Musical Chairs

When the nice, summer weather was in full force — let’s say June — I spent a free evening at a NoExcuses interest meeting. Michael John Heagerty’s outreach evening to look for possible guides interested in giving future tours. Considering my schedule, knowing I couldn’t offer anything more than positive reinforcement… well, my presence was simply that.

The guy has ideas churning through his head, and there is curiosity as to where the hell he’s going with them.

The tour incorporated an abolitionist theme, touching on Syracuse’s 19th Century history and the Jerry Rescue. Although I didn’t learn anything new-new, Heagerty showed diligence with his research; the latter was important.

The information and walk proved to be a great personal refresher. It was difficult to hide a goofy smile, which happens often when participating in some intellectual endeavor (I’d hate to see what I look like while walking around museums). Keeping in mind my association with the George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation, proof of purpose was evident.


Soho was fun.

The latter part of the day, time spent with Sam and Alyssa, involved a couple establishments with specialty beverages and while my phone stole electricity for the sake of its life. The first part included a preview of his work atmosphere, which I often viewed and continue to view as a magical place to work.

Photo provided (and with permission) by Sam Skelton
Photo taken and provided by Sam Skelton

Fueled is a cool little global app and web development company. I’ve been living vicariously though his posts of words and pictures, and Sam’s efforts do the place justice; however, the true vibe is felt in-house.

The miraculous part — the view. His Instagram and social media is riddled with skylines and sunsets as his phone/camera looks from above.

The view kicked me in the chest. I felt minuscule at the same time as feeling moved.

City life presents challenges, said Tracy Kaler.

Challenges indeed. There is beauty feeling like one in literally millions. It’s kind of incredible to be reminded of being a nobody despite whatever personal intent for success.


Aside re-recognizing purpose, the rejuvenated wonderment didn’t kick in until moments later when our group swung up to the top of the State Tower Building.

A sense of déjà vu cocooned me, but the feeling wasn’t anything negative. The small banquet or party room at the top of the building is clean and classic with a touch of arrogance. Perhaps it’s the history. Perhaps it’s the perceived  exclusivity of the physical location. Despite being cool, it’s nothing I’d yearn for; but an invitation would be accepted if passed in my direction.

Photo by Christopher Malone
Photo by Christopher Malone

Syracuse especially looks like a city from that height. It’s a beautiful city. It’s seemingly peaceful.

While people voted on new NoExcuses tour logos, it was easy to step away from the group (after voting) to simply take it all in — serenity.

(Mind you there was no inner monologue or scenario construction graced with a noir appeal or a Mid-Atlantic accent.)

The evening with the couple in New York ended the same: We stood on their roof deck and gawked at the Williamsburg night sky. The temporary escape as immensely good as it was overwhelming.


A lot has to be said for our city’s recent acquisition of $500 million from New York State. It’s fantastic. Finally we get a boost that will propel us into beacon status. After beating our heads against walls and walking around in circles, which has since created an island and moat, maybe we’ll be reconsidered as a mid-sized city instead of a hick town upstate.

It’s expected Syracuse will be revitalizing the economy: boosting agriculture and establishing businesses (aside restaurants or another mall expansion — you know Congel’s mouth is watering), which will hopefully stay put 10 years down the road, and all of this will be creating thousands of jobs.

This is a (hopeful) step toward more and a defined voice. Central/Upstate New York should ultimately be more attractive because of it. It truly is a great area to live, to have a family and to grow up.

As much as I try to stifle the thought of being uncomfortable with finding and securing “a place” in the Syracuse area, the agitation of “what’s next” still is a throbbing blemish. It’s similar to the last blanket you swear can fit in the trunk at the foot of your bed, but the preponderance of blankets makes the lid too difficult to shut and latch. Should the lid be shut — your butt is probably assisting and weighing it down — there are those couple spots where the topmost blanket manages to stick out.

Despite keeping active in the community, sometimes the life doesn’t feel big enough.

A “new” challenge isn’t needed, because I’m already preoccupied and say “yes” too damn much as it is. The question is: What exists? How can it be exemplified?

On this sailing Syracuse ship its not difficult to step to the side and stare across the water. There is plenty of it, water, polluted or not. The attention is then directed at a lifeboat, intending to steal it to set on an actual and personal adventure.

Instead, in actuality, there are two chairs. It’s hopping back and forth, trying out both positions. There will be one instinctual (safe) preference. One chair may be more comfortable, but the other chair has a better view. One may be broken in, which means it has a sooner end of life; the other has potential, but isn’t broken in yet.

Between them stands a table.

It’s a date between the id and super-ego, and the ego is serving dessert first and fucking the whole evening up.

Photo by Christopher Malone
Photo by Christopher Malone


One thought on “Musical Chairs

  1. I can relate to the entirety of the last few paragraphs. I felt the same when I lived in Syracuse. Then again, I’ve felt the same in every city I have ever lived, no matter the size. It seems a remediless condition for me.

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