Monday, September 18, 2006

I <3 Westcott Street: A Photo Essay

We live in the Westcott neighborhood of Syracuse, a neighborhood that is really rich in culture and history, and has a plethora of interesting people, organizations, shops, pets, and kids. Every September for 15 years, they have been holding the Westcott Street Fair, an event that brings the neighborhood and the city together for one fun day filled with music, dancing, food, politics, conversation, crafts, and fun. Daiku and I went there yesterday, once again volunteering for the Syracuse Peace Council booth. We saw some friends and neighbors, met some new people, helped out with a good cause, ate some good food, and generally acted giddy to have a warm sunny day.

Here, I will show you photos that will help you see why I love Westcott and why I love Syracuse.

Because we have...

groovy people

We have...

Our politics in the right place

We have...

some great community activist groups including the Peace Action Network, the American Friends Service Committee, the Syracuse Cultural Workers, and the Community Animal Project.

We have...

Our very own food co-op (The Syracuse Real Food Co-op) whose volunteers go around at fairs giving out free food.

We have...

great music including a Klesmer orchestra, jazz and jazz vocalists, African drums, punk, gospel, and even good old rock and roll playing (sometimes simultaneously at different bandstands!) at the street fair.

We have...

Cute kids

We have...

A great public library that holds book sales where you can find bizarre items like a Workbench magazine from 1965 and a cookbook published by Benson & Hedges (that's right Benson & Hedges of cigarette fame. These corporations had some nerve, didn't they?!)

We have...

Great local artists

And last, but most certainly not least, we have...

some great food! Las Delicias serves authentic Caribbean fare, including some veg. options, Alto Cinco has fantastic burritos and other healthy Mexican food, including the specials that you see posted above, and best of all, I met someone who is going to open the Gaia Cafe and Lounge, Syracuse's first and only restaurant serving all vegan food! You can see her sign above. Stay tuned for more on this story-- if the cheesecakes that she was selling are any indication of things to come, I'm drooling with anticipation.

**Caution: Food Porn Ahead**
If you swoon or faint easily, do not scroll down any further

Kids, get your parents' permission

Last Warning!!

For lunch, I got a ginormous jerk tofu burrito from Alto Cinco. It tasted of curry more than jerk, but it was so spicy and delicious. The best part was that it had gooey vegan cheese. I don't eat vegan cheese very often because it is so expensive, so this was a luxury for me.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. If any of you are going to be in Central New York, you are more than welcome to stay with us!



Gaia said...

I more than enjoyed your post !
Really looks like a wonderful place to live !
And that Café ! :))) Haven't taste the cheesecake and I'm already in love LOL

Congrats on switching to Beta ! I can still comment on your blog but I think that Beta Bloggers have to create a new Blogger identity or comment as Anonymous to comment on non-beta Blogs.
I can't wait to see all the new features Beta offers.

Candi said...

I enjoyed the post too!! So many cool aspects of where you live that it made me want to start packing right now! Lol!

That cafe will be great! (Gaia, it was named after YOU!) lol!

Thanks for taking all the photos of the details to share!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you live in a really wonderful place. I would love to come visit you! I really want to do an internship at the Farm Sanctuary next year so maybe I can stop by on my way there or back.

We moved to TN in February. Like you, we used to live in Irvine. We had lived there since 1997. What a small world. What brought you to New York? Did you do your graduate work at UC Irvine?

Of course you can link to my blog. I'm going to link to yours also. Tried to do it the other day but darn blogger was giving me a hard time.

Emmy said...

What a fun post. It sounds like you had a delightful day! Wow, Syracuse looks like a cool place to live. Metro Detroit is seriously lacking in culture, I can tell you that!

Library book sales are so much fun. That is absolutely insane about the cigarette company cookbook. Look at that nifty vintage dress the woman on the cover of Workbench is wearing!!!

That jerk tofu burrito looks fab. Yum! That's wonderful there will soon be a vegan restaurant in your town.

I really enjoyed all the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your day with your fellow bloggers :) And Rob wanted me to tell you that your Giraffe Bento Box is awesome!

bazu said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!
Gaia, I will definitely think of you when I go to the Gaia cafe--what a pretty name.
Candi, even if you don't move hear, you are always welcome to visit.
Crystal, thanks for the kind words. If you come to NY for Farm Sanctuary, I'm going to make sure you swing this way too! Yes, I was/am a grad. student at UCI. That is so cool that we both lived in Irvine- now I know who to whine to when I'm feeling nostalgic.
Emmy, I actually took the pictures of the old books for you, thinking how skillful you are at finding gems at book sales, estate sales, etc. Tell Rob thanks, but my bento doesn't hold a candle to all your fabulous vintage dishes.

Anonymous said...

Bazu, don't you miss Ranch 99? What a great asian food market. I could have easily picked up all your sushi fixins in 5 minutes. Now I would need to drive all over this town and mail order half of them. Ugh!

KleoPatra said...


What a fun post. I wish i was there...

Theresa said...

It must be wonderful to live in such a colorful place! I'm currently living in an incredibly close-minded region of Australia, and I grew up in an incredibly close-minded town in the southern Adirondacks. I'm jealous of anyone that has a vegan-friendly restaurant in their immediate neighbourhood!

Those pictures are great, and the food porn made me drool all over the keyboard! Good thing I'm in the library, and not on my own computer!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

LOVE your blog! this post was great. Makes me even more anxious to move back to Gville and likeminded people (currently residing in nowhereville, FL :)

Thanks so much for the compliment! Sometimes I joke that I don't know which I like more, the cooking, the sharing, or the photographing of the food! I do know that I'm quickly becoming accustomed to eating everything no hotter than room temperature by the time I get to it. hehe.

Cyndi said...

What a fun post to read and look at. I wanted to comment on the Benson & Hedges cookbook - I used to have one from B & H that has a great recipe for Tomato Beef with Curry. I ordered it through the mail 26 years ago (back when I smoked B & H). I don't have it any more, but I used a lot of recipes from it.

I also like the idea of putting a sign that says War on the "stop ahead" signs -- great idea!

Love your blog.

Kris @ The Syracuse REAL FOOD Co-op said...

Thanks for the great photos! I wish I had seen these a while ago. The Co-op loves you! Check out our blog, it is integrated into the front page of our website!