Roslindale Neighbors: Check-in with RVMS

May 12, 2017
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Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS) has been diving into spring by hosting family-friendly events in vacant buildings and planning a local business forum and farmers market.

RVMS is an independent nonprofit that aims to bring together local volunteers, businesses, and public agencies to strengthen Roslindale Village economically and aesthetically.

Alia Hamada Forrest, executive director of RVMS, told the Gazette via email that the organization has had a “dynamic” spring so far. Two events that the organization has held were in vacant storefronts. One was in March, where RVMS collaborated with Roslindale Wants to Play and created a build zone for people of all ages to build giant mousetrap-like contraptions with plastic balls and recycled materials. The game resembled a giant version of the board game Mouse Trap, in which players cooperate to build a Rube Goldberg-like machine.

The other event in a vacant storefront was a musical celebration in a vacant furniture store in April. RVMS collaborated with Cornell Coley, a Boston artist-in-residence, to include community drumming, Brazilian guitar, a steel pan performance, and on-site drawing with local artist Kevin Townsend.

“We find that filling these empty spaces with interactive events for all ages brings people out into Roslindale Village,” Forrest said. “And after surveying attendees — those same folks shop locally and eat lunch in the neighborhood. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

RVMS also recently held its first Volunteer Fair in collaboration with the Roslindale Community Center.

“Overall, our 2017 has been about bringing people out, bringing people together, and building a strong Rozzie community,” Forrest said.

On May 23, RVMS will be involved in a property and business owner’s forum, along with the City’s Office of Economic Development and neighborhood banks, brokers, and businesses. The forum will be a place to share and discover local resources that may be helpful for local businesses and landlords, including Jamaica Plain business and property owners. The event will be at the Sons of Italy Hall at 30 Birch St. from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Also coming up is RVMS Farmers Market, which opens for the season on June 3 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On opening day of the Farmers Market, RVMS will also celebrate Green Mobility Day with WalkUP Roslindale, Rozzie Bikes, and other green transportation organizations, which plan on giving Mayor Martin Walsh an award for his advocacy for safer and better streets in his GoBoston 2030 plan. Part of Poplar Street will also be closed off for bike parking, a food truck, and arts and crafts vendors.

The recently renovated Roslindale Substation has been successfully converted to a usable commercial space, with the Craft Beer Cellar open in the lower part of the substation. A restaurant, Third Rail, is set to open on the main floor of the substation in the fall or winter of this year. The restaurant will be run by Chris Douglass, who has also appointed a Roslindale resident, Alex Horowitz, as the lead chef of the restaurant, which will feature open fire cooking.

To learn more about RVMS and its programs, visit its website at Roslindale.net.

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