Images

They Call It Mello Velo

20190805_144209.jpg

Mello Velo Bicycle Shop & Cafe is where all the cool people hang out.

Formerly part of the Westcott Nation, it is now located at 790 Canal Street, Syracuse, New York 13210, right off Erie Blvd.  Proprietors Steve and Sara Morris are exuberant business professionals with a strong vision to create a friendly and honest bike repair shoppe in the area and to create a community of kindness within the bike-riding sub-culture.  This idea grew to include a café where customers can enjoy great food and a “mellow” atmosphere infused with love.

20190805_144322.jpg

**** excerpt from their web-site

Ultimately, we want to build a Syracuse bicycle culture, and will strive to educate and inspire our customers. Whether it’s advocating for more bike lanes, going for a fun ride, cleaning up the trails, or organizing one of our many educational efforts and repair clinics, our goal is to share our sales, service, and general bicycle expertise and passion.

20190805_143935.jpg

20190805_144046.jpg

I had been hearing the buzz about this place – posts on Facebook kept popping up.  You can see the colorful façade of the building from the bridge while driving on Rt. 690E.  It just seemed like the kind of creative vibe I wanted to experience, and it really delivered.

20190805_144031.jpg

20190805_144018.jpg

20190805_144022.jpg

I had lunch there today.  Kim and I met there around 1:00pm and street parking was a bit tight because it was clearly the place to be.  The entrance is on Canal across from Tobin’s Refinishing.  There is a ramp that can take you to the outdoor seating area or you can get to the restaurant through the bicycle shop.

20190805_144231.jpg

We decided to eat first then shop the bi-level store.

20190805_132241.jpg

20190805_132236.jpg

20190805_143454.jpg

20190805_135941.jpg

Everyone was amazing.  Service, the food – so good.  I had breakfast for lunch.  They do breakfast foods all day, which is awesome!

20190805_135946.jpg

20190805_133153.jpg

20190805_132225.jpg

v22front2019menu

20190805_133146.jpg

20190805_132209.jpg

20190805_132217.jpg

We met owner Steve Morris and he chatted with us for a bit.  It was such an uplifting experience – a lot of positive energy in this place!  It’s one of those lovely success stories where good people share their talents and help to make our city come alive.  Syracuse, you are in good hands. 🙂

20190805_143558.jpg

20190805_144118.jpg

20190805_143924.jpg

20190805_144136.jpg

20190805_143950.jpg

20190805_144026.jpg

20190805_144015.jpg

20190805_143912.jpg

20190805_144204.jpg

P.S.  Here is a look at what they display on the walls – working the bicycle theme.
20190805_132249.jpg
20190805_132255.jpg
20190805_133120.jpg

20190805_133143.jpg

20190805_133131.jpg

20190805_132305.jpg

20190805_133135.jpg
20190805_133141.jpg

Bike Shop Hours

Monday – Thursday: 10ish – 6:30pm

Friday: 10ish – 6pm

Saturday: 10ish – 5pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Cafe Hours*

Monday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm

Sunday: 10am – 3pm

*Kitchen Closes 1/2 hour before bar

Mello Velo is CLOSED on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Check our Social Media for any other closures.

Contact & Address

Mello Velo Bicycle Shop
790 Canal St. Syracuse, NY 13210

315-307-3104
info@mellovelobicycles.com

Advertisements

Circles of Life

20190802_175551.jpg

20190802_174626.jpg

20190802_174826.jpg

I didn’t know Marlene Roeder could draw when I met her twenty-five years ago while we were both working at Franklin Magnet School, an arts magnet elementary in the Syracuse City school district in Syracuse, New York.

She was the grant writer and big into theatrical productions.  I was a daily substitute teacher.  She has since retired from that job, as well as from her position as an education curator at the Everson Museum of Art – and taken up the art of mandala making.

20190802_180116.jpg

Her artwork is available for sale at Eye Studio (712 W. Manlius Street, East Syracuse, New York).  Last night was the opening reception for Circle of Life, a month-long exhibition of these intricate ink and colored pencil originals and prints.

20190803_131037.jpg

Marlene shared her passion for creating the drawings.  She begins with a large compass then decides how many points she will create.  Pencil then pen and ink followed by color.  Some of the pieces have been published in a coloring book.  She does “coloring parties” too, in which she offers color theory tips and the therapeutic escape that coloring provides.

20190802_174520.jpg

There are several series within this concept.  Groupings of pieces inspired by family, landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, time and social injustice.  They are all infused with a spiritual belief system and a desire to share visual thinking strategies as a means to understand and further enjoy art, and the art-making process.

20190803_131237.jpg

20190802_174540.jpg

20190802_175547.jpg

Marlene is an advocate for “the persecuted and oppressed”.  She gives 20% of her art sales to the A21 Campaign, an international organization that fights to end human trafficking.

20190803_131142.jpg

For more information, contact the artist at mroeder01@gmail.com. ❤

20190802_174558.jpg

20190802_174603.jpg

20190802_174633.jpg

371dd15fa92f63b9aa365cab339eae70

Gallery and Gift Shop Hours

Monday – Tuesday   11am – 7pm.       Thursday                12pm – 7pm

​Wednesday             3pm – 7 pm         Friday – Saturday    12pm – 5pm

20190802_174646.jpg

20190802_174529.jpg

20190802_174633.jpg

20190802_175516.jpg

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a friend wanted to see a movie – I was reluctant to go to a Tarantino film.  Thought it would be something gross, as per usual.

But it wasn’t.

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a cinematic masterpiece.  A chick-flick disguised as a bromance.

From what I understand no CGI was used in the making of the transformation to fifty years ago.  The art direction, set designs and costuming were all spot-on.

The story is so clever.  It is one of those cinéma-vérité thing-a-ma-bobs, where real people are interspersed with the fictionalized ones not to enhance the biography – rather to create a new history.

I am a firm believer that anyone can create their own reality.  Anyone can become anything they want to be, if only they can figure out how to channel the positive energy to get themselves there.  It is a combo of physical and emotional strength of character and it is so doable, well, because you can ask anyone how they got to where they are today and they can pretty much tell you.

Oh, sure, there were the wonky bits – the personal ups and downs of life.  Financial hardships, illness, dumb stuff, but adults tend to sweep that stuff under the rug (often with self-deprecating humor), kind of like – it’s all part of the fun of having this human experience.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, am I right?

I am strongly against re-hashing old history (sorry, social studies teachers and history buffs). It doesn’t serve anyone to remind people of tragedies, especially people who have never even heard of stuff, like my students who have no idea what “9/11” means.  Certainly, many don’t know Charles Manson.  My twenty-something hairdresser didn’t.

So, this beautiful story takes that history and gives it the Tarantino twist.  It’s fearless. Seamless.  It is exquisite, really.  You get to know the characters so well.  And they make sense to who they are and the choices that they make.  That is what I love.  Because you see their quirks, flaws, etc. and you still fall in love with them.  They are heroes.

Sharon Tate – no one can tell us what she was really like (i.e. what was going on inside her head) and so, she is depicted as an easy-going fun-loving California girl.  She doesn’t have a lot of screen time or lines and that makes sense to me.  She is just the neighbor and what do we know about our neighbors’ lives?  For all intents and purposes, she was an amazing person who did not deserve to be murdered in such a brutal way.

So, thank you, Quentin Tarantino, for giving us this artistic experience, this love-letter to Hollywood, this new reality that we can pretend to believe, that leaves us feeling uplifted – unless we are a bunch of dirty hippies in which case – sorry, Charlie.

20190803_150430.jpg

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.  The film is currently in theaters.  Check your local listings for venues and times. ❤

 

 

Art City

20190727_220906.jpg

20190727_220941.jpg

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.

20190727_220924.jpg

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

20190727_221741.jpg

20190727_220849.jpg

John Oneal Heard (johnonealheard@gmail.com) is also a drummer.  His paintings on glass reference music.

20190727_221720.jpg

20190727_220803.jpg

20190727_220745.jpg

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

20190727_220819.jpg

20190727_220959.jpg

20190727_221027.jpg

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

20190727_221012.jpg

 

Valenti

20190727_163542.jpg

20190727_163607.jpg

While the Everson Museum of Art is celebrating fifty years in the biz with all sorts of amazing events throughout the year, the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is clocking forty-nine.  The fest is located on and around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York with lots of artwork, jewelry, accessories and functional pottery.  And musical performances, food trucks (Carvel Ice Cream!) and even a vagabond stilt walker or two.  The first two days are clocked out but you can stroll the event tomorrow from 10am – 5pm.

20190727_163201.jpg

20190727_163217.jpg

I found Peter Valenti and his wife in their prime location right on the circle. Peter is a retired public school art teacher (East Syracuse-Minoa) who has always been a working artist.  He is a member of the Independent Potters’ Association (IPA) and one of the premiere ceramists in the area.  If you don’t collect his work, you should.

20190727_163306.jpg

20190727_163318.jpg

20190727_163332.jpg

Valenti creates the slabs then bisque fires them. His fabulous glazing effects are by way of raku firing.  The colors and patterning (dragonflies, ginko leaf) lend themselves well with Arts & Crafts style and yet, they have a modern flavor and would compliment any home décor. ❤

For more information, contact the artist at pvalentistudios@gmail.com.

20190727_163344.jpg

20190727_163357.jpg

20190727_163411.jpg

20190727_163425.jpg

20190727_163438.jpg

20190727_163455.jpg

20190727_163513.jpg

20190727_163555.jpg

20190727_163651.jpg

20190727_163712.jpg

20190727_150444.jpg

 

Cruz-ing

20190725_180242-1.jpg

20190725_180513.jpg

The retrospective currently on exhibition in two of the upstairs galleries at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) was fifty years in the making.  Puerto Rican born Juan Cruz has spent the past forty years dwelling here in Syracuse, New York, making murals, teaching and working on a collegiate degree in Fine Art from Syracuse University.  And painting – he has been creating the mother-lode of paintings.

20190725_181028.jpg

20190725_180529.jpg

20190725_180301-1.jpg

This show exemplifies what I have always wanted the Everson to be – a museum that believes in local artists, supporting their careers and offering ample space to breathe love and life into a body of work that illustrates the strength, character and beauty of an artist’s life-long vision.

20190725_180525-1.jpg

20190725_180605.jpg

20190725_180911.jpg

There are paintings that show Cruz’s proficiency with realism – watercolor landscapes and oil on paper portraits.  These pieces are the yellow bricks of the journey.  They offer the first dance on a path that takes a left hand cruise into abstraction.

20190725_180348.jpg

20190725_181024.jpg

20190725_180503.jpg

20190725_180312.jpg

Those abstracts even go 3-D via a few sculptures as well, but the artist’s main strength is in the confident energy of the gnarled face forms peering out of these canvases, evidently pleading to be understood.

20190725_181017.jpg

20190725_181014.jpg

This energy alludes to social injustices felt both personally and as a member of a Caribbean culture with economic drama.  There is abundant repetition of shape and color interspersed with black outlines, as well as bright white.  This co-mingling rhythm creates a cartoon-like flavor undermining the angst, which gets more pronounced in the newer pieces, suggesting a shift to a more positive perspective for this working artist.

I would imagine pure full-on non-representational abstraction is the goal, obliterating the need to be understood by the masses, because when the goal is freedom of expression, the limitation of pleasing others gives way to one’s own knowing.  Knowing the rightness of choices made with deliberate intent.

20190725_180635.jpg

20190725_180621.jpg

It’s all about the journey, and this one is an enormously satisfying one.  I am delighted that I was able to witness this body of work as it is displayed.   And for Juan Cruz, the best is yet to come.  Because the dance is by no means over – it has just begun. ❤

20190725_180845.jpg

Juan Cruz:  A Retrospective concludes on August 4, 2019.  (Up next – Yoko Ono!)

20190725_180726-1.jpg

20190725_180715.jpg

20190725_180843.jpg

20190725_180658.jpg

20190725_180753-1.jpg

****From the Everson website

Syracuse-based artist Juan Alberto Cruz (b. 1941, Puerto Rico) combines rich symbolism with a bold and colorful abstract style to create work infused with his Caribbean heritage. Moving from Puerto Rico to Manhattan’s Lower East Side and subsequent travels to Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Central America have had a major impact on Cruz’s work, which reflects a mixture of his cultural heritage and life experiences. From his earliest portrait paintings to recent abstract collages, Cruz uses the emotional realities of his past to articulate his feelings about economic inequality and systematic injustice.

As a child, Cruz taught himself to draw by copying the comic strips from discarded newspapers onto brown paper grocery bags, and later he drew portraits of everyday people that he sold for pocket change on the street. It was not until his thirties, when he enrolled in an art program led by then-Everson Director Jim Harithas that Cruz learned art could be more than replicating the world around him. Harithas taught Cruz how to paint and introduced him to a world of modern artists, which led Cruz’s drawings and paintings to evolve into a complex amalgamation of figurative and abstract forms. For the past five decades, Cruz’s boundless creativity and production has led him to compile a massive body of work. 

Since moving to Syracuse in 1975, Cruz has made a significant impact on the local community. He has painted numerous murals throughout the city, including on the Onondaga Commons building, in Skiddy Park, and several in the Near West Side. He also completed a new mural with the Everson Teen Arts Council currently on view on the Museum’s Lower Level. Cruz served as artist-in-residence for the Near West Side Initiative for five years and ran the Patch-Up Studio, a community center that provided children and adults with a safe space to make and learn about art. By choosing to live and work in Syracuse, Cruz has brought together a multigenerational community inspired by his public art initiatives and workshops.

20190725_180654.jpg

20190725_180806.jpg

20190725_180647.jpg

20190725_180638.jpg

20190725_180822.jpg

20190725_180533.jpg

20190725_180458.jpg

20190725_180441.jpg

20190725_180418.jpg

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH NOON–8:00PM
SATURDAY 10-5

Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

20190725_180335.jpg

20190725_180834.jpg

Garden of Eddie

20190725_182617.jpg

20190725_182611.jpg

20190725_182553.jpg

Eddie Dominguez transports us to his version of the Garden of Eden in his show at the Everson Museum of Art‘s Robineau Memorial Gallery.

20190725_182549.jpg

His vision is one that reflects a heritage in which landscape and religion play vital roles.  He is from New Mexico, although his art education took him to Ohio and New York, which is why we are able to fall under his spell here in Syracuse, New York.  This show was curated by the Columbus Museum of Art and will be on exhibit until Sunday, July 28, 2019.

20190725_175953.jpg

20190725_180112.jpg

Dominguez combines ceramics and found objects to create his irreverent world.  It is a playful, fantastical and thoroughly original body of work. ❤

20190725_180022.jpg

20190725_180013.jpg

20190725_180010.jpg

*** from the Everson Museum of Art website

The youngest of eight children, Eddie Dominguez grew up in Tucumcari, New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Amarillo on historic Route 66. He came to national prominence in the mid–1980s for highly stylized dinnerware sets that also stack into sculptural forms. In his work, Dominguez frequently references his home state’s vegetation, landforms, weather, and Hispano–Catholic culture. The dual nature of Dominguez’s objects, which inhabit the gray area between utility and art for art’s sake, reflects his personal experience as a New Mexican who studied ceramics in the Anglo–dominated East: whether we see “art” or “craft,” local Hispano or melting pot American depends completely on the immediate context.

20190725_175959.jpg

20190725_175940.jpg

The Everson Museum of Art is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York, 13202.  Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH NOON–8:00PM
SATURDAY 10-5

20190725_175930.jpg

20190725_175915.jpg