Friday, April 30, 2010

this weekend's first-ever "Mahoning Commons Fest" includes grand opening of Calvin Center Idea Incubator

The stretch of Mahoning Avenue directly adjacent to downtown youngstown contains some of the city's best artistic/cultural institutions.

And now one more establishment - The Calvin Center Idea Incubator - will open its doors this weekend.

From the Mr. Peanut Bridge...

to the gateway into Mill Creek Park at Fellows Riverside Gardens...

. . . The first ever Mahoning Commons Fest on May 1st and 2nd will highlight a maturing corridor in the city of Youngstown.

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Let's look at what's going on up and down the block for both days.

Starting from the Mahoning River, the lifegiver of livegivers...

Rust Belt Brewery in the B&O Station
noon to 8pm - brewery tours and beer tasting

The Victorian Players

Built in the 1890s, the renovated church is now the Little Theater of Spring Common and will be offering tours from noon to 5pm Saturday, and noon to 1pm on Sunday. Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:00pm will be performances of their latest production, The Heiress.

The Calvin Center Idea Incubator

The city's newest venue for theater, art and music will have its' Grand Opening celebration. The Artists of the Rust Belt will have a full market there, with an exhibition by Art Youngstown - local food and brews as well. Valet bike parking for all cyclists. Music throughout and bands from 8pm to midnight on Saturday.

Star Supply

Now celebrating it's 40th year as Youngstown's #1 funky and good-valued supply store.

Rockview Church

Hungarian Bacon Fry from noon to 5pm on Sunday

The Ward Bakery Building

The Spring Open Studio and Art Sale of over 30 artists in a former bakery building. Fine furniture, photography, glass, sculpture, painting, jewelry, etc.

The Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens

Exhibition of colorful hand blown works of glass inspired by tropical and natural plant forms.


A free shuttle taking you from location to location will be hosted by good people with The Purple Cat.

live music . . .

entertainment . . .

. . . more to love about livin' in the city.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a draft egg: stepping through experimental Youngstown-themed pysanky

in an effort to develop a new cottage industry to suit my entrepreneurial interests, this blog will now add "fine crafts" to its expanding repertoire.

presenting . . . meditations on experimental patterns for Youngstown-themed pysanky.

- - -

but what are pysanky?

from the verb pysaty meaning " to write ", pysanky are decorated eggs. In today's experiment, we'll use alternating layers of applied wax and multi-colored dyes to create a pattern upon the surface.

First, let's use a rubber band to assist with drawing in pencil some symmetrical ovals around the egg.

Next, we'll grab our kistka to apply the wax to the surface of the egg.

One takes the kistka and holds it in a candle, heating the metal to a temperature where wax can be melted into it, like ink within a pen.

Then, just like a pen, one can write out with wax across any surface:

Now we can cover over some of our pencil lines with the wax . . .

. . . making the pattern more and more unique.

Let's add little "Y"s to the surface, just like the ones you'll find on Youngstown State's football helmet.

Now we're ready for the first layer of dying. How about some good ol' Youngstown Red, like the color of the Mr. Peanut Bridge.

After five minutes, we have the following:

Now we can put even more wax on the surface, covering up the red parts of the egg for the next color.

And after putting the egg in black dye for a while, here is the result:

Next comes the fun part. Using the candle to melt off the existing wax on the egg.

After wiping off a little bit of the heated wax, our pattern first begins to appear.

Now we can take off the wax from all around the egg.

And here's the final product:

Youngstown-themed pysanky in Youngstown's colors of black and red.

- - -

Getting back to the entrepreneurial side of things, what is the sale price you think one should sell a Youngstown-themed hand-crafted egg for?

while this was the first "draft" egg, look for these eggs to soon hit the marketplace . . .

Saturday, April 24, 2010

downtowners come together to form "Pop-Up Park in a Parking Spot" in Youngstown

Converging around a single parking spot on West Federal Street, individuals from across downtown created, enjoyed, and disassembled a "pop-up park" in front of the YBI this week.

Because the space was occupied for less than the two-hour free parking limit (as demanded on the street signage), no traffic tickets were placed on the propane grill which occupied the parking spot.

- - -

But how to construct a pop-up park?

First step: haul out onto the street the green shag carpet you've been saving for just these types of occasions.

Second step: roll out the carpet to fit into a parking space.

Third step: arrange lawn chairs, grill, houseplants, and umbrella around the emerging pop-up park.

Fourth step: liberally apply copious amounts of kelbasi, carrot applesauce, thick-cut slanina, chevapchichi, boca burgers, dirusso's sausage, chocolate-covered stawberries, mac n' cheese, and schewbel's bread to the pop-up park.

Fifth step: play some tunes on the boom-box, and watch the crowd grow...

in a matter of minutes, the pop-up park can be taken down . . .

and the shag carpet again reaches it natural rolled-up state, ready for storage and subsequent unveiling at the next location in downtown youngstown.

review of downtown youngstown MetroMonthly walking tour

and for a bonus..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new signs going up this week in downtown youngstown

wow, these look great!

Youngstown . . .
"a great university town"
"a top 10 city for new business"
"welcome to the city"

congrats to those who made the banners possible.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the bunny that defended youngstown's easter

The Wick Park Neighborhood Association (WPNA website here) successfully launched a new tradition in the city - the Wick Park Easter Egg Hunt.

On hand was a 6 foot easter bunny...

Students from nearby Ursuline High School were instrumental in the success of the event, volunteering time to help kids with arts and crafts throughout the day.

A great diversity of people made it out to this historic neighborhood on the North Side.

more bunny videos...

The next meeting of the Wick Park Neighborhood Association will be this Monday April 19th at 6pm at the Unitarian Church. The agenda includes:

- Wick Park Neighborhood Input/CDBG Program
- Housing Update, North Side Citizens' Coalition Update
- Arson Suspect Update
- Weed & Seed Meeting Recap
- MVOC Corner Store Analysis Data, Grant Writing Volunteers ($500 Grants)
- Land Bank/Code Enforcement/Zoning Code Update

Other Projects/Events/Announcements:
- Wick Park Project, Senate Leadership Tour & Mayor's Presentation in Pittsburgh
- Wick Park Easter Egg Hunt Recap
- Farmer's Market Update
- Grey to Green Festival Planning Meeting Recap
- Fairgreen Neighborhood Garden - Garden Party (Thurs, April 22nd - 4-6pm)
- Concert @ Peace House (4/28/10) & Music at Madison (Dorian Books) - Upcoming Performances
- Wick Park Neighborhood Spring Clean-Up - Set Date
- Neighborhood Assistance Projects - Peace Pole, Wick 6 Building

all looking to improve this section of the city welcome...