Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Youngstown Cash Mob Dons its Derby at Mr. Darby's

What a whole lot of cash mobbery awaits us!

Our September cash mob is coming up this Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at
Mr. Darby’s Antique & Collectible Emporium
11734 South Ave. Ext.
North Lima.
Stop by anytime! With 88 vendors, I think you will agree that this cash mob has something to offer everyone. One vendor has a steam punk room. What! Crates, blankets, stuffed squirrels, Halloween decorations, milk paint, enamel cookware, comic books, antique trunks and typewriters. Not making this up. Bring your grandma and ask her what she remembers. New stuff, too. Bring your Christmas list! Bring your kids! North Lima is a short drive south of Boardman (we venture out of Youngstown a few times a year), and there is a big parking lot.

The last two cash mobs of 2014 will be in October. We’re mixing it up with evening events! The Encore Shop at 4427 Logan Way Plaza is hosting a fall fashion show with food, wine, fashion and shopping on Sat. Oct. 4 from 5:30-8:30. The appetizers will be catered by Kennsington Golf Club in Canfield. And to make it even more impressive, this event is a fundraiser to research a cure for breast cancer. Tickets are $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the door.

Later in October, we are co-sponsoring an event with My City Hangouts!!!!! It’s great to find a gig dedicated to spotlighting locally owned hangouts for kicking back and enjoying an evening with your fellow Youngstownians. We are putting a fantastic event together at Santa Fe Southwestern CafĂ©, inside Loose Racks Billiards at 3207 Mahoning Ave., on Sat. Oct. 17 from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Come on down for a burrito and a game of pool.

In November, we are shopping locally for the big T-Day dinner, so if you are sourcing your ingredients from a local farm or unique, independent vendor, you might save your receipts so you can enter our Thanksgiving contest. More on that soon!

And we don’t try to mob December, but encourage everyone to support the mom-and-pops.

I did a little traveling this summer and everywhere I went, I drove by billboards and banners encouraging people to buy local. And speaking of banners, I'm so proud of the Youngstown Business Incubator, named the best business incubator in the world. We're not the only ones who think that locally owned businesses will make our economy strong!

Try someplace new this week, if you have a chance, and I hope you will also put these events on your calendar if those squares aren’t already packed full. Our businesses are crazy excited about their cash mobs, and a big turnout makes it tremendously fun. It’s nice to feel appreciated, right?

I appreciate you. A cash mob of one wouldn’t be much of a mob. That’s the best thing about Youngstown, I think: the people and their generous spirits. We’ve been through a lot, and we don’t take our successes for granted.

Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Cash mob: like flash mob, only the singing is optional.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: American Dervish by Steven Reese

 The poetry collection American Dervish by Steven Reese deserves recognition for its insights and command of language. From the opening line, it grabs the reader by both hands and takes her for a beautiful spin, where landscape and the music of culture whirl by. With his intellect and pacing, Reese controls the dance, and the reader relaxes into it, feeling a range of emotions. Although in these times it’s a clichĂ©, I laughed out loud in some places, and the gut-punch sadness of other places made the laughter sweeter. 

One of my favorite poems was featured on Verse Daily. It begins:  

While we're asleep, the brain tends
To the animals.
It drops the electric fence
And they hurry out, they've waited all day.
They wander through town
Down the middle of streets, it's alright,
They know the benevolent mayor here
And his brother the butcher
Who sits outside the locked door
Of his shop and smokes
A joint, watching and laughing.
From the delightful title that sends me to the dictionary, I am hooked.  The poem continues to poke fun at our animal psyches, and our attempts at creating an intellectual society that is better than we are. More than mocking, it's a kind of sophisticated deprecation of our collectives selves that I appreciate, in a you-can-tease-me-if-it's-funny kind of way.

Several times I arrived at the end of a poem and realized I was holding my breath. Then I realized the whole one or two page poem had only one full stop. I found myself going back to see how the construction worked. I love it when a poem makes me think, how did he do that?
Reese offers the theory that America began with a quick-step, a clumsy thump-thump, then we dervished our way across the land, dizzy and ahead of ourselves, and here we are today, in love with the dance even if we don’t always understand it. 

 Our history personified might begin
as that B western scene where the liquored up villain
pulls six-shooters, says dance,
and starts blasting the ground out from under out feet--

we're pressed into it,
                         this hide-saving highstep
                  improvised in extremis, this whirling
that goes on even after the shooting stops
It is a complicated view, both critical and affectionate, of our complicated history. But the book’s zoom level moves in tight, as well. The breadth of this work is impressive, from Pilgrim Thomas Morton to John Chapman to Fallingwater to the tender domesticity of struggling to raise a son with Asberger’s, living through a father’s death, and loving a wife. 

Practice Elegy for my Father

This kite-flying wind, these slow-drift grays
Feathered with white, a rain that will be hours
Filling the shallow bird bath

Are all that's left of a storm that once launched
An exodus for shelter, then seized on the roofs
Of the emptied houses and peeled them back
Like the pull-tab lids of our cat food.

Steve Reese is among Ohio’s finest poets. His work is imaginative, poignant, witty and evocative, his mastery of storytelling, word play, imagery, movement, the line and the break, is so fine.

Cover image by Ohio artist Mary Farragher.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Youngstown Cash Mob Has Its Day in the City

 Cash Mob in the City on June 14!

And another round of thanks to my co-organizers Kelly Bancroft and Colleen Clayton-Dippolito.  The cash mob will begin after the Color Run, around noon. Since runners-walkers will be wearing white and they’ll have powdered dye lobbed at them as they move through the city, the downtown will be extra sparkly.

Color Run participants will be parking at the Covelli Center, so cash mobbers will have no trouble finding parking in some of the gigantic lots on Front Street, or on-street parking and pocket lots throughout the downtown. Alternately, you might hitch your bike to the bike rack sculpture on the square at Federal Plaza or at Home Savings, or hop a bus and zoom in to the WRTA station.

Downtown businesses are expecting us, and they may have something special in store for the cash mob. Ask the food vendors if they have a cash mob sampler on tap. I can imagine grazing one’s way through town, stopping in to see the places you haven’t been yet, or spreading your love to several favorites. Hopefully we’ll have a beautiful day and the patio tables will all be out.

Cash Mob in the City
Sat. June 14, noon – 7:00 p.m.
downtown youngstown
Lunch, dinner, coffee, sweets, snacks
Clothes, collectibles, art, books, music
Children’s and history museums
Car detailing

This weekend, we are voting for the July cash mob, and so far we have a tie between Santisi Wholesale Food Co. on Mahoning Ave. and Outdoor Recreational Equipment on Market St. Perfect, right? Nothing says summer like a great deli and bikes and kayaks.

I hope to see you downtown on the 14th!

Thanks for helping us spread the word.

Cash mob: like flash mob, only the singing is optional.