UFO sightings made by our fellow New Yorkers during past Christmas holidays.
Christmas Eve night has a special wonder for many. On a clear winter's night, the stars are bright, and if you lean up against a tree or a fence post and lay your head back, it’s easy to get lost in the spectacle of all those stars. In the spirit of the season, let's explore the UFOs of Christmas past.
A quartet of smallish venues offers more dining alternatives
They say that good things come in small packages. Well, who doesn't like small packages, especially this time of year? Here's a look at four new food and drink destinations that have opened in Syracuse in recent weeks. They're petite, but hopefully will make big and lasting impressions.
Tis’ the season for local and regional beer!
We've recently asked local mixologists to provide us with some Holiday Cocktail Recipes (click here to see) and we didn't want to leave out a little something for the beer drinkers! These selections can also make great gift items for the beer aficionado in your life! As always, please be sure to drink responsibly this holiday season, and don’t drink and drive. Cheers!
Five films opening in Syracuse this weekend – watch the trailers!
If you've got all your holiday shopping done, presents wrapped, decorations just perfect, ham in the freezer ... you can go see five opening movies this weekend, guilt-free. Big ones, too, films that you've been just itching to see since the trailers came out months ago.
Looking for the perfect holiday cocktail?
With the holiday season in full swing, we've asked some CNY mixologists to provide us with some Holiday Cocktail Recipes! You can try making these at home or head out to try one from the experts! As always, please be sure to drink responsibly this holiday season, and don't drink and drive. Cheers!
Eighty-two years ago, cops were chasing bootleggers in the Salt City
As an increasing number of states ease up on the once illegal use of marijuana, it is apropos to note that it was 80 years ago this month that the great experiment to make alcohol illegal, Prohibition, was finally declared a failure.
The National Security Agency knows if you’ve been bad or good
Your Christmas presents will no doubt come as a surprise to you, but if things are working the way they are supposed to these days, before the bundles even leave the North Pole in Santa’s sleigh, your jolly round director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Keith Alexander, should already have a pretty good idea of what you will be finding under the tree.
Our humor columnist kids around with President Obama at a White House bash
In yet another sign of America’s decline, I attended a holiday party at the White House last week where I got to meet President Obama, or “Barry” as I call him, and his dazzling 7-foot-4 wife, Michelle, who up close somehow manages to project both gracious femininity and the capacity to snap a grown-ass man in two.
A new DVD celebrates the creepy charms of the horror hosts behind Monster Movie Matinee
Think of TV hosts and hostesses of old-school horror movies and, for most people, the usual suspects turn up. There’s Svengoolie, the Chicago-based franchise which since 1979 has featured a top-hatted Rich Koz donning Groucho Marx greasepaint and wielding a rubber chicken (the weekly broadcasts are now airing Saturday nights on Me-TV via WSYR-Channel 9.2). And there is Elvira, the buxom alter ego of actress Cassandra Peterson, who has hosted two separate syndicated TV series devoted to fright flicks during her 30-year reign.
Chicago bluesman Nick Moss returns to the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Hard-driving, relentless, inspired and never generic in nature, Nick Moss' 2011 Blue Bella Records release, Here I Am, offers listeners an opportunity to enjoy the Chicago guitarist's continued evolution as he prepares a return to the stage of the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., on Thursday, Dec. 19, 9:30 p.m.
Music reviews for The Easy Ramblers and Tim Herron Solo.
The Easy Ramblers. Country Livin’ (independent). Sawing fiddle, chugging mandolin, sweet guitar lines, deft banjo picking and smooth accordion all lay beneath the most striking asset of the latest Easy Ramblers’ disc: magnificent vocals. Harmonies are rich, but even stand-alone, Maureen Henesey’s pipes are always controlled, precise and emotional. Henesey’s voice, which swirls with depth and beautifully touches vocal heights, ties the whole album together, proving that the old-time bluegrass style is still very much alive. Songs are rife with old themes about country mice (“Country Livin’”), a “Red Mountain Gal” and workin’ on the house (“Let’s Work on the House”), but the talent of the group and the crisp recording keep it from feeling stale. The theme might be antique, but the delivery is anything but.
Creative dishes and drinks are the lures at bc Restaurant.
Editor’s note: Local Flavor is a feature produced in cooperation with advertisers in the Syracuse New Times.
Houston-bound SU footballers will tackle Minnesota at the Dec. 27 Texas Bowl
Two minutes turned into four extra weeks of the 2013 season for the Syracuse University football team.
Specific equipment can keep runners on the go, even during the winter months
It might be cold outside, but that’s no excuse to stay indoors. Exercise routines maintained during the warm weather months can be kept going all winter long. While running on sidewalks and streets is discouraged in icy weather, there is plenty of equipment to make exercising outdoors possible.
Curses, Foiled Again To celebrate getting permission to remove the ankle monitor that held her in house arrest in Osceola County, Fla., Angela Estrella, 37, rented a car and headed for New York City. A few hundred miles up I-95, the rental car broke down. When the tow truck sent to rescue her arrived, Estrella asked driver Mike Frazier if he’’d take her to New York. He declined, but when he turned his back to call the car rental company, authorities said she jumped into the rig and drove off. The truck was equipped with a GPS, however, allowing law enforcement to track and arrest her. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)
See what’s in your stars!
ARIES (March 21-April 19) "Life is best organized as a series of daring ventures from a secure base," wrote psychologist John Bowlby. Some of you Aries enjoy the "daring venture" part of that formula, but neglect the "secure base" aspect. That's why your daring ventures may on occasion go awry. If you are that type of Ram, the first half of 2014 will be an excellent time to correct your bad habit. Life will be offering you considerable help and inspiration in building a strong foundation. And if you already appreciate how important it is for your pursuit of excitement to be rooted in well-crafted stability, the coming months will be golden.
Madea Once Again Finds Humor, Understanding
Is there room for Mabel Simmons' straight-talking truths around the holidays?
Trying to survive was taxing…
Disoriented, terrified and overwhelmed. That’s how I felt as the young (17-year-old) mother of a 7-month-old child who had just been kicked out of her mother’s house, according to the script I was handed during a role-playing exercise known as a “poverty simulation.” The exercise, sponsored by the Visions For Change organization (which, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m involved with) took place on Tuesday, Dec. 10. That poverty simulation helped participants understand the predicament of people experiencing what Rhonda O’Connor, director of community development for the organization and our guide for the event, called “generational poverty.”
12/09 – 12/15
Here are the Top 5 Most Read Stories of the Week for the Syracuse New Times digital edition. This week has everything from Kramer's visit to the White House, Ugly Sweaters and some Music Man in between! You read em’, we tallied em’ – so here they are starting with number five! Click the title or the photo to read the story.
Kanye West wore an unsettling mask and expelled some distraught fan from his concert in San Antonio, TX.
POINTS OF REFERENCE is a music news blog for people with actual lives and/or short attention spans: a weekly selection of topical, pop music talking points fit for bars and break rooms. It’s divided into three sections: NEWS (duh), ALBUM RELEASES (once more with feeling), and STUFF AND THINGS (random, music-related crap from the internet). So, I’m all finished up here. Scroll down, won’t you?
Have you visited New York’s “Spook Hill” in Middlesex?
There is a dirt road west of Middlesex where they say that if you put your car in neutral, your car will roll up hill. The place has been dubbed “Spook Hill” and has been a part of state lore for as long as I can remember. This particular area of Yates County on the east side of Canandaigua Lake is a known Native American Burial Ground.
Tis’ the season for Holiday parties at the White House!
Jeff Kramer (Syracuse New Times humor columnist) apparently made his way onto Santa's "nice list" this year. Reporting from Washington, D.C., Jeff attended one of the White House Holiday parties this week with President Barack Obama and the first lady in attendance. While the secret service didn't allow Jeff to hold a New Times when he posed for a photo with the president and first lady, he was able to sneak a few shots during the festivities!
Mabel Simmons is back on the big screen. Movie-goers know the fiesty character better as Madea, the recurring funny lady from the heart and soul of Tyler Perry that started sassing America on the big screen in 2005′s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Perry has faithfully and regularly come back as Madea. “Tyler Perry’s […]
Mabel Simmons is back on the big screen.
March to the Match this Friday!
When you think about supporting the Buy Local movement, or if you are thinking about taking the 10 Percent Shift (a SyracuseFirst initiative), are you factoring in our local sports teams? You should be. Our local athletes and sports teams bring revenue to the City of Syracuse and excitement to their fans.
Where to wear your Ugly Sweater this season! (2013)
The holiday season is in full swing, which means its time to break out that "festive" sweater Grandma knitted for you, or that glittery number re-gifted by your crazy Aunt (who probably happens to be the neighborhood cat-lady). Either way, the ugly sweater rears its ugly head each season - so we've compiled a list of nine upcoming "Ugly Sweater" parties happening around Central New York! You might as well get as much wear out of that thing as possible.
Smell can be the most evocative of the senses, especially during the holidays
Grandma’s cookie recipe is baking in ovens all over Central New York. Evergreen boughs or whole trees go in houses. Maybe you make a fire in the fireplace or burn scented candles. However you celebrate the holidays, chances are the scents of the season will bring a flashback of emotions and memories.
Redhouse offers classic Americana.
The Music Man. In the ads for its family-friendly holiday show, the Redhouse Arts Center proclaims, “This is not your grandfather’s Music Man.” The words do not mean, we are happy to report, that Marian the Librarian has become an I.T. specialist or that Harold Hill is now huckstering tablets. What has happened is that the world of pre-World War I River City, Iowa, 40 years back when the show opened 56 years ago, is now too old for nostalgia. Instead, it’s a fantasyland, like Camelot. In such an environment music can be reshaped to express the talents of the performers and the location of the Redhouse, midway between Armory Square and the near West Side.
CNY Playhouse gets ‘Duranged’
The name of Christopher Durang is widely admired by anybody who’s been going to live theater regularly in the last generation. He can be counted on for irreverent, loopy humor. A host of younger playwrights who sound like him are happily called “Durangesque” or “Duranged.” Few people, however, will have heard of Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, now at Central New York Playhouse’s Shoppingtown venue. In his program notes director Greg J. Hipius candidly admits that a copy first fell into his hands as a bonus in the package containing a better-known Durang play. He does not say he wanted to bring it to local stages because it had a fabulous production history or that he had seen a side-splitting mounting of it. In fact, it is rarely performed.
Heater and Blumer first composed All I Want nine years ago for the Baldwinsville Theater Guild.
Garrett Heater and his Covey Theatre Company occupy the catbird seat in Syracuse community theater. Not only are they the team to beat at nominations time for the Syracuse New Times’ Syracuse Area Live Theater awards, but Heater and Covey, with partners Susan Blumer and Michael Penny, can be expected to fill the seats at the BeVard Room of the Mulroy Civic Center with just about anything they wish to do. Heater also produces his own original material, like the historical speculation, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe (November 2010), universally received as far better than a personal indulgence. His current production is co-written with partner and choreographer Susan Blumer, All I Want for Christmas Is . . . Most of the roles in it are taken by children, ranging down to age 5.
Probing the real reason why airline passengers are subjected to wishes for a safe journey
This column would not have been possible without my colleague Ed Griffin-Nolan, who bravely wrote in his Nov. 27 Sanity Fair column about his dislike of the widespread use of the phrase “No problem” as a substitute for a simple “You’re welcome.”