ISO Fish Fry – Brian’s Landing

I had a work-related late lunch with my friend Dee at Brian’s Landing last Friday. I’ve been wanting to go for a while now. I follow them on Facebook and give a love to just about everything they post.

Presentation: The haddock is Panko breaded and comes with a cute bun, french fries, slaw and a pickle with tartar sauce and a lemon on the side. Everything on one large plate. My friend ordered a burger. My fish dinner looked so good that she decided to order one to go for later. It was $18.00.

Taste: There was not an option to have the fish broiled, unfortunately. It wasn’t my favorite – kinda dry and the breading was like what you put on fried chicken. I did not like the coleslaw. French fries were very salty but super tasty. I didn’t love it.

Restaurant Experience: I do love this restaurant. They have live music in the evenings in the bar area. We ate in the dining room. They also have a new porch/deck area. The waitress was friendly and super quick. It was quiet in there at 3:00 PM. No wait, no need for reservations.

Location: Brian’s Landing is located at 6523 E.Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, New York.

Hours 

& Contact

Regular Hours

Tues – Thu: 4pm – 9pm

Thurs – Sat: 11:30am – 9pm

Sun: 10am – 4pm

Mon: Closed

Email

info@BriansLanding.com

6523 E Seneca Turnpike Jamesville, NY 13078

 (315) 299-5242

Parking: There is a parking lot in the back – some of the spaces are on a slope. From the back, you must climb a flight of stairs. There is a front door too (no stairs) but it faces the street so no parking there.

The A & C

The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival has returned to Columbus Circle and surrounding roads in Syracuse, NY. It began on Friday and continues tomorrow from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Here is a sampling of the artisans represented this year. I was there today and mainly walked through the circle and down Montgomery Street.

Susan Shannon is a potter from Vermont. She had an incredibly cohesive display. All of her porcelain ceramics are handmade on the potter’s wheel – no molds! She said there is a beauty to the zen of creating a familiar shape and it never gets boring. The glaze is a type of high fire stain and the colors are wonderfully rich. This is the type of functional art that must be purchased in multiples.

It is all microwaveable and dishwasher safe. Really great! She is located in front of the church on the circle.

Her website is suchipottery.com. For more information call (970) 529-3029.

Charlie Sam has really upped his game since I first met him several years ago. Again, the word is cohesive. He creates these original graphic characters and represents them on T-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, mugs and buttons.

He is from Syracuse. His booth is on Montgomery Street. Find him on Instagram and Facebook.

So great!

I enjoyed meeting the Hadfields of CH Woodcraft. Craig Hadfield creates these Americana paintings on pine. I love the flag motif! And of course, I work in “bear country”, which is what we call Chittenango. Love!

They are from Syracuse. The booth is on Montgomery Street. If you don’t make it out tomorrow, you can call (315) 558-0201. They also do custom projects.

Joelle’s Dolls are so full of whimsy. Joelle McAndrew from Lewiston, NY creates her own designs and patterns. Each doll has a backstory, which is so delightful. There is so much detail in the clothing! Everything is original.

This is another example of needing more than one. Someone should buy her whole collection.

Again, this booth is on Montgomery Street. Also find her at joellesdolls.etsy.com.

Johanna Wall is a lovely person! She is a retired teacher from Syracuse. She and her husband worked the booth today, which is located on Montgomery Street. Her collection includes jewelry and decoupage items – birdhouses, canisters, coasters and wreaths.

Call (315)382-5262 for more information.

John Oneal Heard is a man of many hats – professor, model, musician, art teacher and artist. He had a small collection of original paintings (I believe they are abstract paintings on glass mounted on canvas). He literally paints music. He said his favorite thing about meeting the public as an artist with a business is answering questions from children – it is rewarding to share his work with an audience.

Call (315) 992-3267 for more information.

And that is what this festival truly embodies – the spirit of the collective creative energies flowing through these business men and women and fusing with the community in such a joy-filled positive way. Hurray for the artists and art patrons of Syracuse, New York!

Really, really soooooo great!

The Thirty Dollar Ridlon

Jim Ridlon has donated these amazing prints to the Everson Museum of Art. They are located in the museum gift shoppe – for sale – and they are priced between $30 and $50. They are embossed. I’m not sure if this is true but the young man at the sales desk said he’d created them when he was a student and since he is not known for etchings or prints he decided to price them low.

I mean, they are a steal, really. They are created on a thick archival paper, probably Arches, not sure. You’d have to get them framed, but wow!

This is incredibly cool.

In Scale

I’ve been reminiscing about Dawn Dolls. They were manufactured for only three years in the early ’70s by Topper. Dawn, Angie, Gary, and company. they were only six-and-a-half inches tall, so they were incompatible with Barbies because they were so small. But they were so pretty with silky long hair and “real” eyelashes, and of course, with very awesome 1970s fashions. I loved them and I love them still.

I’ve been stalking them on the Internet – Ebay, Etsy and Mercari mainly. I don’t really want to buy them, do I? I want to be the Dawn doll. Haven’t I always? So funny that my hair resembles hers now. All I need is an Alice & Olivia dress and I am good to go.

What struck me as I viewed Sharif Bey’s art exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art is that he too seems to be enamored with doll collections albeit his are quite large scale especially the necklaces!

Like Vanessa German’s work and Vanessa Johnson’s too, Bey has added his take on the African experience by way of the doll.

This show is housed in two of the four upstairs galleries and spans the artist’s thirty-year career. I mean, he’s only forty-eight, which indicates that some of the pieces in this collection of works were created when he was only eighteen. It is a lot of work – from functional ceramics to these large figurative pieces and finally the accessory wall. It is incredibly impressive for sure.

These necklaces in particular are really something. In the accompanying pamphlet prepared for a Junteenth visitation, it is revealed that he used toilet paper over glaze in the kiln to manifest the charred pattern on the “beadwork”. It is genius.

The scale speaks volumes about who this man is as an artist and as a human. It is a combo of continued visual exploration and ethnic pride coupled with a desire to both learn and teach.

Bey is a professor at Syracuse University in the Art Education department. The brochure professes to take children on a journey to discover themselves as he serves to explore ideas to carry him on his own path.

The exhibition is titled “Facets”. It works so well here because the Everson has always been first and foremost a ceramics museum. Knowing that these massive pieces are also fragile lends itself well to that idea that we are all fragile beings in a way, always seeking that strength of character in our true identities while harboring thoughts of doubt, worry and stupid fears that can easily break our spirits.

I wonder if that thought crossed his mind? No matter what doll one identifies with – big or small, black or white, etc., etc., we are all that creative spirit looking for a way to connect and feel that blessed feeling of validation as we develop our crafts/psyches in order to continue the ascent through life.

The Everson Museum of Art is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY, 13202. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information or find them at www.everson.org.

Sharif Bey: Facets continues through August 14, 2022.

ISO Fish Fry – Swifty’s

After viewing the Norman Rockwell exhibit at Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute yesterday, Penny Santy and I had lunch down the street at Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub.

Since it was Friday, I decided to try their fish fry.

Presentation: Pub style beer-battered fish fry is always welcome! It arrived in a basket with homemade hot potato chips, coleslaw and a big helping of tartar sauce.

Taste: In the ’90s I used to love the beer-battered haddock at the Empire Brewing Company in Armory Square in Syracuse. This fish tasted exactly like it – OMG, it was so familiar and wonderful. I didn’t have many of the chips because I wasn’t that hungry and I loved that it was such a small portion of coleslaw. Everything was delish!

Restaurant Experience: We picked the restaurant because it was close to the museum and it was open. There wasn’t anyone sitting in the outdoor seating section and no one was dining in the restaurant. A handful of regulars were seated in the bar area. So – this is not often a good sign, lol, that the food would be good. But, it was around 3:30 PM, which is that in between time, between lunch and dinner. We sat inside near the front windows. It was very clean and comfortable. The waitress was extremely welcoming and friendly. It was such a positive place!

The food came rather quickly. It was an excellent restaurant experience.

Location: Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub is located at 257 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501. Call (315) 733-6611 for reservations and hours of operation or visit their web-site. They offer catered parties, take-out orders, live music and a children’s menu. They also have locations in Delmar, NY and Albany, New York!

Parking: We parked on the street in front of the building. It was one of those easy parking manifestations, the way it always seems to happen in movies, so that was nice. There is no parking lot.

Norman

There is an art exhibition of original paintings, posters and magazine covers representing the career of illustrator Norman Rockwell at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13502. This show was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

All of the Saturday Evening Post covers are represented here! It is amazing to see them all together like this – they hold court in two of the three gallery rooms on the second floor of the museum.

I won tickets to see this show. Thank you, Sullivan Library, Chittenango, NY for this wonderful gift. And thank you, Penny, for accompanying me on this wonderful summer art excursion. So fun!

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 AM -5:00 PM and Sunday noon-5:00 PM. They have guided tours of the exhibit – call (315) 797-0000 for more information.

P.S. They are having an arts festival through Sunday, July 17, 2022. There are outdoor events including a music stage, local art display and food trucks!

Sweet Salvage Gift Shoppe

This is a house turned into a store full of treasures both inside and outside. It is Sweet Salvage Gift Shoppe, 6483 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078. Proprietor Kathy Hastings certainly has the gift of merchandising. She’s created a series of vignettes in each room of the house, combining old and new products for that rustic charm that speaks of nostalgia, as though you could take something home and claim it as your own personal heirloom.

Outside, you can find a multitude of objects for your yard – tables, birdhouses, birdbaths and objects d’arte for the garden.

Her eye for placement is impeccable! I love this store!

This is the perfect place to photograph a grouping to use in a still life assignment at school (and maybe it will be!). It’s all about the layering, the texture and the repetition of elements, I think.

There are several of these affirmation blocks (above). This place is filled with positivity!

And you can even find a bathroom sink! Yes, it is for sale!

They are open Monday-Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For inquiries call (315) 492-1266 or email info@ssalvage.com.

They are also on Facebook. I’ve been following them for years and I finally stopped in for a visit! So fun! <3

ISO Fish Fry – Golden Spike Pub

Three of us had lunch at Golden Spike Pub in the village of East Syracuse last Friday. It is a family-owned and operated restaurant. It used to be called Marko’s Golden Spike after Marko Klapan, a dear friend of my father’s. Dad even worked there, briefly. Now it is run by Marko’s daughter Mary Celletti and her husband Jim, and their children.

Presentation: Jim designed and made all of the tables in the dining room! The room has a rustic feel to it, very welcoming. There is an entrance to the dining room but you can also access it through the large bar area (think Cheers!). We all ordered the fish and different sides. As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is inconsistent – plates used depending on the order. So Mom’s fried fish had the french fries on the plate and my broiled fish had the sweet potato fries in a separate basket.

Kathy had ordered onion rings as an appetizer as well as clam chowder soup for herself. The rest of the food came at the same time. The waitress had to make two trips. We were there around 1:00 PM and it wasn’t crowded. There were three other groups dining at that time.

Taste: This is hands down THE BEST broiled fish in town. It is mouth wateringly good. Buttery, hot, fresh. Mary removes the skin from every piece of haddock in the morning then the fish is cooked to order. They never have leftovers. They order a certain amount, have the fish delivered for Friday-only lunches and dinners, so it is not an every day thing. I came here once with my friend Joey, but we’d arrived after 7:00 PM on a Friday night and they were out of the haddock. That is why Joey thought The Retreat was his favorite fish dinner – because he’d never tasted this!

Everything else was fabulous as well. The sweet potato fries are served with maple syrup on the side and they are delish! I also had the coleslaw. I didn’t try to poach Kathy’s cucumber salad or the macaroni and cheese but I should have! It looks so good, doesn’t it?

Restaurant Experience: It was pretty quiet in the dining room. The waitress was lovely. She came to get our orders right away. I just felt so happy there!

Location: Golden Spike Pub is located at 411 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse, NY 13057. They also do parties and catering. You can contact them by phone (315) 565-5691 or by email GoldenSpikePub315@gmail.com.

They are not open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the summer. Call them for updated hours of operation.

You can also find them on Facebook. That’s where they post the daily specials menu. I love everything! They do a superb roast beef sub with homemade chips. In fact, everything is homemade! They have the best food – and you know what a picky eater I am! <3

Parking: There is a parking lot adjacent to the building. I parked at the post office across the street because I was approaching via East Road and the parking lot appeared full. But when I crossed the street I saw plenty of room behind the apartment building next door. Oh well, next time I will know better.

Studio & the Barn Watercolor

Our last Studio in Art project – watercolors. I gave each student a sheet of 300# watercolor paper. They created drawings of barn landscapes from resource photos. I graded this portion on rendering/detail and composition.

Next, I gave them smaller sheets of watercolor paper and taught four techniques –

*saving the white of the paper

*wet-in-wet

*glazing

*dry brush

I graded the rest of the project based on how well they utilized these four techniques in the final product.

They spent several days practicing and when they were ready, they began painting the barn. Students sat in groups of two sharing a set of Koi watercolors and a large mixing tray.

The results are these incredible paintings. Remember, they are 8th graders and for the most part, had never used such quality materials. The hardest part, I think, was getting them to stray from conventional ideas – like, just putting brown in the brown spot, you know. I shared some Wolf Kahn paintings and explained how his brown trees had flecks of violet and orange in them because he used a secondary color palette. This style embraces rhythm.

I am really pleased with what my students accomplished.

Our last class together was a bit of silly mayhem. I played a game with these buzzers I have that are fun to use. They had to buzz in answers to questions about what we learned this year during class – about art and about me as a teacher as well as about specific things that happened during class that made it memorable.

The funny thing is that students who were the silliest in terms of behavior remembered the most stuff. When my 8th period kids started singing my India Ink song (memorized, lol – I don’t even have it memorized), that was just over-the-top.

What happens when I am living in the present moment is that I forget that I won’t be teaching them any longer. They are headed to the high school. So, here it is two days later and I am feeling incredibly sentimental.

At the end of every school year I do always tell my students that I will always be there for them. I am an email away or a bus ride from the high school to the middle school to visit me during 10th period. But in a couple of years, I may retire from teaching so that I can devote myself to my own dreams. I will still be here in the social media realm though and I will never stop wanting to know how they are doing with regard to the arts.

Relationships are a strange thing. You never know who you have affected in a way that will catapult people to the place they truly want to be in their lives. And they really don’t know how much their presence has made a difference in my life.

I am working on a watercolor poem/song. I will try to finish it this weekend and maybe I will put myself back up on TikTok. Last week, a 7th grader was listening to something with his secret ear bud. It turned out that he was listening to me recite my Gamer rap song – like really? Of all things, you want to hear my voice in your ear? Sometimes it is hard to wrap my head around stuff like that.

Yes, there will always be some students who express dissatisfaction and negativity. The trick there is to be the ear bud that voices positivity back, to not get caught in the debris field of that negative energy but instead push forward and allow the universe to embrace the magic of dreams. And a lot of the time, that magic is harnessed via the arts.

Studio in Art students, it has been a privilege working with you this year. Best to you always. Have a great experience at the high school and beyond. And keep making art. <3