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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Philanthropic Foodies Benefits Friends of Dorothy House & The Samaritan Center

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 27, 2016


This year’s Culinary Showcase from Philanthropic Foodies will benefit six local nonprofits, including two Northside organizations:

 Friends of Dorothy House is an initiative that supports people with AIDS through “recuperative or hospice care, supportive housing and emergency assistance.” Their work to provide “loving, quality care” is funded solely through individuals and community organizations. To learn more, visit their Facebook.

The Samaritan Center is “committed to serving the hungry and those in need in order to promote their welfare, dignity and self-sufficiency.” They are an “interfaith effort” that serves healthy and nutritious meals to families and individuals facing hunger in CNY. To learn more, visit their website and Facebook page.


The Showcase, founded in 2012, is an opportunity for the community to “eat, drink, and giveback” this Sunday from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at SKY Armory. Tickets are $100 in advance and include a tasting menu created by some of the most talented local chefs and sourced with fresh, local ingredients; beverage pairings from CNY breweries, wineries, and distilleries; access to silent and live auctions; and music from local entertainers. For more information, visit their website.


Linda LeMura Talks Clotheslines and Consensus on Syracuse.com

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 25, 2016


Last Friday, Syracuse.com published “Clotheslines and consensus: a lesson in community,” a commentary by Le Moyne President, Linda LeMura. In the piece, she discusses the need for building community and having hard conversations, a lesson in diplomacy she learned in her mother’s kitchen on the Northside.

“My introduction to diplomacy began at the kitchen table of my childhood home on the North Side of Syracuse. My mother would brew a fresh pot of coffee and bake a batch of Italian pastries, all in preparation for what was often a contentious, animated conversation among the women of the neighborhood. Some of these women spoke in the flat vowels of Upstate New York; many spoke broken English, slipping occasionally into Italian, Russian, Turkish and an assortment of Sicilian dialects. Each arrived at my mother’s table with an agenda, and they often argued their case in tones that might worry the uninitiated. When things got too spirited, an almond paste cookie would often take the edge off, just a little, but just enough.

And what was the subject at hand? The neighborhood clotheslines.

When I try to explain to many of our students why these gatherings were so powerful, they are, at best, bemused by what they imagine is a quaint bit of nostalgia; worse yet, they’re mystified. Why would you need to share a clothesline? Or, worst of all, what’s a clothesline?

Back in the 1970s, in a neighborhood where few owned a dryer, having clean, dry clothes took planning and organization. Families were large back then, and no single yard could string enough line to handle the demand. So, women shared what space there was, and they managed the inevitable confusions and crises that arose . . . 

When I think of those women today, and when I conjure that cacophony of language, that operatic, passionate exchange of demands and concessions, I realize that what I was witnessing was a living embodiment of community. No one expected these conversations to be easy, but I knew that these working mothers would find a solution in the end. They wanted to; they needed to. In other words, they had a practical investment in the well-being of their neighbors.

Recently, I’ve thought a great deal about those clotheslines. When I hear calls for a national conversation about race or racism, police tactics or abuses, when I hear calls for dialogue, I think about how real change takes place: one difficult conversation at a time, held between neighbors who want and need change.”

To read the entirety of “Clotheslines and consensus,” visit Syracuse.com.

Photo Friday: Skyward

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 22, 2016

Kids and adults at play during Northeast Hawley Development Association‘s Appreciation Picnic earlier this week.


On the Calendar: Community Picnics

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 18, 2016

This week, both the Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) and the Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) are holding their annual community picnics.


2016 Appreciation Picnic

WHEN: Tuesday, July 19: 5 – 8 PM

WHERE: Clinton Play Lot, Lodi Street, between N. Crouse Street and Gertrude Street


Join NEHDA and the Hawley-Green Neighbors as they say “thank you” to the many people, organizations, and businesses who continually support the neighborhood, including the Mayor’s Office, Fire & Syracuse Police Department, and elected officials. All people who live, work, or play on the Northside are invited to the Clinton Play Lot for food, drink, and updates about the neighborhood. Dominick’s Market will provide the main dishes, but guests are asked to bring a dish to pass.


Community Picnic

WHEN: Friday, July 22: 2 – 6 PM

WHERE: Dr. Weeks Elementary School


The Syracuse Northeast Community Center’s Community Picnic will feature music, raffles, games, and a dunk tank with a chance to send SNCC staff and Dr. Weeks principal, Carin Reeve-Larham, into the water below. Those interested can sign-up to compete in a variety of Olympic-inspired games at SNCC this week or at the picnic.

NEHDA and SNCC are still looking for volunteers to help with the picnics. Interested? Please contact Lexie at lkwiek@snccsyr.org and indicate which event you’re interested in.

Photo Friday: A Sunny Spot at the Isabella Street Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 15, 2016

Sunflower in the Isabella Street Garden

Quality Inn & Suites: Raising the Bar in the Hotel Industry

Written by Liz Wierbinski  • July 14, 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

Quality Inn 1

As I pulled into Quality Inn & Suites on James Street, I immediately noticed the careful landscaping and colorful flowers hanging outside the hotel. The welcoming atmosphere continued as I walked out of the summer heat, into the cool of the lobby and was greeted with a smile and an offer of coffee or juice.

I met with Viraj Patel, General Manager, whose family first bought the hotel (originally an Econo Lodge) in 2001. Viraj’s father, Naresh Patel, would commute to and from New Jersey to maintain and manage the property. The hotel industry runs in the Patel family and Viraj has been learning about the industry and helping his father in business since the 8th grade.

The father-son team began by evaluating the quality of customer service at the hotel, assessing the current staffing and hiring new employees. They then started doing smaller, minor renovations that progressed into major renovations in December 2014 and ended with the redeveloped building that you see today. After gutting the entire building and installing brand new electrical and plumbing as well as improved insulation, they moved on to completely renovate the bathrooms with new tubs, flooring, vanities, and lighting. These renovations, along with new partition walls, entry doors, locks, etc., make it an essentially brand new hotel.

Quality inn 2

Quality Inn & Suites prides itself on offering an array of free amenities, negotiating corporate rates and providing 10% off for patients of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and their families. Viraj is excited about their location on James Street, not only because of the proximity to various destinations like “Little Italy, Gateway to Many Nations,” downtown Syracuse, and Destiny USA, but also because of the exciting opportunities for development.

James Street is a historic area, home to many of Syracuse’s repurposed mansions, giving the neighborhood a unique character while drawing in visitors and developers. To build on the recent growth, the Patels are looking to connect with business owners or entrepreneurs interested in renting the vacant property next door. These spaces will be built to suit the individual business by the Patel family. If you’ve got any leads, or are simply interested in seeing the hotel renovations for yourself, you can visit their website or call (315) 425-0015.

Help Outfit CCOC’S Women’s Shelter with Artwork

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 13, 2016


Photo credit: Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County (CCOC) is looking for “bright, friendly, hopeful artwork” to outfit the walls of the Dorothy Day House, a shelter for women and children. This safe space not only provides shelter, but a support system that helps women find employment and a place to live, while supplying necessary items, like clothes, personal items, and food for the women, children, and infants referred to the program.

If you have any artwork to donate to the Dorothy Day House, please fill out this electronic form. To find out more about the women and children’s shelter, visit their website and blog.

Party with ArtRage: ArtRageous Extravaganza

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • 

ARTrAGE This summer marks ArtRage‘s 8th year celebrating with the community during their ArtRageous Extravaganza. Guests will enjoy live music performed by the gonstermachers, a new addition to the Extravaganza, and Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble, a party staple known for their dance music from Zimbabwe. ArtRage will also have a variety of items as part of a silent auction, but this year, individuals can bid online leading up to the event. Items include tickets to Syracuse Stage, Syracuse Opera, and Open Hand Theater;  a family pass to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo; gift certificates to the Mission Restaurant, the Spa at 500, and Phoebe’s; and much more.

Last year, ArtRage raised $8,000 during the Extravaganza and the gallery hopes to either match or surpass that amount during this year’s event. Tickets are $15 at the door and help support ArtRage’s mission, “to exhibit progressive art that inspires resistance and promotes social awareness; supports social justice, challenges preconceptions and encourages cultural change.” Food is included in the ticket price. A cash bar is also available to guests. For more information, view the Facebook event or visit ArtRage’s website.

Photo Friday: Neighborhood Pride

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 8, 2016

Two participants of Yeshua Restoration Ministries helping to beautify our neighborhood, one of the community service projects that help build character and leadership skills for youth on the “northSide.”


Thanos Import Market: New Location, Same Flavor

Written by Lexie Kwiek  • July 7, 2016

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.


Thanos’ current location next to their new home in Hawley-Green.

If you have been through the Hawley-Green neighborhood recently, you have probably noticed the new signage on 105 Green Street. Hand-painted in bold letters, the building reads, “Thanos Import Market,” and it’s true: this Northside staple is moving from the North Salina Street corridor to a new storefront in Hawley-Green.

If this news makes you nervous about losing access to your favorite meats and cheeses, let me assure you that there is no need to worry. Since its opening in 1919, Thanos has already been housed in three different storefronts around the Salina/ Pearl Street intersection without losing the “neighborhood market” feel that makes Thanos so unique The current owner, Soula Carni, assures that she plans to maintain the products and atmosphere that made her fall in love with the shop as a child.


Coming to the United States from Greece in 1968, Soula has fond memories of going to Thanos every week with her parents to pick up phyllo, feta, olives, and other items that reminded her of home. When she got married and had children of her own, she continued the tradition of visiting the market.

When the store went up for sale around Christmastime in 2007, Soula waited to see what would happen with the iconic neighborhood market. When there were still no offers in January, the owners were planning to close for good at the end of the month. Within weeks of hearing this news, Soula was the new owner of Thanos Import Market; her first official day was February 1, 2008.

The sense of familiarity and family that drew Soula to the shop will be preserved in the new location on Green Street. Here, she’ll be able to custom design all the details with help from family and friends. Soula’s daughter has started painting a sign that leads customers to the parking in the back of the building. Wooden ladders are being repurposed into shelves and displays. Café tables and chairs are being designed to maintain the charm that people have come to know and love. “I want to keep it as a place for people to come ask questions and learn about different products—it will still be a place for people to come and explore,” explained Soula.

Thanos 2

The specialty food will also remain. Soula said, “we have to be a destination—a place where people go for unique items.” In fact, she plans to expand her already noteworthy selection of cheeses and offer more prepared lunches, like salads and sandwiches. Don’t worry: the famous Thanos Antipasto will be continued, as will their signature Italian Sandwich.

Along with specialty imports, Thanos will also showcase local products. All of the sandwiches will be made with bread from some Northside businesses as well as other local stores in the city:ciabatta from Nino’s, Di Lauro’s rolls, and Pastabilities’ stretch bread. Business owners will also be welcomed into Thanos to host tastings and showcase their products. Soula hopes that focusing on collaboration will help to grow business success throughout the neighborhood, and through the Northside as a whole.

“There is a lot of energy here,” Soula said of the Hawley-Green neighborhood. She is excited to learn from new customers and continue seeing faithful shoppers.

Work in the new location has already begun as the store gets ready to open this summer. To stay updated, follow their progress on Facebook.