We had a great time last week at the Thursday Morning Roundtable! Frank Lazarski (President of the United Way of Central New York), Meg O’Connell (Executive Director of The Allyn Foundation), and our Director, Dominic Robinson, presented on the Work Train Collaborative: Investing in Skills Training for Low-Income Syracuse Residents.
“There are hungry people in every part of this community for work … We cannot sustain our future if we can’t figure out how to engage them.”
To listen to the entire TMR discussion, click HERE.
The African & Caribbean Central Market’s new location (703 N. Salina Street) makes space for all of the vibrant fabrics, produce, and packaged products that line Roselinda Abbey’s shelves. Find more pictures HERE.
Forces for Change: Local Civil Rights Activists is on display in the windows of ArtRage Gallery. This photography display is part of ArtRage’s spotlight on the Civil Rights movement featuring the exhibit, Selma to Montgomery March at 50: Civil Rights Photographs by Matt Herron, and race.place.being, a collaboration of Syracuse Stage, ArtRage Gallery, and SUNY Oswego.
To learn more, visit ArtRage’s website. Forces for Change will be on display until the end of March.
SyracuseFirst and CenterState CEO invite businesses and entrepreneurs to a workshop this Thursday: Yelp for Businesse Owners. Yelp is a website that allows prospective customers to search for reviews and information about various food and retail businesses, services, and organizations in our community. The content for the site is made up of business profiles and accompanying reviews and ratingd. By setting up a free Yelp account, businesses can add information and photos to these profiles and directly interact with reviewers/customers.
During the Yelp for Businesses event, Jared Brickman, Yelp Syracuse Community Ambassador, will offer an overview of the free Yelp for Business Owners toolset and answer your questions about using the platform as a marketing tool.
The cost is $10 for SyracuseFirst and CenterState CEO members and $20 for non-members. Seating is limited. To register, click HERE. Contact Karen DeJoseph (315-470-1997 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
To find out more about Yelp and this event, join the Facebook event HERE.
On cold days like today, we’re thankful that Salt City Coffee delivers their bags of beans for free in Syracuse. For now, the closest we’ll get to 70 degrees and sunny is Salt City’s Fair Trade beans from Peru.
Editor’s Note: Joe Russo is a “Nortsider”, a retired teacher, and an aspiring writer. We’ve asked him to share his stories of the past and offer his perspective on the present and future of our neighborhood. His posts will appear each month under the category, “Old Times on the Northside”.
I’m not sure why I thought becoming a Safety Patrol boy at Our Lady of Pompei School was a good idea. However, when the opportunity came along I jumped on it. My Mom’s influence, I’m sure, played a role. The main job for the Safety Patrol was to help the younger kids cross the street on the way to school in the morning. Helping out the younger kids met with Mom’s approval. Of course wearing the white belt that crossed your chest was a badge of honor and earned praise from the adults. From my friends and the neighborhood bully it became an opportunity for teasing. More than one snowball found me as a target because of my new found status.
In the 1950’s lots of kids went home for lunch. Not all Moms worked and it was a tradition to take a mid-day break from school. School lunch was not a part of Presidential nutrition program. A nice perk for the Safety Patrol boy was getting out of school early for lunch. I had to be on my corner before the younger kids started going home to eat lunch. My corner was Butternut and Townsend, the home of Best Bakery. Our Assemblymen, Bill Magnarelli, recently said, “I remember finding any reason I could to get from Our Lady of Pompei School to the bakery, just to find the biggest glazed doughnut they had.” I know how Bill felt. Standing on that corner every day, smelling the bakery smells, I could visualize a glazed doughnut. They also made a sheet pizza. It was rectangular in shape with a thick crust and a thick tomato sauce on top. We used to call it tomato pie.
The Safety Patrol job was a challenge. The school kids didn’t always listen. The public school kids didn’t always get along with the catholic school kids. And some of the little kids really needed help. Rainy days were always the toughest, drivers’ car windows would steam up and everyone was in a hurry to get out of the rain. I remember every once in a while a police officer would stop on my corner to see how things were going. He would talk to me about car traffic and give me tips on how to handle the variety of kids passing through my corner. On one occasion the police officer went into Best Bakery and came out with a couple of napkins. He said it would be better to wipe my nose with a napkin rather than the sleeve of my coat. It was a different relationship back then. People trusted and believed in each other to a larger degree. The neighborhood cop wasn’t someone to be feared but rather someone who helped out even if it was just a napkin for a runny nose.
Most of the good Sisters at Our Lady of Pompei understood that as a safety patrol boy I would get to class a little late and gave me a little slack. That was until I had Sister Mary Anastasia for a teacher, she had a tough, no nonsense, no excuses kind of personality. One rainy morning it seemed like all the kids were more interested in splashing through puddles of water than getting to school on time. I was running behind schedule but like Bill Magnarelli I was craving a glazed doughnut. As soon as the last student crossed the street I was at Best Bakery putting my nickel on the counter and pointing at a plump glazed doughnut. Eating a glazed doughnut as I walked in the rain was not easy. I stopped frequently on a porch or an alcove to take a bite or two of the doughnut. Sister Anastasia was not pleased. I was later than usual and pronounced guilty of one of the seven deadly sins, gluttony. With sticky fingers and glazed sugar stuck to the corner of my mouth I was sent to Mother Superior’s office. Mother Superior had me wash my hands, ask for forgiveness, and say a few Hail Mary’s. It was worth it, though, as that glazed doughnut was delicious.
The corner I worked on was the intersection of Butternut and Townsend Streets, the home of the new Kinney Drugs and formed location of the Best Bakery.
Earlier this month, the owners of Laci’s Tapas Bar participated on a panel to discuss “Creative Philanthropy: Entrepreneurial Perspectives on Social Responsibility” for the Thursday Morning Roundtable (TMR). Both Laura and Cindy spoke about their efforts in the Hawley-Green neighborhood and joined Matt Godard of Café Kubal, Jim Barr of SADA Charity Preview, and Nancy Marshall of InKind to explore social responsibility as a whole. One of our favorite moments was a story from Cindy who talked about her mother giving in quiet ways:
“When she would read the paper–religiously every day–and if there was something in there about a family that was struggling or someone that died that she knew, she’d put a five dollar bill in an envelope and send it without a return address–just send it to them. And $5 may not have been a lot to them, but it was a lot for my mother. And it was really odd. I asked her one day, ‘Why do you do that? Why do you send that to those people you don’t even know and they’re just in the newspaper?’ She said, ‘Well, you never know when you might need $5.’”
Chef, traveler, and TV personality, Anthony Bourdain, visited our Northside neighborhood this winter to get an inside look at the Pastime Athletic Club. Bourdain was in town filming for a new online series, Raw Craft, that explores the work of committed individuals at the forefront of the American craft movement. For this particular episode, Bourdain met up with his subject and Pastime’s member, Frank Shattuck, at the Club. The episode will air later this year, but here’s a trailer for the series that gives you a sneak peek into Frank’s story as well as Bourdain’s visit to Pastime’s.
Check out the Raw Craft YouTube channel HERE. You may even see another Syracuse entity in Episode One: Borough Furnace.
Last Sunday, the 6th $1,000 micro-grant was awarded to an innovative community project at Salt City DISHES. Second Line Syracuse, proposing to enliven the streets of Syracuse with a New Orleans style brass band, will take place during the summer of 2015.
Next week, Open Hand Theater will hold their February Break Arts Camp. With workshops that emphasize leadership, creative thinking, and teamwork, it creates an opportunity for students (ages 8 – 16) to explore characters, images, and themes while crafting their own puppets. The week culminates in a performance on Friday, February 21 at 7:30 PM at The Castle. The show is free and open to the public.
If you’re interested in registering your child for the February Break Arts Camp, click HERE. The cost is $175 per student and includes the cost of materials and an optional “after hours” care to assist working parents.