Friday, May 30, 2008

jonesfest kicks off the downtown summer music festivals

another update: (may 2) Valley24 pictures from the event here.

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jonesfest. downtown. diverse music. all-day saturday. free.

where are you at Cleveburgh?

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Instead of hashing out the history of how this event came to be, the Jambrain blog has an excellent piece on the subject and a bio of Jimmy D from the band Jones for Revival.

Here's a clip of Jones for Revival playing at the Chevy Center:

Valley 24 does a nice job of featuring all the entertainment at the event, which includes magicians, comedians, djs, and acoustic acts in between the 12 bands (listed below) playing from 2pm to 2am this Saturday. From the article:
“I’m really excited that we can be a part of the revitalization of downtown Youngstown, whether it’s Youngstown 2010 or 2020,” DeCapua says. “...It’d be sweet if everyone came out and had a great time. We’re trying to give back, support the scene.”
Click on the band to hear more of their stuff:
The Devotees
Mystic WIP Hustler
5 Elements
The Zou
Jones for Revival
Twelve Bucks
The Youngstownians
Wild Trees
Jahman Brahman Family Band
Captain Braskey

UPDATE: Story broke from the Vindicator this morning here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

deep down inside the dark davis

As the sun faded beyond the horizon one day in mid-April, Shout Youngstown made it into the historic Davis Building downtown to get an update on the renovations.

Here's a view of the 2nd floor, which will eventually be the place of business for a team of local architects:

The original hardwood floors have completely been cleaned and sanded

Peering down the hall to what will be the conference room for the office

A bundle of lights.

Drywall, heating, and ventilation are all up throughout the structure

Here are the laquered boards drying, to be used in the company's future library.

Much of the furniture has been delivered, and needs to be installed.

Looking out onto the fire escape from one window:

from three windows . . .

And the kitchen of the 3rd floor apartment is coming together nicely.

The entrance from the 3rd floor to the rooftop patio:

Peering down the hall to the rear of the building

and looking up from what will be the entrance of the building

getting closer to complete . . .

Friday, May 23, 2008

tech center officially opens, tech center officially filled

there's room for more people on this bus.

tech-based growth. downtown reinvestment. prospering companies.

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This week, the opening of the 2nd building of the Youngstown Business Incubator was celebrated downtown, a building that is already filled from top to bottom with employees from YBI's portfolio companies.

Instead of bursting as the seams, the original building of the YBI is now able to breathe again, having the capacity to draw in additional entrepreneurs and individuals who want to be a part of the next chapter of Youngstown.

photo tour of 2nd building from I Will Shout Youngstown here.
additional stories here, here, here, here, and here.

An article titled "Specialization as Strategy for Business Incubators" by M. Schwartz and C. Hornych in the most recent issue of the scientific jounal Technovation identifies four advantages for locating businesses in sector-specific business incubators (SBI) like the YBI:

- high-quality premises and equipment for tenant companies
- high-quality consulting/knowledge sharing in specific fields
- increased probability of networking between tenants
- high trans-regional visibility for tenants

check, check, check, and check.

All four of these match what's going on in these buildings in downtown youngstown.

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In other news, two other YBI portfolio companies experienced some recent successes:

Humility of Mary Health Partners (HMHP) has agreed to be a a beta site for ErisRx, a software program from Eris Medical Technologies which manages billing and financial transactions in hospitals.

Syncro Medical Innovations was awarded a $350,000 research commercialization grant from the Ohio Department of Development's Third Frontier Initiative. Syncro has developed a magnetically guided feeding tube, and the funds will be used to build inventory, conduct clinical trials, and hire a clinical educator, staff engineer and marketing director. These funds are in addition to $500,000 provided by the federal government to Syncro for developing a feeding tube for battlefield trauma patients.

so, yeah, it's been a good week.

no time to rest though.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

rising to the challenge

Word on the street is that the Full Monty at the Oakland is doing so well, they've added an extra show for the final weekend.

This "extended ending" will take place on midnight Saturday evening.

That's 12 in the am.

Cleveland, Pittburgh . . . show your regionalism and come down to the Yo.

tickets can be reserved at 330.746.0404, and specify which one you want, if not sold out:

Friday, May 16: 8 pm
Saturday, May 17: 8 pm AND 12 am midnight (technically Sunday)

Apx. running time of the musical: 2.5 hours (so this midnight show is for night owls)

UPDATE:The Vindicator's chief, Todd Franko, gives a review of the show in his blog today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ribbon cutting & walking tour, downtown wednesday

two events downtown tomorrow, Wednesday, May 14th.

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The first is a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Realty Building renovation at 11:30am. The event is open to everyone, and a reception will take place at 20 Federal Place (the strouss' or phar-mor building) afterwards.

The Frangos Groups will "officially" start construction to transform the building on our Central Square into 25 apartments. The building was purchased in 2000 for $540,000.

The building was built in 1924 for the Realty Guarantee and Trust Company by Youngstown architects Morris Schiebel and Edgar Stanley. It's unique for a downtown building in that it has windows on all four sides of the structure.

It's interesting, looking back at my archives, this post was written two years ago. Good thing those Ohio tax credits kicked in.

Best of luck to those working on the project.

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The second is a free walking tour at 7:00pm of historical buildings in downtown to be led by Mark Peyko, publisher and editor of the Metro Monthly.

The tour will begin at The Man on the Monument, in the Central Square.

In celebration of National Preservation Month, the tour will cover the history and development of the central business district. In addition, the tour will focus on threatened historic landmarks in the area.

More details on the tour here.

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The story of the Realty Tower is one of recognizing the true value of our city's historical structures, which can never replaced once demolished.

That's it, no more, destroyed forever.


The most recent historical building slated for demolition may be the Liberty/Paramount Theater on Federal Street.

Will this building turn into another surface parking lot downtown, or is there the possibility for saving some components of its character for future generations to enjoy and cherish?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

pocket parks in "the pearl"

Sometimes a city has the opportunity to do something creative with large tracts of land, turning the space of vacated properties into a prime asset.

Youngstown is building a mixed-used residential/commercial neighborhood adjacent to the univeristy and downtown in Smoky Hollow, but many design elements and construction have yet to be accomplished. What places can they emulate as the project moves forward?

Atlanta created the uninspiring Atlantic Station on the grounds of an old steel mill, a tacky collection of disneyland-esque buildings, a destination adjacent to the interstate north of Midtown with an "in and out, but not staying" existence.

Portland's emerging Pearl District, anchored by many LEED certified buildings and free wi-fi throughout, is a nice mix of old and new, livable and walkable designs of which Youngstown may learn from.

The rest of this post shows photos from three separate smaller "pocket" parks in the Pearl, possible role models for downtown youngstown, wick park, and the smoky hollow. The Pearl's wikipedia article has a good aerial photo of what the railroad yards used to look like.

The Pearl's Tanner Springs Park is located between the light rail lines on 10th and 11th avenues. The space is fascinating, in that this small space (less than an acre) retains an almost rural quality although it is located right in the heart of the neighborhood. Here we have some decorative stone patterns, with a water element flowing from it:

Further down the path, the manicured portion of the park decends into marshy, unmowed wetlands. Large steps from the sides of the park provide a place for people to read books and relax.

The path set away from street level then flows into small pond, filled with orange fish.

The floating path also follows this wonderful serpentine metal wall on the east boundary of the park.

Check out this up-close photo of this textured element:

Further south, Jamison Park, provides a more family-friendly atmosphere, heavily used by children and people walking their dogs. The high sculptures around the perimeter help to anchor the streetcar power lines.

The wonderful central element of this park is a fountain that has the effect of a tidal pool, with its waterfalls filling in and draining a bricked-in area for children to play in.

As the water fills in and empty, people relax and the place has the feeling of a clean urban beach.

Finally, tucked in between three buildings are these concrete columns, left exposed after a previous demolition and wrapped with art. I love how the rebar is sticking out of the top:

Lots to consider and learn as Youngstown goes about planning its park spaces in the future.

Perhaps the next City Parks Commissioner, whenever that position is filled, can lead the charge on similar types of projects in city parks.

In the meantime, it's up to the public to brainstorm and help push the city and stakeholders along to this level of quality for future design.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

portland's parking lot "food stands"

In Oregon all this week, stalking Hillary exploring the streets of Portland.

One of the many charming and fantastic components of this city is all the multi-ethnic eateries along the surface parking lots of Portland's downtown.

Many of the places even had some places to sit in the sun while munching.

Scanning down one street . . .

It's amazing to see how open some cities are to this as a form of ligitimate commerce. Los Angeles has been battling these types of trucks in recent months, with the anti-taco lobby firmly entrenched in city council.

click here to read more about the city where carne asada is not just a meal, but a crime.

I opted for the Thai food for lunch:

Ate some pad see ew with generous portions of broccoli, some chicken satay with peanut sauce, and a coke.

All added up: 7 bucks for a nice meal in the sun, from a stand adjacent to Portland State University.

Many of the trucks had murals painted on the side . . .

And here's a Czech place. (the woman serving spoke czech too)

crepes to go . . .

and a good scene for people watching as well. At least, when one is sitting at the curb eating el pastor.

So a question: is this the type of thing that can fly in downtown youngstown?

It might be interesting to hear the opinions of downtown restaurants, especially the ones that require eating inside.

Maybe the existing places downtown need more outside seating. Maybe we should study Portland's policies that encourage immigrant foods to locate downtown, and for possible health reasons, study how they regulate their kitchens.

or maybe I'm so desparate for a thai place in youngstown, i'll accept this form of cooking to a full-blown restaurant.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

3rd accent

- Junior Achievement:
have you thought about volunteering at city schools?

- JumpStretch:
did you know Coach Hartzell moves are as good as his play-by-play?

- Rosetta Stone:
have you met their chef at open sauté night?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

yes, it was magical

The Nouveau Rock Music and Art Festival took place on Saturday, and a diverse mix of people showed up to hear some of Youngstown's music scene.

A great buzz and good tunes filled the place.

And congrats to friends on Lora Avenue who got engaged at the event.

A nice review of the event can be found at Valley 24, with a music-laden photo gallery as well.

The event featured:
- Ten Cylinder Typewriter
- The Devotees
- The Deadbeat Poets
- The Zou
- Sewing Machine War
- Posture Coach
- Third Class
- The Realtime Digimob

The event was broadcast live to the world on the always streaming Rukus Radio.

also, the first "Plug n' Play" event took place this week. from Valley 24:
"At about 1 p.m., after being delayed an hour because of rain, The Zou plugged in their equipment on Central Square near the police memorial, and played a short-set, guerilla-style.

“This was like the best show I’ve ever played in Youngstown,” guitarist Rob Thorndike says. “This is a sweet town. I love playing music. This constantly needs to happen.”"
20 fridays of local music at noon this summer
at The Man on the Monument.

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musicians reading this:

just come to downtown youngstown and do it.

this is your city.

Monday, May 05, 2008

time to mark your calendars

Youngstown enthusiasts and bloggers and residents:

3 upcoming regional events to participate in - all just getting underway.

please join us and get involved.

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Great Lakes Urban Exchance (GLUE) Sticky Cities Meeting
Thursday May 8th, 2008 - 7pm to 8:30pm
Cleveland, Ohio - WKYC-TV Studios

Cle+Pitt+Yo Regional Planning Network
Friday, June 20th 2008 - 10am to 4pm
Youngstown, Ohio - June 20th, 2008

Rust Belt Blogging Summit
Saturday, July 12th, 2008
Erie, PA - the Brewerie

new city of youngstown webpage is unveiled

nuff said.

"cookie table season" has officially opened

thank the lord spring has arrived.

for the cookie table season is officially upon us.

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still in bewilderment of Youngstown's cookie tables?

watch this video from this wedding reception I attended over the weekend:

A truly serpentine cookie table with even a separate chocolate table as well!

Infinite kudos go to Jan as she spent 2 months plus baking all of the cookies for her daughter's wedding. Her christmas cookie business prepared her well for this big event.

An additional nice touch was the "truly cut out for each other" favors for each guest, with cookie cutter attached, and recipe inside.

what a wonderful idea.

long-time readers of this blog may have read cookie table stories on this site in the past, but here is a nice review as Pittsburgh went searching for the origin of one of Youngstown's most cherished traditions:
Cookies are not the only sustenance at weddings, though. A typical wedding menu in northeastern Ohio might include "rigs and meatballs" (rigatoni and meatballs), "drenched" salad (greens covered in dressing, usually Italian), green bean amandine, some kind of chicken, roast beef or pork tenderloin and white potatoes with parsley. And, of course, there's wedding cake, though it must compete with the cookie table for attention.

"I think the wedding cake is eaten less and less, and people choose cookies over the cake," Nohra says.

In the "Buckeye State," Buckeye cookies are the centerpiece of the table and always disappear first. Other must-haves are "clothespin" cookies (we call them ladylocks), iced Italian "wedding cookies," Peanut Butter Blossoms (the ones with Hershey's kisses), kolachi (rolled nut loaf), and pizzelles (the crispy flat cookie made in a special iron).

here's to the beginning of another great season . . .

Friday, May 02, 2008

jay in U.S. News, art in a bakery, and full frontal nudity

You wouldn't think these three things are related - and really they're not very interconnected - but they all involve to a slight degree exposing yourself for a good cause.

#1 - Mayor Williams is interviewed in U.S. News and World Report.

Youngstown's emerging brand is a city that is (1) protecting its heritage and (2) shrinking strategicially. Just a stockholders expect a company to responsibily manage itself during an economic transition, Youngstown is becoming a global leader in attempting to responsibly manage its affairs.

An exerpt:
"What's been the response to the initiative?
The community has been overwhelmingly supportive. There are critics to the Youngstown 2010 initiative; some are concerned about gentrification. And I've actually said that we could use a bit of managed gentrification. But we have to be sure that the people who are here aren't pushed out and put in conditions that would be not affordable. Overall, the Youngstown 2010 plan has been well embraced because it's about right-sizing the city and redefining the city economically and socially to where the world is today.

Have other communities inquired about the initiative?
Oh, absolutely. We've had the opportunity to visit and talk with communities across the country—and foreign entities—or have them come here. There have been foreign journalists and officials who have visited."
more here on the small city with a big brand.

#2 - Ward Bakery Artists' Open House

From the infrastructure our industrial past, artists have become intertwined with Ward Building and its many artists are opening the doors of their studios over the weekend. The picture explains all the details:

The Mahoning Commons is a funky mix of old churches, renovated warehouses, shotgun houses, community theaters and in-town city artists. Look for more artist space developments to be announced soon. If you are a Cleveburgh artist, this neighborhood might be place to investigate as a place to do your thing with no one bothering you. A good preview of the event can be found at the blog for The Stage.

#3 - The Full Monty begins at the Oakland this weekend, and will continue for the next three weeks.

the story: a couple of steel workers find creative ways to make ends meat. based on a true story in Struthers.

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ps. Le Nouveau Rock Festival will take place in downtown youngstown this saturday.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

insatiable love

found this while walking the other day:

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is there anything in the city you have "insatiable love" for?