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Rochesterians share so many memories as a community of Christmases past, including Midtown Plaza. Here are some memories from a bygone era. I’d like to wish you all a wonderful holiday.

Postal worker struggles to carry Christmas greetings in 1910.

Postal worker struggles to carry Christmas greetings in 1910.

 

Kids talking to Santa outside Sibley Building in 1914

Kids talking to Santa outside Sibley Building in 1914

 

Christmas shoppers in downtown Rochester in 1915.

Christmas shoppers in downtown Rochester in 1915.

 

William Moore's grocery store in Fairport at Christmas in 1915.

William Moore’s grocery store in Fairport at Christmas in 1915.

 

Girl donates to Salvation Army at Christmas in 1915.

Girl donates to Salvation Army at Christmas in 1915.

 

Father goes Christmas shopping 1917

Father goes Christmas shopping  in 1917.

 

Father drops all his Christmas purchases in 1917.

Father drops all his Christmas purchases in 1917.

 

Girl looking at toy shop window in 1919.

Girl looking at toy shop window in 1919.

 

Levi Ward residence, 855 East Ave., illuminated for Christmas in 1922.

Levi Ward residence, 855 East Ave., illuminated for Christmas in 1922.

 

B. Forman Store, 1930

B. Forman Store, 1930

 

Sibley Building, 1939

Sibley Building, 1939

 

Links of the Day:

– The Niagara Falls air base was saved from budget cuts. Now its new mission deals with drones.

Downtown Syracuse is on the rise.

– An Erie County high school wrestler has sued several school students and an opponent after getting herpes during a match.

– It’s becoming harder for low-income students to climb the economic ladder. An important New York Times piece explores the issues.

I love the idea of paying car insurance based on mileage.

– Unlike Rochester, Buffalo doesn’t have a Liberty Pole.

Is Santa bad for kids?

Prime Time Brass at Liberty Pole Lighting in 2009

 

On Saturday evening, the mayor will light the Liberty Pole:

Fun starts at 4:30 p.m. outdoors at the Liberty Pole, with music from the School #54 Chorus and Prime Time Brass! Mayor Richards and Santa will flip the switch to light up the Liberty Pole at 5 p.m. Then join the Mayor, Santa, holiday characters, an old time trolley, fire truck and sports mascots in a parade to Manhattan Square Park for fireworks, horse drawn wagon rides, free ice skating (limited $3 skate rental), dj music and more! The old time trolley will be available to bring you back to area parking garages and parking lots!

It’s a tradition started under Bob Duffy that ended up replacing the lighting of the Midtown Christmas tree.

It’s a very nice tradition, but who among the crowd won’t long for the old days? Admit it, you still get misty thinking about the Monorail, Magic Mountain, Clock of Nations and the reindeer at Sibley’s.

I like that the city is creating new downtown memories. But allow us a moment of nostalgia. We’ll feel the twinge every year at the holidays.

Midtown Plaza, 2007

 

Links of the Day:

– The Mt. Hope neighborhood has secured changes to the design of the Barnes & Noble going into College Town.

– A drive to unionize fast food workers has begun in New York City. One man has been working at McDonald’s for three years and still earns only $8 an hour.

– Imagine going to the bank and not having to wait in line. Want some coffee to go with your deposit? The future of “counterless” retail has arrived in the Albany area.

– An Albany airport invokes “safety concerns” in a bid to prevent people from handing out flyers. Didn’t you know? Leaflets are dangerous!

– We’ve heard of “Drug Free Zones.” In Syracuse, someone put a sign saying “Free Drug Zone.”

Links of the Day:

– A 70-year-old WalMart greeter in Batavia was punched in the face by a customer on Christmas Eve, reports The Batavian.

– A man was mugged in the men’s room at the Eastview Regal theater.

– A blind dog who got lost in San Antonio makes its way home just in time for Christmas.

– An Erie County Sheriff’s deputy who lost his legs in an accident has not lost his spirit.

– The New York Times reports on the Salvation Army’s stance on homosexuality.

– She was dying of AIDS, but wanted one motorcycle ride. A very touching column in the New York Times.

– An astounding 19 percent of young veterans in Monroe County can’t find work.

– There’s a building boom in Wayne County…of apple storage facilities. The climate-controlled rooms “put apples to sleep.”

– The Los Angeles Times reports on the huge numbers of people wrongly jailed because police thought they were someone else.

Links of the Day:

– A Penfield teacher writes about an anonymous Christmas gift for her troubled student.

– The Democrat and Chronicle looks at what Christmas is like for youth incarcerated at the Monroe County Children’s Center.

– A Central New York woman is recovering at Strong Memorial Hospital after getting her Christmas wish – a new heart.

– The Buffalo News explains the obsession with Air Jordans by delving deep into the psyche of “sneakerheads.”

A Massachusetts woman says TSA confiscated her frosted cupcake:

“It’s not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake,” she said. “It’s about an encroachment on civil liberties. We’re just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they’re doing in the name of security, when it’s really theater. It is not keeping us safe.”