Category Archives: festival


The M & T Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is back for the fifty-second year. This time around, I discovered new-to-me artists and revisited old friends.

There are about one hundred fifty artisans from all over the East Coast and Canada who are braving the heat and possible rain tomorrow in their small tents around E. Jefferson, E. Onondaga and Montgomery Streets in downtown Syracuse, New York to show and sell their wares. In addition, food trucks are there including Carvel DeWitt (yum!). Street performers and local ethnic dance troupes are strolling the grounds. Downtown Committee of Syracuse volunteers are making sure everyone is hydrated. And there is a sidewalk chalk art competition. All that and a bag of chips (literally, someone was handing out Pringles samples).

The event continues today, July 29, 2023 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and tomorrow, July 30, 2023 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Ataraxia Designs – partners Victor Field and Meghan Huston create thoughtful messages on brown clay incorporating Chinese calligraphy and florals. Field is the poet while Huston does the framing. The resulting work is so zen-thoughtful.

Find them on E. Onondaga Street right across from Columbus Circle.

Trittello – Michael Bonardi uses U.S. coin as his media transforming pennies, nickels and more into modern jewelry – bracelets, rings, earrings and pendants. I love money!

Find him on E. Onondaga Street.

DK Designs – Diane Kaylor is a fine artist who has come up with this magnet board art that is genius. There is a background piece in a frame and animal magnets that you can mix and match to create personalized interactive art. This is so incredibly fun!

Find her on E. Onondaga Street.

Ethan Lillemoe takes organically shaped porcelain slabs and affixes them to an adjustable welded steel base resulting in these fantastical wall sculptures that are interchangeable.

Find him on Columbus Circle.

Rose Hill Woodwork – Scott Porosky is a woodworker who uses laser precision to carve these wonderful items – coasters, wall hangings, cutting boards and more. I am now the proud owner of the clowns-to-the-left-of-me-jokers-to-the-right sign. I love it! (Thanks, Janine!)

Find him on E. Onondaga Street.

Barbara Conte-Gaugel – These handbags are a combination of new material with original prints and recycled goods such as army surplus items. Barbara is an accessories designer but she is also a painter who juggles exhibitions and festivals for all of her whimsical ideas.

Find her on Montgomery Street.

Dale Rogers Studio – Cor-Ten steel is the medium and abstract geometry his jam for these impressive animal sculptures. Dale Rodgers is an advocate for public art. His work can be found all over the country! His sculpture display here is probably the best place in the festival for photo ops.

Find him front and center, that is, in front of the fountain on Columbus Circle.

Skaneateles Artisans

Retail space is at a premium at Skaneateles Artisans. This is the gallery on the lower level of the Old Stone Mill, located at 3 Fennell Street, Skaneateles, New York 13152.

Teresa Vitale is the owner. She is also a very successful artist who creates faux finishes on furniture and fireplace mantles in homes. Some of her work is on display in the gallery as well as paintings, ceramic and glassware, jewelry and trinkets created by over one hundred local artists and artisans.

It is a gift-giver’s paradise.

There is so much from which to choose. I was telling my friend Janine that I was so overwhelmed by it all that I would have to go through my pictures to really digest everything and I would probably see things in the pictures I didn’t remember seeing in person. In that regard, this gallery is a place one must frequent often. That and the fact that stock gets replaced often. It is a cash and carry business, unlike other galleries where the exhibit must conclude before one can take stuff home.

The Skaneateles Curbstone Festival continues today, July 21, 2023, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. This gallery did not have an outdoor presence but over forty other vendors are sidewalk sale-ing it. In addition, there are magic acts, balloon animal makers, musical guests, sightseeing cruises on the lake and many fine dining restaurants to experience.

We visited yesterday and had such a wonderful adventure of discovery while shopping the numerous stores on Jordan Street and West Genesee Street, as well as Fennell, culminating in a watermelon and feta salad lunch at The Sherwood Inn followed by custard ice cream from Doug’s Fish Fry.

So fun! <3

ISO Fish Fry – The Fish Friar

Kathy and I went downtown on Saturday night to hang at the Italian Festival, which happens every year around this time (except last year because of the Covid situation). There was Italian food and music, and cover band dance music under tents and on two different stages around City Hall in Syracuse, New York.

Although I have a lot of Italian friends and recently found a lot of Italian in my own DNA, I don’t particularly like Italian food, Luckily, Kathy treated me to dinner at The Fish Friar, which is located right across from City Hall in downtown Syracuse.

Presentation: As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is divine. These fish sandwiches were $15 and came with two sides. Kathy selected house salad and macaroni salad and I had the roasted carrots and coleslaw.

Taste: Although I ate everything on my plate, I thought it was too salty (don’t hate me The Fish Friar fans). It was saltier than I remembered it from eating it the last time I was there.

Restaurant Experience: The restaurant is adorable! Small but comfortable. We ate outside at one of about five tables. The bathroom is very clean as well. :). The service was spectacular. It was such a beautiful night. We enjoyed the sound of the local cover band, Hard Promises, playing on the large stage set up for Italian Fest and later got all front and center to dance and sing along. We also spotted our cousins who strolled by and stopped to chat. Overall, it is an amazing place for a dinner date.

Location: The Fish Friar is located at the corner of Washington and Montgomery Streets in Syracuse, NY. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. They offer an on-line service on their website. Call (315) 468-FISH for the deets.

Parking: There is no parking lot for The Fish Friar. Street parking only. Because there is currently so much construction on the roads in the city and many streets were blocked off for this immense Italian block party, we parked in a pay lot by the Civic Center and walked over. <3

Art City



I visited with four friends in their tents on Montgomery Street yesterday.  They are all participating in the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, which continues today from 10 am – 5 pm.  The festival occupies and includes four streets around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.


Barbara Conte-Gaugel sells unique, handmade handbags and wallets.



John Oneal Heard ( is also a drummer.  His paintings on glass reference music.




Charlie Sam creates whimsical illustrations on T-shirts.  They are known as having a “both cute and creepy” dichotomy.




And, of course, Michelle DaRin.  I love her vibe – and feel privileged to be among her tribe. <3



Lighting The Way



I managed to convince a dozen friends to meet me at the Chinese Lantern Festival last week.  It was my birthday, a week night, and it was sunny here for the first time in over a week.  Perfect conditions to enjoy this exquisite happening at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.



You enter at Gate 6 and follow the signs to the parking lot inside the fairgrounds.  The event is open every night (except Mondays) from 5:30 – 10:00 pm until June 24, 2017.  It is $15 per person but they have daily specials; there was a $2 discount last Thursday for “best friends day” in addition to it being my special day!  Check their Facebook posts here.  I think there is another deal coming up for Father’s Day this weekend.



We arrived at around 7:00 pm.  There are a few food vendors and an ice cream truck, and a bunch of crafts to purchase from booths at the far end of the festival enclosure.  At 8:30 pm, performers take the stage – acrobat and rhythmic gymnastic style stuff with Asian melodies and lavish costumes.


By 9:00 pm the sky becomes that beautiful Prussian blue before turning dark then the statues transition into glowing visions of beauty.  What an incredible light show and photo opportunity.  It is truly a magnificent experience!  Once you witness it, well…I think it is unforgettable.  So worth the admission price.  I am so grateful that my friends indulged this whim of mine.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you all sooooo muchy-much. <3







New Packaging




I strolled through the Everson Museum of Art today (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202).  In the basement wing, they’ve flipped the Education Center with the Ceramics section and created a gorgeous inviting space for part of the ceramics collection (the rest, like the Robineau funerary urn, is in storage).





It is spectacular!  The art looks fresh again.  You can actually enjoy the nuances of individual pieces and appreciate them for their craft.  The Everson has a very large collection of ceramics.  I’m not sure if it is one of the largest in the country, but something like that.  The old shelves made the collection look like it was all in storage, like they never really wanted people to look at it.  I remember taking students on a field trip there once and there was so much stuff, it read like junk and nobody looked at anything.  




The museum has never looked better!  We have this incredible resource right here in Syracuse, NY.  So great.  I was delighted to see a handful of visitors there.  They are charging a fee to get in these days, but it is free for Everson Museum members.








Next week they are installing the Festival of Trees, so maybe you can plan an outing for that!  Call (315) 474- 6064 for more information or visit their web-site


Family Affair

The Macedonian Festival is in full swing this weekend at St. George Macedonian Eastern Orthodox Church in Syracuse, New York.


They open at noon today for hours of ethnicity – food, music, dance and church tours.



My father is a chef – retired now, but he spent all day yesterday in the kitchen.  My mother brought in her arsenal of décor and costumes to display on the stage in the reception hall.


Lots of red!



The interior of the church is spectacular.  An iconographer from the monastary created breathtaking murals on canvas that were adhered to every wall.  I love the blue starry ceiling!








I am an iconongrapher too!  OMG, I painted a picture of St. George when I was eighteen.  It was a project using only the primary colors and black and white so, keep that in mind before you judge, lol.


My painting has actually been blessed and resides above the candle kiosk.  So, even though I am not technically a member of the church anymore (I haven’t paid my dues since the ’80s) I still maintain a small presence there, which is very special.


Macedonia is a country for those of you who have never heard of it.  It is one of five countries that were once part of the former Yugoslavia.  I think it goes by Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia or something.  For more information about Macedonia, check out the latest issue of National Geographic magazine!



Here is the link to the festival’s Facebook page.  The church has a web-site too.  Check out the festival today (noon-11:00 pm) or tomorrow (noon-7:00 pm) – or both!  5083 Onondaga Road (Route 173) Syracuse, New York 13215

Folk dancing is a guilty pleasure.  It’s so much fun and great cardio!  Especially to the sounds of Merak, a group of guys who have been playing together since they were preschoolers – they are amazing!