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SoulCycle opening first Boston-area location March 5

March 3, 2014 04:36 PM
Photo courtesy of SoulCycle
A SoulCycle studio.

SoulCycle, an indoor cycling studio popular with the fit and famous on both coasts, is opening its first Boston-area location at Chestnut Hill Square March 5, according to a press release.

The Chestnut Hill studio is over 2,900 square feet and features 55 bikes. It will also include a SOUL retail boutique, which will sell SoulCycle's original clothing collection. The studio currently has a pop up store at the mall so shoppers can see the bikes and purchase pieces from the clothing line.

Photo courtesy of Chestnut Hill Square
SoulCycle's clothing for sale at Chestnut Hill.

SoulCycle is a "high energy, results-oriented, and community based" brand. It offers "boutique cardio fitness" through its candlelit studios and riding instructors who select their own music for each ride.

"Today, around 8,000 consumers ride in SoulCycle classes every day to release stress, burn fat, tone muscle, improve aerobic endurance, and change their bodies," according to the press release. "SoulCycle combines a mental component of inspirational coaching, with great music and a full-body workout on a bike."

SoulCycle class sign ups start at noon on Mondays for the following week. You can find classes and read instructor biographies online.

Photo courtesy of SoulCycle
SoulCycle lobbies feature Polaroid photos of community members. The Chestnut Hill location will make its own Polaroid wall with photos of its riders.

This will be the 26th SoulCycle studio in the country. The first studio opened in New York City in 2006. Today, celebrities including Oprah, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and Jake Gyllenhaal can be found cycling in SoulCycle classes. Only time will tell if Tom and Gisele are next.

Maggie Quick can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @MaggieQuick.

MBTA to open rebuilt Yawkey Station in March, boosting service on Framingham-Worcester rail line

February 26, 2014 12:36 PM

Yawkey Rendering.JPG


A rendering of the soon-to-open rebuilt Yawkey Station.

The MBTA plans to open the rebuilt Yawkey commuter rail station in Boston next month, clearing the way for the transit agency to boost service across the entire Framingham-Worcester line, officials announced Wednesday.

The station is set to open and a new schedule for the commuter rail line is set be implemented on March 10, T general manager Beverly Scott announced.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience,” she said in a statement. “We’re very excited about launching this new era in the continuing process of improving the Worcester-Framingham commuter rail line.”

Completion of the $14.9-million Yawkey Station overhaul was delayed by about two months while the contractor worked to address accessibility-related issues, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

That delay forced the T to hold back on implementing increased service across the Framingham-Worcester line. The Yawkey project includes constructing a second track allowing more trains to move through.

The new schedule will bring the total number of weekday round trips on the Framingham-Worcester line to 24, up from 22 roundtrips currently. The revised schedule also allows trains to stop at more stations while making those trips.

The line only offered 10 weekday roundtrips just before the state struck a deal in 2009 to buy a 21-mile stretch of the line’s tracks for $50 million from railroad company CSX Corp.

Since then, the T has incrementally increased train trips and stops, while improving other aspects of passenger service on the line that was once among the least reliable in the agency’s commuter rail network.

The rebuilt Yawkey Station, located steps from Fenway Park, features a pair of 700-foot-long train platforms that are fully accessible to people with disabilities, four new elevators and stairs, track realignments, an open mezzanine and a new main station lobby, or head house, at Yawkey Way.

More changes to the station are planned to be made if and when the long-delayed, yet-to-break ground massive Fenway Center mixed-use development is built around the station.

Those future improvements include building new entrance shelters on Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street and extending Yawkey Way so MASCO shuttle buses, which serve the Longwood Medical Area, can pull up to the station.

When a parking garage for the Fenway Center development is built, solar panels installed atop the garage will power Yawkey Station, which will make it the first “net-zero energy” rail station in Massachusetts, officials have said.

During the recent construction project, the station remained in use. Riders would use one side of the platform while work would take place on the opposite side, officials said.

State officials held a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the project in the fall of 2010, but the actual work did not start until June 2012, about when officials had originally hoped to finish construction.

The project’s start was delayed because the state needed to wait until the track purchase deal with CSX was complete.

The project was paid for by the state, including through the use of federal stimulus funding, officials.

The developer of Fenway Center, Meredith Management Corp., has agreed to maintain the station’s entrances and elevators after the project is complete.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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Newtonville survey wants scaled back Austin Street project

February 26, 2014 12:19 PM

An overwhelming majority of village residents say they are receptive to the Austin Street lot being developed, but want the project scaled back significantly from what is being considered, according to a survey conducted by the Newtonville Area Council.

The survey of 738 residents, employees of village establishments, and commercial property owners also showed that parking is the top concern about the city’s plans to convert the public parking lot into a mixed-income housing and commercial development.

Six proposals are currently being considered, and Mayor Setti Warren is expected to choose a developer within days. The proposals include developments with 25 to 98 rental and condominium housing units in buildings that are from three to five stories high and include space for stores and restaurants at street level. The proposals also include open space for public use.

Many of the proposals are in sharp contrast to what the survey indicates residents of Newtonville want.

“I think the survey results demonstrate that most Newtonville residents favor doing a project, but the devil is in the details,” said Alderman Emily Norton, (cq) who represents Newtonville.

A petition being circulated on that has been signed by 111 people from throughout Newton, is also pushing for development of the site, but does not include the size restrictions neighbors indicated as a concern in the survey.

“We believe that adding residents, shops and public space to Newtonville’s village center will make it more vibrant, enjoyable and useful,” the petition reads.

Candace Havens, (cq) director of planning and development in the city said once a developer is picked, a long approval process with public input would allow for changes to be made in the final plans.

But it is unclear whether the neighbors’ interests in downsizing the project indicated in the survey can be synced with the city’s vision for revitalizing the village center.

The questionnaire was written by Newtonville Area Council members Tim Stone (cq) and Tom Kraus (cq) who also tabulated results of the online survey which polled village residents age 14 and older.

Three quarters of those who responded said they are receptive to development at the Austin Street lot "assuming it meets your criteria," according to the results. In addition, three quarters say they want a building of three stories or less, and 61 percent said they want 40 or fewer units of housing.

Loss of parking was cited at their top concern by nearly 70 percent, with 40 percent saying they want any development to provide at least 150 spaces, and 39 saying they want 100 or 120 spaces.

In addition to parking, residents listed additional traffic, “risk of an unattractive building, and increased population in the public schools as concerns.

Revitalizing and sprucing up Newtonville was the number one benefit of the proposed development for 65 percent of the survey respondents, followed by creating an appealing outdoor space, and new retail shops and restaurants.

In addition, the building’s design and physical appearance were ranked “very important” to 81 percent of respondents, a majority of whom agreed that the architecture should “compliment local historical buildings without necessarily replicating their style.”

Mall at Chestnut Hill looking for "Step Into Spring" vendors

February 18, 2014 11:21 AM

The following is a press release from Mall at Chestnut Hill.

Mall at Chestnut Hill is seeking interested landscape artists, horticulturists, master gardeners and floral designers to participate in the 6th Annual “Step Into Spring” Flower & Garden Show beginning Saturday, April 5—Sunday, May 11. Participants will be given a designated area in the mall to display what they offer and their talents for five weeks.

The public will have the opportunity to view displays native to New England along with some of the most rare and unusual varieties. Your business can be featured in creative ways, from logo presence, to sampling efforts, brochure distribution and much more.

“This is a wonderful partnership between many talented florists and landscapers and we look forward to working with the participants each year to showcase some of the area’s most artistic forces,” said Debora Konig, Director of Marketing for Mall at Chestnut Hill. “Each spring people come to Mall at Chestnut Hill to view the displays, participate in the special events and be inspired or simply for a reminder that spring is about to bloom!”

Interested businesses should contact Assistant Director of Marketing Ashley Wheeler at Mall at Chestnut Hill now until Monday, March 10.
Phone: (617) 933-3577

Visit and follow us on Twitter @ShopChestnut.

Newton offers counseling services in wake of suicides

February 14, 2014 03:11 PM

The following was provided by the Health & Human Services Department of the city of Newton.

In the wake of three student suicides, the City of Newton in partnership with Newton Public Schools will be offering drop-in groups/office hours. Counselors from the Riverside Trauma Center will be on hand to speak with anyone in need, and will share with students and parents strategies to cope with these recent tragedies. These drop-in groups/office hours will occur on:

  • Tuesday, February 18, 1-3 p.m., Newton South High School, College & Career Center
  • Wednesday, February 19, youth hours 3-5 p.m., adult hours 5:30-6:30 p.m., Newton City Hall, Room 209
  • Thursday, February 20th, 3- 5 p.m., Newton North High School, Room 103

Resources for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health can be found on the Newton Cares website:

Newton's L’Aroma Café & Bakery to host Etiquette Academy class

February 13, 2014 02:55 PM

L’Aroma Café & Bakery will host an eight-week youth etiquette class from The Etiquette Academy of New England starting February 24, according to a press release.

The class, "Mind Your Manners: Beyond Please and Thank You," is for children in grades 2 to 4. It will cover topics such as improving social and communication skills, projecting confidence, combating shyness, strengthening self-esteem and leadership skills, navigating friendships, resolving conflict, understanding social cues, manners, and more. The final class will take place over a four-course meal so students can demonstrate everything they learn.

“Our team is thrilled to partner with L’Aroma and join forces to influence the youth in West Newton and surrounding areas to lead by example and promote manners and respect within their community,” said Snezana Pejic, program director at the academy. “The opportunity to reach children outside of our headquarters in Brookline is very exciting, and we look forward to continuing to build partnerships throughout New England.”

The café has hosted other events in the past, including yoga classes.

"Luckily, we do have a lot more space than other cafés," L'Aroma owner Haleema Salie said. "We have a lot of events here, very different from regular cafés ... [They are] different things we do to help the community. Hopefully everybody will get something [from it]."

For more information on Mind Your Manners and to enroll, visit

Named "Best of the New 2012" by Boston Globe Magazine, The Etiquette Academy of New England is an academic institution dedicated to enhancing social skills, improving communication techniques, and developing leadership qualities necessary to succeed personally and professionally. They offer courses for youth and adults as well as partnerships for higher education institutions, corporations, private businesses, non-profit organizations, hospitality establishments, youth centers and schools.

Maggie Quick can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @MaggieQuick.

Wegmans Chestnut Hill to open in April

February 13, 2014 02:29 PM

Wegmans Chestnut Hill will hold its grand opening on Sunday, April 27, according to a press release from Wegmans Food Markets. The wine, beer, and spirits shop on the store's second floor will open almost a month earlier on Saturday, March 29.

The Chestnut Hill Square location on Route 9 is an approximately 80,000 square-foot supermarket that includes the second-level, 10,500 square-foot liquor store. This will be the second Wegmans location in Massachusetts. The company has also announced plans for a store in the Fenway.

“We’re thrilled to announce the grand opening date of our new Chestnut Hill store, one that we’ve been looking forward to for some time,” said Rich Boscia, store manager. “The Greater Boston community has already welcomed us with open arms. We can’t wait to provide our Chestnut Hill customers with the incredible customer service and the unique shopping experience that people have come to expect from Wegmans.”

The store is still accepting applications for full and part-time positions. One hundred percent of the 350 part-time positions will be hired locally. Applications can be found online at

“At Wegmans, we pride ourselves on our reputation for offering an excellent working environment for our employees, as this is the 17th year in a row we’ve appeared on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For,’” said Marybeth Stewart, Wegmans human resources manager for New England. “We’re continuing to hire for our Chestnut Hill store and hope those in the Greater Boston community looking to start their career or begin a new chapter in their career will consider Wegmans as their future employer.”

Wegmans Food Markets is an 83-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

Newton declares snow emergency for 4 p.m.

February 13, 2014 02:21 PM

A snow emergency will go into effect for the city of Newton at 4 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Newton Police Department.

The police are reminding residents to stay away from downed wires and to report them to the department by calling 617 796-2100. NSTAR customers with affected electric service should call them at 1-800-592-2000.

More information and updates on the weather can be found on the city's website at

Maggie Quick can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @MaggieQuick.

Newton parents, leaders seek answers after teen suicides

February 11, 2014 09:43 PM

NEWTON -- Parents packed the Newton South High School auditorium Tuesday night looking for answers to why three teenagers in their city have killed themselves since October, and what they heard, was that there are no answers.

What there is, however, is a city redoubling its efforts to make sure vulnerable young people get the help they need, and that every person in the community understands that services are available.

“This community has been dealt a huge blow, we all feel it in our households with our children,” Mayor Setti Warren told an overflow crowd.

“We are going to make sure we attribute the appropriate resources to deal with this,” he said. “If you, or someone you know needs to talk to someone, there is someone to call, no one is alone.”

The gathering led by Warren, School Superintendent David Fleishman and mental health professionals came just four months after another forum held in the aftermath of the suicides of Newton North senior Karen Douglas, 18, and Newton South sophomore Katie Stack, 15, who died within two weeks of each other in October.

This time it was the death of Newton South junior Roee Grutman, 17, that again brought a community together to try and make sense of the inexplicable.

“What I say, and I want to repeat, is that suicide is not contagious. It feels contagious, but it is not,” said Dr. Susan Swick, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Swick said that suicides of young people often happen in a series, but it is “not catchy, this is not the flu. One suicide doesn’t plant the idea in some other kid’s head and create a domino effect.”

But, she said, when there is sustained attention to the person who has died, it can resonate with a young person who is most vulnerable, and who has little impulse control.

“So what can we do, we can’t stop the grief, we can’t stop talking, What we can do is spend the time and energy identifying vulnerable kids,” she said.

She said there are two things everyone can do to help.

First, she said, stay connected with someone who you feel may be feeling down, or is having problems.

“That doesn’t mean hitting them with text messages 24 hours a day,” she said. “But it means you are tuned in to not only where they are, but where they’re at,” she said.

The second thing is, “never, never worry alone.”

Swick told parents to stress to their children that if they hear something from a friend that is concerning, they need to share it with an adult.

“That’s not a betrayal,” she said.

For many of the parents who attended the community forum, there was a feeling that they needed to attend and be a part of the healing process.

“It’s been such a tough year.” said Kathleen Olesky, the mother of a Newton South senior. “I don’t think anybody has the answers, but you feel like you have to be here with other people.”

Theresa St. John-Siegel and two friends expressed the same feelings, saying that while they didn’t expect to hear any real answers to why this was happening, they wanted to make sure they were covering all the bases.

Larry Berkowitz, director of Riverside Trauma Center, who has been working in the schools and with the city since last fall, said the city is doing all the right things.

Working groups have been meeting, additional counseling services have been added to the schools, and a community dialogue has begun.

He said the city’s message is sound.

“No problem is too big,” he said. “The tragedy is that they didn’t know there were ways to deal with that intense pain,” he said of the students who took their lives.

Warren said that for anyone who feels they need help, a 24-hour helpline is available through the Riverside Emergency Services at 800-529-5077.

“We heard so much about how Roee was so available to his friends in their time of need,” said Fleishman. “In Roee’s memory, and in the memory of Karen and Katie, let’s do all we can to support our young people.”

Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at

Roee Grutman's parents share memories of their son

February 11, 2014 12:08 PM


After Roee Grutman was laid to rest Monday, Galit and Mordechai Grutman released a statement about their son and the many lives he touched during his 17 years. Grutman, a junior at Newton South High School, died on Thursday.

We are Roee's parents and would like to share with you some of the things we have recently heard about Roee.

He was a wonderful friend and a supportive person. Kids used to confide in him and he always helped others. In the last few days we had about 100 kids streaming into our house with such beautiful stories about him. He helped and inspired so many lives in our community. Roee was a very smart young man and a great brother. He knew how to make people smile and cared about everyone. His love for sports and math is something we are going to follow up with and we are now working on creating annual events in his memory. He wanted to change the world, that's what he said to us recently, so we are going to do it for him with all the inspiration from him.

Every kid thought he was his best friend, because of all the love and care Roee invested in each and every one of his peers.

He was class officer and vice president for all of his years at South and math assistance.

He started the Hebrew club in his freshman year.

He was a wonderful counselor in the Israeli scouts and wanted to volunteer in other organizations as well.

He and his friend had an idea to open a math tutoring, where they would get teenagers to tutor other kids for free and use the money from that to help different people in need. We talked with Mr. Lee, His BC calculus teacher and he is going to help us do this and make it true. The first use of that money was supposed to go to buying hamburgers to homeless people around Boston, so maybe we could start with that. Roee wanted to change the world, that's what we are now going to do.

Roee was a wonderful son, great brother, kind grandson and beloved friend. We will all miss him greatly.

When we saw all the crowd today, we could not believe how many people knew him and wanted to pay their last respect to him.

There were so many people from the the community that came together today in honor of Roee. Relatives and friends, Young and old, American and Israelis, religious and non religious all sharing one common theme of how special a single individual can touch so many lives in his short seventeen years. It was heartwarming and sad at the same time.

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