CITY January 2022

Page 1

NEWS. ARTS. LIFE. | JANUARY 2022 | FREE | SINCE 1971 PUBLIC LIVES

WHAT ALES ME

ROCHESTER REGGAE

MICHELLE DANIELS IS ALL IN ON DOUGLASS

LAST CALL AT THE TAP AND MALLET

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, WHITE BOY

YOU MUST BE

DELLARIOUS

THE BELOVED STREET ARTIST FINDS A HOME AT THE PUBLIC MARKET WXXI P.O. Box 30021 Rochester, NY 14603-3021

NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID ROCHESTER, NY PERMIT NO. 1517


2 CITY

JANUARY 2022


IN THIS ISSUE OPENING SHOT

A new mural at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport pays homage to Rochester’s favorite son. See page 40 for more on the woman who made it happen. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

NEWS EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK

6

A TRIBUTE TO TONY

There has been a lot less music on Lake Avenue lately, after the man who played it became the city’s 78th homicide. BY DAVID ANDREATTA

8

UNLOCKING PARKINSON’S ONE SELFIE AT A TIME

ARTS

LIFE

18

40

A retrospective of Joshua Rashaad McFadden’s work depicts Black selfhood amid racial injustice.

22

Our reggae scene is lily-white. But is it a pale imitation of the real thing or the real deal?

How University of Rochester researchers are using selfies to detect early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. YOUR VOICE

LOW VOTER TURNOUT: URBAN DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS

Mayor Malik Evans was elected by 12 percent of city voters. Here’s how we can change that. BY RACHEL BARNHART AND JOSEPH BURGESS

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, WHITE BOY

44

MEET THE SPOOKY STREET METAL MAN

BY GINO FANELLI

YOU MUST BE DELLARIOUS

BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

RANDOM ROCHESTER

Beneath the corpse paint and trench coat is a really nice guy.

ON THE COVER

Street artist Mike Dellaria, whose stylized portraits of hometown icons has charmed the city, gets a room of his own.

MICHELLE DANIELS: FOR THE LEGACY OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS

BY JEREMY MOULE

BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER

34

PUBLIC LIVES

Meet the benefactor who’s made showcasing Rochester’s favorite son her mission.

BY AMANDA CHESTNUT

BY RACQUEL STEPHEN

16

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

50

OVER THE INFLUENCE

Just in time for Dry January, the alcohol-free pop-up Alt Bar offers a sober alternative to the bar scene. BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

roccitynews.com

CITY 3


INBOX WANNA SAY SOMETHING? CITY wants to hear you rant and rave. Your feedback must . . . . . . be no more than 250 words . . . respond to CITY content . . . be engaging CITY reserves the right to edit for accuracy, length, and readability.

Send your rants and raves to: feedback@rochester-citynews.com

CITY, 280 State St., Rochester, NY 14614 (ATTN: Feedback) AH, SCHUCKS! I often find myself searching online for CITY. I find your work refreshing, current, informative, and well researched. These factors are missing in other news sources in our community and I applaud your efforts. I have a dear friend who uses the quote, “Do you know how good you are?” His phrase reminds us that good work needs to be recognized and affirmed. We need CITY in our community. Thanks, and keep up the good work. Chet Fery, Brockport I-TOWN IS OUR TOWN I was puzzled by much of the profile on Rory Fitzpatrick, the supervisorelect of Irondequoit (“Rory Fitzpatrick: I-Town is his town,” December 2021). The theme seemed to be that because former supervisors David Seeley and Adam Bello had worked closely with Rep. Joe Morelle, voters were tired of this old boys’ network. I’m wondering what exactly these unnamed residents were tired of. Was it the beautiful consolidated library with state-of-the-art technology, fantastic programs for everyone from toddlers to seniors, available meeting rooms, and the pride in the town that it has engendered? Or were they tired of the new community center with its excellent programs and light airy spaces for seniors and other residents to enjoy? Could it be the attractive senior living apartments built on the site of the former mall? Maybe they were tired of the tree planting initiative the town promoted 4 CITY

JANUARY 2022

to ensure future residents will enjoy the shady tree lined streets that make our neighborhoods so attractive. Was it the neighborhood associations Mr. Seeley initiated that have brought us together and built community spirit that is sticking in these residents’ craw as they down their food in Mr. Fitzpatrick’s Cooper Deli? Perhaps, they are dissatisfied with the increasing home values the town has enjoyed over the last few years. In any case, I wish Mr. Fitzpatrick well, but would advise him not to get too far ahead of himself in listening to the nay-sayers who frequent his restaurant. Unlike the teaser on the cover of CITY magazine, Irondequoit is not HIS town but OUR town. The great majority of our town hopes he will acknowledge all the positive work his predecessors have accomplished. Miriam Ganze, Irondequoit NOT SO FAST ON DEMOLISHING THE INNER LOOP It is remarkable that it appears we’re about to spend many millions of dollars on dismantling the Inner Loop, a valuable infrastructure that has served the Rochester community well, and continues to do so, albeit compromised by the partial demolition already implemented. Rochester’s street layout generally follows a radial city pattern, where major avenues converge in the city center, like spokes of a wheel. Such a pattern naturally results in downtown traffic congestion, a phenomenon that became a problem in the 1950s, when downtown was thriving. To solve this problem, lawmakers and engineers devised a clever mechanism — an innercity expressway by which motorists were able to circumvent downtown, avoid congestion and quickly get to their destination without getting caught up in vehicle gridlock. With a less active city center today, the Inner Loop seems to be an underused mechanism. However, when downtown recovers as our center of government, finance, commerce, culture and other activities (and that should be a priority for the community), residents will be pleading to bring back the Inner Loop to relieve traffic congestion.

I live in northeast Rochester and have benefited from using the Inner Loop for over 40 years. I am also a licensed architect who has additional technical insight into the expressway that I gleaned in the 1970s while drafting the Inner Loop onto record maps at Monroe County Pure Waters. The Inner Loop is not as imposing as some suggest. Much of it runs at or below grade level and is not visible from a distance. With many bridges, all major avenues extend uninterrupted over or under the Loop. By contrast, Interstate 490 is far more physically and visually invasive. In addition, the concrete construction of the Inner Loop and its embankments was well done. The only answer to the Inner Loop question is to preserve and restore this inner-city expressway and expand the narrow greenbelt/landscaping zones on its perimeter. Our descendants will only benefit from it. Andrew Cehelsky, Rochester I found out about the city’s push to fill in the rest of the Inner Loop from CITY. I follow the news a bit, and as the filling in of the eastern section of the expressway was going on there was occasional mention that filling in the northern section was next. But it was quite surprising to learn from CITY that the “study” of that proposal, conducted by the architectural firm Bergmann PC, was already over a year old in May. I have many thoughts on the proposal’s effects on transportation, climate change, housing, and equity, and how the project has been run so far. Filling in the Inner Loop will no doubt increase the number of cars on surface streets and the time drivers spend in their cars. That’s a negative for drivers, city residents, cyclists, pedestrians, and pollution, and should be enough to disqualify the project from continuing. The plan downsizes not just “a” major expressway link, but “the” major expressway link to downtown. This is not a trim; it is a major haircut. Many cities are trying to remove freeways and they haven’t weighed in the climate factor, which is my main objection to this project. We should not be making roads less efficient, especially grossly so, without good reason. Bob Berch, Rochester

NEWS. ARTS. LIFE. JANUARY, 2022 Vol 50 No 5 On the cover: Photograph by Max Schulte 280 State Street Rochester, New York 14614 feedback@rochester-citynews.com phone (585) 244-3329 roccitynews.com PUBLISHER Rochester Area Media Partners LLC, Norm Silverstein, chairman FOUNDERS Bill and Mary Anna Towler EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT themail@rochester-citynews.com Editor: David Andreatta News editor: Jeremy Moule Staff writer: Gino Fanelli Arts editor: Daniel J. Kushner Life editor: Rebecca Rafferty Calendar editor: Katherine Stathis Contributing writers: Rachel Barnhart, Joseph Burgess, Amanda Chestnut, Evan Dawson, Roman Divezur, Emmarae Stein, Racquel Stephen, Miriam Zinter CREATIVE DEPARTMENT artdept@rochester-citynews.com Creative director: Ryan Williamson Designer/Photographer: Jacob Walsh ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT ads@rochester-citynews.com Sales manager: Alison Zero Jones Advertising consultant/ Project manager: David White OPERATIONS/CIRCULATION Operations manager: Ryan Williamson Circulation manager: Katherine Stathis kstathis@rochester-citynews.com CITY is available free of charge. Additional copies of the current issue may be purchased by calling 585-784-3503. CITY may be distributed only by authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of CITY, take more than one copy of each monthly issue. CITY (ISSN 1551-3262) is published monthly 12 times per year by Rochester Area Media Partners, a subsidiary of WXXI Public Broadcasting. Periodical postage paid at Rochester, NY (USPS 022-138). Address changes: CITY, 280 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the New York Press Association. Copyright by Rochester Area Media Partners LLC, 2021 - 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. WXXI Members may inquire about free home delivery of CITY including monthly TV listings by calling 585-258-0200.

@ROCCITYNEWS


A

FILM SERIES

BEYOND THE FOLD JOURNALISM ON SCREEN

+ TALKBACKS WITH CITY EDITOR DAVID ANDREATTA AND GUESTS

GET TICKETS & LEARN MORE AT ROCCITYNEWS.COM

presenting sponsor

ANDY NAHAS

roccitynews.com

CITY 5


NEWS

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK

Lakeisha Commings, a customer of the Lake Avenue Mini Market, lights a candle at a memorial remembering clerk Anthony (Tony) Lovett, who was stabbed to death in the store Nov. 29, 2021. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

A tribute to Tony BY DAVID ANDREATTA

T

@DAVID_ANDREATTA

here is a lot less music on Lake Avenue these days. The man who played it was stabbed to death a few feet from where he used to sway to the sounds blaring from his speaker. His name was Anthony Lovett, but he went by Tony, and he worked the morning shift at Lake Avenue Mini Market, a convenience store near Emerson Street that shares a parking lot with a Speedway and a self-storage center. He was 59 years old. On most mornings, Tony could be found sitting on a woofer the size of a suitcase that he used to prop open the store door. He moved to the music and 6 CITY

JANUARY 2022

DANDREATTA@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

smoked cigarettes while waiting for customers. Some mornings he smoked something stronger. He played soul, R&B, rap, and whatever suited his mood that day. “This,” he said of his music a few days before he died, “this right here is what it’s all about.” Tony was killed on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the store around 9:30 a.m., a few hours into his shift. A 29-year-old woman, Jamie Lynn Prescott, was charged with his murder. She was arraigned the next morning and pleaded not guilty. His slaying marked the city’s 78th homicide of the year. It was a

grim new record for six days, until the next person was killed. As of this writing, there have been 81 homicides in the city. The prosecutor on the case, Eleanor Biggers, said Tony knew Prescott but that the nature of their relationship was not clear and called his death “a senseless, completely pointless act.” I knew Tony. Not well, but well enough to be on a first name basis and to describe the person he was behind the counter and the kind of person he aspired to be. Tony had been a clerk for a couple years. He wasn’t crazy about his job, but he took pride in it. He kept the

shelves stocked and swept up outside. If he was eating breakfast, he tossed crumbs to the sparrows that perched on the nearby Dumpster. “He was a good guy,” said Ralph Colon, who figured he bought a Bud Light from Tony about a half hour before he was killed. “He was always friendly. If I didn’t have it, he’d give me credit, you know?” Other customers felt the same about Tony. A day after he died, a makeshift memorial of candles and balloons and flowers sprung up outside the door where Tony used to sit on the speaker. “I’ve been coming to the store for


some years,” said Lakeisha Commings, who lit a candle at the vigil and said a prayer. “He was full of laughs and smiles. He was very kind to me.” I saw Tony most mornings, when I stopped in for a pineapple drink he sold. When the fridge broke down one day, he scoured the backroom for a cold one for me. Some mornings, when it already felt like it had been a long day but was way too early for a soda, I bought a Coke. Tony never judged. “Whatever gets you through,” he used to say. The only two things Tony judged were the New York Yankees and what he called “the kids on the streets” who he said had nothing better to do than shoot off their mouths and their guns. He used to complain that those youngsters were lost and say that they should join the military, like he did as a young man, to find a sense of purpose. Tony had been a cook in the Navy. We sometimes watched the Yankees together on a TV propped up on a shelf in the store above racks of T-shirts and jeans. In the summertime, Tony had the channel tuned to the YES Network so he could catch a replay of the game he slept through the night before. “Don’t tell me what happened,” he would warn me when I walked in. Tony loved sports. He often wore athletic paraphernalia. On warm days, he used a patch of artificial turf outside the store as a putting green. It had the topography of the Sierra Nevada, but Tony had a knack for reading it. He especially loved baseball, though. Something about the timelessness of it appealed to him. “Some people think it’s boring,” he once said of the game. “I can’t be responsible for their ignorance.” Tony was a house painter by trade and still did odd jobs. He told me he taught his son how to paint and that his son had a successful business in New York City. Andre Hicks, who stopped by the storefront memorial to pay his respects, recalled that Tony once saved his life on a painting job when the ladder on which he was standing began to topple and Tony grabbed it. He said they both almost fell off the three-story roof. “He had everybody’s back,” Hicks said. “If you were short in the store, he would let you slide for whatever you needed, you know? He helped out

A makeshift memorial sprung up at the Lake Avenue Mini Market a day after its clerk, Anthony (Tony) Lovett, was stabbed and killed inside. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

people in the community.” For months, Tony had been talking about a painting apprenticeship program he wanted to start and said he was working with officials from City Hall to put it together. “We got to get the kids off the streets,” he said. “Give ‘em something productive to do.” A few days before he died, he brought it up again and told me I should write about it. I told him I would if he ever got the program off the ground. There must have been an awful struggle in that store in the minutes before Tony died because the next day, after the yellow police tape had been taken down and tossed in the Dumpster where the sparrows perch, the place looked like it had been ransacked. The door that Tony used to prop open with his speaker was locked, but a mess of T-shirts and jeans and canned goods and candy bars could be seen strewn about the place through the windows and the metal grates that protected them. A few days later, the Lake Avenue Mini Market opened again. The mess inside was gone. So was the music.

Anthony (Tony) Lovett practices his putting on a patch of artificial turf outside the Lake Avenue Mini Market. PHOTO BY DAVID ANDREATTA

roccitynews.com

CITY 7


NEWS

DIGITAL DIAGNOSIS

ILLUSTRATION BY JULIA JOSPHE/UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER

Unlocking Parkinson’s one selfie at a time U of R researchers use selfies to detect symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. BY RACQUEL STEPHEN

D

aniel Kinel looked out the expansive windows that encapsulate the 13th-floor conference room at Harter Secrest & Emery in downtown Rochester, where he practices corporate and securities law. “On a clear day you can really see the Bristol Mountains,” he said, gesturing, “and over there, you can see Lake Ontario.” The view has taken on a deeper meaning for Kinel, 51, since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 8 CITY

JANUARY 2022

@RSTEPHEN_MEDIA

RSTEPHEN@WXXI.ORG

eight years ago, when, as he put it, “I thought my life was over.” In many ways, though, a new phase of his life was just beginning. Today, Kinel works to demystify the disease, from taking on speaking engagements to participating in research studies, including a new study at the University of Rochester getting a lot of attention that uses selfies to predict whether a person is likely to develop Parkinson’s. “I think the important thing about any diagnosis is what you can do with

it in a positive way,” Kinel said. Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a test that uses computer software to track facial muscle movements that are invisible to the naked eye during a video selfie. Those movements, they claim, can determine with remarkable accuracy markers of Parkinson’s disease. The study is a collaboration between the University of Rochester Medical Center’s leading expert in Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Ray Dorsey, and a University of Rochester associate

professor of computer science, Ehsan Hoque. The technology is derived from a field called computer vision, which helps computer systems analyze photographs and videos. Hoque’s team developed algorithms that allow computer visionbased software to home in on the facial movements associated with smiling, expressions of disgust, raising and lowering eyebrows, and reading aloud a complex sentence, among others. Participants with the disease, or who may be likely to develop the


disease, show less control over their facial muscles, or what clinicians call “modularity.” Within minutes, the program reveals whether the participant is showing symptoms of Parkinson’s or related disorders. “He’s taking the same things that we would normally do in a clinic, but instead of relying on a neurologist to do the assessments, he’s allowing the computer to do the assessment,” Dorsey said about the framework designed by Hoque’s team. The technology, which was recently featured in Nature Digital Medicine and picked up in publications from there, could be transformative for people who are immobile or living in areas where they do not have easy access to a neurologist. “It really has the potential of changing the way that health care is provided, the way that we think about managing chronic conditions like Parkinson’s, the way that we diagnose diseases, and the way that the world interacts with them,” said Kinel, who worked with the team as a tester for an earlier model of the software and the finished product. The test is available online at www. parktest.net, although researchers ask that only people with Parkinson’s disease complete the study at this time. Parkinson’s has become the fastestgrowing neurological disease in the United States. The U.S. Parkinson’s Foundation predicts that nearly 1.2 million Americans will be diagnosed by 2030. “Hundreds of thousands of people with the disease don’t even know they have it, and are suffering in silence,” Dorsey said. Kinel noticed his first tremor in 2013, when he was 43. It was an unusual twitch in his right hand. As the days progressed, so did his symptoms. Within a couple of weeks, his back went out, and during a subsequent physical therapy session, he noticed that the right side of his body wasn’t responding like the left. Looking back, Kinel said, the signs of Parkinson’s were there years before his diagnosis, but he had no idea how to recognize them. That is where research like the selfie test comes in. “What if, with people’s permission, we could analyze

Daniel Kinel on the 13th floor of Legacy Tower where he is a lawyer at Harter Secrest & Emery. Kinel has Parkinson’s and is enrolled in a study at the University of Rochester that aims to help detect the disease early by analyzing selfies. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

those selfies and give them a referral in case they are showing early signs?” Hoque said. What if? The ethical considerations of technology like this are many. The challenges include not only validating the accuracy of the algorithms but translating the output into a language that is humane. “A machine should never tell a real human being that they have Parkinson’s,” said Hoque, who has a personal stake in the technology in that his late mother had Parkinson’s. Nevertheless, the technology was promising enough to recently secure a $500,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports scientific discovery and patient care improvements, for the research to continue. Still, the money came with a stipulation: The foundation requires Hoque and his research team to validate the feedback that will be given to patients, especially those who are performing the test from home. “It’s not just about building the technology, but appropriating it for the

people it serves,” Hoque said. The technology took roughly five years to develop, but it will be some time before neurologists can put it to practical use. It has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and both Dorsey and Hoque predicted that could take years. At this point, the data collected from anyone who takes the test is used for research purposes only. “This is not something ready for prime time in terms of clinical care,” Dorsey said. With the help of people like Kinel, though, it has a shot of getting there. Until then, Kinel, a married father with two children, is trying to live in the moment and enjoy the view. “I try to be more mindful about what’s happening in the moment, and what’s happening around me,” he said. “And to be more thankful for those things.”

roccitynews.com

CITY 9


NEWS

TECH TRENDS

Police confront demonstrators on Broad Street during a Black Lives Matter protest on May 30. PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI

Joe Brawner experiments with virtual reality at Boundless Connections Technology Center, which opened recently in the Sibley Building in downtown Rochester. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

WANTED: Developers, hackers, and designers Boundless Connections aims to be a piece in the tech career pipeline. BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

I

n recent years, the number of co-work spaces where people can rent desks and offices have grown in Rochester. The spaces have shared amenities such as printers and coffee makers and, like other workspaces, they have their own built-in social environment. But a new kind of co-work space, one that focuses on assisting people in technology careers, recently opened 10 CITY JANUARY 2022

@RSRAFFERTY

BECCA@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

on the second floor of the Sibley Building. Boundless Connections Technology Center (rochester. boundlessconnections.com) offers not just a co-work environment, but many resources for just about any tech skill a person may want to learn. “We don’t turn anyone away,” says CEO Christina Lopez. “We have people who are taking an online course and feel like they just can’t do

that on their own. Maybe they don’t have fast enough internet, things like that. So we have ways for people to engage in anything tech-related. We’ll find a way. If we don’t know, we connect to the larger community to find the ones that do.” Hence the name. While Boundless Connections Technology Center offers instruction, it’s not a school with formal classes. It

functions as part resource hub and part tutoring program. “Instead of trying to get 30 people at a time to learn something, we’re individualizing learning,” Lopez says. You can walk in the door wanting to learn coding or robotics, and they’ll hook you up with the necessary tools and someone who can show you the ropes. Or, say you’re enrolled in a design program at a university and just


can’t get the hang of the software you need to use. They’ll buy the software and connect you to someone who can give focused instruction. Maybe you want to start a small business selling some products you’ve designed, and need access to a 3D printer. Boundless Connections, which has three 3D printers and staff who know how to use them, can help. All of it comes with a price. Program and membership costs vary, but adults who want full access can expect to pay $1,500 per month or $4,500 per three month session. Since opening in August of 2020, about 125 people of all ages and backgrounds have used the center, with an average user making 31 visits per year, according to Lopez. While the Rochester tech center is new, the company that became Boundless Connections was created in 2009 by Lopez, who had worked as a programmer for knifemaker Cutco, and Mike Marvin, a computer science and math professor at Jamestown Community College. Their goal was to address what they felt was a missing link in America’s tech industry, Lopez says. In 2012, Lopez and Marvin launched a tech literacy pilot program for 13 to 17 year olds. Lopez opened the first Boundless Connections center in 2017, located in her hometown of Olean in Cattaraugus County. The Sibley building location is the second. While technology is ever-evolving, what hasn’t changed is that people learn in different ways and have unequal access to tools. One of the company’s goals has been helping people get into college, stay in college, and be successful in college, Lopez says. The company’s TECH Unleashed year-round program for 13- to 17-yearolds meets Thursday afternoons, and includes a junior membership to the tech center as well as snacks. Scholarships are available to those who need them. Though it’s a group setting, the instruction is still individualized — every week a facilitator helps each student work incrementally toward their goals. “That facilitator is basically a project manager for whatever project you decide to do,” Lopez says. “Your project will be in service to the community. And as you’re learning, you’re actually building relationships, you’re learning

The technology center has three 3D printers and instructors who know how to use them. Chasiddy Matos demonstrates. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

Boundless Connections CEO Christina Lopez says she founded the tech centers after she noticed problems with tech literacy. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

what are called ‘soft skills,’ I call them ‘essential skills’ — actually making eye contact, being able to explain things in a way that people can understand — they start learning that from day one.” Brenton Cousins, 21, got involved with Boundless Connections at age 13 in Olean. The company had a booth at his school’s fair and he began attending

its summer camps. By his first year in college at the Rochester Institute of Technology, he says, he had enough know-how to help lead his school’s neurotechnology exploration team (NXT). “I already knew what they were doing,” he says. Today, he is in his senior year in the computer engineering program

and is Boundless Connections’ director of operations. Adults can get involved in Boundless Connections through TECH Launch, which is a self-paced program for ages 17 and up. That’s where the co-work aspect really kicks in — you can arrive with a goal and sign up to use the space and its tools, and access mentoring if you need it. Then there’s the TECH Clubs and Networking TECH Groups. They meet weekly and function as a social group, a troubleshooting arena, and a way to go deep with visiting lecturers on various topics such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and Bitcoin. Anyone who wants to use the center’s tools can sign up for a lowcommitment pass, Lopez says. “Our programs are for people who are interested in getting into the tech industry, but we have day passes and season passes for everyone else,” Lopez says. “It’s like you’re coming home,” she goes on. “You come in, take your shoes off, get yourself a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and settle in.” roccitynews.com CITY 11


NEWS

12 CITY JANUARY 2022


GETTING PERSONAL

I’m Black but look white. Here are the horrible things white people feel safe telling me. BY MIRIAM ZINTER

I

was gardening outside my Brighton home a few weekends ago when a neighbor, whom I had known for almost 30 years, stopped by so I could pet his dogs. I took my gloves off, squatted down to give the dogs a really good scratching around their ears and felt the sun on my back. What could be better? Then my neighbor said: “Why do you have a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign on your front lawn when all those people do is kill each other?” My lovely day screeched to a halt. “You know I’m Black, right?” I said, standing up as tall as my 5-foot-4-inch frame would allow, the sun shining on my blond hair. I continued to pet his dogs, because I needed the comfort of petting dogs at that moment, and because I needed to keep my hands busy so they didn’t slap that man’s face. After the usual back and forth of him saying “No!” and me saying “Yes!” and then him trying to gauge exactly “how Black I was” by asking which of my parents was Black and me replying, “Both,” we had a very uncomfortable conversation about racism. I told him about my father’s struggles to get an education because guidance counselors and admissions agents would not accept Black people into community colleges or SUNY programs in the 1950s and ’60s. I told him that even though my father was a veteran, he could not be approved to use the GI Bill for college or buy a house, since no one would process his paperwork because he was a Black man. I told him that people painted “Go Home Nigger” on the back of our home when my parents finally saved enough money to build a house in the suburbs of Syracuse. And I told him how “Black Lives Matter” calls attention to the fact that Black people are considered less than white people - and that needs to stop. I also told him if people don’t understand that Black lives matter, Black people will continue to be murdered by the police and denied opportunities by the establishment. We will not be allowed to participate in the “American Dream,”

The author’s parents on their wedding day in 1963. PROVIDED PHOTO

and we will be made to feel that this is somehow our fault, when it is in fact the fault of a racist society with the full support of our government. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to have this conversation. Encounters like this have been going on for a very long time for me. Both of my parents are Black but have white ancestors. Those recessive white genes were passed on to me, and I was born very light-skinned, with blue eyes and light, wavy hair. This was not a surprise. In both of my parents’ families there are “white” babies who pop up

each generation. I have aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of my family who are also white-presenting. There is the story of my grandmother’s cousin Neville, who left the family in the 1940s to pass for white so he could join the Army and fight in World War II. He married a German girl, returned to Syracuse and never returned to being Black. Family members would see him on the streets and they would look past each other. He was lost to us because he chose an easier way - and forsook his ancestry. Neville became a cautionary tale for

me. I never wanted to be like him. There is also the story of a great-aunt, Annie Mother, who would pass as white to purchase properties and then sell or rent them to Black family members and other Black families who could not find decent, affordable housing. I wanted to be like Annie Mother, so I pursued a career in social justice, specifically issues related to housing. My parents originally tried to purchase a home in Syracuse in the 1960s. Most of the houses they made offers on had deed restrictions that stated the home could not be “sold to Negros.” Determined to own their own home, they decided to build a house, and found some land in a subdivision in the suburb of Liverpool, where the builder was happy to sell to them. Despite this good news, they soon learned they couldn’t get approved for a mortgage. My dad had a good job at General Electric and my parents had savings, but none of this was enough, because they were Black. My dad accepted a transfer to a position in Alaska, because he could earn double what he’d make in Syracuse. My mom and I moved in with my grandmother for a year and my mom banked all of my dad’s checks. When he returned, my parents paid cash to have their house built in Liverpool. This was the same house on which people painted “Go Home Nigger.” They did this when we already were home - there was no other “home” to go to. We lived in a white neighborhood, and I went to a school where all the other students were white. Before I started kindergarten, my parents had “the talk” with me. If you don’t know about “the talk,” let me explain it to you. “The talk” is about race. It’s about being Black in a world run by white people, where white people make the rules. In order to survive, let alone thrive, you need to know you are Black and know what that means, even if you present as white. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

roccitynews.com CITY 13


My parents were worried. This was 1969. People knew we were Black, and that I would be starting school in a district where there were no other Black children. I didn’t look Black, but I am Black, so we figured I could and would be subjected to racist actions by my peers. We were prepared for groups of white parents to gather at the school to shout at me. Or spit on me. My parents needed me to understand that if this happened, it didn’t mean I was bad. It meant the adults were bad - and that I’d need to rise above like Dr. King had done. In our home, Martin Luther King Jr. was whom we strived to be. Even at 4 years old, I knew who he was. I was taught King’s principals of nonviolence. My parents marched on Washington with King and hoped for a better world for me. I set off for school the next day, prepared to walk through a gauntlet of screaming hatred. I was on the lookout. But there didn’t seem to be anything happening. If any protesters had been there, they probably wouldn’t even have known I was Black. With my blond braids and my sparkling new outfit from Sears, I might have walked right by them. I was ready to learn - and learn I did. But just because there weren’t protesters doesn’t

14 CITY JANUARY 2022

mean there weren’t challenges. My kindergarten teacher did not feel it was appropriate for a Black child to learn and play with white children. She left me inside the classroom on my own while the other students played. I stood by the window and cried. My parents complained to the principal - a child of Italian immigrants - and he stepped in. I was then permitted to play with my classmates. Worried that my teacher would not engage me in the same ways she did with the other students, my parents worked with me on my alphabet, math and reading every night after dinner. I excelled. When we moved from suburban Syracuse to Fairport, outside Rochester, our new neighborhood was also largely white. I didn’t even find this strange. I fit in and made very good friends, some of whom I am friends with to this day. But I always knew I was Black, and forgetting who I was simply wasn’t an option. In middle school, my history teacher told the class that if we really wanted to insult Black people, we should call them “Uncle Toms.” In high school, one student came dressed as a Klansman for Halloween, carrying a noose. Another student, wearing blackface and a loincloth, ran around in front

The author on a swingset with her sister and mother in 1968. PROVIDED PHOTO


of him. When the few Black students and a number of our white classmates complained to the principal about it, we were told we needed to “develop a sense of humor.” Another student, who would later become a teacher, called me a “white nigger.” I found myself constantly defending affirmative action, busing and desegregation with friends and classmates whose parents thought that if Black people “infested” their white world, chaos would ensue. Many years have passed since then, but sadly, this madness hasn’t stopped. My neighbor, the one who asked me why “Black lives matter,” isn’t the only one who has felt comfortable asking me such a question or making a statement rife with racism. White people think I am white, and therefore feel safe saying all kinds of horrible things they might not say publicly. I’ve had people tell me it “disgusts” them to see interracial couples. They’ve told me they don’t understand why Black neighborhoods look so “ghetto,” and that Black people are “animals” or “thugs.” Many of these people are educated, and hold

jobs or positions that give them some form of power or influence over Black people. They are doctors, judges, lawyers, social workers and politicians. That’s frightening. In every instance where I’ve encountered racist rhetoric, I have made it my business to speak up. I have told (or reminded) these people that I am Black. I have told them my family’s story. And I have done whatever I could to educate them about the systems of racism that exist in this country. Sometimes they say: “But you’re different!” Then I ask them if other Black folks they know are also “different.” When they say yes, I ask them: “How are all the Black people you know ‘different’? When are you going to realize that we are not different? That you have been misled into believing that Black people are somehow bad, and that what you see with your own eyes - these Black people you know, and know are not different or bad - are good people like you?” That floors them. There is a purposeful and strategic force dedicated to segregation and racism. There are people who benefit

from Black people and white people remaining in conflict. When people of different races live together and truly want to know and understand each other, it is harmonious. But when races are separated, it breeds suspicion and distrust. It becomes “us versus them,” and it weakens us as a nation. Living as a Black woman who looks white has allowed me to experience white privilege firsthand. Because people assume I am white, it is assumed I am honest, smart and trustworthy. Many times I have thought to myself: If I looked Black, how would these people treat me? And I have known, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would be treated with disdain or suspicion, or as a criminal. I know in many instances that if I looked Black, the police would have been called to question me. And this sickens and angers me. How many of our Black brothers and sisters have had the police called on them simply for the act of living their lives? As a nation, we need to stop this. The best way to achieve change is to accept and learn about our racist past

and the injustices visited upon our Black citizens. It’s deeply concerning that people are protesting the possibility of our country’s history being accurately taught in schools. The only way for America to be great is to accept all of our citizens at face value, and the only way to do that is to understand our intertwined roots - our history and all the pain and tragedy that exists within it - and face this, together, head-on. Miriam Zinter is a Black woman who presents as a white woman. She is also a member of the community advisory board for WXXI Public Media, a media partner of CITY. Her essay was originally published online by HuffPost Personal and was reprinted here with permission. Zinter began her career as a community organizer, was the executive director of a not-for-profit neighborhood organization, became the senior housing programmer for the city of Rochester and now works in the housing finance sector. She is married, with two adult children and a spoiled Sheba Inu dog. Her parents live down the street from her.

roccitynews.com CITY 15


NEWS

YOUR VOICE

FILE PHOTO

A crisis in urban democracy BY RACHEL BARNHART AND JOSEPH BURGESS

F

or the first time in modern political history, fewer city of Rochester residents voted in the November general election than in the primary. In the interest of voter empowerment, democratic legitimacy, and a broadly representative, functioning local government, we should take steps to make sure this does not happen again. There are solutions to low urban turnout that have proven effective in cities and states that have recognized the issue as a crisis and moved to address it. And it is a crisis. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans was 16 CITY JANUARY 2022

effectively chosen by 12 percent of city voters, whose primary ballots moved him into the general election, where he faced no opponent. Meanwhile, City Council and school board candidates who won their primaries faced token opposition on the November ballot. Roughly 800 fewer city voters turned out in November than for the June primary. The result was that only 18 percent of city voters cast ballots in the general election, with some areas of the city seeing less than 10 percent turnout. With registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans almost seven to one in the city, the primary

election is the de facto election in this one-party town. Voters choose who will serve in positions including mayor, City Council, school board, and city court in primary elections. Eight Monroe County Legislature seats primarily based in the city also are decided in primary contests. Competitive general election challenges are rare: even when there are candidates on ballot lines other than the Democratic Party, they receive a low vote share and struggle to raise money. Voters correctly understand big decisions have already been made by the time the general election rolls

around, creating the turnout issues we saw this year. Even many registered Democrats are effectively disenfranchised because candidates typically spend resources only communicating with frequent primary voters, creating a reinforcing loop. In the general election, we saw demographic disparities in turnout. The whiter, richer 24th Monroe County Legislative District had more than five times as many voters turn out as the 22nd Monroe County Legislative District, a high-needs, majority Black and brown district. In effect, our city elections have an intertwined legitimacy and diversity issue.


Thanks to the many other cities that have implemented different voting systems, though, we know how to fix our local democracy. It takes embracing reforms that allow and encourage more voters to participate. NON-PARTISAN AND RUNOFF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS “There is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the garbage,” New York City Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia famously said. Yet municipal elections in New York’s largest cities continue to be partisan — meaning candidates run on party lines. If more than one member of the same political party runs, a primary election determines the party nominee who appears on the November ballot. It is a stark contrast to what occurs in most other American cities. More than three quarters of all municipalities in the U.S. hold nonpartisan elections in which candidates do not run on party lines. These municipalities include major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas. All voters, regardless of party, are able to participate. Some reformers have concerns that nonpartisan elections may discourage turnout and cause confusion, especially among voters of color, by removing partisan labels that have historically helped voters make decisions. As an alternative, Rochester could move to a runoff system. Switching our elections to a runoff

system would have a similar effect. In a runoff system, there are two elections, usually still referred to as a primary and general. Instead of moving forward one candidate per political party and restricting votes to enrolled members of specific parties, however, any registered voter can cast a ballot for any candidate in the first round, and the top two candidates move forward to the general election, regardless of their party. Boston’s recent mayoral election used a non-partisan runoff system. A September preliminary election sent the top two vote-getters to face off on Election Day in November. Consider how many voters are shut out of the process of choosing local representatives because they cannot vote in a primary. The number of city voters not affiliated with a party has grown by 41 percent in the last decade. Unaffiliated voters now account for one in five voters in the city. Non-partisan elections would give this growing bloc of voters the chance to participate. With non-partisan and runoff elections, every election could feature an ideologically significant and potentially competitive general election. With every general election having real meaning, voters are given choices beyond a rubber stamp approval of candidates already selected in partisan primaries. OTHER IDEAS There are other options to improve voter turnout that are practiced in cities and towns across the country.

“Open primaries,” where voters can vote in a partisan primary without being registered to a specific party, would give all voters a chance to weigh in on partisan nominees. Another idea is to reconsider the timing of local elections and ensure that they coincide with larger-stakes contests. In some years, like 2021, there are nothing but local races on the ballot. One study suggests that moving local elections to coincide with presidential elections results in an 18.5 percentage point jump in turnout. Meanwhile, local elections that coincide with the November midterms enjoy an almost 9-point increase in turnout on average. Lastly, we can consider the physical act of voting and accessing a ballot. Research shows universal mail voting has a positive impact on overall turnout, without clear benefits to one political party or another. The structural problems of local democracy are the result of choices we’ve made about how and when citizens of Rochester can participate in the electoral process. If the political will is there, we can choose a different path going forward that will better reflect and represent the people of Rochester. Rachel Barnhart is a Democrat representing the 21st District in the Monroe County Legislature. Joseph Burgess is a Data Curator at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University, and an independent expert and consultant on local government issues.

roccitynews.com CITY 17


ARTS

IN RETROSPECT

Joshua Rashaad McFadden's 2020 photograph “Black Power (Washington, D.C.),” from “Unrest in America: March on Washington.” PHOTO BY JOSHUA RASHAAD MCFADDEN

FOR JOSHUA RASHAAD MCFADDEN, PHOTOGRAPHING PROTEST IS PERSONAL The 31-year-old Rochester photographer gets a rare early-career retrospective. BY AMANDA CHESTNUT

A

s a photographer and curator, it’s rare that an art show moves me to tears. But that’s exactly what happened with “Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On,” a retrospective photography exhibition at the George Eastman Museum. The dark walls and dim lights of the gallery space drew me in. At the entrance of the exhibit is a mirror with the words “BE REAL BLACK FOR ME.” 18 CITY JANUARY 2022

This imperative achieved two things — welcoming Black viewers into a museum that caters to predominantly white artists for predominantly white audiences, and challenging white viewers to shift their mindsets. It was a bold, even radical statement, asserting Black art’s rightful presence in a museum setting. It’s also rare for an artist as young as Joshua Rashaad McFadden — he’s only 31 — to receive a retrospective

so early in their career in a gallery such as George Eastman Museum, which tends to recognize artists with more extensive portfolios. “Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On” is a stunning look at one of contemporary photography’s most provocative Black artists, who also happens to be a Rochester native. The exhibition is on view at the Eastman Museum through June 19.

I started following McFadden’s work during the 2020 social uprising in Rochester after the killing of Daniel Prude. I was obsessively refreshing social media pages, watching for images and videos of friends and family in the onslaught of tear gas and pepper balls from the Rochester Police Department. McFadden was on the front lines, documenting the interactions between protesters and police with


Joshua Rashaad McFadden mingles with George Eastman Museum attendees (above) and discusses his work (below) at the opening reception for the photography retrospective “Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On.” PHOTOS BY ERICH CAMPING

live video clips and photographs, and capturing both the stunning violence and the uplifting community response. “I had to go document that, no matter what,” McFadden said. “I had to do it.” McFadden has a lot on his plate, creatively. He had already begun teaching at RIT when he started documenting the protests in Rochester. He’s also covered similar protests in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. “With doing that type of work, no, there is no sleep,” he explained. “Protests were going on all day and through the middle of the night until 4 a.m. So, (I was) going on two hours of sleep every night for that entire summer, really all the way up until this year, because the trial of Derek Chauvin happened this year in April. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

roccitynews.com roccitynews.org CITY 19


“I do directly relate to the plight of Black Americans who experience racism in this country,” McFadden said. “And so, going out and documenting that was very hard. And you’ll see the intense emotion of the photograph.” PHOTOS BY JOSHUA RASHAAD MCFADDEN

“It was running on no sleep for a very, very, very long time. But the work had to be done.” Within the genre of protest photography, McFadden’s work often captures the protestors’ unfiltered emotional responses. For McFadden, capturing Black grief is just a small part of capturing Black life. He considers his projects individually, but admits that because the work occasionally overlaps, the images and their stories begin to inform each other. McFadden returned to Rochester in 2018 after several years of living in Atlanta, where he taught photography at Spelman College, to accept an art residency at Visual Studies Workshop. He currently teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology. From there, he produced “Evidence,” an exhibit that illustrates the breadth of Black masculinity and gender through portraits of men alongside those of their fathers or father figures. Concurrently, McFadden was motivated by the recent death of his grandfather and produced “Love Without Justice,” an autobiographical photo series that utilized photos from his family’s archive. In his portraits of other people, there is a rawness and a willingness for deep self-exploration. “I think the work is very much me,” he said. “And it’s not really too glammed up or staged. Especially with the archives, it’s very personal. Especially in ‘Love Without Justice.’ I’m just adding on to the archive. So I think that it is me, for sure. Completely unfiltered.” McFadden says his personal experience also motivates his photojournalistic work. “With other things, like ‘Unrest in America,’ and documenting protests across the country, that’s also 20 CITY JANUARY 2022


PHOTO BY ERICH CAMPING

very personal. I do directly relate to the plight of Black Americans who experience racism in this country,” he said. “And so, going out and documenting that was very hard. And you’ll see the intense emotion of the photograph. And that’s not only because it’s an emotional moment, but you’ll see my emotion within those photographs.” Self-exploration through chronicling Black life more broadly has been an ongoing theme of McFadden’s career. “It always goes back to this image map of consistently referencing himself,” said K. Anthony Jones, an arts critic and collaborator with McFadden. “It becomes selfreferential in that whole entire loop.” “He explores what it means to not have a home in this place,” Jones later said. Eastman Museum Executive Director Bruce Barnes acknowledged as much in his remarks at the opening of “I Believe I’ll Run On,” saying the exhibit “chronicles the intimacy of Black life in the United States” and was “a testament to the healing and to the protective possibilities of turning inward.” McFadden wanted his work to evoke a visceral response, the kind of true reactions that, as he put it, were “unfiltered by the institution that they exist within.” Museums are spaces of ritual practice, housing the objects and artifacts that are venerated by the community that supports them. McFadden’s exhibition plays to this, with lighting and colors that encourage a near-holy exaltation of the work. Watching the exhibition’s attendees engage in different ways reminded me of the difference between attending church in New York with my white mother and attending church in South Carolina with my Black father: solemn silence versus jubilant reverence. It’s rare that we’re able to give artists their flowers when they are still working and even more exceptional when we are able to do that toward the beginning of what appears poised to be a meteoric career. “This is only the beginning,” McFadden said. “I have so much more work to do, and so much more to say.”

McFadden wants his work to evoke visceral reactions in viewers, responses that are “unfiltered by the institution that they exist within.” PHOTO BY JOSHUA RASHAAD MCFADDEN

roccitynews.com CITY 21


ARTS

SEG-REGGAE-TION

The bloodlines of Rochester’s reggae scene runs through The Majestics, above. “But we’re not Jamaicans, man,” says the band’s keyboardist, Ron Stackman, left. “We’re not going to sound like Jamaicans no matter what we do. It ain’t happening.” PHOTO BY MATT BURKHARTT

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, WHITE BOY Is Rochester’s lily-white reggae scene a pale imitation, or the real deal? BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER

T

@DANIELJKUSHNER

he reggae scene in Rochester is small — so small in fact that you can count the prominent bands on two hands. There are The Majestics, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Ignite Reggae Band, Noble Vibes, Mosaic Foundation, Personal Blend, The Medicinals, and The Forest Dwellers. With the exception of Ignite, the majority of the bands are white and have no ties to Jamaica — the birthplace of reggae — beyond a 22 CITY JANUARY 2022

DKUSHNER@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

deep love for the music. But the story of reggae in the Rochester area has always been about its musicians coming to terms with white appropriation, reconciling their connection to a sound with their detachment from the culture and circumstances that gave it life. “We respect them and love them,” says The Majestics’s keyboardist and guitarist Ron Stackman of the conventions of reggae. “But we’re not Jamaicans, man. We’re not going to

sound like Jamaicans no matter what we try to do. It ain’t happening.” Stackman knows it ain’t happening perhaps better than anyone. He’s been at it for almost 50 years.

BAHAMA MAMA AND THE BIRTH OF ROCHESTER REGGAE By all accounts, the Rochester reggae scene began in 1973 when Stackman and two other members of The

Majestics — bassist Jim Schwarz and drummer Lou LaVilla — formed Bahama Mama with musician Jim Kraut. Bahama Mama was an all-white band with roots in rock ‘n’ roll and an admiration for Jamaican music. But it quickly established itself as a serious touring act, playing frequently in New York City and throughout the northeastern United States. The band solidified its stature as godfather of the genre in upstate


Autumn Jones of Ignite Reggae. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

For Ronnie “Skill” Gordon, the leader of Ignite Reggae Band, the sound of white reggae musicians and Black and Jamaican reggae musicians reflects the difference between haves and have-nots. “The haves play the music different because they’re not playing it as sufferers,” he says. PHOTO BY MATT BURKHARTT

Legendary reggae musician Lee “Scratch” Perry, left, and Ron Stackman, of The Majestics, during a recording session in Jamaica for the album “Mystic Miracle Star” in 1981. PHOTO PROVIDED

New York during a gig in Newport, Rhode Island, when it crossed paths with the late Mike Cacia, a Rochester native who was championing the emerging reggae scene in Boston. A graduate of The Aquinas Institute of Rochester, Cacia was

a prominent concert promoter whose reggae music label, Heartbeat Records, and “Rockers TV” cable show were instrumental in introducing American audiences to reggae. Cacia also managed the influential Jamaican band Toots and the Maytals — whose 1968 single “Do the Reggay” was thought to be the first popular song to use the word “reggae” — and later arranged for Bahama Mama to play with them. In those days, the relationship between Jamaican reggae artists and bands such as Bahama Mama could be symbiotic. American groups got the opportunity to open for talented reggae musicians who lacked the necessary equipment for touring in the United States, and, in return, doubled as their roadies, supplying gear for each show. By the end of the decade, Bahama Mama had broken up, and in 1981, its core trio of Stackman, Schwarz, and LaVilla formed The Majestics. It

would be a very big year for the band. That year, Cacia introduced them to legendary reggae musician Lee “Scratch” Perry. They rehearsed together in Victor and Perry later enlisted them as his backing band when he opened for The Clash at New York City’s Bond International Casino. He also brought them to Jamaica, where they wrote and recorded the album “Mystic Miracle Star” during a week of overnight sessions. Stackman recalls how Perry holding his harmonica out the car window in Kingston on a drive home from the studio inspired the album’s final track, “Music Breeze.” Although The Majestics’s collaboration with Perry burnished their reggae credentials and they were generally well received by Rochester audiences, they sometimes met with resistance on the road from promoters and critics who doubted the band’s authenticity. Once, while the band was touring

with the Jamaican singer-songwriter Burning Spear, the concert promoters for a stop at Howard University, an historically Black college in Washington, D.C., were surprised to learn The Majestics were white. The band was paid to not play that night. A critic who reviewed a show in Burlington, Vermont, described the band’s set as “thankfully short” and its music as a mix of Journey and Toots and the Maytals. Despite still being booked for shows, including one in December at Three Heads Brewing, where they played to a largely white audience, Stackman isn’t convinced The Majestics ever achieved “authenticity” in the genre. “I really got to say in all honesty, I don’t know if we ever really got there as far as that goes,” Stackman says. “I mean, it’s always been a little twisted with us. It’s never really been authentic. I mean, it’s always been derivative, our style of reggae.”

‘SUFFERERS’ MUSIC’ Reggae emerged in the late 1960s, drawing from Jamaican styles of ska, rocksteady, and mento, a folk music originating in the era of slavery on the island, as well as American R&B and jazz. The sound is closely linked to Rastafari, a religion in the country that promoted pan-Africanism. While Jamaica had gained independence from England in 1962, the arrival of Rastafarian deity and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I in CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

roccitynews.com roccitynews.org CITY 23


The crowd takes in the live music at Rochester’s cultural Caribbean festival, Carifest, 2017. PHOTO PROVIDED

STYLISTIC SEGREGATION

“We didn’t grow up in Jamaica, so it’s kind of hard for us to understand their struggles,” says Joe Kaplan, left, of The Forest Dwellers. PHOTO PROVIDED

Jamaica in 1966 galvanized the Rastafarireggae connection that drove the music into the 1970s. In essence, roots reggae helped articulate Jamaica’s burgeoning cultural, political, and spiritual identity as a decolonized Black nation with strong African roots. In the midst of poverty and violence in the post-independence years, reggae was a means of rising above past and present oppression of Black people at home and abroad. Formative Jamaican reggae artists such as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, and Jimmy Cliff reflected the voice of the people. Their music was about suffering and political strife, but also delivered a message of love and unity for everyone, 24 CITY JANUARY 2022

regardless of race. Ronnie (Skill) Gordon, the vocalist of Ignite Reggae Band out of Rochester, says that message opened up the genre for white musicians. But those musicians, Skill says, play it with a different rhythmic groove than their Black and Jamaican counterparts. To him, the sound reflects the difference between haves and have-nots. “The haves play the music different because they’re not playing it as sufferers,” he says. “They’re playing it as, ‘I like that!’ See what I’m saying? So it makes the music express differently. Whereas the sufferers are playing it as in, ‘We need to make something happen, we need to eat.’”

Skill, one of the few Black musicians on the Rochester reggae scene, says he was inspired to play reggae after seeing Bahama Mama open for Jamaican singer Dennis Brown at The Triangle Theater, which later became Harro East Ballroom. Skill later became a founding member of Confrontation, the first reggae band in Rochester with predominantly Jamaican musicians. His later band, The Outkasters, had a weekly gig at Milestones on East Avenue from 1997 to 2002, and he subsequently formed the group Positive Crisis, with Outcasters keyboardist Jason Muskopf and singer Deannah McKenzie, both of whom are white. His band, The Outcasters, had a weekly gig at Milestones on East Avenue from 1997 to 2002, and he later formed another band, Positive Crisis, with Outcasters keyboardist Jason Muskopf and singer Deannah McKenzie, both of whom are white. Tensions in Positive Crisis surfaced, however, when Skill began to question the commitment of the band’s white members to reggae. His concerns over stylistic incompatibility were interpreted as racially bigoted, he says, and the band broke up. Muskopf and McKenzie went on to form the multiracial band Noble Vibes in 2013, and Skill

created the original lineup of Ignite with Jamaican and American Black musicians. Ignite’s current roster includes Black and white musicians. Both Skill and Muskopf say their differences over Positive Crisis have been put to rest. Still, Muskopf says divisions in the local reggae scene today are due in part to racial differences. “People want to see people who look like them,” he says. Muskopf also thinks the division is exacerbated by some local musicians’ reverence for Bob Marley — whose best-selling reggae album of all time, “Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers,” has been atop Billboard’s reggae chart since its release in 1984 — and their inability or unwillingness to embrace the reggae that came before and after him. “The people that think the reggae stopped (after Marley) — not to pick on them, generally the jam-band guys — will kind of take the reggae and a couple Grateful Dead tunes and kind of mix it, and try to rebrand it as reggae without actually always going to the source,” Muskopf says. That doesn’t mean musicians have to be from Jamaica to play authentic reggae, he says, but it helps to spend time there or learn from someone who knows the music well. In other words, self-awareness is critical. “You have to know why you’re playing it and who you’re playing to, and why certain things are important,” he says.

EMULATION VS. INSPIRATION It’s not as though predominantly white reggae bands in Rochester are unaware of their privilege, however. “We didn’t grow up in Jamaica, so it’s kind of hard for us to understand their struggles,” says Joe Kaplan of Personal Blend and The Forest Dwellers. For his Forest Dwellers bandmate Anthony DeCausemaker, the band’s legitimacy boils down to the authenticity of its members. “We’re not necessarily trying to emulate something,” DeCausemaker says. “We’re being heavily influenced by something, and we’re just trying to pay respects.” Guitarist Ken Luk, a native of Hong Kong and a member of the band Mosaic Foundation, takes an academic approach, drawing from his classical music training to understand reggae.


Jason Muskopf, of the multiracial band Noble Vibes, says divisions in the local reggae scene are due in part to racial differences. “People want to see people who look like them,” he says. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

Confrontation was the first Rochester reggae band consisting predominantly of Jamaican musicians. PHOTO PROVIDED

“I’m not from Jamaica, so I’m trying to mimic,” he says. “I’m trying to learn the songs from the culture, from the literature.” Luk’s bandmate and fellow guitarist Michael Corey, whose mother is Jamaican, prefers to call their band’s music “reggae-inspired” or “international reggae.” The band’s singer, Yao “Cha Cha” Foli grew up in Ghana. “Even as a Jamaican, I feel kind of strange sometimes portraying what we do as really this product of a culture that we’re not really from,” Corey says. “But I feel most comfortable when we kind of lean into our backgrounds. We’re from all these different places around the world.”

CARVING OUT SPACE Corey sees the segregation between white and Black reggae music in Rochester as real. But, he says, the segregation is not exclusive to reggae and has a lot to do with concert venues and which clubs book which acts. “It’s kind of a white maledominated space, in terms of who’s owning these places, who’s booking these places,” he says. “So I think that already has a built-in issue with who wants to go play where, who wants to go see shows where.” Geoff Dale, a co-owner of Three

Mosaic Foundation performs at Three Heads Brewing in 2018. PHOTO AARON WINTERS

Heads Brewing who regularly books reggae bands there, has seen the homogeneity firsthand. He acknowledges that bookers play a role in it, but added that some of the segregation stems from a band’s fan base. “Their fan bases start with their friends, and it sort of grows from there,” he says. “So if you have an all-white band, it tends to make sense that they’re going to have a

predominantly white crowd. It’s an unfortunate reality of the world we live in. Just like if you have a predominantly Black reggae band, you’re going to have a lot more Black people in the crowd.” Dale says creating a more inclusive venue requires vigilance and a concerted effort to book Black musicians. Prior to the pandemic, Three Heads had taken strides toward

more diverse concert programming, with two month-long concert series featuring local Black artists Avis Reese and Zahyia Rolle. “I can do a better job about being aware of what I’m booking, and have to be constantly self-evaluating,” he says. “If you start to put a little bit of the work in, the walls start to come down.” roccitynews.com CITY 25


MUSIC CALENDAR For up-to-date information on protocols, vaccination and mask requirements, and performance cancellations, consult the websites of individual venues.

ACOUSTIC/FOLK

CLASSICAL

Ave. 258-0400. Wed., Jan. 5, 6:30 p.m. JAVA. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 2580400. Fri., Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m. Katie Morey. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Sun., Jan. 16, 6:30 p.m. Mike Powell. Rochester Christian Reformed Church, 2750 Atlantic Ave. Penfield. Sat., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. $5-$20. Sally Louise. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Sat., Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m.

Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. Thu., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 15, 8 p.m. RPO. $30 & up.

Jackson Cavalier. Little Cafe, 240 East

Singer-Songwriters in the Round: Connie Deming, Maria Gillard, Scott Regan.

Cafe Veritas at First Unitarian Church, 220 S Winton Rd. cafeveritas.org. Sat., Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m. $20. Stella Hill. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 2580400. Fri., Jan. 28, 6:30 p.m. Trace Mountains, Comfy, Cusp. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. bugjar.com. Mon., Jan. 24, 9 p.m. $10/$12. Tyler Westcott: Very Hairy January. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. The Wood Brothers. Kodak Center, 200 W. Ridge Rd. kodakcenter.com/events. Tue., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. $26+.

AMERICANA

Benny Bleu. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Wed., Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m. The Brother Brothers, Spooky. Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. waterstreet2020.com. Sat., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. $15.

BLUES

Debbie Kendrick Project. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Sat., Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m.

Jennifer Westwood & The Handsome Devil. Fanatics, 7281 W Main St. Lima.

fanaticspub.com. Tue., Jan. 25, 7 p.m. $10. Katie Hery Band. Fanatics, 7281 W Main St. Lima. fanaticspub.com. Sat., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. $20/$25. Parker Brothers. Fairport Brewing Co., 1044 University Ave. 481-2237. Sat., Jan. 15, 8 p.m. $5. Son House Night. Record Archive, 33 1/3 Rockwood St. 244-1210. Last Thursday of every month, 6-8 p.m. With Genesee Johnny.

Andreas Conducts Beethoven. Kodak

Beat the Blahs Opera Screenings & Talks. Rochester Academy of Medicine,

1441 East Ave. Sundays, 1 p.m. Jan 9: Lucia di Lammermoor; Jan 16: Cosi fan tutte; Jan. 23: L’italiana in Algeri; Jan 30: Manon. $9/$10. Brass Quintet Jukebox, Wilmot Brass. Nazareth College Wilmot Recital Hall, 4245 East Ave. 389-2700. Sun., Jan. 23, 3 p.m. Conservatory Series. George Eastman Museum, 900 East Ave. eastman.org. Ongoing, 3 p.m. Jan 2: Joe Blackburn, Aeolian pipe organ; Jan 16: Remington Quartet; Jan 23: Django Klumpp, guitar. w/ museum admission: $7-$18. Danzmayr Returns. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. Thu., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 29, 8 p.m. RPO with Jiji Kim, guitar. $30 & up.

Eastman Opera Theatre: Postcard from Morocco. Eastman School of Music, esm.

rochester.edu/live. Through Jan. 14. Going for Baroque. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900. Sundays, 1:30 & 3 p.m. W/ museum admission: $6-$15. Jurassic Park in Concert. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. Jan. 2122, 8 p.m. RPO. $30 & up. Serenades. Nazareth College Wilmot Recital Hall, 4245 East Avenue. 3892700. Fri., Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m. Spotlight on Faculty. Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 N Plymouth Ave. Fri., Jan. 28, 7 p.m. Roch cha cha!. $10.

Third Thursdays: Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900. w/museum admission: $6-$15. Tuesday Pipes. Christ Church, 141 East Ave. 454-3878. Tuesdays, 12:10-12:50 p.m. Eastman School organists.

JAZZ

Cool Club & The Lipker Sisters. Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, 20 Fort Hill Ave. Canandaigua. fhpac.org. Sat., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. $15/$25.

Cory Wong & The Wongnotes, Antwaun Stanley, Sierra Hull. Anthology, 336 East

Ave. 484-1964. Sun., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. $25. Craig Snyder & Collective Force. Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, 20 Fort Hill Ave. Canandaigua. fhpac.org. Last Sunday of every month, 1-4 p.m. $10. Mel Henderson & Greg Wachala. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Sun., Jan. 9, 6:30 p.m. Mike Kaupa Trio. Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Rd. jazz901.org/events. Thu., Jan. 13, 7 p.m. Mike Kaupa/Gordon Webster Jazz Duo. Prosecco, 1550 NY 332. Farmington. 924-8000. Thu., Jan. 27, 6 p.m. Monday Night Jazz. UUU Art Collective, 153 State St. 434-2223. 8pm; Late-night sessions: 10:30pm. $5.

JAM BAND

Tropidelic, Personal Blend. Flour City

Station, 170 East Ave. 413-5745. Thu., Jan. 6, 8 p.m. $15/$18.

METAL

Bark At The Moon. Montage Music Hall, 50 Chestnut St. 232-1520. Fri., Jan. 21, 7 p.m. Ozzy tribute. $12/$15. Battery: The Masters Of Metallica. Montage Music Hall, 50 Chestnut St. 232-1520. Sat., Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m. $20/$23.

Dadfest V: Heathens, Goron, Infinium, Habits Have Teeth. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. bugjar.com. Sat., Jan. 29, 9 p.m. $10/$12.

Polybius, ReapR, An Easy Death, Vulcan, Of Desolation. Montage Music

Hall, 50 Chestnut St. 232-1520. Fri., Jan. 28, 7 p.m. $10/$12.

POP/ROCK

The Angle. Abilene, 153 Liberty Pole

Way. 232-3230. Fri., Jan. 14, 5:30 p.m. $5. Bennie & The Rest. Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, 20 Fort Hill Ave. Canandaigua. fhpac.org. Wed., Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m. Elton John tribute. $25/$35. Circa Survive, Tigers Jaw, Soul Glo. Anthology, 336 East Ave. 484-1964. Sat., Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m. $26.

PSST. Out of touch? Out of tune?

See more music reviews and news at roccitynews.com

FILL / MUSIC

26 CITY JANUARY 2022

Cursive, Thursday, Jeremy Enigk, The Appleseed Cast. Anthology, 336 East Ave.

484-1964. Sat., Jan. 22, 8 p.m. $30. Gulfer, Carpool, Del Paxton. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. bugjar.com. Wed., Feb. 2, 9 p.m. $10/$12. I Met a Yeti, KindofKind, MakeItStop. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. bugjar.com. Tue., Jan. 18, 9 p.m. $10/$12. Indre, Tian Puedoma. Photo City Music Hall, 543 Atlantic Ave. 451-0047. Tue., Jan. 25, 7 p.m. $7.

Ivy’s Panic Room, Charit Way, Bad Bloom. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. bugjar.

com. Fri., Jan. 28, 9 p.m. $10/$12. Jerry Falzone & Liars Moon. Lovin’ Cup, 300 Park Point Dr. lovincup.com. Fri., Jan. 28, 7 p.m. Junk Yard Field Trip. Fairport Brewing Co., 1044 University Ave. 481-2237. Fri., Jan. 21, 8:30 p.m. $10.

Kids in the Basement, Checks & Exes, Senor Jefe. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave.

bugjar.com. Sat., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. $10/$12.

Max Muscato, Dangerbyrd, The Space.

Photo City Music Hall, 543 Atlantic Ave. 451-0047. Thu., Jan. 20, 7 p.m. $10. Satisfaction. Montage Music Hall, 50 Chestnut St. 232-1520. Thu., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. Rolling Stones tribute. $25/$28.

Taking Meds, Full Body 2, Spaced, Flicker, Sike Info Tickets. Bug Jar, 219

Monroe Ave. bugjar.com. Fri., Jan. 7, 9 p.m. $10/$12. Tim Reynolds & Tr3. Anthology, 336 East Ave. 484-1964. Sun., Jan. 23, 8 p.m. $20.

Wine Lips, The Low Spirits, The Dirty Pennies. Bug Jar, 219 Monroe

Ave. bugjar.com. Fri., Jan. 21, 9 p.m. $10/$12.

VARIOUS

Live Happy Hour. Wednesdays, 6 p.m. Record Archive, 33 1/3 Rockwood St. Jan. 5: Adrianna Noone; Jan 12: Fornieri Bros.; Jan 19: Ayers Bros.; Jan 26: Amy Montrois; Feb 2: Left-Handed Second Baseman 244-1210.

VOCALS

Sam Nitsch. Little Cafe, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. Sun., Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m.


INSIDE WXXI PUBLIC MEDIA | WXXI-TV PBS AM 1370/FM 107.5 NPR l WXXI CLASSICAL WRUR-FM 88.5 l THE LITTLE THEATRE

Finding Your Roots, Season 8 Tuesdays at 8 p.m., beginning January 4 on WXXI-TV Twenty-one of America’s most fascinating people discover the rich history and tremendous diversity hidden within their families in the eighth season of the critically acclaimed PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 8 features ten new episodes showcasing guests who have excelled in a wide array of fields, each with ancestral stories that touch on the human experience and bring insight into how they became the trailblazers they are today. “I am thrilled to share the deeply moving and surprising stories of the wide range of guests in Season 8 of Finding Your Roots. I am humbled by the passion and the support our series has inspired from every sector of our society. Our guests – and their ancestors – embody what Finding Your Roots and the American Experience are all about: America is a nation of immigrants, willing and unwilling, but at the level of the genome, despite our apparent differences, we are 99% the same,” said host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Local support of the broadcast series is provided by: Finding Your Roots is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media, Kunhardt Films and WETA Washington, D.C. Corporate support is provided by Ancestry and Johnson & Johnson. Support is also provided by Ford Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and by The Inkwell Society and its members Candace King Weir; Lloyd Carney Foundation; Jim and Susan Swartz; Sheryl Sandberg and Tom Bernthal; Anne Wojcicki; Hayward L. Draper; and Nicole Commissiong and Darnell Armstrong. Major support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. comes to RIT Thursday, January 27 at 12 P.M. • Free, but reservations are required As part of Rochester Institute of Technology’s annual celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will deliver the keynote address at RIT’s 40th Expressions of King’s Legacy. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has authored or co-authored 25 books and created 23 documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, African American Lives, Faces of America, Black in Latin America, Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, and Africa’s Great Civilizations. Registration is required and interpreters will be provided. In accordance with RIT Events Safety Guidelines, all attendees 12 years of age and older must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and must wear a mask inside the venue. To register, go to: rit.edu/diversity/2022expressions roccitynews.com CITY 27


Dialogue on Disability The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series • January 24 – January 30, 2022

Connections with Evan Dawson Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on AM 1370, WRUR-FM 88.5 and WXXINews.org Throughout Dialogue on Disability week, Evan Dawson hosts a series of conversations about inclusion and disability rights on Connections. Guests provide expert and personal insights about policies, programs, and community issues related to intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.

Musicians of All Abilities Throughout the week on WXXI Classical WXXI Classical will present music by composers and musicians with differing abilities. Illustration: Ludwig van Beethoven

POV: Not Going Quietly Monday, January 24 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV A rising star in progressive politics and new father, Ady Barkan’s life is upended when he is diagnosed with ALS. After a chance encounter with a powerful senator on an airplane catapults him to fame, Ady and a motley crew of activists ignite a once-in-ageneration movement for universal healthcare. Photo: Ady and Carl Credit: Courtesy of People’s TV 28 CITY JANUARY 2022

Inclusion Desk Forum: The Arts Wednesday, January 26 at 2 p.m. on WXXI News Facebook Live WXXI News Arts & Life reporter Jeff Spevak invites artists with disabilities to talk about their work and the importance of creative expression. During this Facebook Live event, you’ll have the opportunity to ask your questions via chat.


WXXI’s annual initiative with Al Sigl Community of Agencies, Dialogue on Disability, kicks off Monday, January 24 with a week of special programming designed to stimulate dialogue about people of all abilities and promote a more inclusive community. Below are a few programs planned. To learn more about the initiative and for a complete list of all the programming, visit wxxi.org/dod.

Five Ways You Can Support People with Disabilities

Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum: I am Helen Keller Thursday, January 27 at 4:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV Yadina becomes increasingly frustrated as she tries to read a book and keeps stopping since it has words in it she doesn’t know. Xavier knows just what his little sister needs...off to the Secret Museum, where they travel back in time to meet someone truly incredible, who had to overcome a whole lot to learn how to do just about anything: Helen Keller. Illustration: Helen Keller Credit: Christopher Eliopoulos

POV Shorts: Le Frère Friday, January 28 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV Living with an illness that is causing him to lose the use of his body, Kaïs is awoken every morning by a different member of his family. Though paralyzed, he dreams he is the hero of his favorite manga, along with his brothers: Fehd, the bodybuilder and Zaïd, the ninja. Provided by POV

American Masters: Becoming Helen Keller Sunday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV Rediscover the complex life and legacy of author and activist Helen Keller (1880-1968), who was deaf and blind since childhood, exploring how she used her celebrity and wit to advocate for social justice, particularly for women, workers, people with disabilities and people living in poverty. Photo: Helen Keller portrait, 1905. Provided by American Masters

1

Educate yourself. You can start by watching some of the programming planned for this week.

When planning an event or meeting, make sure it is accessible to all.

3

Use your social media channels to amplify people with disabilities.

Be an advocate. If you encounter microaggressions toward a person who is disabled, speak up!

5

2 4

don’t assume people need help. Always ask first and follow their lead.

Dialogue on Disability is made possible through support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. The partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies is supported by the Golisano Foundation and Move to Include, a project designed to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life. roccitynews.com CITY 29


WXXI TV • This Month Stay tuned for an upcoming national screening and discussion of this film. Details will be posted at WXXI.org/event.

Preserving Democracy: Pursuing a More Perfect Union Thursday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV Follow the pursuit of democracy from the Revolutionary War through recurring cycles of civil rights progress and backlash, the 2021 Capitol riot and beyond. Explore the impact of voter rights and a civics curriculum on engaged and informed citizens. Support for Preserving Democracy: Pursuing a More Perfect Union is provided by The Chang K. Park Foundation, The Anderson Family Charitable Fund, Janet Prindle Seidler, Ronnie and Lawrence D. Ackman, The Dorothy Y. Pacella Fund, Josh Weston, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg and Elaine C. Wilson. Special thanks to WXXI’s Community Partner, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County.

The Lesson Monday, January 10 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV At age 14, every child attending school in Germany is brought face to face with the nation’s past, confronting the reality of the Holocaust for the very first time. The Lesson follows four children as they experience Holocaust education in the public school system in Germany.

The Fall Saturdays at 10 p.m., beginning January 8 on WXXI-TV Gillian Anderson returns to TV as Stella Gibson. How do you catch a killer hidden in plain sight? Authorities in Belfast are stumped after a string of murders, and enlist Gibson, an expert in criminal psychology, to crack the case.

All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece, Season 2 Sundays at 9 p.m., beginning January 9 on WXXI-TV James Herriot’s adventures as a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire get a glorious new adaptation in a seven-part series based on his beloved books. Nicholas Ralph continues his role as the iconic vet who became renowned for his inspiring humor, compassion, and love of life. Photo: Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) and James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) Credit: Courtesy of Playground Television (UK) Ltd. 30 CITY JANUARY 2022

American Masters: Ailey Tuesday, January 11 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV Discover the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey whose dances center on the Black American experience with grace, strength and beauty. Featuring previously unheard audio interviews with Ailey, interviews with those close to him, and an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today. Photo: B/W Blues Suite, Alvin Credit: Courtesy of Smithsonian Insitute / AAADT


AM 1370, YOUR NPR NEWS STATION

&

MUSIC PERFECTLY TUNED TO YOUR DAY

Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Address Wednesday, January 5 at (TBA) on AM 1370/FM 107.5 WXXI News brings you live coverage of Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Address from the New York State Assembly Chamber. “I look forward to bringing the 2022 State of the State Address back to the New York State Assembly Chamber for the first time in a decade and to sharing my vision for the year to come with my legislative partners, said Governor Hochul. “Working together, I know New Yorkers can take on any challenge that comes our way.”

IA Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on AM 1370/FM 107.5 Every day, 1A convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. The show takes a deep and unflinching look at America, bringing context and insight to stories unfolding across the country and the world. Seasonal journalist Jenn White (pictured) hosts.

New Year’s Day from Vienna 2022 Saturday, January 1 at 11 a.m. on WXXI Classical This year’s annual New Year’s Day Concert serves as a musical ambassador of Austria to send greetings of hope, friendship, and peace to people all over the world. Maestro Daniel Barenboim (pictured) conducts the Vienna Philharmonic and Lisa Mullins hosts.

Tango with Cally Wednesdays at 10 p.m., starting January 5 on WXXI Classical Hosted by St. Louis Symphony musician Cally Banham, this new series shares tango recordings from the late 1920s to today, along with tango recordings with stories about the history and culture of tango music and dance. roccitynews.com CITY 31


7 P.M. THURSDAY, JANUARY 13

BEYOND THE FOLD JOURNALISM ON SCREEN

TALKBACK: Print journalism grapples with the internet age. GUEST: Monroe County Legislator and former journalist Rachel Barnhart

GET TICKETS & LEARN MORE AT ROCCITYNEWS.COM

Presenting Sponsor: Andy Nahas

“Beyond the Fold: Journalism on Screen”—a six-part film series collaboration between CITY and The Little Theatre— looks at where journalism has been, where it is, and where it’s going through the lens of some of the most memorable movies about the craft.

By looking into the lives and daily tasks of three writers at the the New York Times, this documentary explores the ways that the Internet has changed print media. The journalists include up-and-comer Brian Stelter, established yet restless reporter Tim Arango and David Carr, an outspoken warhorse with a volatile temper. Covering 12 months of life at the Times, the film reveals the difficulties in maintaining the ways of traditional journalism in a changing news environment.

6:30 p.m. Monday, January 24 Indie Lens Pop-up: missing in brooks county FREE event at The Little (240 East Ave.) As the national debate over immigration policy simmers to a boil, its practical consequences are felt every day in Brooks County, Texas. Join WXXI for the first screening of a new season of Indie Lens Pop-Up, a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. The event is free and open to the public. Missing in Brooks County follows the journey of two families who have come to Brooks County to look for their loved ones who went missing. As they search for answers, they encounter a haunted land where death is a part of everyday life. A gripping documentary mystery, it is also a deeply humane portrait of the law enforcement agents, human rights workers, and activists who come face to face with the life and death consequences of a broken system.

32 CITY JANUARY 2022

thelittle . org


VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS CALENDAR For up-to-date information on protocols, vaccination and mask requirements, and performance cancellations, consult the websites of individual venues.

[ OPENING ] ART EXHIBITS Flower City Arts Center, 713 Monroe Ave. Ageless Foundations: Rocks. Jan. 7-31. flowercityarts.org.

George Eastman Museum, 900 East Ave. eastman.org. James Tylor: From an Untouched Landscape (Jan 15-Jun 5) Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On (to Jun 19). Ongoing. $7-$18.

Hartnett Gallery, UR Wilson Commons, River Campus. Sandra Brewster: Precious Sense. Jan. 13-Feb. 17. Jan 13, 5pm: Artist talk & reception at Rush Rhees Library, Humanities Ctr D. 275-4188.

Image City Photography Gallery, 722 University Ave. The Magic of Light 2022. Jan. 2-23. 271-2540.

International Art Acquisitions, 3300 Monroe Ave. Beatriz Castaned: Monica. Jan. 1-31. 264-1440.

Main Street Arts, 20 W Main St. Clifton Springs. Making Space. Jan. 8-Feb. 17. Reception Jan 8, 3-6pm. mainstreetartscs.org.

Mercer Gallery, MCC, 1000 E. Henrietta Rd. Nate Hodge: Anarchitecture Studies. Jan. 20-Feb. 17. Reception Jan 20, 5-7pm. 292-2021.

Nazareth College Arts Center Gallery, 4245 East Ave. Print Club of Rochester:

Ontario County Historical Society Museum, 55 N. Main St., Canandaigua.

Mysteries & Mayhem: A Curator’s Tour of “Renaissance Impressions”. Thu.,

Our Family Companions: The History of Pets in Ontario County. Through April 30. ocarts.org.

Feb. 3, 6 p.m. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900 $15. Open Studios. Second Saturday of every month, 6-9 p.m. Anderson Arts Building, 250 N. Goodman St. andersonalleyartists.com. Ye Olde Friday Faire. Fri., Jan. 14, 5-9 p.m. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900 $15.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave. 31st Annual Members Exhibition. Through Jan. 15. $2. 4612222.

Rundel Memorial Building, 2nd Floor, Central Library, 115 South Ave. Open Wounds: The 50-Year Legacy of the Attica Prison Uprising. Through Jan. 28. 428-8370. UUU Art Collective, 153 State St. Turn Left Here. Through Jan. 10. 434-2223.

Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St. vsw.org. Project Space Artist Residency. Jan 5-Feb 6: Maya Ciarrocchi.

Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 at FLCC, 3325 Marvin Sands Dr. Canandaigua. Bradley Butler: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times. Through Jan. 20. 785-1369.

Wood Library, 134 North Main St. Canandaigua. Finger Lakes Photography Guild: Perspective. Through Jan. 7. 394-1381.

FILM

91st Annual Members Exhibition. Jan. 28-March 6. Reception Jan 28, 5-7pm. www2.naz.edu/events.

Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. Beyond the Fold: Journalism on Screen. Jan. 9, 7 p.m. “Page One”(2011). $7-$12. thelittle.org/beyond-the-fold.

Nazareth College Colacino Gallery, 4245 East Ave. Kelly Hanning & Talia

CALL FOR ARTISTS

Ryan: Panic and Projection. Jan. 28-March 6. www2.naz.edu/arts-center.

Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery, 71 S Main St. Canandaigua. Emerging Artists & Their Mentors. Jan. 22-March 1. Reception Jan 22, 12-4pm. prrgallery.com.

Studio 402, 250 N Goodman St. Lost & Found: Self-Portraits 2022. Jan. 7-Feb. 12.

[ CONTINUING ] ART EXHIBITS Anthony Mascioli Gallery, Central Library, 115 South Ave. Punjab: Land of Five Rivers. Through March 5.

ArtSpace36, 36 Main St. Canandaigua. Student Portfolio Show. Through Feb. 5. flcc.edu/artspace36. Go Art!, 201 E Main St. Batavia. goart. org. Member Holiday Exhibit. Through Jan. 29. Wednesday-Saturday.goart. org.

Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900. Renaissance Impressions: 16th-Century Master Prints from the Kirk Edward Long Collection (to Feb 6) | Tony Cokes: Market of the Senses (to Jan 9) | SALUT (to Aug) | Kota Ezawa: National Anthem (to Aug). $6-$15.

AIDS Education Poster Design Competition. Through Jan. 30. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900 . Red. Through Jan. 30. Image City Photography Gallery, 722 University Ave. $30. 271-2540. We Want Your Comics & Zines!. Through April 30, noon. Central Library, 115 South Ave. Central Library is seeking self-published zines for the Library’s Zine Collection in the Arts Division 428-8380.

ART EVENTS Backyards Sale. Second Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Java’s Roasting Room, 65 Pennsylvania Ave theyardsrochester.com. The Days The Artists Spoke. Sat., Jan. 8, 12-5 p.m. Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave. 461-2222. First Friday. First Friday of every month, 5-9 p.m. Various, Rochester firstfridayrochester.org. Handcrafted Hungerford. Second Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Hungerford, 1115 E Main St. hungerfordevents.com. MAGsocial: Renaissance Sundays. Sun., Jan. 9, 6 p.m. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 276-8900 w/ museum admission: $6-$15.

COMEDY April Macie. Thu., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 21-22, 7 & 9 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $9-$17. 426-6339. The Calamari Sisters: Divas for Dinner. Sat., Jan. 29, 4:30 & 8 p.m. JCC of Greater Rochester, 1200 Edgewood Ave $55,$65. 421-2000. Dan Soder. Thu., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 4-5, 7 & 9 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $25. 426-6339. David Koechner. Thu., Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 7-8, 7 & 9 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $25. 426-6339. Drag Me to Brunch. Sun., Jan. 16, 10:30 a.m. Strathallan, 550 East Ave Aggy Dune, Darienne Lake, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Ambrosia Salad $50. Jay Mohr. Thu., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 14-15, 7 & 9 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $15-$25. 426-6339. Jessica Kirson. Thu., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 28-29, 7 & 9 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $12-$20. 426-6339. Joel James. Sat., Feb. 5, 8 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $20. 426-6339. Matt Griffo. Fri., Jan. 21, 8 p.m. Comedy @ the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd $20. 426-6339. Polite Ink: Cloud Nine. Sat., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave 9th anniversary show $8-$15. muccc.org.

THEATER Airness. Tuesdays-Sundays Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Blvd Jan 11-Feb 6 $25+. gevatheatre.org. Charlotte’s Web. Fridays, 7 p.m., Saturdays, 3 & 7 p.m. and Sundays, 3 p.m OFC Creations Theater Center, 3450 Winton Pl Jan 28-Feb 6 $10/$20. ofccreations.com. Constellations. Tuesdays-Sundays Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Blvd Feb 2-20 $35+. gevatheatre.org. Dasha Kelly Hamilton: Makin’ Cake. Fri., Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m. Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, 20 Fort Hill Ave . Canandaigua $25/$35. fhpac.org. Hitmakers: Welcome to the 70s. Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays JCC Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Ave. Feb 5-20. Live captioned Feb 20, 2pm $30-$35. 461-2000. Jerry’s Girls. Sat., Jan. 1, 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 2, 2 p.m. Blackfriars Theatre, 795 E. Main St $20+. 454-1260. La Calisto. Sat., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 30, 2 p.m., Thu., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. Eastman Opera Theatre Scene Shop, 1344 University Ave., Suite 5000 $20. Pippin. Fri., Jan. 7, 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 8, 2 & 7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 9, 2 p.m. OFC Creations Theater Center, 3450 Winton Pl $15. ofccreations.com. Please Continue. Fridays, 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave Feb 4-12. Out of Pocket Inc $13-$20. muccc.org. Steel Magnolias. Fri., Jan. 14, 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 15, 2 & 7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 16, 2 p.m. OFC Creations Theater Center, 3450 Winton Pl $12. ofccreations.com. Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Thursdays-Sundays Blackfriars Theatre, 795 E. Main St Jan 28-Feb 13 $30.50-$36.50. 454-1260.

DANCE EVENTS Dancing with the Stars Live. Sun., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m. Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. $52.50+. rbtl.org.

State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine: Cinderella. Thu., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. $38$68. rbtl.org. STOMP. Fri., Jan. 14, 8 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 15, 2 & 8 p.m. Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. $35-$65. rbtl.org.

Tsooboi Ensemble: Taste of African Rhythms & Culture. Sun., Jan. 30, 1 p.m. MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave $10/$20. muccc.org.

roccitynews.com CITY 33


ARTS

Mike Dellaria, AKA Dellarious. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE 34 CITY JANUARY 2022


REVEL IN THE DETAILS

YOU MUST BE DELLARIOUS Homegrown street artist Mike Dellaria gets a room of his own. BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

@RSRAFFERTY

BECCA@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

A

mid a row of upscale restaurants and coffee shops at the Rochester Public Market is a squat building painted vibrant green and adorned with an illustration of a bright pink brain with a giant blue eyeball. The all-seeing cranial cyclops is a trademark of Rochester street art darling Mike Dellaria, best known for his wheatpaste art of cultural icons and positive messages around town under the name Dellarious, and the building belongs to him. Dellaria bought the 2,500-squarefoot place in the fall and has since been converting it from a restaurant to a retail shop up front and a studio in the back. Visitors to the store, which opened in November, have an equal chance of finding Dellaria manning the register or busting up the commercial kitchen to make room for his workspace. “It’s an ongoing task,” he says. The shop sells art and adornments beaming with hometown pride that many Rochester area residents will find familiar, in part because they have been sold for years at Wegmans and because Dellaria has pasted them to utility boxes and walls of expressway underpasses. There is the Can of Worms soup can. The stylized version of the Kodak Tower. The multi-colored Rochester Police Department booking photo of David Bowie. Stickers are a buck. Prints are $15. “I like that it’s that accessible,” he says of his prices. “That way there’s something for everybody. And as opposed to — not to knock the gallery-setting type thing, but that’s not accessible to everybody. That’s not something that everybody can take part in or feel a part of.” Images of various Rochester icons that have been given the Dellarious

Mike Dellaria, who creates art as Dellarious, recently bought a building in the Rochester Public Market, which he is turning into a retail shop and art studio. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

touch — Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Rod Serling — share storefront windows with a neon “OPEN” sign and a print that reads, “EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE.” Dellaria, 33, hasn’t had a proper studio in a couple of years, after he stopped renting a space off Park Avenue that he had for a decade. Since then he has outsourced the screen printing of his designs onto posters, stickers, T-shirts, and tote bags to local companies. But he says he’s looking forward to getting back to work. Once the studio is finished, he says, he’ll turn his focus to adding a gallery space, where he plans to showcase new work that he says will

be different from what people have seen at the supermarket and Parkleigh and The Record Archive and other retailers that carry his art. Dellaria’s success as an artist and businessman took an unconventional path. The Penfield native attended McQuaid Jesuit High School, but didn’t graduate. He later earned his GED and tried college, but dropped out of there as well. While working a series of what Dellaria describes as “non-career-path jobs,” around 2012 he developed an interest in street art, and says he loved the way that “a short little message or portrait could reach a lot of people.” “It’s huge to me that I might be

able to inspire somebody else like me,” he says. “School didn’t work out. But you’re always told to follow society’s rigid plan. I don’t think there’s one set path that everyone has to follow, or should follow.” Dellaria was drawn to the ubiquitous art of Shepard Fairey, known for his screen prints and stickers of a stylized face of the wrestler Andre the Giant. He rented a small studio, watched YouTube videos to learn how to screen print, and found his footing through trial and error. “I had no clue what I was doing, and I would go out and wheatpaste CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

roccitynews.com roccitynews.org CITY 35


Dellaria works alongside his dog Indy. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

a few things or put up stickers or whatnot, and it just kept getting a good response,” he says. “And I finally figured out what I was doing.” 36 CITY JANUARY 2022

Dellaria is humble about his growth as an artist. But his covert work putting up wheatpastes of the likenesses of icons, including Malala


Yousafzai, George Eastman, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, earned him a rabid social media following. His work got wider attention in 2016 when local media reported on his wheatpaste of a smiling Mr. Rogers on an Interstate 490 overpass. The cardigan-clad friend to children everywhere held a sign that read “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” in response to growing political and social turmoil. “I try to keep it to positive messages and people that inspire me, and they hopefully can inspire other people as well,” Dellaria says. Dellaria is like other street and graffiti artists in that he installs his work without permission. Unlike their work, however, his seems to enjoy an almost universally positive reception, with most of the criticism reserved for vandals who deface his work. “That’ll be ruined by some anonymous degenerate,” wrote one commenter on a WHEC-TV (Channel 10) Facebook post about the Mr. Rogers piece. As vandalism goes, wheatpastes are fairly low stakes. It only takes a

minute or two for a wheatpaste to be sprayed from a surface, so there’s no lasting property damage. In the past six years, Dellaria has periodically used one particular utility box on East Avenue across from Portsmouth Terrace as a drop point for free artwork, posting about 15 packaged prints and 100 packaged stickers for anyone to take. Each time, he tips off his more than 7,000 Instagram followers to the coming drop. The freebies are an act of generosity, but they also aid Dellaria’s commercial success by creating a feeling of anticipation and community enthusiasm around his art. His work has garnered some celebrity attention. When in town for the Jazz Festival, actor and musician Jeff Goldbloom signed a Dellarious print of his image. In 2018 Kodak commissioned Dellarious to do a cover illustration for Kodachrome magazine featuring director Spike Lee, and also put up wheatpastes of the image on an old Kodak factory building. Word got to Lee and he reached out to Dellaria, requesting prints of the portrait. Dellaria was commissioned twice by the Memorial Art Gallery to create street art to advertise exhibitions. In 2019 Rachael Brown, the MAG’s director of marketing and engagement, approached Dellaria about creating Art Nouveau-style posters to wheatpaste around town advertising that year’s holiday show, which was a showcase of work by the father of Art Nouveau, Alphonse Mucha. More recently, Dellaria created the posters that advertised the museum’s “Season of Warhol,” a retrospective exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work. “We really loved the idea of wheatpaste, how you’re putting playbills or things on walls and how they naturally deteriorate over time, it’s just part of the art process,” Brown said. “He makes the community smile, and brings local focus to global issues.” For now, though, Dellaria’s focus is tossing everything from his building that’s clogging up what will be his studio space, including the kitchen sink, so he can get to work. “Basically I’ll just try to keep doing things that bring people together,” Dellaria says. “And hopefully bring a smile to their faces.”

roccitynews.com CITY 37


NEW MUSIC REVIEWS

THE ONLY ANSWER TO HOMELESSNESS IS A HOME

PCHO provides a robust continuum of services that include community-wide homeless outreach, permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing, Health Home care management, Peer advocacy and so much more.

SCAN TO LEARN MORE OR VISIT PCHO.ORG

38 CITY JANUARY 2022

testament to the power of the “slow build,” featuring songs that begin with simple foundations and emerge as something profound, like a flower bursting from the ground after a spring thaw. As a whole, the album may be a sign that Conheady’s influence on the local singer-songwriter scene has only just begun to blossom. — BY EMMARAE STEIN

“HELLO, GOODBYE, IN BETWEEN” BY GRACE CONHEADY In 2019, local singer-songwriter Grace Conheady released her first solo EP, “Things You Misheard.” The album was characterized by intimate, acoustic tracks that provided small snapshots into Conheady’s life. On Jan. 7, she releases her debut full-length album, “Hello, Goodbye, in Between” — a seven-track collection that showcases Conheady’s talents as a writer, producer, and engineer. As lead singer of The Recall — a jazz-pop group formed by classmates at the University of Rochester — Conheady performed with astounding range and profound vocal depth. And as you might expect, her singing voice drives “Hello, Goodbye, in Between.” The album begins with “Blue Moon,” an ambient track filled with airy electric guitar parts and an ascending bass line that sounds reminiscent of some of Modest Mouse’s more contemplative songs. A small chorus of guitar lines builds and Conheady’s vocals enter the mix, as she repeatedly sings out the line, “Oh, meet me soon.” Distant background vocals pepper the song’s backdrop, further highlighting the beauty of her voice. The second track, “I Used to Know You,” begins with a stripped-down arrangement featuring acoustic guitar, allowing Conheady’s first-person storytelling to shine: Asked you to slow down ’cause dinner is ready soon / But your hunger is too big for this meal / So you’ll swallow the rest of the sky / ’Til there’s nothing left but your lullaby. As the song progresses and layered electric guitars and organ sounds swell, a well-placed group of horns comes in, adding a sense of catharsis, akin to indie rock groups such as Band of Horses. “Tiniest Bird” features soft acoustic guitar parts with breathy, emotional vocals. While Conheady shares commonalities with vocalists like Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers, she carries a weight and depth that is entirely her own, as she sings: God I was bluffing about a feeling that I had stomached long before / Tiniest bird, I’m not sure what to say — that the right time and the right you are infinities away. “Mexico” is the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly eight minutes. Natural sounds of birds and bugs chirping can be heard alongside sparse lines on the piano. On this final track, the personality in Conheady’s voice bursts through clearly, unobscured by vocal modulations or reverb. “Hello, Goodbye, in Between” is a

“NO REWIND” EP BY FLYING OBJECT Rochester musician Matt O’Brian — best known as a founding member of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and later the frontman and drummer of Thunder Body — is back with a new project. In March 2020, O’Brian put a band called Flying Object together for several gigs at Abilene Bar & Lounge. That series of shows was cut short as the pandemic took hold, but O’Brian has hit the “restart” button with “No Rewind,” his debut EP under the Flying Object moniker. The five original songs on “No Rewind” depart from much of the overt roots-reggae influence and party vibes in Thunder Body’s music in favor of stream-of-consciousness introspection set to free-flowing pop structures. But O’Brian’s musical charm and soulinfused baritone vocals are still intact. O’Brian plays nearly all of the instruments on “No Rewind,” with the exception of Sam Snyder’s contribution as bass player on three of the tracks. Snyder also engineered, mixed, and mastered the EP — creating a consistency of sound that makes for a cohesive set, rather than just a handful of well-crafted, lo-fi demos. Songs such as “Heads or Tails” — a self-aware look at the often-adverse relationship between originality and commercial success — can be jaunty. But they can also be mercurial, as with the key changes in “Internet Wind,” which warns against social media. Throughout the EP, O’Brian delves into the autobiographical, coming across as older, wiser, and a little less carefree. While most of the songs carry an upbeat optimism, sadness takes over the closing track, “Tiny Bits of Paper.” There, O’Brian wistfully reflects on a breakup as fuzzy tropical vibes in the guitar and bass suggest a past paradise: This will probably be the last song on the first record but we’ll see how it goes/ We forgot to follow the signals and we wound up toe to toe, going blow for


blow/ I figured this song would become some kind of melancholy ending/ Though I hoped that we were mistaken when we thought it was breaking, that it was only bending. — BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER

“A PORTAL INSIDE” BY AGAAZE

“THIS QUIET WORLD” BY MOVING MOUNTAINS Moving Mountains makes the kind of progressive pop and jam-band rock that gives you pause for introspection as much as it makes you want to shake your hips. The Rochester quartet released its debut CD, “This Quiet World,” on Nov. 27. Moving Mountains consists of singer and guitarist Miles McHugh, Jeff “Woody” Woodruff on drums and percussion, bassist Chris Meeker, and keyboardist and accordion player Lou Chitty. It’s a diverse bunch of performers with fine chops. All of the members have academic backgrounds in music, except for McHugh, who is the principal songwriter. He and Chitty also play in Into the Now, a classic rock tribute band primarily devoted to the music of the Grateful Dead. The recording sessions behind “This Quiet World” took it to locations such as The Green Room, and studios at Finger Lakes Community College, as well as the Eastman School of Music. The unrushed process allowed Moving Mountains to focus on finding the best versions of its songs, permitting the material to shine. “This Quiet World” rolls out with “Funk Chunk,” a tune that could easily separate a butt from a barstool. It begins with a straightforward guitar riff from McHugh, before quickly kicking into a more complex arrangement with vocal harmonies and, eventually, some impressive keyboard pyrotechnics by Chitty. The tunes that follow do a good job of creating various stylistic moods. “Breathe” sways with old-school reggae vibes, “Amnesiac’’ utilizes Latin rhythms, and “Stay Away” features the sort of folk-meets-worldbeat groove that has launched thousands of summer festivals. Moving Mountains has fun delving into the instrumental side of things with more depth than most bands. That approach keeps things fresh and makes “This Quiet World” an album you’ll come back to for additional listens. — BY ROMAN DIVEZUR

Rochester native Agathya Visveswaran studied classical and jazz guitar at Hochstein School of Music and Eastman Community Music School, respectively, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from his new album “A Portal Inside.” Creating pop soundscapes under the moniker Agaaze, Visveswaran has transformed himself into an electronic maestro. Another unlikely reality is that “A Portal Inside” harkens back to the pop music of the ’90s — an era in which the 19-year-old Visveswaran hadn’t yet been born. The seven-track album is a reverbladen dance soundtrack to an imagined underground Club Kids party. Each track is consistently mid-tempo and vaguely psychedelic. The lyrics are shrouded in a smoky haze, but words take a backseat to the vibe at all times. It’s as if EDM took a chill pill. The result is an odd yet satisfying blend of rave music and trip-hop. Released in late December, “A Portal Inside” begins with “Day Dreaming,” a song propelled by chunky funk synthesizer and programmed hand claps that sound cheesy on paper but cook on the sound system. Of all the songs, “Tidal Waves” is the fastest and most energy-packed. Despite the shimmer of swirling keyboards and the insistently buzzing bass line, it’s Visveswaran’s smooth-jazz guitar solo that proves to be the tastiest. By the time the album closes with “Enter the Portal,” the vocal melodies have worn thin and repetitious, but the pop arrangements lose none of their luster. A simple four-chord progression provides compositional stability as the rhythm shifts underneath with mercurial syncopations that recall both ’80s dance aesthetics and 2000’s hip-hop. Agaaze’s “A Portal Inside” is a precocious debut album. Visveswaran has a natural affinity for thoughtful pop textures that suggest a sophisticated sound design hiding beneath the electronic sheen. I’m already eager to hear what he produces next. — BY DANIEL J. KUSHNER

roccitynews.com CITY 39


LIFE

Michelle Daniels has spent the better part of 15 years bringing attention to the legacy of Frederick Douglass and his family. 40 CITY JANUARY 2022

PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH


PUBLIC LIVES BY JEREMY MOULE

@JFMOULE

JMOULE@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

MICHELLE DANIELS IS ALL IN ON DOUGLASS

M

ichelle Daniels focused intently on the sprawling mural in front of her, which depicted vignettes from the life of Frederick Douglass and his family. When she reached the center panel, where Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass sat side by side, she stopped. Next to Douglass, she pointed out, were writings by Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, as well as an edition of “Lady of the Lake,” the poem by Sir Walter Scott from which Douglass chose his name as a free man. When Douglass’s home on South Avenue was destroyed in a suspected arson, his books were saved at the expense of his personal papers. On Murray Douglass’s lap rests a ledger. Daniels explained that she ran the house and could read, countering a common belief that she was illiterate. “I think that there’s such a patriotic, historical story that’s not being told,” Daniels said of the Douglasses and their descendants. “We’re sitting here with royalty and we’re not sharing that.” For the better part of 15 years, Daniels has been on a mission to advance the legacy of Frederick Douglass, which was one reason she was so intimately familiar with the scenes in front of her. Another was that Daniels, who is retired, and her husband, Eric, who works in financial services, commissioned the piece. The mural, 29 feet long and 4 feet high by artist Michael Rosato of Cambridge, Maryland, cost the Danielses $21,000 and was unveiled last month at the public flight observation deck of the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport — a place accessible to arriving visitors and the general public alike. While no public money went into the commission, several county and city officials attended the unveiling. “I paid for it but it’s not mine, I’m giving it to the family,” Daniels said, adding that she’s in the process of legally transferring ownership of the painting to a Douglass ancestor. Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass were unyielding champions of education. History has it that

A mural honoring Frederick Douglass is unveiled at the Rochester airport that bears his name. The piece includes a scene of his children working at his newspaper, The North Star. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

Frederick Douglass remarked, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” To embrace that spirit of learning, computerized interpretive displays will be put in near the mural so people can find out more about the scenes it depicts. Daniels also said she’s been contacted by community leaders interested in bringing busloads of students in to see the mural and staging reenactments in full costume to discuss the different scenes in the painting. She wants children to know that “because someone says you can only do something, that’s not your limit,” Daniels said. “You can do amazing things as long as you plan and prepare for it. Don’t take no for an answer if it’s something you really want.” Douglass, she said, modeled that advice.

AN EDUCATION As Daniels navigated her way around the mural, which flowed smoothly and

clearly from scene to scene, she circled back to the center. Positioned between Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass was a small portrait of a rather generic looking white man. Daniels’ eyes brightened and she explained that the man was Gerrit Smith, a philanthropist, abolitionist, and suffragist who was first cousin to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. He was close to Douglass and provided substantial financial support for his newspaper, The North Star. Daniels delighted in talking about the mural and, like Douglass himself, wasn’t afraid of injecting humor into her remarks. At one point she explained that when someone insulted Douglass, he had a way of insulting them back without the original offender realizing it. She was wearing a mask but her eyes betrayed her grin underneath. For Ken Morris, the great-greatgreat-grandson of Frederick Douglass and co-founder and president of the Rochester-based Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, praised the mural for

its scope. Since the organization was founded in 2007, part of its mission has been to “lift up the life and teach about the legacy of Frederick Douglass,” but also that of Anna Murray Douglass, to whom he was married for 44 years. Without Anna Murray Douglass there would be no Frederick Douglass, particularly because she provided him with support as he escaped slavery, Morris added. “It’s so meaningful to the family and we really appreciate what Michelle and Eric Daniels did to to fund a mural and also to tell not only the story of the Douglass family in Rochester, but some of the other key players,” including abolitionists and suffragists with whom Douglass worked and sometimes quarreled. The day after the mural unveiling, Morris, who lives in southern California, was standing in front of the painting and soaking in its elements CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

roccitynews.com roccitynews.org CITY 41


Kenneth Morris, left, a descendant of Frederick Douglass, addresses the audience at the unveiling of the mural honoring Douglass. PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

as he waited for his flight to New York City. He was the only one in the observation deck until a father and son walked in and made their way to the mural. Morris remained silent. The son asked the father who was in the painting and the father explained it was Frederick Douglass and proceeded to tell the child a little about the writer, orator, and abolitionist. “It’s probably something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life and I’ll talk about every opportunity I have,” Morris said. “That’s the power of art and being able to connect with, in particular, young people.” Daniels’ own in-depth education about Douglass, his life, and his family began in 2007, when she worked as a parent liaison at School No. 12, now known as Anna Murray Douglass Academy. The school was built on the site of the former Douglass family home on South Avenue. “I parked my car in front of a marker and was shocked to find out that Frederick Douglass actually lived at that site with his family and just recently before then, I found out that Frederick Douglass was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery,” Daniels recalled. “And it’s pretty embarrassing because in middle school, I went to Frederick Douglass Middle School.” Soon after, she cracked open a copy of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” and was drawn into the story of self-made man who succeeded in a world that set him 42 CITY JANUARY 2022

up to fail. Daniels explained that she came from a background where she faced a lot of adversity and admired Douglass’s mindset. “I’ve realized how many challenges he had and he overcame every last one,” Daniels said. “So I felt like, okay, I have no true excuses. If I really want to do something, I want to get something done, I go ahead and do it.” “I call it the Frederick Douglass spirit,” she added. As Douglass’s birthday and the anniversary of his death approached that February, Daniels asked the principal at School No. 12 if anything would be done that month to commemorate either Douglass Black History Month. The answer to both questions was no. That’s when Daniels asked the principal if she could form a Frederick Douglass club at the school. The answer was yes. Twenty-eight students joined the club the first year and stayed with it. For the next few years, Daniels and her husband chartered buses and paid for hotel stays for the youth so they could visit different cities where Douglass made his mark. “Kids are so hungry for history,” said Daniels, who led the club until 2013 when she stopped due to health reasons. “They want to learn so bad, but you’ve got to be able to make it relatable to them.” Daniels continues to visit historical sites related to Douglass, including ones not open to the general public. While there she soaks in all the knowledge she

can, which she then shares back home. In 2018, Daniels donated the cost of 2,800 copies of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” to the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Morris and the organization had set a goal to distribute one million copies of the book. The Danielses also held the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives founding event at their home, where they have one of the life-sized Frederick Douglass statues that dot the city in her backyard. Daniels paid for three of the statutes and one stands in front of Anna Murray Douglass Academy, the other at Alexander and Tracy streets. The latter, which stood at the site of the Seward School, where the Douglass children attended, was damaged by vandals at one point but has since been replaced.

THE MURAL The new Douglass painting has its origins in a Harriet Tubman mural painted by Rosato on the side of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center in Cambridge, Maryland, where Tubman was born. Daniels had seen the mural and appreciated Rosato’s work. That led her to commission him to paint a mural in Easton, Maryland near The Hill, a historic Black community. Douglass was born in Talbot County, near Easton. That mural was unveiled Sept. 4 and the same day Daniels wrote Rosato the check for him to paint the Douglass mural at the airport in Rochester. He completed the painting in 24

days, working as much as 14 to 15 hours each day, Daniels said. There are scores of figures in the painting, some well-known, such as the abolitionist John Brown and President Abraham Lincoln, others more obscure. Rosato drove the mural’s painted panels to Rochester and installed them in the public observation area at the airport. Daniels came up with the mural’s concept and she worked closely with Rosato to bring it to fruition. But in doing so she leaned heavily on Douglass ancestors and experts, some of whom she had met through the Frederick Douglass Club she founded, to make sure the mural was as historically accurate as possible. She gave particular credit to David Anderson, a professor and respected Douglass historian who lives in Rochester. He was a valuable resource in the mural’s development, Daniels said. Ultimately, Daniels hopes this mural will help more people learn about Frederick Douglass. His influence and reach have been global, but for a long time the people in the city he called home for 25 years didn’t learn much about him. That’s starting to change, which Daniels finds encouraging and necessary. “There’s so much to learn about Frederick Douglass because Rochester did a lot to make sure that he was omitted from the history, local history,” Daniels said, adding that part of the mural’s impetus was “going back to get our history so we can bring it back to our kids.”


ABOUT TOWN

Volunteers needed: E-cigarette users

For up-to-date information on protocols, vaccination and mask requirements, and performance cancellations, consult the websites of individual venues.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance

MLK Commemorative Address: Rheeda Walker. Fri., Jan. 21, 6 p.m. UR

Douglass Commons, Feldman Ballroom, 500 Wilson Blvd Registration required 276-5757. MLK Day Dance Workshops. Mon., Jan. 17, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Garth Fagan Dance, 50 Chestnut St Registration required 208-1255.

Festivals

Winter Fest. Tue., Jan. 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Village of Sodus Point, Bay St Sodus Point sodusrotary.org. Winterfest 2022. Sun., Jan. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mendon Ponds Park, Route 65 . Mendon monroecounty.gov/parkswinterfest.

Lectures

Can’t Let Go: A Journey from the Heart of Africa to America. Thu., Jan. 27,

6:30 p.m. Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave. Dr. Raphael Tshibangu 784-5310.

An Evening with Lon Myers: Humorist & Self-Taught Naturalist. Fri., Jan. 14,

7:30 p.m. Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, 301 Railroad Mills Rd Victor. Ewing Forum: Adam Frank. Sun., Jan. 30, 4 p.m. Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, 20 Fort Hill Ave . Canandaigua The 10,000 Light-year View: Climate Change, the Human Future, & the Possibilities of Extraterrestrial Life. $10/$25. fhpac.org. Laura Warren Hill. Thu., Jan. 27, 4 p.m. Max Lowenthal Hall, Room 3215, Lomb Memorial Dr. Author of “Strike the Hammer: Rochester’s Black Freedom Struggle, 1940-1970” rit.edu.

Edgerton Model Railroad Open House.

Last Saturday of every month, 11 a.m.-2 p.m Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St 428-6769. Game On!. Jan. 8-9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Strong National Museum of Play, 1 Manhattan Sq. (museumofplay.org) w/ museum admission ($18/$23).

Earn $100 by participating in our study!

Pirates! The Quest for Blackbeard’s Treasure. Sun., Jan. 23, 2 p.m.

Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 N Plymouth Ave. RPO $10/$20. Red Hiding Hood. Sat., Jan. 29, 1 p.m. JCC Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Ave. Missoula Children’s Theatre $12. 4612000. The Sharing Stone. Jan. 8-9, 2 p.m. and Jan. 15-16, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. JCC Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Ave. $18/$20. 461-2000.

Call our Research Coordinator at 585-224-6308 if you are interested or if you have questions. Thank you!

Recreation

Full Moon Ski. Sat., Jan. 15, 5-7:30

p.m. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Rd. rmsc.org. Nature Sundays. Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Genesee Country Nature Center, 1410 Flint Hill Rd Mumford gcv.org. Weekend Wild Walks. Saturdays, Sundays, 10:30 a.m Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Rd. $4. rmsc.org.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS PUZZLE ON PAGE 56. NO PEEKING!

Mourning in the Mourning: The Rochester Riot of 1872. Sat., Jan.

1

H

19

A

8, 10:30 a.m. Virtual Central Library, roccitylibrary.org . Science on the Edge. Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. (rmsc.org) Dr. Penny Higgins: Paleontology at the End of the Rope $3$15. science-on-the-edge-lectures.

23

H

27

A

2

I

3

P

4

P

A

E

N G G

L

T

38

A M

I

T

I

V

O

Y

H

I

E

S

86

P

Virtual Central Library, roccitylibrary.org Registration required.

P

I

E

T

D

T

T

R

E

99

105

Z

O R

N

N

H

114

S

125

axomhome.com 661 south ave

H

115

T

116

P

T

E

T

L

F L

M A

N

Y

S

N

D

U

T

A

G H

C 60

A S

K

66

D

R

N

S

E S

41

L

42

A

R

I

61

T I

T

M A S 90

A

S

E

E M P

H

A

E

E

117

A

126

S

118

B

119

E

T

E

R

N O H

I

T

N

E

T

Y

91

A

R

A

E

R

O R

P

H

A

N

R

P

E N

A

S

I

S

S

U

B

T

T

S 127

S

132

E

136

D

128

G

E

I S

A

S

H

I

A

N

T

N

D

S

E M

I

S

M A

C

83

M A

92

D

E

P 98

R

P

104

84

S

E 85

S

T

H

A

O

C

E

I

T

R

D

S

T

L

46

A W A

A

L

A

D

A

I

E

45

N

103

R

P

H

70

109 113

44

63

U

O

N

A

57

A

R

120

G

69

I

A 51

T

E

108

A

50

N

102

A

B

I

97

26

43

D

C

Y

S

I

112

P

82

18

I

76

M A

17

L

R

A 81

H A M

101

L

A M E

68 75

A

56 62

D

96

T

L

B

H

36

16

S W A

22

31

A

89

S 95

131

S

R

L

R

E

135

A

L 35

15

E

E

B

80

14

E

A

T

L

I

H

C O

74

A

13

E

W E

107

I

A

C

T

E M E

T

R

H

12

P

49 55

A

A

67

S

73

E

111

E

U

40

I

A

34

30

D

F 100

S

A

134

88

O

D

A

11

H

25

E

S

106

T

E

29

C

21

S

79

R O

A

130

E

O 110

E R

N

E 87

94

R A

72

I

93

Kids Events

78

I

65

S

H O R

77

E E

P

10

H

L

A

54

9

D

48

T 53

71

Women’s Work: The Forgotten Women of the Bauhaus. Wed., Jan. 19, 6 p.m.

S

A

R

Sun., Jan. 9, 2 p.m. Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Rd. 340-8720.

33

O R

64

Tara Astigarraga: World of Invention.

P

E M S

S 59

8

28

O

E

58

O

I

L

E

52

7

K

24

A M E

S

11 a.m. Tower Fine Arts Center, 180 Holley St Brockport Matt “Airistotle” Burns of Geva’s “Airness” 395-2787.

39

S

20

H

47

S

6

O

T

D

37

5

A

32

Stage Whispers: Conversation with Theatre Professionals. Thu., Jan. 27,

Anansi Tales: Redux Edition. Jan. 6-8, 7:30 p.m. MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave $5/$20. muccc.org. Bubbleman. Sat., Jan. 15, 1 p.m. Cobblestone Arts Center, 1622 NY 332 $10. 398-0220.

Two visits ($50 per visit). The second visit will be 6 months after the first. There will be lung function test and blood draw (two tablespoons), saliva, breath condensate and urine collection at each visit.

T

L

E 121

S

129

H

122

P

123

C

124

A

A

I

R

S

O R

T

E

A

S

E

N

133 137

E

S

roccitynews.com roccitynews.org CITY 43


LIFE

Dan Sprague rips a solo at the corner of Westfall and East Henrietta roads. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

44 CITY JANUARY 2021


RANDOM ROCHESTER BY GINO FANELLI

@GINOFANELLI

GFANELLI@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

THE SPOOKY STREET METAL MAN OF ROCHESTER

A

gainst the incessant din of traffic on Westfall Road, Dan Sprague set down a Blackstar amplifier on the sidewalk near CityGate, plugged in his Les Paul imitation guitar, and let a chord rip. He was hard to miss even without the distorted rumbling of his amp. He wore a black trench coat with tattered elbows over vibrant purple Tripp pants. Crow feathers jutted from his shoulders. His face was masked in corpse paint, a porcelain white base with black accents around his mouth and eyes, like a skeleton. That is his signature outfit, complemented by a soft-shell guitar case. It was a frigid December day and Sprague, 31, was on his way to Costco when he took a need moment to shred. He had just visited his grandmother at Highland Hospital, where she is being treated for dementia. He stops by periodically to play his guitar for her. He said it is a way for them to bond. “I try to jam in as many places as I can,” Sprague said between riffs. He was not exaggerating. As of late, Sprague has routinely popped up in his getup on street corners, benches, and parks across the region, wailing on his guitar. One day, he may be playing at the Roc City Skatepark, and the next on a suburban street corner. A native of Bergen in Genesee County, sometimes he’s spotted as far west as Medina in Orleans County. “Walmart actually fired me for doing this on my lunch break,” Sprague said. “So all that made me do is take the show on the road.” Sprague had been a staple of open mics at Lovin’ Cup near the Rochester Institute of Technology until the pandemic halted his weekly outing. But a global virus wasn’t going to end his passion to play metal for people, whether they wanted to hear it or not. As if to reinforce the point on Westfall Road, he played a tune called “Keeping the Shred Alive.” His show takes quite a bit of dedication. While Sprague had worn his makeup only sporadically over the years, it became a full-time look

“Walmart actually fired me for doing this on a lunch break. So all that made me do is take the show on the road,” says Dan Sprague. PHOTOS BY JACOB WALSH

around December 2020. “The face paint actually just started with just eyeliner, and it got to the point where I was capable of at least drawing this every day,” Sprague said. “I don’t think I’ve taken it off since last Christmas, honestly.” Corpse paint was immortalized by Norwegian black metal bands like Mayhem and Emperor and is intended to make the wearer appear inhuman or demonic. But Sprague said his makeup is an homage to horror-punk legends The Misfits, who wore similar face paint in the ’70s and ’80s. In fact, Sprague’s unique wardrobe is composed of bits and pieces of his inspirations. For example, his tattered gloves that travel halfway up

his forearms are a callback to the iconic World Wrestling Entertainment tag team duo The Hardy Boyz. “The whole outfit is kind of taken from somewhere,” Sprague said. “Other than the pants, I’ve been wearing those since probably middle school or high school.” The music, makeup, and outfit evoke a certain mystique. Matt Guarnere, who runs Lovin’ Cup’s open mic nights, actively avoids learning too much about Sprague. The persona has too much magic to be sullied by the mundanities of everyday life. “I respect his otherness, that’s important,” Guarnere said. “I don’t

need to know, I don’t want to, I don’t know if he’s troubled or whatever it is. The point is, when he walks through the doors I think he wants the ability to be that part of himself.” Except for the time Sprague drank too much and took an impromptu nap outside the bar, Guarnere said, he has been a beloved feature of the open mic. Underneath Sprague’s outwardly spooky appearance is a soft-spoken courteousness. “He is like prep school polite, it’s unusual,” Guarnere said. “His mama raised him right.” Upon spotting Sprague on the street, it may be tempting to assume he is busking, performing for coin. But he said that’s not the case. While he’s happy to take a buck or two thrown into his guitar case, his real goal is to play some sick tunes. “It’s definitely not my intention, I mean, people always throw stuff into my bag and I definitely appreciate that,” Sprague said. Outside of his street performing routine, Sprague scrapes by doing auto body work in Bergen, and plays in two bands. One of them, Stevil, is a poppy mash-up of hip-hop, grunge, and metal influences. The other, Election Day, offers up “feel-good” folk-rock. But on the streets, Sprague plays alone, and that makes him a rarity. Rochester is not a city with a vibrant street-performing culture outside of the major festival season. Despite that, he said, most people are very warm to his presence. “It always seems very positive,” Sprague said. “People are always coming up to me, some people even request stuff if they’ve seen me play before.” Sprague said he wishes there were more like him; people who are happy to plop down on a sidewalk and showcase their talent. Whether he goes alone or with company, he revels at any chance he gets to rock out. “I live to play guitar for the most part,” Sprague said. “It’s more or less the first thing I did this morning, pick up an axe.” roccitynews.com CITY 45


LIFE

WHAT ALES ME

The cozy hardwood interior of Tap and Mallet was a place where Rochester's fledgling craft beer community got a foothold. PHOTOS BY JACOB WALSH

LAST CALL AT THE TAP AND MALLET A pivotal piece of the Rochester beer scene closes for good. BY GINO FANELLI

O

@GINOFANELLI

n a sunny Saturday in October under a white tent outside the Tap and Mallet on Gregory Street, revelers dressed in lederhosen danced the waltz to the accordion, lubricated by hearty steins of Märzens and schwarzbiers. There, at this Rochester mainstay beer bar, was a who’s-who of the beer scene, from brewery owners to brewers, influencers, beer writers, distributors, and bar owners. Among them was Tap and Mallet owner Joe McBane, a towering Englishman decked out in his finest Oktoberfest garb. 46 CITY JANUARY 2022

GFANELLI@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

It was a bittersweet celebration for McBane. He had already decided, but had yet to announce, that after 14 years he would bring the bar to an end. In retrospect, it was a de facto send-off for the establishment. “I couldn’t say anything at the time, but I kind of knew it was our last big hurrah,” McBane said a few weeks before he closed his place for good. “So it had a sort of special meaning to me as well. I had the best time. I was the most German-English guy in Rochester that day.” Last call at Tap and Mallet took place on Dec. 31, marking the

end of an era for Rochester beer. A confluence of the pandemic’s toll and changes where beer consumers prefer to drink, had brought the bar to its knees. McBane said he plans to focus on his other bar, The Sheffield on Monroe Avenue in Brighton. Among Rochester beer-lovers, there is no overstating the role Tap and Mallet played seeding and developing the now-vibrant local beer scene. In 2007 when McBane and business partner Casey Walpert opened the bar, two breweries existed in the city of Rochester —

Rohrbach Brewing Company and Genesee, the latter of which seemed to be sliding toward its demise. Today there are 12 within the city limits. Many of them sent their first kegs to the Tap and Mallet. “Tap and Mallet would be, for me, where I met about 40 percent of the people I know in this industry,”


said Geoff Dale, co-owner of Three Heads Brewing Company. “There was a moment from 2010 to 2015 where the who’s-who of who was in there was ridiculous. Joe created an incredible spot. Everything, to me, what a pub should be, Tap and Mallet emulated.” Tap and Mallet became a catalyst for Rochester’s beer scene through a combination of events, ranging from special beer releases and weekly meetings of beer enthusiasts to the annual Rochester Real Beer Expo, and a rotating tap list of sought-after but hard-to-find brews. It introduced Rochester to hazy, heavily hopped New England IPAs, nurtured the nascent homebrewing scene, and played host to countless conversations between wide-eyed entrepreneurs who would one day open their own taprooms. The pub was dimly lit but cozy and warm — both in temperature and atmosphere. The ubiquitous hardwood of the furniture, flooring, and the J-shaped bar were broken up by odd knick-knacks such as taxidermied raccoons and jackalopes. They gave the place a sense of hominess. Fast friends to be made over brews at Tap were a draw, but the beer was the main attraction. On a given day you could sample local favorites like Young Lion, Three Heads, or Fifth Frame, but also highly sought-after Belgian beers like Cantillion or heralded domestic beers along the lines of JW Lee’s Harvest Ale or Hudson Valley’s Suarez Family Brewery. It wasn’t just that Tap and Mallet had a lot of beer on tap. It had good beer on tap. McBane, who arrived in Rochester by way of Sheffield, England, in 2000, honed his palate

Joe McBane says his Tap and Mallet was about “good beer and introducing people to good beer.” PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

working at The Old Toad, a staple beer bar on Alexander Street. If McBane didn’t find a beer up to snuff, it would not be poured at Tap and Mallet. “It was just great to go one week and then come back in a week and have everything be brand new, something that you haven’t seen on draft really before,” said Andy Cook, owner of Swiftwater Brewing Company in the South Wedge and a longtime friend of McBane’s. “And a handful of things you’d never seen on draft before.” It was no small wonder that fledgling brewery owners flocked to Tap and Mallet. Jen Newman, owner of Young Lion Brewing Company in Canandaigua, frequented Tap for years as she toyed with the idea of launching a brewery. For her, a night at the bar tripled as beer school and a networking event. “It was the place where you could go to truly discuss this liquid that we love,” Newman said. “It was a place that you could go to learn something new, to have your opinion and try something new.” With Tap and Mallet, McBane wanted to create a haven for Rochester beer lovers. While at The Old Toad, he

found there was a market in Rochester for a bar focused exclusively on worldclass beer. There was. And maybe there still is. But times have undoubtedly changed since McBane opened Tap and Mallet 14 years ago. Beer bars are slowly fading away as a cornerstone of the craft beer world. Locally, MacGregor’s, a legacy craft beer bar chain in Rochester, put its locations in Brighton and Penfield up for sale this past year. Unter Biergarten, a German-style beer hall on East Avenue, closed in December. In October, the New York Times reported that beer bars across the country were closing en masse and being replaced by breweries with their own taprooms. Paul Leone, executive director of the New York Brewers Association, said he believes the situation is more nuanced. “I think a lot of people are quick to say, ‘Oh, the brewery taproom is really at fault here,’ and I don’t entirely agree with that,” Leone said. “People do like to hang out at brewery taprooms, but they never hang out at one brewery taproom, they hang out at different brewery taprooms because they like variety.”

One explanation is market saturation. After Tap and Mallet showed Rochester that a bar with a diverse tap list was in demand, copycats popped up. It’s not unusual now to see a Rochester bar with 25 or more taps, or serving beers like Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing Company, which Tap and Mallet first introduced to the city. Other Half now operates a brewery and taproom in East Bloomfield. “Where Tap and Mallet was once entirely unique of a destination, it wasn’t so unique anymore through time,” Leone said. Rochester’s beer industry is flourishing in large part because of Tap and Mallet. As McBane prepared to close a chapter of his life, he looked back with pride on the impact his bar had on the city, even though it ultimately played a role in his creation’s demise. “I want to be completely clear here, I have no bitterness or animosity in regard to this,” McBane said. “Quite the opposite, while I have sort of contributed to a much greater increase in competition, it’s something I really championed: good beer and introducing people to good beer.” roccitynews.com CITY 47


LIFE

WASTE NOT

Coconut chicken soup is just one of “Soup Queen” Candace Doell’s unique takes on a classic. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

ALL HAIL THE SOUP QUEEN Candace Doell turns seasonal veggies, kitchen scraps, and fresh herbs into hearty meals. BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

W

@RSRAFFERTY

ith its biting wind and lack of sun, January is appropriately national soup month. It is also a time of year for local legend Candace Doell, the “Soup Queen,” to shine. Doell works from a commissary kitchen cranking out up to 60 quarts a week of fresh alternatives to the overly salted and preservative-laden goop lining supermarket shelves. 48 CITY JANUARY 2022

BECCA@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

“It’s just something I enjoy making,” she says. “It’s delicious. It’s satisfying. It’s comforting.” Doell, 36, got her nickname while working at The Owl House, when her colleagues bestowed the moniker upon her for churning out so many varieties of soup that customers loved. Today, she is the catering chef for The Owl House restaurant group as well as the proprietor of her eponymous

wholesale business, Soup Queen (@soupqueenroc), which she started in 2020. Her refrigerated creations can be found in grab-and-go containers at Bodega on Park Avenue and Katboocha on Railroad Street, or by the bowl at Fuego Coffee Roasters on Woodbury Boulevard. “I just don’t think there’s that much good soup out there for people to go and buy off the

shelves,” she says. If you’re after a specific Soup Queen soup on a particular day, you may be out of luck. Her enterprise is mostly dealer’s choice, although she occasionally takes special requests. But Doell does play by some basic rules — including using what’s in season, from local producers when possible, and leaning into fresh herbs and spices. “So right now for example,


“I just don’t think there's that much good soup out there for people to go and buy off the shelves.” - CANDACE DOELL, THE “SOUP QUEEN” Soup Queen’s soups, bistro sandwiches, and more are available at Fuego, Katboocha, and Bodega. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

you’re seeing a lot of cauliflower, squashes, kale, winter greens, and mushrooms, but that will change as we go along,” she says. Soups, while meant to be hearty, can often be heavy. Doell’s creations are an exception. Her white cheddar broccoli soup, for example, has a butterycheesy and vegetable broth that, while filling, is on the silky side and perfect for dipping a slice of crusty bread. Her vegan and glutenfree tomato coconut ginger soup is as creamy as any non-vegan version. Also on her menu are a hearty vegan and gluten-free curry mushroom chickpea stew, a vegan cheddar potato and jalapeno chowder, a classic Minestrone, a peanut stew with chicken and sweet potato, and a bright and cozy Greekstyle lemon chicken and rice soup that is the answer to a cold day. “One of the things I love about soup is it’s a great way to curb food waste, because you can put so many things into it and make it delicious,” Doell says, adding that making stocks is a lot simpler than people might think. “You can take all of your vegetable scraps, turn

them into stocks, and then compost whatever. You can use bones and carcasses for stocks. And you can use small amounts of things that you might not have enough of for a major recipe.” But it is the combination of fresh herbs and spices that are her secret. Her favorites are thyme, parsley, and rosemary. “Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s necessarily me that’s the good cook or if it’s just the fresh herbs in there,” she said of her work. If there’s no greater compliment for a chef than the praise of someone else who cooks for a living, then it’s more than just the herbs and spices that make her soups sing. Voula Katsetos, owner of the vegetarian/vegan restaurant Voula’s Greek Sweets, is a Soup Queen

customer and hired Doell to cater her wedding reception. The laid-back, barbecue-style menu Doell prepared for the affair included a peach barbecue sauce made from scratch, a tofu dish, corn chowder, and other meat and vegan items. “Her vegan food — no one notices it’s vegan,” Katsetos says. “And it was really special to see my family react to her food the way that they did. Greek cuisine is super flavorful, and it takes a lot to impress them. They were just going crazy over it.” In addition to soup, Doell also supplies Bodega, Katboocha, and Fuego with sandwiches — such as the vegan Cajun Buffalo baguettes with tempeh and pickles or smoked salmon sandwiches — and a variety of grain bowls, plus other treats like

banana bread. Though Doell’s Soup Queen wholesale project is only going on a year old, she’s been holding a ladle for years, and learned her trade in the field. After years of working in pizza shops and in front-of-house restaurant positions, Doell honed her culinary skills at The Owl House under its former head chef, Brian Van Etten. There she made everything from salads and soups to mains to suit everyone from omnivores to vegans. “Over the years I made literally thousands of soups,” she says, adding that when diners would ask who made the soup, and the service staff would reply, “Oh, our soup queen made the soup.” A mother of two young children, Doell says she is striving to expand her Soup Queen kingdom. “My goals are to be in grocery stores and retail stores across America, baby!” she says with a laugh. “I want to have a good product for people to turn to, well-made food with intention.”

roccitynews.com CITY 49


LIFE

BUZZ OFF

You can have your sobriety and your bubbly, too, because AltBar is serving zero-proof cocktails at three pop-up events in celebration of “Dry January.” PHOTO BY QUAJAY DONNELL

OVER THE INFLUENCE AltBar’s alcohol-free pop-ups offer a sober alternative to Rochester’s bar scene. BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

O

@RSRAFFERTY

n a chilly night in early December, Fuego Coffee Roasters was hopping long after closing time — but the stimulation in the room wasn’t courtesy of caffeine. Around 70 people ranging in age from their early 20s to late 60s had gathered for drinks by AltBar, a new pop-up enterprise. A woman at the counter waited for her second drink of the night, a sparkling herbal cranberry mix called “Kiss Me at Midnight.” “What the heck, 50 CITY JANUARY 2022

BECCA@ROCHESTER-CITYNEWS.COM

I’m not driving,” she said with a chuckle and a wink. Everyone within earshot got the joke. They could all indulge as much as they wanted and get behind the wheel because everything on the menu — from the cocktails to the beer — was non-alcoholic. AltBar was launched a month earlier by Meg and Bob Hartman, a married couple who spent much of the three hours they had booked at Fuego

working the room and taking orders from a sold-out crowd. Their venture taps into a non-alcoholic revolution that is gaining momentum around the globe, as alcohol-free spirits hit the market in record numbers. Bacardi, the rum manufacturer whose brands include Grey Goose vodka, Dewar’s Scotch, and Bombay Sapphire gin, identified its non-alcoholic drinks division as among the most dynamic in its latest annual Cocktail Trends Report.

“Globally, 0-percent ABV spirits have received more interest than any other spirits category — for the second year running,” the report read. “Despite headlines surrounding increased alcohol consumption . . . bartenders feel that the pandemic has accelerated the 0-percent trend, with consumers more open to trying non-alcoholic options as their usual routines are upended, more experimental ways of living emerge and new goals are set.”


AltBar is serving zero-proof cocktails at three pop-up events in celebration of “Dry January.” PHOTO BY QUAJAY DONNELL

The Hartmans are seizing the moment. They have three more pop-up events in Rochester scheduled for “Dry January,” the social media-fueled month of voluntary sobriety. First up is an AltBar partnership with Scents by Design for non-alcoholic beverages and hands-on candlemaking on Thursday, Jan. 6. That is set to be followed by two more dates at Fuego on Jan. 7, a complement to the monthly citywide gallery night of First Friday, and on Saturday, Jan. 29. Details can be found at altbarroc.com. Bars are starting to take note of changing drinking preferences, with many adopting hybrid menus that offer drinks in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions. Several Rochester bars serve alcohol-free cocktails and beers, including The Spirit Room, Cure, Velvet Belly, and Comedy @ The Carlson. The shift speaks to a growing interest among consumers in abstaining from alcohol but wanting a social night out and the sophistication of a well-made drink. But AltBar emerged from something more personal. Bob, a 36-year-old senior partner in product design and strategy at MVP Health Care, said he quit drinking two years ago upon realizing he had a problem.

“I just found that I couldn’t moderate my drinking, and it was causing issues for me,” he said. “I was numbing my feelings and my experiences. I was self-medicating.” Drinking is as ingrained in American culture as baseball and apple pie. But the consequences are sobering. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 28.3 million Americans ages 12 and up had alcohol use disorder, which is defined as “a chronic brain disorder marked by compulsive drinking, loss of control over alcohol use, and negative emotions when not drinking.” The same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an average of 95,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes, making booze the third-leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Almost half of the deaths are due to binge drinking, the CDC found. Bob was ready to throw off the yoke of alcohol, but said that he and Meg found that restricted many of the activities they previously enjoyed together

on date nights away from their 3- and 5-year old children. Meg, also 36, is a marketing professor at Roberts Wesleyan College and is not on the wagon. “Our options were pretty limited, we could basically go out to dinner and that was about it,” Bob said, adding that the few late-night, alcohol-free spots in town were coffee houses. At the Fuego pop-up, Dean Wilson and his wife, Claire Pike, were among a group of four sampling the menu of six seasonal cocktails. Wilson said he wasn’t drinking much at home during the first stretch of the pandemic, and that when bars and restaurants reopened, he found his tolerance for alcohol had “cratered” and that he no longer enjoyed being drunk. “This is a nice alternative,” Wilson, 34, said of the event. “It just seemed like it would be a fun thing to do, to see if you could actually get the taste of a cocktail without having to worry about feeling hungover until 4 p.m. the next day.” Their friend Richie Ballard, 33, said he stopped drinking earlier in the year for medical reasons. “The one thing that I miss about drinking is the social element of it,” he said. “So I’m happy that this kind of thing exists for people like me.” Ballard’s partner, Angela Santee, 30, said she was drinking less to support him. She favored the Ginger Snap, a fizzy, warming beverage that uses Ritual’s rum alternative, lime juice, vanilla syrup, and ginger beer, something like a Light & Stormy. Each of the seasonal menu items were tested on the Hartmans’ friends. Notably, the Cold Fashioned, which is made with Monday’s zero alcohol whiskey, Fuego’s cold brew coffee, bitters, and simple syrup, is a slightly smoky-sweet stand-in for an Old Fashioned. But some drinks are like nothing most people have ever tasted. The unique Walk in the Woods blends Wilderton’s non-alcoholic spirit, Earthen, with elderflower

water tonic. It is piney and crisp, like strolling amid evergreens and trying to catch snowflakes on your tongue. The presence of an alcoholalternative bar is, in some ways, an unexpected sign of a city expanding its cultural sophistication. In addition to buying alcohol alternatives and experimenting with booze-free cocktails, the Hartmans conferred with proprietors of sober bars in other cities, including Awake in Denver, Sans Bar in Austin, Coast Dry Bar in Chicago, and The Open Road in Pittsburgh. AltBar received an enthusiastic reception at Fuego from people abstaining for various reasons. At the pop-up, a pregnant woman sipped from a stemmed glass. Married couple Brent and Nikki Hungate chatted about the struggle to normalize sobriety over a charcuterie platter. Nikki said she has been in recovery for 26 years, after getting sober at 16. Brent wore a leather biker jacket with a patch that read “Clean and Sober,” and said he’d been in recovery for 20 years. “I think that if something like this were to take off in Rochester, it would be a big hit in the recovery community,” Brent said. “Not that we don’t like coffee shops, but it’s just something different from coffee.” Nikki added that on the walk from the parking garage to Fuego, something occurred to her: “‘Oh my God,’ I said, ‘We’ve never been on a date to a bar!’” The Hartmans said their goal is to create a space where people feel comfortable and like they aren’t missing out. But Meg also envisioned AltBar being a stop for bar-hoppers, as a way of keeping the party going while spacing out alcohol intake. Bob said he has missed the camaraderie of sports bars, but not being surrounded by people getting tanked. “My dream would be that this becomes a physical location and that there is Sunday football, with nonalcoholic beers on tap,” Bob said. “You know, having the DIRECTV NFL ticket, and having it be just a place that football fans can come gather, not worry about drinking too much, and watch the games. That’s a piece of the dream.” roccitynews.com CITY 51


LIFE

FRUIT OF THE VINE

Fred Merwarth, left, Wine Enthusiast magazine’s “Winemaker of the Year,” tours the Herman J. Wiemer vineyard with winemaker Dillon Buckley and assistant winemaker Bryanna Cramer. PHOTO PROVIDED

FINGER LAKES WINES ARE HAVING A MOMENT The Finger Lakes achieved a breakthrough on the world stage in 2021, with rieslings being compared to the best anywhere. BY EVAN DAWSON

S

@EVANDAWSON

ince serving as the setting for Sophia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” in 2003, the Park Hyatt Tokyo has found a new audience in the form of film buffs who want to see where Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray found an on-screen spark. There, on the upper floors of the Shinjuku Park Tower, among the tallest buildings in a city of skyscrapers, hotel guests will find breathtaking views of the Tokyo skyline and Mount Fuji, a stunning 52 CITY JANUARY 2022

EDAWSON@WXXI.ORG

indoor pool, and a world-class restaurant. They will also find a Finger Lakes riesling on the menu. After decades of trial and countless errors, the Finger Lakes wine region has achieved a kind of breakthrough on the world stage. Its wines, particularly its rieslings, are cracking global top 100 lists in record numbers and being compared by critics to the best being offered in Germany and Austria, the birthplace of rieslings. “In the past, it would have been

niche to even understand that New York had a serious wine region,” said Chris Grocki, a restaurant industry professional who has consulted on wine lists for some of the most exclusive establishments in New York City and California. “Now, it’s a given in upscale and fine-dining restaurants.” How a riesling cultivated in Yates County ended up on a Tokyo landmark’s wine list is a story of grit and determination, two words that shatter the romantic notions many

wine lovers have about vineyard work. Wine grapes are not like table grapes. They are sensitive and easily offended, particularly by rain and humidity. Fifty years ago, when a European immigrant was looking for the best variety to plant in Finger Lakes soil, a local farmer replied, “Try green beans.” The tale might be apocryphal, but the lesson has remained the same. Viticulture is not for the weak-willed. This distinction of arriving as a global player does not come in the


mail. It does come, perhaps, with a phone call. Fred Merwarth, the winemaker and co-owner of Hermann J. Wiemer on Seneca Lake, got the call in October, when he was in the middle of a particularly obstreperous harvest. On the other end was someone from Wine Enthusiast informing him that he was going to be the magazine’s Winemaker of the Year. The magazine, which has traditionally focused on high-wattage wine regions in California and France, had never bestowed the award on a New York vintner. But it recognized Merwarth for what it called “his continued drive and passion to push the boundaries of Finger Lakes wine.” In the magazine’s Winemaker of the Year profile, writer Alexander Peartree described Merwarth as “driven, detail-oriented and always thinking about the long game” and the regional effort to cultivate riesling over the last 50 years as an unqualified success. The recognition was published in December and Merwarth was sworn to secrecy until then. “I couldn’t tell anyone, so it felt anti-climactic for a while,” Merwarth said. “I was sleep deprived from harvest, and I had to keep this in. “But when I reflected for a bit, I thought about the things we’ve been working on that we just don’t talk about outside the winery,” he went on. “I thought about the risks we take, and how sometimes we lose, and sometimes we pull off a wine that we weren’t sure we could pull off. And it all seemed to add up to this.” For years, Finger Lakes wines were rarely found in restaurants, even in Rochester. If they couldn’t win the home games, how were they to break through in places like Manhattan or Chicago? Grocki sees the Finger Lakes region not as a restaurant list mainstay, but instead as a wink to the savviest consumers who understand the wine world outside of Napa and Bordeaux. He said he no longer persuades restaurants to give Finger Lakes wines a shot. They ask for them. “The secret handshake 10 years ago was that people knew the Finger Lakes could make world-class riesling,” Grocki explained. “Now the

Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard and Winery is in Dundee, Yates County, off Seneca Lake. PHOTO PROVIDED

secret handshake is actual individual producers from the Finger Lakes — Forge Cellars, Nathan Kendall, Wiemer.” Among Finger Lakes wineries with the most consistent placement in restaurants outside its home region, Wiemer is at the top. In addition to being on the menu at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Wiemer wines are at the Peninsula Hotel in Shanghai. Before the pandemic, Noma in Copenhagan, consistently selected as the best restaurant in the world by international chefs and critics, offered Wiemer dry riesling by the glass. Closer to home, Wiemer wines can be found at Gramercy Tavern, 11 Madison Park, Tamarind, and Michelin-starred Aquavit in Manhattan. It is also on the menu at the trendy Red Rooster in Harlem. Oskar Bynke has convinced restaurants around the world to open their minds to the Finger Lakes. Bynke is a Swede who met Merwarth during the final weeks of their senior years at Cornell University. They became fast friends, and now Bynke is a co-owner of Wiemer. He is regularly on the road and making so much headway so quickly

he could not remember offhand how many restaurants carry their wines. “We have maybe 400 accounts here,” he said, speaking by phone from midtown Manhattan. When asked how a Wiemer wine ended up on Noma’s list, he replied matter-of-factly, “We have contacts. People know what we’re doing.” Almost no one knew what the Finger Lakes producers were doing a generation ago. Hermann Wiemer himself was one of the pioneers in a region that only boasted a couple dozen wineries by the end of the 1980s. Today there are more than 100. The first wave could

get by on tasting room sales alone, but market saturation makes that very difficult nowadays. The top wineries are cultivating customer bases around the world. Forge and Ravines Wine Cellars are part of the expanding list of Finger Lakes labels that appear on menus in multiple states. Merwarth believes the key is assiduously avoiding any sense of entitlement. He loves the idea that a tourist in Tokyo might be turned on to a Finger Lakes Riesling, or a Cabernet Franc, for the first time. But he knows that love affairs can start and end unexpectedly. “I don’t think you can know that you’ve made it in the moment,” he said. “Did Napa or Sonoma know they had made it in the ’70s or ’80s? It’s easy to look back and say they did. “But it’s a body of work, and it takes decades,” he went on. “Maybe some time in the future I’ll look back on where we’ve been, and what we’ve achieved, but not yet.” Then he smiled and added, “I suspect we’re in the middle of something really interesting, I’ll say that.”

roccitynews.com CITY 53


LIFE

NITPICKS

Answers to this puzzle can be found on page 42

ACROSS 1. Closest evolutionary relative of a whale, for short 6. Many a J.V. athlete 10. Trove 15. Influence 19. 1980s show that made Mr. T famous 20. Swiss-born contemporary of Kandinsky 21. “And a partridge in ____ tree”

PUZZLE BY S.J. AUSTIN & J. REYNOLDS 1

4

5

6

24

27

28 32

37

23. ** Non-motorized recreational aircraft

52

25. ** Horror series featuring Doug Bradley as Pinhead

58

27. The “A” of SATB

64

38

8

9

10

29

14

35 42

43 50

55

56

60 66

72

73

61 67

44

45

46

84

85

123

124

51

62

63 69

75

79

18

57

68

74

17

36

49

59

16

31

41

54

65

15

26

30

40

78

13

22

34

39

71

12

25

33

53

11

21

48

29. Like London fog 77

7

20

23

47

31. Tom Sawyer or Oliver Twist

3

19

22. Croft of the “Tomb Raider” franchise

28. Letters on an ambulance

2

70

76

80

81

82

83

32. Got rid (of) 35. Guitar support

86

37. Sad news

93

87

88

89 95

94

90

96

91

92

97

98

40. Move in waves 43. 19th century religion practiced by Rainn Wilson and Dizzy Gillespie 47. Espy, Shakespeare-style

100

99 105

49. Metal that literally means “goblin ore” 51. 1990s outfielder Ron with backto-back 30 home run/30 stolen base seasons 52. _____ et labora (pray and work: Lat.) 53. ** Dining room seat where one might be served pureed apricots 56. League of _____ (multiplayer online battle arena game) 58. Mediterranean coastal region in France and Italy 60. “WandaVision” star Dennings 61. “Would you like to see _____?” 63. Rep.’s opponent 64. Trip hazards in a playroom 65. Buffoon 67. German city where a titular European republic drafted its constitution in the early 1900s 69. Plant akin to licorice 71. Clown accessory 73. Suffix with morph75. DHS grp. sometimes accused of practicing security theater 54 CITY JANUARY 2022

110 114

115

102

107

106

48. _____ glance

101 108

111 117

118

113

119

120 127

126

128

121

131

132

133

134

135

136

137

77. Where to find a book title? 79. Opened up, as for a doctor 81. Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party until 1976 83. Conn. neighbor 86. Teacher’s favorite 87. 1922 Nobelist Bohr 89. “Boom, _____, Bop” (start of a TikTok catchphrase) 91. One way to go into things 93. Crime that often requires obtaining someone’s SSN 95. ** Gluten free beer alternative at a trendy bar 98. Kung _____ chicken

122

129

130

76. Desktop PC touted by Apple as being only 11.5mm thick

104

109

112

116

125

103

99. Early smartphone made by Palm

perhaps

100. “Attention!” follower

127. Focus on petty distinctions… or what happens in each of the answers to the starred clues

102. Polymeric messenger molecule 103. Nail the test 105. Fictional swordsman, or “fox” in Spanish 107. Stress 109. Oscar and Tony, for two 110. Throat ailment, briefly 112. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, for example 114. Fla. vacation spot 117. Assists criminally 120. Palindromic constellation 121. Lab safety org.? 125. ** Sibling with a different mother,

130. Bibliographic abbreviation 131. Like seven games for Nolan Ryan 132. Slippery swimmers 133. “Coffee _____?” 134. Lots 135. “Funny Girl” composer Jule 136. Super quick tot in “The Incredibles” 137. German steel city


DOWN

62. Polite term of address

1. Word that the “face with tears of joy” emoji might replace

66. “Kiss From A Rose” singer

2. Typological slant (abbr.) 3. Cooped (up) 4. Buddhist temples 5. Egad, to a texter 6. Over-economize 7. Slavery-reliant geographical region 8. Urinate, colloquially 9. Steered a group of animals 10. Lyricist Sammy with four Oscars 11. Bonobos, e.g. 12. So-called “bell piano” featured in “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” 13. Villainous computer in a classic space film 14. Blunder by a shortstop 15. In finance, the difference between estimated transaction costs and the amount actually paid

68. “_____ to Be You” 70. First answer written on an exam 72. Philosopher Descartes 74. Accident 76. Actress Skye 77. 1972 Olympics sensation Mark 78. Hall of Fame Pitcher Martinez 79. Piece of parlor furniture 80. Side by side 82. Verdi opera 84. Steady and serious 85. Attempts in hockey 88. “_____ tree falls in the woods…” 90. On again, off again fast-food sandwich 92. Southern twang 94. Large biting insect with predacious larvae

16. Launder

96. Wood for a baseball bat

17. Basic geometry calculation

97. Loads, as an app

18. Supply for a fiber artist

101. “The opposite of spiritual meanness,” according to Barbara Kingsolver

24. Suffix with Congo 26. Resident of 54-Down 30. Instruct 33. “_____ Only One” (Melissa Etheridge hit) 34. One who looks delicious and cute, per Urban Dictionary 36. Typically silent magician with a legal mononym 37. Of _____ (somewhat)

104. Ancient Roman rulers 106. Baseballers Mel and Ed 108. Figured (out) 109. Elephantine machine in the “Star Wars” films 111. Bridle straps 113. Like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce

38. Antonymous prefix with -comic

114. Son of Noah

39. ** Formidable contender

115. “Toodles!”

41. French law 42. Co-creator of “Felicity” and “Lost” 44. ** Vegas odds setter 45. Longest continental mountain range in the world

116. Prepare 118. Hippie happening 119. Art Deco icon 122. Peach stones 123. First Nations tribe

46. Unhelpful response to “Who is it?”

124. Simile words

48. “Money! It’s _____” (Pink Floyd lyric)

126. Drunk

50. Debut Pearl Jam album

128. Cafeteria ammo 129. Gardening implement

54. Persia 55. Hemmed counterpart 57. Unincorporated US territory in Micronesia 59. Currently has the stage roccitynews.com CITY 55


56 CITY JANUARY 2022


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.