St. Paddy’s Day in Rozzie

St. Paddy’s Day in Rozzie

These are just some of the St. Patrick’s Day specials you can find throughout Roslindale. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more up-to-date information about specials, events, and promotions around Roslindale Village.

Tony’s Market has corned beef, grey and red. While supplies last, you can get free cabbage with your order. Call ahead!

The Boston Cheese Cellar is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with three wonderful Irish cheese specials: Gortnomona Goat Brie, Shepard’s Store, and Cashel Blue.  

Birch St. House & Garden: spend $20 or more on St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll receive a free lucky charm. There are also cute shamrock earrings and sparkly green snow globes. Bonus: Easter Basket Fillers galore can be found here as well as seeds for your blossoming garden.

Napper Tandy’s will feature a special St. Paddy’s Day menu, featuring Shepherd’s Pie! 

Both Diane’s Bakery and Fornax Bread Co. have Irish bread and St. Patrick’s Day-themed treats.

Rozzie & Me: Kristie Helms

Rozzie & Me: Kristie Helms

The Rozzie & Me blog series is guest-written by RVMS Marketing Committee Volunteer Kelly Ransom. Kelly will be interviewing residents, business-owners, and folks from all walks-of-life who make Roslindale a special place to live and work. 

Did you know that some folks in Roslindale participate in a Facebook group called ‘Keep Roslindale Quirky?‘ Quirky is a group created by Kristie Helms, a long-time Rozzident and social media guru. Today, I am chatting with Kristie about why she chose the word ‘quirky,’ her dream of giving Roslindale a voice, and why the Roslindale Day Parade is her favorite annual event.

Kelly: Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Kristie: I am originally from a town called Possum Trot in Kentucky. The population is like ten people [laughs]. The closest city to us is Nashville. It is in the middle of nowhere, and there are a lot of chemical plants and tobacco farms. The chemical plants in my hometown have really tall smokestacks and at night they are covered in white lights. I used to drive around at night blasting Run DMC and pretend I was in the city. I had to get out of there. I moved to New York, and I lived there for six years. I loved it. Then, I fell in love with a woman who lived in Roslindale.

KR: Wait. Did you fall in love in Roslindale?
KH: Actually, yeah, we did! Now, she is my wife, and we have been together for 17 years. She had a house on Florian Street, which is near Hyde Park Avenue and I moved in there. We met online before meeting people online was a thing. We started flirting online, and she came down to New York and then that was it. Six months later I was in Roslindale.

KR: Tell me about your Facebook group, Keep Roslindale Quirky.
KH: Quirky started two or three years ago. It was originally started as a way to support the Pet Cabaret during their adjustment to having another pet store moving into town closeby. I wanted to make it broad enough to cover lots of things about Roslindale. One of the things I have noticed about Roslindale is that it’s such an involved community. Everyone has such a great neighborhood and community voice, but there was never one place that brought all of Roslindale together. Roslindale is divided by multiple city councilors, multiple state senators, multiple wards, and multiple state representatives. It’s always been hard to give all of Roslindale a voice and that was really what I wanted to do.

KR: How many members are there?
KH: Right now, there are 4,200 members. It absolutely blows my mind. You know how neighbors will talk to each other over the fence? Quirky has become like that experience — but online. I treasure it. That was one of my intentions.

KR: Why did you choose the word “quirky?”
KH: I very intentionally chose the word quirky. I wanted a positive word that could mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Everyone has their own definition of the word quirky. It’s a very positive word. I, personally, feel that what makes Roslindale so awesome is that it is quirky.

I wanted to keep the ethos of the Roslindale Day Parade. The Roslindale Day Parade is my favorite event ever. It is the quirkiest event I have ever been to in my entire life. It’s lesbian moms marching next to Haitian step dancers marching next to pro-life parents and no one cares because it’s just how Roslindale is. That’s what Keep Roslindale Quirky is. I started the group to give people a space to keep that spirit going all year long. I love that people are a part of it because they want to know their neighbors — but at the same time they don’t care what your lifestyle is.

KR: Do you have any favorite stories about Quirky?
KH: I love how people are just people on Quirky. I remember, one day, an elderly woman posted that she was having a hard time putting her SIM card into her phone. One of the members, Abner, saw the post and just went to her house and put it in for her. It touches my heart that these little neighborly things happen on Quirky that might not happen without the group. A lot of people think of the group as a place to talk about all the huge things happen in the neighborhood, but it’s really about all these small interactions between neighbors.

KR: What other ways have you been involved in the community?
KH: I have always been involved in community organizations. When I first moved to Roslindale, one of my first jobs was with Rogerson Communities which is headquartered in Roslindale. Rogerson is really great because they provide low and middle-income housing for elderly people all over Boston. One of their locations is in the old Roslindale High School. They take abandoned properties, usually schools, and turn it into housing which is so amazing. They have properties in Chinatown, Beacon Hill, JP, and all over Boston. They have a wonderful ethos about giving back to the community. When I started there, it was the first year of Roslindale Open Studios. They have a huge gorgeous auditorium in the old Roslindale High. They open it up to community groups all the time, so I suggested that we open it up to Roslindale Open Studios. I was really involved in that for the first two or three years, and they still host an open studio every year.

KR: What is one of your favorite things about living in Roslindale?
KH: I love Roslindale Square so much. I feel like, as someone who grew up in a really small town with a courthouse square, it feels like a small town to me. It is a great center where people can come together, and it’s easily accessible by walking from almost every corner of Roslindale.

KR: Do you have a favorite Roslindale memory?
KH: One of my favorite memories is one of the first Open Studios. It was so tiny. We had no idea if it was going to work or not because we had never done anything like that before. People came out for it. It was amazing to see all the artists work from around here. I had no idea that this neighborhood had so many artists in it. 

I have to say another favorite memory that I have is, right after the last presidential election, Quirky had a get-together. Thirty people came to my house and it was an incredible moment. It wasn’t political at all. People just wanted to meet their neighbors. We had all felt so divided after that last election that a lot of people were like, ‘I live in a neighborhood, and I want to know my community.’ I loved that.

KR: What would you like to see happen in Roslindale or with Keep Roslindale Quirky in the future?
KH: My ultimate goal is for Roslindale to have a real solid voice with elected officials. My dream of dreams with Quirky is to make it into a space that really gives Roslindale a voice, and I think it has started doing that by promoting things like WalkUp Roslindale, the RVMS Farmers Market, and other community activities that bring everyone together. I would like to take it one step further and start to host regular town halls where our local elected officials can come and hear what the people of Roslindale have to say because we don’t have a space for that right now. We are so divided with wards and community groups which is great, but we don’t have anything that’s just one Roslindale. Jamaica Plain does it a lot, but they have the advantage of one city councilor and one state rep. I really think Roslindale needs to have that voice because we have so many people who care and so many people who bring vibrancy to the City. I just really want to give that a more powerful voice.

Rozzie & Me: Seymore Green

Rozzie & Me: Seymore Green

The Rozzie & Me blog series is guest-written by RVMS Marketing Committee Volunteer Kelly Ransom. Kelly will be interviewing residents, business-owners, and folks from all walks-of-life who make Roslindale a special place to live and work. 

Did you know you can get a custom-made t-shirt right in Roslindale? Seymore Green has been in business for ten years at 35 Poplar Street and can provide you with all your custom t-shirt printing needs. Today, we are talking with the owner and namesake of the store, Seymore Green, about how being a small business owner is in his DNA and why he chose to open his store in Roslindale.

Kelly: Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Seymore: Originally, I am from the Brigham Circle area of Mission Park. Now, I live in Hyde Park. My business has been in Roslindale for ten years.

K: Tell me about your store, Seymore Green.
S: I started in 2005. I started off selling cellphones and putting ringtones on people’s phones before you could download ringtones. It was a big business. It was before smartphones. It was a good time for cell phones back then. After that, I learned how to make custom t-shirts to keep the business going because the cell phone game died. I had to change my game plan. 

K: Why did you decide to start your own business?
S: It took me 37 years, but I realized that I am not capable of working for someone else. My mother helped me get my first job at Brigham and Woman when I was 16. About six months in, my mother asked the boss how I was doing, and the boss replied, ‘He walks around like he owns the place.’ It was a good and bad thing. It motivated me, but it also made me wonder why I was working for someone else. I hate those experiences where the employees are so scared of their boss that they bite their tongues. I’ve never wanted that experience in my life so that is how I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work for someone else.

My whole life I have been studying business. I have a great understanding of buy, sell, supply and demand. I went to school for business. I think business has always been in my soul. I think the only way that you can be self-sufficient is to start your own business. It was just in my DNA.

K: How did you come about designing custom t-shirts?
S: I wanted to be more creative. I didn’t want to create shirts and then outsource them. I like to do everything myself. I am very hands-on and it is more rewarding to me to do things myself.

K: What made you decide to open your business in Roslindale?
S: Back in 1998, I used to frequent the space where my store is now. It was called ‘Sight and Sound.’ I used to go there and buy records, posters, and practical joke toys. I was a fan of the store for many years. Lo and behold now it is mine with a different sight and a new sound.

K: What kinds of goods and services have you been providing lately?
S: As far as t-shirts go, I provide a lot of custom made t-shirts for the community. I make a lot of rest in peace t-shirts for people who want to memorialize their loved ones who have passed. I specialize in that. People can get t-shirts, buttons, and they can get one shirt or one hundred shirts. People come in with their own designs for shirts for their family reunions, sports teams, and companies. It is a variety of occasions but whatever the need is, I can make a shirt for it.

K: Have you noticed with the laws changing that you have been more lucrative in the smoke shop side of things?
S: I’ve definitely been more lucrative. People feel safer now and they don’t feel embarrassed to go into a smoke shop anymore. In time, I think it will become just as common as going into a liquor store.

K: Do you have plans in the future to evolve the smoke shop concept even more?
S: I would like to be able to deliver to people who don’t like to leave the house or can’t because they are sick. I would also like to educate people on how to start their own business. I feel like I could impart good ideas and knowledge to aspiring entrepreneurs because I have 13 years in the business.

K: Have you noticed if most of your customers are residents of Roslindale or do they seem to be from all over Boston?
S: I think they are from all over Boston but especially the surrounding towns like Hyde Park, West Roxbury, and JP.

K: Besides your store, do you have a favorite place in Roslindale?
S: 753 South has a great atmosphere and the food is even better.

K: Do you have a favorite annual Roslindale event?
S: I like the Roslindale Day Parade and I like the Farmers Market. The Farmers Market brings a lot of different people to the community. I think Roslindale is the best of both worlds between Boston and Cambridge. I love living near and working in Roslindale.

K: What would you like to see happen in Roslindale in the future?
S: I would like to see more camaraderie between the businesses. I think it would be nice to have a program where if you went into one business you are offered a discount at another business — like a partnership. Maybe you could go into a restaurant, but be able to hear and learn more about Seymore Green or the local bank or something like that.

Visit Seymore Green and meet the man himself:

Seymore Green
35 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA 02131