Archive for November, 2012

Elder Grace

Friday, November 30th, 2012
Performance poet Omanii Abdullah presented a one man show called "New Shoes..." at the Community Folk Art Center tonight. The performances continue through the weekend with new work such as "8:02 am and his classics such as "I wanna be the kinda father my mother was."

Performance poet Omanii Abdullah presented a one man show called New Shoes... at the Community Folk Art Center tonight. The performances continue through the weekend with new work such as "8:02 am" and classics like " I wanna be the kinda father my mother was." The show is directed by Ryan Johnson-Travis.

Ms. Robinson’s Neighborhood

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Hero for my daughter

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Jackie Robinson, a pioneer in television journalism

Jackie Robinson, a pioneer in television journalismIn NYC yesterday she was honored along with with legendary journalists such as Mike Wallace and Len Berman. Tonight, Hall of Fame journalist Jackie Robinson was the honoree at a community celebration for her retirement here in Syracuse.  The roster of speakers and honors included representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Syracuse University, the Newhouse School, community leaders and the Onondaga County Legislature.

She was called out for being not only a great role model, but also a community activist and a great mother and wife.

Jackie Robinson, SU alum and homegirl

Jackie Robinson, SU alum and homegirl

The celebration will continue tomorrow when a portion of James Street will be named in Robinson’s honor (Jackie Robinson Way).
Robinson also gave credit to her fourth grade teacher Mary Czirr (right), who was one of her special guests.

Robinson also gave credit to her fourth grade teacher Mary Czirr (right), who was one of her special guests for the evening.

Book Talk

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Jim Roberts, bookseller at Books End (Eastwood)

Jim Roberts, bookseller at Books End (Eastwood)

Books End owner Jim Roberts celebrates 25 years in business this year.  When we interviewed him in the late 90s (along with two other independent bookstore owners), he was facing the threat of superstores and online services.  Not only did Books End survive that era (the two other shops closed), but Roberts recently expanded the store (doubled the size).

Here are six questions he answered on Wednesday:

What does your collection include?

Used, rare and out of print books. From bestsellers to books from the 1700s.

What makes a good bookseller?

Listening to customers. They will tell you what they want. Also providing good service and having a wide range of interests.

Why do small neighborhood stores have such a loyal following?

Independent stores are not as homogeneous. Each store has its own personality. In addition, some people like to support local (small) businesses.

What are you reading now?

Homicide by David Simon and Wanted Man by Lee Child.

Is Syracuse a good town for books?
I don’t know if there’s a bad town for books. The academic institutions in [Syracuse] help with an appreciation of books and to also increase the quantity.

Does the physical book still matter?

The physical book is almost perfect in it’s design and function. Holding it in your hands…there’s a certain feel when you turn the pages.  Think of the large art books or children’s books with movable parts…And everyone has their own personal library. Some things are hard to duplicate on your Kindle or iPhone.

Neighborhood in Transition (part 19)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
SUNY/ESF Biotech Accelerator, East Fayette Street

SUNY/ESF Biotech Accelerator, East Fayette Street.

Finishing Touches: Ronald McDonald House, Unviersity Avenue

Finishing Touches: Ronald McDonald House, University Avenue.

Mega Mall

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Destiny USA

Destiny USA

Shop Street, Destiny USA (Mall)

Small Business Saturday (a look back)

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Mary Ellen Kavanaugh, circa 2000

Former teacher and entrepreneur Mary Ellen Kavanaugh was one of the first small business owners profiled by SIF.  She discussed the difficulties of operating a small, independent bookstore during the 90s.  Her store, My Sisters’ Words, closed in 2003.

A little bit country

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Chris Taylor, singer

Chris Taylor, singer

I got the opportunity to interview country singer Chris Taylor at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que after his Syracuse Sandy Relief Concert set on Sunday. I saw his band perform previously at the Taste of Syracuse in Clinton Square. Taylor was born in Kentucky, has lived in Indiana, but says he found his love for country music while in Potsdam, New York.

See our brief conversation below.

Sunday for Sandy (part 2)

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Isreal Hagan

Isreal Hagan

Sunday’s Sandy Benefit Concert, which was held at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, quickly became a collaborative community effort featuring local legends, a crowded dance floor and several genres of feel-good music.

Todd Hobin

Todd Hobin

Doug Moncrief

Doug Moncrief

Guapo Pagan's Rhonda

Grupo Pagan’s Rhonda Arns

Sunday for Sandy (relief)

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Dancing at Dinosaur BBQ: Marge grooves with Chris Taylor Custom Band

Dancing at Dinosaur BBQ: Sandy Benefit Concert. Marge, the ultimate Syracuse music fan, grooves to the sounds of  the Custom Taylor Band during Sunday’s early set.

Dancing at Dinosaur BBQ: Sandy Benefit Marathon Concert

Dancing at Dinosaur BBQ: Sandy Benefit Concert.