Wellesley Lower Falls like you’ve probably never seen it

Photographer Nick Cosky posted this YouTube video this week from high above Wellesley Lower Falls

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Kids get into Wellesley Town Meeting act this week, too

wellesley middle school town hall

Photos by MC

It wasn’t just Wellesley’s grown-ups taking part in Town Meeting this week, deciding on things such as funding for school renovations, North 40 landfill testing and the purchase of 900 Worcester St. /St. James the Great property. (Relive the thrills and spills via Wellesley Media’s coverage here and here.)

6th graders participated in the 2nd annual Wellesley Middle School Town Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 29th, 7:50 a.m. – 9:40 a.m., in the school auditorium. Groups within each homeroom were tasked with forming a recommendation for “A way to improve WMS.”

One group was selected from each homeroom to present in the WMS town meeting held in the auditorium this morning. Finalists were:
#1 Kids Rule: Creating a Student Council at WMS
#2 Banish the Binder: Online Textbooks
#3 Friendly Faces: Transition Program for Students Entering 6th Grade
#4 A New Elective: Fresh & Healthy Cooking with Local Chefs
#5 At Your Fingertips: A WMS App
#6 Solving the Stench: Dehumidifiers in Locker Rooms

A group of town residents played the role of advisory committee members and town meeting moderator. The advisory committee heard student presentations, offered feedback and made an advisory recommendation on each concept to the members of the student town meeting. The students later voted on the six finalists, using their iPads, allowing results to be tallied almost instantaneously.
The two winners were Kids Rule and A New Elective. Next up for those groups  is to meet with our school administrators, including Principal Mark Ito, to share their ideas and discuss the feasibility of implementing them.
(Thanks to Town Meeting member Martha Collins and WMS Social Studies teacher Lisa Driver for the info.)wellesley middle school town hall

Photo by MCwellesley middle school town hallwellesley middle school town hall

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First Taste: Bocado serves up tapas to Wellesley

IMG_5951Wellesley has been adding restaurants to its roster at a clip of about one every six months and, with the enthusiastic response to Bocado, a Spanish tapas offering,  the town shows no sign of having reached a point of fine-dining overload. Wellesley has boasted Blue Ginger and Alta Strada for years now, and with the addition of The Local in November 2013, Juniper in July, and now Bocado, there are fewer and fewer reasons to leave town to find good food, or even just a seat at a good restaurant.

We stopped in at the establishment, located at 45 Church St., to see how tapas, sangria, and paella translates to Wellesley.  Our small group was sort of loosey-goosey about it all and showed up without reservations.  (I’d recommend being less on-the-fly than that and calling ahead if you don’t want to be turned away at the door, as so many were that night). There happened to be four seats at the bar, so we bee-lined over to them and ended up appreciating the way we could see all the comings and goings from our perch.  If this were a socialite blog I would start naming names, so many Swellesley luminaries did we see that night.  Suffice to say it was a who’s who and everyone seemed happy to be out on the town.

Bocado wellesley

Photo by MC

We wanted to get a good feel for the menu and went with The Bocado Experience.  With this order, you choose 13 savory dishes and one dessert.  At $160, it’s meant to be shared among four people. The bartender gave us a piece of paper and a pencil and, in our neatest handwriting, we wrote down our choices.  As is customary at a tapas restaurant, our food came out bit by bit as it was ready, rather than all at once.  At no time were we tapping our feet, looking for the next dish to come out, nor was the presentation rushed.  There was always plenty of tapas to go around.

Bocado restaurant wellesleyAnd it was quite tasty at that.  Our group particularly liked the roasted eggplant, which had a nice, smoky, autumn taste to it.  The bacon wrapped scallops with white truffle honey were fantastic.  Also popular among us was the raw tuna with lemon basil crema, although the sweet potato chips that were served alongside it were limp, not crispy as I expected.  The mozzarella stuffed crispy rice balls with basil aioli got a thumbs up as well. Just as we thought maybe we were filling up, a generous platter of beef tenderloin with potatoes and roquefort cream came out.  That one was nearly our undoing, and it’s true that we were unable to eat our way through all the potatoes, even though they were salty and crispy-browned.  Somehow the tenderloin disappeared.

Photo by MC

Photo by MC

The menu encourages diners to complete the experience by sharing a pitcher of sangria for $25, but our group wasn’t unanimous on the sangria, so we ordered our drinks individually.  The diner who ordered the sangria reported that it had the requisite red wine fruitiness she expected.  I ordered a beer on tap and was served a 10-ounce glassful.  Seemed skimpy, but beer is not where Bocado is putting their emphasis, as their extensive wine and sherry list makes clear. Our friendly bartender made sure everyone remained content and refilled our glasses with water or other, as needed.

Photo by MC

Photo by MC

Then dessert came out, a donut-like confection served with chocolate dipping sauce. In a supreme effort of mind over satiety cues, we plowed through it, and it was just light and airy enough to convince us that it hardly counted in the grand scheme of things.  Whatever we thought we meant by that.

Bocado is open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11:30 – 3:00; and Saturday 12:00 – 3:00

For Pintxos (small bar snacks) and sherry daily 3:00 – 5:00

For dinner Monday – Thursday, 5:00 – 10:00; Friday and Saturday 5:00 – 11:00; Sunday 5:00 – 9:00

For Sunday brunch 10:30 – 3:00

Also of interest…

More Wellesley restaurants boozing it up

Juniper restaurant a special new Wellesley Square dining spot

Inside new Wellesley restaurant, The Local

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Wellesley Trails Committee to lead Lower Falls Walk on Nov. 1

Walk off some of that Halloween candy on Saturday morning, from 9-10am, with the Wellesley Trails Committee. They’ll be leading a walk through the Lower Falls part of town.

Enjoy scenic views along the river on the Charles River Path. Walk along the brick Waterway, the remnants of proposed development in the 1890’s at Indian Springs Park. Follow the Crosstown Trail on the Cochituate Aqueduct that was built in 1848 to supply water to Boston. Take an optional short walk to the footbridge over the Charles at the Cordingly Dam. Meet at 9 a.m. at the parking lot (free on Saturdays) on River Street off Washington Street.

Walk takes place unless it pours. Please wear sturdy shoes.

Here are scenes from last weekend’s guided walk of Centennial Reservation.

Centennial Reservation

Photo by Michael McManus

Centennial Reservation, Wellesley Trails

Photo by Michael McManus

Centennial Reservation

Photo by Raina McManus

Centennial Reservation

Photo by Raina McManus

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Last-minute Wellesley-themed Halloween costumes for 2014

You’ve already decided you aren’t going to be a Frozen character or a zombie, or a combination of the two for Halloween this year.  Rather, you’re thinking of something with a bit of Wellesley flair. If you’re really stuck, here are a few swell costume ideas to consider.

*Wellesley Sleepwalker. Yes, the controversial sculpture that graced Wellesley College’s campus earlier this year might be considered old news at this point. But given that he showed up over the winter, he missed last Halloween. Pick up some Halloween-themed undies, a balding wig (if you need one) and you’ll add a creepy element to any party. And don’t tell us it’s too cold for this outfit — the original sleepwalker stood out there in the snow night after night.140131802










*E. coli. Thankfully, the Great Wellesley E. coli Scare of 2014 resulted more in inconvenience than sickness. But it also sparked an idea for a Halloween costume. Get together a goopy looking monster outfit, and be sure to accentuate with some bottled water.










*North 40. Just add the Number 40 to a costume like this, and voila, you’re bound to spark yet another discussion about the controversial Wellesley College property.


via Pinterest










*Brick house or monster.  You know how Wellesley scooped up all those bricks from our sidewalks and crosswalks earlier this year in an effort to repair the crumbling infrastructure and prevent people from stumbling on loose ones? We know some of you must have stockpiled some of those bricks for future use.


via Helmet Heroes Wiki

Via Costume Works

Via Costume Works


Reminder: Many trick-or-treaters will be carrying UNICEF boxes to collect spare change (checks can be made out to “U.S. Fund for Unicef”) to help kids around the world who have been victims of war, natural disasters, child exploitation, or outbreaks of disease.

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Wellesley High’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” nears

(l-r)  Carl Richardson, Peter Gilleran, Taeghan Hagood, Mary Moynihan, Zoe Lloyd, Drew Hawkinson, Katrina Kincade.

(l-r) Carl Richardson, Peter Gilleran, Taeghan Hagood, Mary Moynihan, Zoe Lloyd, Drew Hawkinson, Katrina Kincade.

Wellesley High is making a big push this week to sell tickets for its fall play, a musical called The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Tony Award winner, which first hit Broadway in 2006,  tells the story of  a theater fan whose favorite 1920’s musical comes to life in his apartment while he plays the original Broadway cast recording and offers wry commentary.

Drowsy Chaperone Wellesley

(l-r) Sam Weinberg as Man In Chair, Zoe Lloyd as The Chaperone.

Led by veteran director and WHS drama specialist Stephen Wrobleski, music director Kevin McDonald, choreographer Lauren Schneider, and Technical Director/Theater Manager Brian McManimon, the cast and crew have been hard at work rehearsing The Drowsy Chaperone since early September. The production will feature a pit orchestra of Wellesley High School musicians conducted by band director Steven Scott.

The show will be performed at Wellesley High School, 50 Rice St.

Performance Dates and Times:

Thursday, November 6 at 4:30pm

Friday, November 7 at 7:30pm

Saturday, November 8 at 2:00pm

Saturday, November 8 at 7:30pm


For tickets and more information:

Go to www.wellesley.k12.ma.us; click the “Online Fee” payment button (lower left side); click on the “Tickets” tab at the top of the page and select your performances and seats.

RELATED: Wellesley POPS on Facebook

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Wellesley Players present “A…My Name is Alice: A Musical Revue”

AMyNameisAliceThe Wellesley Players’ next show is called “A…My Name is Alice,” a musical revue that will be performed at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Black Box Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, Mass.

Shows take place November 7, 8, 14, 15 at 8:00 P.M, November 13, 7:00, November 8, 9, 15, 16 at 3:00 P.M.

Seating for this show is general admission.  Tickets are $25 for adults; $22 for students/seniors/youth.  Purchase tickets online now!  You can also send in your order by filling out and mailing in our order form Alice Ticket Order Form.A my name is alice wellesley players

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Classic movie night in Wellesley: Seven Samurai

Seven SamuraiFans of the western The Magnificent Seven might enjoy catching a showing at Wellesley Free Library on Wednesday night of the movie it was based on: Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. (Not to be confused with the more recent Seven Psychopaths. The action starts at 6:45pm.

This epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. Attendees will be joined via Skype by film editor Richard Pepperman, author of the forthcoming book “Everything I Know About Filmmaking I Learned Watching Seven Samurai.’

This film is too big to be contained in one session; so a viewing and discussion of the second half will be held on Tuesday November 18th.

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries.

MORE: ClassifFlicks.org

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Wellesley outdoor basketball courts: Now and then

wellesley basketball court reopening october 2014Lots of kids and adults turned out on sunny Saturday to officially christen the new outdoor basketball courts near the Wellesley High School track/football field.

Wellesley Youth Basketball orchestrated games and activities for those who attended.  The courts, which had been replaced by a parking lot during the building of the new high school, are now back and better than ever thanks to the work of recreation, Natural Resources Commission, the town engineer and other town officials. (Photos via Linda Chow)

Among those in attendance and happy to see the new courts in use was Paul Cloonan, whose dad — still a Wellesley resident — spearheaded the building of the original court.

The elder Cloonan, whose grandson also took part in the opening celebration, shared some of his memories of the original court development with me via email (he didn’t have any photos of the old court handy…if anyone does and wants to share them with us, please email us here: [email protected]).

“Myself and a small group of other Wellesley parents that had children involved in basketball programs heard in 1988 that the Town was contemplating building a new basketball court.  I believe that the estimated cost for the court would be $10,000, At that time there were no decent outdoor basketball courts in Town. We approached Town officials and indicated to them that we would raise an additional $10,000 so that the Town could construct 2 courts side by side. The town officials agreed to this plan and we formed a non- profit corporation called the Wellesley Basketball Association to begin our fundraising.”

wellesley basketball court reopening october 2014Cloonan, who ran the CYO basketball program at St. Paul’s for years, says residents were generally supportive of the effort, and Roche Bros., made a significant contribution as well, enabling the group to hit its $10K goal.

Originally, the town planned to build the courts on a site at the high school where an outdoor hockey rink once stood. But things started to go south during Cloonan’s presentation at Town Meeting, where some neighbors and abutters spoke out against the courts, suggesting that there would be boozing and carousing at the site.

“The mistake we made was not consulting with the neighbors before the meeting. It is very difficult to accomplish anything in Wellesley if the neighbors do not approve of the project,” Cloonan said. Certainly, the same is true today.

Despite the opposition, Town Meeting approved the construction of the courts (here’s a link to an old Townsman article on the courts being okayed), but the location was changed to where the courts currently stand. That resulted in increased costs, however, so additional funds were raised. In fact, some of those living near the old hockey rink agreed to chip in to help fund construction in the new location. Call it a NIMBY tax.

Cloonan says that what he thought would be a 6-month project for him turned into a 2-year one. “The completed courts were worth the effort we put into it [adult leagues were quite active back then]. The town’s DPW did a great job in constructing the courts.”

wellesley basketball court reopening october 2014

RELATED: Wellesley playgrounds

Wellesley High Coach Magpiong explains crossover from boys to girls hoop

Historic first hoop made at new Wellesley outdoor basketball courts

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They grow mushrooms big in Wellesley these days

giant mushroomIf you glance across the yard and see what looks like a stray soccer ball, take a closer look.  Could be that it’s actually a giant puffball mushroom, or in technical terms, a Calvatia Gigantea.

This one was seen in a wooded part of a Wellesley yard, but they are also commonly found in meadows, typically in the late summer and into autumn.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, they are edible when young, but we’re scaredy cats about mushrooms in the wild, even if the wild in this context means tame old suburbia. We’ll let Whole Foods continue to supply us with our fungi needs.



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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers