Gifts, Local and Yummy by Margaret McCormick
Food writer Margaret McCormick offers her annual ideas for interesting, unusual things to give for the holidays
Starting Point
New York Skies (UFO Blog)
Inevitable Coffee Ring
Raymond Meeks: Where Objects Fall Away Nov. 3-Dec. 17, 2014 Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery Gallery Talk: Thursday, Nov. 13, 5 p.m. Reception: Thursday, Nov. 13, 5-7 p.m. Light Work is pleased to announce “Where Objects Fall Away,” an exhibition spanning the career of photographer and book artist Raymond Meeks. The exhibition is on view from […]
The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University celebrates its reopening by presenting exhibitions of revolutionary photographs by Diane Arbus and the remarkably innovative Venice Notebook suite of etchings by iconoclastic artist Richard Serra. Picker Art Gallery Hours Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. Third Thursday of every month, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. The Picker is […]
Associated Artists of CNY presents its annual holiday art show. Art work may be taken at the time of purchase.
OHA has opened an exhibit featuring the watercolors of the late Betty Munro, a local artist who could be seen painting in downtown Syracuse throughout the 1970s to the early 1990s.  The exhibit will focus on Betty’s artistic diversity through the use of watercolors.  All paintings in the exhibit will be available for sale.  OHA […]

Top 5 Stories of the Week

Top 5 Stories of the Week for Nov. 17 – 23

Every Sunday we check our analytics to see which stories garnered the most attention in the past week. The stories with the most views make it to the Top 5 Stories of the Week on!

#takeatour Buy Local

What does it mean to “Buy Local?”

Michael John Heagerty of NOexcuses sits down for a chat with Chris Fowler from Syracuse First to talk LOCAL!

Rectangle UFO over the Power Lines

A father and son observe a rectangular-shaped UFO

A father and son never expected to see a rectangle UFO over the power lines.

Tech RoundUp

Tech RoundUp: Tony Hawk rides a Hendo, Kim Kardashian, Social Media and Civic Pride

Tony Hawk Rides the Hendo Hover Who would be the coolest person to test out this new tech (besides Michael J. Fox)? The most famous skateboarder in history took a spin on the world’s first hoverboard as shown in this YouTube video. X-Games fans are eager to see him take it out on the open road in years to come.

The Espresso Shot (#029)

Beef With Cheddar Makes It Better at Clark’s Ale House

Sometimes a writer needs a place to sit, abandon the coffee or tea and opt for a cask craft, to look at a piano and stare at it and debate whether to play it. Sometimes this place is not the most conventional or the most quiet (but has its moments), but there is a comfortable  seat available in a quiet nook. And if food is either not an option or you're full, a handful of peanuts is within an arms reach. The cracking of the legumes not only disrupts silence, but it is a stress reliever: and there is a just reward within the shell of constructive channeling. And this is the only beginning of Clark's Ale House.

A critic passed who wrote many film opinions for L.A.

Every time, Charles Champlin says, he respected the art

The particular item isn't about film, per se. And it's not going to take on the humorous tone - snarky, even - that I usually venture into on this side of my twice-weekly film blogging venture.

How an Upstate Hamlet Was Named After an Ancient Italian City

This is the story

Syracuse has an historic and appropriate link to Italy, one that pre-dates the influx of immigrants from that country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city is the namesake of the ancient town on the Italian seacoast in Sicily called Siracusa.

Local Hop (Review)

Sentimental Blues. Tim Herron.

Sentimental Blues. Tim Herron (independent). Usually known for the energetic guitar-driven jam rock of the Tim Herron Corporation, when Herron sets out on his own, the result is quite a far departure. Much like his previous solo venture Gone By Now (reviewed in the Dec. 19, 2013, issue of the Syracuse New Times), Herron’s music takes a revealing turn.

Bringing Sophistafunk’s Grooves Abroad

Crossing the Atlantic for the first time

In August 2013, Syracuse-based band Sophistafunk went across the Atlantic for the first time. The trio, composed of Adam Gold, Jack Brown and Emmanuel Washington, had become tight friends with another Salt City musician, Joe Driscoll, who primarily lives and works abroad. Sophistafunk and Driscoll played several shows together, giving England a taste of Central New York’s funk tribe.

Homecoming Happening for Savoca-Heitzman Duo

Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman perform two Syracuse shows

It has been years since Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman performed locally on a regular basis, yet recognition of their names has not dwindled among Syracuse fans. The powerful soul duo, born from weekly gigs at the Westcott Nation, has become one of the most revered collaborations in Central New York music. Longtime admirers can enjoy the twosome’s tunes during a Folkus Project concert on Friday, Nov. 21, at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society.

Stepping Out’s Dance Fever

Stepping Out boasts nine roles for women and one for a man

It’s something we’re not supposed to say out loud but, even worse, should not be put in print: Most university drama departments are oversupplied with female talent.

Three’s Company

Art writer Carl Mellor takes in a trio of diverse exhibits at the Everson Museum

The Everson Museum of Art’s autumn exhibits are literally in the mix. One show speculates on links between our world and the afterlife, another features works by Syracuse potters, and a third presents single-channel videos, sound and video installations and other pieces created by artists in residence at Owego’s Signal Culture. Clearly, each exhibition has its own identity.

Gas Station Pizza Was…Wanting, But We Have a Winner

Who serves the best?

As the busy Thanksgiving travel weekend approaches, thoughts inevitably turn to gas station pizza. Who serves the best?

You Get What You Pay For

How ’bout that raise?

Just a day after the elections, I’m sitting in my editor’s office and in walks our esteemed publisher. The publisher is a well-known conservative Republican. The editor describes himself as a proud liberal Democrat, and I prefer to be known as an unaffiliated radical; I’ve always been taught that in our system, political parties stand for only one thing — winning elections — and that is not a principle I care to sign on to.

Rink is Under Construction in the Dome

Basketball season might be heating up, but it’s about to get a lot colder in the Carrier Dome.

On Saturday, Nov. 22, the Dome — home to Syracuse University’s football, basketball and lacrosse teams — will be transformed into an indoor ice hockey arena. The Syracuse Crunch will play the Utica Comets in the Frozen Dome Classic, the first professional hockey game in the Dome.

Interview: Jeff Speck

The author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time.

Jeff Speck is a highly regarded city planner and architectural designer and the author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time. He's the co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.

Gifts, Local and Yummy

Food writer Margaret McCormick offers her annual ideas for interesting, unusual things to give for the holidays

When it comes to gifts of local food, Kate Gillen, owner and operator of Sampling Syracuse Food Tours ( has several favorites.

Free Will Astrology


ARIES (March 21-April 19) Someone on posed the question, "What have you always been curious to try?" In reply, many people said they wanted to experiment with exotic varieties of sex and drugs they had never treated themselves to before. Other favorites: eating chocolate-covered bacon; piloting a plane; shoplifting; doing a stand-up comedy routine; hang-gliding and deep-sea diving; exploring the Darknet and the Deep Web; spontaneously taking a trip to a foreign country; turning away from modern society and joining a Buddhist monastery. What would your answer be, Aries? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to explore what you have always been curious to try. The risks will be lower than usual, and the results more likely to be interesting.

News and Blues

Your weekly re-cap of weird and funny news from around the nation

Curses, Foiled Again Police chasing a stolen car in Port St. Lucie, Fla., said that the car came to a sudden halt after it collided with an alligator. “It’s pretty unimaginable that police officers would be at this point in time looking for these suspects,” Detective Keith Boham said after driver Calvin Rodriguez and two others in the car were arrested, “and that an alligator unfortunately just happens to cross the road and assist us in catching these criminals.” (West Palm Beach’s WPTV-TV)

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Two or three inches of snow every day for two months straight

One of my biggest disappointments came nearly 38 years ago. In Buffalo, they call it the Blizzard of 1977. In Central New York, where I was attending Syracuse University, they called it “another winter day.”

Choosing Paths

An evening at The Blue Tusk

The populated backroom of The Blue Tusk was filled with friends, strangers, and family members (not my own). As the group waited for our friend to arrive for her surprise 30th birthday, it was nice to take a moment of time to reflect on the fact that, aside the bleakness this Central New York city may present at times, my staying put is primarily due to having family and friends around. And, to them, I raise my glass.

Political Ads Part 2: The Art of Advertising

Television advertising has been a major part of political campaigning

In living rooms across America, it has been hard to turn on the television in the last two months without seeing a political advertisement. Candidates are shown on the campaign trail or in their kitchens with their families, talking in soothing tones about how they'll do great things. Ever since televisions entered American homes in the 1950s, television advertising has been a major part of political campaigning.

Beyond the Lights Moves Past Cliches and Makes a Star

At the center of this love story is the talented and beautiful Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Think of any cliche that you'd expect to find in a modern day not-supposed-to-be love story, and you'll find those mountains separating Noni and Kaz in Beyond the Lights.

Top 5 Stories of the Week

Nov. 10 – 16

Each week, we tally the numbers to bring you the Top 5 Most Read Stories of the Week on

A Craft Collective Shows at CommonSpace

CommonSpace Crafts, an art gallery on 201 E. Jefferson St., opened on Sunday.

Commonspace Crafts hosted its grand opening on Sunday Nov. 9, featuring the work of eleven local artists. The gallery will show the artists' work for the next two months.

#takeatour of Lights on the Lake

#takeatour explores Lights on the Lake

Join Michael John Heagerty of NOexcuses Tours as he explores Lights on the Lake - an annual holiday tradition in Central New York.

Life Through the Good Eye

Being grateful at every age

In my 30's and 40's I rather enjoyed shoveling snow. In fact I was actually grateful for the excuse to exercise while getting a chore done. It was a two for one. Once in my 50's, I was grateful that several of my neighbors were kind enough to run their snow blowers up and down the driveway every time the snowflakes fell, because my aging bones were not really enjoying the chore any longer. Now that I'm in my 60's, I 'm rather grateful to be heading south each year just before the first snowflake falls, to spend my winters in the sun.

It’s Time to End the Truth Embargo on UFOS!

A call for hearings

Dear readers of New York Skies,

The Espresso Shot (#028)

It’s about quality, not quantity

The initial thought was to head over to Clark Reservation, but my first decision was Pratt's Falls. Apparently the park closes in November. I should have looked up this information prior, but who would do that research beforehand? Others people were gathered and cars were huddled around the entrance; this is supposedly a legitimate thing.

Big hopes for Johnny Depp

Mortdecai and Depp’s deadpan delivery

Johnny Depp has made me laugh in what was supposed to be a really big movie in the not too distant past. But when I was chortling at his Tonto bits during The Lone Ranger last year, I half thought maybe I wasn't supposed to be.


Michael Davis photos

Dasher’s Magical Gift will premiere on December 13th.

“The Listening Room,” is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.

Cortland Repertory Theatre’s 2015 Season

Four stage events to put on your calendar


Four stage events to put on your calendar


At the center of this love story is the talented and beautiful Gugu Mbatha-Raw

#takeatour explores Lights on the Lake

It’s about quality, not quantity

Michael Davis photos

Astrology for Nov. 12 – 18

News & Opinion

Tisha Edwards looks at how Syracuse deals with its outsize suspension problem.

Walking through La Casita Cultural Center’s exhibit Balcon Criollo

Francisco Altschul is El Salvador’s ambassador to the United States; Julio Ligorria is Guatemala’s ambassador.

Your weekly re-cap of weird and funny news from around the nation