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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Photo Friday: At Play

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 29, 2017

This #FlashBackFriday is from last September’s Northside Festival. Looks like fun, right? Head over to Schiller Park for this year’s Northside Festival on Saturday: www.facebook.com/events/471176649930496/?ti=icl


Baseball was Very Good to Me

Written by Joe Russo  • September 28, 2017

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.”




Growing up on the old Northside in the 1950’s meant playing baseball almost every day in the summer. I lived on Mary Street directly across from North High School. The neighborhood was full of kids my age looking to get outside and play catch or shag fly balls. Even if we didn’t have enough kids to play a baseball game with the full complement of players we found a way to work in the imaginary man on second base. Which of course led to many heated discussions, for example was the imaginary man fast enough to make it home on a slow rolling ground ball to right field? It was a dispute we learned to resolve without adult supervision.

The games were organized by yelling at your friend’s house from the street. “Hey Tommy, tell your brother we’re starting a game at North.” “Yeah, yeah we know, go wake up Tony. He always sleeps late,” replied Tommy. And so the message was passed on from house to house no cell phones no instant messaging just an open window and some verbal jousting. Sometimes we even found a way to play baseball with kids we didn’t like, imagine that?

It’s the summer of 2017 and times have changed. I go to the Farmers Market every Saturday morning. I often find myself taking a detour through the old neighborhood. I am curious. I know the Northside has changed but just how has it changed. When I drive by my old house on Mary Street I can see that the old baseball fields at North High are no longer there. North High School has been torn down and a complex of homes for senior citizens exists in its place. A couple of Saturdays ago I was driving home from the Farmers Market on Park Street. As I approached Washington Square Park I noticed a group of kids playing an unorganized game of soccer. The park actually had a pair of official looking soccer goals. The group was a mix of teenagers and some who looked to be under ten years of age. Everyone was madly running up and down the field having a great time. Neither goal had a goalie. I suppose they could have had imaginary goalies. I wonder if the imaginary ones made any saves. Is this the new Northside? Has soccer replaced baseball? It is a new era. I find that I cannot truly understand the emerging world around me unless I can see this world through the eyes of our youth. They are growing and developing the Syracuse of the future.


Photo Friday: Face the Sun

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 22, 2017

Seeing all the sunflowers popping up all over the neighborhood–in gardens, between houses, in front yards–makes these warm days all the more sunny.


“What’s For Dinner?”: Featuring Anna Rupert

Written by Rachel Nolte  • September 20, 2017


Editor’s Note: Rachel is serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at NEHDA for the year. Her roll involves a variety of tasks, such as recruiting volunteers and applying for funding opportunities to plan really cool, really fun events that benefit the community. Rachel graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in psychology. She spent the past year serving in another AmeriCorps program where she traveled the state of New York to help out with various environmental projects. As part of Rachel’s work with NEHDA, she is writing some posts for us to share. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.






Anna works for NEHDA as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Her job duties include grant research, community outreach, and administrative support for the Northside Business Partnership.  We look forward to seeing what she accomplishes during her time with us. 


Question: Where are you from?

Anna: I was born in Syracuse, at St. Joe’s.


Q: So you haven’t strayed far. Do you like it here or do you eventually want to end up elsewhere?

A: I want to experience living in other places, definitely. I wouldn’t necessarily say, 100% I would never come back here and live. But I definitely don’t plan on being here forever and not living other places first. I like it here, I just don’t necessarily want to stay.


Q: What keeps you in the area?

A: My boyfriend and his job. I went to school here, because it was cheaper.


Q: What did you study?

A: I studied Spanish and I studied sociology.


Q: So how did you end up here at NEHDA?

A: Well, I wanted to do something a little bit more meaningful with my break in between college and grad school, and I wanted a break because I wanted some time to figure out what I want to go to grad school for. So I found AmeriCorps, my mom gave me a flyer. I applied for all of the jobs that they offered in Syracuse . .  Mike ended up calling me, and I came here and I kind of loved it, so I ended up staying.


Q: Do you have a sense of what you want to go to grad school for at this point?

A: I’m torn between law or public policy, and education.


Q: So how does that relate back to your undergraduate degree?

A: Spanish education. So I would teach Spanish and dance, or law and public policy. There’s a whole bunch of different ways that Spanish and Hispanic culture and things like that tie into law and public policy. Whether it’s advocating for the Hispanic community, or just needing to translate, stuff like that.


Q: What initially drew you to this area of advocacy?

A: Well, I started dancing Flamenco when I was probably 7—


Q: How did you get into that?

A: I was looking for a new studio because the one that I had been going to, the woman terrified me and kind of made me not want to dance anymore. So, I was looking to switch, but before I committed myself to a studio, I wanted to take a sample class and see how the studio’s vibe was and what their teaching style was like, what the atmosphere of the studio was, ‘cause I didn’t want to bounce right back into another place just like the one I had left. So I went to Guzmán’s out in Fayetteville and took a sample class and the class that they had running at the time was Flamenco. I just kind of kept going with it, and I never really stopped. So then I started taking Spanish and traveling to Spain and studying Flamenco there, and it just kind of evolved.


Q: What is your favorite thing about being here so far?

A: I really like going out into the community and meeting all of the community members. It’s really cool to be around people who really care about their neighborhood and have a strong sense of neighborhood community because growing up, my neighborhood had a very, very strong sense of neighborhood community, and I took that for granted, as like, “Everywhere is like this, and everybody has really great neighbors and knows all of their neighbors and their neighbors birthdays, and that’s just a normal thing. Everybody in the neighborhood is just like their family. Totally.” And then living other places, it just made no sense to me, that people that I went to college with didn’t know the names of any of their neighbors and my boyfriend didn’t know the name of the person who was living directly below him, and I was kind of shocked. So it’s really cool to be back around people who share that strong sense of neighborhood community.


Q: What do you see as being your biggest challenge you will face this year?

A: I would say being able to take all of the big ideas that people, including myself, have, and put them into something that’s actually realistic. Because, it’s very easy to get into this whole, “Yeah, this would be great if we could do this, and add this . . .” and create this really big, ideal world project, and then once you get down to trying to actually implement it, it can be very disheartening if you haven’t really thought about what’s actually realistic. For instance, yes, it would be fantastic if I could get public trashcans all over the Northside. That would be amazing. I would love to do that. But, is that actually realistic? Who’s going to maintain them? There’s a lot of other things that don’t necessarily come up at first, so I think it will be a challenge to keep that in mind and not try and catch a whale instead of a fish . . . I had a ballet teacher, growing up, one of my favorite teachers, who always said, “In an ideal world, this is what would happen.” She was usually referring to, “In an ideal world, you would all have perfect turn out, and be much more flexible than you actually are.” But, her point was just, “This would be ideal, but this is what you have, so work with what you have.” That’s a hard concept to grasp sometimes.


Q: What’s for dinner?

A: Leftover Chinese food from China Café in Armory Square.


Q: What did you get?

A: I . . . (pause) This order is for two people. Just keep that in mind. (Laughter) It’s gonna be a little scary. So, two orders of fried wantons, pork fried wantons, then a large pork lo mein, no vegetable, a large pork fried rice, no vegetable, two egg rolls, a small sweet and sour chicken, and a large General Tso’s chicken. Oh, and two things of white rice.


Q: Does your boyfriend not like vegetables?

A: No. He gets creeped out by the little corns.


Photo Friday: Sea Sighting on Howard Street

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 15, 2017


Run for Refugees: September 30

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 14, 2017

Run for Refugees

“I grew up internationally, so I’ve always had a heart for international issues and affairs. With issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis and the current political climate, I felt like I needed to do something to support local refugees. I’m also an avid runner, so it made sense for me to use my love for running and host a 5K. Ultimately, my desire is to see the Syracuse and CNY community as a whole support our refugees in a fun and exciting way.” – Adrian Mellinger, co-organizer of the Run for Refugees


WHAT: Run for Refugees 2017

WHEN: Thursday, September 30 from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM

WHERE: Long Branch Park, 3813 Longbranch Park in Liverpool


Grab your sneakers. Adrian Mellinger and InterFaith Works are hosting Run for Refugees, a run/walk of solidarity with refugees in our community. The event is family-friendly and the 5K course is un-timed, allowing for participants to go their own pace and bring friendly dogs (on leashes), children, and strollers.

Interested? You must register for the event in advance by September 23. The cost is $25 and proceeds support the Center for New Americans at InterFaith Works. For more information, visit InterFaith Works’ website and Facebook event.

Photo Friday: Before and After

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 8, 2017

Spurred by a NY Main Street grant several years ago, the building at 507-513 North Salina Street has continued to receive new improvements, restoring its historic facade and adding new windows on the upper floors.

Awesome job, George Angeloro! Keep up the amazing work.


Photo Friday: The Welcome Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • September 1, 2017

Named after the Swahili word for “welcome,” the Karibu Garden is a bright, burst of color on Lodi Street. Thanks to Hopeprint, the fence got a new coat of paint and a mural along the back wall this summer.