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Monthly Archives: June 2014

DISHES Seeks Co-director

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 30, 2014

Dishes co-director position collage

Today is the last day to submit your applications for DISHES’s third co-director. If you are a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who is passionate about Syracuse, please review the position description and send a cover letter and resume to saltcitydishes@gmail.com by midnight. The position is 100% volunteer and would require intensive time commitments from September – March.

To learn more about Salt City DISHES, visit their website.

Photo Friday: Progress on Main Street!

Written by admin  • June 27, 2014

Progress on Main Street_web

The King of Beer lives on the Northside

Written by Joe Russo2 Comments • June 26, 2014

 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”.

King of Beer

Growing up on the Northside I really didn’t know anything about the cultural or economic significance of brewing beer. But I did know that King Gambrinus or his ancestors were making beer on Butternut Street. A larger than life statue of the good king protruded from the outer wall of the Haberle Brewing Company. I often walked by the brewery on Butternut Street. It seemed whether I was on my way to the White Branch Library or the Modern Bakery for a slice of tomato pie I passed under the outstretched arm of King Gambrinus. He was holding a frothy overflowing mug of beer as if proposing a toast. “Have a good day at school” or “enjoy that tomato pie” he might have said.

Beer to me represents a friendly part of our culture. A long necked brown bottle dripping with frosty sweat reminds me of a hot summer’s day. It went well with burgers and sausage on the grill. Every backyard had a metal tub filled with beer, soda and ice. My parents only approved of my drinking a soda but I longed for the time when I’d be old enough to drink legally. I also wondered if one of my relatives might help me achieve this rite of passage before the age of eighteen. Would it be my Dad, my uncle Sammy or my uncle Harold? He was German and knew more about beer than anybody.

Of course I carried on this conversation with my friends Artie Francheschini and Frankie Garafalo. While walking down Butternut Street one very hot summer day the three of us stopped at the Haberle Brewing building. The doors were open to cool down the workers and the building. This was an era before the air conditioned work place. We were fascinated by the hustle and bustle of the workers. It was a noisy work place were one had to shout to be heard even if the other person was close. As I look back through the eye of my youth it was like a scene from the old Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times . Men in sweaty sleeveless undershirts moved in quick herky-jerky motions. They were lifting, pushing and yelling out commands above the noise.

The process that interested us most was the bottling assembly line. Brown glass bottles moved along a track lined with steel rollers. Empty bottles went through a series of start-stop movements first to be filled with the brew of the day then to have the bottle cap pressed tight. Once filled and capped the bottles moved to the end of the assembly line where they were loaded into thick cardboard cases. All the workers had to work quickly to keep up with the pace of the machine. Artie noticed that many of the men were struggling with the heat and the fast pace of the work. One thing all three of us noticed was how the line of beer filled bottles curved close to the open door where we were standing. Several times one of the work men would warn us to stand back away from the door.

It occurred to Frankie first, “Hey, we can just grab a bottle, run fast and they’ll never catch us.” Artie and I just laughed. The workmen looked at us suspiciously. We stepped away from the door and huddled up to concoct a plan. Timing our move was the biggest challenge. The assembly line had a start-stop rhythm. We had to time our run to get to the line just as it stopped then snatch a bottle and run. Empowered by the thrill of getting away with something we waited for the closest workman to turn his back toward us. Then in Keystone Cops fashion we tripped and stumbled over each other while lunging for the beer.

Our timing was off, the assembling line was still moving when we got there. I couldn’t get my bottle out of the chute, neither could Artie or Frankie.  The brewery workers were faster than we thought. The burly sweaty guys just picked us up and escorted us out the door. “If we ever see you guys here again were calling the cops.” said one of the workers. “Oh no”, I thought, “my Uncle Harold is a cop. I hope he doesn’t find out.” We rolled around laughing at each other for a long time before we moved on to the next foolish idea.


Congrats Jonathan!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 25, 2014


Last week Jonathan Logan, our Program Manager for Place Making and Small Business Development, participated in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. Among the record-breaking 8,564 participants who raced along the Onondaga Lake Parkway, Jonathan placed 258. We’re so proud of him and all the others who came together to face the Challenge!

Syracuse.com Spotlights a Beautiful House on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 24, 2014

Wilett House

We’ve admired this colorful Victorian home on the corner of McBride and Willow Streets for a long time. The current owners, Dr. Jerome Rene Wilett and his wife, Sheila, are ready to retire and and sell the house they’ve so lovingly restored.The home’s history and all of its charming details were recently cataloged on Syracuse.com via their “House of the Week” column.

“When Wilett first saw [the house] in the 1970s, it was run down, to say the least. Woodwork had been stolen and windows shattered.

But Wilett saw the home’s potential. He would frequently drive by the property on the way to a nearby restaurant shortly after moving to the area.

Wilett bought the home in the 1980s, restored it and has been running his clinical psychology practice from the house’s first and second floors. He and his wife Sheila live on the third floor, in an attic renovated into an apartment.

Wilett was able to restore the home using some of the original materials that had been lost over the years.

To read the full article and view more pictures, click here.

On the Calendar: I-81 Final Scoping Meeting

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 23, 2014


The Department of Transportation is hosting a final scoping meeting for the I-81 project at the Oncenter this Thursday. Two presentations, one at 4:00 PM and one at 6:00 PM, will outline the alternatives that are recommended to move forward for further study in the Draft Environment Impact Statement. Both oral and written comments will be accepted during the meeting. For more details, click the image above or visit the I-81 Project website.

Photo Friday: Isabella Street Community Garden

Written by admin  • June 20, 2014

Isabelle Garden_web

Recap of World Refugee Day 2014

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 18, 2014

WRD Collage

We had a great time celebrating World Refugee Day this past Saturday! For the first time, the event was held at Schiller Park, making it possible for a new feature: soccer. Among the song and dance performances, twelve teams from different countries competed to become the World Refugee Day Soccer Champion. Guests gathered along the sidelines during an intense final game, crowning team Bosnia as the winner. We can’t wait to see what next year brings!

To view more images from the event, browse through our Facebook album.

Welcome to our New NBP Member: the Workforce Development Institute

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 17, 2014

WDI_Art of Labor_ collage

The world of workforce is complex and multi-layered. It often requires creative and strategic solutions and collaborations within the field that address a variety of different problems–some across industries, others particular to an individual business.  Our new NBP member, the Workforce Development Institute (WDI), facilitates this difficult work while making sure that the actual individuals who make up the workforce–those men and women with different stories and perspectives–are still given a voice. One of WDI’s most unique programs is called the Art of Labor, an effort that helps create photography, writing, and theater workshops that empower people across NY State to tell their stories. One project from 2012 is a collection of photos and writings from female veterans living in a transitional living home; another from 2007 is a collection of black and white photographs that depict “unseen” America. Most recently, WDI worked with NYS AFL-CIO to collect photographs taken by volunteers, workers, and union members during and after Hurricane Sandy. WDI keeps an archive of creative works on their website.

To learn more about the Workforce Development Institute and all of their programs, visit their website or like them on Facebook.

Salt Works Needs Volunteers This Friday

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 16, 2014

Denailing Collage

The staff at Salt Works, our furniture social enterprise, is in need of volunteers this Friday to denail the large beams used to make their artisan furniture. The denailing will be divided into two shifts: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Work would include lifting heavy beams in a team and pulling nails from the wood in order to prep the beams for milling on Saturday. Salt Works will provide gloves and tools to volunteers.

If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Stasya Erickson (serickson@northsideup.org) and let her know which shift you’re willing to take on (9 AM – 12 PM or 1 PM – 5 PM). Volunteers must wear work clothes and closed-toe shoes and meet at the Syracuse Habitat for Humanity building at 308 Otisco Street.