By Julia Horneck

“There are some crazies around here and they do some wild stuff outside,” said 39-year-old Matthew Postal, owner of Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta Express. “I’ve seen people get chased by the police, I’ve seen people dragged down the street by cars, I’ve seen bums knocking each others teeth out in the front.”

After nine years of running a business in Mission Hill, Postal says that he’s “seen it all.” He lives in Chelsea. But he’s become an active member of the community, mostly by supporting other businesses in the area. He said that most business owners in the area share his collaborative approach — but not all.

“I just try to help new businesses come in, because there’s enough here for everybody. I’m not trying to be greedy — some people are, I’m not.”

Postal summed up Mission Hill’s greatest problem with one word response: gentrification.

“They’re knocking all these old, beautiful buildings down and putting up these very cookie-cutter-looking buildings. It takes away from it and it pushes all the people that have been here their whole lives away.”

As much as changes in the area frustrate him, Postal maintains his sense of humor about it.

“My version of cool is different than the new kids here. Since I’m 39 now, I’m the corny old guy. But, it’s not the Hill anymore,” he said.

About this project

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories. 


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