Providing editing, production and distribution for books, pamphlets and other printed material
PREVIOUS WORK: Alexanderalexander's most recent efforts in publication, distribution and editing were for Welcome to Boston, 14th edition (2015). We also provided editing for the 15th edition (2016) of Welcome to Boston.
CURRENT WORK: We are working on a collaborative effort tentatively titled "Tales from the Falls." This is a neighborhood project which involves collecting stories about Newton Upper Falls. This effort is being guided by Jerry Reilly, Newton Upper Falls most active resident.
See information on this page about Newton Upper Falls and a sample of one story. See instructions on how to submit information if you have something to contribute.
We hope you will considering adding your tales to our book.
Check out our facebook page for additional informaiton.
Leave a review if you would like.
A sample story from "Tales from the Falls."
The mystery of an abandoned barber shop.
Just on the edge of the village center, on Oak Street, is a long closed barber shop that's mysteriously frozen in time.
The Legion Barber Shop is on Oak St, beside the Jean and Lee Kitchen, our neighborhood Asian restaurant. The sign above is nearly faded away but a peek in the window reveals a barber shop ready to go. There's hair products on the counters and towels on the chairs. It looks like the barber slipped out to run an errand and never came back.
From what I can gather, the barber (Tony ?) died suddenly about fifteen years ago and his wife soon after. Whoever it was passed on to has left it just as it was for the past fifteen years. It's a small brick building with an apartment or two upstairs. The apartments are rented but the ground floor barber shop is just as it was 15 years ago.
Tony the barber was long gone and his shop was shuttered long before I arrived in the neighborhood. Since I've been here, I've heard little bits and pieces from various people. Apparently Tony was a gambling man and loved to bet on just about anything, but particularly the horses. He's got a display of horse related knick knacks in the store window. I also heard that he was a bookie back in the day, though others tell me that in years gone by you'd be hard pressed to find a local barber that wasn't a bookie.
Today the ghost barber shop is a local mystery. People's memories are vague and often contradict each other. Nobody I've talked to has a clear picture of why the shop has remained frozen for the last 15 years.
If you're in Upper Falls any time soon, stop by the Empire Barber Shop on Oak St and take a peek in the window. If you're like me, it will send a little shiver up your spine.
Drive down Chestnut St from West Newton. A few miles down the road you'll cross under Route 9 and suddenly, something changes. Everything looks a bit different - the size of the house plots are smaller, the style of the buildings and houses are different. You've just entered Upper Falls - its own little corner of Newton.
Upper Falls was one of the earlier settlements in Newton. The water of the Charles River, flowing over the water fall, first powered a mill there in the late 1700's. By the early 1800's that portion of the river was filled with various water powered industrial mills. The village you see today at Upper Falls was first built as a mill village to house the workers from those mills. While the last mill closed in the 1960's, the village of Upper Falls still retains its mill village feel to this day.
Probably nowhere else in Newton can you see such a jumble of all sorts of houses and other buildings from all different periods all mixed up in such a refreshing hodgepodge.
In 1975, much of the village of Upper Falls became a designated Historic District of the city in an effort to preserve as much of the original housing stock at a time when wholesale knock-em-down-and-build-new-ones development style threatened. The neighborhood today has a large number of beautifully preserved showpiece historic houses from the early 1800's. For me though, the quality that I most value is the mixed up, non-uniform vitality of the place. Rather than a historic museum, Upper Falls is a crazy quilt mosaic. Nowhere else in Newton can you see million dollar historic private homes a few feet away from old dilapidated rental properties. Nowhere else in Newton could I have moved into a house and then find out that our water meter is located in the basement of a neighbor's house on a different street.
Without a doubt though, the most spectacular feature of the village of Upper Falls is the Upper Falls. If you've never been, it's worth a visit. At Upper Falls, the Charles River flows over a water fall and through Hemlock Gorge. The land around the river and the falls make up the Hemlock Gorge Reservation. This relatively compact park has a waterfall, a gorge, beautiful woods, an island in the river that you can reach by a wooden bridge and most spectacular of all - Echo Bridge.
Echo Bridge is a massive granite bridge that spans the gorge with seven arches. The main arch is one of the biggest stone arches in the world. The top of the bridge is a footpath that crosses the river at a height of about 70 feet above the river with a view of the falls and the surrounding river and woods. Inside the bridge is an aqueduct that once was the main water supply line for all of Boston.
So if you don't know our neighborhood, come on by and visit. Take a walk over Echo Bridge and then down to the platform below (on the Chestnut St side) and find out why they call it Echo Bridge. If you're even more interested then read Ken Newcomb's "Makers of The Mold", an in depth history of the village written by one of Upper Fall's own......Jerry Reilly