CITY March 2024

Page 1










280 State Street Rochester, New York 14614 phone (585) 244-3329


Rochester Area Media Partners LLC, Norm Silverstein, chairman


Bill and Mary Anna Towler


Editor: Leah Stacy

Arts writers: Daniel J. Kushner, Rebecca Rafferty

Editorial intern: Joe Morrell

Contributors: Sydney Burrows, Rudy Fabre, Gino Fanelli, Sarah Killip, Johnanna Lester, Fred McCoy, Mona Seghatoleslami, Jacalyn Meyvis, Tama Miyake Lung, Jeremy Moule, Ron Netsky, Jessica L. Pavia, Rafael Rodriguez, David Streever, Kristin Tutino, Ryan Yarmel


Director, Strategy: Ryan Williamson

Art director: Jacob Walsh


Sales director: Alison Zero Jones

Advertising consultant/

Project manager: David White


Operations manager: Ryan Williamson


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, 2024 - 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
calling 585-258-0200. ARTS. MUSIC. CULTURE. @ROCCITYMAG MARCH 2024 | Vol. 52 No. 7
the cover: Can you call this a design? Sure! Design by Ryan Williamson RMSC

Star stuff

In August 2017, I RSVP’d ‘yes’ to a Facebook group called “2024 Solar Eclipse Viewing at Parcel 5.” It started as a targeted joke before Parcel 5 was even a public green space; negotiations to make it a multi-use performing arts center were still underway and my friend Steve Carter, who created the event, was part of a grassroots movement to keep the parcel from being developed. Nearly seven years later, Parcel 5 is now a downtown destination for everything from yoga classes and Rochester Cocktail Revival video shoots to Joywave shows and highflying Rochester Fringe Festival artists. Time is a funny thing.

And of course, the muchanticipated eclipse is nigh.

We’ve been referring to March as the “star stuff” issue for months, with many nods to the biggest star of all as it’s eclipsed on April 8. Beyond that, we got creative with other ‘star’ interpretations, from reading the astrological charts of local songs to a conversation with locally based TikTok star V Spehar, AKA @underthedesknews.

And the romantic part of me wants to wax poetic about the power of space and stars and the moon — there’s something about the celestial bodies that makes anything feel possible. One of my favorite musicians, Marty O’Reilly, has a song called “Signal Fires” that was in my head a lot during this issue’s creation:

When the sun is buried again / my thoughts like miles / are drawn into my heart / like a lantern that you left there / my celestial guide / darling, I hear you from afar…

I attended an event at a park outside the city recently. Walking to my car in the windy night air, I looked up to see dozens of twinkling stars. At that moment, I felt so small and alone, but oddly comforted. These same stars are looking down on people I love, people I may be physically separated from but carry everywhere in my heart.

And that’s how I imagine the eclipse will be on Monday, April 8. We may view it in different places, but everyone in the path of totality will have a shared experience of four minutes and 27 seconds. And for some, the few minutes of an eclipse can be life-changing. In her 1982

book “Teaching a Stone to Talk,” Annie Dillard wrote stunningly of the Great Eclipse of the nineteenth century:

“There was no sound. The eyes dried, the arteries drained, the lungs hushed. There was no world… Our minds were light-years distant, forgetful of almost everything. Only an extraordinary act of will could recall to us our former, living selves and our contexts in matter and time. We had, it seems, loved the planet and loved our lives, but could no longer remember the way of them. The light was wrong. In the sky was something that should not be there. In the black sky was a ring of light. It was a thin ring, an old,

thin silver wedding band, an old, worn ring. It was an old wedding band in the sky, or a morsel of bone. There were stars. It was over.”

The hype around an eclipse is easy to understand when we recall how humans have always worshiped the sun — how we mourn gray days — how we try to predict the future and the weather using the sun, moon and stars. We, ourselves, are celestial beings.

“There were stars. It was over.”

Enjoy this issue, friends.

Cheers, L


CITY Social

FOLLOW US TO GET DETAILS ON OUR MONTHLY EVENTS: @ROCCITYMAG Scenes from our February launch party at Stacy K Floral Wednesday, February 7. PHOTOS BY RUDY FABRE



Welcome to CITY R.E.P.O.R.T.S., a monthly questionnaire inspired by a popular TikTok trend — here’s what a few of your fellow CITY readers in and around Rochester are (R)eading, (E)ating, (P)laying, (O)bsessing over, (R)ecommending, (T)reating themselves to, and who—or what—they’re (S) houting out.

REPORTER: Jim Bader, 35, Director of the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium.

READING: “I have been slowly making my way through a classic, “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe. This has been on my list for quite a while and it just never made it to the top until recently. The book is certainly a reminder of what a ‘boys club’ being an astronaut was in the early stages of NASA.”

EATING: “I’m still new to Rochester and have not ventured out for food much, but I can say that there are tons of great vegetarian/vegan friendly places. Dogtown was a great introduction to a vegetarian take on a garbage plate.”

PLAYING: “I was lucky enough to find a solid tabletop group in the short time that I have been here in Rochester, and the game Apiary has been my top choice lately. There are so many ways to play the game that it seems to stay fresh each time around.”

OBSESSING OVER: “As the director of the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, this is an easy answer: the eclipse. Whether I am making small

changes to our eclipse program in the planetarium, doing an interview, or trying to find places for a banner in the museum, I will not be able to escape the eclipse until late April.”

RECOMMENDING: “Without a doubt I am recommending anyone and everyone to get ready for the upcoming eclipse on April 8 at 3:20 p.m.! This will be a once-in-a lifetime experience and it is coming directly to our doorstep. Cloudy or not, it will still get dark, it will still be a wild and otherworldly event. You do not want to be ‘that person’ driving and completely unaware

that above you is quite possibly the single most spectacular astronomical event to grace the skies above Rochester in 100 years. The last total solar eclipse to pass over Rochester skies was in 1925, and the next one will be in 2144.”

TREATING MYSELF TO: “In my time off I have definitely been taking advantage of city sidewalks for brisk jogs. Rochester and North Winton have a really solid network of sidewalks compared to what I have experienced in North Texas. Sometimes it is the little things that mean the most.”

SHOUTING OUT: “Shoutout to the whole greater Rochester community. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and helpful (to this) Texan learning to navigate a northern winter. (I have been told it must have been set to ‘easy’ this year.) However, a special shoutout to everyone at the RMSC. The museum staff and my coworkers have been absolutely wonderful to work with.”

Interested in being a CITY REPORTS interviewee? Send an email to leah@


Obscure simplicity


The Eastman Museum vault, tucked down a staircase in the center of the museum’s sprawling expanse — is two stories high and packed with artifacts. Mahogany Sweetheart Stereoscopes, where two lovers could belly-up and flip through images together, sit beside Macintosh desktops and a “Paparazzi” action figure playset. Acting as an unofficial guide, Technology Collection Manager Damien Spader presents what resembles a giant drawing compass and places a brass viewfinder on top. He parts a black curtain to reveal a small table.

“This uses the same technology as the camera obscura, but would have probably been used in architecture,” he said. “The person pulls up a chair and is able to transcribe by the projection.”

The camera obscura Spader referred to is one of the earliest forms of light capture, possibly used by Aristotle and written about in a 1545 book on astronomy for its use in eclipse studies. The camera obscura and its later progression, the pinhole camera, have always been safe viewing tools — from the last time a total solar eclipse followed this trajectory in 1925 (coincidentally the same year George Eastman retired from Kodak), to the homemade versions people continue building today.

Pinhole cameras capture images — and the eclipse.


On the second floor of the George Eastman Museum mansion, a square room is shrouded in darkness. Black velvet curtains lay heavy against the floor, and it takes more than a few seconds for average eyesight to adjust. When it does, and depending on the time of day, the light shining out from a small hole nestled into the window refracts the West Garden onto the wall, upside down and backwards.

This is a camera obscura: a pinhole projecting light into a dark room or onto a dark surface. While the camera obscura was fantastic for transcription, the image was fleeting so it was, ultimately, a viewing platform.

As people wanted to capture and keep their photos, the big dark room became a small enclosed box known as the pinhole camera.

The museum’s collection shows how utterly simplistic they were — made of wood or cardboard and tape. Unlike the camera obscura, light-sensitive glass lenses or paper could be loaded inside. Simply opening the aperture for a second or two captured the image.

since you’re not looking directly through a lens it’s very lowintensity, so it’s not going to burn your eyes out.”

Looking at the cardboard box, it’s hard to not find it all romantic. Standing with the light behind him, as the solar event would be, Kinsman tracks the moon’s movement.

Today, people continue to make pinhole cameras to view eclipses. In fact, it’s as easy as throwing an old Staples cardboard box together with a square of hole-punched construction paper and some tape — which is exactly how Ted Kinsman, associate professor at RIT in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, makes one in about five minutes.

Kinsman turns an overhead projector on and angles it at the box. With all the lights off in the lab where his students sometimes shoot fruit, a circle of light refracts onto the wall.

“Any object, any shape, can act as a pinhole,” Kinsman said. “But

“There’s our pinhole image,” he said, pointing to the dot. “If that’s the sun, you’d see the circle of the sun as it would go through the eclipse.”

The box made with junk is, in essence, what Eastman might have been using to see the eclipse, as well as many before him. It’s that simple; that easy.

“I think we’ve always found interesting ways of capturing,” Spader said. “And I think with something like the eclipse, being that it only happens every hundred years or so, my mind goes right to that Kodak moment.”

One of the many handheld pinhole cameras in the museum’s historical collection. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH GEM Technology Collection Manager Damien Spader. PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH

Dancing through the cosmos

Dconnects with audiences in a world of abstract movement and artistry, astronomy wows with facts that prove the immensity of the universe. Though most may see vast differences between science and art, Thomas Warfield, director of dance at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute of the Deaf, sees opportunities.

astronomy began in the mid-1990s. While dancing with a company in Santa Cruz, California, Warfield participated in a project with the SETI Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding life outside of earth, and he became enchanted by quantum physics and how it could be integrated with dance.

are about curiosity,” Warfield said. “Artists learn to trust their imagination. In science, you don’t necessarily trust your imagination because you’re proving things. But there is still creativity with it.”

across visual simulations of black holes while teaching at RIT, Warfield again saw choreography within science. To fulfill the

RIT explores the intersection
of dance and astrophysics.
10 CITY MARCH 2024

vision for a dance show, he turned to astrophysicist and fellow RIT professor Manuela Campanelli, who saw a wonderful opportunity in the idea.

“Scientists speak with the language of reason,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s hard to reach the public with reason. It’s much easier to reach the public with emotional intelligence. That’s what dance brings.”

Campanelli and Warfield created the first edition of AstroDance, a performance that explained the basic astrophysics behind gravitational waves, in 2008. When gravitational waves were officially detected in 2016, they were spurred to start the creation process for AstroDance II.

The timing coincided with the planned opening of a new performing arts space on RIT’s campus — a glass-box theater located in the Student Hall for Education and Development. Taking advantage of the nontraditional aspects of the new space, Warfield collaborated with other departments across

the university to incorporate projections, animations, and other advanced technology into the performance.

Whereas the first iteration of AstroDance explained scientific concepts quite literally, AstroDance II lived in an abstract space. The performance included six sections, each of which explored a different concept, including black holes, cosmic rays, and the evolution of matter. In addition to the technological aspects, aerial and circus arts were used to give the sense that the dancers were physically in outer space.

Katie Miller, a second-year student at RIT, was one of the dancers who took to the skies in AstoDance II. As part of NTID, the dance program is accessible to students who are deaf or hardof-hearing, and the performance reflected this with projections of American Sign Language and choreography that included signing. Miller, who is hard-ofhearing, signed phrases about the universe and the heavens as she flew through the air.

Though she is a chemistry major, dance was Miller’s first love. She thought she would have to leave dance behind when she decided to pursue a career in chemistry, but was surprised to find a flourishing arts program at RIT. The school offers a dance minor and performing arts scholarships, making it especially appealing for students like Miller who have interests in both the arts and sciences.

“I chose to study science because I want to know why the world works the way it does,” she said. “By studying both science and dance, I’ve learned that a lot of it has to do with how our bodies work. Science can feel sterile and harsh, but there’s a lot of artistry in what we do in the lab or the classroom. It’s quite beautiful to see the connections.”

Thomas Warfield, center, rehearses with dancers at RIT. PHOTO PROVIDED PHOTO PROVIDED

How to prepare for the eclipse if crowds aren’t appealing.

Me, myself, and the sky

Amid the buzz about next month’s total solar eclipse and the scores of related events, introverts may be wondering where they fit into the festivities. It’s being widely anticipated as an exciting communal experience, but the throngs of people expected to pour into the region may be a nonstarter for the crowd-shy set.

“There’s the ‘we’ eclipse, and then there’s what we call the ‘me’ eclipse,” said Debra Ross, chair of Rochester’s Eclipse Task Force. Though it’s her job to hype up the events and celebrations, she understands the desire for an individual experience.

Debra traveled to Kimmswick, Missouri to see the last North American total solar eclipse in 2017 at the behest of her thenteenaged daughter Ella, who had been determined to experience it since learning about it as a kid at the Strasenburgh Planetarium.

They went. They witnessed. Debra hasn’t been the same since.

“I went from skeptic to convert,” said Debra. “I had not understood this as something that was such a personal experience, I just thought it was sort of a manifestation of the way the universe swings around.”

The duo shirked the more facilitated eclipse events in nearby St. Louis because the city wasn’t in the path of totality, driving around until they found a good spot with an open sky.

“We just pulled over on the side of the road next to an old railroad track, and there was a kid going around on a bicycle with eclipse glasses, making sure everybody had them,” said Ella, now 22 and based in Philadelphia. “That was the level of ‘produced’ (the) experience was in this town.”

A solitary witness to the big event needs to do no more than go outside, armed with eclipse glasses or another safety viewing apparatus, and look up. But for the best total eclipse experience, Debra and Ella offer the following tips:

Avoid automatic lights. “Make sure you’re not near any photosensitive light source that’s going to mar the complete and utter darkness — you want that to saturate you,” Debra said. If you have automatic lights, or live near a spot where the street lamps kick on at twilight, find somewhere else to post up.

Scope your sightline ahead of time. Wherever you plan to be, you’ll want an unobstructed view of where the sun will be in the sky when the moon’s transit begins at 2:07 p.m. on April 8. The eclipse’s position will be 45 degrees above the horizon in the south-southwest. “Scout out your location, face south, put on a baseball cap, and draw a line from your nose out through the right

hand corner of the brim — that’s where the eclipse will be,” Debra said. “Make sure there aren’t trees or buildings in the way.”

Open your senses. In the low level of light during an eclipse, the human eye has trouble perceiving red and orange hues, so the world around you will look very different. Birds will fly back to their nests. Nocturnal insects may get noisy. The temperature will drop 10-12 degrees.

Don’t point a camera at the eclipse. “There’s a million and a half videos of solar eclipses; we don’t need another,” Debra said. And you’re not going to get a better shot than the professionals, anyway, so seek those out online later. Be present in the moment.

Debra Ross and her daughter, Ella, during the 2017 eclipse. PHOTOS PROVIDED



Rochester Contemporary Art Center

Accepting 2D art proposals for three images to be exhibited to the public 24/7 for 4-6 months on the exterior of Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Artists will receive a stipend and use fee for exhibiting. Guidelines can be found on the website under the "READ" tab.

Deadline: March 15


Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester

Now accepting proposals from artists, groups, and curators based in the US to exhibit work during the 2024-2025 academic year. Selected artists are guaranteed at 3 to 4 week exhibition, assistance installing the exhibition, a $1,000 honorarium paid at the end of the exhibition, an opening reception and public artist talk, and more. Email

Deadline: April 15

Clothesline Arts Festival

This year's festival, which runs September 7-8, marks the 68th year for Clothesline. Open to artists from across the country, it's the largest and longest running arts festival in Rochester. More info and application at events/clothesline-festival.

Deadline: Apr. 30

ImageOut and RoCo

National call for artists of all backgrounds and identities to submit work in any medium exploring the evolving struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights and representation for the "Queering Democracy: Art, Identity, and Politics in 2024" exhibit in the fall of 2024. rochestercontemporary. org/exhibitions/queering-democracy.

Deadline: June 15

Rochester Teen Film Festival

A collaborative, juried media competition for youth (ages 13-18) in the Greater Rochester region and beyond. The event honors the work of urban, suburban, and rural teen filmmakers and provides young people an authentic opportunity to participate in a real film festival. Screening, awards, and reception to take place on Aug. 1 at The Little Theatre. | Deadline: June 28


Rochester featured in eclipse documentary produced by award-winning filmmakers.

As one of 13 North American cities in the path of the April 8 total solar eclipse, Rochester is spotlighted in “Totality,” a feature-length film by awardwinning filmmakers. The work explores the challenges faced by a wide swath of communities as well as their preparations to celebrate the cosmic event.

“It’ll be an immersive, surprising experience for the general audience, where science is interlaced with the human experience under the sky during the eclipse,” said filmmaker Kate Davis.

Davis and husband David Heilbroner are Emmy- and Peabodywinning and Oscar-nominated filmmakers leading the creation of the film with their social justiceoriented company, QBall Productions (“Stonewall Uprising,” “Traffic Stop,” and “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland”). “Totality” is being created in collaboration with Sandbox Films, known for its artfully told, science-based stories like the 2022 Oscar-nominated documentary “Fire of Love.”

The couple and their team have been traveling extensively for the past several months, gathering stories from communities preparing for the eclipse, even as they grapple with recent tragedies. Everyone on earth has the life-altering pandemic in common, and many US cities including Rochester have had incidences of police brutality and subsequent social unrest. Two cities in the path, Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, are still reeling from mass shootings that have defined their recent years.

“We have a story we want to tell about where we are as a culture in this moment in time,” Heilbroner said. “Everywhere we’ve been filming, and we’ve now filmed in a lot of different locations, everyone says this is not a wonderful and beautiful time to be in America, maybe even on the planet. It’s a tough time.”

The filmmakers want to immortalize both parts of the human story — hardships and hopes — from communities that are in the path of totality, from Mexico through the United States and into Canada.

“We don’t want borders to intrude on the story we’re telling, because

the sun has no interest in borders,” Heilbroner said. “The idea is to paint a portrait of everybody, and try to capture what people are feeling and going through, and then contrasting those travails — the list is long — with the beauty that this offers to everyone.”

And they will continue to record stories, reactions, and events during and after the eclipse.

The group will also ask people to contribute to the film by submitting short videos taken with their phones (in landscape mode) to the company’s website at qballproductions.weebly. com. From the submissions, they’ll select some for inclusion in the film, which will be released in 2025.

“When is the last time 40 or 50 million people came together with no winners or losers, no politics, and it’s free?” Heilbroner said. “There’s a chance in this film for us to send a message that transcending our differences is possible, and beautiful, and available, and experiencing it in cinema might leave you with something to feel good about.”

14 CITY MARCH 2024
A production still from the upcoming film “Totality.” PHOTO PROVIDED


A total solar eclipse may have marked democracy’s origins in North America.

Local Indigenous nations have several traditional stories about what periodically made the sun disappear for several minutes during the daytime. Those tales will be shared during a celebration and viewing of the eclipse on Monday, April 8 at Fort Hill near Ganondagan State Historic Site (Ganondagan itself is reserved for a private event that day).

“We’re going to talk a little bit about the stories and then have a chance to discuss the scientific implications of celestial events that people in western New York would have seen historically,” said Michael Galban (Mono Lake Paiute/Washoe), director of Ganondagan and the Seneca Art & Culture Center.

Among regional eclipse stories, one stands out. According to oral history, the sky darkened in a total solar eclipse during the formation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, which is the oldest living democracy in North America — and possibly the world.

“The confederacy was formed pre-European contact,” said cultural interpreter at Ganondagan Allie Hargrave (Oneida). “One version of the story, which is a pretty wellaccepted one, has the actual creation of the government happening under a total solar eclipse.”

The year was 1142 — maybe. Because of the nature of oral traditions, it’s hard to pin down exactly which eclipse was the one that coincided with the ratification council that convened at the hilltop Seneca village of Ganondagan, which is near present-day Victor.

“A significant part of the narrative relates to the eclipse,” Galban said. “In a lot of ways that eclipse was evidence for the Seneca people that the message of The Peacemaker, which they call The Great Law of Peace, was true and worthwhile and should be listened to.”

The confederacy was originally made up of five nations: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca gathered to form an alliance of lasting peace among the people. The sixth nation, the

Tuscarora, joined the confederacy in the early 18th century.

It was long believed that the confederacy was founded in the 15th or 16th century, but University of Toledo researchers Barbara A. Mann and Jerry L. Fields challenged that in their 1997 paper in the “American Indian Culture and Research Journal,” which stated the eclipse that likely marked the confederacy’s formation happened on August 22, 1142, as Ganondagan, where the ratification council took place, was in the path of totality for that eclipse.

“The eclipse gives us an opportunity to have a conversation about what Haudenosaunee people created — a lasting and peaceful Confederacy, which exists until this day,” Galban said. “We want to use this moment to talk about what peace looks like from a Haudenosaunee perspective: not simply the absence of war, it’s a relationship that has to be fostered and tended to year in and year out.”

Following the eclipse on April 8, visitors to Fort Hill are encouraged to stick around for a fire, traditional games, and other activities.


Like breathing MUSIC

Asilhouetted portrait, five tracks, and a litany of emotions make up Chi TheRealist’s newest EP, “Shadow Work.” After the unexpected passing of his ‘mom’ (grandmother), the hip-hop soul rapper known for his lyricism and vulnerability is working through his self-described ‘cocoon phase’ — but to an outsider, the music he’s producing is as real as it gets.

“She raised me, and I owe a lot of my life to her,” said Chi TheRealist, whose real name is James Boykins “The EP was a very self-reflective, introspective, painful growing experience. I needed to say these things to her. It’s not a project, it’s a work in progress of myself.”

Using emotions to fuel the fire behind his lyrics is innate to Boykins — rapping has always been an outlet. At first, it paved a path to acceptance from his peers, from winning rap battles amid cluttered lockers and classroom doors to crafting every verse better than the one prior.

“I’m no longer just ‘fat James’ who everybody is picking on, now I’m becoming a topic, I’m becoming a ‘something,’” Boykins said.

Finding his identity while racking up punch lines, studying Little Wayne, Drake, Jay Z, and Eminem, that channel started to teeter between validity and transparency. Boykins wrote his first song, “The Life of a Teenager,” when he was 14.

Between the punch lines of Chi TheRealist.

16 CITY MARCH 2024

“I never knew my mother, I never met her, and I didn’t have an answer for why,” he said. “I was bullied hard for it, so when kids would pick on me, I’d tell them she was dead.”

That first song admitted his mother was alive and was about wanting her love, and “I started to find that vulnerability was my ticket,” Boykins said.

Boykins went from performances and church to high school talent shows to the Cypher Arts Program, where local music director Joe Mangano took him under his wing. He learned recording, articulation, and song structure and started putting on monthly shows with Cypher, always bringing something new.

Because he was too young to perform at some venues, Boykins got involved in poetry. He attended open mic nights every week (so much so that they stopped charging him to attend) and soon joined Roc Bottom Slam Team, founded by a Program Manager at The Center for Youth, Lu Highsmith. Through the slam team, Boykins met Shaq Payne, a teaching artist for Young Audiences New York, who transitioned him from a rapper to a competing slam poet.

Those open mic nights soon connected Boykins with Rochester powerhouse Danielle Ponder, who would perform after poetry competitions. Five years later, she asked him to join her onstage at the Lilac Festival. That performance led to another, and then another, and eventually, Ponder would just call Boykins up on stage if she saw him in the crowd.

“It was two things—talent and

ambition,” Ponder said. “When I see that, I just want to help in any way I can. I’m also just a fan of his as well. I want him as an opener because I selfishly want to watch the show. I want him on a song because I want him to enhance the song. He’s that good.”

She was a role model to him from the start, and Boykins credits Ponder with much of his technique.

“She’s always been the angel guiding me, filling me with so much inspiration. How to be resilient, how to perform, how to really command a stage and take a show to another level — I learned how to do that from her,” Boykins said.

Speaking with his body and making an audience feel tension, joy, and relief without using words is the root of Boykins’s energy, and Ponder has always been in awe of that.

“He’s one of the top performers that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of people,” she said. “It’s not only his words, but his ability to connect with the audience and get everyone feeling alive. You can’t help but get out of your head, get out of whatever your problems are, and be fully present when you’re at one of his shows.”

Whether it’s the words he presses on paper or the zeal he brings onstage, Boykins has never broken things down to a science. They’ve never been forced or queued. His emotions pilot his art and his vulnerability.

“I just kind of do it,” he said, “like breathing.”

“Shadow Work” is available on all streaming services, and updates from Chi TheRealist can be found on his social media.


The music of the spheres

For those who subscribe to astrology, it can feel like fate is written in the stars. But what about the songs musicians write?

It’s not as simple as knowing the corresponding Zodiac sign to come up with a one-size-fits-all approach (as much as pop culture would tell us otherwise).

Enter Teagan West, a practitioner of Ayurvedic natural medicine and an astrologer. The esoteric expert from Rochester has studied astrology for more than 10 years, but has never created astrological birth charts for songs — until now.

CITY selected four songs by local artists, who then provided the exact date, time, and place where the song was written. With a knowledge of Zodiac archetypes and ancient data about the positions of the planets and constellations in the sky, West constructed a wheel-like chart for each song as a way to reflect patterns in the creation of the music.

“When I'm looking at an astrology chart, it's a map of creation, organizing itself through these symbols,” she said. “So whether it's a person or a song or an art piece, these are all aspects of creation that are here for us to kind of understand the archetypal energies that they embody and express.”

Check out CITY’s ‘Music of the Spheres’ mini-playlist, featuring the songs above, by scanning the QR code.

An astrologer digs into the birth charts of four locally written songs to find meaning.
Teagan West is an Ayurvedic practitioner and astrologer well-versed in esoteric means of insight. PHOTO PROVIDED
18 CITY MARCH 2024

“Shrooms” by Coral Moons

Singer-guitarist Carly Kraft was at home in Canandaigua at 9 p.m. on January 4, 2023. She had purchased a JHS guitar pedal, and the wobbly tone it produced sounded drug-induced to Kraft’s ear. That sound prompted the leader of rock-pop quartet Coral Moons to think about the annual party she hosts at her woodsy abode for her old college soccer buddies, and in a matter of 20 minutes she had written the song “Shrooms.”

“I felt kind of high and happy writing it, which was exactly the emotion of doing drugs with my friends at my house and getting to share my space with people,” Kraft said. “Like that kind of high as well — having hospitality toward my friends to come experience something special.”

The reading: key symbols were the ruling planet of Mercury, with a Capricorn sun and Virgo rising. There’s a strong sense of earth energy, and ultimately a sense of shared liberation.

“The Earth placement tells me that there's a lot of organization and percussion,” West said. “Because Earth gives us rhythm, it gives us structure. And so with ‘Shrooms,’ there is this beautiful, channeled writing, but it comes through this very well organized, clear pace.”

“Tides” by Reddy Hollow

Matt Geffers and Noah Parshall, the duo behind indie rock outfit Reddy Hollow, wrote “Tides” at their apartment in Rochester on March 2, 2023, at 10 p.m. An upbeat song with complicated emotional underpinnings, “Tides” speaks to the frustration and indecision that comes with everyday struggles, particularly as they pertain to relationships and money problems.

“It's a really fast, upbeat song, because especially when you're frustrated, everything seems to be moving twice as fast,” Parshall said.

The reading: The seemingly contradictory characteristics of the song resulted in a complicated astrological chart. The ruling planet was Aries, representing creativity and boldness, but the presence of Pisces and Cancer signs indicated emotional complexity.

The birth chart spoke to an attempt to balance between what is revealed and what is concealed, which West said is at the heart of the track. “The song felt like it was trying to negotiate how much it was really just going full-blown emotional, or having this more upbeat, playful energy to it,” she said, “and I felt that the paradox was really evident in the chart as well.”

“The Darkness” by Daggz “Sucker’s Broth” by Ku

Electronic musician Ryan Daggs, AKA Daggz, is no stranger to mystical interests. A student of occult mythology and hermetic Gnosticism (a religious belief system considered heretical to Christianity), Daggs came across a text called “The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean,” which speaks to the fall of Atlantis and communication with evil forces that led to human corruption. A pulsating, groove-based dance track, “The Darkness” — which he wrote in Rochester on April 2, 2021 at 3:28 p.m. — begins with a cryptic reading from that book.

“The idea came to me for the build-up, swelling bass sound that ushers in the drop,” Daggs said. “I wanted it to map up with a portal, like it was some priests’ cult in the Atlantean times using black magic to bring dark forces in.”

The intended sensibility is foreboding and unsettling, but also awe-inspiring.

The reading: Unlike with the other songs, West was already familiar with “The Darkness,” having participated in a video for it with Daggs, who is a friend. Going into the reading, she knew the song would address occultic themes while tapping into the unconscious and things that are present in society but are rarely discussed.

The presence of the “rebel with a cause” Aries and mysterious Pisces confirmed West’s suspicions. “The birth chart of the song has this whole cluster in the eighth and ninth house, and these houses deal with the occult, with the hidden with higher wisdom traditions, and the seeking of knowledge to achieve liberation,” she said.

Bassist-songwriter Kamara Robideau, AKA Ku, provided two dates for her song “Sucker’s Broth” — one for the beginning of the writing process, and another for its conclusion. She started writing the song in Niles, New York, on March 19, 2021 at 11:15 a.m., and finished it on May 21 of that year at 11:20 a.m.

Unlike most of Robideau’s compositions, “Sucker’s Broth” began with the title, after she incorrectly read a street sign. Although the song captures a sadness and cynicism the musician was feeling at the time, she knew she wanted to write simple, straightforward pop. “A lot of the songs that I have are either really happy, really creepy, or this confusing blend,” she said.

The reading: The creative energy that comes with Gemini and Pisces symbolism took over the initial chart, imbuing it with a dreamy quality, said West. The second chart indicating the completion of the song still contained heavy Gemini influence, but the presence of Pisces had shifted to its polar opposite, Virgo.

“Pisces is just pure creative inspiration and this dream-like flow state,” West said. “And then its opposite mirror, Virgo, is the refinement of that energy: ‘How do we bring this into tangible form? How do we write it and compose it and make it actually something that we can hold?’”

20 CITY MARCH 2024 Scene


Rochester’s reggae royalty in Majestics have been a mainstay in the local music scene for decades, and they continue their relevance with the release of “Lonesome Cowboy.” The eight-track collection has the rootsreggae underpinnings that have long characterized the band’s sound, but the music is stylistically expansive. A classic rock feel abounds, and smatterings of Americana — both lyrically and sonically — make for delightful diversions.

As ever, Majestics’ songs are tuneful and dig into the groove. The title track opens the proceedings with subtle, mid-tempo danceability. Jim Schwarz provides a steady hand on bass guitar, and Ron Stackman’s endearing vocals combine an excellent tenor range with scratchy gravitas — a timbre similar to that of Eagles’s singer Don Henley. That classic rock comparison extends to songs like “Buck Rogers,” with its atmospheric guitar conjuring wide open spaces and a sense of pervasive mystery.

An American Western theme weaves its way throughout the album. Trouble seems to lurk around every corner, from the threat of an unsettling neighbor in the unavoidably catchy “Man Next Door” to the presence of a ‘lone ranger’ on “In Danger.”

Majestics nod to their former collaborator, the late Lee “Scratch” Perry, with their version of his instrumental track “Untitled Riddim.” The song manages to mix reggae, smooth jazz, folk, and even Middle Eastern melody in a blender for a tasty concoction.


In its latest five-song EP, “Resilience,” Wandering Oak packs a lot of musical moments into more than 40 minutes. The Rochester metal trio is thoughtful with its sonic barrage, balancing pummeling blast beats with guitar riffs that call back to ’80s classic melodic metal acts such as Iron Maiden. Robert Bruce Pollard’s versatile voice shapeshifts from deep growls and primal black metal screams to an operatic tone similar to Serj Tankian of System of a Down.

Released on February 2, the EP opens unabashedly with the 11-minute epic “To Lir They Fell.” The song has a busy construction, but the band is in no rush as it gives each musical idea time in the limelight to develop.

“A Florid Grain” distills heavy metal in acoustic instrumentation with whispered tones before the song gets whisked away by a progressive whirlwind of throat-shredding caterwauls and fittingly indulgent guitar solos.The title track’s blistering rhythms, paired with enigmatic and chameleon-like vocals, make for a heavy occult banger that’s as mercurial as it is technical.

The towering presence of Wandering Oak’s rhythm section can’t be overlooked, either. Throughout the EP, drummer CW Dunbar and fretless bassist Deidre House lay down the primal soul of the music with the essential precision on which Pollard’s performance depends.

On “Resilience,” the band has reduced the folk-like strains prevalent in the 2019 album “Passage Elemental” — without losing any of its mystical sensibilities.


Super Clean Vol. 1. welcomes and invites as it confidently stitches the raw, skilled approaches of musicians Grace Serene (vocals), Arjun Baxter (bass guitar), Joe Stehle (keyboards), Brendan Caroselli (percussion), and Zack Mikida (guitar). A product of real-time, sublime collaboration, the simplicity balances embellishment in all eight track offerings. (Yeah… I think we can dance in here.)

“Rear View Mirror,” an overture and good-time-gospel-funk groover, channels the crowd to the pit, effortlessly romping through the shifting musical valley and not upsetting a single chordal flower. Slick strutter “Dirty Laundry” opens up space for “Warfare,” where Grace’s vocal dexterity is on full display, as is the warfare that can rage within one’s mind: The world’s on fire, I don’t know who to blame, they say hide away, but I just lie awake. Uncertainties empathized by tango-twinge and prowess climb up high on the electric guitar neck.

As “Time Of My Life” rips open into a soulful, syncopated two-step, the search continues from zero to 60, wilting ecstasy into unknown flats. Clear also is the live element as related to the entire universe of the song. A reward and an invite; with riffs, grooves, and hooks only discoverable via time spent as a band, are hard boiled onto the album’s DNA.

Beckoning through dusk, “Adrenaline Rush” reverberates, cool spaces perfumed with long vocal phrases and lust: She was like an adrenaline rush, she’s your morning sun and gone at dusk. The Super Clean’s cohesion is apparent as it exits tastefully with some low-end thump and continues into “Without Me.”


The world of jazz has had its share of unlikely – but great – mashups. Just listen to Cannonball Adderley’s entire album exploring “Fiddler on the Roof.” But, with “Bizet: Carmen in Jazz,” multireedist John Ellis enters the rarely traversed territory where opera meets jazz. Ellis’s quartet, which includes Eastman School of Music Professor Gary Versace on piano, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Jason Marsalis, is more than up to the task.

Ellis wastes no time in establishing his prowess with “Habanera,” playing a lively, lilting soprano sax solo. (“Habanera,” Bizet’s best-known aria, is actually lifted from “El Arreglito,” by Sebastián Yradier. Bizet thought it was a folk tune, so we’ll forgive him.)

“Toreador,” Bizet’s other greatest hit, finds Ellis playing the first section on tenor sax before switching to soprano for a decidedly New Orleans-inspired take on the more well-known theme. Between the two sections, Rogers takes the spotlight for one of his solid bass solos.

The two standout tunes are “Seguidilla” and “Gypsy Song.” The transition from opera to jazz calls for melodic and rhythmic changes, but Bizet’s chord structures underlying these two great arias prove to be ripe for inspired improvisation. “Seguidilla” features some powerhouse drumming by Marsalis, while “Gypsy Song” offers Versace a chance to stretch out wonderfully on the keyboard.

“Flower Song,” an aria sung by the male lead in “Carmen,” is presented here in duet form, with evocative counterpoint between Versace’s elegant piano and Ellis’s gorgeous sax.

Elsewhere, the band’s take on the traditional classic “Drunken Sailor” is pitch-perfect in its stylistic tone, as a rustic fiddle solo flourishes against signature reggae rhythms. Musically, it’s an encapsulation of an unlikely but effective mash-up in which Caribbean vibes meet the big-sky sonics of desert rock. As a whole, “Lonesome Cowboy” is a fun escape that feels both nostalgic and fresh. —

Because of Wandering Oak’s devotion to melodic ideas in a genre that doesn’t always emphasize such attributes, “Resilience” is an excellent introduction to heavy metal and its more visceral aesthetics.

Brass is introduced for the final two tracks: the operatic “Don’t Blame Me for Trying” is a humble head-nodder at onset until it blooms and refrains beneath solo percussion, begging for memorization of the throbbing anthem. Answering the heart-hole left after album’s end, “See You Soon” reassures that Rochester will always be a home.

Ellis is superb throughout, shaping his imaginative solos on tenor or soprano sax and on bass clarinet for the pensive final track, “Card Song.” Versace is the second star, whether providing distinctive accompaniment or adventurous solos. Ellis’s arrangements are unique throughout and, happily, in this version of “Carmen,” the music remains great but no one has to die.



todo DAILY

Full calendar of events online at


Kearstin Piper Brown & Friends from BSUE

Asbury First Church,



Reception: “Built Environments,” “Hawkins/ Gonzalez,” “David Cowles: ROC Stars”

Rochester Contemporary Art Center,

It’s a triple header First Friday at ROCO this month, as three shows — one video, two physical — officially open at the downtown gallery. The artists in “Built Environments:

Forging Worlds through Video Art,” through coding, animation, and storytelling, have built through-thelooking-glass worlds reflecting ours, but entirely their own. “Hawkins/ Gonzalez” presents the compelling artistic visions of Rochester-based painter, Cynthia Hawkins and Binghamton-based sculptor Ronald Gonzalez. The two-person exhibition features 20 paintings and works on paper by Hawkins, alongside over 80 of Gonzalez’s found object sculptures. Lastly, 59 colorful portraits of Rochester’s past and present community leaders will be displayed together like never before in the exhibition “David Cowles: Roc Stars,” by renowned educator and illustrator David Cowles. $2 for non-members; free for members.


Disintegration and The Smiths etc

Photo City Music Hall,

If you’re into indie pop music from the ’80s, this tribute show offers a two-fer: the music of The Cure and The Smiths, performed in backto-back sets by the cover bands Disintegration and The Smiths etc, respectively. Before there was emo, there were Robert Smith and Morrissey, the twin talismans of sensitive songwriters and their avid fans. Doors open for the 18+ show at 8 p.m. $19.


“Sisyphus: Noir in Cursive!”


If life is to be lived, obey its absurdity. Sisyphus pushes and pushes. Perhaps the aches lay in your projection? This elevated drama promises that Sisyphus can live happily under his duress. If life is to be lived, obey its absurdity! The Velvet Noose presents avant-garde physicality, exploring the intimate self in relationship, conflict, and ecstasy. The inanimate animates — revealing therapeutic interludes that bleed into sequenced theatrics. To liberate the human subconscious, they combine poetic expression, puppeteering maskwork, and original sound design “to form language superior to words,” that invites the spectator into the spectacle. (Note: performance may include nudity, flashing lights, and loud noises.) 7:30 p.m.; tickets are pay as you wish. Runs through March 9. LS


Wicked Album Release Show

Water Street Music Hall, This hair metal band doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s totally earnest about its music. An unironic homage to the excessive ’80s heyday of glam metal bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison, the Rochester quartet brings its anthemic sensibilities to a new set of songs under the title “Sunburn,” which it will release on Saturday. If The Darkness owed a debt to aughts-era emo, you’d get close to the music of Wicked. Televisionaries, Continental Drifft, and Blue Envy play in support at this 21-and-over show. 7 p.m. $14-$30. DK



Flour City Flea feat. Adrianna Noone

Flour City Station, flourcitystation

A Sunday afternoon in late winter seems like the perfect time to come in from the cold and see what local artists and vendors have to offer. The afternoon kicks off at 2 p.m., and at 5 p.m. there’s a built-in soundtrack with singer-songwriter Adrianna Noone playing until 7 p.m. Entry is free, attendees must be 18+ (16+ with a parent or guardian). DK

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of WXXI-FM 91.5, join WXXI Classical for this special concert featuring Kearstin Piper Brown with Nyla Thomas and musicians from the Black Student Union @ Eastman (BSUE). This special performance will be held just prior to Brown’s Metropolitan Opera April debut in Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up In My Bones.” The free event is from 3 – 5 p.m., and a short meetand-greet reception with Kearstin will immediately follow the performance.



David Michael Miller

Genesee Brew House,

Singer-guitarist David Michael Miller plays a rare solo gig, sans Sinners, in the friendly confines of Genesee Brewery’s bar and restaurant. Best known as the frontman for Miller and the Other Sinners, the polished performer combines blues rock, soul, and R&B for a sound that manages to be both smooth and gritty. Miller plays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. DK



“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”

Geva Theatre,

The incomparable 20th-century jazz vocalist Billie Holiday was a legend who inspired countless singers after her. So it’s always the right time to pay homage to Holiday’s iconic voice and the songs she sang. The musical revue “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” is an excellent vehicle for such a tribute, which intends to place the audience front-and-center at one Holiday’s vintage performances, as it paints a portrait of the musician’s life. In fact, a handful of tables for two are available onstage for $100. Standard seating is $30-$62. The show runs through March 31. DK


N 1 A 2 P 3 A 4 P 5 A 6 R 7 I 8 S 9 I 10 T 11 A 12 L 13 U 14 M 15 B 16 R 17 A 18 E 19 R O S A 20 R I S E M 21 O R E S 22 T R E W W 23 E S H O 24 U L D B E A 25 U R A A 26 V I L A E 27 N T E R E 28 E N S C 29 R E S T 30 D 31 I R R 32 O I A 33 C 34 N E S 35 T A R 36 T 37 L E D A 38 T T A 39 C H M 40 E 41 A 42 N 43 S 44 I 45 T C 46 H I E F S B 47 L A H 48 L 49 I O N S S 50 H E D B 51 Y 52 T 53 H E A 54 B 55 S P 56 R 57 E A 58 B I 59 D 60 E 61 E 62 U R O H 63 R S E 64 T C 65 I 66 M A M I 67 C E R E 68 M O 69 R T 70 I K I G 71 K R 72 O C H E S T E R N Y T 73 O N N 74 I G 75 H 76 T 77 N H 78 E M 79 A T E E 80 E R O Z 81 I N 82 C 83 A R I 84 T A N T 85 R O L L 86 C 87 H E 88 M 89 A L S 90 C E N T D 91 O H 92 A S 93 M 94 A 95 L 96 L L 97 E 98 I A A 99 S 100 P 101 E C T F 102 O O L I S H 103 A 104 G H A 105 S 106 T 107 S 108 U N N O T B 109 Y E 110 A 111 R N D 112 E I S 113 I E P 114 R O A 115 M 116 S 117 O 118 L D A 119 L 120 O N G E 121 T U D 122 E 123 A 124 D U E T 125 H E E C 126 L I P S E S 127 U M O S N 128 O D E D 129 I N E D S 130 T E R S 131 P O R T G 132 R I T S 133 O A R S A 134 S I S





Bug Jar,

Several things have changed for the indie band Laveda since it last played the Bug Jar in 2020. What began as the duo of Ali Genevich and Jake Brooks in Albany has expanded to a four-piece in Brooklyn, and the glossy pop veneer of its earlier songs has given way to dirty guitar distortions and other shoegaze-y textures on its 2023 album “A Place You Grew Up in.” The mesmerizing quality of the music remains the same. Local acts Big Nobody and Georgie round out the lineup. Doors for the 21-and-over show open at 8 p.m., and the music starts at 9 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. DK


Escuela Grind

Water Street Music Hall, “Revolver” once referred to this New England hardcore band as “makers of mind-expanding, twerk-inducing grindcore.” Not the words I would have chosen, but they fit. Escuela Grind really puts the emphasis on grind. Like Napalm Death and other grind greats, the music makes you feel like you are in a pulsing, churning blender. The tempos vary a lot and praise be to the hardcore gods, the songs are not wall-to-wall blast beats. The frenzied and flurried drum outbursts are there and they pummel you, but they are tightly controlled and all the more powerful for it. Capra, Freya, and Coalition are also on the bill. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is $20 in advance and $25 day of show. JEREMY MOULE



Happiest Hour

Strong Museum of Play,

The other evening my partner and I took our friend’s son for some Friday night fun at the Strong. It was the first time I’d been in it after the overhaul and expansion — there was a lot to explore before and even more to see and do now. I loved my time there with the little one, but I was more focused on making sure he didn’t fall off the carousel; and not so much on the fun around me. Happiest Hour is a chance for grownups to have the run of the museum and explore play for themselves. It sounds fun as hell and I’m itching to go to one of these in the future. Happiest Hour is actually four hours — it runs from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $22-$36 (buy in advance, since the events often sell out). JM


March into Mezcal


When it comes to tequila, I’d rather it stay in the bottle. But it’s a completely different story for its smoky cousin, mezcal. That’s the good stuff, whether it’s straight or in a cocktail. Plus, at least one kind comes with a scorpion in the bottle. During this class, participants will get six mezcal tastings and learn about how mezcal and agave spirits are made — essential knowledge if you want to pick the pour that best suits your tastes. They’ll also learn about where mezcal is made and how it is both similar to and different from tequila. Tickets for March into Mezcal are $35 and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. JM



John Mellencamp

West Herr Auditorium Theatre,

John “Cougar” Mellencamp is an artist who needs no explanation. The singer-songwriter’s household name precedes him wherever he brings his pop ditties rooted in midwestern rock ‘n’ roll. Mellencamp will undoubtedly indulge fans who can’t wait to hear hits like “Jack and Diane,” “Small Town,” “Pink Houses,” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” 7 p.m. doors and music at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $60. DK


24 CITY MARCH 2024


It’s the month of Spring, Women’s History, Saint Patrick’s Day, and March Madness. It’s the month of hope and the promise of longer, warmer days (fingers crossed). But it can also feel like one of the longest months on the calendar. The key to enjoying the days is to get out and enjoy yourself! We think you should add a couple of these events to your March calendar.

David Cowles: ROC Stars

Friday, March 1 from 6-9 p.m. at Rochester Contemporary Art Center | 137 East Ave. Part of First Fridays, RoCo hosts an exhibit of 59 colorful portraits by David Cowles that celebrate the essence of the city’s past and present icons including WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein. Visit for details.

WXXI Classical Presents Kearstin Piper Brown + Friends

Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m. at Asbury First United Methodist Church

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of WXXI-FM 91.5, join WXXI Classical for this special concert featuring Kearstin Piper Brown with Nyla Thomas and musicians from the Black Student Union @ Eastman (BSUE). This event is free. Visit for more details.

The Little’s Oscar Movie Trivia Party

Sunday, March 10 at 4 p.m.

at The Little Theatre

Join The Little’s staff for a night of Oscar movie trivia, with plenty of prizes, themed snacks, and a hefty dose of nonsense! Beer and wine, Oscar bingo, giveaways, and more during the ceremony, all on the big screen! Tickets on sale at

Spelman College Glee Club Concert

Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Asbury First United Methodist Church

An evening with the internationally acclaimed Spelman College Glee Club. Tickets are $25 for adults, and $10 for students under 18 (with ID). For more details + a link to purchase tickets, visit



An American Family at 50

Monday, March 4

at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Explore how a documentary series became a media sensation 50 years ago and gave birth to a new television genre. The series challenged conventional views of middleclass American family life with its depiction of marital tensions that led to divorce, an elder son’s gay lifestyle, and the changing values of American families. An American Family at 50 revisits the original series and explores its significance and impact on film and television going forward.

& Jack on Masterpiece

Sunday, March 17

at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV

When Alice and Jack first meet, they’re bound by a connection so powerful it seems nothing can break it, but will their path lead them to a place of happiness and togetherness? Or will life and their own emotional complexities get in the way?

Dante: Inferno to Paradise

Monday, March 18 + Tuesday, March 19 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV

This landmark documentary by Ric Burns explores the riveting life and times of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) and his soaring masterpiece The Divine Comedy -- inarguably one of the greatest achievements in the history of literature.

POV: unseen

Monday, March 18

at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV

As a blind, undocumented immigrant, Pedro (pictured) faces uncertainty about obtaining his college degree, becoming a social worker, and supporting his family. Through experimental cinematography and sound, unseen reimagines the accessibility of cinema, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health. This film is presented as part of Move to IncludeTM, a WXXI and Golisano Foundation partnership designed to promote inclusion. Visit to learn more.

Credit: Provided by POV

Menus-Plaisirs – Les Trolsgros

Friday, March 22 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV

Frederick Wiseman explores the lives and famed culinary artistry of the Troigros family in the French countryside, taking us from sourcing ingredients and menu planning to the organized chaos of the kitchen to the ingenuity and creation of a dish.

Credit: Zipporah Films

American Masters: Moynihan

Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV

He was an influential intellectual and sociologist, policy specialist, ambassador, and long-serving senator. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) did not just live in the twentieth century, he strode across it: a colossus of ideas and a man of deeds. The first feature-length documentary about his life captures Moynihan as never before.

Credit: WNET American Masters

Photo: The Loud Family • Credit: The WNET Group Alice Photo: Domhnall Gleeson as Jack and Andrea Riseborough as Alice • Credit: Fremantle


In charge of the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery, Rebecca has been responsible for such high-profile titles as Prime Suspect, Bleak House, and Inspector Morse. She is also the creative force behind Downton Abbey, Sherlock,Victoria, Poldark, and dozens of other acclaimed British dramas to American audiences. Under her leadership, Masterpiece has won 62 Primetime Emmy Awards®, 16 Peabody Awards, six Golden Globes®, and two Academy Award® nominations.You can check out many of these Masterpiece series on the PBS App (

3. Michel Martin,

of NPR’s Morning Edition

Michel joined NPR in 2006 to launch the interview show Tell Me More. She served as the weekend host of All Things Considered from 2016 through 2023, at which time she was named host of Morning Edition. Michel has received numerous awards for her work including the Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award, and the 2021 recipient of PMJA’s 2021 Leo C. Lee

Morning Edition airs weekdays, 5-10 a.m. on WXXI News (FM 105.9).

Lidia is also a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Born in Pola,Yugoslav, and raised in Italy, she and her family emigrated to the United States in 1958. She has authored more than 15 cookbooks, hosted dozens of cooking series, and garnered numerous accolades including many James Beard Awards,Telly Awards, and Emmy Award nominations. Lidia’s Kitchen airs Saturdays at 12 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Credit: Provided by American Public Television

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on seven amazing women in public media.

Amna has reported from the White House, across the country, and around the world on a range of topics including politics, immigration, foreign affairs, education, climate, culture, and sports. She also serves as an NBC News and MSNBC contributor.Throughout her career, she has covered major events such as the January 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol; the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde,Texas; the elections and inaugurations of President Joe Biden, President Donald J.Trump, and President Barack Obama, and more. PBS NewsHour airs weekdays at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Sunday Baroque signed on to public radio in 1987. Originated by Suzanne, the weekly radio program showcases music composed in the baroque era (16001750) and the years leading up to it. It features music by a wide range of iconic composers, as well as many talented but less well known ones. Suzanne is a classically trained flutist, who continues to perform frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. Sunday Baroque airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on WXXI Classical.

Credit: Provided by

5. Raina Douris, host of World Café

Raina is the host and writer of NPR’s daily nationally syndicated music interview and discovery program World Café. She has interviewed artists like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Questlove and Brandi Carlile, and was a 2022 keynote lecturer on the topic of Folk Music and music discovery at the Chautauqua Institution.You can hear Raina on World Café weekdays, 2- 4 p.m. on The Route, WRUR-FM 88.5 (Rochester) + WITHFM 90.1 (Ithaca).

Karen has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about the NYS government, New York Now She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers. She is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism from the Legislative Correspondents Association, and was named Media Person of the Year for 2009 by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.You can catch Karen’s reports weekdays from 5-10 a.m. on Morning Edition and 4-7 p.m. during All Things Considered on WXXI News (FM 105.9)

Credit: PBS NewsHour/Mike Morgan Credit: Provided by WXXI Award. Credit: Steve Voss/NPR 1. Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer-at-Large for Masterpiece 6. Lidia Bastianich, Emmy award-winning public television host 2. Amna Nawaz, co-anchor of PBS NewsHour 7. Karen DeWitt, Capitol Bureau Chief for the New York Public News 4. Suzanne Bona, host of Sunday Baroque host Credit: Britney Townsend/WXPN


Can you share your journey to becoming a Classical radio host?

Q. Q. A. A.

I have always loved talking to people about music. My undergrad degree is in music education, and I started a YouTube channel in 2013 called The Listener’s Guide to try to make classical music more accessible to the public. When I heard that WXXI was looking for new part-time hosts in 2019, I jumped at the opportunity. I was a grad student at Eastman working on my dissertation, so my schedule was flexible enough that I could jump in whenever WXXI needed me. Then when WXXI Classical mid-day host and Music Director Julia Figueras announced her retirement last year, it happened to work out perfectly with the end of my degree, so I applied for the new host position. I’m so grateful for this new role and for the warm welcome that I have gotten from so many listeners throughout the region!


Steve is passionate about making classical music accessible to everyone. His knowledge of the music is only matched by his desire to share its beauty with his listeners. Through carefully curated playlists and insightful commentary, Steve has a knack for making the music come alive in a way that’s both engaging and enlightening.

Steve has also been involved in many online music educational outreach projects. This includes his own award-winning YouTube series “The Listener’s Guide,” and a collaboration with the Dallas Opera to create a humorous opera synopsis series “Opera in Brief.” You should Google both! We had a chance to ask Steve a few questions to get to know him and his philosophy about music.

In the age of digital streaming and instant access to music, how do you see the role of traditional radio in promoting and preserving classical music?

Streaming makes it so easy to find great recordings of popular pieces, and there are plenty of playlists of well-known performers doing well-known music. What we offer at WXXI is a deeper dive curated by experts. My role is really to connect with the audience and to guide them to music that they may never have heard before— which they can also explore on streaming once I’ve helped them find it! I’ve started making TikToks and Instagram reels featuring some of these discoveries, and I often get comments saying something along the lines of “new favorite composer!” and that’s how I know I’ve done my job right.

Editor’s note: You can follow Steve on TikTok at @stevetomjohn. His TikToks are also shared on WXXI Classical’s Facebook page.

28 CITY MARCH 2024

Q. A.

Classical music often has rich historical and cultural contexts. How do you incorporate educational elements into your radio show to enhance the listener’s understanding and appreciation of the music?

I choose four pieces a day that I get to tell stories about (one per hour). There’s no rhyme or reason to which ones I choose—it’s honestly usually just the ones with the best stories! Then I write myself out a little blurb to help me tell the story because I only get about one minute between pieces to share. I try to make the most out of that minute. Above all, I want it to matter to the listener. “This is nifty” can be fun, but “this is important” is so much more impactful!

Q. A.

How do you make Classical music more accessible to newcomers?

How much space do I have? Just kidding—mostly. My guiding value in all of this work is that we are building communities. I want to connect with people through music. Most of the reasons people find classical music inaccessible is because of all of the ways they feel excluded from the community for one reason or another. The most important way to fight that is to make sure that people feel fully welcome. We have to actually reach out to the communities that have been excluded and show them that they do matter to us, that we do see them, and that we want them here.

Q. A.

Classical music has a reputation for being so formal. How do you inject a sense of personality and relatability into your radio hosting to connect with your audience on a more personal level?

I think the stories really help. Part of the formality is this idea that we’re dealing with gifts of the gods when I really think what makes classical music so special is that it was created by humans just like you and me. I talk about the stories that led people to write or perform a given piece—these are people with hopes and dreams, people who make silly mistakes, people who embarrass themselves sometimes, and people who take all that together and still have the guts to put music out into the world. I was just telling a story recently about Liszt’s “Festival Sounds,” which is this celebratory, joyful piece, but it is actually very sad for me to hear because he wrote it for his own wedding that was never able to happen. The woman he spent decades with was prevented from going through with the ceremony. That’s something I think a lot of us can relate to on one level or another—who hasn’t pinned all their hopes and dreams on one thing and seen them come crashing down? I have so many stories with so many different emotions and music to go with them all, and that’s what helps me build these connections with the listener.


State of the Union Address

Thursday, March 7 at 9 p.m. on WXXI News

WXXI News provides live NPR coverage of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. It will be Biden’s final such address before the 2024 presidential election.

Witness: Women’s History Month

Sunday, March 10 at 9 p.m. on WXXI News

Remarkable stories of women’s history, told by the women who were there. Selected from the BBC’s Witness History program, we hear moving, inspiring, and even outrageous stories about a few of the most important women in living memory.

Live from Hochstein

Wednesday, March 20 at 12:10 p.m. on WXXI Classical Broadcast live from the Hochstein Performance Hall, this series, hosted by WXXI Classical’s Mona Seghatoleslami, presents performances by some of the finest artists from the Rochester area’s musical community. The season includes a celebration of the Nazareth College’s Women in Music Festival (3/27) featuring faculty performers from Nazareth University’s College of Music.

St. John Passion at the Leipzig Bach Festival

Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m. on WXXI Classical

One of Bach’s finest, most inspiring compositions, his St. John Passion is presented by The Choir and Orchestra of the J.S. Bach Foundation at Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church, where Bach premiered its first performance. Bach expert Rudolf Lutz conducts alongside a line-up of international soloists.

The full Q&A can be found at

Watermelon Sugar: Harry Styles + One Direction

Dance Party

Photo City Music Hall,

Leave your cynicism at the door and embrace the energy that made boy band One Direction — and its most popular member Harry Styles — the pop culture supernova of the 2010s. Photo City has become a consistent home for hip hoofers looking for the next dance party, so it makes sense that it would be the site of this up-tempo ode to bubblegum pop. The music of acts such as the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Olivia Rodrigo will also get some play. 8 p.m. doors. $25. DK


Shadow Show

Lux Bar,

Lux continues to book some of the coolest rock shows around, whether they feature familiar folks or newto-us bands. This time around, the Detroit trio Shadow Show brings fresh music from its new album “Fantasy Now!” Ava East, Kate Derringer, and Kerrigan Pearce play garage rock steeped ’60s pop psychedelia. Crunchy guitars, spacey synths, and hazy harmonies abound. Safety Meeting from Albany play in support. $10. $5. DK



Chili Cook-off

Flower City Arts Center,

For the 17th year, contenders from Rochester eateries duke it out for top honors in various sizzling categories.

From 4:30 - 8 p.m., vote for your favorites, be they meaty or vegetarian, at this family friendly event as you munch and mingle with friends of the Center. A handmade ceramic bowl is yours to keep as a reminder of your gastronomic achievement. Presale tickets are $35 for members, $40 for non-members, and $120 for a family pass (up to two adults and two kids under 12). LS


Sisters of Murphy

Skylark Lounge,

This is the golden season for perennial Irish rockers in Sisters of Murphy, with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon. Vocalist Mark Tichenor is ever the congenial frontman, and concertgoers can expect the good-time party energy to be high, even when the band is tearing through a wistful drinking song. The Sisters are some the most fun musicians to enjoy with a beer in hand, and the Skylark Lounge is one of my favorite spots to catch a rousing local show. The Ribbon Project opens the show. Doors at 8 p.m., music starts at 9 p.m. The 21-and-over show is $10 at the door. DK


“The Perfect Dog”

JCC Centerstage,

TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) ends its 19th season with a musical called “The Perfect Dog,” inspired by the book of the same name by New York Times bestselling author John O’Hurley (perhaps best known for his award-winning role as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld”). Performed live on stage by adult professional actors, the 70-minute production tells the story of Sam, a 12-year-old perfectionist searching for a flawless dog to enter in the town’s dog contest. Unable to find a canine that measures up to her exacting standards, Sam resorts to training the family dog Max, who is more interested in chasing balls than obeying commands. TYKEs is partnering with Operation Freedom Ride, a local non-profit organization that connects stray dogs and cats with loving homes (operationfreedomride. com). Tickets are $20 ($18 for JCC members); the show runs through March 17. LS




“Masters of Illusion”: The Live Tour

Kodak Center,

Those who love seeing magic performed live won’t want to miss this one-off performance at Kodak Center. The performance features some of the most talented magicians working today, as seen on The CW TV show of the same name. If you still believe in mystery and wonder, this may be the ticket for you. 6 p.m. Available seats start at $34. DK



History of Jazz Class with Mel Henderson

Flight Wine Bar,

Flight regularly hosts jazz performances featuring local musicians. But it isn’t every day that one of those musicians breaks down the history of Rochester’s rich jazz community. Guitarist Mel Henderson

of the band Paradigm Shift is your guide to a deeper appreciation of the local music scene. 6 p.m. $14. DK



Golden Link Tuesday Evening Singaround

Rochester Mennonite Fellowship,

The Golden Link Folk Singing Society says its weekly singarounds are meant to evoke feelings of joining together in song around a campfire. But there’s no wrong way to participate: you can bring an acoustic instrument and some song suggestions, lend your voice, or simply listen. Jeff Stewart leads this week’s singaround. Free. 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. DK




“Prelude: The Legacy of Garth Fagan”

SUNY Brockport,

With his retirement recently announced and a WXXI-produced documentary about his eponymous dance company winning Emmys and other accolades, Wednesday, March 13 will be Garth Fagan Legacy Day on the campus of SUNY Brockport. After a day of classes led by Garth Fagan Dance company members, the public is invited to a screening of “Prelude: The Legacy of Garth Fagan.” The screening — along with additional remarks, a work presented by the Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble, and an announcement about the new Garth Fagan Legacy Award — will begin at 7 p.m. in Hartwell Dance Theater in Hartwell Hall on the Brockport campus. The event is free, but tickets must be reserved, with a limit of two tickets per person. Tickets are available online, by calling 395-2787 or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office, 180 Holley Street, Brockport. LS



Lovin’ Cup,

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is in the air, it’s never the wrong time to escape to the Scottish Highlands, particularly with the music of Dàimh (pronounced Dive). The folk band plays songs in the Scottish Gaelic language, lending even greater authenticity to the tuneful, technically proficient music. The weather may still be cold outside, but Dàimh’s sound will warm you right up. 8 p.m. $29. DK

34 CITY MARCH 2024



ZooBrew Silent Disco

Three Heads Brewing,

The Seneca Park Zoo is bringing its ZooBrew event off-site for the first time, teaming up with Three Heads Brewing for a silent disco event. You can get your groove on to music curated by zoo staff, hang out with “animal ambassadors” and take advantage of dicounted zoo memberships. 6 p.m. Headsets are $10. A part of the proceeds goes to the Seneca Park Zoo and its conservation efforts. DK



Noah Fense Album Release Party

Photo City Music Hall,

This show isn’t just a celebration of rapper Noah Fense’s new album “Transformation: Destruction.” It’s also a celebration of the Rochester hip-hop scene itself, with supporting performances from Hassan Mackey, Negus Irap, Moses Rockwell, and Kai Onyx. But it’s Fense who will be in the spotlight, backed by a full band. Antipode will perform a late DJ set. Doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. $14-$30. DK



St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Downtown Rochester,

Pull out the Kelly green and get ready to yell ‘sláinte! The Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a self-described “moving show” dedicated to the celebration of St. Patrick and his life of service to others. The communitywide event brings thousands of people to downtown Rochester annually, kicking off with the parade at 12:30 p.m. and continuing with the Celtic Family Faire from 1 – 4 p.m. at The Hilton Garden Inn on East Main Street. This year’s faire will feature “In Jest,” a comedy review show; the 2023 Grand Marshals, Gates Keystone Club Police Pipe & Drums; and other entertainment including a juggling show, Irish storytelling, Irish dancers,

and cupcake decorating. The event is alcohol-free, and admission is a donation to Compeer Rochester. LS


“Canciones de mi Tierra”

Eastman Community Music School, Latino Theatre Company Soprano Hannah Moreno and pianist Érico Freire Bezerra will serenade audiences in this recital of Latin-American classical songs featuring music by composers from countries including Colombia, Brazil,

Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina, and Mexico. It’s a chance to hear music that is underrepresented in the classical repertoire, and perhaps find a new favorite song. This free concert is at 6 p.m. at Messenger Hall at Eastman Community Music School (the glass “fishbowl” room at 10 Gibbs Street).


Nickel Creek

Kodak Center,

To call the pop-Americana trio Nickel Creek a musical family is an understatement. Mandolinist Chris Thile has played with the Watkins siblings —


First Universalist Church of Rochester

fiddle player Sara and guitarist Sean —for 35 years, since before any of them were teenagers. Over seven studio albums and countless live shows, the talented musicians have turned their natural chemistry into effortless intuition. The band turned up the dial on its brand of progressive bluegrass with the postpandemic album “Celebrants” from 2023, blending folk music signifiers with experimental tendencies. If Nickel Creek’s most recent show in the area last summer at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards was any indication, the gig at Kodak Center is going to be an ecstatic celebration. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $61. DK


CITY 35 Easter Morning at Downtown Presbyterian Church e Rev. Val Fowler, preaching Festive music with choir and orchestra God’s Love Endures 121 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester NY • 585-325-4000 Dr. Lee S. Wright, Director of Music Ministry Salem United Church of Christ 60 Bittner Street 14604 • Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service March 28, 7:30pm Easter Sunday Service March 31, 10am Traditional Tenebrae service with readings telling the story of the Last Supper & Jesus’ betrayal. Join us in celebrating the good news of Christ’s resurrection! Won’t you join us? Sanctuary will be open for personal reflection. Good Friday March 29, 12-3pm No reservations required - we have plenty of room for social distancing.



Tartan Terrors

Fort Hill Performing Arts Center,

Fort Hill Performing Arts Center will host the Tartan Terrors, a one-of-akind Celtic ensemble that promises an unforgettable night of music, dance, folklore, and humor. Set to coincide with the festive atmosphere of St. Patrick’s Day, this event will be a celebration of Celtic heritage. The Tartan Terrors are not just a musical act; they are a Celtic invasion, infusing traditional melodies with an electrifying energy that captivates audiences worldwide. The ensemble’s unique blend of classic bagpipes, fiddle, driving drum tones, and signature guitar styles integrates award-winning step dancers and internationally recognized comedic performers to create a full cultural experience. Tickets start at $39. LS



FLX Trivia Night

Aurora Brewing Company,

There’s a relatively new entry to the trivia scene, but the venue will be familiar to those who like to drink their beers canal side. Located at the former Seven Stories Brewing Co., Aurora Brewing Company hosts a competitive, free trivia event each Monday. In addition to the availability of craft beer on tap, trivia participants can also partake in dollar slices courtesy of Perri’s Pizza. 7 p.m. DK



Faith Hubley 100th Birthday Short Films

Dryden Theatre,

Academy Award-winning independent animator Faith Hubley would have celebrated her 100th birthday in 2024. In partnership with her husband, John, then on her own, and finally with her daughter, Emily, Hubley created extraordinary works of abstract imagery and nonlinear stories, many drawing on themes of mythology and indigenous art. Unlike conventional hand-drawn animation where a camera takes pictures of paintings on celluloid photographed from above, she used a technique where drawings on paper were illuminated from below, giving the animation a special look. The nine films included here span much of her solo career, while dipping into her work with her husband and her daughter. Screenings begin at 7:30

p.m.; $9 members, $12 non-members, $5 students with ID, $5 17 and under. LS



“Sanctuary City”

Geva Theatre,

Theater is at its best when it deepens our understanding of humanity and awakens our empathy. The intimate Martyna Majok play “Sanctuary City” does just that, as it tells the story of two teenagers who have grown up as dreamers. But their shared bond is threatened by diverging realities when one of them becomes a naturalized citizen. The show opens today on the Fielding Stage and runs through April 7. $34. DK


36 CITY MARCH 2024





“A Fistful of Dollars”

Dryden Theatre,

Sergio Leone directed this 1964 spaghetti western which featured young Clint Eastwood in his first leading role, way back before he was Josie Wales, Harry Callahan, or Walt Kowalksi. It’s a classic and fun fact, it was based on the Samuri movie “Yojimbo.” And if you’re feeling adventurous, the Dryden is showing the Dollars Trilogy — or maybe you call it the Man With No Name Trilogy — for three consecutive nights. The 1965 sequel “For A Few More Dollars” plays tomorrow and 1966’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” plays Saturday. The screenings start at 7:30 p.m. and admission for each showing is $12, or $9 for members and $5 for students and children. JM



Blackfriars theatre,

In Melinda Lopez’s one-person play “Mala,” a woman struggles to deal with her relationship with her dying mother and tries to achieve clarity about her sense of self in the process. Mary Mendez Rizzo stars and Patricia Lewis Browne directs. “Mala” opens today and runs through April 5. $20$39. DK


“The Rivals”


Irish writer Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s first play was produced a year before the Declaration of Independence was written, but that hasn’t stopped the work from enduring. A satirical take on romance, social conventions and the myriad deceptions that ensue, “The Rivals” is a lighthearted romp similar in tone to Beaumarchais’s “Figaro” trilogy of plays. “The Rivals” is also where we get the term malapropism for using the wrong word at the right time. Presented by the Rochester Community Players and directed by Jean Gordon Ryon, this production — which runs from March 22 through April 6 — is sure to be fun. The opening night performance starts at 7:30 p.m. $15-$20. DK



“Lady of Song”

JCC Hart Theater,

Local R&B singer Cinnamon Jones has produced a proven winner in the musical revue “Lady of Song,” which has continued to get performances for the last several years. Jones is joined by a live band and numerous other dynamic Rochester-area singers as they embody such legends as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, and others. $20. DK


Green Jellÿ

Photo City Music Hall,

Remember “Three Little Pigs”? I do. And I remember buying the tape of Green Jellö’s “Cereal Killer Soundtrack” (the band hadn’t yet been forced to change its name for trademark reasons) at a record store in the Lockport Mall. The video still makes me smile, as does the fact that the band from Buffalo has a song called “Flight of the Scajaquada” which is about the well-know expressways which passes through Delaware Park icing over in a typical Western New York storm. Green Jellÿ will be joined by Well Worn Boot, Wyatt Coin, The Living Braindead, and Venom Mob. Tickets are roughly $20 and doors open at 7 p.m. JM



Drake White


Singer-songwriter Drake White makes music that isn’t quite country and isn’t quite soul, but it draws on the charm and poignancy of both. With material from last year’s stripped-down, mostly acoustic EP “The Bridge” and the

38 CITY MARCH 2024

soul-infused southern rock album

“The Optimystic” from 2022 in tow, White has a breezy delivery and an endearing tenor voice. If you like pop-country, but you’re not a fan of some of the genre’s more watereddown material commonly found on the radio, Drake White is a rewarding listen. 7 p.m. $35. DK



“The Rocks That Built Rochester”

Warner Castle,

It’s not an accident that 90% of the country’s cobblestone structures are located within 75 miles of Rochester. From cobblestones to picturesque cemeteries and stately red sandstone civic buildings to old mills, our area’s unique architectural heritage is, in part, a reflection of its singular geological history. Ancient shallow seas and more recent Ice Age glaciers have supplied local architects with a palette of materials and landscapes they have used to form communities over time, making buildings and public places an ongoing dialogue between the natural and human worlds. In this collaborative class between Rochester Brainery and Young Urban Preservationists (an affiliate group of The Landmark Society of Western New York), students will eavesdrop on that dialogue, linking some of the most treasured landmarks with the ancient geologic processes that made them possible and continue to influence their preservation today. The class runs 6:30 –8 p.m.; tickets are $22. LS



Shovels & Rope

The Theater at Innovation Square,

The Theater at Innovation Square is starting to build a rep as a place to hear some sneaky good concerts, particularly if you’re into folk rock and Americana. The downtown venue follows up a December performance from trio The Lone Bellow with a visit from Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, the husband-and-wife duo behind Shovels and Rope. With three original albums and three collections of cover tunes, the charismatic musicians blend pop, country, rock and folk tendencies into smooth songs with raw emotionality.

Vocal harmonies don’t come any more beautiful and blistering than this, particularly on songs like “After the Storm” and “Birmingham.” Like Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, but punkier. Singer-songwriter Al Olender opens. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m. $25-$35. DK



Jackson Stokes

Iron Smoke Distillery,

St. Louis native Jackson Stokes plays the kind of feel-good pop-rock tunes you can’t help but tap your feet to. His 2023 EP “Passengers” is full of hummable melodies and uplifting vibes. And he’s shared the stage with the likes of Robert Randolph, The Allman Betts Band, Robert Cray, and Warren Haynes, so you know his credentials are in order. Jim Crean opens the show. 7:30 p.m. $10. DK



Richard Lloyd Group

Photo City Music Hall,

Guitarist Richard Lloyd is best known as a founding member of the influential ’70s rock band Television. While that New York City quartet’s heyday as a new wave pioneer is far in the rearview mirror, Lloyd continues to make moving rock music that touches the soul. As a songwriter, his influences span from rock and punk to surf and pop. This 18-and-over show may fly under the radar, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out. Televisionaries and The Grinders fill out the supporting lineup. Doors open at 7 p.m. $19. DK





In Dialogue with Mara Ahmed

Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), Mara Ahmed is an interdisciplinary artist and award-winning activist filmmaker whose documentaries center marginalized voices and communities grappling with nuanced experiences around racism, colonization and islamophobia. She studied art at Nazareth College, and film at the Visual Studies Workshop and the Rochester Institute of Technology. As part of VSW’s “In Dialogue” series, Ahmed will present a program of her own work along with films she has researched and chosen from the VSW Film/Video Archive. She will also present excerpts from her latest film, “Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representation,” which was awarded a NYSCA film grant. The evening will culminate in a discussion with Ahmed and Hernease Davis, VSW’s Assistant Curator of Education and Public Programs. Most VSW Salon events begin at 7 p.m. Many Salon events are also streamed, with videos available post-event on Twitch. All Salon events are pay-what-youchoose, with a suggested donation of $10. VSW Members attend for free. ASL interpreters will be made available upon request at least two weeks before the event. Email with access questions. LS



Public Water Supply

Album Release Show


Public Water Supply is one of Rochester’s emergent bands, a quintet that traffics a self-described brand of “outlaw country.” The group’s songs feature characteristically strong storytelling and a rough-and-ready mentality, filtered through Iggy Marino’s adventurous lead vocals and tasty guitar chops from Karis Gregory. Tonight the band celebrates the release of its sophomore album “General Strike.” And while vocalist Adrianna Noone has left the group to focus on her solo career since PWS’s self-titled debut, the band retains blue-collar work ethic and fun-loving energy. 7 p.m. $25. DK

COMEDY Ron Funches

Comedy @ The Carlson,

The Carlson continues to be the place to hear touring comics hone new material. And when Ron Funches comes to town, Rochester audiences can expect a quirky, funloving comedian whose preferred topics include television, weed, and parenting a child who has autism. Funches’s CV includes numerous TV shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Blackish,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “New Girl,” and writing credits on “The Eric Andre Show” and “Kroll Show.” The stand-up performs at both 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. today and Saturday, March 30. $25. DK



Forevers, Home Videos, and A Whole Tree

Skylark Lounge,

Local indie bands get the spotlight at Skylark with this triple bill. Home Videos and Stephe Ferm’s project A Whole Tree trade in lo-fi acoustic songs with rich internal worlds, while the rock outfit Forevers taps into the heart-on-the-sleeve fervor of emo without giving into its most selfindulgent qualities. A packed lineup featuring Rochester talent —sounds like a quality evening to me. 9 p.m. $5. DK



Irish Sessions at Johnny’s

Johnny’s Pub,

St. Patrick’s Day may have passed, but the vibes will still be quite festive for Johnny’s monthly Irish music sessions. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to sessions, you’re more than welcome. The learners’ session starts at 3 p.m., while the regular session begins at 5 p.m. If you love trad music, you’ll want to join in the fun, even if it just means enjoying the music with pint in hand from the comfort of the bar. DK

40 CITY MARCH 2024

Retired planetarium director Steve Fentress enters the podcast sphere.

From astronomy to audio

When Steve Fentress retired as director of the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium after 35 years at the position, he struck up a new hobby unrelated to the cosmos.

“Welcome to ‘The Forgotten Bookshelf’: readings so interesting they put you to sleep. Set your sleep timer for 30 minutes. I’m Steve, your host.”

So begins Fentress’s podcast, in which he reads texts more than a century old and in the public domain. The books he selects are usually instructional in tone, ranging from a guide on running a movie theater to advice about the kinds of walls that should be in homes.

“It’s not related to anything the rest of the world is doing today, it’s a real niche project,” said Fentress. “I was following a whim and maybe I don’t totally understand the whim. But I’ll do a season of episodes, maybe 16 or 24 of them and see how it goes.”

He’s now more than five episodes in, and although “The Forgotten Bookshelf” isn’t about evoking a particular emotional state or mood, Fentress does want it to feel remote.

42 CITY MARCH 2023

“Suppose you’re watching an old movie, and in the movie, somebody turns on a radio and what’s coming over the radio sounds old in the movie,” he explained. “I wanted something that would sound like that: fascinating, but irrelevant.”

Fentress himself is a fascinating individual. After earning a degree in physics, the California native worked part-time as a guide and lecturer at the renowned Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where the iconic James Dean movie “Rebel Without a Cause” was filmed, among others. Meanwhile, he went back to college to study music, first in California, and later in Bloomington, Indiana. While a student there, Fentress hosted a daily science show and a weekly choral music program at the local public radio station. His first job at the Strasenburgh Planetarium in 1989 was as a composer, creating soundtracks for planetarium shows, and he eventually went on to run the whole operation.

“It’s well-liked,” Fentress said of the planetarium. “The box office revenue is strong. So nobody is talking about closing it (anymore). I wanted to kill that idea and make sure it stayed dead for as long as possible. My dream is that the people who go there and the people who work there have fond memories of it 20, 30 years from now.”

After his tenure at the planetarium, Fentress’s work continues to inform. His 2017 book “Sky to Space: Astronomy Beyond the Basics with Comparisons, Ratios, and Proportions,” includes a guide to understanding and experiencing the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8.

Alternatively, while listening to his non-astronomy podcast, it’s easier at times to be drawn in by the language of the books and how Fentress is delivering narrative, rather than the actual substance of

the words themselves. It’s engaging to listen to, but it’s not really about learning and applying the instructions he provides. It’s about the atmosphere he conjures.

Fentress likened it to the ethos found on license plates while studying choral conducting at Indiana University in Bloomington: “Wander Indiana” was the instruction. “You’re driving down the main highway and here goes this road, it looks like it’s going someplace

intriguing,” he said.

Jim Bader, the current director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium and Fentress’s successor, had a different takeaway from “The Forgotten Bookshelf.”

“He’s clearly trying to let you take a nap,” Bader said. “That has to be what he’s doing.”

After meeting Fentress and working with him during the transition of leadership at the planetarium, Bader was impressed by his predecessor’s clear, no-frills communication skills. He found listening to the podcast to be a magical experience.

“I probably got a solid 15 minutes into the podcast before I realized what he was doing,” Bader said. “I was taking it too seriously.

I was waiting for, ‘this is why I’m doing this,’ and then (realized) he really is just trying to let you relax and read you something oddly interesting, for reasons you’re not sure why.”


Sun salutations

Brett Richardson vividly recalls the last partial solar eclipse visible from North America on August 21, 2017. The registered yoga teacher with 4,500 hours of experience as both a private instructor and at various studios including Vault, TRU Yoga and Midtown Athletic Club, was staying in Black River Bay on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario.

“We were swimming, and just experiencing it in the water and by the water was such a cool experience,” he said. “I mean, you can literally feel the energy of the universe being different in those moments.”

Now, as Rochester prepares for what experts say will be an even more magnificent eclipse due to its wider path, longer duration, and greater solar activity, Richardson and fellow yoga and meditation teacher Melissa Kleehammer see a unique opportunity to connect not only with the universe but also with the inner self and the divine.

“We’re coming together to witness something and understand that we’re a tiny piece of the whole,” said Kleehammer, who teaches at Fairport Public Library and online via YouTube and Insight Timer. “As beings who are in general separate from nature, my hope is to feel a connection to it.”

Most, if not all, yoga traditions are closely tied to the rhythms of nature with the widely practiced hatha yoga even deriving its name from the sun (“ha”) and moon (“tha”). Just as the sun represents light and fire and the moon

Deepening yoga practice as
the total solar eclipse approaches.
44 CITY MARCH 2024

darkness and water, it’s believed we hold these opposing forces within us and can use yoga as a means to find a balance between the two. A total solar eclipse is therefore a perfect time to reflect on what may be holding us back or interfering with our equilibrium.

“This event holds great astrological significance, as it’s a time of profound transformation and renewal,” said Richardson. “Just as the moon blocks out the sun’s light, we too can use this time to release anything that no longer serves us and make space for new growth and opportunity.”

For those who want to practice yoga during the eclipse, Kleehammer recommends thinking about the gradual shift toward darkness and then back into light.

“You want to start gently as the moon is covering the energy of the sun, so you start small or slow and gentle,” she said. “And then totality — granted, I think you’d want to see some of it — would be a great time for rest and something very comforting and soothing. As the moon starts to move away from the sun and the light is coming back, that’s when you’d want to start with something more energizing and

heat-building,” she said.

This could be gentle spinal waves moves like cat-cow, downward dog to table, or thread the needle leading to legs up the wall with a blanket, sandbag over the hips and scarf over the eyes during totality followed by some low lunges, warrior II, and triangle to build fire, and then ending the practice with a soothing savasana.

“It’s ebbing and flowing, and matching what’s happening with the eclipse,” said Kleehammer. “You could even do some of these things outside. It doesn’t have to be an end-to-end practice. It could just be, all right, let’s do a lunge right now.”

Richardson, likewise, suggests engaging in a more grounding, slow-flow practice during or around the time of the eclipse.

“It’s more connected to yourself and the experience you’re having in the moment, as far as closing down and opening back up,” he said. “The solar eclipse type of flow that I do is more Yin-based, which is holding postures anywhere from two to 10 minutes. Also, twists and transitions, creating ball or cocoon shapes with your body. I relate it to wringing out a wet towel — the twists will really help you get rid

of or shed any of that tension and stress you’re holding on to.”

At the same time, Richardson considers the eclipse an ideal occasion to explore one’s inner universe — to think of the new moon as ‘day zero,’ a dark phase in the lunar cycle where yoga practices help turn inward and plant seeds of intention.

“This might involve asking ourselves challenging questions like: What do I need more of? What do I need less of? What is the best use of my energy? What do I want to create in my life?” he said. “As the sun and earth are on opposite sides of the moon, it’s a great time to quiet down and really listen to your own inner voice and inner wisdom, and set your intentions with mindfulness and integrity.”

Melissa Kleehammer ( will teach a Lunar Yoga class for adults on March 20 at 7 p.m. and a Sun & Moon Yoga class for teens and tweens on April 3 at 2 p.m. at the Fairport Public Library.

Brett Richardson (yogawithbrett. org) will teach a New Moon/Solar Eclipse Yoga class on April 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Frequency Wellness Studio.

Brett Richardson leads a yoga class at Frequency Wellness Space, 34 Elton St. PHOTO BY JACALYN MEYVIS Left, Melissa Kleehammer and right, Brett Richardson. PHOTO BY JACALYN MEYVIS

Not just another manic Monday

This hasn’t happened since 1925 — where will you spend April 8?

With Rochester in the path of totality, many organizations are presenting once-in-a-lifetime experiences for locals and visitors alike — from performances and festivals to unique viewing locations. So clear the lunar weekend, fill the gas tank, and choose wisely — there is something for every eclipse viewer, from wine connoisseurs and art enthusiasts to animal lovers and extroverts. CITY presents an almost-comprehensive and much-curated list of how to spend the days leading up to the much anticipated ‘Solar Monday’ — as well as the very day itself.


Young Playwrights

Take on the Eclipse

Eclipses have long influenced the artist—whether it’s Roy Lichtenstein’s “Eclipse of the Sun,” showing up as an image in Stephen King novels, or finding itself oft-mentioned in the works of Shakespeare (particularly “King Lear”). For hopeful young playwrights, the eclipse will act as muse once more. The Actor’s Studio of Rochester, alongside the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Writers & Books, and Geva Center, is putting on a Young Playwrights Festival, aptly themed “Under the Eclipse.” Local writers between the ages of 13-18 have been invited to use the solar event as their inspiration, digging into myths and playing into fantastical reimaginings. “There are many different avenues into the creative experience that the word could inspire,” said Jean Ryon, the event’s leader and consistent Regional and Young Playwright Festivals manager. “I’ve always believed that if you have a playwriting competition for adults, you encourage playwrights. But if you have a festival for young people, you create playwrights.”

By March 30—the day of the performances—each of the chosen five submissions will have gone through further development with help from Carter Lewis, previous playwright-in-residence at Geva. Winning scripts will be read at 2 p.m. during the “Roc the Eclipse” event at the Museum of Science. The young playwrights, alongside family and members of the public, will get to hear their work interpreted by professional actors. “For writers to hear their work out loud, and to hear it interpreted by actors, can be game changing for them,” Ryon said.


Sunlight and Shadows

Genesee Valley Council on the Arts

The Genesee Valley Council on the Arts launches Sunlight and Shadows: A Solar Celebration, a week-long exhibit in their main gallery that will feature local artists from around Western New York. The GVCA will also host a culminating event on April 8; the Solar Celebration Event will run from 1 - 4 p.m. with a viewing party, family friendly activities, art projects and chalk festival.

APRIL 5 - 8

Solar Spectacle

Genesee Country Village & Museum

Spend a day in the historic village at GVCM learning about the history of the eclipse, the science behind it, and how it influences the arts. The museum is offering many different packages and options for eclipse weekend; from renting a historic home for the day to enjoying experiences throughout the village including educational classes, nineteenth-century eclipse experiences, the science of eclipses, crafts, music, and of course — food and beverage options. There will be nineteenth-century celestially themed baked goods and eclipse-themed local craft beer. The gallery will be open as well for visitors to browse eclipse-related artifacts and art.


Dancing in the Dark

Fairport Brewing

Fairport Brewing’s University Ave. location will host the Rochester City Ballet for a performance inspired by the eclipse. The evening will include live music, viewing glasses and an option to have a buffet-style dinner catered by Battatini’s. The event will run from 6 - 10 p.m., with general admission tickets priced at $35 and $55 for tickets that include dinner.


48 CITY MARCH 2024


The Lunar Ball

The Wadsworth Homestead

Celebrate the eclipse with an evening of dancing, music, and cocktails at the Wadsworth Homestead in Geneseo. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour inside the house and then move to an outdoor tent for dancing and heavy hors d’oeuvres under the moonlight. The ball will have live music from the band Uptown Groove and a cash bar offering signature beverages. Guests are encouraged to ‘dress to impress in celestial attire.’ Tickets are $87 and include viewing glasses and an invite back to the Homestead West Lawn to view the eclipse on April 8.

APRIL 6 - 8

ROC the Eclipse

RMSC Museum & Science Center

Ready to ROC the Eclipse? The RMSC is hosting a three-day festival that will feature hands-on science activities, telescope viewings, speakers, planetarium shows, live entertainment, and food trucks. Visiting speakers include Dr. Phil Plait and Cate Larsen, nicknamed the “Bad Astronomer” and the “Groovy Geologist,” respectively. The event will be jam packed all three days with family friendly activities to celebrate the eclipse. Tickets are available on their website and include admission to both the RMSC Museum & Science Center as well as the Strasenburgh Planetarium. (Outdoor activities and access to the Eisenhart Auditorium are not a part of ticketed admission.)

50 CITY MARCH 2024

APRIL 6 - 8

Eclipse Weekend at the Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo

Curious how the eclipse impacts animals?

The Seneca Park Zoo will not only be a place where you can experience the eclipse, but also a chance to help scientists collect data on animal behavior leading up to, during, and after the eclipse. In addition, the Zoo’s Nature Cart will lead activities and educational experiences about the eclipse, including the building of pinhole cameras. All weekend long the zoo will feature demonstrations and offer opportunities to learn about how the eclipse will impact the world of animals.


A Symphonic Celebration

Blue Cross Arena,

Led by Music Director Andreas Delfs and Principals Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presents an eclipse spectacular at Blue Cross Arena — marking the first time the RPO will perform at the venue. The orchestra will perform alongside a laser light show, screenings of space visuals, dancers from Rochester City Ballet, Troupe Vertigo aerialists, and a 150-member choir. The spacethemed event will feature movie music from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Alien,” and “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.” Doors open at 6 p.m. with the event launching at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online and range from $36 to $104.



Soleil Soiree

Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery will be hosting a viewing party in their outdoor Centennial Sculpture Park during the eclipse. It’s a perfect spot in the city to put a blanket out, listen to live music, and grab a coffee or half-moon cookie from Brown Hound Downtown. Admission to the gallery is included in the ticket price. Tickets are $20 for adults, $9 for college students, and free for all MAG members and children under 18.


Y-M-SEE-A Total

Solar Eclipse

Multiple Locations

No school on a Monday, really!? YMCA of Greater Rochester is hosting free community events at various locations for the special occasion: the Lewis Street, Eastside Family, and Northwest Family YMCAs will give people of all ages a chance to experience the eclipse in a fun, community space. Registration requirements and times vary based on location, for more information visit the website.



Social Eclipse

Finger Lakes Community College

Cheers to the eclipse! Spend the day in Canandaigua at the FLCC Viticulture and Wine Center for a Social Eclipse Wine Social. The event is $40 and grants access to the center as well as two wine tickets, hors d’oeuvres, eclipse glasses, and parking. The social runs from 1 - 5 p.m.


Toasting to Totality

Casa Larga Vineyards

Casa Larga Vineyards presents a ‘sipping in the shadows’ event from 1 - 5 p.m. Guests will spend the eclipse next to the vineyard with an afternoon of entertainment. Tickets are $75 and include eclipse glasses, lunch, a wine glass with complimentary pour upon arrival, desserts, live music, and games. The location also includes an unobstructed view of the event with seating on the patio or tables next to the vineyard.


52 CITY MARCH 2024


Alpacalipse “24”

Calling all preppers, it’s time for the Alapacalipse! What better way to spend Solar Monday than at Lazy Acres Alpaca Farm? The day will be filled with everything from yoga sessions and Cheesy Eddie’s desserts to Red Osier roast beef sammies, a beverage trailer, and — of course — alpacas. The farm will open at noon and close at 5 p.m. that day. Cost begins at $25 for the eclipse (glasses included) and an additional $20 to include the yoga classes at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Sign-ups can be found on their website


A Farm Eclipse Experience

Homesteads for Hope

The HFH Community Farm is hosting an eclipse event for all ages and abilities featuring educational activities, food, music, and a bar trailer. Tickets start

54 CITY MARCH 2024

at $50 and the afternoon of events go from 1 - 6 p.m. The location features canalside seating and barn access, as well as a limited ticket level to see the new Community Center.


Moon Shadow 5K

Lehigh Valley Trail - Mendon

On your mark, get set, eclipse! Willow Running is hosting a 5K unlike any other, as they will send runners off before and after the eclipse at Lehigh Valley Trail in Mendon. There will be two start times for runners to choose from: 2 p.m. or 3:25 p.m. The idea is to give runners a choice of racing either before or directly after the eclipse takes place. Registration cost for the race is $40 online.


Total Eclipse ROCs The Market

Rochester Public Market

Rohrbach Brewing Company and Laughing Gull Chocolates are co-hosting an eclipse event at the Public Market on Solar Monday. This free, family friendly event will have entertainment, crafts, and educational activities throughout the day. Beer and chocolate tastings will be featured, as well as local food trucks and live music. The Rohrbach Beer Hall will offer eclipsed-themed cocktails (with names like Total Eclipse + Dark Side Car of the Sun) and wood-fired specials all weekend long leading up to April 8. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the event will run until 5 p.m.


Red Wings


Innovative Field

The Red Wings are hosting a viewing party for all ages on Monday afternoon at Innovative Field. The event, which runs from 12 - 5 p.m., will feature a lineup of entertainment, food, activities, and live music. Along with celestial themed attractions and activities, the stadium will also feature a live NASA feed on the video board to enhance the eclipse. The first 3,000 attendees will receive eclipse glasses at the event.


Focus, Click, Totality!

George Eastman Museum

The George Eastman Museum will be hosting a daylong event from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. that will feature viewing opportunities in their gardens as well as eclipse themed exhibits and live music. Visitors will be able to view the museum’s extensive collection of pinhole cameras, eclipse-related works in the Collection Gallery, and make their own pinhole projector in the Discovery Room. A live performance from singer Maggie Paxson and resident organist, Joe Blackburn, will take place — both performing space- and moon-themed pieces. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for youth, and free for children under four and include access to the museum.

For more eclipse-related activities, visit


Constant cravings

No matter how diverse your palate, it’s natural to have one or two mainstay meals that are your go-to when you don’t feel like cooking. In some special cases, it’s a sacred-to-you dish that you would eat multiple times a week given the chance and budget. But local chefs are constantly flexing their creativity, and our favorites can suddenly get bumped to second place.

CITY staffers dish about local menu items that eclipsed their former faves.

From cutlets to oxtail, risotto and bagels, here are the new dishes that have won our hearts and eclipsed former favorites. We won’t say which specific dishes were displaced by the new, because they’re definitely still in the dining rotation. They’ve done no wrong. Read on, and get ready to race to the following restaurants.

The meatball cutlet sandwich at Wildflour 620 N. WINTON RD. | INSTAGRAM.COM/WILDFLOUR.ROCHESTER

There’s nothing I constantly crave more than the crunch of a well-made cutlet, drizzled with lemon and accompanied by lightly dressed greens. Meet my new favorite: the meatball cutlet at Wildflour. It’s the brainchild of co-owner and chef Dan Martello, executed by sous chef Nick English.

The cutlet itself is ground beef, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs formed into a giant meatball, portioned and pressed by hand into the thin cutlet shapes, dipped in egg wash and breadcrumbs, and pan fried in oil. The sandwich is built on Wildflour’s signature focaccia — made with Trumansburg company Farmer Ground’s spelt flour and buratto flour, which they import from Italy. It’s toasted and slathered with lemon mayo (which has a pumped-up flavor due to fresh garlic and calabrian chili), a spoonful of chewy and slightly sweet pancetta agro dolce, greens, and more parm. Add the cutlet, close, and cut in half. Mangia!

Oxtail ragu at Leonore’s


The winter months in Rochester have a few guarantees: gray skies, bitter temps, and a version of pasta with meat sauce on the majority of menus. Although a self-proclaimed “gluten-flexible” individual, I’m a sucker for a good plate of rigatoni, gnocchi, etc. smothered in meat sauce. The more you bounce around the city, the more you will find every chef's version of this classic on their menu.

In my opinion, Chef Ana’s version at Leonore’s tops them all. Inspired by the traditional Korean dish, Galbi-jjim (gal·bee jim) which uses beef shortribs, this spin on the classic utilizes oxtail braised in gochujang and Glug Glug (the Swan house red). The ragu features fork-tender pieces of oxtail with a balanced combination of spice, sweetness, and umami. The dish is simple in construction: tteokbokki (think cloud-like rice gnocchi) and oxtail ragu tossed in the wok and topped with a generous layer of aged cheddar, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions.

It has everything that I love about a cutlet — it’s tender with a satisfyingly crispy outer layer, has the freshness of greens, and a tart, tangy sauce that brightens up the oil and salty cheese. This one has the bonus of pleasantly hearty, herbed bread. It’s big enough to share with someone and still feel full, but let’s be honest: you’re totally going to order a couple of the irresistible arancini, too.

It’s become a non-negotiable when I eat at Leonore’s and will always be a first-round pick when friends ask the inevitable, “what should we get” question.

Pro tip: order a side of coconut sticky rice - if you're lucky you will have extra ragu to throw on top.

56 CITY MARCH 2024

Almond croissant at Flour City Bread 45

I’m not a sweets person. But I like to give myself a little treat now and again, so the first thing I look for in a new city is the best bakery. I want a place that turns out the classics, like miche and croissants, with the consistency of a Parisian boulangerie.

In Rochester, I found that at Flour City Bread. Baking is an art and a science, but mostly, it’s hard work. Owner and head baker Keith Meyers summed it up back in 2015 during an interview with my WXXI colleague, Veronica Volk, when he said, “I just want to get up in the middle of the night and make bread."

And croissants.

I love their miche, but it’s the almond croissant that really occupies my mind. I think about it constantly. It’s crispy, it’s flaky, it’s tender, and it’s always ready to go when the doors open after Meyers’s long night before the ovens. I always buy a box of them for out-of-town visitors, and I’ve hooked my wife and daughter, too.

You know how much we love this almond croissant? I started a weekly bike ridespring to fall - that loops from the Public Market to Lake Ontario. We ride at 6 a.m. for a 7 a.m. return, about 18 MPH average. Why? Because that’s when Flour City Bread opens, and my five-year-old expects me to wake her up with fresh croissants.

Chopped Cheeseburger Sandwich at Highland Market Bakery & Deli 830 SOUTH AVENUE | HIGHLANDMARKETROC.COM

If I let my mind wander a little bit too far, it inevitably finds its way back to sandwiches. I've said in the past that The Sandwich, conceptually, is a perfect food; its utility is unmatched, and its potential for variety is more or less boundless. Major American cities live and die by their beloved sando offerings — Philadelphia has its rivalry-fueled cheesesteak (real heads will tell you that the actual rivalry is between Joe's Steaks and Ishkabibbles, not Pat's and Geno's); New Orleans has its sometimes-polarizing muffuletta; Los Angeles has the French Dip; and NYC? It depends on who you ask. Is a Sabrett or a Nathan's a sandwich? We are not getting into that argument today.

I will argue, though, that the dependable chopped cheese is the sandwich of New York City. Not a bacon egg and cheese on a bagel; that is a different thing. Every time I find myself visiting friends or seeing a show in NYC, I am finding the closest bodega to where I'm sleeping that night and I am getting the biggest CC they have on the menu every time. It's not a crazy sandwich, either — the flavor profile is a lot like a cheeseburger, because that's basically what it is. And I'm always craving one.

The cravings don't stop just because I'm in the South Wedge and not Ridgewood most of the time. However, I am lucky to live dangerously close to the Highland Market Bakery & Deli, and while I will religiously order breakfast sandwiches on Sundays and shuffle over there in my Crocs no matter the weather, I will also occasionally get dinner there, and it's always their "Chopped Cheeseburger" hot sub that I set my watch to. It's the sandwich that eclipses all other hot sandwiches for me. It's a long cheeseburger, it's made fresh when you order it, and you couldn't get it from a nicer group of folks. Go say hi, grab a can of Arizona (or a Jones Soda — they have those!) and a chopped cheese, and have the time of your life like I do every once in a while.

I have this pact with myself when I’m choosing what to order at a restaurant: it can’t be something I could easily make at home. Salads? Usually not for me in a fine dining setting, unless they’re really incredible (shout out to the caesar at Rocco and the circa August 2023 kale salad at Good Luck). A carbonara (I KNOW, I need to master this one), a beautiful lamb chop, a perfectly seared duck — to me, these are always worth ordering.

Which makes it surprising and a little hypocritical that my go-to dish is … risotto. Because yes, I can make that at home. But unless I have an interesting podcast or long distance phone call queued up, I don’t want to stand at the stove stirring. Also, not a chance I’m buying lobster just to cook it and throw it in risotto.

I don’t remember the first time I had the lobster risotto at Redd, but I think I’m going on several years in this devoted love affair. The chefs know it; they often try to send me other food to distract, but I will not be stopped. It’s just the right amount of decadence from the creamy arborio, truffle oil and buttery Maine lobster — cut with a (chef’s) kiss of lemon confit acidity. Elevated comfort food at its finest. If it ever leaves the menu, I’ll probably cut my hair and try to rebound with some vodka sauce dish.


Out from under

On January 6, 2021, Vitus “V” Spehar crouched down under their desk in the Neighborhood of the Arts and recorded a short TikTok video response to the United States Capitol attack, directed to outgoing Vice President Mike Pence. It went viral, and @underthedesknews was born — as of this publication, the account has 3.1 million followers on TikTok.

It wasn’t Spehar’s first foray onto the platform. After working for 15 years in the food and beverage industry — including as Director of Impact for the James Beard Foundation in New York City — the Connecticut native began teaching celebrity chefs how to create Instagram videos about cooking during the pandemic. After a close friend reached a million followers on TikTok and shared how much easier it was to create on the newer platform, Spehar began making TikToks about everything from standing in line for groceries in Brooklyn to applying for PPP loans.

“I don’t think people will ever truly understand what the New York City experience at the front end of COVID was — like, apocalyptic,” they said. “I was trying to make people happy and find community.”

In May 2020, Spehar and their wife, Natalie, made the move from Brooklyn to Rochester to wait out the pandemic. Natalie, a cellist, had attended the Eastman School of Music and had teaching opportunities here. After their January 6 video, Spehar

58 CITY MARCH 2024
The Rochester resident behind viral TikTok account @underthedesknews pulls up a rug.

began making regular TikToks where they would break down important news issues quickly, always under their desk, for viewers.

Four years later, Spehar’s social media star continues to rise, and the couple is still here — in fact, they just closed on their first home. CITY chatted with the new-ish Rochester resident about the future of media, running for local office, and their weekly trip to Mumford.

Do you have a journalism background or any training?

I went to undergrad for theater and grad school for marketing. I think all theater kids can be anything, right?

I have always been good at storytelling and politics. My special skill is making big, scary things super relatable and approachable. I can take something that’s really complicated and make it make sense. I try to create human moments that get to the bottom of the real story.

When did you transition to TikTok as your full-time job?

I’m 41 years old. I didn’t know that this could be a full-time job. My first brand deal during COVID was a suitcase company, and I said, ‘Alright, I don’t know where the hell anybody’s going right now.’ But I did a staycation packing video, and it was funny. And then a pillow company sent me one and I did something about taking a nap under your desk. And people thought that was funny, too. It wasn’t until (2023) I considered this my full-time job. The millennial in me felt like I had to have a “jobjob.” Even though I made more money doing this than at my other job (which is not saying much when you work for a nonprofit). Even now I still have a “job-job” consulting in food and beverage and have a fulltime speaker schedule where I emcee, moderate, or facilitate workshops in political leadership strategy and DEI. I also build storytelling workshops for journalism schools.

You’ve been very open about your dyslexia — does that inspire this work as well?

I think (dyslexia) helped me have a lot of patience for wanting other people to ‘get it.’ Because it sucks when you can understand something, but you can’t find the words for it.

I didn’t want other people to keep feeling like that. That’s the goal of UTDN — to make everyone feel included.

And that does really come through. There’s probably no typical day or week for you, right? But does there tend to be a rhythm to what you’re doing, especially during an election year?

A big part of the brand is Rochester. I’m not going anywhere. I go downstate and do what I need to do, and then I come home. Sometimes I work at Melo just to be a regular person and chill. We don’t go out to dinner a lot anymore, because I do get recognized — which is super nice! — as soon as people hear my voice or see my eyebrows, it’s over. So we often get takeout from Lento or Redd.

What’s a typical day in the life of a local celebrity?

(Laughs.) Mostly, my days are very normal, like anybody in Rochester: you go to Wegmans, you root for the Bills, you go into Target for something and then, “Oh, the White House needs you on a Zoom in 15 minutes.”

It’s the weirdest thing because I’m doing regular-normal-person things but I also might have to interview some big YouTuber or fly to South by Southwest. I got invited to interview Mark Zuckerberg in Germany (I said no), but that’s one of the cooler dynamics of it — proof that exceptional things don’t only happen to people in NYC or in DC. They’re happening while I’m at the Marshalls on Monroe Avenue.

I love that. During an election year, what do you want your followers to know?

It comes back to the idea of the regular person. I’m not here to endorse candidates, or blur the line between journalism and activism. I’m in my down-ballot era. I’m excited to restore people’s faith in the United

States of America and democracy by showcasing the down-ballot. On my new podcast, we’re talking about Samra Brouk and what she’s done at the local level as a state senator in Western New York. Getting Medicaid to include doula care? That’s incredible. Huge. Something that you can be like, ‘hey, look, my state senator did this.’ If you’re in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida, wherever you are, find your state senator’s office, show them Brouk’s one-sheet and be like, ‘I want this too.’ And that’s the way that we can have the most power right now. If you haven’t made up your mind about Biden or Trump by now, I’m not going to convince you.

Tell us about this new podcast. It’s called “American Fever Dream,” and it’s a combination of the American dream and this fever dream that we’re all kind of experiencing, where every day you wake up and think it can’t be any weirder. And then it gets weirder. The podcast I had before was “V Interesting,” which was about meeting people and news you might not have heard. This one is decidedly more political, but from a lens that you can control. Down-ballot candidates doing iconic things in their local communities. Civilian power within the military. A lot of people hate the military as a monolith, but when we understand these complicated industries, we feel more power. The idea came about because me and Amanda Duberman, who’s the director of news for Betches Media, in a group chat where we would just talk back and forth to each other. So it’s kind of like a political group chat. We’ll talk about pop culture and gossip a little bit. But mostly it’s a hopeful show that can keep you company, inform you without overwhelming, and make you feel included.

As huge media companies continue to downsize, do you think the future of news is largely in the hands of independent creators on social media? One in three people get their news on TikTok. Maybe from me. But I see myself very much in partnership with legacy and traditional media. I’m an excellent showman. I’m a wonderful storyteller, and I’m very good at ‘Mr. Roger-ing’ things to people. But I’m not brave. I’m not a foreign correspondent or a police

accountability correspondent. We need those people, and we need them to be funded. There’s not one big publication out there that isn’t owned by some billionaire looking at the business instead of the fact that it has such an important role in the lives of people.

So you’re reading the news?

I’m getting my news from the Washington Post, from NPR. I’m getting my news from local reporters because Rochester always has crazy shit going on, from the true crime to the lobbyist stuff. The news is still traditional media, but the delivery mechanism is social. If I didn’t have trad media, there would be no me. And in some ways, a lot of trad media now needs to either be like me or have a me-type person.

I know you and Natalie love the arts. Any Rochester favorites you want to mention?

She is currently playing cello on the Hadestown tour, and we’re season ticket holders at RBTL. We also see a lot of little things — you never know when I’m going to attend a high school production because I like the musical. Artists Unlimited (which provides performance opportunities for individuals with disabilities) just did “Mary Poppins,” and I went every night. It filled my heart so much. My secret guilty pleasure is a weekly visit to Genesee Country Village and Museum. We’ll walk and sometimes get a little hand pie. Their programming is incredible; the Wehle family is such a treasure. I worked with (GCVM) on gender-inclusive interpretive culture, where like, if you have a 9-year-old girl who wants to play a soldier — who cares, she wants to get involved! We’re all playing pretend here. She just wants to wear the cool military uniform. They’re just kids. They’re just playing.

What about the future of TikTok?

Do you want to get into that?

I’m a TikTok-er, period, the end. Like all things, this will end and this part of my career will end with it. I have big followings on YouTube and Instagram, but they’re different cultures. I continue to build stuff on the side.

Maybe I’ll go back to school. Maybe I’ll run for local office – there’s a lot to do here in town.


A few thoughts about April’s most-anticipated event.

Op-ed: Man shakes fist at sun

Over the past year, I’ve taken up the precarious mantle of being WXXI’s resident eclipse hater, something I consider somewhat of a necessary evil.

Make no mistake — my issue is not with the moon and sun itself, nor their intermingling. In fact, I think that’s pretty neat. I’m just not particularly excited, nor do I think it’s going to be nearly the revelatory experience some in this community have tried to convince me it will be. I’m sure it will be cool.

Rather, my issue is this banal call-to-arms of the economic development factions that permeate every corner of the greater Rochester area. Organizations whose eyes move in reptilian darts like a barfly at last call as the last stragglers stumble toward the door. It fills the air with a sour scent of desperation.

Look, I love Rochester, and I’m certain other mid-sized cities are led by governments and NGOs as dedicated to a perverse thirst for any kind of benign relevancy. Even more so, the attraction of quite literally anyone for any reason, so long as they have enough pocket change to clink together. But it’s tiresome.

Whether it’s the PGA Championship or the Strong Museum expansion, this city, its media, its bigwigs, movers, and shakers bend over backwards to attract simply anyone to come here.

What does the average Rochesterian get out of it? Really, nothing. Nothing will change for them. Nothing ever does.

Our tourism ethos could be marked by a road signing, “Welcome to Rochester: Visit When You Absolutely Have To.”

So for the months leading up to the path of totality, we must be inundated with information around a brief event that we will ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at for but a brief moment before we all collectively move on.

If I seem bitter, well, I am. I’ve attended meetings, engaged in exhausting conversations, and had

to fake a smile like this shit wasn’t among the silliest exercises in futility I’ve ever witnessed. (The latter I became increasingly poor at doing.)

Make no mistake, I don’t buy that a half-million people are coming to Rochester to view the eclipse, as Monroe County forecasts, to begin with. Despite the sold-out hotel rooms around the region, I simply do not believe that the county population is going to nearly double for 3 minutes and 28 seconds of darkness. I think the potential impact is overblown.

When the sky goes dark, I’ll probably look up for a moment.

Damn it, I’ll probably be wearing the goofy little glasses. God knows we have a military stockpile of them in this office building.

That will be the only point I will probably enjoy this whole eclipse fervor. The months of lead time has been a bleak recounting of a city groveling for any speck of notability. We can do better, and we should, but will we?

Give it some time. We’ll have another meeting about another spectacle and another chance to say, “Hey, we’re Rochester, and we exist!”

60 CITY MARCH 2024

The Dish


Longtime Westside plate staple Jimmy Z’s announced it would close permanently after 21 years. Owner Jimmy Zisovski originally planned to sell the Brockport business; but a February 18 post on Instagram stated “Poppy & I have decided that it would just not be Jimmy Z’s without us.” The last day of full service was February 29, but the adjacent Poppy’s Catering and Food Truck will operate until September 2024.

Hometown grocery royalty Wegmans is being sued by acclaimed NYCbased Japanese seafood market Osakana over alleged fraud, trademark infringement, breach of contract and more. Chef Yuji Haraguchi claims the grocer had originally approached him about buying Osakana, and then pivoted to open its own similar Japanese seafood shop, called Sakanaya, inside the only Manhattan Wegmans just minutes away.

Pizza Krunch has opened at 544 West Main St., featuring an extensive


menu of Brooklyn-style and Sicilian slices, full pies, pastas, calzones, and hero subs. Sauce is made in-house, and the counter service shop also has a small dining room with booth seating.

A $300,000 investment from KeyBank will help support growth and expansion of the Foodlink Career Fellowship, a year-long, NYS-certified culinary apprenticeship program that equips participants with specific skills and nationally recognized certifications that will result in career opportunities within the growing food industry. The investment from KeyBank will help increase the number of fellows and graduates, expand recruitment efforts, and provide more support services.


A new locally owned burger spot is moovin’ in on University Ave. Moo’d Burger Bar will open in the same building as Black Button Distilling, Muller’s Cider House, Nine Maidens Brewing and Forno Tony. The concept will include burgers and shakes and add another offering to the little food and bev hotspot that’s forming at 1344 University Ave.

Alt Bar, a non-alcoholic bar alternative, will open a storefront in the North Winton Village by early summer. This marks a major milestone for the NA bar and bottle shop, which has been producing popup events for more than two years throughout the area. While it’s not the

first, Alt Bar will be Rochester’s only currently operating NA bar.

A new mobile espresso bar will hit the streets and events of Rochester soon when Kyle O’Gara launches Mercury Coffee Co. For updates on the opening date, follow along via Instagram: @mercury_roc.

South Wedge institution Pat’s Coffee Mug has closed 627 S. Clinton Ave., and a new ‘supper club’ called Seasonal Pantry, is slated to open in the space by June. Headed by Chef Daniel O’Brien (who was formerly at Char in The Strathallan), the concept is a reinvention of an award-winning restaurant and supper club O’Brien opened under the same name in Washington, D.C. in 2009.


With the total solar eclipse quickly approaching on April 8, many local spots will not only run themed specials, but also release limited-time specialty products. The Rochester craft beer powerhouses of Strangbird Beer, Three Heads Brewing, and Rohrbach Brewing have teamed

up to release a trio of eclipse-inspired brews: “Totality, the Lighter Side, and the Darker Side,” will be available on tap and in four-packs for to-go purchases leading up to the eclipse. In the coffee world, Neutral Ground Coffeehouse has a duo of products themed for the once-in-a-lifetime event: Umbra Brazi Dark Roast and Penumbra Costa Rica Light Roast.


Rochester-based photographer Vivian Faye Rivers will open an exhibit titled ‘Back of House’ this month at Aldaskeller Wine Co. in the South Wedge. The project features film photography celebrating life behindthe-scenes of the hospitality industry, inspired by Rivers own experience as a barista. This particular show highlights those in the ‘back of the house,’ cooking, baking, and washing dishes. Local spots featured include Wildflour, Winter Swan Coffee, Owl House, Voula’s Greek Sweets, Soulistic Sweets, The Little Theatre, and Ugly Duck Coffee. The opening reception is from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, March 1 and the work will remain on display.

Instagram: @vfayefilm

CITY 61 /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Sun block


1. Western wine region

5. Home to the Eiffel Tower

10. Slanted font style, for short

14. Inner region of a shadow, as depicted in the center of this puzzle

19. Greek god of love

20. Get out of bed

21. What less might be

22. Verb usually used in its past participle form, made by adding N

23. Start of a quotation attributed to the row starting with 71-across

25. Otherworldly glow

26. Hometown of the Spanish mystic nun Teresa

27. Go in

28. Morns’ poetic counterparts

29. Colgate competitor

31. Heading: Abbr.

32. Louis XIV, par exemple

33. Skin affliction

35. Part 2 of the quotation, or a reaction to the ordinary

38. Fasten

40. Isn’t kidding

46. Super Bowl LVIII champions

47. When tripled, an expression of exasperated boredom

49. Kings of the jungle

50. Out building for tool storage

51. Part 3 of the quotation: leading to a revelation

54. 6-pack muscles, familiarly

56. Opposite of post-

58. Remain

62. Currency of the Republic of Ireland-but not Northern Ireland

63. Store door posting: Abbr.

64. 47-Across, somewhat more formally

66. Mosque prayer leader

67. Cake decorator

68. Typographic measure equal in width to the capital letter it sounds like

69. And/_____

70. Maori totem

71. With part of 72-Across and 73-Across, the literary giant this puzzle’s quotation is attributed to

72. Famed city overshadowed by 125-across on April 8th

73. See 71-Across

74. Near, quaintly

77. Ky. neighbor

78. Third person pronoun

79. Buddy, to a Brit

80. Architect Saarinen

81. Cab alternative

83. Subway segment

84. “I’d consider _____ honor”

85. Internet troublemaker

87. Jost’s “Weekend Update” co-host

89. Bad, in 5-Across

90. Aroma

91. Capital of Qatar

93. Tall, in Starbucks

97. “Star Wars” heroine

99. Screen ratio

102. Like the man who built his house upon the sand, in a parable

104. Horrified

108. Part 4 of the quotation, highlighting an overlooked wonder

110. Bring home

112. God: Lat.

113. You: Ger.

114. Like many charity golf events

117. Totally convinced

119. Beside

121. Conservatory practice piece

124. Together, on sheet music

125. The end of the quotation, and what is overshadowing 72-across on April 8th

127. Heavyweight wrestlers

62 CITY MARCH 2022
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134
Answers to this puzzle can be found on page 39 eclipse d2

128. Connection point

129. Enjoyed a restaurant meal

130. Suffix for hip and spin

131. Competitive activity

132. Resilience

133. Flies high

134. “No returns,” on a shop label


1. Buffalo-based maker of official Major League Baseball caps

2. “Am too” retort

3. Where to write an idea if you really want it to stick?

4. Tennis great Arthur who received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993

5. Barecelona-born hoopster Gasol

6. Composer Harold who won an Academy Award for “Over the Rainbow”

7. “_____, Cowboy!”

8. Commercial book identifier to which it would be redundant to append the word “number”

9. Gets the picture

10. All-in-one desktop computer that launched in 1998 with a transluscent plastic case

11. Section heading on a band’s website

12. Put in cuffs

13. Minimum

14. The Dream Team, on Olympic scoreboards

15. Network that “killed the radio star”

16. Horse’s headgear

17. What some artwork or pitching appearances might be in

18. Oscars and Emmys, for two

24. Medium to the gods

30. Dash display

34. Half a dance?

36. Wife of Chronus and mother of Zeus

37. Morsel

39. Detest

41. Chicago trains

42. Chatbot power

43. A complete sentence, it is said

44. Tin, on the periodic table

45. AOL or Xfinity

48. Reeded instrument played at cowboy campfires

50. New Jersey Catholic university

51. Fried New Orleans dessert

52. More disgusting

53. Uno + due

55. Total nonsense

57. First letters in many email subject lines

59. Copy

60. Upper Midwesterner

61. Famous and respected

63. Alamo alternative

65. Jon of “Two and a Half Men”

75. Miracle-_____

76. Salinger character Caulfield

79. Hebrew prophet that sounds like a mineral

82. Home to the White Mtns.

83. Home to the Sierra Nevada Mtns.

86. Crazy: Sp.

88. That, in Tijuana

89. American football league?

90. Secure messaging app favored by tipsters and journalists

92. URL letters

94. IA and IL neighbor

95. “You Can Call Me _____”

96. Actor Jet

98. The turned up crust on a baguette

99. Evaluate

100. Get dressed for the game

101. Lung: prefix

102. Russian literary master Dostoyevsky

103. Locale for the Montana State Building

105. Brings home

106. Mr. Miyagi, to Daniel-san

107. With 49-Across, two of the three scary beasts chanted along the road to Oz

109. Fetched, ungrammatically

111. Doe follower, in song

115. Automaker with a four-ringed logo

116. Make the acquaintance of

117. Sex ed. class topics

118. Cuyahoga Valley National Park setting

120. Actress Bonet

122. Palme _____ (Cannes Film Festival honor)

123. Contractor’s price guess (bad news: it’s going to cost more than that)

126. Music format that followed-and then predated-LPs

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.