It’s All Happening in Jamaica Plain
In a community as eclectic and dynamic as this, it’s not easy to stay on top of everything that’s going on, but here are a few suggestions to keep you at least on the cusp of all the hottest:
In Print and Online
JP Neighbors for Neighbors is a local networking site that’s inspiring all kinds of action in Jamaica Plain. The site currently has 173 subgroups—by micro-neighborhood and by interests—that you can join for online chat or in-person kibitzing.
Jamaica Plain Patch, a micro site owned by AOL, has up-to-the-minute minutiae that you really need to know!
The Jamaica Plain Gazette is a much-respected biweekly–delivered FREE to every home in JP–that serves the community with passion and pride. Also available online.
The JP Centre/South site is dedicated to the Centre/South Street business district.
The Boston Bulletin is a free newspaper with some good coverage of Jamaica Plain—pick it up at local stores and banks. Online subscriptions cost $12 a year.
The City of Boston has lots of info about Jamaica Plain and links to city resources for you official types.
Boston.com’s Your Town has a great Jamaica Plain page that offers news, events and discussions.
Universal Hub is a Boston community news and info site with a Jamaica Plain page.
Get Your JP News In Line
Do as I do: grab a seat at City Feed and Supply—the newer location at the corner of Green and Centre. You can listen in or insert yourself into any number of conversations to find out who’s doing what and pissing off whom.
Or walk across the street for dessert to JP Licks and continue your fat-finding–er–fact-finding foray!
JP Food, Fun, and Festivities
What can you say about a street that runs from Bangkok to Bogota, and does it seamlessly with such a great sense of fun!
Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street has it all:
Start out in Korea at JP Seafood where locals have been enjoying the finest sushi and other traditional dishes for almost two decades.
Amble over to Wonder Spice Cafe for Thai and pan-Asian delights
Visit Bukhara for fragrant and warming Indian cuisine
You won’t get stung at the Purple Cactus, where they’ve got Ameri-Mex at its best–I will sit and beg for their turkey chili!
As you leave the center of Centre, stop in at Centre Street Café, for a romantic dinner featuring updated American with a Central-American accent, or a boisterous weekend brunch.
Grab home-made ice cream at JP Licks, a true community mecca housed in the former fire house, where you get a free sundae on your birthday–the only good thing about getting older!
Just before Centre Street forks (pun intended!) to the right, be welcomed at Tres Gatos, Jamaica Plain’s first and only Tapas restaurant with a book & music store.
You can perch yourself at Canary Square, a recent arrival with elegant nouveau-pub fare.
Continue on to El Oriental de Cuba, “La Esquina del Sabor,” for Cuban sandwiches and other authentic platos.
Visit Tacos El Charro for the ultra-authentic Mex–accompanied by Mariachi music!–or stroll past it to find other fabulous Hispanic eateries to fill your belly all the way to Columbus Ave.
Fun and Festivals
Jamaica Plain has so many annual festivities there are too many to mention, but here are a few of my faves.
The JP Wake Up the Earth Festival is a joyous event held on the first Saturday of each May. The Festival began in 1979, when local neighbors and activists joined together to stop a major highway from being built through Jamaica Plain, and is now run by Spontaneous Celebrations with the help of many, many volunteers. This multi-generational celebration of arts and the power of community includes a parade, music, food and lots of the social activism for which Jamaica Plain is known.
Spontaneous Celebrations also holds an annual Halloween Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade. Thousands of children and adults parade around the pond at dusk, carrying hand-made lanterns that cast a beautiful, mysterious light in the darkness.