Gratuitous Asparagus Shots
4/23/2008 08:51:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
From the last post:

Earth Day Wrap-up
4/23/2008 08:45:00 AM | Author: baloghblog

I guess I am supposed to spout the obligatory quote that “every day is Earth Day” in my household. But for those who are interested, here’s what we did in the Balogh household yesterday:

  • Filled up the compost bin with the grass and leaves from the spring clean-up. (This year they’re shredded, so I expect a quicker composting period.)
  • Experimented (and succeeded) in making homemade organic hot oatmeal. Not too hard actually. I guess that I can stop buying the pre-packaged stuff now.
  • Walked from campus instead of taking the bus.
  • Gazed admiringly at my asparagus rising tall in my garden. (Does this count? Maybe under meditation…)
  • Attended Earth Day festivities on campus.
  • Spent time with my parents. Planted the first of my family veggie garden with my dad - peas, beans, kale, luffa (what the heck, why not!)
  • Tried to solve Costa Rica’s food security challenges with a urban agriculture program a la Cuba (Term paper #1)
  • Tried to find solutions to China’s sky rocketing demand for automobiles, and oil by exploring a car-sharing program (Term paper #2)
  • Brought my wife some flowers out of the garden.

Not that impressive of a list, but I plan on expanding it this weekend with a group clean up of trash in our neighborhood with my friends, and hitting the farmer’s market this Saturday.

I am officially not an "upstate blogger" anymore
4/21/2008 08:50:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

Yes, it's my own damn fault for neglecting this blog and neglecting my hometown. But I have to admit that I was a little bummed not to see my blog listed in the Post-Standard's aggregated feed of local bloggers.

With my limited time on the computer (not doing school work, that is) I've tended to be more of an avid blog-reader than a blog-ger. There's been many things worth commenting on, if only I had a few more hours in the day. Their all old news now, and not worth revisiting.

A topic worth writing about is what transplants and college students think of Syracuse. I've had the pleasure of meeting a wide variety of people who, for whatever reason, have made their way to Syracuse to get their college degrees. I've made friends and acquaintances from far away places - Pakistan, Kenya, Jamaica, Dominica, India, Korea, France, and beyond. Yeah, they complain about the cold. Yes, the snow too. But it's hearing the things they do like about the area that is the thing that makes me happy to have grown up here. They rave about the scenery. They like our many local parks, lakes, waterfalls, and natural places. The endless (well, nearly endless) supply of fresh clean water. The inexpensive homes on comparatively large plots of land. The local schools. Access to brilliant minds and speakers.

They bring with them their strong ambition, and their work ethic. They take the bus, bike, or walk to school. They bring a piece of their home countries with them, meeting for tea, taking in foreign films, raving about how great their home town is. I find myself raving about Syracuse too. I want to sell them on living here.

I want to add their cosmopolitan and world-traveled voices to Syracuse. I want their enthusiasm and zeal to wear off on other Syracusans. I want my children to have wonderful conversations about foreign lands, and other ways of life. I want them to appreciate the wonderful gift of abundant fresh water, by speaking to someone who grew up with little of it. I want them to know that Islamabad is not just a place on a map, or a news item, but a real place where a chain-smoking, tea-slugging, dry-humored Fulbright Scholar comes from.

Mostly, I just want my friends to stick around for a little longer.

Its been an amazing experience going back to school. I've learned a lot about the world, and a bit about a corner of the city that I never really frequented other than basketball games. I've also learned a lot about myself, and my hometown, in the process.

damn, it feels good to write again...
Empty Pep Boys Building Finally Finds a New Tenant
4/21/2008 08:25:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

This one has a local flavor, but is a big deal in our little corner of the world. Bob Niedt reports that the long empty Pep Boys in Westvale Plaza has found a new tenant.

Here's some of my thoughts on it from the Geddesblog:
Don't even get me started about what used to occupy this space prior to the Pep Boys Automotive that was in and out of their faster than one of their oil changes. I loved the old Genesee Theater, and still can remember the sticky feeling on my shoes to this day. China Pavillion was in the rear of the theater, and dinner and a movie were always a good date. (Hey I was in high school, chinese food and a cheapie movie were a big deal back in those days!) Yeah it was cold in the winter, and the movies were a few weeks past their prime, but the place had character. All you have to do is look to the newly renovated Palace Theatre in Eastwood to see what the Genesee could have become too.

Never-the-less, the Genesee closed it's doors on Sept 16th, 1996. Pep Boys did the same 3 years later in 1999. Can you believe this building has sat here for 6 years without a tenant? Pep Boys should be sued, and as a repayment for the community, have to dig up every brick and sticky floor tile from the landfill and rebuild that theater. (on second thought, maybe someone should just redevelop that area - heh heh)
Well, it's now sat empty for 9 years, but will be empty no longer...
...the new Solvay store, in Westvale Plaza, will carry name-brand items -- Sony, Eddie Bauer, Ralph Lauren, for example -- discounted at least 30 percent to 35 percent off standard retail prices.

Everything in the store is new, but discounted because the manufacturer pulled them from retail chains for newer models, different packaging or the items didn't sell well. Stock runs from clothing and household items to consumer electronics, sports equipment, outdoor furniture and more.

Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Mark Emery said the store is expected to open in early June and will employ up to 25 people.
Well, its no sticky floored cheapy theater, but it seems like a good business. Hopefully she'll stick around a few more years than the Pep Boys did.

At least we don't have to see that damn eternal light bulb burning anymore.