Sunday, December 23, 2007

Syracuse Post-Standard: Blog

Original post here:

Hey Sean,

All this ranting about winter, these columns, comments and blogs, sounds like we're "Embracing Winter"...hey wait, wasn't that a show mounted at the Warehouse Gallery by Astria Suparak in the winter of 2007? A show with an entire wall dedicated to snowfall amounts...much like your proposed "high profile downtown chart that keeps track of snowfall inches"? Suparak also mounted shovels (to borrow) and pillars of salt, and played the soothing (and hopeful?) sounds of ice melting. Perhaps it was no accident that Suparak, a Californian, had moved to Syracuse from Montreal.

I have lived in the cities mentioned by Environment Canada's weather stats guru (including St. John's Nfld) but I have never seen snow like Syracuse. This is the only place where it pours snow and is the only place I know that gives a snowfall rate. I moved here just in time for the Blizzard of '93...I think snow fell at around 7 inches/hr!

Whatever the Canadian weather guy says, Syracuse has those Canadian cities beat by miles. And by feet, inches, centimeters and any other measure.

I definitely agree that in Syracuse we should celebrate our superlatives. But I also think we should start thinking "neighborhood" instead of always thinking about big events and revitalizing "downtown". Every neighborhood has snow and cold. Syracuse also has wonderful hills, and almost every neighborhood has a hill or hills. Many people have told me they used to ski near Drumlins and on South Campus. (Did you know that there is a bobsled run behind Ed Smith, built I think, in the 1930's and abandoned following an accident?)

Almost every Canadian city I lived in had outdoor neighborhood rinks, some small and rough, most with lights, often flooded by firemen and shovelled by city workers (or parents). Almost every neighborhood also had an area, a park or other area, with some kind of hill for sledding.

Hills, snow, cold, ice, neighborhood parks...the ingredients necessary for embracing and celebrating winter and we have these ingredients in abundance in Syracuse. It's all here. Maybe we just have to rediscover it.

This is a great topic for discussion! Thank you.

Jan Pottie


Syracuse has lost one its greatest assets. Astria Suparak, Inaugural Director of The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University, was removed from her position as of Sept. 30th, 2007, despite widespread support from community members, students, faculty, and the international art community. This decision was made unilaterally by Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC).

At the time of Suparak's dismissal, Hoone also canceled her forthcoming exhibitions, including "Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men," due to open in November 2007.