News Briefs


With the mission to build community and support local small businesses, the award-winning SoWa Open Market will kick off its 14th season on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. and expand its weekly celebration of more than 150 of the region’s best makers to every Saturday and Sunday through October.

Now, every weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., regulars to the SoWa Open Market and newcomers can enjoy handmade artisan goods, fresh foods, iconic food trucks, craft beers and live music.

The SoWa Art & Design District recently launched a brand refresh including a new logo, 2017 programming and more. For additional information and to view upcoming themes and events, please visit



Mayor Martin J. Walsh made a call for artists this week for temporary public artwork on the exterior of the Finland Building at 774 Albany St. The call for artists is a joint effort between the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and the Boston Art Commission.

The Finland building houses a number of the BPHC’s addiction recovery services programs. Clients come to the Finland building for a broad range of services, including harm reduction services, which are a set of practical strategies aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use, and as an entry point for detox and other treatment programs. The building is adjacent to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and across from Boston Medical Center.

The proposed space for public art is an outside wall next to the entrance of the Finland Building. The entire wall is available and measures 70′ x 20′. A second, perpendicular wall is also available and artists may propose an artwork that spans both walls.

The call for artists is open to all professional artists, artisans or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design and project management. The initial amount budgeted for this project is $8,000, which includes artist fee, materials, and installation. The artist will be selected by the Artist Selection Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services and the BPHC as well as two local artists. The final artwork design will be approved by the Boston Art Commission. The call is available online and all submissions are due by noon on May 9.



Join the Copley Society of Art for a special ArtWeek even at the Four Seasons Hotel on Boylston Street May 1, from 2-4 p.m.

The installation, dubbed ‘Florals and Fresh Paint,’ will be an interactive exhibit. Learn the art of flower arranging with Winston Flowers and enjoy a first look at the ‘Fresh Paint’ pieces while overlooking the Public Gardens. Attendees can take their original floral arrangement home after the event. Tickets are $50 and are available at



Everyone is invited to an Open House and Dessert Buffet at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs, 419 Shawmut Ave., on Thursday, April 27, from 7-9 p.m. Come meet staff and young people, learn about ways to get involved–ranging from once a year to once a week–and enjoy delicious desserts together​ with neighbors​. No presentations, just great conversation and community!  RSVP to [email protected]



Join the Friends of the Public Garden’s Border Bridge every Thursday, starting April 27, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Just show up ready to help at the Boylston Street border. FOPG is looking for champion volunteer weeders to help maintain the now-beautiful Boylston Street border and the Beacon Street border in the Public Garden. Gloves, kneepads, and some brief instructions on weed indentification will be provided. No previous experience necessary and one can participate every week, a couple of weeks, or only once.

Participants will get a free Friends of the Public Garden t-shirt and a book about the Public Garden.

Email [email protected] if interested in volunteering.



The Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) became the next in a long line of associations to hear a presentation of the proposed Exchange South End project as members of the Abbey Group presented their initial thoughts on the Flower Exchange property on Albany Street to the group Tuesday night, April 25.

Bill Keravuori, of the Abbey Group and a Southender, presented the plan to WSANA for most of the meeting.

In one piece of information that seemed to be new, he mentioned that the group will likely go for a zoning variance to be able to exceed the height on the buildings abutting the Expressway. Instead of coming up to the 200 foot limit, he said one will likely be 300 feet and the other around 250 feet. That is in order to make buildings along Albany Street that are lower than the maximum 125-foot height limit so that sunlight will be on the Albany Green – a mall-type park of over an acre running east and west in the middle of the site.

In what some might interpret as a trend, some member of WSANA indicated that they weren’t keen on having many restaurants in the development.

One resident said she wasn’t excited about more restaurants coming into the neighborhood. She said there needs to be retail opportunities like a hardware store or other such amenities that don’t exist. That has been said at other association too.

President George Stergios said he realizes that there has to be some restaurants and places for people to eat, but he hopes there will be a mix of restaurants and retail.

He did clarify that while they have been talking with the Jacobson’s owners next door at the other flower market, and while they would like to purchase the property, there is no desire for the owner to sell his property right now. So, that appears to be off the table completely.

“We would like to buy, but he’s not interested in selling it,” said Keravuori.

Peter Sanborn said he felt the Albany Green open space was a gamble for the area.

“I am concerned about the amount of open space,” he said. “It’s a roll of the dice. It could be wonderful or it could be a really hostile space if not heavily enough used.”

Keravuori reiterated that they plan to site retail that would keep it from going dormant, and that they have a Civic Space that would be activated in the evenings. He said they are willing to subsidize some retail to get the right mix in the development.

One key, very important, piece for WSANA neighbors was the direct connections from the site to the Frontage Road – both in the back of the Flower Exchange site and at the end of the Boston Medical parking garage – a connection that was to be made years ago, but was blocked by state and federal authorities. Those connections would ward off traffic from BMC and the Exchange, making a direct connection to the highway and keeping such commuters off of Albany Street and other Backstreets areas.

Keravuori reiterated that the project would attract anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 employees per day.

“This will bring a whole other dimension to the South End,” he said, noting that BMC carries about 6,000 employees.



Join the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) and the Bostonian Society at the free event on May 1 as they co-sponsor this year’s Kick-Off of Preservation Month at one of Boston’s most prestigious Landmarks, the Old State House.

Public participation, by volunteer commissioners, board members, or community advocates, is key for robust and successful historic preservation efforts in any city. This evening we will celebrate Boston history with a short program featuring preservation planner Lynn Smiledge entitled ‘So how about that CITGO sign?’ highlighting some of her recent experiences as BLC’s Chair.

The event will also recognize the indispensable role that volunteers play in making preservation happen, by launching a new annual Citizen Preservation Award to recognize outstanding individuals who further local preservation efforts. This year’s awardees were the inspiration for what will become an annual celebration of the individual contributions that help keep Boston, Boston.

The honorees are:

  • Rob Dinsmore, updated Charlestown’s Survey.
  • Charles Deknatel, archaeological dig volunteer.

Light refreshments will be served; there will be a cash bar and an opportunity to tour the Old State House Tower.



Samsonite will film a television commercial film shoot in the South End at The Butcher Shop, Siena Farms and Stir on Waltham Street this Wednesday, May 3.

The commercial will feature local Chef Kristen Kish and will film mostly inside, but some sidewalk shots of the chef shopping at Siena Farms. Five residential spaces will be kept clear in front of the establishments from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 3.



Rumors around the neighborhood are that the Walden Local Meat Company has put a lease together for its first-ever brick and mortar store in a location on Shawmut Street in the South End.

The company is based in Burlington and has, to now, only delivered its meat products to customer homes.

However, it appears that they may be looking to keep deliveries under one roof.

The word is they are looking to include wine in the new store concept to pair it with meats that will be sold in the butcher shop.



Composer/keyboardist/improviser Anthony Coleman leads a performance of Cornelius Cardew’s magnum opus The Great Learning on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. The work will be performed by students from NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation program. Free and open to the public, the concert takes place at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston.  For more information, call (617) 585-1100 or visit

The Great Learning is based on the first seven paragraphs of the Dà Xué (or the Ta Hseüh), written by Confucius and his pupils and translated by the poet Ezra Pound. Cardew dedicated the work to the Scratch Orchestra, whose members included professional and student musicians, visual artists, actors, dancers, and people with no previous experience of the arts.  The Great Learning, therefore, is designed with the Scratch Orchestra’s variety of experience in mind: there are solos of great technical difficulty written in common-practice music notation, text pieces or pieces using prose instructions and music in graphic notation.



Members of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) said at its meeting on Tuesday that they would support another effort by the South End Forum Parking Task Force to change resident parking times across the neighborhood.

Many in the greater South End are looking to move resident parking areas to a uniform 6 p.m. across the board. Right now, resident parking only restrictions begin in some areas at 6 p.m. and some areas at 8 p.m. The Task Force would like to make it uniform at 6 p.m., and in WSANA that would be areas of Harrison Avenue and Washington Street.

Also, WSANA neighbors said they would like to expand the morning restriction from an 8 a.m. end to a 9 a.m. end if at all possible.

  • In other WSANA news, the association announced they will begin to schedule their summer concert series once again, having outdoor concerts in June, July and August on Worcester Square.

The idea was to bring in some new music, perhaps a jazz band and a Brazilian band, but ideas are welcome as the schedule begins to form.



Hundreds of four and five-year-olds will form a Flash Rhyme Mob as the City of Boston celebrates its 7th Annual Talk, Read, Play Day. More than 1,500 youngsters will perform simultaneously at various locations throughout the city. This event takes place during the Week of the Young Child (April 24-28), an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Talk Read Play is a school readiness initiative of the Countdown to Kindergarten program with Boston Public Schools, designed to promote the educational benefits of talking, reading, and playing with children in the early years.

The event will take place Thursday, April 27, at 11 a.m. at the following locations:

  • South End Public Library
  • Ellis Memorial South End
  • Boston Medical Center South End



Announcing scholarship applications being accepted for The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association

Career Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a senior high school student or recent high school graduate who plans on pursuing or is pursuing a technical degree at an accredited institution. The awarded scholarship will be $2,000 to be paid directly to the institution to offset costs for tuition or fees. To be eligible for this award, the student must graduate from high school or have a GED and reside in the South End or Lower Roxbury.

The application deadline has now been extended to June 1, 2017.

For more information contact:  [email protected].

Download a scholarship application at:



The MBTA will present design updates on the Back Bay Station Ventilation Project on May 3 in Boston.

The project team will present the 60-percent design of the Back Bay Station Stair 5 and 6 Pressurization, which is part of the overall project. The first component of the project includes pressurization of these stairs that lead to Tracks 1, 2, and 3 in order to provide an aerodynamic separation between the platform and the concourse levels. This allows for immediate relief by preventing fumes that emanate from the platform level from entering into the concourse level.

The meeting will take place at the Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, at 6 p.m.



The former “Boston Shines” is now re-branded as “Love Your Block.” Regardless of its name, the traditional Neighborhood Spring Clean Up is around the corner. All around the South End neighborhood, residents will gather to clean up the area.

Ellis: Equipment will be available at BCA Plaza so we can all chip in to help the neighborhood look beautiful. The Ellis will have a table set up from  9-12 for coffee and doughnuts.

Old Dover: residents will gather in Peters Park at the Shawmut Avenue entrance for a clean up from 10-3 p.m..

Eight Streets: The association will meet in Ringgold Park in the morning.

Blackstone/Franklin: Meet in Blackstone and Franklin Squares at 9:30 a.m.

WSANA: meet in Worcester Square at 8:30 a.m.



The 6th annual Japan Festival Boston will take place on Sunday, April 30, on Boston Common.

There will be workshops and performances and Japanese food.

The festival is free and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, go to



The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) will hold its 22nd Annual Taste of the Back Bay on Thursday, May 11, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Prudential Skywalk. Come and sample food and wine from some of Boston’s finest restaurants. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Lunch Place in addition to NABB’s many community programs. Tickets are $125 members/ $135 non-members/ $150 day of event. For more information or to order tickets go to or call 617-247-3961.



The Ward 4 Democratic Committee voted this week for a Voting Access Resolution.

The resolution reads that the Committee is worried about the participation in local, state and federal elections. To combat that, they are calling for voting reforms, specifically same-day registration, automatic voter registration and early voting for all elections.

“It is important that Massachusetts serve as a counterweight to the increasingly conservative and cynical political climate in other states and federally,” read the resolution.



Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) will celebrate the opening of its new Head Start center serving Boston’s Chinatown and South End communities on Monday, May 1, from 10:30 am to noon.

The state-of-the-art early learning center at 595 Harrison Ave., will serve 194 low-income children and their families from birth to five-years-old, including 35 infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers in Early Head Start.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, revered champion of the poor and a Head Start neighbor at the South End’s famed Cathedral of the Holy Cross, will speak at the event and visit with children, parents and supporters.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, staunch supporter of early education and pre-kindergarten programs in Boston, as well as Sen. Ed Markey, a longtime supporter of Head Start and ABCD, are scheduled to attend the event, welcoming parents, children, and neighbors to the new site.

ABCD Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide gold-standard education, health and well-being to poor children and families seeking stepping stones to a better life.



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.


The Neighborhood of the Back Bay (NABB) will hold its annual Alley Rally on Saturday, April 29.

It will be the 50th year that NABB has sponsored the event.

NABB’s City Services Committee organizes the Rally as the neighborhood cleanup and is held on the City’s Love Your Block weekend this year. Join neighbors in the effort to keep Back Bay beautiful. The Rally starts at 8:30 a.m. at Clarendon Street Playground. Teams will divide up to clean alleys and side streets. The City Public Works Department will provide brooms, gloves, trash bags and other tools.

At noon, the event will conclude with a lunch at the Playground and a free raffle for volunteers.

For more information, call (617) 839-7185 or [email protected].



Back Bay Association members are invited to attend the 94th Annual Meeting of the Association featuring the Honorable Charlie Baker, governor of Massachusetts, and The Honorable Martin J. Walsh, mayor of Boston.

Join Back Bay business and community leaders for a morning of networking and looking forward to another successful year in Back Bay.  Enjoy a delicious breakfast from the Boston Park Plaza’s new menu and take a peek at the hotel’s $100 million renovation.

The event is on Monday, May 1, at 8:30 a.m. in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.



A celebration of “40 years of new beginnings” for vulnerable women and families will be held on Thursday, May 11, at the State Room. The South End’s Casa Myrna is Boston’s largest provider of shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence, providing safety, resources, advocacy and information since 1977.  The keynote speaker will be Curdina Hall, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito giving the welcome and remarks from Rev. Liz Walker.

The Community of Conscience breakfast will take place from 7:30-9:30 a.m. For more information, go to



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.



  • The Real Rider Fun’Raiser will take place at the rooftop terrace at the Troy Building in the South End, 266 East Berkeley St., on May 6, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 and include an open bar, great food, skyline views, music, giveaways and an auction. All proceeds will benefit the Real Riders. In August 2017, the REAL Riders will meet in Seattle, turn their backs to the Pacific, and begin an epic, 5,000 mile, three-month, off-road bike ride across the United States. This off-road cycling adventure will support Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA), a life-changing school for highly at-risk urban students the traditional system has left behind. BDEA catches these kids, gets them through high school, and enables a future full of possibility and hope.
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association will hold its Annual Meeting on Weds., May 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. and followed by a reception. The guest speaker will be Council President Michelle Wu. The venue will be announced later.
  • Old Dover Spring Social, members of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association will be gathering for a social time at The Lion’s Tail restaurant in the Ink Block on Weds., May 10, at 6:30 p.m. There will be free appetizers and a cash bar. Old Dover will have its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m. at Project Place.
  • O’Day Bike Tune Up, The Boston Police, IBA, the new West Newton Group, Boston Bikes and Bikes Not Bombs will all come together on April 29, 1-3 p.m., in O’Day Park to host family-friendly bike tune-up event to help kids and adults get their bicycles ready for the summer. For information e-mail Nicola at [email protected].
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association will have its Women’s Night on May 2 at the Urban Grape, Columbus Avenue, 6-8 p.m. They will be serving a mixed bouquet of rose
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, May 9, at Project Place, 7 p.m.
  • The Friends of Hayes Park invite everyone to a celebration of spring at the Annual May Day in the Park, taking place on Sunday, May 7, from 3-5 p.m. Morris Dancers will help usher in the warm weather and Chica the Juggler will delight the kids with her many talents. There will be refreshments, music, and entertainment for all. Everyone is welcome.
  • 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.


The West End Museum will host a walking tour of the New York Streets in May.

The walk will concentrate on Boston’s first urban renewal project, which took place in the area of the South End known as the New York Streets. Historian and West End resident Duane Lucia will lead the walking tour and Gloria Ganno, a former resident of the New York Streets, will assist Lucia for the walk.

The tour will be on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will start in front of J.J. Foley’s on East Berkeley Street.

This tour will survey the area of Boston’s South End once known as the New York Streets, including the Ink Block, Washington Street and Harrison Avenue. Encompassing 24 acres of land comprising 12+ city blocks, the old New York Streets neighborhood—like the West End—was a vibrant, multi-ethnic neighborhood of tenement houses and mom-and-pop shops that fell victim to redevelopment in the City.

Cost: $7 Museum Members/$15 Non-members; Pre-registration required.



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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