New Business Profile: Veras Multi Service

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Veras Multi Service

Alexandra Veras recently opened Veras Multi Service at 11 Poplar Street, one of Roslindale Village’s newest businesses! We visited Alexandra and let us know that she is a Notary Public specializing in primarily supporting customers with filling out immigration forms in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

Alexandra has a passion for helping family, friends, and the immigrant community by providing a helping hand in for paperwork of all kinds — filling out the FAFSA, filing taxes for Uber Drivers, applying for citizenship or public housing — and much more. There are also stations for printing, which is great for the community since we lost that service at Staples. She also let us know that she lived in Roslindale for 14 years and that she “never dreamt to be on Poplar Street in front of Adams Park. It’s amazing!” 

You can learn more about Veras Multi Service by stopping by to say hi, visiting her website, or calling her at (617) 506-7272.

Veras MultiService
11 Poplar Street
Roslindale, MA 02131

Partners in Preservation Results

Partners in Preservation Results

A huge thank you to those who voted every day during the Partners in Preservation competition, which included 20 Main Street districts and a building in need of preservation funding. We were happy to put a spotlight on the Roslindale Congregational Church, UCC — a beautiful historic building in our neighborhood and their accessibility project to build a ramp, lift, and wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Unfortunately, we fell short by just a few votes and ended the competition in 12th place — the top 11 contenders received full-funding. 
 
While this is disappointing, we are happy to have connected with our neighbors at the RCC and built stronger partnerships throughout Rozzie and the City of Boston. We were also able to fund an iPad and popcorn machine for the church (especially helpful for their First Friday events in Roslindale) as well as professional photos of the Church that they can use for their website and outreach efforts. 
 
More importantly, we were able to highlight all of the amazing communities that meet and hold events in this historic Rozzie space. We want to thank Mayor Walsh for taking time out of his day to visit us at the Partners in Preservation Open House as well as all of the volunteers and community groups, especially Heather Garcia, Sue Whitehead, Liz Sherva, Erin Doherty, Anthony Giordano, Liz Graham-Meredith, Kathy Sullivan, Vinny Fieg, Elizabeth Fieg, Pastor Jason Donnelly, Sue Donnelly, the folks from Roslindale Open Studios, Roslindale Food Pantry, RISE (Roslindale is For Everyone), Scouts of America, Adoptive Parents, and Historic Boston, Inc. Thank you for your help in promoting this event by volunteering your time to help apply for the grant, be interviewed, support with social media and videography, march in the Roslindale Parade, table at the Farmers Market, table at the Open House, spread the word to close friends and distant family to get out the vote. 
 
We are happy to have connected with so many amazing people during this project, and while it would have felt better to have won the funding, we will continue to support the RCC as it seeks alternative ways to fund this preservation project and help make this remarkable building accessible to everyone.
 
Many thanks,
Alia Hamada Forrest
RVMS Executive Director

Revitalizing Poplar Street

Revitalizing Poplar Street

Let’s work together to enhance the sidewalk across from Adams Park: encourage foot traffic, provide community gathering space, and benefit local business. View our Patronicity Campaign for more info and a video!

With this campaign, we aim to improve and beautify the Poplar Street sidewalk that runs alongside Adams Park in the heart of Roslindale Village. This project will boost pedestrian and retail traffic, enhance green space, create a place for people to meet, and better link this stretch of Poplar Street to Adams Park. This initiative is possible with the generous support of the Boston Main Streets Foundation and MassDevelopment, the state’s economic development and finance agency. Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) intends to raise $25,000 in support of this highly visible initiative. With your help we can reach this goal! If we do, MassDevelopment will match our funds with an additional $25,000 and the Boston Main Streets Foundation will contribute $5,000 toward this important project.

The Project

Through the tireless efforts of residents, business partners, and Roslindale Village Main Street, Roslindale’s Main Street district has become the bustling, vibrant, heart of the neighborhood. These efforts have been so successful that The Boston Globe Magazine frequently cites Roslindale as one of the city’s best neighborhoods in which to live.

While many blocks in Roslindale have benefited from numerous improvement projects, the Poplar Street stretch of sidewalk between South and Corinth Streets, across from Adams Park suffers from neglect and fails to serve as an attractive pedestrian way. It’s poorly lit at night. It lacks impact and flare during the day. This project will remedy these problems.

This initiative will brighten Poplar Street, add attractive design elements, and make other material improvements. Such enhancements to this popular thoroughfare will draw increased foot traffic to local businesses, and instill a sense of community pride among the people of Roslindale. This project will also link Poplar Street to Adams Park, adding needed space for people to gather and interact during community events at the park, such as the weekly Farmers’ Market.

What We Plan To Do

With funds from this campaign, Roslindale Village Main Street will implement the following improvements*:

  • Work with local artists to paint sidewalk murals to beautify the street.
  • Add seating that will encourage people to rest, eat, converse, and mingle.
  • Add planters to sidewalks and seating areas in order to create a more pleasant and beautiful environment.
  • Place bicycle racks to support increased bicycle traffic and reduce parking needs.
  • Install new recycling and trash containers to reduce litter.
  • Install decorative lighting to better illuminate the sidewalk at night.
  • Add lighting and improved wayfinding to the informational kiosk.

*These improvements are subject to review and approval by the relevant city departments. 

How You Can Help

Our friends, neighbors, and local businesses make Roslindale great. This project will make Roslindale a wonderful place to visit and an even better place to live. Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate: this project will only succeed with your financial support. Every dollar you donate will be matched with $1.20 by MassDev and Boston Main Streets if we reach our goal!
  • Spread the word: tell friends and neighbors about this campaign. Share it on social media.
  • Volunteer: Roslindale Village Main Street flourishes thanks to the hard work of our friends, neighbors, and business partners who donate their time. Contact us to find out how you can help.

Rozzie & Me: Bird Mancini

Rozzie & Me: Bird Mancini 

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.

Ruby Bird and Billy Carl Mancini, better known as BIRD MANCINI, Boston’s acclaimed accordion/guitar rock duo/band features eclectic and at times a bit psychedelic rock with lush vocal arrangements, blues-tinged guitar, accordion, harmonica, and a variety of percussion, bells and whistles. If the occasion warrants, the duo also performs as a full band, adding Joel White on bass and Joe Jaworski on drums to the mix. Today we hear from Ruby and Billy about their musical journeys and how the ended up in Roslindale.

Kelly: Where are you from originally and where you live now?

Ruby: I grew up on a farm in Missouri.

Billy: I was born much closer than that. I grew up in New Hampshire, but I moved to Tucson when I was 18 and that is where I met Ruby. That is why she is here now.

 

K: How did you end up in Roslindale?

B: We ended up in Boston, at that time, Roslindale was a lot different. There was a lot less here. It was almost a little rundown.

R: It had a charm and it was affordable for us. We wanted to buy a house because we needed a place to rehearse and we wanted to build a recording studio. We wanted a house to do all that because you can’t really do it in an apartment.

B: We did do it in an apartment!

R: Right, we did do it in an apartment briefly, but it doesn’t work too well.

 

K: Do you still live in the same house?

R & B: Yes.

 

K: And is there a recording studio?

R & B: Yes!

R: We had a rock and roll band and we moved that band all the way to the East Coast to play. We were on the road for four years. We ended up in Boston when that band broke up. We needed to go to Boston because it was somewhere music was alive and well. Boston had a great music scene at that time.

B: And then we ended up here in Rozzie, eventually, and we never left.

 

K: What was your journey into making music?

B: The Beatles inspired me initially. I saw them, and I thought “Hmm…I want to do that!” I was about 12 years old when I began to play drums, then guitar. I started forming bands. I started writing songs. Why? Because The Beatles wrote songs. I started singing, why? Because The Beatles sang. That was it for me and I’ve been doing it ever since. Music is all in my gut and in my head.

R: I started taking piano lessons as a kid, but it was The Beatles that was an eye and ear opener for me too. Everything I listened to was different after that. I went to college to study music for a while to learn all the mechanics.

 

K: How many instruments do you play? I’ve seen you play more than keyboard at your shows.

R: I don’t have a count, but I play harmonica, percussion, melodica, accordion, organ, and the piano. I play all the keyboard related stuff I can get my hands on. I took it up because I love when a band can do different things especially when they are a duo.

B: Guitar, bass, and drums is really it for me that I can play and not be embarrassed about. I can’t play the keyboard, but I married a keyboard player.

R: And we are singers too. That is an instrument.

 

K: Tell me the history of your band, Bird Mancini.

R: Bird Mancini goes all the way back to 2002. We became Bird Mancini when our previous band, The Sky Blues, got sued because another band in New York had the same name. We had the name before they did, but they had a better lawyer. That’s kind of the way things work sometimes. It happened at just the right time for us because we were just starting to get interested in playing our own stuff. Getting the rid of The Sky Blues was probably the best thing for us. We came up with our new band name based on our family names. My name is Bird and his is Mancini.

B: And who is going to steal that name?

R: No one can steal it!

 

K: Have you guys been touring, or do you mostly stay around Boston?

B: We mostly stay around here but we have traveled. We are cool with traveling. We went to Liverpool for a festival and played at the Cavern Club, or what the Cavern is now, which is where The Beatles started in the 60s. We played a couple of shows in Liverpool and that was pretty cool. We did the whole Beatles tour.

R: That was a big year for us. That same year we went to play in Seattle, Portland, Oregon and we did a whole tour of the West Coast. We also played a couple of gigs in New York City. There used to be much more traveling but it’s hard for our rhythm section. We are all tied down with other jobs.

B: It’s super expensive to take a band on the road. You need to take all of your equipment, stay somewhere, eat, and it adds up.

 

K: I’ve seen you play some shows in Roslindale. I’ve seen you at the Substation and the Farmer’s Market.

B: The Substation show was a cool venue, and the Farmers Market is always cool. We recently played at 753 South, a new venue on the square with a great outdoor patio.

R: That’s about it, really. There aren’t a ton of places to play in Roslindale.

 

K: Do you wish there were more?

B: I’m not sure about that. I don’t want Roslindale to get out of hand. I’d like to keep it more like a neighborhood and less like the city. I’m not sure I want Roslindale to turn into Cambridge or Somerville.

R: We’ve played at the Farmers Market every year for quite a few years now. Playing at the Trillium pop-up was great. I’d like to play in that space again.

 

K: What are some of your favorite things to do in Roslindale when you’re not playing music?

B: We love going down to the Farmers Market and seeing Glenn Williams, who is always there, we love hanging out with him. We always see at least five or ten of our friends there. It’s like Mayberry there. 

R: I like to shop at the Farmers Market and at the stores. I really like the Roslindale Fish Market and Droubis Bros. I like the Birch Street stores. I think Roslindale is a great place.

 

K: What is a favorite memory you have in Roslindale?

R: We used to have a backyard party every year at our house. We’d invite all our neighbors and all of our friends, especially all our musician friends. That party got pretty big. It’d go from noon to midnight. It got so big that even the politicians started showing up.

R: We did that party for about 20 years. Those are some really good memories. We had to stop because it just got to be so big and it was too much work.

B: I don’t know how or why the neighbors put up with us. When we moved to Roslindale, we just had the best neighbors. They actually liked the fact that we had this party. Now, there’s Porchfest once a year.

 

K: What would you like to see in Roslindale in the future?

R: I want to see it stay just as it is!

B: I think the Substation is going to be a great place for Roslindale. I’d love to see more music there. I really don’t want to see anymore development in Roslindale. 

R: I understand an influx is good for the small businesses and I want the businesses to thrive, but I don’t want to end up like so many of the other neighborhoods in the city. We’ve got a real neighborhood here and I want it to stay a neighborhood.

 

Bird Mancini has a new full length CD out called “Dreams and Illusions

 

Upcoming Shows:

 

Oct. 6  Gardner Ale House, Gardner, MA (full band)

Nov. 30 Jasper Hill, Millis, MA (full band)

Dec. 8  Emerald Rose, Billerica, MA (duo)

 

www.birdmancini.com

www.facebook.com/birdmancini