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Monthly Archives: June 2016

My Evening of Bingo to Support Camp Discovery

Written by Liz Wierbinski  • June 30, 2016

Liz2Liz is a graduate of SUNY Albany with a master’s degree in Social Work. She’s currently working with NEHDA and Northside UP as our Community Prosperity AmeriCorps VISTA.

As part of our collaboration with NEHDA, we’ve asked her to write guest posts for us each month as she explores the Northside, its businesses and residents.  All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. You can learn more about the organization by visiting their website and Facebook

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Last Friday, June 24th, the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County hosted a Family Bingo game night to help fundraise for Girls Inc.’s Camp Discovery. Camp Discovery is a 7-week long summer camp run by Girls, Inc. that builds character and sisterhood through outdoor adventures, STEM activities, art, field trips, dance, camping, and community projects. Girls ages 5-12 are eligible to participate.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the event but wanted to support the Girls Inc. mission: to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. I sat down with my Bingo cards, ready to mark off the numbers that Beatrice called out in English and Spanish, between spontaneous dance moves and laughter that showed her contagious sense of humor. Energetic staff and volunteers were on hand selling snacks and hot dogs, 50/50 raffle tickets, and taking donations. For every Bingo winner, a prize was given of their choosing – anything from gift certificates to themed gift bags and much more.


Though I didn’t end up winning, I still had a lot of fun being in the YWCA space and meeting the confident, fun women who make Camp Discovery possible each year.

 This year’s camp begins July 5th and runs through August 26th Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM. Before care is available each morning. For further information or to register, please email Adele Bryan, Camp Director, at abryanywca@cnymail.com or view the Camp Packet and Letter to Parents.

 For more details on Girls, Inc. of the YWCA of Syracuse, head to their website.

More photos and videos of the Family Bingo event are available on the YWCA  Facebook page.

Northside Networking Event + Annual Update Recap

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 28, 2016

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On June 2nd, the Northside Business Partnership (NBP) hosted a Networking Event + Annual Update at Laci’s Tapas Bar. Business and property owners convened to network with fellow Northside stakeholders and enjoy a cash bar, as well as a spread of appetizers provided by Laci’s and chocolate-dipped candies from Speech Family Candy Shoppe. Mid-way through the event, board members of NBP gave a brief update highlighting the achievements of the business association and asked members to elect new members to the board and review changes to the board’s Bylaws.

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Thank you to Laci’s Tapas Bar for hosting the event and all of the friends and members of NBP that were able to attend! To view more photos from the event, visit our Facebook album.

NBP is an advocate for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging and promoting its members. To learn more about NBP and their events, email business@northsideup.org.

Syracuse New Times Calls ArtRage’s New Exhibit “Comical” & “Reflective”

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 27, 2016

New Times ArtRage

Last week’s Syracuse New Times included a review of ArtRage’s new exhibit, In Poor Taste: The Genetically Modified Foods Kitchen. Artist Christine Chin created and photographed “Vegetable Human Hybrids” to explore the “controversial technology that allows us to transfer genes between species.”

ArtRage Show Takes it on the Chin

“The current exhibit at ArtRage Gallery is comical and serious, absurd and reflective, wrapped up in its own identity and connected to a larger discussion. In Poor Taste: The Genetically Modified Foods Kitchen springs from the imagination of visual artist Christine Chin.

When she decided to do a project centered on genetically modified foods (GMOs), Chin developed a fictional narrative dealing with the insertion of human genes into fruits and vegetables. Chin made plaster impressions of body parts such as lips, toes, fingernails and teeth, then attached them to actual foods.

The display features vivid color photos of Chin’s creations: a red ripe tomato with lips, carrots with the tip consisting of a fingernail, limes with teeth, gazpacho served with ear sprouts on top. These and other hybrid foods appear in The Genetically Modified Foods Cookbook created by Chin, who is also playing a role: chief chef of the Anthobotanica Corporate Cafeteria.”

To read the entire article, visit the Syracuse New Times website. To see In Poor Taste for yourself, head over to ArtRage during their open hours before July 16th.

Photo Friday: Quiet Beauty Outside Our Lady of Pompei Church

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 24, 2016


Exploring Northside Markets: “We are Boarder People”

Written by Melissa McGovern  • June 23, 2016

photo (1) (1)Melissa McGovern is an artist and recent graduate of Le Moyne College who worked with the New Americans living on the Northside of Syracuse for her Integral Honors Thesis. She finds the Northside to be an inspirational place, bursting with potential and beautiful people. 

Editor’s note: Melissa will be sharing some of the experiences she had while researching her thesis and some of the artwork she created during her explorations on the Northside.  All posts can be found under the category, “Exploring Northside Markets by Melissa McGovern” category. 



“We are border people” Kayla tells me as I sit with her drinking coffee in the vibrant Thoo Moei Klo shop. “I am from the Texas-Mexico border and my husband is from the Thailand-Burma.”


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Play Bingo, Win Prizes, and Support Girls Inc.

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 22, 2016

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This Friday from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, YWCA (401 Douglas Street) is hosting a Bingo Fundraiser to support Girls Inc.’s Camp Discovery. This family-friendly event includes a 50/50 raffle, prizes, and a free kid’s corner with games, art, and face painting. Snacks will be available for $1.

Admission for ages 13+ is $5 and includes five Bingo cards. Additional card bundles are also available for $1, $5, or $10.

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Proceeds for the event will benefit the YWCA’s Girls Inc. program in terms of scholarships to girls for Camp Discovery 2016, a summer camp that focuses on “building character and sisterhood through outdoor adventures, stem activities, art, trips, dance, camping, community projects, and more. To learn more, visit the YWCA’s website.

House Tour Recap

Written by Lexie Kwiek  • 

Lexie2_for webEditor’s Note: Lexie is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum with a master’s degree in Communications & New Media Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. She currently works as the Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and NEHDA. We’ve asked her to write guest posts for us, taking a deeper look into the Northside, its businesses, organizations, and residents. All of her posts can be found under the “Syracuse Northeast Community Center” and the “NEHDA” categories.


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This year’s House Tour was a big success! On Saturday, June 18th, nearly 60 visitors joined us to learn the stories behind the historic neighborhood, and to see what original features still exist inside of eight unique homes.


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Thank you to all of our tour guides, group shepherds, and home owners for making this day possible. It was wonderful to see the Hawley-Green neighborhood come together to celebrate its history and showcase our bright future.

The House Tour was organized by NEHDA, with help from the Hawley-Green Neighborhood Association and Northside UP. To stay up-to-date on all of NEHDA’s events, like them on Facebook and join their email newsletter. Click here to view all the photos from the event.

SJHHC Dedicates New Northside Training Center to the Pietrafesa Family

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 21, 2016


Yesterday afternoon outside of a new training center at 500 North Salina Street, staff from St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (SJHHC) and Onondaga Community College (OCC), Northside stakeholders, and the Pietrafesa family gathered for a dedication ceremony to commemorate long-time Northside residents and active members of the community, Sarah and the late Richard Pietrafesa.

The Sarah and Richard Pietrafesa Training Center is a collaboration between SJHHC and OCC and will house trainings for Hospital staff, as well as healthcare-related learning and professional development training programs led by OCC.

Sarah and Richard lived in the neighborhood close to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Richard owned and operated the family business, the Joseph J. Pietrafesa Co., a clothing manufacturer that was located on North Salina Street.

To read more about the goals of the Training Center and more thoughts from the Pietrafesa family, visit SJHHC’s website.

Photo Friday: The Final Touches

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 17, 2016

Property owners are getting their homes ready for Northeast Hawley Development Association’s House Tour on Saturday, including this house that’s mid-renovation. Get your ticket inside some of Hawley-Green’s most beautiful homes here.


Photo friday

Northside Showcase Recap: May 2016

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • June 9, 2016

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Around 350 hospital employees and visitors stopped by the Northside Showcase on May 10th to enter raffles, sample foods, and pick up information and coupons from a variety of Northside businesses.

The Showcase focuses on connecting St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center employees to the rich and diverse local business community that is ‘just a walk away’. The event is hosted by the Northside Business Partnership, an advocate for the Northside that works to strengthen the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging and promoting its members.

To see all the photos from the event, visit our Facebook album.