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Au revoir, Syracuse (Part 2): People, places, and things

April 24, 2009

Doulas of CNY

When I discovered that I was pregnant with A, our second son, I knew immediately that we would hire a doula for his birth.  I was planning a VBAC and a natural birth, and research has shown that having a doula present during labor and delivery can help to increase the success of both.  Little did I know, however, that the person I spoke to on the phone would become not only my doula but also my friend and mentor.


After an amazingly successful VBAC (and waterbirth, thanks to the suggestion of my doula, Chris!), I was so inspired by Chris’s care and compassion and skills–and by the very nature of what a doula does for pregnant and laboring women–that I decided to look into becoming a doula myself.  I attended a training taught by her business partner, Julie, I bonded with and learned from the other women who comprise “Doulas of CNY,” and I was even lucky enough to attend a birth with Chris this past March.  And while I honestly doubt that I will ever find anything comparable to Doulas of CNY wherever else I go, I feel blessed to have begun my work as a doula here with them.

(I will also miss the incredible mother-to-mother support I received from the wonderful women of ICAN of Syracuse.  From fellow birth junkies to fellow VBAC warriors, from the co-leaders to the new moms that visit the group each month, I thank them all for their inspiration and encouragement!)



When Tim and I moved to Syracuse from Chicago five years ago, we feared that we were headed for some serious food-related disappointment.  No, correct that: we knew that we were in for some serious food-disappointment.  And I don’t even think that one needs to be a Chicago-snob (such as myself) to have made that conclusion: from pizza to hot dogs to blocks of decadently delicious Indian and Mexican food, nobody does food better than Chicago.

But then we found Gentile’s.

Gentile’s was probably the best-kept secret in Syracuse a few years ago, although I doubt that it is all that “secret” anymore.  Tim and I were only lucky enough to find it because it was right around the corner from our apartment.  (We’re lazy like that.)  It has an unassuming facade (and actually sits underneath an adult bookstore), but it’s menu is out-of-this-world good.  In fact, Chef Gentile creates some of the most spectacular dishes that I have ever tasted.  Ever.

Oat-encrusted strawberries stuffed with smoked-salmon cream cheese.  Jumbo shrimp in arugula pesto accompanied by a fried lemon risotto cake.  Calamari with blood-orange and chili dipping sauce.  And Tim’s favorite, the famous penne with vodka sauce.  (It’s simple–simply amazing, that is.)  

We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and, sadly, our last night out with our dear friends A & R at Gentile’s.  Heck, we’ve even visited the restaurant just to “celebrate” the fact that the chef had created a new seasonal menu!  Needless to say, we will sorely miss its warmth and its consistently delicious food…and those stuffed strawberries!

(We’ll also miss the yummy offerings at Pascale’s Bakehouse, Empire Brewing Company, The Blue Tusk, Dinosaur BBQ, Sahota Palace, Bistro Elephante, and Gannon’s ice cream.)


Beak & Skiff Apple Farm

We have gone apple-picking with our dear friends, A & R, every year since our first year here in Syracuse (when we were all newly-wed and childless).  Although we haven’t always gone to Beak & Skiff for the occasion, this farm has become our favorite apple-picking site.  Sweet, juicy apples, gallons of apple cider, tractor rides, rows and rows of apple trees, warm apple fritters, and an afternoon of hot cider and A’s delicious apple crisp have all become part of a fall tradition–and one that we hope to continue if we can make it out this way in October!

Beak & Skiff

Beak & Skiff

So we’ll miss Beak & Skiff, not just because it is a charming apple farm, but also because it has been a yearly mark of a growing, beautiful friendship–one that has seen us through pregnancies, babies, first steps, and even first apple-bites!

(We’ll also miss the various berry patches in Baldwinsville, Pratt’s Falls, Ithaca, Skaneateles, the shores of Lake Ontario, and the many other natural “wonders” of the area.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. renbeth permalink
    April 24, 2009 11:10 am

    We’ll think of you when we eat at Gentile’s. I’ll take a big bite of penne with vodka sauce and say, “Mmm, this is incredible. Too bad Tim isn’t here to eat this with us!” 😉

    And if you are here in October, I will make you TWO apples crisps – you can take one home with you.

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