Rooftop Parties, Anyone?

17 09 2006

Who’d like to go to a party on a rooftop, and be able to look down and see the city and have Youngstown’s urban landscape as a backdrop?

It’s an intriguing idea, I think. It offers something the suburbs can’t, it’s definitely urban, and seems like an idea Janko would write about on his  Shout Youngstown Blog. I admit I’ve never even been to Europe, but the whole concept seems vaguely European to me nonetheless.

Yes, I’m still hung up on that Business Journal article on Ohio architects converging on our city this weekend. While my previous post really had nothing to do with the subject matter of that story, this one is slightly more on-topic.

(By the way, TV-21 did profile the conference on Saturday night at 11, mentioning many of the architects would like to see downtown buildings be rennovated)

The focal point of this conference is a seminar hosted by William McDonough, mainly dealing with incorporating the environment into architecture. Among other things, he advocates collecting rain water which can be used to flush toilets (?), and using recycled asphalt and drywall in construction. He also talks about, when feasible, planting lawns on roofs, which helps with insulation, thus reducing energy.

I can definitely see this in Youngstown, at least in an abbreviated form. (True, I may be way in over my head, but I’ll go ahead anyway) Take for example, the Wick Building, which is slated for conversion into apartments. What if they were to install guard rails (or some plexiglass shields, akin to NYC’s Top of the Rock), and plant a lawn around the majority of the roof, leaving some patches bare to install a bar and place some tables and chairs. It’d certainly be an attractive selling point to apartment hunters: when it’s nice out, you can come up on the roof, bring a book, take your dinner, grab a drink, meet friends, and just hang out and look out over the city, not to mention a nice view for sunsets.

Or what if a business were to take advantage of this? Let’s just use Imbibe as an example. With a first floor martini bar, and a second floor wine bar/dance floor, say they just decide to go one step further. They plant grass on their roof. Some other things could also be done (If I ran it, I’d look for a way to decorate the wall of the Baker Shoes building next door), but a nice atmosphere could be created. Maybe plant a few shrubs and flowers, and a nice rooftop garden can be created. With this work done, a lot of great opportunities can be in store. The roof can be rented out for private parties, or can be opened up for wine tastings or just when it’s a nice night to be outside. Just imagine meeting your family or friends, and having a good time like you could anywhere else, but the difference here being you’re under the stars, and taking in an atmosphere unlike any other place in the valley.

Of course, I haven’t mentioned inclement weather. Granted, this would have to be a spring-summer-early fall type event. I wish we had the tropical or desert climates of Florida or Arizona, but you can’t always get what you want, can you? But when we have one of those summers when all it does is rain, you have to have a plan for that. When it’s open to the public, it’s simple: the roof isn’t open. When there’s something private booked though, the best that could be done is have a few shade covers readily available, and try to make the best of things.

Yes, something like this could just as easily be done without planting lawns, but I have to give credit where credit’s due, and acknowledge the Business Journal and more specifically, William McDonough, for the concept that got me to formulate this whole idea. I also have to admit that in the environmental sense, which is what Mr. McDonough has in mind when he speaks of these ideas, I may be going about this wrong. All I can say is that this blog is about speculation, and when all you do is brainstorm ideas and put them in the form of an article, then anything goes.

Lastly, I want to say good job YSU, despite losing 37-3. If we can highlight anything positive about this game, it’s that the defense played pretty solidly for a lot of the first half, before Tony Hunt and Derrick Wallace went on their touchdown runs, and that the Penguins only lost by 34 to a top 25 team, and when the Nittany Lions do that against a 1-AA school, you’re doing okay. After all, it wasn’t nearly as bad as when Oklahoma murdered Texas A&M 77-0 in 2004.

However I must comment on the AP story as well. When I read this story, I couldn’t help but wonder why the AP hypes up Penn State, writing like they won a really tough game and how everyone pulled through. Last year, when Pitt beat YSU, the AP story on that game was written in a similar tone. Well not to belittle Youngstown State, but they’re not on the same level as these schools. We’re a power in 1-AA, in the Gateway conference. These are schools in the Big 10 and Big East; schools with a lot more resources and a lot more opportunities to offer. Do the AP writers take that into account before hyping up the big BCS conference school whose just dominated over the smaller 1-AA school?

But what will you do? Go Penguins! Get ready for the Aggies!




3 responses

21 09 2006

Hey just wanted to say, nice blog… but also if you guys watched the 33 report on Manchester, NH.. They built a new airport, new arena, new ballpark all outta the CITIES MONEY.

There downtown has 40 new restaurants down there.

The luxury boxes in their arena have a waiting list of 120+ companies.

I look at this city and say, this can be us….. I want you guys to do some reports on this town and get a Manchester person on here….. We need to model after them…..


1 11 2006

kool shyt, nice to know there are more of us out there

1 01 2007
Harry Niles

Something positive for everyone. Youngstown Author Sam Moffie’s new novel-SWAP. Saw it in the New York Times and I ordered it from In 1 month two poitive things in the NY Times for our area. Probably a record.

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