wall as a symbol of creative and cultural expression,” said Marka27 of ALA Collective. “ It’s an honor to continue the tradition of cultural expression through murals and street art, collaborating with a new generation of local Boston artists and youth. We are humbled and extremely grateful for all the community support that we continue to receive and look forward to another 30 years of the Peters Park Graffiti Art Wall being painted.”

The Mayor’s Office and Boston Art Commission released an RFP for conceptual designs on January 26 that closed on February 26. The RFP was open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams, with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and working with youth.

Individuals as well as corporations and businesses of any size are encouraged to get involved. Interested parties can participate by donating on Generosity or reaching out directly to Jenny Effron ([email protected]) at Washington Gateway Main Street for additional information about the program as well as partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

For more information, please visit www.petersparkart.com .

STREET SWEEPING MARCH 1

The City began street sweeping on Weds., March 1, in the South End, which mean those that don’t move from the appointed areas will get tagged and towed.

Residents can sign up for email reminders at the City of Boston website. Even if one has previously signed up for reminders, it is a good idea to register again.

The March 1 date is good for South End, North End and Beacon Hill. The rest of the City begins sweeping on April 1.

FENWAY STAR MARKET ACQUIRES GAS STATION

A major purchase has taken place in the Fenway, with the iconic Star Market (and its wonderful parking lot) acquiring the Gulf gas station next door, according to Bldup.com.

The Market purchased the station for $16.925 million last Friday, Feb. 24. It now means that the Market has expanded its contiguous parcels to 2.3 acres of properties, according to Bldup.com.

The Gulf station last sold in July 2001 for $1.68 million.

PILOT BLOCK REVIVING

Members of the Pilot Block Neighborhood Association are looking to revive the once much-more robust organization.

Members looking to bolster Pilot Block held a meeting at the South End Library on Feb. 6 to gauge interest Ain the organization and if there was a desire to make it active again.

Member Steve Wolfe said the organization has slowed down a few times over the years, and having frequent elections helps to keep that from happening and keep leaders from getting burnt out.

Some of the Committees suggested include zoning, trash, social, alleys and by-law review.

Stay tuned for future meeting notices via the Pilot Block website and its Twitter feed (which is a great resource to find out what wire sculptor Will Corcoran is doing on Pembroke Street every week!).

The Pilot Block roughly represents the area of the South End bounded by Tremont Street, West Newton, Pembroke Street, West Canton and Columbus Avenue.

BVNA HOSTS WINTHROP SQUARE DEVELOPERS

The developers of the proposed 115 Winthrop Square tower attended the Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) planning sub-committee this past Monday, Feb. 27 to further explain the shadow impacts on the nearby public parks.

Joe Larkin, from Millennium Partners, described the current Shadow Laws and how any building over 365 feet tall in this location would cast a new shadow on the parks, breaking the law.

The City has proposed taking away the rest of the ‘Shadow Bank’ that allows additional shadow onto the Public Garden and Boston Common, beyond the restrictions already set in place for buildings within the Boston Cultural District.

The proposed Winthrop Square tower sits two blocks from being within the Boston Cultural District and the city is proposing for a one-off exemption to allow this building to be developed.

They have not heard back from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yet, on how the height will affect airplane patterns but Larkin said he is expecting the building will be between 700 feet and 775 feet tall.

Larkin said that he is unsure when the shadow law amendment will happen but expects will happen sooner rather than later. The next step will be to bring it up as a Home Rule Petition to the Boston City Council. If it passes it will then move on to the State to make the final decision.

In addition, there was talk about the city-owned, Parcel 12 in Chinatown, where the 100,000 square feet and about 100 affordable units will go for this project. Larkin said they decided to put it off-site because the people of Chinatown preferred to keep it in their neighborhood.

Residents of Bay Village warned about the possibility of casting new shadow on the nearby Eliot Norton Park. Larkin says he expects there will be some impact, but that this building will go through the same environmental impact reports as the Winthrop Square tower does.

CAJUN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT TO BAY VILLAGE

A new restaurant anticipated to be called, Bootleg Special, is expected to be coming to the Bay Village and the South End. It will take over the old dog-grooming place that sits adjacent to the CVS on the corner of Tremont Street and Herald Street.

The restaurant will sport southern-styled Cajun seafood, where customers come in, chose their main seafood, meat, vegetables and sauce and prepare to chow down with their hands and bibs.

Still in its early stage of planning, the restaurant will have a bar and outdoor seating. The outside façade will remain pretty much the same while the inside will host a more vibrant and well light atmosphere.

The owners will be applying for a private conditional beer and wine liquor license for the establishment. They hope to work with the surrounding communities to secure a 1:00a.m. closing time for the restaurant throughout the week.

There will be no on-site parking and no valet parking for the restaurant.

Residents of the Bay Village Association voiced concerns about traffic management for drop-off for the restaurant and the late closing time. Residents stated that once a license is secured for this spot, a later establishment might try to come in and make it have a more of a club like feel.

Sarah Herlihy the president of Bay Village Neighborhood Association summed it up, “We live in a city where we understand that there is noise and we want your business to do well, but we also want to be able to get to sleep at night.”

IMPROVEMENTS TO CONDOS AT  20 ISABELLA

Upgrades to the condos of 20 Isabella St. in the Bay Village will soon be coming. Improvements include converting four condos into the three condominiums in order to fit families and updates to the façade.

The windows will be replaced with two over two and a small garden well with bushes will be placed out in front. This will allow for an emergency egress from the window that is below-grade. The front door will be restored to the original look.

There will also be an addition of a roof-deck that cannot be seen from a public way and in the rear there will be additions of balconies.

This is the same architect behind the construction 52 Melrose Street, where electrical and plumbing work is happening now. The developer at the BVNA planning meeting said that they hope to get these apartments for sale by this April and have people moving in by the end of the summer.

WANT A SLOW STREET?

The City of Boston Transportation Department (BTD) is now accepting applications for 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets projects. Residents, neighborhood associations, and other community-based organizations are invited to apply to have their neighborhood participate in the Neighborhood Slow Streets program which works to use traffic calming measures to improve roadway safety within a defined residential area.

BTD and the Boston Public Works Department will work with selected applicants to plan and implement Neighborhood Slow Streets projects that meet the specific needs of their communities. Selected Neighborhood Slow Streets will be equipped with visual and physical cues to slow drivers to 20 MPH, making each street feel more inviting for people of all ages who are walking, playing, or bicycling. The program emphasizes quick-install and low-cost fixes, such as signage, pavement markings, and speed humps.

More information on the Neighborhood Slow Streets program, including applications, are available at www.boston.gov/transportation/neighborhood-slow- streets.

FOOD TRUCK ADVISORY COMM. NAMED

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the first-ever Food Truck Advisory Committee this week. Working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Committee consists of industry stakeholders who will provide recommendations on areas of food truck policy, as well as engage relevant City agencies on the current food truck permitting process.

“Micro restaurants and retail establishments are crucial employers and revenue generators in Boston’s small business economy, and I look forward to an improved program that will enhance neighborhood vibrancy and promote economic inclusion,” said the mayor.

Below is a full list of committee members:

Doug Burrell, Big Daddy Hotdogs; Rox Freeman, Commonwealth Kitchen; David Harnick, The Dining Car; Irene Li, Mei Mei Street Kitchen; Melissa Lynch, The Roving Lunchbox; Ky Nguyen, SA PA; Ian So, Chicken and Rice Guys; Kevin Toretello, Boston’s Baddest Burger; Diana Vargas, Pomaire Boston Chilean Grill; and Christopher Wandell, Northeast of the Border.

The Committee will advise on food truck policy areas including but not limited to, the annual site selection lottery, food truck sites throughout the city, and the truck permitting process. In advance of the annual site selection lottery this spring, the Committee will first focus on lottery and application process improvements that can be implemented immediately.

MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

PINE STREET INN GOOD NEIGHBOR HOTLINE

Residents who have any problems or concerns related to the Pine Street Inn on East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue in the South End are invited to call the Good Neighbor Line. Security Director Kevin Smith said they are glad to get calls from the neighborhood and would address any matter brought to their attention.

The number is (617) 892-9210.

MIDDLE EASTERN JAZZ FEST MARCH 8

The Signature Series at Berklee continues on March 8 with the ninth annual Berklee Middle Eastern Festival. This year’s edition features the music of Armenian pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan.

The Berklee Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble, directed by festival founder Christiane Karam, associate professor of voice, will perform some of Hamasyan’s most celebrated works spanning his prolific and diverse career. The concert will also include excerpts from his choral album Lyus i Luso, arranged for choir, piano and strings, featuring the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir, also led by Karam; and the Berklee World Strings, led by Grammy Award-winning Berklee professor Eugene Friesen.

Hamasyan will also present a solo set, performing selections from his upcoming album, An Ancient Observer.

Middle Eastern Festival: The Music of Tigran Hamasyan takes place Wednesday, March 8, 8:00 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. Reserved seating tickets are available for $8/$12 at the BPC box office or berklee.edu/bpc. The venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 617-747-2261.

EIGHT STREETS GETS NEW WEBSITE

The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association has announced it has a new website at www.eightstreets.org.

If the website is the go to ‘neighborhood information store’, Facebook is the ‘daily news-stream’ on what’s happening, so check out the Eight Streets Facebook.

TRUSTEE’S GARDNER’S GATHERING

The Gardeners’ Gathering continues to be the annual forum for gardeners to shrug off the winter chill and come together to celebrate urban gardening in Boston. With spring just around the corner, the 42nd Annual Gardeners’ Gathering, presented by The Trustees and the City of Boston, will take place on Saturday, March 18, at Northeastern University’s Shillman Hall and the Egan Center in Boston. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will, once again, attend and present the Annual Community Garden Awards.

PRIDE ANNOUNCES THEME

Boston Pride announced on Monday that its theme for 2017 is “Stronger Together.” This theme was chosen by the LGBTQ community through an online vote. It focuses on the current climate of political uncertainty and marginalization of LGBTQ people. “Stronger Together” stresses the imperative that the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community stand together and fight for civil rights for all. “Stronger Together” will be used for all Boston Pride events throughout the year, culminating with Boston Pride Week to be held from June 2-11.

“Our 2017 theme, ‘Stronger Together’ is a call to action for all in the LGBTQ community and for our allies,” said Sylvain Bruni, Boston Pride president. “The great strides that our community has made locally and nationally are threatened by the current poisoned political climate that seeks to replace equal rights with discrimination. We will not be silent, we will not be divided; we will be loud and united to show the world that the LGBTQ community will fight for the civil rights of all disenfranchised communities.”

SOUTH END DATES

  • The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) canceled its Feb. 9 Board meeting last week due to inclement weather. The new meeting of the Board will take place on March 2 starting at 3:30 p.m. The Board will still be considering two major South End projects, including Quinzanis (Related Beal) and the Harrison Albany Block (Leggett McCall).
  • FORUM TIME COMING! South End Forum meeting dates: The forum meets on the first Tuesday of the month on a quarterly basis. The next meetings will be March 7, May 2, June 6, Sept. 5 and Nov. 7. Mark your calendars.
  • The New York Streets Neighborhood Association (NYSNA) will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 7, in the Ink Block building foyer at 6:30 p.m.
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association will host a meeting with the Boston Ballet on Friday, March 10, from 2-3 p.m. at the Ballet School on Clarendon Street.
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at Project Place, Washington and E. Berkeley Street. The agenda will include an historical presentation by the South End Historical Society, Alyssa Schoenfelt of Bites of Boston Food Tours, and neighborhood updates.
  • The Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) will continue an ambitious and exciting winter and spring author’s series. On Tuesday, March 14 is foreign-policy journalist Stephen Kinzer, with his most recent book, the widely reviewed and highly praised inquiry into the roots of our international predicaments, ‘True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.’ He will be introduced by the incisive WBUR radio host Christopher Lydon, of, once upon a time The Connection, and currently, OpenSource.
  • Shake it Off: The St. Botolph Neighborhood Association will hold a Winter Party on Thursday, March 16, at the YMCA (316 Huntington Ave.) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will be appetizers, a cash bar and raffles. Tickets are $15 per person. RSVP by e-mailing [email protected]
  • The next meeting of the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association will take place on Tuesday, March 21, in the D-4 Police Station at 7 p.m.
  • IBA is calling for submissions from undiscovered Latina artists – all ages and all disciplines – for its Women’s History Month Art Exhibition on Friday, March 10. The deadline to submit is Friday, Feb. 24.
  • Applications are now available for the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association Scholarship awards. Scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are planning to pursue a college or a technical degree and for students currently enrolled in higher education.

These scholarships include $1,000 Scholarships for Academic Achievement and Community Service and $2,000 Andrew Parthum Scholarships for Outstanding Community Achievement.

Applications are due by Friday, May 19, 2017.

FENWAY COMMUNITY CENTER

  • Death Cafe…Everyone is invited to a lively conversation about a subject that we shouldn’t be so quiet about. The discussion is facilitated by Carol Lasky and will take place in the Center on March 15, 7:15 p.m. Please RSVP.
  • Park Boot Camp…Boston Park Advocates invites supporters of Boston open spaces to gather to network and learn about best practices from peers around the city. Come hone your skills as an effective open space champion. All levels of advocacy experience are welcome. Teens through seniors are encouraged to attend. This training is free, with an optional suggested donation of $10, payable at the door. Saturday, March 11, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Breakfast will be provided. There will be an optional lunch-time portion of the day from about 12:45-1:30pm for people to network and share information. The event takes place at the Community Center and registration is suggested by March 3.

SHOP PRU ON MARCH 23

#ShopPru is a free spring shopping event on Thursday, March 23, from 5-8 p.m. at Prudential Center in the Back Bay. Discover spring fashion trends, “one night only” shopping discounts, and indulge in sips and snacks compliments of Prudential Center shops and restaurants. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a #ShopPru swag bag filled with goodies. Check out pop-ups from the following stores and restaurants:  5 Napkin Burger, Joint Ventures Physical Therapy, L’Occitane, LOFT, Microsoft and Oakley.

#ShopPru is free and open to the public.

FENWAY/SOUTH END HOURS FOR CONGRESSMAN CAPUANO

Congressman Michael Capuano will hold office hours for the Fenway and South End neighborhoods on the second Thursday of every month at the Fenway Community Health Center, 1340 Boylston St.

The hours are from noon to 1 p.m. and will have a representative from Capuano’s office in attendance.

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