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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy Holidays, from Our Family to Yours!

Written by admin  • December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays Banner

Painless Holiday Shopping, Courtesy of Laci’s

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • December 22, 2014

Laci's businesses

The generous folks at Laci’s are paying it forward this season by offering free coffee and specialty drinks at Laci’s Lunchbox anytime before Christmas. They’re also giving customers an easy way to grab a gift certificate to Laci’s Tapas Bar on their website. Add a personalized message and Laci’s will send it directly to the person on your list.

Still looking for gifts and party platters? Check out our Neighborhood Directory and get some ideas for all those last-minute purchases.

Photo Friday: Winter on the Northside

Written by admin  • December 19, 2014

Photo Friday_Winter

On the Calendar: Celebrate Christmas at Inspiration Hall

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • December 18, 2014

This Friday, check out CNY Crossroads special event: Celebrate Christmas, an inspirational performance from Danny Gokey with special guests:  7eventh Time Down and All Things New. Warm and soulful, Gokey will perform songs from his latest album, Hope In Front Of Me.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of. Special VIP passes are also available for $30 and $35. Purchase tickets here.

To learn more about Celebrate Christmas, watch the video below or check out CNY Crossroad’s website here.


The Ghost of Northsiders Past

Written by Joe Russo  • December 11, 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”.


I have often wondered, what makes a northsider a northsider? I left the Northside in 1960. I moved first to Taunton then to California and then Oswego. In fact I have lived in locations other than the old Northside longer than I did on the Northside. But still I consider the Northside to be my identity, my home. I have always been and always will be a northsider. I remember so many personalities and endeavors on the old Northside. Looking back I feel that I was always an observer taking notes on relationships and community activities.

Recently, at a business breakfast meeting I sat at a table full of strangers. As we talked and introduced ourselves I mentioned that my connection to this breakfast meeting was Northside UP. An organization dedicated to making positive changes on the northside. As the conversation continued I explained my life growing up on the northside and how we maintained a family business on the northside until 1992. One person at the table said, “Whenever anyone mentions the northside they smile.” Everyone at the table agreed. What quality is it that made everyone smile?

I remember how people cared about each other. A family down on its luck didn’t have to beg for institutional help. The neighborhood would help in a quiet way that did not embarrass the family. We didn’t have food pantries. I experienced the delight of making a surprise delivery of a food basket to a needy family just before Christmas. We didn’t have television advertising or a large organization between the families. It was personal, face-to-face quiet gestures to help someone, not a tax write off.

This past October I made a trip to Knoxville, Tenn. Wallace Casnelli, my wife’s uncle, had passed away and we attended the wake and funeral. I did not know “Uncle Cas”, as he was called, when he was alive. But in the 5 days we spent in Knoxville I found out enough about his life to make me wish I did know him.

He was a very successful businessman. Uncle Cas got his start servicing medical equipment for hospitals as he was recuperating from an injury while in the Air Force. Uncle Cas was a compulsive tinkerer. If something didn’t work he would take it apart to find out why. It was that attention to detail that helped him build a business of installing and servicing x-ray equipment in hospitals all across the southeastern states. From Tennessee to Florida to Alabama his company grew and prospered. This is where the story connects to the northside.

The northside I remember was a community that helped and supported each other. Father Hofstetter, a confidant, friend and family priest to Uncle Cas for more than 60 years told us how Cas reached out and supported not only members of his community but people he didn’t even know. One day at the peak of his success Uncle Cas visited Father Hofstetter and gave him a check book. He told the priest he trusted and respected him. Father Hofstetter told us that Cas wanted him to be able to help a family that didn’t have enough money to buy groceries or help a deserving student who didn’t have enough money for his or her college tuition. If the good Father ran out of money all he had to do was give Uncle Cas a call and a deposit would be made in the checking account.

Wallace Casnelli wasn’t a northsider but he lived in the spirit of the northside. The ghost of northsiders past is a friendly ghost. At that business breakfast memories of northsiders from the past put smiles on everyone’s face. Just as the many individuals at the wake for Uncle Cas smiled as they told stories about his generosity. Yes Cas had some quirky behavior and his own way of solving problems but his heart seemed to be in the right place. If Uncle Cas lived on the northside he would surely fit in with all the other ghosts who helped their neighbors, family, and friends create a community whose spirit lives beyond the old northside.

Joe Russo Post_December

Networking Event at Sparky Town: Recap

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • December 10, 2014

Networking event collage

Thanks to all of the business and property owners that gathered at Sparky Town for a our fall Northside Networking Event. Hosted by the Northside Business Partnership (NBP), these events are an opportunity to engage with community members, share ideas, and make important connections over a spread of appetizers and beverages.

The evening was also a great way to celebrate Sparky Town, a long-time NBP member that will officially close at the end of the year in order to explore other interests. We’re very thankful for their contribution to our neighborhood and are excited to see what the future holds.

To learn more about the Northside Networking Event, email business@northsideup.org.

NBP is a collaboration between Northside UP, the Greater North Salina Business Association and CenterState CEO that works to promote, support and engage Northside businesses.

Buildings for Sale on North Salina

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • December 9, 2014

Land Bank Properties

The Land Bank is seeking proposals for two properties on North Salina Street:  435 North Salina, former home of La Cuisine, and the building directly next door, 437 North Salina. This section of the business corridor is home to Adagio Salon, Asti’s Cafe, and Rocky’s News, creating great potential for property developers and business owners. All proposals must be submitted to the Land Bank by January 6, 2015.

Open Hand’s Artistic Director to Retire in 2015

Written by admin  • December 1, 2014

Melinda Johnson wrote an excellent piece about the retirement of Geoffrey Navias, Artistic Director of Open Hand Theater, in 2015. We’re going to miss this creative visionary, but look forward to seeing what comes next for this theater and museum!

“SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Geoffrey Navias, artistic director and a founder of Open Hand Theater, will retire in May. For 34 years, Navias has been involved as a performer, writer, director, mask and puppet maker and administrator of the arts organization. He has overseen its transformation from its beginnings in a warehouse on Walton Street in Armory Square to its current landmark location in a former mansion on Syracuse’s northside. It is known as Open Hand Theater – At the Castle on North Salina Street.”

Open Hand_Web

Read the full article on Syracuse.com.