Utica Proud

Union Station: Dependable Travel

Union Station is a train station served by Amtrak, Trailways, Greyhound, Utica Transit and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Utica, New York. The station was built between 1912 and May 1914, replacing an older structure dating from 1869. The building was designed by New York architects Allen H. Stem and Alfred Fellheimer. Union Station has long been recognized for the beauty of its design and particularly for the lavish use of marble on the interior. The station was built in the Italianate style and includes a rusticated granite first story with buff brick above. Symmetrically rectangular in plan, there are thirteen bays across the facade and fifteen on the side elevations. A brick parapet crowns the building and over the main entrance is a large clock flanked by eagle sculptures. Union Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Inside is a restaurant, the DMV, several county offices and a barber shop—one of the few barber shops in a train station today.

The 15,000 square foot waiting rooms and 47 foot high vaulted ceiling are supported by 34 foot marble columns. An old rumor is that the monolith marble columns came from the “old” Grand Central Terminal in New York City, but there is no evidence to support the story. Eight large benches in the waiting area are heated with steam pipes and vents for the waiting passengers. Union Station deteriorated badly after World War II and was threatened with demolition, but was restored in 1978-79 and is now owned by Oneida County. It is one of the last of the old central New York’s major stations still serving its original purpose. Union Station serves as a living link between the past and the future. Union Station is a comfortable, reliable and beautiful place to travel through.

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Interview questions:

What are you doing at the train station?

What do you like about the train station?

What in Utica makes you proud?

My first interview was with a passenger waiting for the bus. She was sitting on the benches, her bus was yet to arrive. She was waiting for her bus to Albany to arrive.Her favorite part of the train station was how pretty the inside was. She was proud of her college.

I interviewed two other passengers as well. One was a man who seemed to be stressed but still agreed to quickly answer my questions. He was there waiting for his train and liked the efficiency of the station. He wasn’t from Utica but enjoyed the food during his visit.

The other passenger I interviewed was a lady with her son waiting for a train. She was waiting on a train to visit her family and liked the pretty interior of the station.

She was proud of the family friendly environment.

After harassing the passengers I talked and interviewed two police officers at the station. They both were there for work. They liked the county station in the building and how pretty it was inside. One of them said they were proud of the city itself and how far it has come and the other said he was proud of the good Italian food.

The last person I interviewed was the man who worked at the ticket booth. He was very kind and gave me a pamphlet at the end of the interview about the train station’s history. He was there for work and liked the nice atmosphere of the train station. He wasn’t from Utica but he drove an hour everyday for work because he loves the train station. That concludes my interviews!

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The most famous animal in here, why? What it did?
Why you work here so long time without the worry about income
History about zoo (famous)
How about the benefit (visitor)
What support here
Special accident
Why there is a zoo
What here is before the zoo

Biosphere/ Attention

History of the Utica Zoo & Utica Zoological Society
The Utica Zoo has served the region for over 100 years. Located in Roscoe-Conkling Park, the zoo is part of a recreational complex made possible by the donation of land from Thomas R. Proctor in 1909. He had a dream that a park could do as much for South Utica as Central Park was doing for New York City. He hired a famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead Jr., who’s father had designed Central Park, to plan the roads and scenic walkways in Roscoe Conkling Park. The Zoo has grown from its small beginnings with three fallow deer in 1914, to its present collection of 99 species of  animals. Of the 80 acres of land set aside for the zoo’s use, 40 are presently developed.
The Zoo property is owned by the City of Utica, and until 1964, was operated by the Parks Department. In order to ensure the Utica Zoo’s continued existence, the Utica Zoological Society assumed full management of the zoo in 1964.  The first professional zoo director was hired in 1966. One year later, Marlin Perkins officiated at the opening of the Children’ s Zoo. The society was chartered as an educational institution by the New York State Educational Department in 1968. In 1973, the education department was established with the appointment of a curator to carry out its programs.
The first building, completed in 1920, is currently named the Wildlife Building and houses the administrative offices, auditorium, reptile exhibits and the zoo’ s kitchen.  In 1981, the Animal Care Center was added to the Wildlife Building for the quarantine and veterinary facilities. The first building made exclusively for animal use was completed in 1927 and still houses the primate collection. Other major exhibits include the Lion exhibit and the California sea lion exhibit (finished in 1986).
Utica Zoo is a regional facility and a sparkling gem for the Mohawk Valley. The zoo receives annual support from Oneida County, an unrestricted grant from the Sinnott Family Fund at Fidelity Charitable, and an annual operating grant from the Natural Heritage Trust (a state agency).  The remainder of the budget is raised by the Society. Admissions fees, society membership, special events such as Wine in the Wilderness, Brewfest & Spooktacular, the gift shop, the Animal Adoption program, animal encounters, animal feed sales, stroller rentals, pavilion rentals and donations complete the operating budget income. Major capital improvements are funded through specific fund drives, major grants and other contributions and sponsorships.

Utica Planned

The Planned Parenthood, located in Utica, New York, was opened about 40 years ago. It’s currently named after Margaret Roberts, a former co-president/CEO, who has since passed away. A couple of years ago the budding was renovated to really push emphasis on security, privacy all while being fairly modernized to push the sense of comfort.

There’s no secret Planned Parenthood deals with nasty protestors on a daily at probably all of their establishments. These protestors make it a point to vocalize their disgust for Planned Parenthood’s practices. The most complained about practice would undoubtedly have to be abortion. However, what they fail to realize is that Planned Parenthood actually offers a wide range of services, not only for  women but men as well. Their services include, but aren’t limited to birth control distribution, emergency contraception (morning after pill), general health care, HIV services, LGBT services, men’s health services, patient education, pregnancy testing and services, STD testing, treatment and vaccines. In their blind loyalty to their ignorance, they lack the vision to see the bigger picture that is Planned Parenthood.Planned_Parenthood_logo.svg


Interview questions:

-what does planned parenthood mean to you?

-how do you personally feel about the protestors?

-what steps do you think can lead to more people becoming involved?

-do you ever have to emotionally detach yourself while working here?

-do you think there will ever come a day where planned parenthood and it’s practices aren’t questioned/protested?

Utica Night Life

Deja Vu


Deja Vu Bar & Lounge is a fun and exciting night life experience in Utica. An upscale bar with modern decor perfect for celebration or simply a night out with friends. Not only does is house one of the biggest bars in Utica, the establishment is filled with plasma screen televisions and a booming sound system to ensure the promotion of good energy. Deja Vu is also a great place for audiences 21+ being that they have a plethora of craft beers on tap. While Utica can be somewhat boring, Deja Vu switches up the norm.


Interview Questions:

Why did you choose to build a night club in Utica?

Why did you choose this location?

When curating the idea for Deja Vu did you take into account the Audience?

Are you planning on expanding or creating a sister club?

Why is Deja Vu important to the Utica night life?


The Body Building Mecca…

…Of Upstate New York

P6620036Body Alive is a fantastic gym for pros and beginners alike. They are well equipped with free weights and almost every machine you can think of, and staffed with helpful employees that want only to help every person that walks through their door to better themselves and reach personal goals. The community found inside Body Alive embodies Utica in every way possible. At first glance it may appear to be a dark forgotten dungeon, filled with metal, rubber, and fabric that would normally have no use, but is actually so much more. It is full of beautiful people, who while are complete strangers, share a common goal and respect for one another as they attempt to reach that goal. From new comers to the professionals (like the now Mr. Universe Melvin Ortiz) there is no judgment or air of superiority that one may find in other gyms. These self proclaimed “gym-rats” will teach you how these simple heavy bars can teach you a work ethic and gain true self confidence that is lacking in so many people today.


I could never get in contact with the owner so I changed my questions and just asked some of the people that frequent the gym. Here are some of my favorite answers;

Q How would you describe the atmosphere of Body Alive?

Terry Brown- “I think theres a silent confidence in here, everyone seems to know what they are doing, and if they see someone that looks unsure of something they normally try and help them out. ”

Jenn Carhart- “Big scary dudes ha-ha”

Q Do you feel that atmosphere mirrors the feeling of Utica?

Ron LaDue- ” I could see that, some people around here can look a little mean at first but there just people living life too you know? I mean growing up here I guess i could just be used to it all ha-ha.

Oneida Square Trash Project

   Trashy Art

Another Person’s Trash is another Person’s Art

The oneida square Trash can project was created by Mike Ballman, a local pastor and cathy marsh, the local artist in residence. When pastor mike first came to utica, he noticed that the city was not in the best shape. He noticed that there was no employment in utica. Pastor mike wanted to help this cause, so he thought the best way to help is starting a social enterprise. His first attempt at this was to make t-shirts.

Unfortunately that idea didn’t work, so then he decided to make “Holy shih tzu: Dog waste removal”. That to didn’t work as great as he thought it  would.


So, pastor mike took time to listen to the community and noticed that the town had so much litter on the streets and not enough trash cans. Pastor mike liked this idea, however cathy made it better. She insisted on making the trash cans into art.



Cathy’s philosophy was that if the trash cans can get noticed, then the area will get noticed. Cathy is a firm believer in symbols so she started thinking of artforms that best fit for utica. She saw utica as this beautifully broken city. She put two and two together and decided to make the trash cans mosaics.


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