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Eboni Jones

Spectrum Creative Arts

Interview No. 48


People have really made Rochester less of a corporate hub and more of an intricate community of thinkers, makers, and doers.

What part of Rochester are you from?

I live in the Upper Monroe/Swillburg area.

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from O’ahu, Hawai’i - born and raised! When people find that out, I get the strangest looks because they don’t comprehend why I left paradise for the freezing tundra. Two words really sum that up: Island Fever.

Why did you move to Rochester?

I moved to Rochester to go to RIT for photography in 2004, graduated in 2008 and moved to Long Island for grad school and stayed there from 2008-2013. I moved back to stay in 2013 and I am loving the roots I am putting down!

What is your favorite part of living in Rochester?

I love that everything awesome is in such close proximity. Coffee, art, nature, food. I love biking in the warmer months, and I have grown to love fall and the things it brings like apple picking and pumpkin everything!

Do you have any favorite/secret Rochester spots?

All the places I love are no secret to anyone who follows @explorerochester, but Corbett’s Glen, Donuts Delite, and the Lamberton Conservatory are some of my favorite places!

What is your favorite time of day to hang out in the city?

As I get older, I have become more of a morning person, and I love being up first thing (read: 8am, not sunrise) and watching the rest of the city get moving. Also, people watching while having coffee and waffles is basically my sweet spot.

What's your favorite day of the week?

I really like Sundays. It’s usually my one day off to relax before starting another busy week! I can indulge in brunch and take it slow.

Describe your dream Rochester day.

First thing is to head to the public market for dinner supplies, Java’s coffee, and a breakfast pastry from Flour City! Then a quick stop at Parkleigh to look at all the random fun things they always have. Next is lunch at Dogtown. Perhaps I’d take in a movie at the Little or the latest exhibit at the George Eastman Museum. I love to cook when I have time, so I’d whip up a market fresh feast for dinner. Nightcap at the Revelry. The Mr. Mule is on point!

It gets me so pumped to think about how I will make my own way in Rochester as I go.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

NOTA, hands down! Love Writers and Books, Village Gate, George Eastman Museum, and the MAG! Art and food, what more could you want?!

Favorite bar?

Acme, the beer options are great and Acme wings can’t be beat!

Favorite hungover eating spot?

It has been a long time since I have needed a hungover eating spot, but I would say Dogtown. Or if it’s a Sunday, definitely brunch at Brown Hound Downtown at the MAG! I live for their sausage gravy. I want to put it on everything.

What's your personal coping method for cold/gray weather?

I mostly cope with the weather by hibernating--12 years of living in New York State and I still have a hard time coping with seasons! I try to visit the Lamberton Conservatory often, to get warm up in the tropical room and see some bright colors, and maybe even paint and draw some of the things I see!

What is your favorite Rochester memory?

RIT’s Big Shot at the MAG. The concept of the Big Shot community coming together to light up a monument to be photographed at night just tickles me! Photography was what brought me to Rochester, and it’s just such a great example of how much fun can be had when everyone comes together. Looking forward to this year’s Big Shot of the Kodak Tower!

What makes Rochester unique?

I love that Rochester is a breeding ground for all kinds of ideas. People have really made Rochester less of a corporate hub and more of an intricate community of thinkers, makers, and doers. Lindsey Collier of Dichotomy/Second Chic told me when I first moved back that this city is a place for people to make their own opportunities and she was so right! It gets me so pumped to think about how I will make my own way in Rochester as I go.

What do you think could be improved?

Construction is the first thing that comes to mind. Public transportation is the next thing. Both things have gotten better in the past few years, but we should continue raising the bar!

If Rochester were an animal, what would it be?

It would be a polar bear! Frolicking in the snow half the year, the other half basking under the gray skies, and hopping in the water when it’s hot and sunny!


I’m Eboni, and I’m the Office Manager for Spectrum Creative Arts, an Adjunct Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Visitor Services Associate at the Memorial Art Gallery. I love Rochester and how it feeds me spiritually, creatively, and literally!