Thursday, January 20, 2011

Turning Technologies on China's Great Wall

Straight outta downtown youngstown and onto The Great Wall...

The Wall is a place to make friends and explain that the technology and software behind the product comes from the minds and portfolio companies within the Youngstown Business Incubator.

In this particular section of The Wall, it's almost straight up.

No gradualism here . . . wow.

elsewhere in contemporary Beijing...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

defend youngstown in China - 2.8 miles up

Climbing up to 4,506 meters above sea level, one can stand on the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere - on Jade Dragon Stone Mountain.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the post-kulig feeling

talk about ethnic chic!

horses in the snow . . .

seven-foot tall ice-carvings with polish eagles . . .

roasted kielbasi over an open flame . . .

sleighs on display . . .

a zimna welcome . . .

custard pączki . . .

accordion and dancing . . .

You can see news coverage of the event by wytv here.

Credit to Mill Creek Park and its event staff for the first few photos on this post.


- - -

next big event?

Ostatski - a mardi gras celebration
Feb 26th @ The Youngstown Club

past coverage here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

for the first time, you can take a horse-led carriage around Lake Glacier - at Kulig

Kulig is the name of a Polish winter festival filled with sleigh rides, food, snow, and music.

And on Thursday, Kulig will be coming to Mill Creek Park, with (for the first time ever) horse-drawn rides on closed roads around snow-covered Lake Glacier.

The event will be up and down the hill near Fellows Riverside Gardens from 5:30pm to 9pm.

Components include:
- roasted kielbasi and hot drinks at the Old Log Cabin
- ice carving demonstrations
- horse-drawn sleigh rides (advanced sign up available)
- live music
- dancing (a lot usually)
- Polish comfort food

some wicked contemporary sleigh rides:

Kulig at 95 miles per hour!

more information can be found here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caput apri defero - I bring in the boar's head

In the heart of downtown youngstown, a tiny sprite with a lit candle runs though the stone passages of a 110-year old church.

Jumping between shadows and light filtered through Tiffany stained-glass windows, the young sprite presents the flame to the rector, and thus the Boar's Head Festival begins.

- - -

For 50 years this amazing tradition has occurred in the same fashion inside the stunning Arts and Crafts interior of St. John's Episcopal Church.

With over 150 costumed people playing roles throughout the two-hour brass, organ, and song event (with a feast afterwards!), one can't help but feel completed blessed that we have these types of events in the community.

Here's a four-minute video of just some of the performers walking to the sanctuary. Check it out:

What costumes!
What voices!
What an effort!

- - -

Photographer extraordinaire Bill Lewis has great pictures from the 2010 event you can see here, as well as a video of a musician playing trombone for 50 consecutive years here.

There were more beefeaters than in a baker's dozen of gin bottles.

- - -

The history of the Boar's Head Festival goes back to circa 1167 in Oxford University in England.

The boar's head itself comes from Roman traditions, as the beast - a menace to man - was served at feasts. Serving the head represents the triumph of good over evil.

In 1892 the first Boar's Head and Yule Log festival was performed in the United States.

In 1961 the music for Youngtown's event was selected, arranged, and composed by Dr. Ronald L. Gould, who served as conductor for the 2010 version.

If you've never seen this amazing display of pageantry, you'll have to wait until 2012.

Caput apri defero, indeed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

local arts + local talent = how much local dollars?

It's a question that perhaps Arthur Cecil Pigou would find interesting:

What is the total economic impact of the arts in within a geographical area?

Aside from the ticket costs, and labor paid, and the art pieces purchased, what are all the components that can funnel into calculating how much money flows through the local economy because of the arts?

We have a saying in Youngstown:

"yes, but how much peniaze?"

- - -

Monday afternoon will begin the kickoff to count the money.

Thus, the local uber-entity "The Power of the Arts" is partnering with "Americans for the Arts" to kickoff their Economic Impact Study initiative.

That kickoff takes place at . . .
Monday, January 10, 2011 @ 3pm
in the
Eleanor Beecher Flad Pavilion
(same building as Overture restaurant)
260 West Federal Street
Yo, O 44503

from their request for participants:
"Every art and cultural organization in the Mahoning Valley is encouraged to become a part of the Economic Impact Study initiative. One goal of Power of the Arts is to define the role of arts and culture in the economic development of our Valley.

During the kickoff reception, arts and culture organizations in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties will be provided materials concerning the study process.

Every organization is encouraged to send a representative."

For a quick primer on the components of economic impact studies, click here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

the motif of the university-based literary magazines in Cleveburgh: factory rust belt chic

2010 saw a lot of great artistic accomplishments in Youngstown, including the launch of an additional university-based literary magazine, simply named "Jenny".

from Jenny's website:
"Like many struggling postindustrial cities across the country, Youngstown, Ohio is a place defined by images of ruin and rust, and there are few images more striking than that of the Jeannette Blast Furnace.

“Jenny,” as plant workers called her and as Bruce Springsteen referred to her in his 1995 song “Youngstown,” was one of two furnaces located at Youngstown Sheet and Tube.

It [Jenny] was a place where things were made, shaped, created.

While the absence of our blast furnaces has been felt in terrible ways throughout our region, our fire has not gone out.

In the aftermath of de-industrialization, we are not a people without industry. Youngstown is not done creating, not done making.

We are each of us, every day, telling stories. Here in the pages of Jenny, we aim to display some of those artifacts made by wordsmiths and visual artists alike.
The motif of romantic rust belt infrastructure, with strong ties to "making things" is clear in Jenny, but what about elsewhere in Cleveburgh?

let's look around the region . . .

we've got the "Rubbertop Review" at the University of Akron.
(most recent rust belt chic cover here)

we've got the "Hot Metal Bridge" at the University of Pittsburgh.
(most recent rust belt chic cover here)

we've got "Whiskey Island" at Cleveland State University
(most recent rust belt chic cover here)

So here's a question:

Why is rust belt chic such a dominant theme of late in the literary magazines of the mega-region's largest cities?

- - -

editor's note:
details on submitting work to Jenny can be found here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

the geography of Cleveburgh - Yo on the axis

an interesting image on the Null Space blog . . .

. . . shows the geography of the Cleveburgh map.

Or, how the author puts it, "the Greater Youngstown Metropolitan Area. "

Now imagine on the map above interstate 80 running east-west through the map, and quasi-interstate route 11 running north-south.

The City of Youngstown is where all of these axes cross each other.

From a recent Post-Gazette story:
"Northeast Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania are far more interconnected with each other than either region is with other parts of Ohio or Pennsylvania. The day-to-day interaction of local businesses are geared toward regional partners, not Harrisburg or Columbus. Pittsburgh industries are far more linked to markets and suppliers in Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland than with those in Allentown, Scranton or even Philadelphia. In so many ways the state boundaries we think of as important are no more than lines on a map.

Annual migration among Cleveburgh communities dwarfs the movement of people to other places across the nation. Daily commuting over state borders is a growing phenomenon. It is not uncommon to see workers from Ohio and West Virginia looking for jobs in Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh residents considering jobs in Weirton or Youngstown or farther reaches of the region.

No one definition of our greater region is right for all circumstances. But we can't be limited by municipal or state boundaries that mean less and less as time goes by.

Roads and rivers, power lines and pollution; all ignore the lines arbitrarily drawn on maps centuries ago. It is our mental map of who we are that will have the most to do with who we become."
well said, Mr. Briem.