Archives For carrier dome

The following was written while I waited Sunday morning for my plane leaving Syracuse and headed to JFK to be de-iced. I had missed my flight to LaGuardia by about 60 seconds; thankfully the saints that work for Delta got me on the next flight to the city which thankfully was departing from the gate next door a few minutes after. It was originally posted to my Instagram and this version has been edited lightly for grammar and spelling.

Greetings from my ✈ back to the city. Let me tell you about my past 30 hours.

I snapped this selfie on AirTrain headed to JFK Saturday morning. The plan was to take-off at 9:30, land around 10:15 and make the noon tip of yesterday’s Syracuse/Georgetown game at the Dome. My cousin Anthony (who for those that don’t know is my best friend; I have the honor of standing as his best man next year when he takes the ole plunge) was riding the train in from Niagara Falls. He had never visited the Cuse so we were going to do it up – tickets at the game (thanks L) followed by a tour de force through my old stomping grounds: Marshall Street, Chuck’s, Faegan’s, Varsity – the whole thing.

And then my flight was delayed until it was canceled. Anthony ended up rolling to the Dome and subsequent venerable campus locations solo. I caught the first few minutes of the game from the bar at the LIRR Jamaica station (and yes they’ll make your cocktail to-go). Then I hopped back on a train towards Penn and checked the Amtrak schedule. There was a 1:20 Empire Service departure that could get me to ‘Cuse by 6:40. Should I go?

Stupid question.

I grabbed another cocktail from the Friday’s in Penn (no they will not make it to-go) and hopped aboard.
I had a great night in Syracuse. Ate dinner at an awesome spot called The York. Ran in to an old friend and his wife. Got to relive a bit of my college days with my best friend.

If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that family and friends have to come first in my life. It’s cliché but true and sadly, I haven’t always had my priorities straight. But I’m thankful for those around me who have always understood and supported me regardless.

I’m also thankful that I realized this now as opposed to never because that would be unfortunate… much more so than a canceled flight.

Keeping with tradition, I stayed in the city for Thanksgiving and worked, however I took a lengthy vacation around Christmas. By lengthy, we’re talking nine days. Almost a week-and-a-half. I love my family, but it was a bit much.

Nonetheless, it is always nice to return back to Niagara Falls and visit with family and friends that still live in Western New York. I flew out on Sunday the 20 and snapped this shot as the sun was rising over the RFK Bridge.


Rarely does returning back to WNY solely consist of resting, especially around the holidays. But it’s nice when I’m home for events that normally I would have to see on Instagram or hear about after the fact. Example: My very talented niece Taylor had an art showing at a local wine bar in Niagara Falls the night I landed. She is ridiculously talented (you’ll see later) and the place was packed. It was great to be able to not only join family there but support her.


On Monday we had a family dinner with my Mom’s side and on Tuesday my Dad’s favorite bar, DeFazio’s Stadium Grill, had its annual Christmas Party. Here’s me and my cousin Mike.


Yeah, it was a good night! Attending with my Dad has turned in to an annual tradition that hope doesn’t end anytime soon.


Had a chance to spend some quality time with my cousin Anthony on Wednesday. I ran a few errands with him and we grabbed lunch in Lockport – home of course of the Erie Canal.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


V ARTSY as the kids say. Thursday was Christmas Eve aka my favorite meal of the year: The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s an Italian thing, and I love it because I want all of the seafood.


Then Santa stopped by. We opened gifts as a family on Friday and then went to my brother’s house for brunch. That’s where my niece, the aforementioned Taylor, gave me this!


How amazing is that?! Her and I both share a love for Coldplay. All-in-all, Santa treated me well.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


It was just great to be able to hang with all of my nieces and nephews.


Saturday was a blur of a day, spent mostly visiting with friends from high school and grade school. Then on Sunday, I headed off to the Carrier Dome to see Syracuse play Texas Southern.


‘Cuse won and I got to see one of my old college roommates and my family that lives there, so it was a solid trip back to Central New York. I kept with the sports scene Monday night, heading to Buffalo to see my Sabres play the Caps. Sadly they lost but it was still nice to get back to the First Niagara Center and see all of the great development happening in downtown Buffalo.


Of course it’s not a trip back to Western New York in December if you don’t have inclement weather.


But soon enough I was back in the air and en route to the city.


Definitely a trip home for the books and a solid way to end my 2015 travels.

every year, a number of radio geeks decend upon the SU hill for the annual wjpz alumni banquet. it’s an all around great time – you catch up with old friends, network, catch an orange basketball game, and drink.

yes, and you drink… did i mention drink?

seriously though, this year would be my fifth banquet, and the one looked forward to since sophomore year, as this is the first time i would attend banquet as both a z89 and su alum. my second through fourth banquets were filled with a minimal amount of awkwardness because i had only completed one year of Z, with hot 107-9 stealing me away at the beginning of my second year at syracuse.

in addition, this would be the first alumni event that a date would accompany me for – of course, my girlfriend angela.

the day started on a down note. ang and i were slow to arrive at the carrier dome for the orange’s noon-time start against pitt. and then, well we all know how that ended.

but things started to improve before i even left the dome. i ran into my uber-mentor, dr. wright, as well as good friend, popular newhouse alum, and espn broadcaster sean mcdonough.

after a quick walk back to the sheraton, the gf hit the sheets to catch up on shuteye. i met up with my friend julie from atlantic records and her friend ty, and walked over to the z89 studios, located in the comfortable confines of watson hall.

i thought i had it good as a freshman… these kids have the most high-tech equipment out there. the z89 studios are much more advanced than the bht world headquarters, from the digital boards and software to the three sony video cameras, complete with remote controls and an lcd monitoring board.

just sounds sick, right?

after hopping on the air for literally, a hot second, julie and i walked over to chuck’s, where i was greeted with a number of familiar employee faces, a number of fellow disappointed orange fans, and thankfully, a number of draft beers available via pitchers.

of course, i can’t forget former college roommate sam, now living in washington d-sizzle. seriously, this story would be way cooler without that game that just happened an hour ago.

after a three-hour frosted beverage marathon, with a halftime appearance by the notorious hawaiian ryan, we headed back to the sheraton. afterall, i did have a 7pm alumni banquet to attend.

more drinking, catching up with friends, awful food… i mean, GREAT food…. a little more drinking… a right-on-key keynote address from z alum and new york sports talk show host craig carton (despite his blatent diss of buffalo women, while i sat there with my girlfriend).

don’t say i didn’t take full advantage of the fact that i had returned to my old stomping grounds, with no where to drive and a hotel room.

okay, the rest of the night entailed a trip to senior-bar faegans, a return to chuck’s, and a final stop, via limo, to an afterparty that had more or less emptied out. so, let’s just fast forward to 11a on sunday, when i woke up, sans the hangover.

ang and i met patrice (now a sophomore, responsible for those msnbc segments) downstairs at rachel’s for brunch. of course, i’d be remiss if i traveled to central new york and didn’t visit with my aunt and cousins in liverpool. finally, almost everything we set out for accomplished, we hit the road.

as you may or may not be able to tell, i enjoyed my trip back to syracuse. i carried more good than bad memories away from the three-one-five after four years on the grind there. when you invest so much – monetarily, physically, emotionally – in one place, it’s hard to forget and easy to look back and reminisce on the times that were.

that is of course, those times that you can remember.
every year, a number of radio geeks decend upon the SU hill for the annual wjpz alumni banquet. it’s an all around great time – you catch up with old friends, network, catch an orange basketball game, and drink.

yes, and you drink… did i mention drink?

seriously though, this year would be my fifth banquet, and the one looked forward to since sophomore year, as this is the first time i would attend banquet as both a z89 and su alum. my second through fourth banquets were filled with a minimal amount of awkwardness because i had only completed one year of Z, with hot 107-9 stealing me away at the beginning of my second year at syracuse.

in addition, this would be the first alumni event that a date would accompany me for – of course, my girlfriend angela.

the day started on a down note. ang and i were slow to arrive at the carrier dome for the orange’s noon-time start against pitt. and then, well we all know how that ended.

but things started to improve before i even left the dome. i ran into my uber-mentor, dr. wright, as well as good friend, popular newhouse alum, and espn broadcaster sean mcdonough.

after a quick walk back to the sheraton, the gf hit the sheets to catch up on shuteye. i met up with my friend julie from atlantic records and her friend ty, and walked over to the z89 studios, located in the comfortable confines of watson hall.

i thought i had it good as a freshman… these kids have the most high-tech equipment out there. the z89 studios are much more advanced than the bht world headquarters, from the digital boards and software to the three sony video cameras, complete with remote controls and an lcd monitoring board.

just sounds sick, right?

after hopping on the air for literally, a hot second, julie and i walked over to chuck’s, where i was greeted with a number of familiar employee faces, a number of fellow disappointed orange fans, and thankfully, a number of draft beers available via pitchers.

of course, i can’t forget former college roommate sam, now living in washington d-sizzle. seriously, this story would be way cooler without that game that just happened an hour ago.

after a three-hour frosted beverage marathon, with a halftime appearance by the notorious hawaiian ryan, we headed back to the sheraton. afterall, i did have a 7pm alumni banquet to attend.

more drinking, catching up with friends, awful food… i mean, GREAT food…. a little more drinking… a right-on-key keynote address from z alum and new york sports talk show host craig carton (despite his blatent diss of buffalo women, while i sat there with my girlfriend).

don’t say i didn’t take full advantage of the fact that i had returned to my old stomping grounds, with no where to drive and a hotel room.

okay, the rest of the night entailed a trip to senior-bar faegans, a return to chuck’s, and a final stop, via limo, to an afterparty that had more or less emptied out. so, let’s just fast forward to 11a on sunday, when i woke up, sans the hangover.

ang and i met patrice (now a sophomore, responsible for those msnbc segments) downstairs at rachel’s for brunch. of course, i’d be remiss if i traveled to central new york and didn’t visit with my aunt and cousins in liverpool. finally, almost everything we set out for accomplished, we hit the road.

as you may or may not be able to tell, i enjoyed my trip back to syracuse. i carried more good than bad memories away from the three-one-five after four years on the grind there. when you invest so much – monetarily, physically, emotionally – in one place, it’s hard to forget and easy to look back and reminisce on the times that were.

that is of course, those times that you can remember.