Thursday, January 16, 2014

two minute tour on the corner of Federal and Phelps

The intersection of Federal and Phelps is becoming an interesting crossroads for the rapidly changing downtown.

Just a few short years ago we had at the intersection (NW) a 1899 Daniel Burnham Building with a basket store and a record shop, (NE) another Daniel Burnham building from 1910 previously owned by the city and 13 floors sitting empty, (SW) a women's hair salon in the 1930 Art Deco Peggy Ann building, and (SE) the venerable Silver's Suit/Mensware Shop.

Here are a few shots from a two minute tour in early 2014:

Today, you have Roberto's Italian Restaurant which has opened up a beautiful stone walled subterranean expansion (check out the fireplace and mantle in the photo above)

And after the great William Leonard's Extraordinary Gentlemen (still operating downtown) moved from the Peggy Ann Building, Friends Specialty Coffee with their locally-roasted beans moved in. Here's a shot of their immersion technique for a nice weekend coffee:

The Federal Building is now complete with a very well-managed restaurant on the ground floor, with gas-fed outside heating lamps and even valet parking on the weekends along with 100% full residential spaces on the remaining floors.

The Wick Building is undergoing massive renovations with historical tax credits by the State of Ohio for more downtown housing.

And the venerable Silver's is at the corner, dressing Youngstown's finest with suits, shirts, and dress shoes.

- - -

But what we need to do is move the intersection from GOOD to GREAT...  

What are some of your suggestions to improve this intersection?

Some might include:

- removing the boarded-up grey windows from the second floor of Silver's. While the ground level is appealing, moving one story up is a different visual experience.

- removing the newspaper box chained to the tree outside of V2 which obstructs the walking path.

- fixing the brickwork along Phelps after construction, that has only been filled in haste with filler material.

- fixing the facade of the Peggy Ann Building along Phelps as one walks towards the great Touch the Moon Candy Saloon. A big chunk is removed from the side of the building.

- businesses working together to clean the sidewalk of cigarette butts and other pieces of trash that are unfortunately left by pedestrians and patrons. (side note: wonder what the cost/benefit ratio would be of stationing a police officer to issue tickets for littering between 20 Federal Place and the Downtown Circle)

- replicating the historical cornice on the top of the Wick Building, as it was originally designed.

These are just a few options for this space. 

While this intersection has come a long way from a few years ago, what else do you think can be improve there?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

extraordinary YSU students begin installation of Metamorphosis Project in downtown youngstown

As a chilled air hit Youngstown on Friday evening, YSU graphic design students pulled up their shirtsleeves to get to work.

Installed tonight was the first phase of the Metamorphosis Project, a series of images designed by YSU students to improve the shared cityscape between the YBI's three main buildings and the public.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"A camera captures a Youngstown, Ohio city council member as she starts dancing in a council meeting"

per the description of this video, on YouTube

I think if City Council meetings were like this, more people might attend.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

home-rule & economic fairness arguments may propel May 7 anti-fracking vote

The recently-formed opposition to the "Community Bill of Rights" charter amendment contends the proposed ballot language is not well-crafted, and in practice, unenforceable. (Link to story in the local press)

However, that same argument of not being enforceable is not a bone of contention, but is interestingly shared by some of the supporters of the "Community Bill of Rights" that Youngstown voters will consider in the May 7 primary.

So while enforcement may not be the critical differentiation between the two sides, the resulting message that the Mahoning Valley's largest political entity by population could send through its vote has resulted in the creation of  "Coalition for Job Growth and Investment" this week to oppose the amendment.

But is the main reason for people voting in support of this amendment a reflection of their attitudes on hydraulic fracturing activities, or something much larger?

As the Frack Free Mahoning Valley group was successful in collecting the thousands of signatures to create the ballot initiative, the organization has hit the pavement and attended numerous neighborhood meetings and community events in recent months sharing their beliefs to the voters.

One may think their presentations focus only on environmental issues (and with earthquakes and waste dumpings in recent times, there is plenty to discuss there), but they are not.

By watching the crowds' discussions, the topics are much more complex.

Take home rule for example.

It's a hot topic on many issues, from the ability of a state to regulate same sex marriage, or having residency requirements for employees on the public payroll.

In this case, some supporters of the Bill of Rights have shared that the state should not have this responsibility over local control in managing natural resources, which does not go over well with the audience. So while voters may be actually ambivalent to the environmental issues, they may view kindly on an issue that drives the sentiment of more local control.

Now take economic fairness for another example.

On this topic, some supporters of the Bill of Rights have shared that if the local manufacturing base is growing, then it needs to hire individuals from diverse racial backgrounds or hire citizens living in their neighborhoods. People are asked to recall if they know people who have benefited from the shale industry, and often they do not have any connections to people in their social circles who have experienced a growth in wealth.

They ask: is there is mismatch or alignment between voters in a Youngstown and if they are workers in Youngstown?

Again, even as voters may be ambivalent to either of the issues as the environment or home rule, they may feel a connection to perceived issues of fairness.

The co-mingling of these various issues, connected or not connected, fair or unfair, is wrapped around that single vote on the charter amendment.

- - -

As shown this week by the excellent blog Warren Expressed, sometimes it takes very few people to drive a local election outcome.

A very small minority of voters may wind up dictating the message.

And for this upcoming primary, perhaps tactics to engage people on topics such as the environment and the charter's enforcement are a little simplistic.

Those who take advantage of these additional issues, either to promote them or to counter them may have the upper hand - especially when it comes time to count the votes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

new ownership at Dooney's implements massive menu upgrade

About a month ago, former Youngstown Club Executive Chef Anthony Palumbo joined the ownership team at the "Dooney's Downtown" establishment - and introduced a menu upgrade that has many downtown lunch patrons taking notice.

"It's pub food done right," says Palumbo. "Nothing is frozen. All of our sauces are made in the kitchen, and everything is made to order."

When asked what the specialty sandwich of the house is, the marinated prime rib sandwich was identified as a top contender.

But what makes the sandwich unique compared other other places serving sandwiches downtown?

First off, the buns come from a Syrian bakery in New Castle, Pennsylvania, purchased every other day. 

The prime rib is roasted in-house. 

The coleslaw for the topping is made after the order is placed, incorporating large pieces of cabbage.

The cheese is fresh mozzarella and melts over the beef. 

The fries are fresh-cut, and seasoned as requested.

- - -

Another point of pride for Chef Anthony is that all their chicken is brined for a day before cooking. The tenders are hand-breaded. The wings are baked before a quick fry, and all get dressed with their homemade sauces. 

For example, the BBQ sauce is made with honey and pineapple juice. 
The Buffalo sauce is made with balsamic vinegar. 
The Sriracha Orange sauce is made with fresh-squeezed oranges.

All the burgers are made with Catullo's meats. Here is the stackhouse burger, topped high with two onion rings and a sampling of their pulled pork.

Chef Anthony contends new entries will be coming to their changing menu in the coming weeks.

With the new attention to the food, it will be interesting to see if Dooney's can elevate their game in the long run.

Perhaps in the coming months the establishment known for the "worst business logo" downtown may also be home to the "best pub food" downtown.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Metamorphosis: the 300ft long, 70+ window Kickstarter project

YSU Design Students & YBI Collaborate to Launch Kickstarter for Downtown Mural

Do you live in the Youngstown metro area, or do you live outside of Youngstown and have a fondness for our town?

Have you ever thought...

what is a small way that I can personally improve this unique place?

well, here is a unique project that was just launched tonight on Kickstarter.

The goal: construct a mural along Federal Street downtown that will consist of 70 plus vinyl segments spanning over 300 feet in length, all created by graphic design students at YSU.

The theme: METAMORPHOSIS, and the urban development growing up all throughout the city of Youngstown.

Here's how Kickstarter works...people propose a project, any individual from around the world can donate, and when the goal is reached, only then will all donors be charged. If the goal is not reached, no previous donor is charged. (it was pretty easy too, paid with the ol' Amazon account as opposed to typing in another credit card number)

Also, there are some unique gifts for the various funding levels.

$25 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker to show your support for local street art in Youngstown, OH!

$100 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural.

$250 or more - A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural, plus a tour of the Youngstown Business Incubator with Chief Evangelist, Jim Cossler

$1,000 or more
- A 3"x5" oval "Metamorphosis Butterfly" sticker, plus a collectable poster showcasing the designs used in the mural, plus a tour of the Youngstown Business Incubator, plus lunch with Chief Evangelist of the YBI, Jim Cossler

What do you think, Diaspora?
Can you support it?


Friday, May 04, 2012

Youngstown's first ever "Jane's Walk" in a neighborhood to take place on Saturday May 5

Moving to the Mahoning Valley from Rhode Island, YSU graduate student Kasey Johnson is working with one local neighborhood group, The Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association, to organize a walk this Saturday afternoon which will highlight the culture, history, and future investments of this distinct section of the west side of the city of Youngstown.

“Jane's Walk” is in honor of the late urban activist Jane Jacobs and her writings on how people influence a place and place influences people.
The walk through a portion of Rocky Ridge will join similarly structured events taking place that weekend in hundreds of cities across the world.

The two hour walking tour will include the following stops:
  • The Shrine of Our Lady (start point and parking) will highlight the religious and ethnic contributions to Rocky Ridge
  • Chaney High School, its academic and sports history
  • The amazing backyard landscaping of 2011's “Volney Rodgers Emerald Pierogi Award” for home beautification
  • Aspects of Mill Creek Park, including the Robinson Sugar Maple Grove, Morley Pavilion and the actual geologic formation which comprises the actual “Rock Ridge”
  • Industrial and settlement history in the neighborhood by Bill Lawson, Executive Director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society
  • Showing of plans for the upcoming extensive renovations to the Children's play area at the Wick Recreation Area in Mill Creek MetroParks
All interested residents of the region are welcome and encouraged to attend this free event, with ample parking at the start point.

waking path of the Rocky Ridge Jane's Walk
WHAT: Local neighborhood group collaborates with YSU graduate student to host the first local “Jane's Walk”, making Youngstown one of hundreds of participating cities across the world.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012

WHERE: Shrine of Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, 517 S. Belle Vista Avenue, Youngstown

Friday, April 27, 2012

my moustache is more vibrant than your moustache

enough said...


A snapshot from this week's visioning event in Youngstown, O.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

it's been nine months since vinyl siding went up, and degradation persists

Nine months.

A lot can happen in nine months.

A baby conceived in June 2011 would have been born by now.

Juniors in high school from June 2011 are getting ready to now graduate as seniors.

If you started counting from one for every second since June 2011, today you'd be beyond 23.7 million.

However, very little can also happen in nine months too.

Very little.

It's been exactly nine months and one day since the Saturday in June 2011 when cheap vinyl siding was put on a facade at 25 West Federal Street.

This same vinyl siding design for this building was soundly rejected by the city's Design and Review Board before construction, however the owner of the building decided to put up the violating vinyl anyway.

And since the June construction of the rejected design, with citations issued, postponed court dates, and capitulation without construction deadlines, the white vinyl siding remains.

Through nine months, the vinyl siding remains, untouched.

And other current downtown investors wonder...

...why are plans not respected and agreements blatantly ignored?
...why is a city so weak when it comes to code enforcement?
...why do others not follow the rules, when most abide by certain standards?
...why now is the building inhabited, but the original problem still exists?

As these questions set into the minds of those who have made recent investments into the Central Business District, one may ask:

would they make a future investment in downtown youngstown?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Startup Bus takes six-hour detour to visit Youngstown and YBI

Quick, what's the most direct way from Columbus/Cincinnati to Texas for a busload of entrepreneurs?

Why north of course...

... to Youngstown

Startup Buses are launching from all over America, making their way to the SXSW Festival in Austin.

You can track these buses here, as they make their way across the USA with their precious cargo of entrepreneurs... entrepreneurs looking to hone their pitches for new companies.

One bus sponsored by southern Ohio groups such as CincyTech, The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, and the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association took a six-hour detour this morning.

A six-hour detour to Youngstown.

The media was there at the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), watching as folks shared their business ideas. Some of the world-class talent associated with the YBI provided advice.

But a larger question arises:

Why Youngstown?

Why not visit one of hundreds of other incubators in the country?

Simply put, the Youngstown Business Incubator is on the mental map of the state and national entrepreneurs as a remarkable place to build a business.

So much so, it's a stop for a very cool national event like the Startup Bus.

You can watch the travels of the Startup Bus here, as chronicled by a great guy, Thomas Mulready of Cool Cleveland.

The soon-to-be four building campus in downtown Youngstown is home now to hundreds of employees, generating wealth, generating innovation, generating taxes for the region, and generating hundreds of other spinoff jobs in the region.

It's a tide rising all boats.

It's a tide selling product across the world, building a connected Global Youngstown.

It's a tide that is becoming more and more known across the nation.

Monday, March 05, 2012

ethnic food vendor and marketplace forms for Simply Slavic Fest now available!

For a first-time festival, the 2011 Simply Slavic event in downtown Youngstown was an amazing success!

Over 3,000 people came down for the inaugural one-day event last June, which was filled with delicious food and drink, dancing, educational opportunities, and most of all ... FUN.

Now, onto this year . . . mark your calendars for Saturday, June 16, 2012.

Do you want your church, business, or organization join in the ethnic festivities and make big profits like last year's participants?

Here's a great summary of the day from the Casey Malone Show:

All the forms to participate in the day's activities are now online:
Food Vendor Form
Craft/Marketplace Vendor Form
Heritage Table Form
Business Sponsorship
Family/Individual Sponsorship

Please note: vendors are expected to sell food and crafts of an ethnic variety. Vendors are welcome from anywhere in Northeast Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and all over the world!

If you are a church, and your parishoners make the best home-cooked food, then this is the festival for you!

If you are an organization, and your members sell unique ethnic crafts, then this is the festival for you!

If you are a stromboli vendor or a snow cone vendor, please call the folks at Youngstown's many other wonderful ethnic festivals for vendor opportunities.

Food vendor and marketplace vendor forms are due March 30, so tents can be ordered at a resonable price.

Please connect through contacts on the Simply Slavic website if questions arise.

- - -

These modern-day nations in Europe represent the origins of our Slavic ancestors: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Can we get a organization/church from every one of these ethnic groups?

Monday, February 20, 2012

in a first, publicy traded company mentions Youngstown Earthquakes as risk factor 10-K documentation to the S.E.C.

For all publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ, a company must file a document every year called a 10-K to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A somewhat standardized document in terms of content, the 10-K contains information about how the company participates/competes in the global marketplace, the compensation of executives, financial data, etc, etc, but also a list of "risk factors" that may impact a company's future ability to attain earnings.

On February 12, 2012 the publicly traded Consol Energy (CNX on the NYSE) with a market cap of $8.5 billion mentioned in its 10-K the following "risk factor" which can cause an investor to lose value in their investment:

"If we cannot find adequate sources of water for our use or are unable to dispose of the water we use or remove it from the strata at a reasonable cost and within applicable environmental rules, our ability to produce gas economically and in commercial quantities could be impaired."


"As part of our drilling and production in the Marcellus shale, we use hydraulic fracturing processes. 

Thus, we need access to adequate sources of water to use in our Marcellus shale operations. 

Further, we must remove and dispose of the portion of the water that we use to fracture our shale gas wells that flows back to the well-bore as well as drilling fluids and other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production of natural gas. 

Our inability to locate sufficient amounts of water with respect to our Marcellus Shale operations, or the inability to dispose of or recycle water and other wastes used in our Marcellus shale and our CBM operations, could adversely impact our operations. 

For example, in Ohio, injection of gas well production fluids was temporarily suspended for underground injection disposal wells near Youngstown while regulatory authorities investigate whether injection of wastewater into the wells is causing low category earthquakes in the area."

- - -

While this one perceived risk factor is among a laundry list of risk factors, it is interesting to note how the Youngstown earthquakes (presumably caused by the D&L disposal of fracking waste into the earth) has made it into a company's released documents to the SEC.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on economic impact of Lordstown's third shift

this approximation of direct and indirect spin-off got my attention:

"A third shift at a Midwestern U.S. auto plant typically requires 1,000 autoworkers and creates 7,850 spinoff jobs ... about one-third within 60 miles of the plant, with others [two-thirds of jobs] at farther away suppliers and service providers."

And with subsequent real-life examples of how a third shift impacts the bottom line in a community, this week's Bloomberg Businessweek magazine profiled some of the economic activity around Lordstown/Youngstown from the third shift assembling the Chevy Cruze.

Here is this week's Putin cover if you are looking for a copy to pick up:

An interesting line of work I did not know existed is overnight childcare. Parents drop off their kids going into their shift around 10:00pm, and then after their eight-hour shift, pick them up after 6:30am and take them to school. Wow.

What other unique opportunities come about in a third-shift kinda town?

links to slideshow and story

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

renovations to begin next week for new market near YSU & Wick Park

In 2011 Mr. Ali Adi opened the Downtown Circle, which brought to downtown Youngstown a clean market stocked with goods, also serving daily unique freshly-prepared ethnic foods.

Less than a year later in January 2012, the successful entrepreneur will expand this model to an additional location in the city, but with a larger footprint.

Beginning next week, renovations will begin at the former R&S Market near the corner of Elm and Madison, just north of the YSU Campus and adjacent to other new and established private businesses near Wick Park such as Edward's Flowers, Dorian Books, and The Flats at Wick.

The new location, to be named the "University Circle," will have both a full market and a cafe space with wi-fi and seating for 46 people.

The existing two entrances will be remodeled into a single central entrance, with a complete physical redesign to the visual appeal of the building.

Similar to the location downtown, specialties such as chicken shawarma, grape leaves, smoothies, veggie falafel sandwiches, slowly-roasted meats can be ordered for lunches and dinners. The architectural drawings for the new place even have a space/drawn component for "vertical rotisseries."

What can north side residents and YSU students expect inside the "University Circle"?

Here's some quick shots of the interior and food from the "Downtown Circle" on Federal Street:

long live pickles on your pita...

Friday, December 30, 2011

using YouTube to inspect a slice of comtemporary Youngstown - December 2011

According to Google's FAQs about YouTube, in 2011 there were 48 hours of video uploaded every minute, or 8 years of content added each day.

And a little-bitty slice of that daily uploaded content is about Youngstown.

Youngstown music, Youngstown news, Youngstown sports, Youngstown quirks.

- - -

Let's play amateur historians for a moment...

If we looked only at the last two weeks of Youngstown-related uploads, and treated it as a time capsule of December 2011 and the things going on in our hyperlocal world, what is in that bundle?

Here then are 10 videos uploaded in the last two weeks, a snapshot of this corner of the earth at the end of the last month of the eleventh year of the current millennium....

#10 - Highlights of the 2011 Youngstown Men's Rugby Season, who practices at Harrison Commons in the Smoky Hollow. (here's an article about the Youngstown Women's Rugby Team)

#9 - An interview between a christian pastor and a sheep puppet, discussing the history of christmas...

#8 - A homemade rap music video, complete with historical settings in Oak Hill Cemetery and a decapitated human body...

#7 - On the other end of that spectrum, someone installing one of Yoko Ono's "Imagine Peace" billboards in downtown Youngstown...

#6 - From a demolition perspective, the 71-year old Westlake Terrace public housing project christened by good ol' Eleanor Roosevelt is coming down. One of, if not, the oldest publicly-funded housing projects in the United States. At its height, Westlake Terrace was over 600 units.

#5 - From the revitalization perspective, Iron and String Life Enhancement (ISLE) Inc will be constructing a bakery/diner named "Sugar Plum" in downtown youngstown, partially staffed by adults with disabilities...

#4 -YSU's STEM Dean, Dr. Martin Abraham, at the Youngstown Utica Shale Conference announcing the formation of The Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute...

#3 - Some dude's assessment of Youngstown's recent 2.5 magnitude earthquake using earthquake visualization software and Google Earth... (Some of his info is correct, some info not so correct)

#2 - From a diaspora perspective, Catullo's Prime Meats is getting ready to send Youngstown treats across the USA...

#1 - Finally, The Youngstown Club's Famous cheese recipe created by James McGoogan well over 70 years ago has a commercial...

The world-famous cheese is now available at to ship around the country & world.

These 10 videos . . . a slice of Youngstown in December 2011.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

thurs - fri - mon : do a YBI Tour as you are home visiting family

Have you ever been inside the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), whose portfolio companies are employing over 400 people in downtown youngstown?

Are you home for the holidays, looking for a place to explore in between your sacred duties like making pizzelles and eating kolachi?

Well, on an rsvp basis, the YBI will be offering tours to interested folks and those returning home for the holidays, both before and after Christmas.

the schedule:

Thursday, Dec 22
Tours from 9am to 5pm leave at the top of the hour, led by YBI Chief Evangelist Jim Cossler. RSVP needed.

Friday, Dec 23

Tours from 7am to 10am leave at the top of the hour, led by YBI Chief Evangelist Jim Cossler. RSVP needed.

Monday, Dec 26

Two tours at 11am and 1pm leave at the top of the hour, led by YBI staff.
Meet Dean Abraham of YSU's STEM College!
Check out the new OH WOW! Technology Museum!
Discounts for downtown eateries!

call 330-599-4583 to reserve a spot.
Thursday's slots are almost filled up.

need more info about the YBI before signing up. Read here about their 2011 efforts.

Parents, if you're reading this and feel your kids should go . . . tell them to stop by for a tour!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

video of today's AMAZING downtown holiday parade and festival

hot off the presses...

check out the fun the citizenry had in Youngstown today.

a TON of people downtown

The St. Pat's float with the moving arms was really great, and got some points for ingenuity.

Kudos go to the City's Director of Downtown Events, Youngstown CityScape, YSU, WFMJ, and First Night Youngstown for their organizational efforts...

Friday, December 02, 2011

tonight 's (friday) - Simply Slavic event is loaded with unique wintery goodness

We're six months from the Second Simply Slavic Summerfest/Heritage Festival celebrating all things Central and Eastern European in Downtown Youngstown.

But once a year is not good enough to throw a party, especially a party with live music and kolachi tastings.

To celebrate the winter season as well, we've created an OUTSTANDING EVENT with MULTIPLE ARTISTS from as far way from Chicago.

please join us!

Doors open at 5pm 
for that 
post-work pivo

To the wee hours of the night 
we'll be 
slammin slivo.

here's the schedule for the evening:

5pm-6:30pm ~ after work European Beer Flights, with contemporary Euro Music by DJ Ken.

7pm-8:30pm ~ guitar and singing Croatian favorites by Youngstown's own Jamie Marich.

9pm-11pm ~ from Chicago, Baltic Fusion Group "Eastern Blok"

11pm-2am ~ Discotheque by DJ Richie

other items of interest:
* all wearing ethnic costume are eligible for a door prize. Come dressed!
* Kolachi tasting!
* Slivovica and Vodka specials!
* Central/Eastern European Beers!

Here's a sample of Eastern Blok's great & unique sound:

decorated downtown store windows set the stage for Saturday's holiday parade

The windows of Youngstown are trimmed with tinsel.


This Saturday the winner of the first-ever downtown youngstown window decorating contest will be announced, and a whole lot more.

This year's holiday parade will be really ramped up compared to years past. Besides the parade, there will be a lot to do...

10am - Oh WoW opens up for the day, filled with science and family fun. (till 7pm)

1pm - "The Nutcracker" by Ballet Western Reserve will be at the Warner Theater

1pm - at 20 Federal Place (the ol Strouss') there will be free train rides, free hands-on activities by the SMARTS downtown pioneers, baked good vendors, Youngstown Club nippy cheese, more food, and fresh-cut wreaths and garlands for purchase.

3pm - the parade gets underway, with floats and floatsam down Federal Street.

4pm - the Central Square downtown christmas tree will be lit, with Santa making an appearance. Free pictures with Santa courtesy of YSU photography students.

7pm -  another "The Nutcracker" performance by Ballet Western Reserve

Looking to be a nice day Saturday with 50 degrees and Sunny!

Many of the newest downtown lunch and coffee shops will be open as well...

Here's a few pictures of some other downtown windows:

well done!

I love how our architecture is captured in the reflections of the windows.

The handprint wreaths on the Oh Wow center are really imaginative...

And the YSU Student Art Association (SAA) deserves mad props for decorating many many windows downtown with high quality paintings.