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Monthly Archives: September 2014

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

Photo Friday: Sarah’s Last Day

Written by admin  • September 19, 2014

Sarah Pallo
After 2.5 years with us, Sarah Pallo is moving on to the next big adventure in her life. We are going to miss this hardworking, passionate and creative young woman immensely! She’s done so much to bring our organization to where we are today and we couldn’t be more thankful for her time with us. Best of luck to you, Sarah!

On the Calendar: Social Entereneurship in Syracuse

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 17, 2014

TMR Image

This Thursday, Northside UP will participate in a panel discussion about social entrepreneurship during the Thursday Morning Roundtable (TMR). Among the panelists are our friends from Catholic Charities, My Lucky Tummy, and the Tech Garden that represent four different models of social enterprise initiatives in our city:

Salt Works: a business that employs Green Train graduates to build artisan furniture from reclaimed materials – a collaboration between Northside UP, the Near West Side Initiative, Syracuse University and Habitat for Humanity.

Project Joseph: a Catholic Charities program that employs their homeless clients to clean and turnover apartments within the CCOC residential programs – creating an income opportunity and positive work history for the hardest to serve residents.

My Lucky Tummy: A pop-up food court business that employs New American chefs to share their native cuisines with the Syracuse market.

UP Start Syracuse: a collaborative business incubation program targeting underserved business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Syracuse community. The effort is a partnership between CenterState CEO affiliates, NSUP and the Syracuse Tech Garden; the Small Business Development Center; Cooperative Federal Credit Union; Catholic Charities and others.

TMR is a weekly civic forum sponsored by University College of Syracuse University. To learn more, click here.

Hiring: Community Engagement Manager

Written by admin  • September 15, 2014

Work Train seeks to hire a Community Engagement Manager who can work collaboratively and is comfortable in a dynamic and evolving environment. Check out the Idealist posting for more information.

Work Train Hire Community Manager JPEG

UP Start Entrepreneurs at Open Hand Festival

Written by admin  • September 12, 2014

In addition to giant puppets, live music, arts and crafts, and a puppet circus, tomorrow’s International Arts and Puppet Festival offers our UP Start Syracuse entrepreneurs an opportunity to test our their business ideas:

-Curtis Washington will be on site with his food truck, That’s What’s Up, serving savory, kid-friendly snacks.
-Aaron Metthe will be pouring cups of Salt City Coffee and tea, while also selling bags of freshly ground coffee.
-Fesseha Kahsay will lead a free gardening workshop and demonstration for families.
-Hari Bangaley Adhikari will sell a dessert pairing of Puri and Jelabi, a popular street food in his native Bhutan.

We’re very proud of these four and look forward to experiencing their businesses with you tomorrow! And check out the great coverage they received today on Syracuse.com.


Photo Credit: Ethan Backer

Photo Friday: Open Hand’s International Arts and Puppet Festival

Written by admin  • 

Photo Friday_Open Hand Tomorrow!

The event is tomorrow! Join in the festivities and read up on the schedule and details on Syracuse.com.

5th Northside Showcase at St. Joseph’s Hospital

Written by admin  • September 11, 2014

Showcase collage 3

Small, independently owned businesses have been the backbone of the Northside for generations. Supporting these businesses not only benefits our local economy, but strengthens our neighborhood.  The Northside Showcase is a collaboration between the Northside Business Partnership and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, which aims to promote buying local by encouraging hospital employees to learn more about the rich and diverse business community that is “Just a Walk Away”. On average, over 350 hospital employees attend the event, which will be the fourth showcase hosted by Northside UP.

Today from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, food, fun and giveaways will be available to SJHHC staff as sixteen Northside businesses set up shop inside the hospital. Vendors will display local goods and services, provide helpful business information, and offer free samples. Check out the list of participating vendors:

Cooperative Federal

Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College

Open Hand Theater

Thanos Import Market

Syracuse Northeast Community Center

The Laundry Room

Laci’s Tapas Bar

Ra-Lin Discount


Sauro’s Photographic Art Studio

Salt City Coffee

Attilio’s Restaurant & Bar

Adagio Salon

83 & Company


Sparky Town

Global Meets Local at Syracuse Grows Farm-to-Table Benefit Dinner

Written by admin  • September 10, 2014

On September 20th, support Syracuse Grows while feasting on a multicultural meal prepared by the New American chefs of My Lucky Tummy. Produce will be sourced from local growers, including the farm that will host the event, the Salt City Harvest Farm — a Syracuse Grows member farm cultivated by and for New Americans located just 12 miles east of Downtown Syracuse. All proceeds will benefit the network of Syracuse Grows community gardens, including the three we have on the Northside! Tickets can be purchased at http://sg-harvestdinner.eventbrite.com/ and cost $50. Questions? Email  syracusegrows@gmail.com or call (315)443-4890.

Syr Grows Ticket

Syr Grows Collage