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Monthly Archives: January 2015

On the Calendar: Winter Wine Tasting

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 29, 2015

Vinomania collage

With the weather transitioning into the teens this month, Vinomania has offered a great way to warm up: a Winter Wine Tasting. Among the variety of wines to try, VinoManiacs will also enjoy samples from 2 Kids Goat Farm, Primo & Mary’s Salsa, and Lune Chocolat.

Northside Food Markets on Syracuse.com

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 27, 2015


We were happy to see our Northside markets showcased in an article by Don Cazentre on Syracuse.com. An array of pictures that feature colorful produce, humble business owners, and families shopping are accompanied by an interview with Adam Sudmann of My Lucky Tummy who speaks to the history of these markets and gives his “Top 5 Markets to Try.”

“‘Within a five minutes  drive on the North Side you’ll find Burmese and Bhutanese, West African, Somali, Lao, Middle Eastern-Iraqi,’ said Adam Sudmann, who in two short years has made himself something of an expert on the new wave of North Side food markets. “These markets are so cool, so vibrant.” . . .

Many of the newer refugees, now numbering 8,000 to 10,000 in Syracuse, live in or near the city’s North Side.

While it’s true that many of the markets started up to serve members of a particular ethnic community –  a Burmese market for Burmese refugees, for example –  there is now a great degree of what Sudmann calls ‘cross pollination.’”

To read the entire article, including Adam’s list of markets to try, click here.

Waiting in Anticipation: Salt City DISHES

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 24, 2015

DISHES banner

The DISHES team have been slowly revealing some of the exciting details about the dinner on February 8th. Aside from announcing fresh team members, they’ve also been teasing us with short descriptions of the projects. Here’s the breakdown:

Second Line Syracuse is a New Orleans style brass band with a Central NY flare. This project aims to improve Syracuse by energizing the streets with live music and bringing neighbors together with spontaneous celebration.

Yoga for everyone! This project pitches the concept of free yoga for community members that would not otherwise be able to afford classes or have the means to travel to a class outside their neighborhood.

Her Village Day is a gathering of women from many nations sharing crafting, art, ethnic cooking lessons, and more to experience the beautiful diversity of our community.

The Songambele Cultural & Edalt Education Foundation’s project seeks to assist refugees with reading and writing skills while allowing them to share their culture with the Syracuse community.

The Cooperative Federal Student Cash Stash Pilot is a new financial capability program at three Syracuse high schools, where students will use a smart phone app to connect with mentors and create and reach savings goals.

Tickets for DISHES go on sale tomorrow, January 25th. For more information, visit their website and Facebook page.


DISHES brings together the Syracuse community to share a delicious meal, listen to one another’s suggestions for community-based innovative projects, and vote on the idea that has the most potential. A micro-grant of $1,000, collected from the evening’s ticket sales, is then awarded to the audience favorite.

Photo Friday: Early morning at the Clinton Play Lot in Hawley-Green

Written by admin  • January 23, 2015

Square 2_PhotoFriday_Web

“Flavor Tripping Berries” at My Lucky Tummy Winter Popup

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 22, 2015

My Lucky Tummy Berries

Apart from My Lucky Tummy’s usual flavor experiences, the upcoming Winter Popup this month will incorporate an added adventure: flavor tripping berries. Never encountered these fruits? They’re native to Ghana and allegedly turn sour and bitter tasting foods sweet. The New York Times explored these berries as part of “flavor tripping parties”:

“Carrie Dashow dropped a large dollop of lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness, stirred, drank and proclaimed that it tasted like a ‘chocolate shake.’

Nearby, Yuka Yoneda tilted her head back as her boyfriend, Albert Yuen, drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: ‘Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!’

They were among 40 or so people who were tasting under the influence of a small red berry called miracle fruit at a rooftop party in Long Island City, Queens, last Friday night. The berry rewires the way the palate perceives sour flavors for an hour or so, rendering lemons as sweet as candy.”

Read the complete article HERE.

Once you’ve filled your bellies with all of the home cooked meals by My Lucky Tummy chefs, each guest will receive one berry. To test the berry’s abilities, a buffet of sour and bitter foods will be available to try.

Intrigued? So are we! Tickets to My Lucky Tummy are available HERE. To stay up-to-date on the popup’s happenings, join the Facebook invite HERE.

Strengthening Your Business’ Online Presence: Two Classes from SBDC

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 14, 2015

SBDC Classes

The Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College (SBDC) is partnering with Tech Geekery for two up-coming classes: Using Social Media to Grow Your Business and Building a Better Website for Your Small Business.


Using Social Media to Grow Your Business ($55)

January 21, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM / Onondaga Community College, Mulroy Hall

You will learn: techniques and tools to build an online presence; how to develop a sustainable user base; tips to setup a social media market­ing plan; the difference between platforms and why or why not to use them; what to post and how; best practices.


Building a Better Website for Your Small Business ($55)

February 4, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM / Onondaga Community College, Mulroy Hall

This class has great information for small business owners who are interested in getting their first website up, or improving their current website. You will learn: the preparation process for building a website for a business; how to prepare all of the materials that are required to either create a website yourself or speed the process of working with a company; tips to help make decisions about branding, domain names and hosting, layout, content and copy, features, and execution options.


Both classes will be taught by Amy Wyant of Tech Geekery. To register for these classes, please contact SBDC: sbdc@sunyocc.edu or 315-498-6070. For more information about SBDC’s events, click here.

On the Calendar: My Lucky Tummy Winter Popup

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • January 13, 2015

My Lucky Tummy banner

My Lucky Tummy has announced its Winter popup, taking place on Saturday, January 31st! Tickets for the event will go on sale via their website this Friday, January 16th at 10:00 AM. Attendees can expect a variety of flavors from Burma, Eritrea, Japan, South Sudan, and Somalia, all cooked by 5 home chefs.

Winter Menu

Mohinga cooked by Ma Thu & Kyaw Kyaw – Catfish, shallot, lemongrass, mint, lime

Gomen, Shiro & Injera cooked by Genet – Collard greens, berbere, spiced chickpea

Nishime cooked by Zaw – Lotus, daikon, sato imo, konnyaku, shittake, mirin, sake

Gwenomakitalo cooked by Patience – Smoked guinea hen, peanut butter, chili

Halwa cooked by Zahra – Ghee, cardamom, white sesame, nutmeg

To stay up-to-date on this event, join the Facebook invite HERE. To learn more about My Lucky Tummy, visit their website or read this recent article from Syracuse Guru.

Photo Friday: Church of Our Lady of Pompei/St.Peter

Written by admin  • January 9, 2015

Photo Friday_Our Lady of Pompei Church

Lentil Soup and Good Luck

Written by Joe Russo  • January 8, 2015

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”.


It seems that every traditional food dish has a myth that goes along with the food. Lentil soup on New Year’s Eve is such a tradition. Some of us look forward to spending time with the family over a bowl of soup and trying to remember if Grandma made her soup the same way we do today. Others take it more seriously, almost superstitiously. A friend of my father’s, Margie Lovecchio, swears by the good luck generated for those who eat lentil soup. A big part of the tradition is the timing for serving the soup. According to the old timers, my father and Margie included, the soup must be served just a few minutes past midnight on New Year’s Eve. I remember saying to my Dad at one time, “at midnight I’m drinking Champagne and kissing everybody, I’m not going to sit down and eat a bowl of lentil soup.” “And that’s why you have bad luck”, replied my father.

Margie and my Dad always went to the Moose Club in Solvay for New Year’s Eve. Their favorite band Light and Easy played in the swing band style of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington. They both could Jitterbug like they were twenty-five years old when they were in their eighties. At the Moose Club, they knew how to cater to this crowd. At the stroke of midnight the less important traditions like the Champagne toast and the New Year’s kiss were quickly completed so the most important tradition could take place, the lentil soup. Just as important as the good luck bestowed upon you by the eating of the soup was the avoidance of bad luck by not having the soup.

Why does lentil soup represent good luck? Some say the lentils look like small coins. A pot full of money is good luck. As I have grown older the importance of avoiding bad luck has become a part of my New Year’s ritual. As soon as the Christmas feast is over I begin my quest for the best lentil soup ingredients. I usually start with a trip to Lombardi’s on Butternut Street. The two major ingredients sausage and lentils are always in stock. I don’t always use the same lentils. French lentils, green or brown lentils and red lentils each create a different broth. French lentils do a better job of holding their shape and not breaking down when cooked. Some cooks use a ham hock. I prefer sausage with the fennel seed and other spices used to make the sausage. That flavor carries over to the soup.  I combine celery, carrots, onion, garlic and fresh fennel or anise to make a roux before adding the chicken broth. I always use more Bay leaf than the recipe calls for because my Grandmother used to say the bay leaf helps with digestion. I add Sage and Parsley at the same time I add the lentils. It’s hard to find fresh aromatic Sage this time of year, but if you do it really makes a difference. The sausage is browned up separately in a cast iron skillet and incorporated onto the mix with the lentils.

We are spending New Year’s Eve at home with family and a few friends this year. The Asti Spumante is chilled; Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will be on for the count down. Hugs and kisses will be just as important as the savory soup and I’m sure 2015 will be a year filled with good fortune. Buon Anno!

Dominic’s 7 Habits

Written by admin  • January 5, 2015

In November, our Director was featured as one of the seven community leaders at CenterState CEO’s ’7 Habits of Highly Successful People’. The event drew nearly 100 attendees and featured Eric Hinman, Rounded; Eileen Brophy, Brophy Services Inc.; Bob Daino, WCNY TV/FM; Amy Collins, CNY Central; Dominic Robinson, CenterState CEO; Kimberly Boynton, Crouse Hospital; and Matt Mulcahy, CNY Central and 7 Habits emcee.


In case you missed the opportunity to attend, we’ve listed Dominic’s seven habits, below.

1. Define Success for Yourself: Success can be defined in very different ways:  achievements, public accolades, status in society, etc. It’s been important for me, however, to think of success as a daily practice. I appreciate Aristotle’s suggestion that happiness is achieved by utilizing one’s talents in the pursuit of excellence.  We might consider asking ourselves, “Is my daily life filled with meaningful pursuits, worthy challenges, and authentic relationships? Am I using my gifts in ways that make me happy and contribute to the world around me?” These questions define success for me, and they guide my path.

2. Invest in the Success of Others: In my work, success is predicated on a great team. I cannot accomplish anything without talented, passionate colleagues and strong community partners. This team dynamic, however, must be cultivated. It requires constant attention and effort. That payoff is worth it, though. When those around me feel supported and empowered, the quality of our collective work increases. This dynamic also fosters camaraderie and loyalty, which are building blocks for sustaining a strong team culture.

3. Be Authentic: Authenticity seems to be fundamental to living a satisfied and successful life. To be authentic suggests that we are true to ourselves and rooted in our convictions. More than this, however, I have come to embrace the fact that being authentic also means being vulnerable. We must accept our inadequacies and failures and own them as much as our successes. We must be willing to laugh at ourselves. When we’re comfortable with our own vulnerability, those around us are intuitively more willing to trust us. Plus we are more willing to work on our faults and seek help from others, which ensures continuous improvement.

4. Seek Advice and Constructive Criticism: Our perspectives have been shaped by our own experiences, and while experience is the best teacher, we must also understand the limitations of our own points of view. I’ve made it a habit to constantly seek advice from people who I respect but who are very different than me. Drawing from a wide array of ideas and opinions has allowed me to develop more thoughtful strategies and a greater sense of empathy for others.

5. Embrace the Power of Creative Conflict: Working with talented, passionate people is the best part of my job, but it’s fair to say that it’s not always easy. Hardly a week goes by without trying to reconcile differences in opinion or engaging in passionate (and sometimes heated) debates – and that’s a good thing! Virtually every defining moment or period of growth in my life has been been catalyzed by some kind of challenge or conflict. Creative conflict fuels innovation and, in the long run, can enhance camaraderie. I think we must allow for a healthy level conflict in the workplace. Of course, for conflict to be constructive, there has to be an underlying culture of respect and a willingness to set differences aside when it’s time to move on.

6. Don’t Fear Failure:  We know that great accomplishments are often predicated on risk taking. Virtually every successful person has taken a leap of faith when others might have backed away. However, it’s important to remember that a leap of faith is rooted in… well, faith. I’ve pursued some ambitious and seemingly illogical goals in my day, and others have tried to dissuade me. The truth is, however, that I had confidence in those moments. I saw something that others didn’t. Whether I was confident in my own abilities and preparation, or in the character and skill of those around me, my leaps of faith have rarely felt risky to me. In other words, transcending our fear of failure has a lot to do with ignoring the fears of others when we are genuinely confident.

7. Always Fear Failure: No matter how successful we become, we’re all capable of failure. The moment we think we’ve arrived, we’re in trouble.  We set ourselves up for true failure when we succumb to compulsions towards complacency and entitlement. Real success is a daily practice, not a position of status. Recently, someone referred to our team as “scrappy”. I took that is the highest compliment. To me, scrappy suggests that we’re industrious, resourceful and shrewd. As long as I’m working, I want to be a scrappy guy, who’s always trying to stay one step ahead of my own shortcomings and potential for failure.

If you’re interested in reading the habits shared by the other speakers,  check out CEO’s January Newsletter: CEO Essentials.