I have a couple words....

stop being gloomy and start being happy, doc.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

You may have noticed...absolutely nothing

Two...no, three months ago now I had a pivotal conversation with a private citizen about this blog. Then I went to Europe for two weeks. After that, realizing that a linear sense of narrative is important to telling a story on a blog, I went to my local Onondaga County library and checked out "Blogging For Dummies" (no joke). But you know what Autumn in Syracuse is like by now right? There have been myriad art openings, live music jams, Broadways musicals to attend, seasonal foods to enjoy, the regional market to haunt, bulb planting and gardening MUST HAPPEN NOW, Syracuse Crunch hockey games to drink at (at their rain water/green infrastructure ice rink), Syracuse Silver Knights indoor soccer team members to drool over, Harry Potter #7B to watch at the IMAX, and the millions of house-y things to winterize before the flurries start to fly.

To add to the insanity, this has been a perfect Autumn. Which never ever happens. Syracusans talk about the weather incessantly but in the last week it has hit a high of 71F and it has also snowed. So at least when we talk weather, we're interesting. This perfection has moved the priority scale from reading about better blogging to just getting and staying outside.

Back to this conversation though- here's how it went down. We were talking about local online resources for living here in Upstate NY. I said, "well, I have this blog...it's not super great but..." and he said, "But you're going to share it anyway." This was not in an "but you're going to share it anyway (and I'm so excited)!" way but in an "oh you're still going to waste my time" kinda way. Which, to be fair, I then proceeded to do.

This conversation inspire me to think that I have some homework and some more effort to put into this little hobby. Confession time: Syracusa has no idea how to blog. No, really, none whatsoever. I'm neither a writer, nor a social critic, and despite rumors to the contrary, I'm not a mover/shaker around here. I'm not addicted to any one thing (except perhaps food) and therefore not compelled to talk about it to everyone. And I have absolutely no interest in letting perfect strangers into the inner workings of my every move/thought/feeling as I live my life. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Most blogs I read are written by people who fall into one of those categories. Experts. Aficionados. Writers. Live/ers. And it occurs to me that you all do not just want to read random updates on THINGS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. This blog could be more. Should be more. And it will be more.

Just gimme a little more time on my hiatus. I need to renew that library book.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Westcott Nation

20th Annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair
Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Westcott Street Cultural Fair is an annual, one-day celebration of the diversity and uniqueness of the Westcott neighborhood through its culture, visual and performing arts, food, service organizations, and activities geared to families and university students returning to the neighborhood. The fair attracts more than 8,000 people annually to the Westcott Business District in mid-September for a day filled with great sounds, sights, tastes and more.

The fair takes place on Westcott street, in between Concord Street and Dell Street, as well as some of the side streets off Westcott.

Click here to sign up to volunteer anytime between 8am-8pm.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It was a Dark & Stormy Pirate Party

Aye, I was invited to a Pirate BBQ last weekend. Upon arrival, I was introduced to a Ginger Beer taste-test competition, with the winner destined to become an intrinsic part of a tall Dark & Stormy cocktail, which in turn became a key part of the Bocce ball game out on the lawn. The group favorite was Gosling Ginger Beer, triumphing over Saranac Ginger Beer, but not over my remembered taste of Ithaca Brewing Co's Ginger Beer. Truthfully, though, none of the three are truly ginger-y enough for this hot weather. And then I stumbled upon this recipe in an email from the amazing Journeyman Restaurant in Somerville, MA.

Heat Wave Recipe: Ginger Beer Syrup, re-posted in it's entirety

When the weather gets as hot as it has been lately, there's only one thing Meg, our manager, wants to drink: ginger beer, with or without the rum to make a Dark + Stormy. Meg likes her ginger beer to be not-too-sweet and very spicy, meaning she rarely likes commercial ginger beers. She's made her own ginger beer syrup at the restaurant that balances a bit of vinegar with brown sugar to keep it on the savory side, and that barely cooks the ginger, imparting its spiciest and brightest flavor to the syrup.

Ginger Beer Syrup

6 oz fresh ginger, skin on
zest and juice of 2 oranges (or substitute limes)
2 cups of light brown sugar (increase by 1-2 cups if you like your ginger beer sweet)
3 cloves
5 tellicherry black peppercorns
(½ tsp chipotle powder or 2 crushed cardamom pods, optional)
4 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar

Combine the ginger, zest, juice, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients are well-combined. Remove the ginger-sugar mixture to a large heatproof bowl or pitcher.

In a pot, heat the water with the spices and vinegar to a full rolling boil, and pour over the ginger-sugar mixture. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and when the mixture is completely cooled, it can be strained (if you like, otherwise, keep the spices in a sachet and just pull them out).

Fill glasses 1/3 with the ginger beer extract and top with soda water for a ginger beer, or come in to Journeyman when we reopen for Meg's take on the Dark + Stormy that combines this Ginger Beer Extract with Berkshire Distillery’s Ragged Mountain Rum, Amaro, and lime.

Ahoy, matey! Next time I join a bocce ball game in Strathmore, I will be prepared. Stay cool out there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Funky Flea Market, take 2!

The brave folk at the Public Arts Task Force have pulled up their hip knee socks and partnered with the Northside Urban Partnership (Northside UP) to organize another Funky Flea Market! The 2nd FUNKY FLEA in 2011 will happen Saturday, August 27 on a lot on Prospect Ave, off of N. Salina and Butternut Streets- on the Northside of Syracuse this time. International food from the cultural mixing bowl of the Northside will tantalize and I hear they'll be music to jam to ALL DAY.

They're looking for vendor submissions by August 5th, so break out the vintage and chic and get ready to sell, sell, sell. Funky Flea has this instruction for vendor-wannabes:
"If you were a vendor at our first Flea, you can email us to apply-be sure to use "return vendor" in the subject line. If your a new vendor, just fill out our simple application and you will hear from us shortly! C'mon, be a part of the flea!"
funkyfleasyracuse.blogspot.com for more info (click on the link in the title of this post).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Political (He)Art

This Saturday- July 16, 2011
7:00 pm to11:00 pm

What’s more fun than a Royal Wedding?”
“The Artrageous Extravaganza! Don’t miss it!”

Music outside under a tent. Food, Drink and a Silent Auction inside the gallery. Eat, drink and bid on great Silent Auction items all night (bidding ends at 10:30pm)
All to benefit ArtRage, Syracuse's singular Political Art Gallery.

Line Up:
Guest Emcee, Common Threads Host, Larry Hoyt
7-8:30pm Back by popular demand – Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble
8:30-9pm Acoustic Guitar (inside the gallery) with Anthony Bakowski
9-10:30pm Big Beat / Crunk / Folk Band Utility Life

We have over 100 Silent Auction items to bid on including Gift Certificates to:
Assault City Roller Derby, Sparky Town, Riley’s, Pastabilities, Funk ‘n’ Waffles, The Mission, Roji Tea Lounge, Ophelia’s Place, Delphi Healing Arts, Spa Zend, Heitzman Chiropractic, Terra Organic Spa, Dynamic Fitness for Women, The Blue Tusk, Wise Guys Comedy Club, Scarab Body Arts, Manlius Art Cinema, Dart Computer Solutions, Eureka Crafts, Bersani Gallery, Syracuse Cultural Workers, Eco Chic, The Gift Box, Schenfeld Studios, Mallard Tabbaconist, Organically Hip, The Kind Coffee Company, CNY Yoga Center, Seven Rays Bookstore, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse Opera, LeMoyne College Theater & The Everson Museum. Crafts from local artisans like Steve Linkinhoker, Sharon Bottle-Souva, Kathy Barry, Lauren Ritchie, Fumiyo Hirano, Deborah Sorrentino, a “Growler/Beer for A Year” from Empire Brewing Company…and much more!

Suggested donation: $12 each or 2/$20
Tickets available online or at ArtRage (505 Hawley Ave, @ N. Crouse) during gallery HOURS: W, Th, F 2-7pm & Sat. 12-4pm

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh! Oh! Fooooood

If you've never heard of Slow Food, you're missing out. It's only the coolest group of locavore foodies in the land. Oh, and the logo "growing our food economy, one salt potato at a time"...bet'ur@$$, I helped coin that.

Slow Food CNY Food and Beer Pairing

Empire Brewing Company’s local farmers and food producing partners paired with a unique collection of Empire and Middle Ages ales & lagers. 100% of the proceeds will go to Slow Food CNY.

Empire Brewing Company
July 13th, 2011
6pm to 9pm

$45 for current Slow Food CNY Members and $50 for non-members

Limited number of tickets available in advance at Empire Brewing Company and Middle Ages Brewing Company.

View the menu online at empirebrew.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trashing this town

I don't stand Syrabuse. And I'm a big fan of the 3R's. Put them together and what do you get, bibbity, bobbity...RECYCLING!

Flash back to the Magic Schoolbus, boys n gals. Where does it all go? The food down the garbage disposal? All the tvs and dressers put out to the curb at the end of the semester? The pile of cardboard boxes (preferably flattened and tied with cotton twine)? Batteries? Those plastic water bottles and soda cans*? www.ocrra.org is the best resource for how to dispose of it and where. Got questions? This excellent site has all your answers.

Here are the Onondaga County Basics About Garbage.

First, if you live in Syracuse, you're in Onondaga County.

Second, everything you flush or put down a street grate ends up at our state of the art Metro Waste Water Treatment Plant. Or at least, it should. We have a little infrastructure issue with Combined Sewer Overflows that allow storm water to flood our system and dump untreated waste water directly into Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake. Bad news bears. That's why we have Save the Rain and a government priority on green infrastructure.

Third, everything you throw in your trash can ends up in our Waste-to-Energy Facility incinerator plant on Rock Cut Road in Jamesville (you pass it near the intersection of Rts 81/481 near Brighton Road). The electricity generated from this plant powers 30,000 homes.

Fourth, everything you put in your Blue Bins to recycle contributes to the 65% recycling participation rate we have in our county. This makes us one of the best recyclers in the nation, and Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA)- the fine folks who provide those free Blue Bins- a national leader in solid waste management. So Go Green! Be a good neighbor, and fill those Blue Bins with the Recyclables glass, aluminum, paper/cardboard, and plastics #1,2,5. OCRRA hands out mad cool magnets and printable charts to help you remember all that.

We've got some private industry folk who help out too. Here's a relevant heads'up.
Cxtec’s Lifecyclexpress will be hosting the first of many Community Wide Collection events at its Recycling Center next Saturday June 25th from 8am-Noon.

A list of items you can bring include: Cabling, Calculators, Cameras, , Computer Monitors (CRT), DVD & VHS Players, Flat Screens, Fax Machines, Hubs, Keyboards, Laptops, MP3 Players, Modems, Mouse Devices, Personal Computers (PC’s), Phones (Corded & Wireless), Printers, Routers, Servers, Stereos, Speakers, Switches, TVs, and Video Cameras. Feel free to share the information!

Directions :
From the South
Take Interstate 81 North and take Exit 16A (I-481 North) to Exit 1 (Rock Cut Rd). Take a right and travel a short distance to the light and turn Right onto Brighton Ave. Go to the next light and turn Right onto Ainsley Drive, we're on the Right.

From the North:
Take Interstate 81 South and take Exit 17 (Brighton Ave). Stay in the far left lane and at the light turn Left onto State St. Stay in the far left lane and at the next light turn Left onto Brighton Ave. At the second light turn Left on Ainsley Dr. The CXtec TCDC is on the Right.

From the East:
Take NYS Thruway West to Interstate 481 South and take Exit 1 (Brighton Avenue). Turn Right and travel a short distance to the light and turn Right onto Ainsley Drive, we're on the Right.

From the West:
Take NYS Thruway East to Interstate 81 South. Follow directions from the NORTH.

*sure, you can recycle all those bottles and cans (clap your hands!)...or you can return them to any area supermarket for a five cents a pop. That's all thanks to the anti-littering legislation known as the NYS "Better Bottle Bill". Sounds sexy, right? All I know is it sure adds up fast.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We're full of hot air...balloons...this weekend

This is one of those mad weekends. You'll start to notice women in traditional Greek garb wandering to and from St. Sophia's Greek Festival (icon demonstration and gyro anyone?) at the corner of Waring Road and Tecumseh.

Colorful hot air balloons of every hue will decorate the horizon line out towards Jamesville for the Balloon Festival. There are actually people who follow the balloons in their cars, waiting for them to land in some poor schmoe's backyard. These watchers pick their moment, and when the balloon is down...they rush out of the car and across the field or patio to...help the travelers carefully deflate and fold away the balloon, and are then treated to champagne. An elegant custom dating back to the origination of hot air balloon flight among the French.

Not to be confused with the Inner Harbor on your way to Carousel Mall (Solar Street, off N. Franklin Street) where some hot local bands are putting on a free concert organized to oppose hydrofracking in New York State.

And if you're looking to get your community service in for the weekend, I've got a Saturday option for you- a Citywide meeting with both Mayor Miner and County Executive Mahoney. 10am – 12pm at City Hall Commons, 201 E Washington St., Syracuse, NY (warning to the uninitiated, City Hall Commons is a different place than City Hall. Check the address!)
on Sunday, June 12th - 12pn- 4 p.m. A partnership between Home HeadQuarters, NEHDA, Northside TNT and the Social Action Committee from Temple Adath, Temple Concord, and Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will tackle a small Butternut Street neighborhood clean up. Volunteers as well as donations are needed. Like planting trees and tracking down litter? WE NEED YOU!

You've got your itinerary. Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer time and the livin's easy

Climatically speaking, this post is ear-l-y. The daffodils and tulips are currently blooming (at the same time), the forsythia is just popping out it's yellow, and we've had at smattering of barely 70F degree days. Nonetheless, it's time to start visualizing hot, sunny days filled with berry-picking, knights on horseback, wineries in full swing, mountain hikes, drama, and sport.

If you've been to the visitsyracuse.org website and seen the calendar, you will begin to understand the depth and breadth of our festival season which occupies almost every weekend from May to October in downtown Syracuse.

You also happen to be fortunately located a mere 2-6 hours away (depending on where you're going) from the ancient, mountainous Adirondack National Park. Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and pine scented crafts could be yours for the asking. Just pull up a lake or stream, pitch a tent, and leave nothing but footprints. In particular, the Adirondack Museum and Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts store in Blue Mountain Lake are not to be missed. We have some of the best outdoor rock-climbing cliffs in the northeast up near Plattsburgh (according to rumor). And if you've never gone white water rafting on the Black River and Moose River, well...it's the best kind of fun one can have in a wet suit with six other people.

As for the towns, the views from Lake Placid are stunning. Old Forge boasts a cute main street, a Water Safari amusement park, mini-golf (duh), and a freakin' huge old-style independent hardware/variety store that I happily lose myself in for hours. Oil lamps and copper baking molds, huzzah! Lake George shouldn't be discounted either with its mix of urban chic and timeless lakefront charm.

For closer to home attractions...or if you're hungry...head over to the Finger Lakes for a taste of the good life. Deep, cool lakes. Beautiful vineyards. Fresh, delicious food prepared by talented chefs. And ice cream, oh the ice cream. There are hundreds of ways to tour this delightful region. I recommend stocking up on a Finger Lakes tour book, a wine tour pamphlet, and a couple editions of Edible Finger Lakes. Then all you need is a DD or a bio-diesel limousine.

In the mood for a more ancient form of entertainment? The Sterling Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 35th year of good old fashioned fun. July 9-August 21st, every Saturday and Sunday, dress to impress in your leathers, grab your fair maiden, and beware the pillories (and the saucy laundry wenches). Seriously good fun, good food, great musicians, and talented crafters and entertainers. Yes, this is the knight life, baby.

Summer is also berry-picking season. Click on the title of this post for a syracuse.com article from 2010 about u-pick strawberry locations. Or find a farmer at the Regional Market who will walk a bushel out to your car for ya.

The pool. Swimming, swimming...Syracusans love to swim. Pools open just after Memorial Day. Check out the City Dept. of Parks & Rec website for more info. You may need a little cash on you for both the pool and the beach!

And the beach. What summer would be complete without a trip to one of the area beaches? Green Lakes, Jamesville Reservoir, Pratt's Falls to see the waterfalls, or Oneida Shores. Here for more beach info.

Then there is Sylvan Beach Amusement Park and the Great New York State Fair. Sylvan Beach sits on the shore of Oneida Lake. It's a kitch, old fashioned carnival with seriously good fried dough, a small yet feisty wooden roller coaster, and every ride on the Midway you've wanted to go on since you were a foot under the height limit. And skee ball. Oh yeah.

The Great New York State Fair is a show and no mistake. Two words: wine slushies. Top 10 musical acts, a Midway, livestock, and a Weaving demonstration, and glad-handing with every politician statewide worth their salt outside the Dinosaur BBQ tent. There are prize competitions for everything from pies to table settings. I actually know a NYS Fair blue-ribbon challah bread baker. You also must not miss the Dairy shed...and the butter sculpture which will be the talk of the town for many weeks come August. It gets converted to biodiesel at the end of its sculpture lifespan. Whoot.

Hope this helps. Post below if you have more suggestions for summer fun.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Got a Phat Ride?

Did I just date myself with that title? Car politics talk like this all the time: if you've got a car in da Cuse, you can get out to the fly Wegman's in DeWitt like butta'. But if you ain't, you a scrub. Then you got the infamous example of Margaret Thatcher denouncing men over 30 who took the bus. She obviously knew no hipsters. Happily, over the past two years new options have opened in Syracuse. A third-way between owning your own and sharing with your mom. Or taking the bus. Or biking. Or walking. To the point- we have car share companies.

Zipcar, well established as a car share company in large-scale metropolitan areas, has two Prius cars for rent to members and SU students on campus (parked in the paved zone between the gym and the quad). They're awkward to find but once you have, easy to use. http://www.zipcar.com/su/

CuseCar is a local start-up car share company. CuseCar now has Prius cars to rent to members downtown, in Hawley-Green, and at the Westcott Community Center on the East side (see below).For more information about CuseCar, please visit us at www.cusecar.org or call CUSECAR (287-3227)

CuseCar Makes a Home at the Westcott Community Center and Opens up Membership in the Westcott Neighborhood. A CuseCar can now be found parked at the Westcott Community Center, on the corner of Euclid & Westcott Streets.

Are you in need of a ride? Tired of lugging groceries on the bus? Spouse has the car and you want to take the kids for a ride? GRAB a CuseCar, membership is only a key stroke a way. You can join CuseCar online choosing from a number of different membership plans; including the Out and About Plan, Student Plan, or Commuter Plan. Usage rates as low as $5.95 an hour, when using a CuseCar there is no additional charge for insurance or gas, it’s all included in the membership.

The Westcott Community Center is thrilled to be providing a CuseCar to the neighborhood. We are committed to improving the environment we live in and the CuseCar will be a step in this direction. It helps bring our mission alive-- Building Community One Brick [or car] at a Time.

CuseCar is a not-for-profit community car sharing organization, with the mission to provide a sustainable transportation program in Onondaga County that will reduce vehicle miles traveled, lower the carbon footprint, improve air quality, and assist in developing the new green energy fuel distribution in the community.

CuseCar is offered to drivers 18 and up, who qualify for membership. CuseCar has designated convenient parking throughout the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Models and booze; Drinking and Drawing

You know how I said we Syracusans don't *just* drink? I kinda lied. Here I go, posting about yet another alcohol related event...but it's *just* so cool!

Drink and Draw! Syracuse

Drink 'n Draw is a social event for artists (professionals and amateurs alike) to relax, have a drink, sketch, chat and otherwise enjoy the company of fellow creative minds.

Neither drinking nor drawing is required, but both can be pretty fun!

There will be a live clothed model for those who wish to draw from life, and tables to sit and sketch whatever else you feel like drawing.

BYOP (Bring your own pencil) but there will be drawing materials and paper donated by The Art Store for those who forget. Feel free to draw in the communal sketchbooks. Optional $1 raffle ticket enters you to win a $25 gift certificate to The Art Store! (proceeds to offset the cost of the model)

Saturday April 30, 2011*
Holmes (Formerly Half Penny Pub)
321 W. Fayette Street Syracuse, NY 13202

21 and up only.

See their Facebook page for the next one.

*I know, bad monkey. I'm a day late posting.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Awesome Time...Syracuse Rap

Syracuse Rap....awesome or embarrassing?

Who's got more artists to put up here? Post some links for me in the comments, please!

Friday, April 8, 2011

You make me laugh

Or you would if you were going to some kinda wonderful Improv Festival tonight or tomorrow night at the St. Clare Theater (1119 N. Townsend St.) around the corner from the Church of the Assumption on N. Salina Street.

The Thumbs UPstate Improv festival runs from 5:30 p.m. Friday April 8 to midnight Saturday April 9 at the St. Clare Theater in Syracuse. Doors open to the public for shows at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The idea for this festival came out of the Salt City DISHES event where innovative projects from the under 40 set were presented and voted on at a community dinner, and the winner received a $1,000 prize to implement their idea. The winner will present on their project's progress at the next Salt City DISHES event on May 1. Tickets on sale soon at Craft Chemistry on N. Salina Street.

Read more: http://www.eaglenewsonline.com/Articles-c-2011-04-06-103113.114134-sub-Side-Dishes-Projects-that-didnt-win-Salt-City-DISHES-funding-are-still-being-realized-in-Syracuse-with-two-launching-this-weekend.html#ixzz1IxEQvttJ

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Social Hour

We don't all drink you know, some of us just socialize. In the spirit of full disclosure...some of us do both. I've posted about Green Drinks Syracuse and some of the other regular events around town. Here are the new faces at the roadhouse.

Drinking Liberally just started up in Syracuse. For those of you from other parts of the States, Drinking Liberally is an informal, inclusive, progressive social group where you can raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics.
When: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month starting at 5:30pm until...whenever.
Where: J Ryan's Pub 253 E Water St Syracuse, NY 13202
More Info: check out the facebook group or email: syracuse@drinkingliberally.org

Keep an eye out for Syracuse Thirst, a variable time schedule event that happens around Syracuse at Syracuse First businesses. Generally, there is good food and good people to meet and mingle with. http://www.syracusefirst.org

CNY Food Revolution Networking Event
Hosted by Slow Food CNY, Monday March 28th from 5-7pm
Location: Eve Galleria, 6456 Collamer Road, East Syracuse
Rumor is there will be more food revolution-themed social hours coming soon. Keep on checking Slow Food CNY for details.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When you march to the beat of your own drum

sometimes you end up walking kinda funny. But who's watching?

what have you held on to?
A mysterious artist in Syracuse is looking for "submissions for a community exhibit displaying artifacts from past relationships and love affairs, objects/letters/photos/etc. that have a place in your personal history. we hope to assemble what will be an in teresting peek into human nature, break-ups and romance.
items will not be tampered with or damaged. all items will be returned. we will not accept anything hateful, retaliatory, or pornographic."
The deadline for submitting is March 31st. For more info or to submit things, email: paperdollaac@gmail.com

And in the face of the coming age of food scarcity, there is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair at Erwin United Methodist Church (900 Euclid Ave)this Saturday, March 19th from 1:00pm-4:00pm. The way this works is you buy a share of the harvest and then every week for the entire season, you get a box of fresh produce delivered to a convenient location near you. You can also get egg shares and flower shares...and meed the farmers who grow it all.
Check out the link: http://slowfoodcny.org/

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


flash. bang. wow. That's just the way it is. Things will never be the same. You live here, start going out every weekday, every weekend...catch as much of the magic as you can, but still it's gonna happen.

Recap on February; some very cool things went down. The Syracuse Opera had an opera karaoke night at Opus Restaurant in Armory. They brought the pianist and the public brought Attitude with a high A. The Syracuse Crunch Hockey team was doing their thing on ice with a game nearly every day. I watched a near-win by the Crunch vs. the Binghamton Senators. Our boys were up, and then they were down. It was a rough game, made a little rougher by my startled realization that I'm scared to death of "Al" the snow gorilla mascot. Snow gorilla, my tush. He's a yeti. And he has orange eyes. Creepy...I haven't felt this kind of fear since watching Arachnophobia at far too impressionable an age.

Syracuse's Drama Department performed a short run of a highly erotic play based on Lysistrata with as much subtlety to the theme of sexual warfare as only the under 22-year-old set can muster. Considering the cast size, I estimate I paid $1.25 per actor to see two hours of mostly-nude 18 year-old's masturbate on stage. Perhaps that shouldn't go in the 'very cool' category.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld spoke at Hendricks Chapel and Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The title of his discussion was, “How Big Is Your God? Religious Pluralism in an Age of Increasing Extremism”. He's a BFD, folks. President of Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, which is a think tank and resource center committed to religious pluralism. Newsweek magazine lists him as one of America’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis” and Beliefnet.com has him on the shortlist of the nation’s leading “Preachers and Teachers”. Not that I trust those online crazies, but still, he's something.

Major things not to miss in March, in date order:
0) Women Rockin' the World Benefit Concert, March 12, 2011 7-10:00 pm
FEATURING: emma’s revolution & Colleen Kattau, at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society (3800 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse). ArtRage is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day & our exhibition of women’s art with this ROCKIN’ CONCERT to benefit the gallery. Tix $15.
1) Permeable Pavement in Cold Climates, with expert presentations on green infrastructure, green jobs, and green funding in Onondaga County. This day-long event will not keep you from your St. Patty's Day drinks and is being held at our sustainably-minded zoo (mere steps away from Tipperary Hill and Armory Square for post-green green drinking)
2) The Regional Chamber Business Show on March 24th, at the Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY. This promises to be the most interactive event yet to feature businesses from across Central Upstate NY. And Dinosaur BBQ will be there!
3) The We Live NY Summit March 25th in Ithaca, NY. If you do nothing else this year (and you're under 40) git yourself to Ithaca for this one day.
4) Career Connections at Carousel Mall's Sky Deck on March 30th. For the unemployed or underemployed, this free full day of resume workshops, panels, speakers, and employers can provide a world of information toward effective job searching. Help yourself.

Oh, and the "Ah-hah! So that's what they're up to" moment for those of you wondering what was happening on the E. Genesee Street portion of the Connective Corridor near Phoebe's and Syracuse Stage: here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Even Odds

You may have noticed that no one in this city can drive. I say that with equal parts understanding and burning rage. Its really not all our fault. We don't drive on the right side because a) there are very few streets that actually have a line down the center (so how can you tell if you're not on the right side?), b) there are parked cars on the right side and the left side of the street (which is really just the right side for someone else) so you bob and weave around them, and c) snow banks, snow banks everywhere... sometimes parked cars in disguise and sometimes they're actually moving cars driven by very lazy, dumb people who didn't brush off their cars or turn on their lights.

Turn on your lights.

Now a) is generally a budget thing out of our control but b) and c) are linked, rational phenomena. Let me tell you about a little thing we like to call odd-even parking. This is a scientific method by which one parks one's car on the odd numbered side of the street from 6pm on odd numbered days, and switches one's car to the even side of the street after 6pm on even numbered days.

Why all the hustle and bustle? 4 little letters: snow. In order to ensure that all our streets are thoroughly plowed post-snowfall, our snowfighters in the City Department of Public Works run the plows down one side of the street one day and the other side the next day. So when you don't follow odd-even parking and your cars aren't all parked on the same side of the street :ahem, students: then the street can't be cleared. And they ticket you. If you're ever woken from a sound sleep to a really loud continuous horn outside, that's your friendly neighborhood plow asking you to get outside and move yo' damn car. The plow is stuck and can't get down the street b/c the cars parked on both sides are blocking the way.

Let's also take a minute and consider- if the streets aren't plowed, I can't get out and get ice cream, I get grumpy, I shovel out the car, the sidewalk, and start on the driveway, I get bored, I mambo around the house, I clean everything in sight, I make a stew, I check my email obsessively, I get cabin fever, life becomes dangerous, and the ambulance can't get down your street to save you. So please, check the signs and park accordingly. Let's all enjoy the snow safely.

One last quaint detail: beware Fools Night. That's what the locals call it when Jan 31st turns into Feb 1st or an odd numbered month ends and a new month begins. Notice something? Oh yeah, two odd numbered days in a row! What is one to do? Follow the odd-even parking rules and don't move your car. In the immortal words of Jay & Silent Bob...:snoochyboochies:

Monday, January 31, 2011

:insert sad violin music here:

40 Below's "It's All Here" committee is hosting a happy hour to benefit the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. It will take place Thursday, February 3 at 5:30. The happy hour will take place at Al's Wine and Whiskey Lounge in Armory Square (321 S Clinton St). A portion of the bar will be donated to the SSO. If you are unable to attend, you can still visit www.syracusesymphony.org to donate or call 315-424-8222 ext. 243. Syracuse prides itself on its fine music offerings. Culture, drama, foreign films...it's all here. The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra is a cornerstone of that cultural tradition. Right now it's a shaky foundation. In order to save the symphony, new blood must step up and put their money where their piano-tapping, cello-lovin', woodwind-playin' hearts lead them. To the best liquor-servin' spot in the 'Cuse this Thursday night.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sound of Music, the

Ah, that used to be my favorite movie. My grandmother earned sainthood watching it with me what must have been hundreds of times. I've never been to Austria, but I live in a pretty hilly place and we've got lots o' music.

I don't care how tone def you are, you'll find your way down to The Sound Garden (310 W Jefferson St next to the MOST in Armory Square). Old style record shop with thousands of new and used cds/dvds, bobble head dolls, hipster caps, and some snacks for those who wander in with the (inevitable) munchies. Check out the "local" section. When it's stocked, you're looking for Sophistafunk, Joe Driscoll, Larry Hoyt, Mandate of Heaven...gosh golly, the list goes on. Go on and experiment. Don't pay any attention to this poor slob.

Where else for tunes? If you're into political rock/folk check out Syracuse Cultural Workers (400 Lodi St, look for the renewable energy murals). They've got a smashing selection of local artists like Colleen Katau, Jolie Rickman, and emma's revolution.

Books & Memories LLC ( 2600 James Street, Syracuse) has vinyl, cds, and tapes. They're open 7 days a week and I'm not allowed to go with you. I have some self-control problems around great used book stores that sell excellently roasted local coffee. :shrugs: The first step is admitting the problem.

We've also got some recording labels in town and some live music venues that make My heart want to beat/Like the wings of the birds/That rise from the lake to the trees. I'm just going to run down some names and you can investigate at your leisure:
The Folkus Project: Folk and Acoustic Music in Syracuse and Central NY; Westcott Community Center (I hear they do a lot of Punk shows); Westcott Theater & Performing Arts Center; Empire Brewing Company; Dinosaur BBQ; Society for New Music; Funk & Waffles (great open mic nights); Al's Wine & Whiskey Bar; Bull & Bear Pub...and the list goes on. As Julie Andrews taught us, sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone, expand your horizons, meet a hunky captain and make clothes out of curtains.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sunday Dinner in the Salt City....:drum rollllll:

I found something fab-u-lous....This Sunday, Salt City DISHES be there or be square.

And I quote:
"Once a season, we get together on the Northside to share a delicious meal, listen to one another's suggestions for a community-based arts project, and vote on the project that has the most potential. The winner takes home a grant to realize their project - and returns to the following DISHES dinner to tell us about how it went. 100% of the donation goes to support the public art project."

Salt City DISHES debut: January 23, 5:30-8 pm, St. Clare Theater (840 N. Salina Street).
$10-15 sliding scale.
Craft Chemistry (N. Salina Street next to Biscotti's. Handcrafts galore.)
2nd Story Cafe & Bookstore (Westcott Street, look up! next to Las Delicias Dominican restaurant)
and Sound Garden (just the best lil' record/dvd store ever in Armory Square)
Contact: saltcitydishes@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Sweet Life of the Middle Ages

Sometimes, it seems like I'm always talking about drinking. Perceptions vs. Reality, folks. Two very different things. And yet, here we go again as one of the yummiest looking, meat filled 5-course menus popped across my inbox.

Dolce Vita & Middle Ages Brewery Got it Goin' On...

On Monday January 17, 2011 at 6:00pm, Dolce Vita has created a 5 course dinner paired with some of Middle Ages Brewery's finest beers. Middle Ages is one of our fine local microbreweries and this should be a scrumptious event.
Reservations are being taken and the cost per person is $60 including tax and gratuity and they've only got 40 seats, folks.

The Menu

Amuse Bouche
Yellow Fin Tuna, feta cheese, cucumber and soy sauce
Pair with Swallow Wit

Course I
Quail consommé
Pair with Beast Bitter

Course II
Rabbit salad, arugula, roasted beets, prosciutto, pomegranate vinaigrette
Pair with Triple Crown

Course III
Beef Rib eye, porcini risotto, celeriac puree, black currant sauce
Pair with Wizard Winter

Course IV
Braised Pork Tenderloin, polenta, apple chutney, blood orange tarragon sauce
Pair with Duke of Winship

Course V
Vanilla bean and caramel panna cotta, poached pear
Pair with Dragon Slayer

Dolce Vita
907 E. Genesee St
Syracuse, New York 13210

Hey Pulled, you wanna cover this fine event? And in other Foodie Blogger News: CONGRATS to Cookin' in da Cuse who is a new momma.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, new Things to Do

One of the last December posts was all about housing, now its time to pay for RENT. 40 Below just sent out this email with some sweet Things to Do in Syracuse in January.

It's All Here Task Force's next two events include a Happy Hour/Task Force Meeting on January 20 at Empire Brewing Company at 5:30pm. 40 Below will provide snacks and 1 free drink ticket for each attendee.

Syracuse Stage is also hosting a 40 Below Happy Hour on Thursday, January 27 before the showing of RENT. More information and where to buy tickets can be found here: http://itsallheresyracuse.com/new-partnership-syracuse-stage

I mean, RENT and Happy Hour? What could go wrong?

Also, the Green Campus Initiative (GCI) which is a student organization that is dedicated to creating a more sustainable campus (on-campus and community initiatives include energy conservation, recycling, composting, and zero-waste events) is hosting a public forum regarding sustainability in Syracuse:
January 26th, 2011, 5pm-7pm
Reception featuring local food vendors and organizations, 7-8pm
Location: TBD

The forum will involve a panel discussion with public officials and community activists with the goal of generating an informative and compelling dialogue regarding the current, and future, trends in sustainability for the city of Syracuse. Current panelists include:

Charlotte "Chuckie" Holstein; Executive Director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse
Andrew Maxwell; Director of Planning and Sustainability for the city of Syracuse
Matthew Millea; Deputy County Executive for Physical Services for Onondaga County
Person X; a spokesperson for Energy Management Program at CNY Regional Planning and Development Board

So are we going, or what?