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800 North Salina Street Syracuse, NY 13208


Photo Friday: Denailing for Salt Works

Written by admin  • October 17, 2014

We had an amazing turnout of volunteers this Tuesday to denail timber for Salt Works! Many thanks to Stephen Terzolo and 40 Below for helping us organize the event. Soon those beams will be transformed into artisan furniture!

SW Denailing_web

Enter to Win SU Basketball Tickets and Support the Washington Square Park Renovation

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 9, 2014


If you’d like to get your hands on tickets to six SU Basketball home games this season, the Washington Square Park Renovation Committee might be able to help. They’re currently raffling off a six pack of tickets for you and a friend to attend games between November and February. Raffle tickets are $20 each and benefit the revitalization efforts beginning in Washington Square Park.

The raffle tickets are available for purchase until October 29th and the winner will be chosen at the Pastime Athletic Club (1314 North Salina Street) on November 2nd, 7:00 PM. You must be present to win.

To purchase raffle tickets, visit the Pastime Athletic Club or mail a check or money order and a note with your name, address, and phone number to the Washington Square Park Renovation Committee at PO Box 11292; Syracuse, NY 13218. Please make all checks or money orders payable to NEHDA, Inc. (Northeast Hawley Development Association). Raffle tickets will be sent via mail to the purchaser.  Please call Maureen at 401-8592 with questions.

New Lunch Spot in Hawley-Green

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 8, 2014

Laci's Lunchbox

Laci’s Tapas Bar has many reasons to celebrate this month: they were voted the Best LGBT Friendly Bar & Eatery in the Syracuse New Time‘s Best of Syracuse contest, plus they just opened their new lunch spot, Laci’s Lunchbox. You can find this eatery at 115 Green Street in the same purple building as 83 & Company. Their menu consists of paninis, soups, salads, smoothies, and a selection of coffee drinks. Check out their Facebook to stay updated on their hours and menu options.

On the Calendar: Hawley-Green Cleanup

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 7, 2014

HG Cleanup

Help clean up Hawley-Green! Our friends over at NEHDA are recruiting volunteers for their fall cleanup on October 11th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  Please meet in the Laci’s parking lot (304 Hawley Avenue) and enjoy free coffee and donuts to kick-off the cleaning activities. All supplies will be provided. To sign up, call NEHDA at (315) 706-8803 or email nehda@nehda.org.

One the Calendar: I Learn America at ArtRage Gallery

Written by admin  • October 6, 2014

Tomorrow evening, ArtRage Gallery will screen ‘I Learn America’, a film set in the International High School at Lafayette, Brooklyn. This public high school is dedicated to newly arrived immigrants from all over the world and the film focuses on five New American teenagers - striving to master English, adapting to families they haven’t seen in years, and creating a future of their own while coming of age in a new land.

The film starts at 6:30 p.m., and doors open at 6 p.m.

Photo Friday: Fall on the Northside

Written by admin  • October 3, 2014

Photo Friday_3_web

The Old Gray Flannel Trousers

Written by Joe Russo  • October 2, 2014

Editor’s Note:  Each month, Joe Russo writes a guest post for our blog. This month, Joe has asked to share a story about growing up on the “Nortside” written by his brother, Armand Russo.

Joe and Brother Armand

“Armand, here try these on”, I remember my mother’s voice as she held an old pair of gray flannel trousers menacingly in front of me. Reluctantly, I put them on, one leg at a time, just as anyone would try on a pair of pants. Placing my hands into the pockets I could feel little pieces of candy and gum stuck to the lint inside the pockets. I knew where these trousers came from. They at one time belonged to my older brother. They no longer fit Joey and I was the next in line. They felt scratchy and had the smell of old woolen clothing. They were also too large but times were tough and this was a way to save money. I wasn’t buying it. “Armand they are perfect! You can wear them to kindergarten”, my mother declared. “No!” I protested. “They’re ugly, scratchy and too big for me!” But my protests and complaints about the lack of choice didn’t reverse Mom’s decision. I had to wear them to my first day of school and many times afterward. Even though they had been washed and ironed it didn’t changed my feelings about wearing my brother’s hand me downs for the rest of my school career.

Each morning I put them on and walked to Our Lady of Pompeii Grammar School. Each day I wore those pants all the while wishing I had a new pair of pants. Pants that fit well, looked nice and didn’t have gum permanently fused to the inside of the pockets. Tell me, is that too much to ask for?

One day while walking home from school with my brother and sister a small dog came at me from the front yard of the house at the corner of Lodi and Mary Streets. The dog grabbed the pant leg of those gray trousers with his sharp teeth and tore several holes in the pant leg. I saw the damage but didn’t really care. They were ugly pants.

Once we arrived home Joey told my mother about the dog and how it damaged my pants. She took one look at the holes caused by the dog’s teeth and asked, “where did this happen?” My brother and I explained how we approached the corner house and how the dog charged right at us. Then grabbed the pant leg with his teeth and proceeded to tear holes in the trousers. Within a few minutes of our breathless explanation we were knocking on the front door of the corner house where the incident occurred.

A young woman answered the door. The dog in question followed her. My brother and I identified the dog as the one that damaged my pants. We spoke in unison, “these pants are ruined! They can’t be worn in this condition! You are going to have to pay to replace them.” We were eloquent. I was the innocent victim. My brother was the key witness and our Mother was the judge, jury and executioner. This was real justice, Northside style.

The woman reached into her purse and gave my mother a few dollars to replace the ruined pair of trousers. Suddenly, I became excited. My heart began to soar. My dream was about to come true. A new pair of pants would soon be mine! Justice was swift and sweet.

Later that evening I was puzzled. My mother was sewing the holes in the old flannel trousers. The next morning the old gray pants with holes mended and neatly folded were placed in my room. I wore the pants that day and the next, then asked my mother when we could go shopping for a new pair of pants. She looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “Forget about the new pants for now. I fixed the holes and you’ll get by for a while.”

Can anyone imagine the vexation of this disappointed five year old or the utter humiliation every time I walked by that corner house. What did I do to deserve this turn of events?

Of course I would never use a word like double-crosser to describe my mother. Times were tough and money was scarce. Making ends meet was a necessity. This time it was at the expense of my dream. At another time it was at the expense of someone else’s dream. My mother loved me and I will never forget that. Even though I didn’t get the new pants I did get enough material for a growing up on the Northside story.


Extreme Grocery Shopping with My Lucky Tummy

Written by admin  • September 30, 2014

Editor’s Note:  We’ve asked Adam Sudmann, creator of the My Lucky Tummy pop-up food court, to write guest articles for us on a monthly basis. All of his posts are organized under the “My Lucky Tummy” Category. You can learn about his effort at myluckytummy.com.

Ribbet collage


Are you bored with your cupboard? Me too. So let’s go to the Northside.

We’ve got our twice yearly popup this Saturday. That means I’m in extreme grocery shopping mode: 100 pounds of yellow pumpkin, 60 stalks of lemongrass, 300 swatches of banana leaf… (And that’s just from one store!)

Luckily, we’ve got some crazy great options in this neighborhood, all within 3-5 minutes of one another. And lucky for me, my crazy kiddo just started daycare so I can shop in peace and maybe even pick out a few things to liven up our cooking at home. My attention is undivided. Nobody’s trying to eat a raw green chili or pluck a sleepy eel out of a cooler. (I told you: my kiddo’s crazy.)

Between today & tomorrow I’ll shop at 11 stores. Here are four that are especially stellar:

Altanoor, 1832 Grant Blvd. Sabah is a stickler for quality. He only stocks the best brands from Iraq & the region, be that red lentils or broad beans or date syrup. Trust him. Oh, and he has my favorite spice selection in town – they pack them up in house – & they bake hollow samoon bread on the weekends.

Juba Somali, 1601 N Salina. Rajab’s shop is an oasis, tucked in among the strip clubs & dollar stores. Confused? He’ll talk you through a dish – or call somebody who knows. Last week I accidentally stumbled over a clerk who was taking a moment in the back, praying on a mat behind the rice aisle. He responded to the interruption in stride, popping up, patting me on the back & offering up his opinion on different varieties of Basmati.

Laos Market, 317 Butternut. Fresh herbs don’t have to be so murderously expensive. Kitty & Suki keep a nondescript plastic shelving unit in the fridge in back, on your left. Nondescript, that is, until you pull open the drawers & breathe in. Vietnamese coriander. Purple basil. Lime leaf. Mint varietals I don’t even know the name of. Grab a handful of something aromatic, something you’ve never seen before (but are game to experiment with), then go pay up & gasp (happily, wondrously) at the bill & know why all the Thai & Italian places in town go here on Wednesdays to stock up for the weekend.

Aphone, 826 Butternut. Kaui drives down to Maspeth & Queens most Mondays so try & hit this place – across from the KFC – on Tuesdays. They’ve got a ton of horizontal freezers full of cool stuff – fish that you’ve never even imagined, frogs, silkworms, etc. (I asked Paw if she knew how to fry up the grubs, but she hadn’t a clue; luckily a Cambodian couple shopping there walked me through the process. When in doubt, ask the other shoppers.) Their produce is awesome, their kids are super cute & sometimes they’ll have treats (shaggy seaweed, freshly pickled tea leaves) brought in straight from Burma.

Of course, for purposes of pithiness I’m skipping over the ever-solid Afro-Caribbean (740 N Salina), the well-stocked gem that is Than Lwin (826 N Townsend), a quartet of Bhutanese shops & so much more.

Oh, and because this particular party is vegetarian I’m ignoring Pyramid Halal (1700 Lodi) altogether, which is a small crime. Hani & Tatiana sell excellent meats for a song. They’re also gifted conversationalists.  Sometimes their shop has an almost 50′s-throwback, why don’t you stay & chat a spell, kind of vibe.  Who’d have thunk it? An Egyptian-Russian couple that makes you feel like you’re in Norman Rockwell-esque America.

This pace, this kind of exchange is why neighborhoods matter. And this is why the Northside hood has such greatness – & great sweetness – at its heart.


A Recap of the International Arts & Puppet Festival

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 25, 2014

Festival collage 1

We had a lot of fun at the International Arts & Puppet Festival on September 13 at Open Hand Theater. Despite the rain, the Castle was filled with families making masks and puppets, enjoying performances inspired by cultures from around the world, learning how to garden, and filling their bellies with savory dishes, coffee, and warm desserts from our UP Start Entrepreneurs and My Lucky Tummy chefs.

The Festival is a way for our community to come together, celebrate family, and tell stories in a variety of different ways. To learn more about Open Hand Theater and the International Arts & Puppet Festival, click here.


Festival_UP Start collage

New York State Urban Council Annual Conference

Written by admin  • September 22, 2014

We had a great time taking part in the New York State Urban Council Annual Conference today!  Our Director, Dominic Robinson, gave a presentation about our work and a mini-tour of the neighborhood.

NYS Council Tour