Wednesday, June 30, 2010

yo go skateboarding day

shots from around the city on a hot sunday afternoon...

every second of this video is shot somewhere in downtown youngstown.

Friday, June 25, 2010

every Monday night in the summer, come down to free outdoor movies downtown

I remember a recent experience:

Picked up some penne pasta with pancetta and polenta from Cafe Cimmento. A pal purchased some pernil pork and potatoes from another downtown place. Another pounced on Tomasino's pepperoni pizza and we met on the pitch.

Open air, hundreds of people stretching out under the stars, and popcorn and refreshments by Touch the Moon Candy Saloon - all mix together to form the downtown tradition of watching movies Mondays at dusk downtown.

- - -

Every Monday begining June 28th, you can bring your friends and family to Downtown Youngstown at the Covelli Centre Lawn to enjoy an outdoor movie on the big screen. The schedule:

June 28 Star Trek: The Future Begins

July 5 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

July 12 The Time Travelers Wife

July 19 Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns

July 26 Twilight New Moon

August 2 The Blindside

August 9 Casablanca

August 16 The Princess and the Frog

August 23 The Dark Knight

August 30 UP

- - -

final note:

This whole movie series started in recent years because of three individuals. These three wanted to have movies downtown available to the public like they experiences in other places they've lived. They shared the idea, gained allies, built the huge screen frame by hand, and selected the films.

Now this event is a team effort with many more people and institutions and sponsors making this series an even larger success than before.

But remember, it started with three people.

Individuals can make an impact in Youngstown. no question.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

McAllister's marks two months of ice cream downtown

Located in the winged-tire parking structure [look up from the street level to see how this building got its name] at Boardman and South Phelps, McAllister's Ice Cream Shop sits cattiwampus to Youngstown City Hall.

These photos were taken the first week McAllister's was open.

A specialty and top-seller of the store is their caramel cheesecake flavor.

I need to give a shout-out to their chocolate malt ice cream as well.

McAllister's also sells cinnamon rolls, coffee, muffins, pepperoni rolls, and other baked items for breakfast and lunch.

According to their menu:
- frozen bananas are $1.50
- a big ol cup of ice cream is $2.00
- gyros are $3.95
- pepperoni rolls are $2.95
- pints of ice cream for $3.85

and ice cream pies and cakes (with 48 hours notice) to take home for parties

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steel Street just keeps getting better - now homemade Chinese food every Thursday

New cool finds are in abundance on the west side of the city of youngstown.

Steel Street - home to the Open Hearth and its art deco basement/party room, home to the Palm Cafe and its Croatian barbecue goodness, home to Roscoe's butcher shop and its great cuts & prices, and home to County Mayo and its Irish vibes - is now home to a new entity:

Shanghai-based Cuisine at the Orthodox Church every Thursday.

St. Michael's Orthodox Church, right where Steel Street passes over I-680, opens its social hall as both a dine-in or take-out option for homemade (always non-fried, a nice change) chinese food.

Every week, this $5 meal will feature food like this:

Above is pork in a brown sauce (non-fried), with a cabbage dish and brown rice.

Below, shredded chicken with the same cabbage side and white rice.

All types of chinese teas for free, or free coffee.

Desserts for a buck or two extra.

This thursday:

a beef dish, with the classic (but seldom found in local chinese restaurants/take-out) tomatoe and egg mixture will be on the menu.

But why is there a Shanghai-style chef operating in St. Michael's Orthodox Church on Steel Street?

That's for you to figure out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

the tailored fabrics and colors within John Lisko's downtown youngstown shop

Tucked within the Commerce Building on Federal Street, you'll find a shop with a lot of things...

yards and yards of the finest fabrics,

silk ties of all colors,

sport and suit jackets of many patterns,

pants of all sizes and variety,

and a gentleman who is passionate about fitting the needs of his clients.

The name of this downtown business: 
Tom James

The man who sells these outstanding custom-made suits: 
John Lisko

Let's take a look around the shop and sample the suit-buying experience...

First off, the shop offers suits and shirts from the rack (often needing alterations), as well as custom-made suits and shirts made from fabrics in various american and european styles.

I thought this was neat: John keeps a files on every single customer, a portfolio of sorts, with samples of the fabrics used to make each of their suits, jackets and shirts.

One gets measured using a variety of the tools of the trade...

And different linings are available for all the tailored pieces:

Here is a great photo of a bunch of guys from the early twentieth century hanging out in front of a tailor in the Smoky Hollow.

a great place to stop. and shop.

John Lisko's shop is located
in the Commerce Building
on East Federal Street

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"It's now a trend in the Mahoning Valley to finish first"

Grounds for Change is #1

A Plan for
Creating the First Collaborative Land Bank for Mahoning County
1st Place Vote Points: 9,126
2nd Place Vote Points: 3,822
3rd Place Vote Points: 386
Total Points: 13,334

Free cash in hand to begin project: $61,420

announcement here.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

what StreetScape 2010 taught me: we are drowning in cigarette litter

saturday's StreetScape 2010 was full of the usual sights:

beautiful buildings and blue skies -

hundred of volunteers planting thousands of flowers -

installing and straightening trees -

stallions through the central square -

and cleaning up hundreds, even thousands of cigarettes -

When pedestrians, bar-goers, co-workers, etc throw their used cigarettes to the ground, they fill in every nook and cranny one can imagine... tree gratings, in flowerbeds, in sidewalk cracks, in puddles, in benches, in parking lots, in the street, etc.

They don't decompose quickly so they linger, and linger, and collect and collect.

they linger on the sidewalk in front of Barley's -

they linger in the cracks next to glasses left out at a martini bar -

they linger in the broken glass recepticals -

they linger in the moat outside the Rosetta Stone -

they linger behind patio gates and beer bottles.

- - -

While the point of this post isn't to beat up on any particular bar owners, the hundreds of people this morning were definitely greeted with the trash from the previous evening.

while the cigarette butts are only one component of what can be considered as "litter", what can we as a group do to prevent the downtown from turning into one big ashtray?

so can the cigarette littering problem ever get better, or are people's habits just set and things will never change?

Friday, June 04, 2010

done with school? thankful for life? need a jumping-on point? - join the StreetScape Planting Day

a lot of people ask:

"what is something I can do to get on board with improving Youngstown?"

A good first starting/entry point = StreetScape
Youngstown CityScape's Annual Planting Day will be this Saturday June 5.

more info here
7:45am - registration
8:00am - planting begins
12:00pm - planting ends
12:01pm and onward - watch youngstown grow

here's your personal challenge for StreetScape 2010:

Introduce yourself to 5 people you don't know when downtown on saturday.

5 people.

think you can do it?

- - -

pictures from 2007. pictures from 2008.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

under a linden tree - a new park for Youngstown's Smoky Hollow neighborhood

Underneath the canopy of a beautiful old linden tree, a community came together today to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new park in the city of Youngstown.

Harrison Commons will be the social and nature-based center of the redesign of the Smoky Hollow neighborhood.

While the overall push to develop the surrounding property into many mixed-use properties has been slower-going because of the nationwide recession, stakeholders are moving forward in the short term with infrastructure and design improvements.

With the recent University Courtyard Apartments in the background...

...along with the metal sculptural gates at YSU's Bliss Hall...

...this new park will have some interesting design components as well.

For example, built in stone spread out on the ground at the entrance to the Park will be a replication of the Smoky Hollow neighborhood as it existed in the early 20th century.

Using old Sanborn fire insurance maps for the 1920s and 1940s, the following map was created:

Interestingly, the neighborhood contained a number of public bread ovens back in the day.

Maybe that would be a fantastic addition to existing neighborhoods in the near future? (go see our friends in Braddock PA to see how it's done)

With shovels in hand,

the space along North Walnut street is seeing new life.

Mmore information on the neighborhood plan is available at Wick Neighbors.