By Rebeca Plank
"I love my neighborhood. It is close to downtown (one can walk if so inclined), with relatively high population density, yet it still has a lot of green space with Jamaica Pond, the Arboretum and the Emerald Necklace as integral parts of the neighborhood.
"Whole Foods is coming to a spot previously occupied by HI-LO. Not a new story but very, very important to the community in many ways that can be seen as good or bad. I think it will be a benefit to all residents that we can have easy access to high-quality produce, which can be lacking in some low- or mixed-income communities.
"I am attaching a photo of the former HI-LO FOODS market, a photo I took to show that one only has to change one or two letters to make it into WHOLE-FOODS!
"Also, we got a new Scottish pub (the Haven), new Spanish Tapas restaurant (Tres Gatos), new fabric arts store (Knit and Stitch) and we are getting a new sushi restaurant.
In short, the local economy seems robust. I try to support my local businesses as much as possible, because I love the neighborhood feeling of Jamaica Plain, and if the local businesses close then we lose the charm and coziness of the place. If we buy things online, it might be cheaper but what happens to our neighborhoods?
It's lovely to stroll along Centre Street looking at the storefronts, getting a snack and JP Licks and running into my friends and neighbors. It is too bad that once people have school-aged children many of them leave Jamaica Plain for Brookline or other suburbs for the schools."