A (2020) High Street Hill holiday

The pandemic has stolen our traditional neighborhood activities— sad to say, we will not be hosting the Cookie Swap, caroling on the Green on Christmas Eve or strolling to neighbors’ kitchens to share soup and conversation.  Not to be entirely deterred, though, the HSHA has come up with a plan for sharing the holiday spirit!

We are creating a neighborhood Recipe Book, replete with anecdotes and photos of favorite holiday culinary or craft projects, and we hope you will join the fun!  The assembled recipes will be shared as a PDF in mid-December, both via email and on HighStreetHill.org.  

We invite everyone to share their favorite appetizers, soups, desserts and main dishes, along with favorite holiday craft ideas.  Our preference is for recipes and craft instructions to be typed in an email (easier to cut/paste and format on our end), but we’ll gladly take photos or scans of your recipe cards if that’s easier for you!  Please only send a photo of an example of a completed craft project as we will not be able to do step-by-step instructions using images.

Please email your submissions to matthewdavidhyatt@gmail.com 

2020 HSHA Recipe Book: “Cooking During COVID”
Submissions Due: December 5th by 3:00 pm

Thanks to all who have already shared recipes!  Just a friendly reminder that submissions are due Saturday so that we’ll have time to assemble them all for the book.  We’d love to have at least one entry from each HSHA neighbor so we’ve made it really easy.  A cell phone pic of the recipe is fine!

As we move through the season, we’ll be able to try our neighbors’ recipes and share comments, responses, and photos on the High Street Hill Association Facebook page. If you don’t already follow our page, you can find it here:


Please “like” our page and join in to keep the holiday spirit alive and (almost) well in our wonderful neighborhood!

In other news …

Gateway East Public Transit Improvement
Public Information Meeting

Tuesday, December 1
Zoom:   https://brooklinema.zoomgov.com/j/1616412426

by phone: 1 (669) 254-5252 Webinar ID: 161 641 2426

Town Staff, MBTA Staff, and their consultant VHB will provide an overview of the scope, proposals, and potential outcomes of the installation of Priority Bus Lane and Transit Signal Prioritization improvements on Washington Street within the vicinity of the Gateway East Project. Installation of bus priority lanes are typically considered on urban streets with relatively high bus and general traffic volumes where many buses and their passengers are subjected to delay, and where dedicated bus lanes can significantly increase bus travel speeds, bus reliability, and bus operating efficiency. In conjunction with other transit-supportive roadway strategies and long-term, transit-supportive planning goals, dedicated bus lanes help to improve service for current riders while also attracting new riders and creating more compact, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods.

Any questions about the meeting should be directed to staff at tkirrane@brooklinema.gov

Friends of Fairsted Fall 2020 Lecture
The Olmsted Brothers’ Planning in California: A Prescient Approach to Ecological Design 
Thursday, December 3
7:00–8:30pm Lecture

Zoom Webinar. Lecture is Free. Registration is required.
Reserve here. A Zoom link will be sent to your email. 

The population migration and subsequent development pressures in California in the post WWI decades provided the Olmsted Brothers firm with opportunities to plan at a more expansive and complex scale than in their previous work. Working in topographically and climatically challenging landscapes, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. sought to develop a comprehensive approach in their multiple design commissions for residential communities, as well as urban and state park systems that would enhance the natural scenic and cultural features while planning wisely for sound infrastructure. The resultant master planning for the greater Los Angeles region was both ecologically prescient and problematic. Viewing the firm’s visionary designs, some built, some only planned, which impacted this vast megalopolis, this talk will consider the Olmsted work in terms of contemporary ecological issues. 

As respondent, Fadi Masoud, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Toronto, will explore these projects in view of current demographic and climate changes.

Christine E. O’Hara, Professor of Landscape Architecture at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo, focuses on landscape history and historic preservation with expertise in the California work of the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm.

Fadi Masoud is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Centre for Landscape Research.

Make a contribution to support the Friends of Fairsted Lecture Series. 

For additional information about this lecture and other Friends of Fairsted events and programs.

High Street Hill news update

Halloween is always a wonderful spectacle in our neighborhood, but unfortunately COVID is once again interfering. Consistent with CDC guidelines, the Town strongly discourages traditional, door to door trick-or-treating this year. Residents should shut off their exterior entry lighting to reinforce this policy. Should residents decide to take part in safer trick-or-treating, they could provide individually wrapped candies or goody bags at the end of their driveway or walkway for neighborhood children to take.

Parking News
Residents have no doubt noticed the “permit parking only” signs that went up on Walnut Street from High to Cypress streets. This applies only to the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. The parking restriction was approved by the Transportation Board after a strong showing of support from Walnut Street residents who attended the September 23rd  2019 hearing.

How can you get a permit?  The Brookline Resident Permit Parking (RPP) Program allows a motor vehicle displaying a valid resident permit sticker to park on your residential side street, within your police sector, in excess of 2 hours from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.  To purchase a resident parking permit ($30/year), follow the instructions on the town’s website.

A Walnut Street resident who recently got their sticker explains that, because Town Hall is currently closed to the public, staff will meet you in front of Town Hall to take your application, check and driver’s license (they make a copy and then give it back).  Instructions on the door of Town Hall provide the number to call when you arrive.  About 3 days later, you will receive a call that your permit is ready for pickup.  As before, someone will meet you to hand you your parking sticker (the permit is actually a sticker) when you arrive at Town Hall and call the number posted on the door. Information about visitor parking permits can be found on the same town webpage.

Construction Projects
Throughout the Summer and this Fall we’ve seen the furious pace of construction around the base of High Street and along Boylston Street. The Gateway East pedestrian and intersection reconfiguration has been proceeding apace; the “jug handle” terminus of Walnut Street is in place, and the paint for the new crosswalks is down. Hardscape (medians, sidewalks, curbs, etc.) to be completed Nov 2020; Softscape (plantings, benches, etc.) to be completed Spring 2021. Meanwhile, the hotel at the former Gulf station site is behind schedule but making progress, and the condominium development on the former Dunkin Donuts site is expected to be completed in April 2021.

The Boylston Street Corridor Study Group, established to collect ideas to turn the stretch of Route 9 from High to Cypress into a more multi-modal “complete street” and an improved public realm, met in its latest iteration earlier this month. HSHA President Wendy Machmuller is a member of that panel.

Neighborhood Parks
The lockdown was also a chance to see how major amenities in the neighborhood are being re-envisioned and improved. The Brookline Reservoir Park project is completed, a ready-made dog-walking and exercise jaunt; masks are required, as they are throughout Brookline, and a clockwise, one-way circulation protocol is in place. As an added curiosity, there have been reports of a strange otter-like creature swimming around in the water. Robinson Playground is up next for an overhaul. Public comments on alternative visions are welcome. 

HSHA Events Recap
HSHA Father’s Day First Responders Dessert Drive 
In June, in lieu of our annual Father’s Day Picnic, HSHA held a Father’s Day First Responders Dessert Drive. We matched each dessert purchased and bought desserts for our first responders at Fire Station #1.  We are pleased to report that we raised over $1200 combined for the three businesses (Serenade Chocolatier, Rifrullo Cafe, and Drive By Pies) and delivered approximately 40 desserts to our firefighters.  

Puppet Showplace Theater Fundraiser
Regarding a more recent fundraising effort for the Puppet Showplace Theater on Station Street, we were saddened to learn of the alleged financial misconduct that you may have seen in local news or on the Theater’s website . The investigation is ongoing, and theater trustees say they are determined to recover all funds and keep moving forward. Thanks to all who donated and sponsored a puppet, 15 of which will be delivered by HSHA to our neighbors in the Brookline Housing Authority- High Street Veterans homes.   

While not mandatory, your association dues are greatly appreciated as they provide funding for annual events and allow us to support groups like the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance and the Friends of Leverett Pond on behalf of the entire neighborhood.  Dues are $25 but you are welcome to include additional donations.  By now, paper copies of this newsletter have been delivered to all homes in the HSHA neighborhood, along with a pre-addressed envelope for dues.  They can be sent to Matthew Hyatt, HSHA Treasurer at 87 Walnut St. or using Venmo to @Matthew-Hyatt-4 

Pandemic Portraits of the Neighborhood

Irving Street neighbor Pete Johannsen has been interviewing and photographing High Street Hill residents managing the pandemic since May. His collection is here: https://www.vanaiken.com/hsha-covid-portraits

In all, he’s talked with 28 households — and is determined to keep going, so please reach out to him if you’re interested in sharing your story. He’ll also be featuring many of the portraits on Instagram; you can follow at @vanaikenphoto.

Father’s Day Dessert Drive

In lieu of the annual Father’s Day Picnic, the High Street Hill Association has decided to do something a little different this year — a Father’s Day First Responders Dessert Drive!

We have arranged for special items to be made available to the HSHA community from now until Father’s Day at three neighborhood businesses known for their desserts. For every dessert purchased through this sale, HSHA will donate and deliver a second dessert to Fire House #1.  This effectively doubles your impact on Serenade Chocolatier, Rifrullo Cafe and Drive By Pies! Please don’t miss this great opportunity to support a local business and our first responders by celebrating a dad in your life. Dads, Desserts, and Donations…now if that doesn’t scream Father’s Day, what does?

Please read below for the details. Important: Please write HSHA in the order “notes” section of your online order to ensure that a matching dessert goes to our firefighters! Questions about this initiative and ordering details can be directed to HSHA Board Member Lena Berc at lena.berc@gmail.com. All other questions regarding allergy/ingredient information or pick up should be directed to the individual businesses. 

Serenade Chocolatier
Create Dad’s dream chocolate bar! Choose from rich milk, white chocolate or 72% dark chocolate (vegan/dairy free). Add nuts, fruit, cereal, ..anything edible that you can dream of. Add as much or as little as you would like to create a one pound bar. Indicate which add ins you would like in the order notes section. 
Price $20
Purchase here:  https://serenadechocolatier.com/product/fathers-day-chocolate-bar/
Special instructions: 
Orders must be placed by 10am on Thursday June 18th. Email Nur at Serenade with Questions or to order: chocolate@serenadecholatier.com

Rifrullo Cafe
Box of Brownie Truffles (8 pack), Price $8 
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches (4 Pack), Price: $12
Purchase here: http://www.rifrullocafe.com/#menu
Special instructions: 
Pre-order available- must indicate in the notes section after you press check out when you will be picking up. Rifrullo is closed on Father’s Day.  They will take orders now through Saturday June 20th. Call Rifrullo with questions or to order: 1-617-505-6727

Drive By Pies
Any Pie, Price: $20-$24
Dozen Assorted Cookies, Price: $22
Purchase here: https://direct.chownow.com/order/15342/locations/21679
Pre-order only.  Ordering is backed up and is a few days out. Check website for available pick up times. Call Drive By Pies with questions or to order: 1-617-879- 6210.  

Please join us for your neighborhood association’s Annual Meeting!

HSHA Annual Meeting & Potluck Dinner
Monday, May 6th 6-8 pm
Latvian Lutheran Church, 58 Irving Street

  • 6pm Family Potluck Dinner*
  • 7pm Program:  Climate Change – What Each of Us Can Do
    • Nika Elugardo; Mothers Out Front; Brookline Youth
  • HSHA Annual Business Meeting and Board Election

* Those with last names beginning with A-L please bring a main dish, M-Z a side dish.  HSHA will provide dessert and beverages.  Please feel free to bring a beverage to share.

Welcome: Wendy Machmuller, HSHA President

Introduction of Town Candidates:       

  • Select Board
  • School Committee
  • Town Meeting (Precinct 5)

Recognition: Arlene and Hugh Mattison, for their efforts on Brookline’s Green Space

Presentation: Climate change is the existential threat of our time, leaving many of us to wonder what we as individuals and families can do – and in turn, what activities and initiatives are emerging at the local and state level.

Rep. Nika Elugardo will start us off by speaking briefly about state-level policy to combat climate change and build resilience to the coming impacts of global warming, including sea level rise, flooding, and volatile weather.

Next, Deane Coady, one of the organizers of Mothers Out Front Brookline https://ma.mothersoutfront.org/brookline] will provide information on key actions we all can take, such as opting in for 100% green electricity on our utility bills; walking, biking, and driving electric vehicles; saving money and fuel by making homes more energy-efficient; and composting.

We will then hear perspectives from three Brookline youth who are taking action. BHS students Anjali Mitra, Konah Brownell, and Saya Ameli each have a compelling story to share with us – a personal connection to climate change, a Liberian refugee forced to flee due to the palm-oil industry, an Iranian child seeing the sun for the first time in Tehran – all experiences which have led them to become champions of the environment in their own right. We will conclude with time for Q & A.

HSHA Business Meeting:

Treasurer’s Report ~ Matt Hyatt, Treasurer

Thank you to Retiring Board Members ~ Chris Gates, Kim Ozaki, and Margaret Talcott

Election of HSHA Board & Officers ~ Proposed Nominees for 2019-2020

Wendy Machmuller                 President
Anthony Flint                           Vice President
Liz Craig Olins                        Secretary
Matt Hyatt                               Treasurer
Diana Post
Erik Wurster
Peggy Campion
Yana Piralkova
Lena Berc
Helen McDonald



Celebrating Friends of Leverett Pond

Next time you pass by the pastoral splendor of the banks of Leverett Pond at the foot of Allerton Street, remember we have the Friends of Leverett Pond to thank for decades of earnest restoration work.  Leverett Pond – the link in the celebrated Emerald Necklace at Olmsted Park, named for its designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture – is at the eastern end of the High Street Hill neighborhood along Pond Avenue.

Another fun geographical fact: the Boston-Brookline line travels through two ponds within Olmsted Park: Leverett Pond and Willow Pond.

Formed in 1978 as a subcommittee of the High Street Hill Association, the Friends of Leverett Pond has worked to increase park stewardship; and originally, to help restore a largely ignored, dilapidated park on the edge of the neighborhood which always should have been — and currently is — a significant asset.

The Friends of Leverett Pond advocates for proper maintenance and the historic restoration of Olmsted Park and the entire Emerald Necklace, and has held neighborhood celebrations, clean-ups, and pruning workshops in the park, and provided leadership to remove an oil spill into Willow Pond. All improvements show respect for Olmsted’s original design, and reflect intensive neighborhood participation in restoring Brookline’s piece of a national treasure.

Major work following the guidelines of an Emerald Necklace Parks Master Plan has included removing automobile traffic from a dual road system and creating increased parkland and bicycle and pedestrian paths in its place, and restoration of the Babbling Brook and park footbridges.






Under a $100,000 Mass. Historic Landscape Preservation Program grant through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, the area below Allerton Street, known as the Allerton Overlook, was re-created into a welcoming park entrance following Olmsted’s original plan.  Throughout the Park to deal with previous neglect and dead and dying growth, major horticulture restoration effort has resulted in a healthier tree canopy.  There are currently over 20 species of trees in the Park and walking tours are frequently held highlighting this diversity.





After major flooding resulting from two hundred-year storms in 1996 and 1998, Boston, Brookline, and the Commonwealth, with citizen participation including the Friends, developed the Emerald Necklace Environmental Improvements Master Plan.  Phase 1 of the Muddy River Restoration Project implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers was completed in 2016. Phase 2 will excavate the sandbar and island at Leverett Pond opposite 33 Pond Ave. (Brook House) to allow for increased water flow and reduce flood damage. The Brookline Parks and Open Space Division is developing a plan for dredging Willow Pond.

Friends of Leverett Pond has a seat on the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Overseers Committee and is a member organization of Brookline GreenSpace Alliance and remains a strong advocate for our historic neighborhood park.

Your participation and membership in the Friends strengthens the community that cares for our local Olmsted park.  As a subcommittee of HSHA, the Friends is supported by your dues and designated individual contributions which can be made to the HSHA treasurer at Matt Hyatt, 87 Walnut Street, Brookline, Ma 02445 or highstreethill@gmail.com, attn: Friends of Leverett Pond.

We look forward to continuing the association with the Friends of Leverett Pond and all the great work that is being done into the future.

HSHA Annual Meeting Monday May 7

Come one, come all to the High Street Hill Association Annual Meeting, Monday, May 7th 2018 at the Latvian Lutheran Church, 58 Irving Street starting at 6 pm. As per tradition, it’s a  Family Potluck Dinner — those with last names beginning with A-F please bring a salad, G-M a main dish, and N-Z a dessert — followed by an interesting program and Annual Business Meeting and Board Election to follow.

Rob Daves, an Upland Road resident and Town Meeting Member, will give an illustrated talk on John Wilson (1922-2015), a nationally celebrated African-American artist who lived in Brookline with his family for 50 years. His art, widely admired for its emotional resonance and examination of injustice, is featured in museums and graces public spaces around the country, including the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Wilson was “One of Boston’s most esteemed and accomplished artists,” said Sebastian Smee, former Boston Globe art critic. Rob has helped organize a group of Brookline residents from diverse backgrounds to raise money for the purchase of John Wilson’s inspirational bronze sculpture of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The sculpture will be installed at Town Hall where it will serve to remind us all of King’s fight for justice and equality. For more information, please visit: johnwilsonartist.org

We’ll also hear updates from local organizations including the Brookline Community Foundation and the Brookline GreenSpace Alliance, and vote on the 2018 HSHA Board Candidate Slate:

Wendy Machmuller, President
Anthony Flint, Vice President
Kim Ozaki Erik, Secretary
Matt Hyatt, Treasurer
Christopher Gates
Margaret Talcott
Liz Craig-Olins
Eric Wurster
Diana Post
Peggy Campion (new)
Yana Piralkova (new)

Many thanks to outgoing board members John Carpenter, who has served for six years as secretary, and Elizabeth Childs for their service to the neighborhood.

The High Street Hill Association is proud to organize many activities over the past year, including the Feb. 12 Neighborhood Author Talk with Walnut Street resident Anthony Flint on Modern Man: the Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow; the Candidates Night with the Greater Point Neighborhood Association at Lincoln School; last year’s Annual Meeting and Conversation with Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary; a performance of I Spy Butterfly for members and their children at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline Village; the annual Father’s Day Picnic on Philbrick Green with pony rides, food, and beverages; a performance of Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys on Philbrick Green; Neighborhood Author Talk with Walnut Place resident Jessica Shattuck on The Women in the Castle; the traditional Christmas Eve Caroling on Philbrick Green; and the new tradition of a winter Soup Stroll. Among many other activities, we worked with neighbors on Allerton St., Cumberland Ave., Hawthorn Rd. and Glen Summer Rd. to submit a request for a town traffic study of these four streets; and have been engaged in the many development projects along Boylston Street.

The HSHA board welcomes your input and involvement in neighborhood issues and programs ahead – please be in touch! For contact info, go to www.highstreethill.org and Follow us on Facebook @HighStreetHillAssociation.

Second Annual Soup Stroll this Sunday

Soup Stroll this Sunday!
Sunday, January 28
HSHA Neighborhood (Meet at 24 Walnut Place)

Join us this Sunday afternoon for the 2nd Annual High Street Hill Association Soup Stroll.  Enjoy six delicious soups in three neighborhood locations:

4:00 pm – meet at the home of Dorothy and Blake Cady @ 24 Walnut Place. Please use front entrance.
  • Soups created by Kim Ozaki and Dorothy Cady

4:35 pm – stroll to the home of Jennifer Jackson and Rob Daves @ 9 Upland Road.

  • Soups created by Fati Hajebi and Francis Fisher

5:15 pm – stroll to the home of Michele Sommer and Chet Geschickter @ 203 Pond Avenue.

  • Soups created by Michele Sommer and Yana Piralkova
Join to meet friends old and new, and appreciate different parts of the neighborhood while tasting culinary wonders.
A few more spots remain. RSVP to kimozaki@comcast.net

Announcing another Neighborhood Author’s Talk Sunday December 10

HSHA Author’s Talk
Sunday, December 10
4:30-6:30 PM
254 Walnut St.

High Street Hill is loaded with artists, musicians, and authors. To celebrate and continue a new tradition, the High Street Hill Association is proud to present a neighborhood author’s talk, featuring Jessica Shattuck. She will reflect on her New York Times Bestselling novel, The Women in the Castle  — the story of three German widows living together in a crumbling castle in Bavaria in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Their husbands were executed for their participation in the 20th of July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, but the women’s own beliefs and experiences span the gamut of the German political spectrum. A novel as much about complicity as it is about resistance, The Women in the Castle offers a new and different look at WWII from the German point of view. Shattuck, who is herself of German descent, will share with us how she came to write the book and what she learned in her research about this time.

Hosted by Anthony Flint & Tina Cassidy

254 Walnut Street, Brookline

Wine & cheese will be served

RSVP to anthony.flint@gmail.com

Jessica’s The Hazards of Good Breeding was a New York Times Notable Book and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Wired and The New Yorker. Her book is for sale at Brookline Booksmith, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and indiebound.com

The HSHA Annual Picnic is this Sunday!

The HSHA Annual Picnic is this Sunday!
Father’s Day, June 18th
4:00-8:00 PM
Philbrick Green

Pony rides 4:15-5:15
Grills fired up at 4:30

Grills and condiments will be provided
Bring your own grill-ables, BYOB, and a side dish to share
Water/drinks and hot dogs will be provided for the children
An ice cream truck will take care of dessert
BYO yard games welcome!

The weather forecast looks cooperative so no need for a rain date.
Hope to see you all on the green!