Time Out

HAVE A BLAST
Rochester’s 175th year will close with the resounding boom of fireworks and entertainment downtown on New Year’s Eve. There will be free ice skating at Manhattan Square Park, a Big Wish Globe fire ceremony and fireworks at midnight. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., an all-ages gathering at Rochester Riverside Convention Center will feature DJ music, inflatable buildings, a free photo booth, carnival games, strolling entertainers and the ever-popular KazooFest. Visit cityofrochester.gov for details.

GET JIGGY ON ’10 EVE
Tired of watching the ball drop on TV every New Year’s Eve? Think the holiday is a cliche or, worse, a painful reminder of resolutions unmet? Lighten up, bundle up and venture out this year to welcome 2010.

Unleashed! Improv, below, at the Jewish Community Center will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a 9 p.m. show in the JCC Lounge. The troupe, founded at the now-defunct Shipping Dock Theatre in 2004, is Rochester’s only Chicago-style, long-format improvisation comedy troupe. Unleashed! performs gigs year-round, including the latest Toronto Improv Festival.

The New Year’s Eve show will include a tongue-in-cheek review of 2009, plus spontaneous skits prompted by the audience. For tickets, call 461-2000, ext. 235.

The historic German House will be rocking from 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day during Swing in the New Year with the Rochester Swing Dance Network. Surf-rockabilly instrumentalists the Isotopes and the retro J.T. and the United Booty Foundation will provide the soundtrack. Neighborhood businesses Premier Pastry, Cheesy Eddie’s, Openface Sandwich Eatery and Hedonist Artisan Chocolates will provide appetizers and desserts. Proceeds benefit the Business Association of the South Wedge Area. Tickets are available at savorourflavor.com.

Fresh perspective
Students at the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred have created master plans for a city neighborhood in transition, and they’re on display at the Rochester Regional Community Design Center until Jan. 29.

The students looked at the PACK neighborhood, which includes Prince and Alexander Streets and Champeney and Kenilworth Terraces north of East Main Street.

The neighborhood is strategically located a couple of blocks from cultural and entertainment venues on University Avenue and East Main, the growing Rochester Public Market neighborhood, and art studios and offices on East Main, officials say.

Three dozen computer imaging and architectural engineering seniors tackled various aspects of the neighborhood’s design in classroom planning sessions. After an interim critique by city planners, design pros and neighborhood residents, they presented final designs to faculty members and guests from Rochester Institute of Technology and LaBella Associates P.C.

Last call for Frogger
Get over to Strong National Museum of Play if you haven’t yet tried your hand at the games in the Videotopia exhibit. The international touring exhibit of 114 vintage machines opened May 30 and closes Jan. 3. Included are the first game machine ever and classics such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Tetris.

Local gamers will be glad to know that the museum-home of the National Center for the History of Electronic Games-has acquired the entire collection. An exhibit of electronic games is planned for next summer, and several of the video arcade machines will be included. Visit museumofplay.org for more information.

Hohoho oompah
A lot has changed in downtown Rochester in the last few decades, but one tradition remains: Merry Tuba Christmas. Long held at Midtown Plaza, the free event, now in its 27th year, has moved to Hochstein Performance Hall. (Check out youtube.com for videos of the event’s good old days at Midtown.) More than 200 tubas, sousaphones, baritones and euphoniums will belt out the biggest sounds of the season starting at 3 p.m. Dec. 19.

Designer music
Next year’s Symphony Showhouse will be two cottages inspired by the music of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Thirty area designers will decorate the side-by-side homes-a Philharmonics House and a Pops House-in the Cottages at Malvern Hill, a Ketmar development in Pittsford. Each designer will decorate a room or space inspired by a piece of music of his or her choice performed by the RPO.

The orchestra’s sixth biennial Symphony Showhouse will run from May 22 to June 13, 2010.

Happy trails
Cumming Nature Center in Naples will open for winter use Dec. 26. Fifteen miles of cross-country ski trails and a two-mile loop for snowshoeing will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. (The center will be closed New Year’s Day.) Snowshoes and cross-country skis and poles will be available to rent. If snow isn’t sufficient, trails will be open for hiking. Cumming, operated by the Rochester Museum & Science Center, has a visitor center with beverages, snacks and restrooms.

NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK
Three lucky Rochesterians will receive makeovers by celebrity stylist Oribe and makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, compliments of Scott Miller Salon and Spa.

The beauty industry veterans, friends of salon owners Scott and Helen Miller, will go to work Jan. 10 at the salon in Pittsford. Oribe, above right with Scott Miller, will give each winner a new hairstyle; Kashuk will lend makeup know-how, and the salon staff will provide hair color.

Oribe has a reputation as one of the biggest stylists in the beauty business. He’s credited with launching the careers of top models, including Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, and counts Lady Gaga among current clients. Kashuk is creator of Sonia Kashuk Beauty. She has worked with a long list of celebrities and has a line of products at Target.

The Millers are looking for compelling stories of both women and men who have overcome obstacles and are ready for a fresh start in the new year. Individuals may nominate themselves or others. The entry deadline is Dec. 28; winners will be contacted Jan. 4 and announced later in the week. Entry information is available at scottmillerstyle.com.

12/18/09 (c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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