Anyone crazy enough to read all these posts knows I grew up in Manlius, so walkability was normal for me. My dear ol’ dad was a member of the Village Board for quite some time and I recall fights back in the ’60′s when he and others were trying to prevent the village from tearing down its historic buildings. For the most part, they were successful. And if you walk around Manlius today, you’ll see that there’s still a “there” there. You’ll know, from the quaintly mid-century Sno-Top to the Swan Pond to the ancient Masonic Temple and the early 19th-century homes near the gazebo, that you are in no other place than Manlius, NY.
Continue reading They didn’t pave paradise
Since the early 1980′s, our city forefathers in their flawed thinking have foregone long-term stable housing property tax revenue for larger, short-term tax revenue gains by approving franchise type drive-thru land uses (KFC, Burger King, Eckerds, Rite Aid, Jreck Subs, etc.) over the past ten to twenty years. What has resulted in places like Butternut St. is a high crime corridor and declining real property values. Was this trade-off worth it in the end?
Continue reading The true cost of big box/franchise retail
With the economy tanking, one begins to think about things even more elemental than whether a business district is built for humans or for cars. (I can hear a few developers breathing a sigh of relief…) Yeah, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to grow food. We already know, thanks to Karen, that it’s possible to grow a lot of food in Eastwood.
Continue reading Planning an Eastwood veggie garden
I have been incensed ever since a lopsided vote in the Common Council allowed the Kingsley-True House to be slated for demolition, despite the overwhelming public and professional support for preservation. How could this have happened?
This was all explained to us in March in this Post-Standard article. Remember? Six of the Common Councilors voted for historic designation while only three, Michael Heagerty, Patrick Hogan and Ryan McMahon, voted against it. But in our broken system, the resolution required 7 “yes” votes to pass. I have to ask, what was our dear Mike Heagerty thinking? He, of all people, as owner of Eastwood’s beloved Palace Theater, should understand the importance of historic buildings to their communities.
It is vitally important that the perception of an either-or situation be turned around. It is patently false that this city must choose between caring for sick kids and protecting its history. Albany didn’t have to make that choice. Philadelphia didn’t have to make that choice. What is it about Syracuse that leaves us vulnerable to three people who somehow ended up with this much power?
“…(T)he votes of city officials on the Landmark Preservation Board (9-0); the Syracuse Planning Commission (5-0); and the Syracuse Common Council (6-3), the votes of city officials were overwhelmingly in favor of historic designation (20-3).” (Post-Standard article) Continue reading Kingsley-True: it’s not a done deal. Action needed immediately!
We’re avid readers of Anthony Bourdain’s books. Two of them have impacted our family somewhat dramatically. The first was Kitchen Confidential. Aside from being just a great read, it was also the third book our then-early-adolescent son read. He read it cover to cover, but it was at the third chapter that he came running to announce that he wanted to be a chef. Why? He pointed to the title of Chapter 3: “Food is Sex”. That did it. A couple culinary degrees under his belt, he’s now in charge of the mignardises in a restaurant in New York.
But the book that continues to inspire me is A Cook’s Tour, and specifically the chapter, “Where Food Comes From“. Read it, and you’ll understand why he says that where our food comes from is not always pretty. But it’s the larger concept behind that chapter that makes me think a lot and sometimes do strange things.
Strange thing #1: I make coffee in a 70-year-old vacuum coffee pot.
Continue reading Where food comes from