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Syracuse NY

10 Unique Central New York Scenes

Well… at least these are unique to me. I’m sure everyone who lives in the area has pictures that are unique to them, and some of them might look exactly like some of these. What I’ve tried to do is highlight some of what’s unique to central New York in a different way than many other people might do. I know that a couple of these will look exactly like a picture someone else took but, except for one of these, all of these were taken by me. One is from my friend Scott Thomas, but since it’s not a high definition shot and he’s getting attribution I don’t think he’ll mind all that much.

This is also day #29 of having a new post on this blog, and since it’s Sunday I know most people don’t want to read a bunch of content. So sit back and just enjoy the images. 🙂

Carrier Dome

This is a picture inside the Carrier Dome before a Syracuse Orange basketball game. It’s not easy to capture a great shot of the crowd from the inside; trust me, I’ve tried. 🙂

Green Lakes

Central New York is known for its lakes, and Green Lakes is no exception. I took a bunch of beautiful shots one day when I walked around the lake… almost killing myself!

Lights On The Lake

Every winter we get the Lights on the Lake presentation alongside Onondaga Lake. I think it’s best when there’s snow on the ground, but getting individual shots like this one are pretty fun.

NBT Bank Stadium

The stadium where the Syracuse Chiefs play baseball. I love the look of a baseball diamond and maybe if I hadn’t hurt my arm freshman year in college I’d have had a shot at a major league career. I can dream can’t I?

I probably have hundreds of shots of Onondaga Lake during the day but I don’t have a shot like this. I’m betting few people have thought about shooting this one; we’ll find out I suppose.

Lake Ontario sunset

Oswego counts as central New York which means we get to claim our piece of Lake Ontario. Renown as the location of one of the top 5 sunsets in the world, I have lots of these shots as well. This one I’m sure lots of people have taken.

sand sculpture NY State Fair

This is one of my favorite sand sculptures ever from the New York State Fair, which is held right here in Syracuse. I could have chosen from dozens of shots but this one seemed to be the most fitting.

Stella's Betty Boop's

Stella’s gets a mention meanly because of its affinity for Betty Boop dolls. I’ve always been a Betty Boop fan and there’s probably few places around the country so enamored with her.

Syracuse City Hall

This is another shot that I’ve seen a lot of pictures that look like it. I only hope it’s slightly unique when compared to the others. It’s one of the coolest city halls in the country in my opinion.

hockey game Syracuse War Memorial

I’ve been to a lot of events at the Syracuse War Memorial but lately I’ve been going for the hockey games. The Crunch are fun to watch and now I have a 3-game winning streak after having them lose every game I’d been to for over a decade. 🙂

That’s all I have; I hope you enjoy these shots.

9 Short Central New York Videos I Shot In 2016

I’m writing a post a day in January but I figured that since it was Sunday that I’d change up and share something that won’t require a lot of reading. I take a lot of pictures wherever I go, but sometimes I like to shoot a bit of video of what I’m seeing. Many of these end up on Instagram or start there, but I’m never quite sure how many people really see them.

This will probably be the least seen of all my posts for this month, and that’s saying something. Still, it’ll also be the easiest to consume, even if it’s not the shortest; one can’t have everything. I’m only sharing 9 because… well, because I like the number 9! lol

Let’s get started:

1. This was a shot outside my living room window last February when it was -5° and snowing… one of the few snowy days we had last season.

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cold-snowy-calm.mp4

2. I don’t make it to a lot of Syracuse Crunch games, but they won this one, breaking my losing streak of 7 in a row.

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Syr-Crunch-winning-game.mp4

3. I call these the stairs of death, Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University, walking up for the only game I saw at the Dome last year, which was…

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/stairs-to-game.mp4

4. The Syracuse Orange woman’s team, which won their regional tournament and eventually ended up making the final game. I wish there had been more people here but it was the 3rd largest crowd they’ve ever had.

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Syr-Womans-game.mp4

5. The only bigger deal at Onondaga Lake than the eagle (which I was late in shooting) was the first sign of the swans. This was the best video I got of one of them; so cool!

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Swan.mp4

6. The attack of the geese at Onondaga Lake Park; tons of them!

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Onondaga-Lake-geese.mp4

7. This is the largest flag I’ve ever seen, so big that the winds couldn’t lift it any higher than what you see here. This was in the town of Macedon.

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Macedon-flag.mp4

8. This was my first visit to the playground at Onondaga Lake Park, mainly because I never had a kid with me until my wife & I got to play with my great niece one summer day.

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Onondaga-Lake-Park-playground.mp4

9. Out with the old, in with the new on Buckley Road…

http://www.syracusewiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/former-Ramada-Inn-space.mp4

That’s it, my top 9. I hope you got a little bit of joy from these.  

My 40th Year In Central New York

Today marks the 40th year I’ve lived in central New York, most specifically Liverpool. I don’t remember what time I saw the place we were going to live but we moved into Grenadier Village some time in the afternoon on this date, July 8th, which was just a few days after Arthur Ashe beat Jimmy Connors in tennis, spawning a tennis revolution of sorts for black players because that’s when I started playing tennis.

college graduation picture

college graduation picture

As much as I love central New York and Liverpool now, living here initially wasn’t all that great.

When I knew we were moving back to the Syracuse area (we’d lived here from ’66 to ’69) I thought we were going to be living in North Syracuse. That’s where I’d gone to elementary school for a few years when we first lived on Taft Road, then on Hancock Field. I thought I’d run into a few people I knew back in the day, and it eventually happened, but not as soon as I had hoped.

Instead I ended up at Liverpool High School to start 11th grade, which was both a curse and a blessing.

It was a curse because Liverpool was not only NOT welcoming to black people, but to people who it didn’t consider as “residents”. By the time I graduated the best friends I had were all people who had moved here within the two years I went to the school, and years later those are most of the people I still talk to for the most part. At the very least these are the people whose politics mirror mine; not sure what that says about the Liverpool HS I went to at the time.

The reason I said it wasn’t welcoming to black people back then wasn’t because anyone was mean to me for being black. It’s that, out of a school of over 3,800 students, if there were 50 black people it was a miracle. And most of them didn’t know what to do with me either; yeah, I was kind of a social misfit.

I really was young once

I really was young once

That was the curse part. The blessing part was that I got to totally reinvent myself once again. Being a military kid, every time I moved I got to become someone else, exhibit a different part of my personality.

Before I left Maine I was someone who most people thought was pretty talkative but a pretty good athlete. When I got to Liverpool I realized I was still pretty good, but there were a lot more people I had to go through to be even somewhat recognized.

I only went out for one sport, my senior year when I went out for the baseball team. I didn’t make it… because the coach pulled me into his office, said I was better than the guy he had but that guy was a sophomore on a team that won the championship the year before and I was a senior and he didn’t think it would be fair for me to sit on the bench behind someone I was better than; so be it.

Merobyn2Regardless, I achieved a lot of stuff in high school anyway and went to school in Oswego; what a blast! I support SUNY Oswego as often as I can and visit a few times a year, heading to Wades or what we called “the stands”, and I love driving around seeing all the changes. But mostly I love visiting and looking at Lake Ontario… wow! I remember going out to look out over the lake in springtime to watch the Northern Lights, something an astronomy major showed me freshman year that many people living there still don’t know about.

Other than college I’ve lived in Liverpool my entire adult life, one apartment over another. I’ve never found a compelling reason to leave. Everything I could ever want is within 10 minutes of wherever I’ve lived in this city, whether it was considered the town of Clay or Salina.

Now I live on a street that, when I first moved here, I had the sneaking suspicion that the neighbors called each other to tell them to come out and see “what’s” riding a bike up the street because it happened more than once. And, oddly enough, people we don’t know know that we live in this house; just sayin’… lol

Merobyn7Yet, I love it. I share a backyard with Wegmans, live less than a couple of miles from Onondaga Lake, 10 minutes from both Destiny and Great Northern, have all kinds of restaurants (though not a good Chinese restaurant anymore; sigh…) and fast food places, a library and a Barnes & Noble… if it wasn’t for visiting other people I know I’d never have to leave.

But I truly love all of central New York. I love telling people when I travel where I live, and I love to talk about the snow, the Dome, the mountains, the lakes, the food, the Orange and the soft ice cream; did you know that there are few places outside of central New York that have a lot of soft ice cream places? I mean, what’s up with that?

I’ve lived in a lot of places, visited way more, but I can’t think of any other place I’d rather live than here. I feel sorry for those who complain about this place; it’s on them. I hope I never have to leave; I hope no one I like leaves either. 😉  

Copyright 2015