Category Archives: also in issue

11.13 Accessories go big for fall

By Tine Roycroft

You haven’t completed your fall and winter fashion wardrobe until you’ve acquired the most important parts ~ the accessories. From handbags and necklaces to earrings and belts, accessories can complete an outfit and bring wardrobe pieces together for an all-around amazing look.

But even buying the right costume jewelry can prove difficult with all of today’s choices. Luckily, we have fashionista Leah Long, owner of Alexis Grace Consignment in Worcester, to help lead us in the right direction and dispel some fashion myths.

Pulse: What’s a must-have item that promises to be hot this fall and winter?

Leah Long: Scarves! There are a million different ways to tie them ~ bunch them up around your neck, keep them long and toss one side over your shoulder, loop it around your neck. A good scarf can take a black, boring outfit and add a great color pop. It creates a casual look that says “I threw this together, but it looks good.”

What about jewelry?

I’m seeing big earrings and big rings. They’re great for making fashion statements. Feather earrings were in this summer and are big still. Bangle bracelets are hot, especially mixing and matching bold colors. And pins are coming back! You used to think of pins as something you’d find in your grandmother’s jewelry box, but they’re popular again. I’m seeing a lot of examples where people are taking vintage pieces and making them modern.

What are some timeless pieces?

I think every woman should have a pair of hoop earrings; they’re always sexy and fun. You always need a longer necklace; something with a lengthy chain that has a pendant on it. And, of course, you always need a shorter necklace for a simple, elegant look.

Is it against fashion law to mix silver and gold?

No way! There’s a ton of jewelry out there that actually combines the two. And for the fall, expect to see a lot of other metals being featured in jewelry ~ copper, bronze and stainless steel, for example.

What should we look for in handbags?

A lot of people are returning to quality items ~ a simple black or brown leather purse made from good leather. People are looking for classic items that will last throughout the years and still look good. A bag that is black, tan or a deep brown will look great with just about any outfit.

According to fashion law, do shoes need to match handbags?

No. I don’t think we’re matching much of anything anymore, no matter the season!

What about mixing? Can we mix patterns?

It can be done, and it can be done amazingly, but it’s a rare skill for someone to have. Unless you’re good at it, you should avoid it. Before you go out, ask a friend if you have that skill.

Final question: Can we wear flats with a cocktail dress this winter?

No, never! Just suffer for a short time in stilettos. Kick your shoes off under the table if you need to, but suffer for fashion!


11.13 Public Works celebrates 25 years with reunion show

By Jason Savio

Plan to head to Ralph’s Rock Diner on Nov. 27 to catch Public Works. That’s right; Public Works will reunite to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Public Works was one of Worcester’s premier bands in the late ’80s and early ’90s, playing numerous shows and recording four EPs. The talents of singer/guitarist Bret Talbert, bassist Todd Kosiewski and drummer Tony Wilson helped propel the young band to quick popularity in a crowded music scene. The three were still teenagers when they performed their first official gig as Public Works at McGillicuddy’s in 1988, showcasing the band’s alternative sound.

“We saw what was going on in the scene, (and) it was mostly just hard rock,” Talbert said. “We tried to look at what was the next thing that was happening and take that to another level and blend it all together.”

Soon, the underage members of Public Works found themselves gaining notoriety and recognition, not only from the fans but from other bands, as well.

While waiting outside of Paradise Rock Club in Boston to see The Wonder Stuff, the three caught site of the group’s singer and managed to give him a copy of their EP The American Electro-Pastel Surge, which he listened to before offering Public Works the chance of a lifetime: to join The Wonder Stuff on tour across the country.

The three immediately dropped everything ~ including college, temporarily ~ to chase their dream. “We had taken on eight different crowds who had never seen us, and we won all of them,” Wilson said of the tour. “It was amazing.”

After a crusade across the states and eventual return to Worcester, Public Works was firing on all cylinders. The band eventually came full circle and performed at the Paradise, opening up for Carter USM, for whom Public Works would record a cover that was released as a B-side in the UK and reached the charts there.

The group made an effort to release its own original single on vinyl; however, unfortunate circumstances led to frustration and disappointment amongst its members and, ultimately, the dissolution of Public Works in 1994.

“It took the wind out of our sails because we didn’t have the record and now we started to fight amongst ourselves about what to do next,” Talbert explained. “But we were still friends.”

In the years following Public Works’ break-up, all three members stayed involved with music through their own individual projects, but their first love was never forgotten.

“We were feeling pretty nostalgic when we were hanging out at Ralph’s last Thanksgiving and contemplating this (reunion) and running into people that are looking at the three of us and saying ‘Hey, are you guys playing again?’” Talbert said of the genesis of the upcoming show. “The time is probably now or never. Twenty-five years is an event, and I think we owe it to ourselves and to the fans that still ask about us.”

Fans are in for a treat at Ralph’s on Nov. 27, with Public Works promising to play all the favorites from its original recordings, along with a few surprises and twists. The excitement is evident for the members of the band, too, who are looking forward to getting back together.

“Being on stage with the boys and having that feeling again,” Kosiewski said. “You know, when you get in that certain pocket or groove, it feels really good, and I miss that feeling.”

There’s no doubt that along with the excitement, there’s an amount of anxiety that comes with trying to bring songs back to life that have been silenced for years, but the members of Public Works still have the spirit and passion to give a great show.

“I think what you kind of live off is a nervous energy of the idea of ‘Can you do it again?’” said Wilson. “There’s no question we can do it.”

For more information, visit

11.13 Sticking around for Thanksgiving? Things to do

By Jennifer Russo

Perhaps Thanksgiving is not a holiday you celebrate. Maybe you can’t afford to (or don’t want to) go home to see all those relatives. Maybe the idea of eating turkey and cranberry sauce makes you gag, or perhaps you are just curious about how the Worcester area celebrates and want to check it out. Despite your reasons for sticking around for Thanksgiving, there is plenty you can do around the city this year instead of becoming the dorm hermit and playing Candy Crush all day. It all depends on what your interests are.

Do good ~ There are plenty of people who are in need of a good, hot meal this holiday and plenty of places that can use your help in providing it. Some perspective for you: 20.9 percent of the families in Worcester live below the poverty level, and 16.9 percent of households in Worcester experience food hardship. According to Project Bread, one in three children in 14 low-income neighborhoods in Worcester experience hunger or are at risk of hunger. If you are hanging around or a little sad you couldn’t make it home, helping someone else will likely make you feel a lot better. For a list of pantries and kitchens, visit You can also donate food to places like Rachel’s Table (, which provide food regularly to those in the area who need it.

Check out festivals ~ Festivals are one of the best things about the fall season. Central Massachusetts has quite a few that you may or may not know about. Closest to Worcester, Red Apple Farm in Phillipston has its 11th annual Thanksgiving Harvest Festival from Nov. 23-24, featuring live music and tons of local vendors, games, hayrides, raffles and more. Find out more at

Go turkey hunting ~ No, I do not mean literally. Wild turkeys, though plentiful and sometimes annoying, are protected. However, each year the town of Grafton hosts its Great Turkey Treasure Hunt that is hugely successful. For more information about the event and rules, call the Grafton Recreation Commission office at (508) 839-5335.

Eat some food ~ OK, so you reallllly want a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and aren’t sure where to get a meal that tastes like the home cooking you love. Look no further. The Publick House in Sturbridge (, the Wachusett Village Inn ( in Westminster and the Chocksett Inn ( in Sterling are all hosting Thanksgiving Day feasts that are sure to tempt you to loosen a button to make room for more mashed potatoes.

Have a drink ~ Fall and early winter is the best time to try hard ciders and pumpkin beer before the stouts come rolling in. My personal favorite, Southern Tier Pumking, boasts an 8.6% ABV and tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. Our own Wormtown Brewing Company has a Pumpkin Ale, too. Not a beer person? Try throwing apple schnapps, butterscotch schnapps, cinnamon schnapps and vanilla vodka in a shaker with some milk or cream for a delicious Caramel Apple Martini; don’t forget the cinnamon sugar rim.

Get moving ~ While your buddies are stuffing themselves full of apple pie, you could be burning calories and competing for a prize. Go for a walk in the crisp air and admire the foliage, or better yet … run. Slattery’s Turkey Trot in Fitchburg on Sunday, Nov. 24, is a 5-mile walk or run with a cash prize. It’s only $25 to register and all proceeds go to a scholarship fund. Register at You could also try rock climbing; though the Central Rock Gym in Worcester ( is closed on Thanksgiving Day, it is open the rest of the week!

Watch some football ~ Local high schools and colleges have some games going on; check out their schedules and cheer them on!

Learn some history ~ Alright, so maybe the last thing you want to do on school break is to learn something new, but since you live in the New England area ~ where Thanksgiving was born ~ there is the unique opportunity here to experience some of our nation’s history first hand. Old Sturbridge Village offers a chance to see what the holiday is all about every weekend in November. See re-enactments of a 19th-century shooting match and learn how Thanksgiving food was made. Get insight to dining customs back in the day and on Nov. 28, join in a traditional Thanksgiving Feast (reservations now accepted at

Go shopping ~ Some stores will open Thanksgiving night to begin their Black Friday door-busters and sales before Friday actually hits. Get an early start to get the deals. Want to preview some ads and get your holiday shopping done before the last-minute crowds? Check out

10.13 Take a haunted road trip through Eastern Mass.

By Mike Wood

You’re already familiar with your local legends, so why not venture to other parts of the state for some haunting good times? Get properly spooked in Danvers, bewitched in Salem, scared silly in Boston and face your fears head on in Fall River, where you’ll have an opportunity to stay in the same house where the infamous Miss Lizzie Borden swung that axe. Heading out on a creepy caravan across the state probably puts you well outside your comfort zone already, so we suggest you grab a few friends and firm up your backbone before you set out to seek the scary.

Site of former Danvers State Hospital, Kirkbride Drive, Danvers
When you’re ready for you hair-raising adventure, set the GPS east and plan on an hour-or-so trek some 60 miles to the first stop on your trip of terror: Danvers. You’ll start your creepy adventure at the site of the former Danvers State Hospital, keeping in mind that it was once called the State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers or, ultimately, The Danvers Lunatic Asylum. Sounds fun, right? Yeah, that’s enough to send chills up your spine ~ without even taking into account the stories about former patients still roaming the grounds as ghosts, even though the site is now an upscale apartment complex. Keep in mind that the superiorly creepy Session 9 was shot here ~ one of the scariest, gets-under-your-skin, sticks-in-your-skull, fright-fest films in recent memory.

Salem Witch Museum, Washington Square, Salem
Next, of course, spend your day in neighboring Salem, where those wicked witches were put on trial way back when (1692). There’s the mix of historical sites like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace,  as well as the House of Seven Gables ~ on which his book is based. Plus, there are the Salem Witch Museum and the Burying Point Cemetery to keep you on your toes. We suggest visiting or scare-specific sites like or to solidify your stay and plans in town.

Omni Parker House, 60 School St., Boston
After you’ve had your fill of the witches, head into our state capital, where it’s rumored that thousands of bodies are buried under the Boston Common and along (and perhaps under) Boylston Street. And guess what? Yup, their ghosts supposedly roam the grassy expanse of land smack-dab in the center of the city. What’s known as the Central Burying Ground has an especially rich history of apparitions, and it’s located at the southern portion of the Common (at Tremont and Boylston). Ready to turn in for the night? Why not try the Omni Parker House, which is just steps from Boston Common? It is one of Boston’s oldest hotels and is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of its original owner, Harvey Parker. 

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum, 92 Second St., Fall River
Last, but definitely not least, you’ll want to drive south through the Bridgewater triangle (a roughly 200 mile area purportedly rich with paranormal activity) until you hit Fall River, where you’re going to want to spend a night at Lizzie Borden’s House. Now, it’s cozily called Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum, and it’s the actual house where Lizzie was accused of murdering her family. You know the lore and the rhyme, right?

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks,
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Well, as is the case with lore and legend, sometimes things are exaggerated. The autopsies reveal the hatchet “whacks” were more like 20 blows for her stepmom and closer to 10 blows for her father. And although Lizzie was acquitted of the murders, the place remains a hotbed of debate about all things ghostly because of the home’s recurring bumps in the night. So spend the night … if you dare.

10.13 Canalloween ~ The third annual nightmare on Water Street

By Kimberly Dunbar

If you have a wicked case of samhainophobia (you know, the fear of Halloween), then this article is not for you. But if you’re one of the 170 million Americans who celebrate with spirit, keep reading, because you aren’t going to want to miss Canalloween 2013!

Worcester’s biggest Halloween party is back for its third year and better than ever. On Oct. 26, zombies will flood the streets of the Canal District when Canalloween kicks off in the early afternoon and continues throughout the night.

“Halloween is fun,” said Paul Giorgio, publisher of Pagio, Inc., one of the sponsors of Canalloween. “It is non-denominational, national and a great fall event.”

The fun starts with a Scary Monster Dash 5K at 3 p.m. (a youth 1K race begins at 2:30 p.m.), followed by a Zombie Walk for those who’d rather take it easy. Of course, all participants are encouraged to dress in costume for the occasion. At 4 p.m., runner or not, head on down to watch a parade that will include zombies, marching bands and more make its way down Water Street.

Canalloween is the brainchild of Giorgio and others who were looking to give Worcester a signature event that could bring people together annually. Capitalizing on the exponential growth and popularity of the Halloween holiday, Canalloween was born.

“Halloween is the fastest-growing segment of the holiday market,” said Giorgio. “After Christmas, more money is spent on Halloween than anything else.” According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012, seven in every 10 Americans celebrated the October tradition. That’s 71.5 percent of the population, up from 68 percent the previous year.

However, the inaugural celebration in October 2011 didn’t go as planned. “The first year, we had a freak blizzard where the city closed down,” Giorgio said. “Last year was the first good year.”

And it didn’t disappoint. Canalloween 2012 saw the addition of the 5K run, Zombie Walk and the Water Street parade to the agenda. “We had a road race with 700 runners in costume, a small parade and parties at about 15 clubs,” he said.

This year, Giorgio expects to have 1,200 runners and walkers for the road race ~ which starts and finishes on Temple Street ~ as well as a bigger parade. While the full list of parade participants wasn’t available at press time, Giorgio said five marching bands were already signed up and a variety of local groups is expected to participate. “Anyone is welcome to march,” he said. However, all children must be accompanied by an adult.

As with any event, location is key, and the Canal District is perfect for a Halloween festival. In addition to the high concentration of clubs and bars in the neighborhood, the historic brick buildings and narrow streets make for a spooky setting.

“The Canal District streetscape and layout, with its old buildings, lends itself well [to an event like this],” Giorgio said.

Although Halloween is synonymous with trick-or-treating for children, the holiday is becoming more adult-centric; Canalloween sets the stage for adults to do their own trick-or-treating by party hopping at more than a dozen local watering holes as soon as the sun sets.

“Adults can act like kids,” said Giorgio of the event. It might just be enough to cure someone of their samhainophobia.

For a complete listing of activities, parade participants and a link to the Scary Monster Dash and Zombie Walk, visit