04-16-14 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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                                         *** Construction Edition ***
The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going on in our village.  The Upper Falls News is brought to you by the Upper Falls Area Council but it's intended to cover any and all news in the village. 

Where Am I? - Where in Upper Falls can you see this garage roof that's flush with the surrounding land?

Lot G Next?  - I can't say anyone in the neighborhood is too surprised but The Lot F gallery on Chestnut St has shut its doors and the space is now available for rent.

Take the Long Way Home - The contractors working on #59 High St have barricaded the shortcut from High St to the Emerson Playground that many of us use every day.  They say it's a safety issue because of the construction.  That wouldn't be so bad if we had faith that it will be reopened again when construction is complete.

Mysterious Tunnel Discovered - A few doors down at #45 High St there's also construction going on.  When they began digging a foundation for a new unit in the backyard they uncovered a mysterious brick tunnel under the ground.  There's no shortage of theories of what it could have been - everything from a storm water drain, a stop on the underground railroad, a root cellar, a prohibition store room.  I'm voting for it being the shortcut to the Riklin's basement next door.

One curious detail is that the tunnel is not round.  The two sides are straight in the middle.

Fire on Cliff Rd - there was a bad fire on 18 Cliff Rd in recent weeks.  The house is beside the stone cottage, beside the stone barn on Oak St.  Looks like that house may have to be gutted.

High St Houses - Major construction has begun on the two run down houses on High St.  The brick two family house has already been completely gutted.  The crew's now doing the same to the wooden house next door.  The plan is to build two beautiful new rental apartments in the brick building and the wooden house will be a single unit rental.  This project is particularly of interest to the staff of the Upper Falls News since it's right out our back door and our water meter is in that wooden house.

Water Coming to Spring St - Speaking of that water meter ... a city crew turned up with spray paint the other day to mark out the excavation for a water line on Spring St.  Now I know what it must have felt like back in 1910 when city water first came to the neighborhood - we're going to have our very own water meter soon.  How exciting!

Award Winning Construction Continues - The apartments at the corner of Winter and Chestnut Streets (the old Moon & Sixpence building) definitely wins the award for longest running Upper Falls construction project.  After all sorts of delays and stops and starts it looks like they're heading down the home stretch on this project that's been going on for a year and a half so far.  The historically blind corner and historically almost non-existent sidewalk at the corner of Winter and Chestnut will be historically reproduced in the new construction.

Build Your Building Knowledge - Speaking of construction, our friends on the Waban Area Council will be sponsoring a panel discussion on the development process: “The ABCs of Zoning Relief for Housing Developments in Newton: A Residents’ Guide to How Developers get Permits and how the Community can have its Say” Thursday, May 1 from 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Newton City Hall War Memorial Auditorium. Panelists from the City and other public officials will participate. More details here

Swap Shop - The 2nd Baptist Church will be holding its annual spring Swap Shop at 75 Ellis Street, on Saturday, April 26 from 10am to 2pm.  You can bring something and take something, don't bring something and take something, or bring something and not take anything.  There is no limit on what you can take.  If you like it...take it.

What To Do On Father's Day - The 2nd annual Tour de Newton will be held on Sunday June 15.  The 20 mile, 13 village tour is a great family event.  For Upper Falls riders, it will start at The Depot Coffee Shop (Chestnut and Oak) and proceed on a 20 mile loop through the 12 other villages.   Sign up here to ride.  If you don't want to ride then how about signing up to be an Upper Falls greeter.  All morning long you'll welcome the incoming riders from each of the other villages as they arrive, tell them a bit about Upper Falls and hand out refreshments and Tour de Newton badges.  If you might be interested, let us know.

What to Do On NewtonSERVES Day - Sunday April 27 is NewtonSERVES Day, the annual day of volunteering across the city.  For the last few years we've had a NewtonSERVES project on the Upper Falls Greenway but not this year since it is a construction site!   This year, come on down to Quinobequin Park and lend a hand if you can.  We can use as many volunteers as we can find for opening up the trails, opening up the vistas and picking up trash.  Sign up here for "Quinobequin Park Cleanup"

Council the Councilors - The April meeting of the Upper Falls Area Council will be this Thursday, April 17 at 7PM in the Emerson Center on Pettee St.  All members of the public are welcome.  If you have any neighborhood issues you'd like discussed, just come to the meeting and let them know.

Easter on the Bridge - This Sunday, April 20, the Second Baptist Church will be holding their annual Sunrise Service at 6AM in the middle of Echo Bridge. Everyone is welcome to come start their Easter morning on Echo Bridge.  After the service, all are welcome back at the church for coffee and donuts. 

Why No School in Upper Falls - Maxine and Mark Bridger have both been lobbying the School Committee long and hard over the past year or two to consider building an elementary school in Upper Falls.  In this past week's Newton Tab, Mark & Maxine contributed an Op-Ed column that explains their take on the School Committee's Master Plan and why Upper Falls is likely to remain at the outermost cross roads of the existing school districts.

Lots of Fun at Run for the Nun - Dunn Gaherin's 5K "Run for the Nun" event was a big hit on April 6.  Here's a few photos

Upper Falls Reminiscences - Apparently, the Baptist Church's sunrise service on Echo Bridge has indeed been a long tradition.  Dave Downs wrote
I remember attending the Sun Rise Service Easter Morning on Echo Bridge many years ago. It was either 1955 or 1959. I’ve forgotten which. I remember that the Baptist Minister, who was well liked by everyone in town, was blind and remained the minister for years. Although I was a member of the Methodist Church, I think it was sponsored by the Baptist (not sure).

I also remember attending the movies in the auditorium on the top floor of the Emerson Elementary School on a Saturday probably around 1955. I think the fee was $0.40 then. The fee must have gone up from the $0.05 fee of the forties. I remember the fee because one day, I arrived at the school and discovered I had lost my money. I walked back home to 34 High Street looking on the ground for my $0.40. I couldn’t find it. My mother gave me another $0.40 and I was able to watch the movies. While walking home I discovered the original $0.40 was deep in my winter coat pocket! Rather than return it to my mother, I secretly went down to the candy store on Elliot Street and bought $0.40 worth of candy.  Back then $0.40 worth of candy was a lot. I remember hiding in the woods between Elliot Street and High Street eating the bag of candy before I returned home.  I’ll have to admit, although I didn’t get sick, I certainly didn’t feel well emotionally (from guilt) when I finished the loot and returned home.

Speaking of the Old Days - Check out this 1957 photo of Anthony Kalicki's brother hanging out on Elliot St near Chestnut.

Did You Know .. that minnows have teeth in their throats?  Did You Know ..." features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by 6th grade Upper Falls resident Ian Wittler.

From The Mailroom - In response to Ian Whittler's first "Did You Know..." contribution in the last issue, reader Bob Burke wrote:
This winter, I sometimes felt I'd like to be a wood frog.  You sleep and when you wake It's spring.

Spread The News - Ask your neighbors if they get the Upper Falls News.  If not forward them this issue and they can sign up for their own subscription here.

Send Us Your News - If you have any upcoming events, activities, news, trivia, stories, anecdotes or jokes related to Upper Falls just send them to news@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.  For those who prefer living in the past, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Where Am I Answer - The garage with the buried roof is on Elliot St.  It's the first house on the right going down the hill from High St.  This view of the garage though is from the sidewalk on High St, looking down.