Show Your Love To Thread

In Rochester, there aren’t too many options for independent and locally owned clothing stores, but in the South Wedge, at 654 South Ave, there is Thread.

Owned by Sandy Brazis and Mike Ford, Thread has been one of the highlights of the popular South Wedge neighborhood. Their focus on local and independent clothiers, such as Attain, as well as community has made them City Newspaper’s Best of clothing store in Rochester, as voted by the people. Community events such as art openings, clothing releases, and fashion shows have helped Thread bring people together as no one else could.

Last night, Thread was robbed. This was the third time in two years, which is making it harder and harder for the store to survive. This has certainly been a hard time for Ford and Brazis. With the holiday season upon us, this is devastating to the shop, the owners, their employees, as well as the community.

Through all the hardships Thread has endured, they have been able to come back, but it’s reasonable to guess that’s it gets harder every time. Today, I would like to ask the people of Rochester, and those of you from around the country and around the world to help Thread in any way that you can. If you are able to donate just a little bit of your time and money to helping Thread recover from this travesty, we might be able to ensure that Thread keeps its doors open, and remain a part of a growing and sustainable community.

Please contact Mike or Sandy at threadrochester@gmail.com to see what you can do.

Local Challenge

The chickens from Nordic Farms in Branchport, NY. Well within 100 miles and where we get our eggs!

Of all the movements in and across America, I don’t think any could have the power to change the way America works quite like the Locavore movement. Unlike the Tea Party and Occupy, it goes beyond political sway. Also, unlike the Tea Party and Occupy, it has the ability to bring communities together rather than pull them apart.

I think that of all the questions I get, the ones I hear the most are about going local. It seems to me that people don’t completely understand the concept of buying local goods from local vendors. It sort of seems to go against everything we’ve been taught from the very start.

A locavore is someone who consumes only products, including all of their food, that were produced within a 100 mile radius of their home. That number can be greater or smaller, depending on the individual, but that seems to be a fair number. It is understood that it’s not an easy task for people in certain parts of the country due to environmental factors, but here in Rochester, NY, it’s a walk in the park. All it takes is a walk through one of the local farmers markets, such as Brighton, Fairport, South Wedge, or any of the dozens more littering the area, and you will find virtually anything you could ever want or need. No, we don’t have citrus, but we’ve learned other ways of getting our vitamin C. Tomatoes are an excellent source.

My challenge to you, my readers, is simple. Make sure every penny spent on food this weekend stays local. Be a locavore. Go to your farmers markets and see what they have. I promise, you will have no problem finding not only enough to fill you up, but some of the best produce you have ever had.

Where it all starts. Welcome to the ROC

Rochester, NY is a small industrial city along Lake Ontario in western, NY. Our roots go back to a blue collar way of life where everyone knows the difference between a MIG and a TIG, and the favorite food is called a garbage plate. We’re known for Kodak and bone chilling winters. Triple-A baseball and White Hots. The only thing that’s saltier than the salt mines just south of the city are the people who live here, and that’s just the way we like it.

Despite our hard reputation, there are a lot of people who are working to do good for the world we live in. Rochester leads the nation in nonprofits per capita. This is a city of giving. Though Philadelphia has the title ‘City of Brotherly Love’, Rochester is the city who truly lives up to that name.

Now, Rochester has a new task at hand. Rochester wants to be the city known for environmental and economic sustainability. We are stepping up to the plate to take full responsibility for the well being of the city and the people who live here. Though we have seen hard times in the past, Rochester has a backbone made of steel.

Yesterday I took a walk around a small portion of our city. Though there are still ghosts of a troubled past that can be seen nearly everywhere you look, there are countless positives. There are signs of growth. There are signs of independence. Small locally owned business and community gardens. People have dreams and a strong will to make them come true. Soon, many of the neighborhood farmers markets will be alive with locally grown produce and meats. It’s happening…