Things Are Looking Up
This photo taken August 15, 2018, from Fayette Firefighter’s Memorial Park features two things that weren’t there 20 years ago. The community visioning sessions in 1998 noted a need for a more positive attitude about our city and called for more bike trails.
The mural that went up in 2016 on the side of 420 E. Genesee Street is in the style of 19th century advertising with a decidedly positive pitch: “We are the Mighty Salt City Syracuse New York.”
That tone and the “Be Positive” message have been a key feature of the work FOCUS Greater Syracuse does.
Progress in bike trails and attitude are each among the 20 highlights of 87 goals set in 1998. FOCUS Greater Syracuse celebrates its 20 years by noting 20 areas of community achievement. You can see what can be done and has been done, not necessarily by FOCUS, but by Forging Our Community’s United Strength. To learn more about the 87 Goals and the 20 highlighted go to www.focussyracuse.org.
The message has been picked up by other organizations and echoes in the efforts of Believe In Syracuse and Centerstate CEO’s campaign Syracuse First. It’s not a new message. Syracuse boosterism has been around since the 1800s. More recently, in 1981, Joan White of Syracuse launched January 8 as National Joygerm Day. It has just become more visible lately.
As I prepared to take this photo, I wondered what would give human scale to the mural on the wall. In less than a minute a few cars went by and then randomly two people rode by on the green Connective Corridor bike lane. The bike lane and the mural by artist Cayetano Valenzuela were each part of the Connective Corridor work funded by Syracuse University. The mural is just part of Syracuse’s long tradition of public art. You can get a visual sampling of 49 pieces of public art in the city with the inventory prepared by the Downtown Committee. More about FOCUS, the 20 highlights and our upcoming events can be found at the FOCUS home page.