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Category: Northside Business Partnership

NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Paul Roe and Gina Santucci

Written by Rachel Nolte  • June 14, 2017

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Editor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.

 

 

 

 

Paul and Gina are the owners of The James Street Parlour, a new tattoo shop on the Northside of Syracuse. While their shop is new, the history of the building is lengthy, built in 1872 and housing a cabinet maker, a Syracuse city mayor, and a funeral home over the years. Read on to learn more about the current owners and what drew them to this beautiful building.

 

The main room of the James Street Parlour.

The main room of the James Street Parlour.

 

Q: So, the most obvious first question is, how did you end up in Syracuse?

 Paul: Well, Gina, my wife, is from Utica, Rome, Syracuse—

Gina: I went to school here, and this is home. I worked for congress for twenty-something years, and congress is not the same congress as it was when I started (laughter). It wasn’t as fun, and I decided I wanted an early retirement. We had spoken to each other a lot over the years about, “Well, do you want to go back to England eventually?” And, he doesn’t. He wanted to live here. He’s been here . . . 26 years?

Paul: 26 years, yeah.

Gina: So this is home for him too. I didn’t want to live in DC anymore. The people here are friendly. It’s beautiful. I know people complain about the traffic here, but there is no traffic here! There is NO commute. So this was a no-brainer for us, really. I wanted to come.

Paul: It feels a lot like England. It really does.

 

Q: In what way?

Paul: It’s the post-industrial city with giant universities, very much like my hometown. It’s about the same size, the outlying countryside is very similar to England, the climate is really similar to England, not like 110° and 98% humidity in DC.

Gina: Augh, yeah that was another big factor in our decision to move north.

Paul: We literally said every single summer, that’s it. We have to move. We have to move.

Gina: I can’t stand it. You can’t be outside for any length of time! The mosquitos. All of those things.

Paul: We started looking. We went to Little Italy, and looked at buildings there. We had our eye on a building and there was a bidding thing going up on it, so we decided to look at other areas in the city. We looked downtown, we looked on Erie Boulevard, Water Street, there was one in the middle of Hawley-Green, and as we were driving up James Street, our real estate agent said “Have you seen this place?” Yes, yes yes. We saw that one online but it doesn’t look like it’s for sale. He said, “Well actually, it’s for sale. It’s just not listed. Do you want to have a look? Gina, do you want to have a look?”

Gina: I definitely wanted to have a look because I had seen it listed online a couple of times and the history of it attracted me. But also, there were no pictures of the inside. I really wanted to see what was going on in here.

Paul: So we walked in the door, in the back door, and we walked about 25 feet and got into that middle room, and she turns and said “I want this.”

Gina: I did. I did. I stood there and I whispered it actually. I said (whispering) “I want this. I must have this.”

Paul: And that was that. We sold the house in DC.

 

Left: One of the many columns of historic flash tattoos that are on display.  Center: One of two original fireplaces in the main parlor, one for coal burning and one for wood burning. Strangely, the marble mantle had been painted over and the couple had to laboriously remove it.  Right: Even the bathroom has interesting images of various tattoo machines. The eye is never lacking for something to see.

Left: One of the many columns of historic flash tattoos that are on display.
Center: One of two original fireplaces in the main parlor, one for coal burning and one for wood burning. Strangely, the marble mantle had been painted over and the couple had to laboriously remove it.
Right: Even the bathroom has interesting images of various tattoo machines. The eye is never lacking for something to see.

 

Q: Are you fascinated by history because you like tattoos or are they separate things that have happily come together?

 Paul: I’ve always been fascinated with history. English history as a schoolboy is basically two-thousand years of history. When you think about American history, you’re sitting there in school and learning American history—

Gina: Sweetheart, we don’t only learn American history (laughter), just so you know that.

Paul: We have to learn about empire—

Gina: We do too.

Paul: But you skirt over it.

Gina: No we don’t.

Paul: It’s a whole year for it. Just for the Romans.

Gina: Oh stop.

Paul: Just for the Romans.

Gina: We’ve had this conversation. He’s just a little arrogant about his English history, that’s all.

Paul: Of course. I’m an Englishman (laughter). And after we stopped owning the world—I’m interested in pattern recognition. That’s all I do. That’s all I do. It’s a very simple way to learn a style, is to analyze the code that makes that style that style. Tattooing, the line work, the shading, the density, the color spectrum, the composition, they can fall within certain parameters and it looks like old school American. Change two of those parameters and now you’ve got 1910 European. Thinner lines, slightly less black, slightly muted color scheme, Victorian tattooing. Change the lines a little bit, finer, two, three colors, now go Asian. Now you’re into Japanese influence from when Japan opened up in 1950. . . It’s in the code. You just have to read it.

Gina: The world has changed a lot in your field and your craft. Back when you started, everything was oral. Not everything, but quite a lot of it. So, I think that’s where your desire to seek out more information came from.

Paul: I had to go and sit down with the old man and talk to him.

Gina: Exactly. If you wanted to know something, you had to ask.

Paul: I couldn’t read the guy’s Facebook page.

Gina: ‘Cause they don’t do Facebook and also there was no Facebook then!

Paul: If you suggested that he share it with 100,000 strangers, he’d not only throw you out but he’d make sure your legs were broken before he threw you out. That’s completely changed.

 

The Dragon Room featured, like many other parts of the house, beautiful wood details that had been painted over when the couple purchased the property. For instance, where we now see gold trim, somebody had actually painted the lovely wood brown. So the couple has done their best to polish the space and resolve mistakes of the past. In this case, it meant an updated mural and more elegant trim. The overall effect pays homage to tradition but with a twist of Paul’s style.

The Dragon Room featured, like many other parts of the house, beautiful wood details that had been painted over when the couple purchased the property. For instance, where we now see gold trim, somebody had actually painted the lovely wood brown. So the couple has done their best to polish the space and resolve mistakes of the past. In this case, it meant an updated mural and more elegant trim. The overall effect pays homage to tradition but with a twist of Paul’s style.

 

Q: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it of?

 Paul: I was 17. It’s a Japanese bat flying out of the rising sun on my chest and it was a symbol of the Kendo Dojo that I was at when I was a teenager. Swordsman, which is where my whole fascination with Japanese art comes from, and the Bushido and the code of honor, which is very chivalrous and ties into the whole British—you know, a gentleman’s word.

Gina: The fellow who did it—

Paul: —Steve—

Gina: —Steve, you got to work with him.

Paul: I did. It was weird. That was when I was 17, so I started tattooing when I was 30. A couple of years in, I was on the internet! It’s young and fresh and new and we’re using it to contact. A friend of mine that I went to school with, Grace, she was the only other Goth in the school, so we used to hang out together. She was a year younger than me. And she’s married, and she’s got a kid, and she’s working in this tattoo shop. And I’m like, “Wow, it’s crazy ’cause I’m tattooing now. Where are you working?” “Oh, I’m working with Steve.” “You’re working with Steve?” “Yeah, I’m managing his shop.” “Ok then. Um. Can I come and do a guest spot?” She’s like, “Oh he’d love that.” So I went and I worked for 2 weeks. Did a guest spot with him, he tattooed me. I was 7 years in because I got my laurels for a journeyman (At this point, Paul gestured to the tattooed laurels on his arm). So he tattooed me, I tattooed him, but he tattooed me and then he said, “I’ve got some things for you.” So he went downstairs and he brought up two tattoo machine frames. One is a Davis Burchett from 1915 and the other is a 1927 Milton Zies, just the frame. He said, “This is the machine I tattooed you with when you were 17” and gave it to me. I built it up subsequently, I built the whole thing up and I took it back and I was going to give it to him, and he said “No, no no. It’s your machine.”

 

Inside the Dragon Room, there is a cabinet that displays a variety of fascinating tattooing devices. We did not discuss these during my interview, but I’m certain that each of these items has a story behind it.

Inside the Dragon Room, there is a cabinet that displays a variety of fascinating tattooing devices. We did not discuss these during my interview, but I’m certain that each of these items has a story behind it.

 

Q: Where does your interest in tattooing stem from?

 Paul: His shop was around the corner from my school, my high school, and from age 12 to 16, I would press my face up against that glass. I had a paper round and the news agent was three doors down. So I used to throw up at 5 o’clock in the morning on my bicycle. If the news agent had been out drinking the night before, he wasn’t going to be there on time, so I knew I had a few minutes. I would go and literally I would place my face up against the glass and try and see inside and look at the images in the shop, on Burr Street, in the Red Light District.

Gina: Didn’t you also say that one of your uncles had a tattoo that captured your imagination?

Paul:  Uncle Ray. My father was royal Airforce, and the royal Airforce do NOT get tattooed. The army do. My Uncle Ray, his brother, was army. And I remember when I was maybe 6 or 7, he said that one of them was a panther and one of them was an eagle and they were just sort of blurs and smudges, but they fascinated me because they were pictures on Uncle Ray! Why didn’t any of my other uncles have pictures on them? Dad, why don’t you have pictures on you? “’Cause I’m Airforce!” Oh, okay.

It’s always been there. It’s always been everywhere, every person is related to a group of people that tattooed and I find that fascinating. It’s a single bond. We are animals that decorate. That’s it. That’s the only thing that separates us. It’s innately human to do this. It’s been driven out of a lot of cultures politically or religiously, but it’s the basic operation of the human mind. I am me, I can make me prettier! Look, ooh, that’s lovely, I want to do that now! Everybody does it.

 

To learn more about the history of the James Street Parlour building, join NEHDA on its annual historic house tour. Get your tickets here!

NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Terry Horst

Written by Rachel Nolte  • May 31, 2017

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Editor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.

 

 

 

 

Terry Horst is the Project Developer Partner for the Landscape Architectural firm of Maxian + Horst. Maxian + Horst has been a Northside Business Partnership member since 2014. Read on to discover more about the field of landscape architecture—it’s more than just gardens!

 

Maxian + Horst collage

 

Q: For those who are not familiar with the field of landscape architecture, could you give a brief synopsis of the field?

A: Okay, so landscape architects, we see ourselves as an architect of the site. So where an architect would design and build a building, we would design everything outside the building. We do, not just the landscaping part, but the beautification and using plants is an integral part of what we do. We also design the parking spaces and how vehicles and people move through the spaces, around those buildings or parks. We design recreation facilities, athletic fields, we’ve been doing a lot of the green infrastructure of projects in Syracuse under the Onondaga County save the rain program. So we’ve been involved in that and that’s been very exciting for us personally. So anything that’s associated with the site, a landscape architect can do.

 

Q: What first drew you to the field?

A: Oh, that’s a good question. I went to SUNY Morrisville and I majored in natural resources conservation. When I left there, I worked a little bit. But then I was looking through the SUNY ESF catalog because I was interested, a lot of my friends were there, and I saw landscape architecture, and I thought, well this is great! It mixes art and nature, which are two things that I’m very interested in. So I applied there, and I graduated with a BLA (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) and I started working in Massachusetts, and became licensed in New York.  

 

Q: How did you come back to the area?

A: We were living in the Boston area for a little while, and there was an economic downturn. I’m from Syracuse, so it was a natural place for me to want to come back to, and I really like living here.

 

Q: Has this firm always been at this location?    

A: My partner, Allan Maxian, is partner in owning this building and I think they bought it in the late ‘80s. So this office, even before I became partner, it was Schuman + Maxian, was in this building from the late ‘80s til now. Then yes, they were in other offices downtown before they came here.

 

Q: Is there something about the Northside that lends itself to the Landscape Architecture field or is it more the area of Syracuse?

A: I want to say it’s more the area of Syracuse, because you’ll see that there’s LA firms scattered about. But what we like about this neighborhood is obviously this is a great building and the space is just really nice. It’s just always been a nice place to work.

 

Q: What about Syracuse draws the LAs?

 A: It’s probably having SUNY ESF right here in Syracuse. I think a lot of people stay or come back, so it just kind of lends itself to having a lot of landscape architects in it.

 

Q:  Does Maxian + Horst have any specialties or is it more general landscape architecture?

 A: It is general landscape architecture. We do a little bit of everything. A lot of our work is for architects, so we focus on the site when they’re doing the building. That lends itself to working with school districts and commercial property developments. We also do work for municipalities, like the City of Syracuse, we’ve done a lot of site work for the Parks Department in the development of a lot of their park facilities, athletic fields, and play grounds.

 

Q: Do you have any personal preference?

A: I do like working with the parks department. I think they’re just people that want to promote recreation. It’s a great concept and the work is always a lot of fun. I pretty much like everything that we do. I also like to do Green Infrastructure practices as well, just from the environmental aspect of it because using green infrastructure, taking care of storm water, is very environmental, so I like that as well. And of course, always landscaping, because that’s kind of what everyone thinks that we do—gardens—that’s certainly something else I like to do.

 

Q: Your website says that you have 26 years of experience in developing project packages. What sorts of changes are happening in the field?

 A: In terms of process, I started drawing everything on paper and drafting, so that was a huge change. It’s probably one of the biggest changes in the field, in architecture and in the design fields in general, was having to do that. I still do some things on paper and then it gets put into the computer, just because I was trained to think that way. So that’s a huge impact to the process. I think we still generate a lot of paper, so it hasn’t really saved on the paper aspect. But I think, using the computers and AutoCAD and SketchUp and a lot of the Photoshop programs have really helped the field. For us, the biggest way is just communicating our ideas.  A lot of people have a hard time looking at a plan view and knowing what it’s going to look like after it’s built. So if we can take that and generate something more in a 3-D image, I think people have a better feel for what that would look like. A lot of times, we would do these great designs and we’d build them, and then people would say, ‘That’s not really what I thought it would look like,’ because of that communication gap. It’s really filled that gap a bit so that’s a really positive thing.

Going to ESF, there was always that emphasis on the environment. But not everybody always grasps that. I think that things like green infrastructure, storm water control, and LEED buildings have led to more awareness of our earth and our environment. So I think that’s a really good change, very positive change.

 

Q:  If you could take on any space to design a park in, where would it be and why?

 A: I love the concept of taking vacant lots—and we were involved in some of that—and developing them into usable parks and spaces. Just because in Syracuse and a lot of the other cities like Cleveland and Troy, they have blocks and blocks of vacant property. Instead of saying, ‘Oh that’s so sad,’ you have to look at that and say, ‘That’s a great opportunity.’ I think being able to do that, use vacant lots to develop parks and other usable spaces, would be ideal for me. Just because it’s different. It’s not the big open space, because we’ve done that. Then you end up with these little pieces, and then, gee, can you start connecting them, and what does that look like?

We are actually working in collaboration with the Land Bank and SUNY ESF to develop some of these parks. It’s been a very interesting process because the students will run the community programs and just the ideas that are coming out of it are phenomenal.

 

To learn more about Maxian + Horst, visit their website.

NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Thom Madonna

Written by Rachel Nolte  • May 24, 2017

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Editor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.

 

For more information, subscribe to the NBP newsletter by emailing business@nehda.org or visit the NEHDA website here.  

 

 

Attilio's

 

Thom is the general manager for Attilio’s, which is owned by Lou Santaro and Roy Sardo. Attilio’s has been a Northside Business Partnership member since 2013 and has been delighting customers with distinct Italian cuisine on the Northside since its opening in 2010.

 

Q: How long have you worked for Attilio’s? How did you get into this line of work?

A: Since we opened, March 9th, 2010. I started [in this line of business] when I was in high school . . . 36 years. Restaurants were always a part time gig, whether it be waiting tables or bartending or something of that nature. And then 9/11 happened, my dad died shortly after, and I thought “life is too short to do things that make you unhappy.” So, that’s when I got into the restaurant business full time. I was with Antonio’s at the time, full time with them. They closed down in 2009 and then I took a tour of Syracuse, at 8 different spots in 9 months. Nothing felt like home. Current owner asked me back, and here I’ve been.

 

Q: Has Attilio’s always been at this location? What do you like about being located on the Northside?

A: Yes. For one, we’re Italian and we’re in Little Italy. For two, this is a unique restaurant with a large history and a good following, regardless of new and old. As far as our banquet facility, it’s unique to Syracuse, I think. It’s one of the nicest, if not the nicest banquet facility . . . The banquet room is exclusively for private functions, so if you have a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner, baptism—I do ‘em all. I do it from baptisms on up to funerals, and everything in between. I’ve seen kids take their first steps and done their rehearsal dinners. So, that’s how long I’ve been at this location, is 20 years. Some nice dinners, nice memories, and nice cocktails.

 

Q: Any dislikes?

A: Sometimes the neighborhood gets a little rowdy. But we try to make it work. That’s probably the only downside. I keep telling myself, when you think about Armory Square, for the first 10 years, I think Pastabillities was the only place there, otherwise it was rundown buildings and so on. So I keep telling myself it will be at least that to get off the ground.

 

Q: What dishes would you recommend to a first time Attilio’s diner?

A: Oh, there’s so many. My personal favorite is Veal Saltimbocca. Scallop and Shrimp Veneziana and Chicken Gabrielle are unique to our restaurant. Veal Saltimbocca has just been always a favorite dish of mine. A nice combination of meats and sauces and vegetables served over a bed of spinach, so you kinda get a healthy meal right there in one plate.

 

Attilio's collage

 

Q: Any favorite drinks?

A: When we first opened, we did the WinterFest every year and we won a bunch of awards for those, but they’re changing so often. We make good margaritas, manhattans, martinis, things like that. One of my personal favorite drinks is the Old Fashioned, a Southern Comfort Old Fashioned muddled.

 

Q: If you had to manage a restaurant other than Attilio’s, what kind of restaurant would you manage and why?

A: I don’t think I would. I have always been in this business. It’s in my blood. My grandparents owned restaurants. Skipped my mother’s generation, they didn’t want to have anything to do with it because as kids they had to do pots and pans. So it skipped them and I can’t get enough of it. So I know that I’ll always be in this business in some aspect.

 

Q: What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever had on the menu?

A: Us being an Italian restaurant, we at times throw in dishes with an Asian flair and people are always taken aback by that but they seem to love it. Like an Ahi tuna with a seaweed salad or something like that. There’s other dishes that are not Italian that we’ve done in specials and people absolutely eat them up and love them.

 

Q: Do you have any advice for people interested in getting into the restaurant business?  

A: Just give it your all. If you’re going to do something, do it with your heart, body, and soul. Don’t do it halfheartedly. It’s that simple in my mind. You either want to be in the business and you want to do a good job to make people happy and enjoy their experience every time, or you don’t. If you don’t, don’t get into it. It’s that simple.

 

To learn more about Attilio’s and see their tasty menu, visit their website.

More AmeriCorps VISTA Positions on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 15, 2017

VISTA

 

Last week we outlined several AmeriCorps VISTA positions under the Community Prosperity Initiative (CPI) at CenterState CEO. But, there are a few other Northside organizations seeking VISTAs to serve in other capacities. Both the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and NEHDA are looking to for VISTAs.

 

The Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) is seeking a passionate, flexible person who is comfortable working with a diverse populations to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. The position is created in partnership with Syracuse University to help strengthen SNCC’s capacity as a community school partner. The VISTA’s projects may include: creating a series of events, and communication pieces between SNCC and Dr. Weeks Elementary School; researching, designing, and administering surveys to parents; working with Syracuse University professors, courses, and community engagement initiatives to design programming that will engage neighborhood families and teach healthy eating practices.

For more information, view SNCC’s recruitment flier and check out the job listing on the VISTA website. If you have any questions, please send them to Lexie at  (315) 472-6343 ext. 215 or lkwiek@snccsyr.org.

 

NEHDA currently has two VISTA positions open: one as part of CPI and another in partnership with the the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition of New York State (NPCNYS). This VISTA would serve with NEHDA and help develop and implement outreach campaigns, write grant proposals, and organize community meetings and events. NPCNYS encourages any person who is interested in community development, public health, and/or affordable housing to apply and gain skills that will “create positive change in historically underserved communities by empowering community-based organizations and residents.”

For more information, view NEHDA’s website or the full job listing on the VISTA website.

 

The AmeriCorps VISTA program includes a living allowance, an End of Service Education Award or Stipend, personal and medical leave, health benefits, child care assistance (if eligible) and a relocation travel allowance. To learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit the VISTA Campus website.

NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Patrick Strodel and Rebecca Markus

Written by Rachel Nolte  • May 4, 2017

rachel_for-webEditor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.

 

For more information, subscribe to the NBP newsletter by emailing business@nehda.org or visit the NEHDA website here.  

 

 

Lead Safe collage

 

Patrick Strodel is the president of Lead Safe LLC and Rebecca Markus is the owner. Lead Safe is a New York State Certified Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) that is dedicated to professional lead testing and consulting. Lead Safe has been a Northside Business Partnership member since 2013. Read on to discover more about the link between poverty and child lead poisoning and easy ways for you to keep your family safe.

 Q: What are your positions with Lead Safe?

 Patrick: She’s the owner, and I’m the Operations Coordinator, which is kind of a catch all for whatever needs to be done.

 Q:  How did you come to work for Lead Safe?

 Patrick: I actually started this business back in 2000. Then we decided for professional reasons to change the ownership. It started out as a little Lead Safe DBA, you know, small business, and then we decided to make a Limited Liability Company, Lead Safe LLC, and we decided to have [Rebecca] be the sole member. It helps with a lot of different things, not including protecting assets.

Q: What kind of background do you need to have to go into this type of work?

 Patrick: Well, I started out in the mid ‘80s doing asbestos removal. At that time, it was a really thriving business where it was so new and everybody was sort of freaked out by asbestos that they’d almost throw money at the owners of these companies to get rid of it. I got the training and certification back then to do it. But I quickly realized that that business was not so nice, especially for the workers. You’re in the bowels of buildings, removing pipe insulation and whatever, and not the best work. So I switched from the company that I started with to a different company that did air monitoring and project monitoring and that company had a training school where basically their policy was you could take whatever training courses they had for free. So I just took whatever they had, and lead was one of them. Nobody at the time was really a specialist in lead, so I’m like, that’s perfect for me! At the time, compared to today, there was very little, very few programs in the country for dealing with lead, so I was like a pioneer to find out from the different sources what really needs to be done to control this thing. That’s how it kind of started. I learned to be a lead inspector, then ended up being a trainer.

 Q: Has Lead Safe always been located on the Northside?

 Patrick: We were on Burnet Ave. for a while—

Rebecca: —and then a couple of blocks down the road. We’re both from upstate New York. He grew up in Syracuse, I grew up in Utica.

Patrick: I’m a legacy Northsider though. My father’s family lived here and actually this building was previously the Altman building.

 Q: What about this location keeps the business here?

Rebecca: Well, right here, we’re lead central. This Syracuse area—actually, there’s pockets in New York—Syracuse is a big one, Buffalo is another one, Utica to a smaller extent just because it’s a smaller city, and then down near New York City.

Patrick: There’s clusters of amazingly high instances of childhood lead poisoning.

Rebecca: It’s primarily because the housing stock is so old. It’s been a while since I looked up the statistics, but as of a few years ago, about 75% of the housing stock was built before 1945. You go around here, you go within a one block radius and you’ll see chipping and peeling paint, and lead paint was great, it held up well to mold and moisture so they used it everywhere here. But now it’s deteriorating so it’s becoming a problem.

Patrick: We also see a disproportionately high incidence of childhood lead poisoning in inner city housing with minorities. That’s a couple reasons, she alluded to some of it. The housing stock, those places were built back when Syracuse was the grand city and they were beautiful homes, but they’re not maintained like they were. Also, the people that live there, and I’m painting with a wide brush here, but they’re living in poverty and consequently things like nutrition is not the same as it is elsewhere and so a child’s body that doesn’t have what it needs tends to absorb things like lead much more readily than if you had a full satisfied nutritional diet  . . . The problem is not just a child is sick for a while. It’s a lifetime ailment and the cost to that person and to society—if you take the humanity out of a lifetime of suffering, which of course we wouldn’t do—but if you just looked at it bold, brass, dollars and cents, a child that has this problem is reduced IQ. To the point where they probably won’t finish high school, or if they do, they’re in the very lower echelon of grades. There’s a relationship between the amount of education you have and the amount of income you’re able to generate.  A lot of the kids don’t graduate from high school, they have difficulty finding jobs, or they can’t even keep a job. They still need food and shelter, so where are they going to get that from? Criminal behavior. There’s a direct relationship between childhood lead poisoning and criminal behavior  . . . A significant number end up in the correctional system, and who pays for prison? Taking the humanity out of it and just looking at dollars and cents, this problem is massive and extremely expensive.

 

Lead Safe collage 2

 

Q: Do you have any advice for steps the average person can take to safeguard against lead in their homes, especially considering that many people on the Northside rent and live in older buildings?

Patrick: Because of the lack of information out there, the public thinks, oh well we banned it in 1978. Why are we still talking about it? And it’s because it’s still here!

Rebecca: There’s this disservice of saying, ‘oh well, I don’t eat paint chips. It’s not going to be an issue.’ And actually, usually that’s not the primary way that people are exposed to it. It’s usually a secondary thing. Kids have toys near the windows or on the floor, or there’s lead dust. It gets on their hands, and they go to grab something to eat, they’re not going to wash their hands first, so whatever’s on their hands goes right into their mouths. Or with little, little kids, 2 and younger, everything, hands go into the mouth. And that’s primarily how they’re exposed. It’s not the stereotypical picture of a kid by a wall eating those paint chips.

Patrick: Although some do. But the data shows that more than 90% get it from the dust.

Rebecca: Particularly right now with spring and hopefully we’ll get some warmer weather, people are starting to open up their windows. Good thing to do and particularly for older windows, get a wet paper towel. Wipe that window sill. Have it be a weekly thing. Wipe those windowsills so that paint chips can’t build up on them. Same with the window wells when you open up that window. Take a wet paper towel and wipe that window well, get out those paint chips, and throw it out. Probably the easiest thing you can do. Other things like using Swiffers to clean your floors. Again, you’ve got that wet towel that you’re putting on something like a Swiffer and you can throw it away and that way it’s out of the environment.

Patrick: The important thing is not to reuse it. The reason it’s paper towels and not a sponge is because you’re gonna discard it. Unless you’re going to throw out the sponge, you’re just moving the lead. The sponge will retain some of it. So like, either baby wipes or paper towels, something with moisture that you just wipe across, particularly the window sills and troughs, that’s the main sources. That actually would have a significant impact in the city if people regularly did that.

 Q: What is the importance of using a wet cleaning material?

 Patrick: Lead kind of clings. It’s almost like electrostatic. It likes to stick to the surface, so if you just wipe the surface with a dry towel, some will become airborne and you’ll just move it. It won’t be as effective as picking up the lead from the surface. Even better is to have a little soapy water that will break down that surface tension. But even if it’s just a wet cloth, will go a long way in cleaning up the dust. So definitely wet, not dry, and soapy is better. That’s why I say baby wipes.

 Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

 Patrick: Knowing that we make a difference, I think every day, with the children that live here. It’s kind of a weird idea, but we’re actually in business–

Patrick & Rebecca together: —to put ourselves out of business.

Rebecca: It’s a strange irony.

Patrick: I’m sure we could make a living doing something else. So if we actually ever ran out of lead hazards to identify or people to train—but the sad fact is, it’s so extensive, not just in Syracuse but all over the Northeast, and particularly in the Erie Canal cities. There’s so much of this housing stock. In our lifetime, we’re not going to run out of work. Unfortunately. But knowing every day when we’re doing our thing, we’re making a difference.

Rebecca: The ideal is for us to go in to do our job before a child is affected by it, have that lead treated, and have there be no issue. So it’s also kind of ironic because if we do our job well it means that nobody notices. If we don’t do our job well, then there’s going to be trouble down the line.

 

Learn more about Lead Safe and the services it offers on their website: www.leadtesting.net.

On the Calendar: Festival of the Arts, Culture Gala, and a Bike Ride Fundraiser

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 3, 2017

Events

 

This May, our friends at the St. Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum, Hopeprint, and ArtRage are all planning special events this month.

 

Festival of the Arts

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: St. Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum, 601 N. Townsend Street

The Festival of the Arts celebrates “the art of dance, cuisine, painting, language, music, and gardening” on the anniversary of St. Joseph’s Hospital opening day in 1869. The Shrine & Museum will feature exhibits, displays, and workshops during the event that showcase the creativity of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Workshops include lessons in the ukulele and Hula dancing. $10 donation is suggested at the door, but not required. For a full list of details, visit SaintMarianne.org. Stay up-to-date on the event, by joining the Facebook invite.

 

Hopeprint’s Culture Gala 2017

WHEN: Friday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: SKY Armory, 351 S. Clinton Street

Hopeprint’s annual fundraiser features a cocktail hour, five-course meal, entertainment, and an afterparty. The meal “highlight[s] the flavors of the world at our doorstep” and is influenced by chef consultants for the Hopeprint family to ensure the flavors of their culture come through. As guests enjoy dinner, the stage is filled with ethnic dance and music performances, culminating in a “multi-cultural” dance party. For ticket information, including a student discount, visit Hopeprint.org. Stay up-to-date on the event, by joining the Facebook invite.

 

Re-cycling History: ArtRageous Bike Ride Fundraiser

WHEN: Sunday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.

Re-cycling History is a fundraiser to help support ArtRage’s mission and educate the community about the history of social justice in our area. There are three routes to choose from when registering for the bike ride with different destination points for each: Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center is an 11 mile ride; Matilda Joslyn Gage House is a 20 mile ride; and Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum is a 38 mile ride. Each site will feature a short presentation before the return-trip back to ArtRage gallery to enjoy lunch and the current exhibit, AT ALL COSTS: Photographs of American Workers by Earl Dotter. Registration begins at $25. To learn more about Re-cycling History, visit ArtRageGallery.org. Stay up-to-date on the event, by joining the Facebook invite.

Procession of Neighbors: In Support of Refugees

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 1, 2017

Procession

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and InterFaith Works are teaming up for an event on May 7th from 3:00 – 4:30 PM. Procession Of Neighbors: In Support of Refugees aims to bring together people of all different faiths to show their support for the refugee community. The procession will begin and end at White Branch Library, making several 5-10 minute stops along the way. You can view the route here.

This event is free and open to the public. For more details, visit Catholic Charities’ website or join the Facebook invite.

A Photographer’s Thoughts on Selfies: NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Duane Sauro

Written by Rachel Nolte  • April 27, 2017

rachel_for-webEditor’s Note: The Northside Business Partnership is an association comprised of Northside businesses, property owners, and organizations. It serves as an advocate group for the Northside, strengthening the vitality of the business community by connecting, engaging, and promoting its members. NBP is administrated by NEHDA.

For more information, subscribe to the NBP newsletter by emailing business@nehda.org or visit the NEHDA website here.  

 

 

Sauro collage

Meet Duane Sauro, the owner and photographer of a unique portrait and wedding studio, Sauro Photographic Art. Duane’s business is a proud Northside Business Partnership member. Read on to get a professional photographer’s perspective on selfies, advice for aspiring artists, and more.

 Q: Your website says that Sauro Photographic Art is a second generation business. Did you grow up around cameras and photography?

Duane: Yes, I did. In particular, starting with the lab-work, we did a lot of film processing, which is of course an obsolete technology at the moment, but that’s what was normal at the time. Picture taking as well, but I began most of my exposure with lab-work probably around 12 . . .The business was on Salina Street, a little south of the business district back in the 60s. The business was actually started in ’45, right after World War 2, with my dad. As you say, second generation. Then for decades it was right across the street from the newspaper on North Salina Street, then we moved to this location here on Pearl Street in the late 80s.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to go into the arts as a career?

Duane: No, when I was in college, I actually majored in math and philosophy. I always was interested and loved the arts, but I didn’t know for sure at that point in time that I would come into the family business and take it over. I always found the lab-work to be almost magical, the way you see an image appear from nowhere. So when the technology changed into a digital format, although I loved lab-work, it actually was an enticement for me to further my commitment because of the increased creative avenues that were available for digital photography. I was always interested in sculpting, painting, and other art forms, so I always found that photography in its pure form when it was in a film format was more limiting to me than what I really wanted. I found myself often oil painting on top of photographs, doing extensive dark room where you’re using 3, 4, up to 9 different negatives to get a creative result. So when it went to digital, of course, the avenues were much more expedient as well as reusable.

 

Figure 1

“…this actually would have been a very pale looking photograph, in its original inception. But the oil painting on top did several things…I was able to add several elements that weren’t there, I could increase mood by making it more vibrant, I could make it more somber, but also it increased the longevity and stability of the product, which now wouldn’t fade at the rate of a regular color photograph.”
- Duane

 

Q: So you’ve already begun to answer my next question, which is that your aesthetic seems to involve non-traditional post-production techniques. What drew you into this way of working? So it seems like it was in large part due to the change in technology.

Duane: Before the technology actually did change, I was an extensive lecturer on creative portraiture, but often times the avenue that was being used was multi-media. So it was oil paint embellishments that were on top of portrait photography. An example would be this here (figure 1). So this actually would have been a very pale looking photograph, in its original inception. But the oil painting on top did several things. One, I was able to add several elements that weren’t there, I could increase mood by making it more vibrant, I could make it more somber, but also it increased the longevity and stability of the product, which now wouldn’t fade at the rate of a regular color photograph. So the ultraviolet rays would no longer penetrate through the oil paint, the ultraviolet rays being the element that causes photographs to fade over time. As technology became more sophisticated, the longevity of the color photograph certainly did increase gradually over decades. But with the oil paint put on top of the photographs, it was a much greater permanent archival product than what any photography even today is able to accomplish.

 Q: As a photographer, how do you feel about the culture of cell phones and “selfies”?

Duane: Oh, I think it all has its place. I think that all forms of self-expression have their place. People taking pictures with their phones? Selfies? I think it’s great because it shows the animation of the moment and that’s the sole intention of it. But they’re not going to be able to print it and archive it in any way because regardless of what all the places tell you that the high quality, large pixel size cameras are cable of, in my opinion, they typically are not. The quality is mostly intended to be viewed on the screen resolution of that equipment. Once you try to download that and try to make something to put on the wall from it, I doubt that you’re going to have much of the quality that you’re expecting . . . But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a tremendous value to what you said. You’re there at the moment, you’re on a beach somewhere, you’re with a good friend, you’re with a lover, whoever. You want to take pictures to document a moment. It does do that. It does have a value.

 Q: If you could make a portrait of anyone, who would it be and why?

Duane: I think at this point in time, I think I would be interested in a portrait of my dad because he is in a nursing home and approaching some of the emotional struggles with the loss of part of who he is now, and the immediate emotional interest in preserving the way that we used to know him yesterday. But in general, if I was to do a “portrait” outside of this particular emotional moment, it wouldn’t be what you’re asking, it wouldn’t be a rendering necessarily of that person. It would be a rendering of my perception of the sense of that person. It would almost invariably be an exaggeration—it would not be literal. It might be a combination of black and white and color, it might be a combination of images, it might be an elongation of body parts. Because once again, what would have a lasting value to me would be its aesthetic-emotional statement. Not its literal accurate rendering. So, at the moment, Dad. After the moment, probably nobody in terms of what you’re asking.

 Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring creative types and artists?

Duane: I would say that it depends on what you’re looking for the art to give you. If you’re looking for it as merely self-expression or if you’re looking for it as a career. That’s a really very key point. Many people go into careers because they have a love for the art, but more often than not they are completely different realms. If you’re going to make money as a successful business, the likelihood is that you’re going to need to gear your imagery towards what somebody is going to purchase. You’re also going to need to have exposure in a lot of areas that have nothing to do with your self-gratification, if it’s aesthetic. For instance, business sense. So you’re going to need to engage understanding of promoting, of book keeping, of managing people if you’re going to expand. All of those are things that typically the creative type are uninterested in. It has to do with left-brain, right brain. You’re either going to be a qualitative or a quantitative thinker, or feeler, however you want to look at it.

If you’re looking at the arts on the other hand, as merely self-expression, well then it’s an entirely different direction. You don’t need any of those courses in business. What I would say is frequent museums, try to focus on what forms of the diverse art expressions you see that appeal to you the most. Try to answer to yourself, what about that appeals to you? Is it the accuracy of the literal? Or is it the emotional expression of the illustrative? Is it the complexity of the surreal? In some way, you’ve got to ask what’s drawing you to that area.

 

Figure 2

“This is an image that was in a couple of Kodak’s publications and promotings over the years. As you can see, it’s surreal. You don’t really have those tones in a body. It’s also an elongation. You have the emotional statement of protrusion with the face up and above; you’re making a statement that goes beyond the literal.”
- Duane

NEHDA Presents Clean Up ‘Cuse: Northside | April 22 from 10 am – 1 pm

Written by Rachel Nolte  • April 6, 2017

rachel_for-webEditor’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.

Clean up Cuse banner

Syracuse, NY—Every ‘Cuse resident is familiar with the infamous lingering winter. It shapes our city’s culture and affects our daily lives. We have those that embrace the weather and those that resign themselves to constant misery from mid-October until late May. However, pro- or anti-winter folks alike get excited when the days begin to lengthen and the hesitant sun returns. This excitement is with good cause, too. We’ve survived another snowy season and have a few months of heat and growth and maybe even some swimming ahead of us! Ice cream stores re-open, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating, and the whole world seems to come out of hibernation and swarm the public parks.

Sadly, not every part of the springtime is so cheery. As the remnants of the tired yellow, brown, black, and grey snow banks melt away, the horrors underneath are revealed. Bottles, bags, wrappers, newspapers, cigarette butts, tires, Styrofoam—it’s almost enough to make a person long for snow to cover up all the litter! Almost. Fortunately, there’s a better option. Every year, neighborhoods all over Syracuse host litter clean up events on or near Earth Day.

The Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) is organizing three such events—one in a neighborhood near you! Or so we hope. The meet-up locations are the following:

— In front of the Flat Iron building on 536 N. Salina Street for the N. Salina Street corridor cleanup

— In front of the YWCA on 401 Douglas Street for the Rose Hill cleanup

— In the parking lot of Laci’s Tapas Bar on 304 Hawley Avenue for the Hawley Green triangle cleanup

 If you want to participate or provide donations, please email Rachel (@) nehda.org or call (315) 425-1032. Special thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts and Home Depot for providing donations to make the event a success.

 

TOP 10 REASONS YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN CLEAN UP ‘CUSE: NORTHSIDE

1. Free donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts

Say, that sweetens the deal!

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2. Feeling proud of your community

You can see the tangible difference that you made!

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3. Spending quality time outdoors

When’s the last time you were outside? No, walking from your car into your home doesn’t count.

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4. Everyone can participate: all generations are welcome!

No age limits here.

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5. You can go out for lunch!

You’re already out and you’ve done some good work, so you might as well treat yourself to lunch at a fabulous Northside restaurant. There’s so many delectable options!

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Sandwiches by Thanos Import Market.

 

6. Spend quality time with friends

Come stag and make cool new friends, or bring an old buddy and catch up over clean-up.

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7. Soak in the beauty

The Northside is already beautiful. You get to make it even more beautiful while enjoying the beauty. SO MUCH BEAUTY.

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8. Get the most out of your Saturday

You’re going to get a jump start on the day because you have to be at the Clean Up by 10 am. Then you will be done in the early afternoon with lots of Saturday ahead of you to enjoy! You can spend the rest of the day being productive, or perhaps napping.

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9. Bragging rights

While we hope that you are bringing everyone you know to this event, you can brag to those of your friends who fail to participate.

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10. Spending time with the awesome people that work at NEHDA

We’re so fun to be around that we really are providing you with a free service. Plus, we bring our friends.

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NBP Member Interview Series Featuring Alan Poushter

Written by Rachel Nolte  • March 29, 2017

rachel_for-webEditor’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.

 

 

Ra-Lin collage

 

Alan is the president at Ra-Lin Discount: The Original Discounter! This Northside Business Partnership member is a second generation, family-owned supplier of large appliances, electronics, photography equipment, and much more.

 

Q: How long have you been in Syracuse? How long have you worked at Ra-Lin?

A: First of all, Ra-Lin’s started in 1953. It was started by my father-in-law, Bernie Radin, and his partner Herman Zeitlin. I was born in 1952, so actually just the year before the store opened—born and raised in Syracuse, went to Nottingham. In fact, all the owners went to Nottingham. The owners are my brother-in-law, Lewis Radin, and my wife, Marsha Poushter, but she was Radin obviously before that. We were all born and raised in Syracuse, went to Nottingham. The only time I left was when I went to University of Denver for college. When I started at Ra-Lin, it was 1978, so 39 years. Hard to believe.

 

Q: Ra-Lin has everything from major appliances to home theater speakers to jewelry. How do you provide knowledgeable staff support to customers when you have such a broad range of products?

A: We have specialists in every department. In fact, what you’ll find is even right now, there are two appliance people who just do appliances. There are two people who just do the TVs and stereos. There are two people who do jewelry. There are two people who do small appliances and there are about four of us in camera because we do photo finishing too. And that does not include the sporting goods, by the way. They have their own—there’s like five people that work just in sporting goods. I think what separates us from the competition is our knowledgeable staff. Also I would say most of the staff, believe it or not, have been here over 30 years. Not only are they knowledgeable, but the appliance people have been here 30 years and 40 years, in TV one guy has been here 30, 40 years. Also, whatever department the person is in, the guys are into it. The TV department, the guys are into it. The sporting department, the guys are sportsman and they go off sporting. The camera people shoot photography. Everyone who is in their specialty is also an avid fan. It’s not just a job. It’s their hobby. In a nutshell, that’s who we are and why we’re successful. People know that when they come in here, the person that they’re going to talk to is highly knowledgeable and motivated and into it. It’s not just a job.

 

Q: Have you ever had strange requests for products you don’t carry? Can you think of any examples?

A: Oh, every day. We get a lot of calls for computers because people think we sell computers. Computers and computer accessories. You would think it would go with everything else we sell here—it’s what I call a small big box. We carry pretty much everything a big box store would carry, without the computer stuff.

 

Q: What do you like about being located on the Northside? Dislike?

A: Yes we’re on the Northside, but we’re also almost downtown. We’re also Eastside. We get a lot of customers from DeWitt. Although I am on the Northside and belong to all the groups, I consider myself a centrally located—although, like I said, we’re on the edge of the Northside. We like the location. We’re centrally located and we’re right near the Teal Ave exist and the downtown exit, the Townsend Street exit, and we’re convenient no matter what side of town you’re on. And I think our big advantage over other businesses on the Northside is we have PLENTY of adequate parking.

 

Q: Lately, we’ve had such new technologies as smart phones, 3D TVs, and Blu-ray. Any thoughts about what the next big technology will be?

A: Well, we’re selling some drones. It actually falls into the camera department because all the drones have these high-quality cameras. Most of the drones you see are used for monitoring or looking at things, so it’s photography, video. All of ours are really sold to photographers, who are now getting into it. We’re selling some to business guys, construction guys, who use it instead of getting up on a ladder to look at a roof, or a farmer or real estate people. It’s still a new thing but we’re starting to sell some. What we find is that even though they’re photographers, they’re not good flyers, and we’re having trouble with things crashing. So we’re getting together with the clubs that use model air planes. They came at it more from the flying part and we’re more at it from the picture part, so we’re trying to work with the local model air plane guys.

The other thing we’re selling new are these security cameras. With these new security cameras, you can look at your store or your house on your phone, wherever you are. The security camera is hooked up to your computer through the Wi-Fi, and from your computer to your phone. There, again, we have a specialty guy. He has to come out and look at your house. You could home-install it, but most of the time you would hire someone. And we’re not doing so much individuals with security cameras as small businesses. We did a system for the Canal Museum. People have gone away from alarm systems because you can see it on your phone. Less false alarms.

 

Q: If I could write you a check to buy anything in the store, what would you get and why?

A: I would say the fancy drone or the big TVs. The other thing I would say is, the appliances are getting more sophisticated. You can monitor your refrigerator. That’s the new thing—monitoring of the home appliances. From your phone, you’ll be able to find out what’s in your refrigerator. This is kind of in the future, what they’re talking about. They’re not quite there yet, but you’ll be able to get it from your phone, all this stuff.

 

To learn more about Ra-Lin, visit their website at RaLins.com.

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