Friday, December 31, 2010

ysu basketball heating up

YSU Penguins are 6-0 on the home court in 2010 after last night's win.

What will 2011 bring?

Next game is downtown on campus on new yea's day @ 1pm.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

civic crowdsourcing question: Has anyone taken the Chinatown bus from Youngstown to NYC?

Tonight the evening news was blanketed with stories of people stranded in airports across the country.

According to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog (now at nytimes), with airline load factors at all-time highs of 82 percent, people won't be able to get a flight until after the new year.

Events like this massive snow storm show how limited our options are in the USA for public transportation.

- - -

side note: It would be great if Ohio had $400 million (a random amount) to begin implementation of passenger rail.

But money like that from the federal government would never be allocated.

- - -

here's a question:

Recently I heard there is now a Chinatown Bus providing cheap seats from Youngstown to New York City and back.

according to this site, there is a stop in Youngstown, right off Interstate 80.

Has anyone taken the China Bus?

Was it a pleasant experience?

How much was your ticket?

What time did you depart and arrive during both legs of the trip?

please leave your comments below...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

it's going to be almost 50 degrees on Friday - First Night Youngstown buttons for sale downtown all this week

after one straight month of snow on the ground, it looks like we're getting a heatwave starting Friday . . .

What's also on Friday?

It's First Night Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley's new year eve celebration.

With events to run from 5pm all the way to the ball drop and fireworks at midnight, the entire schedule can be found HERE.

some events include:
- woodwind quartet and victorian holiday displays at MVHS
- lasers at the Planetarium
- Irish folk music at St. Columba Cathedral
- kids' art at SMARTS
- string concert at the stunning Trinity United Methodist Church
- open ice skating at the Covelli Centre
- horse carriage ride thru downtown
- karaoke at choffin
- classical acoustic guitar at the Masonic Temple

food discounts at:
- Cafe Cimmento
- Charlie Staples
- Pizza Joe's
- Touch the Moon Candy Saloon

a video from a recent ball drop downtown . . .

tickets are available ALL WEEK downtown at the ground floor of the City Center One building, 100 East Federal Street.

$10, adults
$5, kids and seniors
free, children under 12 yrs old

and this week only, if you go downtown and purchase an adult ticket, you get a free toy from a local toy company:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

grassroots downtown youngstown music videos

here's exhibit one, just posted this week:

more to come...

just for the record, the editors of this blog had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

it popped up on a google alert.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The "I Will Shop Youngstown" 100% Pledge

Looking over the gifts I've purchased for the holidays this year, the realization hit me that all of the items or gift certificates being given to friends and loved ones so far were attained in downtown youngstown.

Taking it a step further, presenting the:
"I Will Shop Youngstown" 100% Pledge. . .

"I, (insert name), will do 100 percent of the rest of this year's holiday shopping will in Youngstown, and I will continue to purchase the rest of the presents for birthdays and other holidays in 2011 locally as well."

Can you take the pledge?
Can you make that extra effort?

- - -

Purchasing locally made gifts is like a huge economic stimulus for the Valley, especially if we do it in aggregate.

In fact, it's downright patriotic.

When you purchase stuff at Best Buy and Barnes & Noble and all those chains, local folks take a small sliver in wages, but the bottom line goes somewhere else outside of the metro area.

Give the gift of investing in your community - buy local.

- - -

Some unique examples:

- All your holiday cards can be purchased at the downtown SMARTS store, designed by local students.

- Our artists in the Ward Bakery Building and Calvin Center Idea Incubator have a wonderful variety of products for both art and utility.

- Have a friend without medical benefits? There's a dentist on the 9th floor of the Huntington Bank Building. Give them the gift of clean teeth, with a gift certificate!

- Think your friends will enjoy a hot stone message or manicure/pedicure? Order them one from William Leonard's Extraordinary Gentlemen!

- Ever have a dress shirt custom made for a perfect fit? Try John Lisko's shop in the Commerce Building!

- Want to share the gift of knowledge with young children? Memberships to the new Science and Technology Museum downtown are available!

- Like live theater? Give a flex pass to the Oakland, and a one to yourself!

- Have a friend who is unable to drive? WRTA bus coupons!

- Have a friend addicted to barbeque sauce? Charlie Staples and cups and cups of love!

- Have a friend who eats too much bbq and needs to shed a few pounds? YMCA memberships!

- Love History? Memberships to the Tod Engine Heritage Park!

- Flowers from Briel's!
- Hardcovers from Dorian Books!
- Beer from the Rust Belt Brewery!
- Sausage from DiRusso's!

this list can become a very long one, but the core question remains the same...

If given the chance, can you exclusively shop local?

Will you take the "I Will Shop Youngstown" 100% Pledge?

Friday, December 17, 2010

the world's first ever horror film - from 1910 - to be shown downtown on Friday

This little blurb is a great example of the cool little things that keep popping up all throughout Youngstown.

On Friday, Dec 17th @7pm, the Oakland Center for the Arts will host Frankenstein, originally produced in 1910 by Thomas Alva Edison's film company.

$5 will get one in the door, which includes a lecture on the film by the great Youngstown artist Chris Yambar.

From the Oakland's press release:
"Due to the Victorian public’s outcry against the film’s content, all copies of the cinematic first were gathered and destroyed, making it one of the most sought-after “lost treasures” of Silver Screen history. When a lone copy surfaced in the silent film collection of Alois Dettlaff during the 1960s, it became a guarded reel, one shown in its entirety to only a select few over the next 40 years. The eccentric Dettlaff never allowed the film to leave his estate and refused to have it restored.

In 2003, Chris Yambar joined forces with illustrator Robb Bihun and examined the film frame-by-frame, noting everything that occurred. They fought the popular temptation to “gore it up” and decided to keep their adaptation as bloodless and straightforward as the original content. There were areas, however, that needed some bridging in order to have a cognitive narrative flow. This was done with thoughtfulness and respect. The result was a 40-page graphic telling of the legendary 15-minute film."
Coffee, cocoa, and popcorn will be available at the Oakland.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

oh wow! - live downtown - right now

The crane is out...installing the sign.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

global talent search: Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI)

want ad:
Youngstown Business Incubator, single, young, full of life, seeks Chief Operating Officer for building a beautiful relationship.

more info:
At the LinkedIn group: Greater Youngstown Global Talent Network

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Youngstown Business Incubator has the prime responsibility for the internal management of the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) and its managed technology campus.

The COO reports directly to the YBI's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The COO will oversee all operational and administrative functions that support entrepreneurial activities but do not relate directly to participants.

A full job description for the position may be requested in advance
by contacting:
sdiamond (at)

Interested parties should send letters of interest and resumes to:
James W. Cossler
Youngstown Business Incubator
241 West Federal Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44503

Electronic submission is preferred and can be sent to:

jcossler (at)

[No telephone calls will be accepted.]

No resumes will be accepted
for consideration after 12/27/2010.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

clips from Mazowsze dance workshop and performance at Youngstown's Wigilia dinner

The group Polish Youngstown continues to rack up victory after victory of quality ethnic-themed events.

Case in point:
Downtown Youngstown was chosen as the site for the first-ever U.S. dance workshop of Mazowsze - THE ethnic dance toupe of the country of Poland.

Held at Ballet Western Reserve downtown on Sunday, the five-hour event allowed people from around the U.S. to learn from this famous group. Here's a video that was posted online today:

Immediately afterwards, hundreds of people dressed up for the annual Wigilia Dinner at the Youngstown Club - organized by the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown (since January 1935) where people feasted on the traditional meal served on Christmas Eve in central/eastern european households.

I didn't know pickled herring could be so delicious.

Mazowsze performed with its 18-piece orchestra and 20-piece choral group between dinner and dessert.

Here are some videos of Mazowsze's performance at the Youngstown Club. They are excellent!

This week, the monthly Polish Happy Hour resumes on Thursday Dec 9th at Rips Tavern from 5:30pm-9:00pm
The focus will be on Old Polish Christmas traditions.

from last month's event:

Then on Thursday, January 13th, "Kulig" will take place...

with horse-drawn sleigh rides around Lake Glacier in Mill Creek Park,
roasted keilbasa in the old log cabin
bonfires at Fellows Riverside Gardens
Singing, Dancing, Ice Carving, Live Music, and Polish Food.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

great gift shopping everyday in downtown youngstown - open house tues at SMARTS

The space that houses the SMARTS program downtown is like a hidden present along Federal Street.

Go inside and open the doors, and you'll find an explosion of color, laughter, music, dancing, opera, creative writing, and art throughout its two floors.

But you'll also find shopping - in the SMARTS Store. From 60 artists!

In fact, I think I can do just about all of my holiday shopping in here.

The SMARTS program will be having its annual holiday open house on Tuesday December 6th from 10am to 6pm.

There will be refreshments, music, and hands-on activities for kids.

Check out the variety of gifts for sale:

as a bonus, all sales get a 10% discount on tuesday.

SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts) is a FREE downtown after-school program to provide instruction to grades k through 12 in art, music, an dance for children from all income levels.

Through its affiliation with YSU, students in the university's music education program and other programs teach students in various disciplines.

All proceeds from the SMARTS Store benefit future programming for students (maybe your children) downtown.

More information about SMARTS is available here.