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2 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017


A N N UA L M A N UA L 2 0 1 7

THE YEAR IN... Rochester [ INTRODUCTION ] BY JAKE CLAPP

L

ife wouldn’t be fun without changes. People evolve; circumstances shift. But there can be joy in facing new opportunity. Rochester is a changing city. It’s grown in a lot of ways in the last year, and it will continue to do so. Where will the city be this time next year? We aren’t Princess Doraldina, able to gaze into your future, but in this year’s Annual Manual, we investigate what Rochester can expect in 2017. You’ll find stories about changes in Rochester’s job market (page 8), how you can become more involved in social and political issues (page 12), and how the recent boost in development will shape downtown (page 4). Eventually, the weather will be warmer, and we’re sure you’ll want to get out and about. On

page 24, CITY’s art team carved out a bike path around the center city to help you and your friends hit Rochester’s breweries. In the arts and music: There’s been a recent growth in small, intimate music venues, and we investigate how that will shape the city’s scene (page 16). On page 26, local art collectors talk about how anyone can start their own collection. And we highlight the local poetry groups that help writers and performers hone their skills (page 32). The future is always unpredictable, but CITY is keeping up with what’s happening in Rochester. You’ll find our print edition on newsstands every Wednesday, and you can check us out every day online at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S BUILDING UP................................ 4

TOUR DE BREW........................... 24

DEVELOPMENT

BEER MAP

WORK TO BE DONE........................ 8

PATRONS AS PLATFORMS............. 26

JOBS

ART

STANDING UP IN ROCHESTER.. ..... 12

POETIC MUSINGS........................ 32

ACTIVISM

POETRY

'HOUSE SHOW'............................ 16 MUSIC

SERVICE DIRECTORY.. .................. 40

ADVERTISER INDEX..................... 46

rochestercitynewspaper.com facebook.com/citynewspaper @roccitynews

CITY NEWSPAPER 250 N. Goodman Street Rochester, NY 14607 585-244-3329

Publishers: William and Mary Anna Towler Editorial department themail@rochester-citynews.com Arts & Entertainment editor: Jake Clapp Contributing writers: Kiara Alfonseca, Christine Carrie Fien, Daniel J. Kushner, Tim Louis Macaluso, Jeremy Moule, Rebecca Rafferty On the Cover: Illustration by Ryan Williamson Art department artdept@rochester-citynews.com Art director/production manager: Ryan Williamson Designers: Kevin Fuller, Justyn Iannucci Contributing photographers: Kevin Fuller, Josh Saunders Advertising department ads@rochester-citynews.com New sales development: Betsy Matthews Sales representatives: Christine Kubarycz, Tracey Mykins, David White, William Towler Operations/Circulation kstathis@rochester-citynews.com Business manager: Angela Scardinale Circulation manager: Katherine Stathis Distribution: David Riccioni, Northstar Delivery Annual Manual: CITY Newspaper's Guide to Rochester is published by WMT Publications, Inc. Copyright by WMT Publications Inc., 2017 - all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system without permission of the copyright owner.

ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 3


THE YEAR IN …

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT |

BUILDING UP

BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN

THERE’S A LOT OF CONSTRUCTION HAPPENING DOWNTOWN, WITH A LOT OF CHANGES TO COME

Gallina Development’s proposal for Parcel 5 includes a 14-story tower for condominiums and retail space and green space for public use. PROVIDED IMAGE

4 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017


P

robably the biggest development news this year will be the future of Parcel 5, part of the former Midtown Plaza site. In mid-March, city officials were assessing three proposals: a performing arts center; a 14-story tower with condominiums, retail, restaurant, commercial space, and a park area; and a proposal to keep Parcel 5 as mostly green space for festivals, art, theatrical productions, and other uses. The last proposal also includes modular space for restaurants, beer gardens, artists, and others. As tantalizing as this plan may be to those who saw the big crowds on Parcel 5 during last year’s Rochester International Jazz Festival and Fringe Festival, the proposal would leave a prime development site stay mostly vacant. The Rochester Broadway Theatre League has been trying to get a new downtown performing arts center for many years. Mayor Lovely Warren has supported the idea in theory, and RBTL has a commitment for funding from a major donor, but the proposal would need significant state funding. The other major downtown project is the replacement of a mile stretch of the Inner Loop between Monroe Avenue and Charlotte Street. If you’ve been over that way, you’ve seen that the transformation, even without development, is striking. City Council should approve the Inner Loop projects soon. They are: 49 units of affordable housing by Home Leasing; 117 units of market-rate housing and street-level retail by a Morgan/ Christa development partnership; and a large expansion of The Strong National Museum of Play. The expansion includes a 201-unit market-rate housing project and a hotel. The downtown housing boom continues. The DHD Ventures project at 88 Elm Street should open for occupancy this year with 36 high-end apartments, first-floor retail, new headquarters space for DHD, and a wraparound balcony on the top floor. Designs show a modernlooking building with a lot of glass.

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Home Properties plans affordable housing units on part of the former Inner Loop land. PROVIDED IMAGE

Another DHD project is The Residences at the Columbus Building at 50 Chestnut Street in the East End with 60 new apartments, upgrades to 23 existing apartments, a new health club, and a large entertainment space. Fun fact with this one: a 1,000-seat theater was discovered during renovations to the building. Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Downtown Development Corporation, says that floors 17 and 18 of The Metropolitan should open this year, and the former Chase Bank is being renovated for apartments, condominiums, and office space. The two floors mentioned by Zimmer-Meyer will contain 14 apartments each. The Sibley Building is one of the most recognizable buildings downtown and indelibly linked to Rochester’s history. It brings back memories of downtown as a former business and 6 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017


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shopping mecca. The building, which has been renamed “Sibley Square,” is being renovated for offices, retail and restaurant space, and residential. The residential portion will be split into The Lofts at Sibley and The Residences at Sibley — the latter is for adults age 55 and older. Pre-leasing for the 72-unit senior community will begin in May. Construction on the 104 luxury apartments should be completed by the end of the year, with pre-leasing also to start in May. MCC’s lease at Sibley ends this year, and the college will move into a former Kodak property on State Street. The much-talked about high-tech business incubator and accelerator will move to its permanent space on Sibley’s sixth floor in May. High Tech Rochester is currently in temporary space in the building. ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 7


THE YEAR IN …

JOBS |

BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

WORK TO BE DONE LEADERS ARE

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R

ochester is a city of sharp contrasts. It can be a relaxed, exhilarating, and sometimes, an incredibly challenging place to live. Much of that is the result of an economy and job market that’s had some dramatic highs and lows. While the Rochester metro has pockets of affluence and prosperity, it’s no secret that the city has one of the highest poverty rates of any city in the country. The last 30 years have been marked by job layoffs, anemic population growth, and shifting sands under Rochester’s Big Three employers: Kodak, Bausch + Lomb, and Xerox. When news broke that one-time corporate giant Eastman Kodak was filing for bankruptcy, the story was met with plenty of emotion, though little surprise. But roughly five years later, Rochester may be experiencing a long-anticipated upturn. Housing development is surging downtown and the Main Street corridor is transforming from outmoded retail space to market-rate housing and offices. Roughly 6,000 residents, many of them young professionals, have moved into downtown lofts and apartments. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in years,

and even Kodak, though considerably smaller than its former self, is showing signs of a comeback. “The Big Three have had their struggles,” says New York State Assembly member Harry Bronson. “The good thing is we didn’t fall off the cliff.” Many of the area’s employees who lost their jobs to downsizing and industry changes have been absorbed by smaller companies or they’ve started their own businesses, he says. New York ranks third in the country in the number of employees working in computer and high technology fields, he says. And the Rochester region is especially strong in the technology, biomedical, and food-processing industries, he says. Bronson also points to the popular Finger Lakes wine trails and hospitality economies. “Rochester’s job market is strong,” says Bob Duffy, Rochester’s former mayor and New York’s former lieutenant governor. “I really see it beginning to grow.” Duffy is now president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Duffy says he tries to avoid overselling photonics, but that he’s convinced that it’s a

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major growth opportunity for Rochester. Initially, it may only employ 50 to 100 people, “but it will be a magnet for other companies,” he says. And there are industries centered in Rochester that many people know little about, such as packaging. “We have the companies here that are providing the packing for everything from cereal to razors,” Duffy says. High demand exists for workers in the skilled trades, too, he says. “It’s very difficult for employers because not enough young people are going into welding, for example,” Duffy says. “The old tool-and-die industry is still very strong here. You can get a secure job, a good salary, and virtually unlimited overtime.” Many of the area’s skilled trades and advanced manufacturing jobs are going unfilled due to lack of qualified employees. While Rochester is still a region that makes things, manufacturing now requires some college-level training usually involving math, engineering, and computer science. One of the area’s biggest assets by far is its higher education offerings. There are more than a dozen colleges and universities in the Rochester region. And their influence on the local economy, led by the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology, is profound and growing, Duffy says. Will Rochester ever become one of the country’s hot job markets? It happened before and it can happen again, he says. And he’s not alone. Anne Kress, president of Monroe Community College, says she’s amazed at how optimistic college students are about Rochester. “When I talk to young people, I can’t tell you how enthusiastic they are about Rochester’s future, how hip it’s become,” Kress says. “We don’t look outside ourselves.” Rochesterians have a weakness for nostalgia, she says. “We need to keep looking forward,” she says. The future is always going to look different than the past, “and that’s a good thing,” Kress says. 10 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017


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THE YEAR IN …

ACTIVISM |

BY JEREMY MOULE

STANDING UP IN ROCHESTER LOCAL ACTIVISTS HAVE A PACKED AGENDA

People rallied at Brighton's Twelve Corners on March 12 to protest against a recent string of anti-Semitic attacks, including two bomb threats made against the JCC of Greater Rochester. PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER

T

he first months of 2017 have been chaotic. President Donald Trump cleared the way for two controversial oil pipelines; he signed an order that upended the lives of immigrants and refugees — placing some of them in danger; and he stripped federal protections from transgender students. For activists, 2017 will be unrelenting. They’ll continue with existing fights, but they’ll also face an onslaught of troubling proposals and decisions from the federal government on down. On the plus side, there’s renewed public interest in protest and advocacy thanks to Trump. “There is a lot going on because I think people are awake right now,” says Rosemary Rivera, an organizer 12 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

for Citizen Action of New York and a longtime Rochester and New York State education activist. Here are some select issues — and these are just the tip of the iceberg — that local activists are watching.

HEALTH C ARE

Progressives are packing into Republican representatives’ town hall meetings to express concern about the future of the Affordable Care Act. Trump and Congressional GOP leaders have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but Trump hasn’t offered a blueprint. GOP leaders are hashing out proposals that could roll back Obamacare coverage requirements and state Medicaid expansions, among other things.

Reproductive rights groups are worried that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood faces a loss of potential federal Medicaid funding, which would hurt its many low-income patients. For a large chunk of those patients, their annual exam at Planned Parenthood is their only medical visit of the year, and they receive a range of health services, says Kate Farrington, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. Advocates are also trying to build support for a couple of pieces of state legislation. One is the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, which would require New York insurers to cover FDAapproved forms of birth control. The other would modernize the state’s abortion laws.


SCHOOL CHOICE AND EDUC ATION FUNDING

Local public education activists are very worried about Trump and Betsy DeVos, his new education secretary. DeVos is a leading advocate for charter schools and vouchers, which provide public school funds for students to attend private schools. This year, activists will continue pushing the state to increase its funding for public schools, especially for highneed urban districts. Boosting education funding to those districts is a way for the state government to invest in lowincome communities, Rivera says.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

This is something of a sleeper issue. Every 20 years, state voters have a chance to approve a Constitutional convention — “con con” in Albany speak — which would open the entire state Constitution to revision. The ordeal would be complicated and costly, and it comes with high stakes. The convention provides an opportunity for meaningful elections and legislative ethics reforms, but it also makes vulnerable protections for workers, the Adirondacks parklands, and local governments. Public employees unions oppose the convention; politically, there are liberals and conservatives supporting and opposing it.

VOTING RIGHTS

ROCitizen, an activist group that formed out of Monroe County for Bernie Sanders, has lined up in support of the New York Votes Act, a legislative proposal advanced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The proposal, which has been introduced in the Assembly, would provide for automatic registration of eligible voters, same-day registration for new voters, early voting, broader absentee ballot access, and voting rights for parolees.

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There will be no shortage of issues to unite activists during the Trump presidency. PHOTOS BY KEVIN FULLER & RYAN WILLIAMSON

IMMIGRATION

Trump’s first executive order on immigration and refugees caused all hell to break loose. Green card holders were detained or denied access to the country. Refugee families were separated or kept from entering, and the whole US refugee system was sent into a tailspin. And though Trump says the order wasn’t meant to target Muslims, they were hit the hardest. A federal judge blocked the order, but Trump plans to issue a new one, which could actually be worse.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Local climate groups don’t have much hope that the Trump administration will act on climate. The president has vowed to boost domestic fossil fuels production, gut federal climate programs, and take the US out of the Paris climate agreement. Local activists say that they will focus their energy on state and local issues, as well 14 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

as outreach to the region’s Congressional representatives. For example, they’ll push for state lawmakers to approve a bill that’ll impose tighter limits on greenhouse gas emissions and continue fighting new fossil fuels infrastructure. Citizens’ Climate Lobby will continue its efforts to get the region’s Congress members to back a carbon fee and dividend plan: an emissions reduction approach that has bipartisan support. If you want to get involved, you need to show up, say local activists. Go to rallies, forums, and meetings; and attend rallies and actions for groups that have supported your cause. Visibility is important; rally organizers need large, loud crowds to sway decisionmakers. Planned Parenthood asks its supporters to consider wearing shirts or putting bumper stickers on their cars as a show of support, but only if they’re comfortable doing so, Farrington says. But those are first steps. Rivera suggests that people interested in specific issues

should find groups that are working on them, join up, and pitch in with organizing. She also says it’s important for people to talk to neighbors and friends and to recruit them to go to rallies and talk to elected officials, for example. “It’s not all about Facebook and Twitter,” says Bess Watts, a local union leader and president of Pride at Work’s Finger Lakes chapter. “You really have to go out into the community and get to know organizations, whether it’s environment, whether it’s racial justice, economic justice, LGBT rights. There are organizations out there that can use your help and your funds.” Ravi Mangla, ROCitizen’s organizing co-director, urges people to get involved in politics and attend their local committee meetings. His organization wants to get more progressives elected to office. “I think so much of what happens is because we’ve been watching politics and not getting involved in it the way we should be,” Mangla says.


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THE YEAR IN …

MUSIC |

BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER

'HOUSE SHOW'

MORE UNDERGROUND CONCERT VENUES HAVE STARTED TO POP UP AROUND ROCHESTER, OFFERING AN INTIMATE MUSIC EXPERIENCE

Americana band Crooked North performs during a Sofar Sounds concert. PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER

S

ure, there are plenty of sweet shows happening all over Rochester, from Anthology and Abilene to The Montage Music Hall and Skylark. But those are just the venues with well-known address listings. What about the countless word-of-mouth concerts happening in under-the-radar spaces all over the city? The “house show” scene in Rochester is vibrant and varied. Far from exhaustive, this is the story behind five underground, DIY concert venues and organizers in Rochester, and the community that keeps them alive. Veteran DIY concert promoter and musician Adam Kramer presents concerts at the Vineyard Community Space (run by the Monroe Park Vineyard church), which constitutes the 16 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

downstairs level of a three-story house on South Clinton Avenue. Vineyard shows run the gamut from punk, hardcore, and metal to emo, indie rock, and folk. Perhaps most important, the concerts at Vineyard Community Space are always allages, offering an alcohol-free environment and access to live music for teenagers who can’t get into shows at traditional clubs due to age restrictions. With 49 different concerts staged at the Vineyard in 2016 alone, the music is plentiful. Long-time Rochester concert organizer and arguably the most recognizable face in the local music scene, Tim Avery also hosts shows at the Vineyard, in addition to promoting regular ticketed shows at the Bug Jar on Monroe Avenue. Additionally, he

presents concerts at another church – South Wedge Mission on Caroline Street — where indie and folk artists perform as part of the donation-based “Live at Mission Hall” series. “The churches are a great place for DIY shows, because they’re intentionally community-oriented,” Avery says. “They’re intentionally all-ages.” Avery sees an emerging trend in the Rochester house-show scene. “I think what happened was, we all got smart, and a lot of the spaces became attached to businesses or churches,” Avery says. “And they have certain protections under the law that just a houseful of rowdy kids does not have.” The potential synergy between a DIY concert series and local businesses is not lost

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on Nick Moore of the indie folk band MD Woods. The local musician happened upon the unassuming Small World Books on North Street back in 2014. Soon enough, owner Rocco Pellegrino had hired him to work in the shop, and Moore started to conceive of a way to bring in more business and engage the arts community at the bookstore – combining live music, the store’s eclectic selection of books and art, and Pellegrino’s knack for cooking. “I knew we wanted to develop a safe space where people felt free to express themselves and learn and grow together,” Moore says. “I’d just finished developing an after-school art and music program in which I had watched and helped facilitate a community of youth coming together and transforming a space through the arts. Collaboration had the power to bring life into a space. We could do it again. I thought what better space to create in than a bookstore.” Moore’s Small World shows bear an implicit focus on inclusivity and a receptiveness to different kinds of music and other means of artistic expression. Events frequently meld music, poetry, and visual elements into a cohesive evening that always features beloved local acts, but often showcases touring artists. In recent months, Katie Preston of the indie rock band Pleistocene has come on board to book and host shows. Another business that has embraced the possibilities of live concert events in its space is Wicked Squid Studios in downtown Rochester. A fully equipped recording studio and music production facility, the Squid is also a budding venue, with bands performing right in the tracking room. Like Moore, Wicked Squid’s owner and chief engineer Josh Pettinger sees engagement as the primary motivation. “It’s a good way to kind of interface with the community directly, and that, for any business, is huge,” Pettinger says. “We’ve pulled in clients that have legitimately helped to keep our doors open through these shows.” Pettinger sees multiple factors at work behind the “house show” phenomenon. Citing financial constraints stemming from 18 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

Oh Manitou guitarist Sean Greif during a small show at Wicked Squid Studios. PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER

significant student loan debt as well as the lack of available credit for major investments, he sees house shows and other DIY events as more accessible monetarily for prospective audience members. “The other component of that is for whatever reason, our generation – at least in my mind – is obsessed with this concept of exclusivity,” Pettinger says. “I don’t know if that’s maybe driven by having everything at the touch of your fingerprints since we were kids. But for whatever reason, I really feel like the exclusivity factor is huge within our generation.” Pettinger also identifies Sofar Sounds Rochester as an important community player tapping into the public demand for exclusivity. Intrigued by the Sofar live music series that were taking place in other cities, Kelsey Delmotte endeavored to start a Rochester chapter in 2015. By November of that year, the inaugural show – featuring Jackson Cavalier, Mike

Brown, and Overhand Sam Snyder – took place at the Rochester Brainery’s original Village Gate location. Still going strong, what sets the monthly concerts apart is the element of mystery. When people sign up to attend a show and buy tickets, they have no idea what artists will be performing or even where the concert will be held. The address is sent to attendees a few days prior to each show. Concerts feature predominantly local artists, and past venues have ranged from art galleries like The Yards and Makers Gallery and Studio to business offices like the 21st floor digs of Cloudsmartz, high atop the First Federal Plaza on East Main Street, to outdoors at the Public Market. The Market concert was made possible by an assist from the Wicked Squid crew, who brought their mobile unit to improve the sound. Singer-songwriter Seth Faergolzia of the freak folk bands Multibird and 23 Psaegz


has been a fixture of the Rochester scene and local DIY culture since he moved into a house with the band Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells, who were already hosting shows there. When the group moved to Philadelphia, Faergolzia took over curation of regular shows at what became known as Meddlesome Lab. Though the eccentric musician has since moved out of the house, he and his partner Laura Lee Jones still run the space. “I was definitely more into bringing the weird, acoustic stuff in,” Faergolzia says. “What I wanted to do was have a place where someone could tour, get a little bit of money for their very first time playing in the city.” The operating principle is that the local bands on the bill will bring their friends, and the touring act receives all the money from any donations collected that night. Potluck dinners are often a big part of shows at Meddlesome. “It’s definitely community-building,” Faergolzia says. “I think when people dine together, they bond more deeply.” The vibe at Meddlesome skews artsy, and the environment is usually one of attentiveness. “Our space is more of a listening room, as opposed to a ‘rock-out-and-party’ sort of space,” Faergolzia adds. It is precisely Meddlesome’s availability to touring bands that is so crucial. Artists who may not be readily booked by the nearby Bug Jar or Flour City Station because they don’t have a proven following in the city are welcomed there. Personally, I might never have heard the psychedelic dream folk of the Brooklyn-based band Cookie Tongue, the Gothic, avant-garde drone rock of the Italian duo Father Murphy, or NPR darlings Bellows (before they broke out), had it not been for Meddlesome Lab. Faergolzia has even drawn inspiration in his own songwriting from hosting these shows, having written “House Show,” a jaunty sing-along that encapsulates the ethos of DIY concerts: “There isn’t a cover, and the people are loving / They all put a few bucks into the hat and that is that / The touring band gets a hand to the next show / And everyone walks home with a warm, warm glow.” ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 19


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THE YEAR IN …

BEER |

BY RYAN WILLIAMSON

1.88 miles

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C 1.35 miles

B

F

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24 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

D

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A B C

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TOUR DE BREW

n economics teacher gave his senior high school students his personal list of wisest advice. At the top of the list: "There are many ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them." The same logic could be applied to sampling Rochester's craft beverage offerings. "There are many ways to drink beer. On 2 wheels is one of the best." The CITY Newspaper art department was tasked with it's Annual Manual assignment during a snowstorm in March.

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While brainstorming, we dreamed of weekends filled with sunshine and hops; texting friends to meet us at one of the local breweries, and jumping on our bikes to sample citrusy summer schwill. So here it is: our dream course. A circuit through the city, with stops at 6 bike-friendly breweries. Just under 8 miles total. You don't have to start at "A" ... Just start at the brewery you live closest to – or pedal to the furthest and wind your way back home. Please bike responsibly and respectfully.

JOIN THE CLUB We've also built an interactive boozy bike tour map. It's open for the public to edit, add, and customize. VISIT: HTTP://BIT.LY/2MAVC3Z


ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 25


THE YEAR IN …

ART |

BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

PATRONS AS PL ATFORMS BOOST THE SCENE, BUY SOME ART

Heidi Friedrich, at home with a painting by Beth Brown, surrounds and adorns herself with art.

O

Our region has a massive, diverse collection of talented artists. But unlike other cities that still have major corporate players in town (like Atlanta with that sweet Coca-Cola cash), Rochester doesn’t have large patrons of the arts. So it’s up to individuals to help our arts scene realize what it can become, and then reach that potential. While most of us can’t afford an original work by well-established artists like Albert Paley or Wendell Castle, we can focus on boosting smaller working artists. Because Rochester has such an immense creative scene but doesn’t exactly have a thriving arts market, collecting art is relatively accessible here. CITY asked a few Rochester-based arts patrons to discuss their collections and give advice to those getting started. 26 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

Local musician James Tabbi’s extensive collection is almost entirely made up of works by local artists. “I never set out to collect,” he says. “It just kind of happened organically.” Tabbi traces his early collecting back to the annual auction put on by Pyramid Arts Center (which later became Rochester Contemporary). “I started hanging out there because they had really great parties,” he says. Today he owns around 200 pieces — the average price, he says, was below $500. He’s acquired many works, at $20 apiece, from Rochester Contemporary’s annual 6x6 art sale. “There’s so many great artists who are doing cool stuff in a small format,” he says. In particular he favors purchasing a series and framing them together, so you don’t even realize it’s a 6x6.

PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER

Although Tabbi says he doesn’t usually look for specific names when he buys art, he recently commissioned a large, cheerfully colorful painting by Nate Hodge, which draws the eye from across the kitchen to its place in the living room. Looking through his collection of paintings and prints, it’s clear that Tabbi favors black and white imagery featuring graceful figures — like the work of photographer Josephine Cardin — or graphic, textural abstractions. As a creative, Tabbi says he also derives inspiration from the work. “It’s also just about having the creativity around me. I love that.” More than once, specific pieces have served as conversation starters at gatherings in his home. “That’s a fun part about it — when you have good work in your house that’s interesting and different, and not from


Pier 1, it tends to generate interesting conversation,” he says. Surrounding himself with art serves as a reminder of specific experiences and places. “I can look at these pieces and remember what I was doing then, and the relationships I’ve built with the artists.” Others echoed the memory-lane sentiment: “Every object has a story,” says Jonathan Binstock, director of the Memorial Art Gallery. “There are certainly works in my collection that are the material demonstration of a powerful and beautiful relationship, whether it’s with my mother, with whom I bought a particular object, or a work by an artist whom I know and adore.” Binstock’s office at the MAG showcases a loaned work by Barry Goldberg, a painter and friend from Philadelphia whose work Binstock has collected personally. Goldberg’s painting reminds him of their friendship, but also offers Goldberg a chance of exposure to anyone who sees it in the office. “You know where and when you bought something,” Binstock says. “You probably can remember what you were thinking, why you did it. Five years down the line you may love it more or love it less, but that object, because you purchased it, has become a sort of sign post in the road. It marks a moment in time when you committed to yourself in a very particular way.” Investing in art isn’t just about exchanging hard-earned cash for objects, it’s also about deciding to have a constant presence in your personal space. It’s hard to find something that has the same everpresent impact as visual art — music and literature can be put out of sight and mind when you’re not in the mood — so it’s important to be really into the work. Maybe you already know what you’re drawn to and can live with, but if you’re unsure where to start, go out and become familiar with the arts scene. “There’s no substitute for looking at the actual work — and as much as possible,” Binstock says.

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ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 27


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REGISTER TO VOTE! Our community works better when you care enough to vote. Monroe County Sheriff and Rochester’s Mayor are among the many county, city and town offices that are up for election this year. Registration forms are available at many locations in the community and on our website. You may also use the DMV site to register to vote or to change your voter information. Finally, if you need, you can call our office to request a form. We must receive your information at least 25 days before the election. MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS Telephone 753-1550 TTY 753-1544 www.monroecounty.gov/elections

28 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

James Tabbi, at home with his Nate Hodge painting. PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER


Attend art openings, events, and studio crawls — like the monthly First Friday and Second Saturday open studio events — where you can get facetime with individual artists and learn more about the people behind the work. When you’ve identified something that really strikes you, go for it, Binstock says. “Buy that work of art that you love, hang it, and live with it. Don’t be afraid to reappraise your judgement of the decision to purchase it as you go forward. What you learn from living with an object is important, and it informs what you will decide down the road in terms of other acquisitions.”

JOIN THE CONVO

Tell us about the local art artists you love and support. Post an anecdote or image on Twitter or Instagram with @roccitynews and we’ll add you to our Storify feed in the online version of this story. Or leave a comment below this story online at rochestercitynewspaper.com. Even seasoned travelers who have been exposed to art all over the world have a healthy appreciation for Rochester’s artists. Collector Heidi Friedrich used to work for a company in New York City that conducted art tours, and she’s picked up art in her travels to Thailand, Ukraine, Ireland, and Yugoslavia. “But most of my collection is local, and that’s because I’ve been at the Memorial Art Gallery for 50 years,” she says. Friedrich has volunteered or been employed at the gallery in various departments, and currently works in the Gallery Store, where she is constantly exposed to work by the regional artists they represent. Every nook and cranny of Heidi Friedrich’s downtown apartment is filled with art, and everything is arranged elegantly with enough breathing room that individual pieces don’t get lost. One of the first paintings she bought is “Renaissance Man,” a gorgeous, massive canvas by Beth Brown, which features

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PAGE 30

ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 29


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a portrait of a young black man in contemporary clothing with a golden halo, surrounded by classical architecture. She has also collected sizable still life paintings by David Dorsey and dozens of small paintings and prints, including works by Robert Ernst Marx, Kurt Moyer, Carol Acquilano, and Lorraine Bohonos. She favors sculpture by Stephen Merritt, Richard Aerni, and Dan Malcheski. Friedrich is also a self-described jewelry freak, and displays many of her statement necklaces by Dee Dee Topham and Linda Lawrence not in boxes or drawers, but on the walls of her apartment. “It makes it easier to get dressed,” she says with a laugh. Over the years, Friedrich has become friends with many of the artists she’s collected. “I feel it’s important to support them.” Gaining insight into the process and labor behind the work has a tendency to deepen our appreciation for the important role that creatives in our communities play. “Artists have it really rough,” Tabbi says. “It’s hard to make ends meet. Not that I’m sustaining any of these people, but every little bit helps.” As an art patron and collector, you can be a participant in a living, breathing, growing, dynamic art scene, Binstock says. “That’s got to be an important part of it: you want to support these living artists and strengthen that part of society.” While it’s important to not presume that your collection or individual pieces will greatly appreciate in value, your patronage can contribute to the success of the artist, and the scene. Regardless of the dollar value, your acquisitions might become beloved heirlooms to children, nieces and nephews, and friends. And your collection can serve as a meaningful snapshot of the best artistic activity during a given period of time in Rochester.


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THE YEAR IN …

POETRY |

BY KIARA ALFONSECA

POETIC MUSINGS ROCHESTER’S POETRY GROUPS ARE BRINGING

TOGETHER WRITERS AND PERFORMERS TO HELP HONE THEIR SKILLS

The Roc Bottom slam team hosts events and workshops at various locations around Rochester. PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS

O

ral performance is at the heart of poetry. The concision, style, rhythm, and emotion of the genre mixes onstage with the passion of multi-generational poets who band together to celebrate its beauty. For Rochester writers and storytellers, poetry groups and performance nights offer an outlet to share their work and a way to learn and improve among a group. As poets prepare for a season of literary magazine submissions and poetry slams, these groups are where they can sharpen their work and urge on other writers — young, up-andcoming, or experienced. CITY spoke to a few of Rochester’s poets and storytellers about these groups and how they’re shaping the city’s poetry scene.

BREATHING FIRE Open to high school students ages 13 to 19, Breathing Fire is a teen poetry slam group hosted and mentored by the Roc Bottom Slam Team. The bi-weekly gatherings at Press Coffee 32 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

Bar offer a poetry workshop, open mic, and a slam. For these teens, the art of performing takes intense practice, and the qualifications are high for finalists to the group’s Grand Slam (its last event of the season; held this year on April 7). Breathing Fire each year also sends a team of its stand-out poets to Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival (held this year on July 19-22). One young poet, Alyssa Memmott, says young perspectives in poetry are important for both literature and the poets themselves. Breathing Fire, she says, gave her the perfect environment: “By getting youth involvement, it allows us to learn more about other people, and use it to create more positive human interactions.” The group’s 2016-17 season is almost over. But more information can be found on Writers & Books’ website, wab.org.

JUST POETS Collaboration after collaboration, Just Poets is a group dedicated to an open

environment and open mics. Many young graduates, undergraduates, professors — and occasionally high school students at the open mics — have found solace in the company of Just Poets. Performance, Just Poets President Bart White says, is an important aspect of poetry, but he understands the need for “quiet poems” as well. Different voices, and different styles are representative of what his group is about. Just Poets has recently collaborated with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley for a series of poetry workshops, InQueery, which continues April 18 and May 16 at the Gay Alliance LGBTQ Resource Center (100 College Avenue). Just Poets hosts a regular open mic night on the second Wednesday of each month at Before Your Quiet Eyes, 439 Monroe Avenue. The group also hosts periodic readings and events. More information can be found on its website at justpoetsinc.org.

CONTINUED ON

PAGE 34


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POETRY & PIE NIGHT Rachel McKibbens calls the unapologetic night of performances hosted by herself and Jacob Rakovan “a revolutionary poetry speakeasy with pie.” Poetry & Pie Night is a monthly showcase of minority writers and readers that explores LGBTQ, people of color, female, and working class narratives in poetry while, of course, offering a little pie. Both McKibbens and Rakovan come from the spoken word world of poetry, and regularly host workshops to craft, shape, and mold the skills of performance and writing. Poetry & Pie Night is as simple as its title: reading and writing poetry, and eating pie. For more details and info about future dates and the location, email poetryandpienight@gmail.com.

ROC BOTTOM SLAM TEAM Poetry & Pie Night is exactly what it sounds like: a night of guest poets and a potluck of pies. FILE PHOTO

This group of competitive poets and spoken word performers travel around Rochester and beyond to perform for — as well as teach — all who will listen. The adult slam team came together in 2013, and now features nine members — talented poets who have proven their skill and dedication. As mentors to Breathing Fire, and collaborators with Just Poets, Roc Bottom is constantly creating new content, and expanding its platforms. Its performances are always fresh. The Roc Bottom Slam Team hosts performances, workshops, and other events in various locations around Rochester as well as a monthly show at The French Quarter (130 Spring Street), which usually has an open mic at the beginning. Keep track of the team at facebook.com/RocBottomSlamTeam.

ROCHESTER POETS

PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS

Rochester Poets is one of the oldest literary organizations in Western New York. The message and support it gives to local writers hasn’t changed much since its creation in 1922, but the group consistently seeks out new voices to keep up its contemporary standards. Month after month, the group gathers to recollect, revisit, or introduce new poets to the scene.

CONTINUED ON 34 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

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Rochester Poets — which had a great presence in the local “100 Thousand Poets for Change” and “Poets Against the War” events, according to the group’s president, Frank Judge — has been active in spreading a message for global unity, and invites poets at its monthly gatherings to do the same. The group’s open mics and visitor readings, held on the third Sunday of each month, have regularly hopped around Rochester, so check the Rochester Poets Facebook page or email rochesterpoets@ gmail.com for event information.

WRITERS, INK. For those trying to squeeze a love of writing into their packed schedule, Writers, Ink. gives young professionals an environment where they can get that little push of creativity. Huddling together in Writers & Books, 20- and 30-something voices can gather to focus on writing, reaching small goals meeting-after-meeting, and greeting new faces when they come along. “Our support for each other is multi-faceted and unconditional, and that does wonders for providing an environment to grow as a writer,” says Sarah Brown, one of the group’s organizers. Unlike some of the other groups in this article, Writers, Ink. doesn’t focus on oral performance, but those writing poetry, fiction, and other styles are always welcome. For some, writing is a hobby; for those at Writers, Ink., it’s a source of joy and an outlet to relieve stress. Before Brown and her W&B coworker, Emma Lynge, brought this group to life, the two found that writing needed some appreciation in their own lives. “This notion of me as a writer was crumbling; I was lost,” Brown says. “Writers, Ink. means I’m still a writer. To me, that is everything.” Writers, Ink. meets on Mondays, 6 p.m., at Writers & Books, 740 University Avenue. It’s a 21 and older event. For more information, email Sarah Brown at sarahb@ wab.org, or check out wab.org.


ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 37


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REAL ESTATE

Apartment Hunting? South Wedge Properties, LLC

MyPrettyHomes.com College Town, Corn Hill, Culver Merchants, East End, Greece, Irondequoit, Park Ave., South Wedge, Upper Monroe

COMMERCIAL SPACE IS ALSO AVAILABLE Small Retail & Office Spaces in prime locations! (200-1000 sqft) 12 Corners in Brighton, E. Ridge Road & Culver/Merchants Area Large Warehouse Spaces (up to 18,000 sqft) & Offices/Retail Spaces (up to 3,100 sqft) in West Henrietta on Thruway Park Drive

(585) 413-3760

Need More Space?

USE OUR PLACE!

• Among lowest prices in the area • 24-hour access & best customer service • Only 5 minutes from RIT and Thruway *Mention Code: City17 and get ½ off your second month’s rent for a minimum 6-month lease. *Special for new customers only.

www.rocselfstorage.com w 585-334-4600

MIND BODY SPIRIT

Brighton Pathways To Health A HOLISTIC HEALTH CENTER • Classical Five-Element Acupuncture • Chiropractic Care • Tai Chi • Yoga • classes, workshops & special Events See our website for full details and our upcoming classes.

www.BrightonPathways.com 3200 Brighton Henrietta Townline Road • 585-242-9518 ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 43


RELIGION

Please Join Us The Historic Parsells Church An American Baptist Church Serving the Beechwood/Culver Neighborhood for 120 years!

Sunday Services: 11:00 am Temporary worship site for services: Covenant Methodist Church 1124 Culver Rd., Rochester, 14609 Visit our website for photos and audio: www.parsellschurch.org

Southeast Rochester Catholic Community Welcomes You! CHURCH OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT 534 Oxford St • 271-7240

SAINT BONIFACE CHURCH 330 Gregory St • 271-7240

SAINT MARY’S CHURCH 15 St. Mary’s Place • 271-7240

ALL ARE WELCOME / FOOD 44 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

www.southeastrochestercatholics.org Find us on


RELIGION

/ MOVIES

A Sacred Space for Everyone

at Downtown Presbyterian Church Sunday Services THE FORUM: 9:50 AM (Lecture/discussion; childcare provided) WORSHIP AND SUNDAY SCHOOL: 11 AM Summertime Worship: 10 AM Wheelchair accessible • Hearing aid looped 121 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester NY downtownpresbyterian.org | 585-325-4000

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Thinking about peace and social justice? Looking for a quiet place? Try Quaker meeting. Sundays at 11:00 am Rochester Friends Meeting 84 Scio Street (downtown) Rochester NY 14607 325-7260 rochesterquakers.org

ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 45


ANNUAL MANUAL 2017 AD INDEX AUTOMOTIVE

HIGHER EDUCATION

RELIGION

The Wok....................................21

Browncroft Garage......................40

Medaille College........................27

Asbury First

Vesta’s Roman Hearth................23

Ferrel’s Garage...........................40

University of Rochester................. 2

United Methodist Church............45

Victoire Belgian Beer Bar & Bistro...20

Van Bortel Chevrolet...................48

Blessed Sacrament....................44 HOME IMPROVEMENT

Church of Divine Inspiration.......42

DANCE

Clover Nursery

Downtown United

Monroe County Board of Elections..28

EstherBrill –

& Garden Center........................42

Presbyterian Church...................45

Rochester Teachers Association...39

Lucien Brisson Roofing...............42

First Baptist

Personal Dance Trainer.......41

SERVICES

Church of Rochester...................45

SPECIALTY SHOPPING Alexander Optical.......................38

EDUCATION

HOME SERVICES

Lutheran Church

Genesee Community

All Washed Up Window Cleaning....42

of the Incarnate Word.................45

Audio Sound Solutions...............36

Charter School...........................41

K-D Moving & Storage Inc..........42

Rochester Friends

Baker Street Bakery...................36

Meeting - Quaker.......................45

Bernunzio Uptown Music............38

RCTV15 – Rochester Community Television.................41

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

St. Boniface Church...................44

City Sense.................................36

RCSD Universal Pre-Kindergarten

First Student

St. Mary’s Church.......................44

DL Home and Garden.................15

for 4 year olds............................35

School Bus Transportation............ 6

St. Paul’s Church.......................44

Diane Prince

RCSD Expanded Pre-Kindergarten

Mary Cariola Children’s Center....17

The Historic Parsells Church.......44

Traditional & Country Furniture...33

for 3 year olds............................39

U.S. Army................................... 7

Third Presbyterian Church..........44

Freewheelers Bicycle Shop.........11

MIND BODY SPIRIT

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Get Caked Bakery.......................33

Brighton Pathways to Health.......43

Aunt Rosie’s..............................21

Greece Ridge, Eastview &

Larijames Salon & Spa................. 7

Bacco’s Ristorante.....................20

Marketplace Malls......................31

Brown Hound Bistro...................20

Hart’s Local Grocers...................47

Writers & Books.........................33 WXXI.........................................25 ENTERTAINMENT

Futons & More...........................11

GEVA Theatre Center..................37 Nazareth Arts Center..................19

MUSEUMS, ZOOS AND PARKS

Erie Grill at The Del Monte Lodge..19

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates.......11

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra...9

Genesee Country

Grappa Italian Eatery..................17

Little Button Craft......................11

WGMC Jazz90.1........................40

Village & Museum........................ 8

Hilton Garden Inn......................31

Lori’s Natural Foods Center........... 5

WXXI.........................................25

Lamberton Conservatory.............29

Jines.........................................20

Main Street Arts.........................28

Rochester Museum

Joey B’s @ Brickstone................20

Matthews & Fields Lumber Co....38

FINANCIAL SERVICES

and Science Center...................... 6

Johnny’s Pub & Grill...................22

Mileage Master Center................38

Canandaigua National

The Strong National

Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews..........21

One Hip Chic Optical.................33

Bank & Trust..............................35

Museum of Play.........................13

Lux Lounge................................11

One World Goods.......................15

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant........21

Panache Vintage &

Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union..................11

PETS

Max Chophouse.........................21

Finer Consignment....................... 8

George Peter Klee CPA LLC........40

Lollypop Farm............................29

Max of Eastman Place................21

ReHouse Architectural Salvage...38

Nox Cocktail Lounge..................23

Savoia Pastry Shoppe.................33

REAL ESTATE

Orb’s Restaurant & Bar...............21

Shop One2................................33

Elmwood Manor.........................30

Rocco ......................................21

Sound Source............................15

GREEN SERVICES

Erie Station Village.....................30

Roux Restaurant........................23

South Clinton

Gallea’s Greenhouse & Florist........ 5

PathStone.................................43

RYCE Caribbean & Soul Cuisine....23

Merchants Association................30

Rentrochester.com.....................42

Salena’s Mexican Restaurant......23

Triangle Merchants Association

HEALTH

Rita White, Realtor,

Sambuca Bar & Grill..................22

of North Winton Village...............15

DePaul Community Services.......41

ERA Real Estate........................43

Sweet Wood Barbecue................22

Excellus BlueCross

South Hickory............................30

The Beer Market........................22

LOCAL CRAFT BEVERAGES

and Blue Shield.........................13

South Wedge Properties..............43

The Gate House.........................20

Black Button Distilling...............15

Eye Openers..............................13

The Petix Group.........................42

The Waffle Factory.....................22

Rohrbach Brewing Company &

Pay It Payroll.............................40 Tompkins Bank of Castile...........10

Railroad St. Beer Hall.................22

46 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017


ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM 47


48 CITY • ANNUAL MANUAL 2017

Annual Manual 2017  

Greater Rochester's Alternative Newsweekly

Annual Manual 2017  

Greater Rochester's Alternative Newsweekly