Utica on the Map

Utica on the Map
Smack in the Center

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bittersweet Pines: A Local Gem

If you are interested in old furniture, lamps, rugs--even copies of Country Living magazine--but can't afford antiques, this is the store for you. Bittersweet Pines is @ 4900 Rte. 233 in Westmoreland. The owner calls what she sells "Used Furniture." Or, more precisely, "Previously Enjoyed Furniture and Decor." I didn't see much that was priced over $250. And I saw some wonderful old dressers, tables, lots of rocking chairs...

This store is a gem.

Red Stairs, East Utica
June 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Walking Behind the Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny Cruises Sangertown Square, New Hartford  

Apparently, he needed a little break from a hard day posing with kids---or Not (see left).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Upstate Writers: Phil Memmer Reads at The Other Side

William Welsh announcing the Reading
Phil Memmer Reading from his new book

The Other Side, the non profit creation of Kim & Oren Domenico of Domenicos, a venue for music, lectures, discussions and other events, has now started a reading series to showcase Central New York writers. Domenicos also sponsors a new literary magazine, "Doubly Mad."

Tonight Phil Memmer, poet, writer and Director of the Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, read from his powerful new book of poems, The Storehouses of the Snow.  These new poems were written, according to Mr. Memmer, in a burst of creativity he had never experienced before, and in the form of "psalms, parables and dreams." 

Mr. Memmer chose to read from this book and two of his other books. His poems are accessible and often funny without losing any of their complexity and irony. A few of them appear in the latest issue of "Doubly Mad."

P.S. Yrs truly will also have a poem titled "My Own Country" in the June issue of Doubly Mad. Pick up copies at Domenicos the next time you get a cup of coffee.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Repost: Spring

The days portrayed in this wonderful photograph, which captures an Upstate spring perfectly, in which you can almost see the buds on the trees, the wind moving the clouds across a new blue sky and the sun-dappled fields--those days are coming. Spring is coming.

Thank you Patrick Yasu Huther, via a friend on Facebook.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meanwhile, back at My Broken Down Upstate City, the blogger is not dead, merely discouraged. Does anyone give a damn about Utica? Or Central New York?

Let me quote:

If the land has a secret it is
that is has no secret.
Everywhere I see the uneven
and careless gardens,
crooked porches, abandoned cars
and washers, faded signs.
In the diners the talk turns
from the rain to cancer,
from cancer to the lotto.

The eyes look calmly,
tiredly out of the heads.

from "My Own Country" by Cindy Day 

That's the trick--NOT to get discouraged. Utica can be a discouraging place, depressed, behind the times, stuck. But I wanted to blog about where I live, good and bad. I wanted to celebrate the details of daily life here. Especially the people. The people and the food and the architecture and the landscape. So onward and upward! The one thing I may have learned about blogging is that you can't stop. Blogs prosper by staying current.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wynken Blynken and Nod

At the bottom of Arlington Road in Utica this amazing boat--a play boat--caught my eye.

And the beautiful lines of the old house it sits behind.   

I wondered who lived in the house, now and in the past, and what lucky children got to play on the boat. And all of it reminded me of a nursery rhyme which turned out to be about sailing to sea in a wooden shoe (not to mention sailing off to sleep), but came close enough to the spirit of the place and the things I might have imagined when I was a child--if I had a boat in my back yard.

Wynken Blynken and Nod

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea--
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish--
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea--
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.