By Emily Rubin

“Keeper of disorderly house.”

For Victoria Merriman, 42, that phrase defined one of her favorite memories in Mission Hill. She was having a small get-together at her house, right next door to a roudier college party. When police arrived to give tickets to her student neighbors, Merriman happened to have friends on the porch. “We both got busted,” she said with a smile.

To Merriman and her friends, the phrasing and reasoning for her ticket was hysterical.

“It sounds so quaint and puritanical,” Merriman said. “I mean it kind of stunk because the party got shut down, but all my friends were laughing.”

Merriman doesn’t mind the college students in the neighborhood. In fact, she enjoys their presence.

“It can be a little noisy, but I like that,” she said. “I think it has good energy and makes me feel like I’m living in a city. I kind of like the youthful energy of it.”

As much as Merriman enjoys living in Mission Hill, she doesn’t describe herself as an active community member. She said that much of her life is based in Cambridge, where she lived before moving to Mission Hill 10 years ago. Merriman stills works in Cambridge, too, where she owns a website design company called Digital Loom.

Merriman said that much of the neighborhood has been completely rebuilt. She pointed to Stop & Shop, then to independently owned restaurants down Tremont Street, then directly behind her to J.P. Licks. All were examples of new – and, to her, positive – additions.

The development gives her hope and concern simultaneously. On one hand, “my property value has gone up a lot in the years that I’ve lived here.” On the other, “I hope that the awesome diversity doesn’t go away. I mean, I see that happening elsewhere… I hope it stays somewhat accessible and affordable.”

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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