August 23, 2019

TGIF 8/23/19

I hereby order you to appreciate this TGIF post, or else!

Or else, what, you ask?  I'm not certain, honestly, any more than anyone has a clue what the president was talking about when he "hereby ordered" American companies to "immediately start looking for an alternative to China..."  Does it mean they have to leave forthwith? A$AP Rock(il)y? Never?

Trump was trying to make some kind of point, just like he was earlier in the week with his repeated accusations of disloyalty on the part of any Jew who votes with Democrats instead of voting with Republicans or maybe any Jews who don't agree with Trump, it's hard to tell exactly what disloyalty he was talking about.

Never mind that such an accusation has long been considered to be anti-Semitic; heck, even Trump said it was when one of the Squad said something along those lines. But when he says it, of course, it's not anti-Semitic. It can't be: his son-in-law and daughter are Jewish, after all. You know, just like someone can't be anti-gay if they have a gay friend, or can't be racist if they have a black friend.

Were any of his points made? Yes, if you listen to his base. No, if  you don't But I think his collective actions put him on top of the 'bad week' list, especially if you include his childish dropping of a visit to Denmark after it was suggested nastily (his characterization) that his offer to buy Greenland was 'abzerd' - and then, to make reference to President Obama in the same conversation, about how the US is being treated by other countries. Egads, man!

On the good week side of the ledger? Democratic presidential primary voters had a good week, I think, with the cast of thousands running for the top spot on the 2020 ballot dwindling by a couple. Jay Inslee and Seth Moulton dropped out this week, joining John Hickenlooper who bailed last week.

Ideally, the third debate, coming up next month, will be held on only one night (I would be delighted, since I live-comment the debates on my Facebook page). Here's the list of the ten who have met both the fundraising and polling requirements:  Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and Andrew Young.  Anyone who doesn't meet the requirements by the August 28th deadline should drop out, in my opinion.

Of course, I say the same thing about anyone who's not a registered Democrat, but what do I know?

Finally, I wanted to share something that happened last Saturday, when we were returning from vacation in Nova Scotia. We were waiting in line for the ferry to New Brunswick when the line of cars next to us was given the go-ahead to board. Several cars started their engines and pulled forward, but one car wasn't moving. After what seemed like half a minute, I looked over and the two women in the car were both dozing, holding up several other cars in line behind them. I got their attention and they quickly started their car, pulling up to the front of their now-empty lane.

None of the drivers behind the women honked their horns. There was no shouting or cursing or fist-shaking - in fact, it was strangely calm. I pointed out to my husband that the other drivers must have been Canadian, because we're so used to horns, shouting, cursing and fist-shaking if a person doesn't immediately go as soon as a light changes, or as soon as there's even the hint of an opening in traffic leaving the grocery store. I mean, we're Americans, dammit, and we have things to do, people to see, places to go. We certainly don't have time to sit around for an hour in a line of cars...

Truth be told, all but one of the cars that pulled up behind the now wide-awake women had US plates. So, for a brief moment, at the Digby ferry terminal at least, the US had a good week.  Yay, us.

TGIF, everyone.

Hereby ordered.

August 22, 2019

The Update Desk: One Corner at a Time (Again)

It's been a while since I last talked about the new Salt City Market that's coming to downtown Syracuse.

I first wrote about it in June 2018, when we learned that the Allyn Family Foundation (AFF) was planning to revitalize one of downtown's 'parking lot corners' into a mixed-use facility.  Here's an excerpt from that post:.
Early last month, the AFF announced the formation of a new nonprofit organization, the Syracuse Urban Partnership, which will develop our old parking lot into a mixed-use building with apartments, space for philanthropic agencies to collaborate (the AFF will have offices there), and a 'food hall' similar to those we get to see in larger cities like Philly's Reading Terminal Market. The market is designed to help make it possible for folks to get into the restaurant business, such as the ones who have been featured at the With Love project.
In January, I was happy to update that the AFF, in addition to having vision, also had ears. There was a contest to name the new food hall, but the choices that were presented for a community vote, well, they fell short of our expectations.  Here's an excerpt from the update post.
I vaguely remember the social media post where we could vote, and the overwhelming number of comments asking why it didn't mention Syracuse or the Salt City; I might have even given a 'like' to a suggestion with one of those in the name, if I remember correctly.

And it turns out, the AFF listened to what people wanted, and the name has been chosen: the Salt City Market. It's perfect, and it's a perfect example of ensuring the kind of community buy-in that the organization is looking for. Maarten Jacobs, one of the AFF folks, said
We want this to be a space that people feel they have ownership of the minute it opens.
That was a huge step for the project, I think - right from the get-go, the AFF cemented their commitment to having this really be a project that's both of and for the community. And now, where do things stand?

There's moving forward nicely, actually.

Throughout the summer, aspiring market food vendors have been able to test their items with community members; one vendor a week has been featured in the Salt City Market Takeout Friday program at the Westcott Community Center.

Even better, the groundbreaking for the $25M complex was held this past Monday. The Foundation's Executive Director Meg O'Connell noted
This project has been years in the making and it's really coming together today to acknowledge the diverse talents of our residents and also acknowledging that to be a prosperous city, we must with intention, work to provide opportunities that are inclusive for all. 
Continuing to stress the diversity aspects of the market, here's part of what project leader Maarten Jacobs said about the supportive nature of the space:
The idea is to create an environment all under one roof where all walks of life can come and experience the diverse flavors of Syracuse. We're intentionally with primarily entrepreneurs of color, both native born as well as new residents in our community.
I've been excited about this project from the beginning, and now that construction has started, I'm looking forward to seeing this vision come to fruition.


And speaking of vision, the photo above is a rendering of the building from SaltCityMarket.com  -- it's definitely something to look forward to.  Stay tuned!