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Monthly Archives: April 2014

NOexcuses Tours Hawley-Green

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 30, 2014

May 3rd marks the first NOexcuses tour of the season in the Hawley-Green neighborhood.  Michael Heagerty, CCO and founder of NOexcuses, will lead a group of locals and visitors alike on a personable tour of this Historic neighborhood, relating fun facts, visiting local businesses, and meeting different personalities from the neighborhood. No two tours are the same and although some stops are planned, like visits to Laci’s Tapas Bar and Sparky Town, other aspects happen more organically as the walk progresses. “The tours are an extension of the hospitality that exists in the city,” Michael explains, “You’re going to go to a business you’ve never been to before and meet people along the way. There’s a lot to be shared.”

To learn more and book your Hawley-Green tour, visit the NOexcuses website.

NOexcuses tour

Michael highlights a historic building on Green Street during his NOexcuses tour. The building has recently been renovated and now houses the 83 & Company cafe and bakery.

Join Us at The InterFaith Works Leadership Dinner!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 29, 2014

Our director, Dominic Robinson, will be chairing the  2014 InterFaith Works Leadership Dinner next week with his wife, Jonnell Allen Robinson, a Syracuse University community geographer and one of the directors on the board at InterFaith Works. The theme this year is “New Lives, New Leaders” and recognizes the beneficiaries of the Center for New American’s Refugee Resettlement Program. The individuals who will be honored and celebrated over the course of the evening represent eight different countries and demonstrate extraordinary strength and commitment to community, faith, and career.

There is still time to purchase a ticket to the Dinner! To RSVP, please contact Nora Heaphy at 315-449-3552 ext. 120 or email nheaphy@interfaithworkscny.org.

Dom and Jonnell

Eric Carle’s Search for a Childhood Friend from the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 28, 2014

Childhood Friends _ Eric Carle

Eric Carle, author of the Hungry Caterpillar and other beloved children’s books, recently reconnected with a childhood friend and fulfilled a mission that began with a picture taken on Syracuse’s Northside:

“As a 3-year-old, Eric was photographed in an embrace with a little girl in a white dress on the city’s North Side. The image carried no identification. Over many decades, he grew more intrigued about the tale behind the girl in the photo, to the point where a fanciful take on her story became central to a book called ‘Friends’ that Eric released last year.

Friendship has always been a theme of great meaning for Eric. While he said the new book had multiple inspirations, the cover art was based specifically on the photo. The original image runs alongside the final page, and the last line in the book is this statement from Eric, now 84:

‘I often think about my long-ago friend, and I wonder what happened to her.’

Sunday, in what Eric and his wife Bobbie described as an ‘Easter miracle,’ he found out…

Her name is Florence Ciani Trovato; at 85, she’s a few months older than Eric, and shares his vibrancy. She was born in Syracuse, the daughter of Joe and Mary Ciani, who lived for several years on North McBride Street.”

To read the full article from Syracuse.com, click here.



Photo Friday: Skinny Building Update

Written by admin  • April 25, 2014

Our favorite tiny building will soon be available for rent! Retail downstairs and a two bedroom apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

Skinny Building_Insta_1

Catholic Charities Weighs in on Aging Issues in Onondaga County

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 24, 2014


Catholic Charities is participating in a panel this Friday at Plymouth Church to discuss aging issues and services for elders in Onondaga County. The forum is part of a senior brunch sponsored by the Ida Benderson Seniors Action Group and is free, though donations are accepted. To RSVP, please contact Denise Nepveux via phone (315-223-2480) or email (dmnepveu@utica.edu).

Support SNCC and Northside Karate by Recycling Your Electronics

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • 

recycle Ra-Lin

This Saturday, Ra-Lin is sponsoring an electronics recycling event. Each car is asked to make a $10 donation to benefit the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and Northside Karate. Items accepted include cellphones, game counsels, and printers. For a full list of items, click on the image above.

Di Lauro’s: Your “Old World” Neighborhood Bakery

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 23, 2014

Storefront Di Lauro's

Once the work day ended, the sidewalks were filled with men and women visiting the meat markets, corner grocery stores, and bakeries that lined the streets of “Little Italy” over 100 years ago. At that time the neighborhood was saturated with bakeries that made loaves with their own signature characteristics. “In the Italian heritage,” Paul Waverchak, current owner of Di Lauro’s Bakery explains, “dinner was one of the most important parts of the day and bread was the mainstay.” It was this high demand from bread eaters that originally inspired Di Lauro’s founder, John Di Lauro―a man who had never made a loaf of bread in his life―to open a bread shop.

Originally called Venezia Bakery, the Di Lauro’s building continues in the same location at the corner of McBride and East Division Streets. The business houses both the retail store and the bakery in its 1200 square feet, using every corner to prepare and bake the dough for 4:00 AM deliveries and then fill the display cases for walk-in customers. In the very back of the building stands a large gas oven specially designed to cook the loaves at different temperatures to assure nothing is overdone. Originally built in 1955, the oven can fit 46 full-sized sheet pans and 240 loaves of bread at one time. Aside from the oven, Di Lauro’s has only a few simple machines that are used, preferring artisan methods over factory-like production.

Collage 3Di Lauro's

The lack of major machinery, as well as ingredients like yeast accelerators, are what makes their bread part of the “old world” tradition in which the business began. “Our dough sits in the mixer for three hours,” Paul explains, “before we even start working on it. That gives our bread its own identity. We work the dough much more slowly. It creates more air in the bread and the aroma is still there.” The end product is fresh, crusty, but still airy and, at the end of the day, when you use that same bread to make a sandwich, it tastes the same.

Baking bread is an art form. Paul describes it as a process of “feel and touch and experience.” He began in the bread business in much the same way that Di Lauro’s founder did—initially knowing very little about bread. He was working at Westinghouse, an electric supply company, as a management trainee. A year before his marriage to Valerie Di Lauro, Paul was offered a transfer to New York City and, at the same time, his fiancé was offered a teaching job in Syracuse. As circumstances converged, Paul decided to leave his job and become involved in Valerie’s family business. Paul recounts the conversation he had with his father-in-law: “I said, ‘Would you like me to be part of your business? I can start from the bottom and see where it takes me.’ He tried to persuade me. He said, ‘It’s not a glamorous business.’”


Many years later, Paul is still at the bakery making sure the integrity of the Di Lauro’s product remains the same, even as the neighborhood itself has changed. Fallen into blight over the last few decades, it’s long-standing businesses like Di Lauro’s that can understand what the Northside once was, what it has become, and where it’s headed. “There’s positive communications coming out of the Northside,” Paul explains, “It takes time, stabilization, the expansion of St. Joe’s and Destiny, maybe, to establish a better quality of life here. It can’t happen overnight.” Although there’s not the same bustle of Italian families buying their bread before dinner, there’s still much foot traffic in and out of the bakery, whether it’s for a loaf of Italian bread or a slice of pizza. “We’re a neighborhood bakery,” Paul says, “that is something I never take for granted.”

On the Calendar: National Day of Puppetry

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 22, 2014

National Day of Puppetry collage

Open Hand Theater is celebrating the National Day of Puppetry this weekend with a special performance of Open Hand’s original story, The Secret of the Puppet’s Book. The Castle’s doors open at 10:00 AM and attendees are invited to explore the International Art and Puppet Museum before the performance at 11:00 AM. A free puppet workshop for children of all ages and their parents will follow. Tickets for the performance are on sale HERE.

The National Day of Puppetry was established by The Puppeteers of America to celebrate the long-established art of puppetry and performance loved by both adults and children. To learn more, click HERE.

SBDC Lends Support to Small Business Development

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 21, 2014


Our friends at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are constantly working to help small businesses thrive. Right now, they have two opportunities in the works for business owners and/or entrepreneurs: Introduction to Business Start-Up Class ($30; offered year-round) and the 2014 Contractor Bond Readiness Training Program (free; beginning in May).

SBDC’s business counselors are also a great source of advice and support for individuals at different levels of business development. To learn more about their training and services, visit their website.

Need a New Apartment or Assistance with Home Repairs: Contact NEHDA

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 17, 2014

Hawley Green Small

The Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) is currently working to find a tenant for a studio apartment available at 302 Howard Street. The living space has a private porch and is located in the University area in close proximity to a grocery store and other services. The rent is $425 a month, including utilities. To learn more about the apartment and the application process, click HERE.

If you’re not looking for a place to live, but need to do some repairs on your home, NEHDA is still taking applications for the Syracuse Homeowner Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) to help with minor repairs and/or minor code violations.  To find out if you would qualify for the program, click HERE.