Stuff to do this weekend!

Today's moment of fenestration

Downtown Albany State Street building window grid

Walking up State Street today near Pearl Street. There's a spot where the view of the window grid on the building there just... well, it gets kind of trippy.

Earlier:
+ Today's moment of fenestration and reflection
+ The afternoon September sun

Why does no one ever ask where downstate starts?

More fodder for the great debate our time: The Washington Post's Philip Bump collected survey data about "where does Upstate New York begin." There are maps. There are charts. [Washington Post] (Thanks, D)

The Bites Camera Action film series is returning to downtown Albany this summer in a new location

Times Union Center exterior video boards 2018-March

The Bites Camera Action movie series is set return to downtown Albany in July. And this time around the movies will be shown on the giant video screens on the front of the TU Center as part of a block party.

As in the past years, the Downtown Albany BID is looking for input about which films to show. There's an online survey with a bunch of choices (you can pick four). One survey taker will be chosen at random to win a $50 downtown Albany restaurant gift certificate. Voting ends at 11:59 pm on May 1.

Using the TU Center screens like this is an interesting idea. They are really big and bright. We've been thinking it could be fun to use them to show art, or maybe something just really chill and relaxing like nature scenes will ambient sounds. Because they really contribute to the feel of that block.

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

Stuff to do this weekend

They Might Be Giants 2017

It looks like there are just a handful of tickets remaining for the They Might Be Giants "Science, Kids, and Beyond" show at The Egg on Sunday. / photo: Shervin Lainez

Alright, you've all seen the long range forecast, so let's all get together and decide we're going to ignore Mother Nature until she gets onboard with spring.

Meanwhile, we have a weekend to plan. After the jump, a few weekend goings-on we thought might interest you.

Planning something that didn't make our list? Tell us about it in the comment section so everyone gets to see.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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Cynthia Nixon on The Late Show

Cynthia Nixon was on The Late Show last night talking with Stephen Colbert about her run for governor. The 10-minute segment is embedded above if you'd like to watch.

The segment includes some of the usual (somewhat awkward) late night banter, but it's also an opportunity to hear Nixon talk a little bit at length about why she's challenging Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination. And though his questioning had a relatively light touch, Colbert did press her a little bit on topics such as being a celebrity candidate without experience in public office.

NY Mag profile
By the way: Nixon is also the subject of a NY Mag cover story this week that focuses on her motivations for running and the idea that her presence in the race has pushed Cuomo to the left.

GE Realty Plot walking tours

GE Realty Plot Irving Langmuir House 1176 Stratford Road 2008 CC Daniel Case

Nobel Prize winner Irving Langmuir lived in this home on Stratford Road in the plot. / photo: Wikipedia user Daniel Case (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Schenectady city historian Chris Leonard is leading a walking tour of the GE Realty Plot neighborhood May 19. Blurbage:

Leonard will cover the dynamic events and unique cast of characters who have called "The Plot" their home. The tour includes stories and anecdotes about GE inventors and executives, Schenectady business and political leaders, entertainers, and incomparable individuals, as well as the formation of The Plot and ongoing efforts to protect these stately homes. Some of the many luminaries covered include Charles P. Steinmetz, Irving Langmuir, Izetta Jewel Miller and Ernst Alexanderson.

The GE Realty Plot sits just to the east of Union College. The college sold the land at the beginning of the 20th century to General Electric (it was trying to pay off some debt) and the company developed the plot for homes for its executives and researchers. It's a beautiful, walkable neighborhood.

The walking tour is the morning of Saturday, May 19. Tickets are $20 -- "which includes entry into one of the homes, and a 15-minute break with snacks on its large front porch" -- and available online.

By the way: It looks like this tour will be offered each month through October.

Sentencing in Mechanicville driveway murder, Car crashes into Schenectady porch, Cuomo signs order to grant voting rights to parolees, more student gun protests planned

Teens sentenced in Mechanicville murder
The 17 year old and 20 year old who admitted to robbing and fatally shooting a Mechanicville man last summer, were sentenced to 18 years to life and 20 years to life respectively. At the sentencing, Judge James Murphy called Nikolai Mavashev diabolical for plotting the murder of 19-year-old David Feliciano. [Spectrum][Saratogian][TU]

Sentencing in death of teen
Nineteen-year-old Christopher Miranda was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for the death of 16-year-old Zachery Brown, struck and killed on a Saratoga County roadside last year, driving at speeds of up to 104 miles per hour. [News 10]

Car crashes into yards, home and hydrant
A car crashed into the porch of a Schenectady home on Albany Street early Thursday morning, hitting three yards, a fire hydrant and flipping an SUV in its path. The driver and two passengers were taken to the hospital for treatment. [Spectrum][TU][Gazette]


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A look around the new Cafe Madison

Cafe Madison North Albany interior

The new Cafe Madison location on Northern Boulevard in Albany opened this week. It's now open 7 am to 3 pm, seven days a week.

It's the second location for the popular breakfast/lunch cafe, a follow-up to its longtime spot on Madison Ave in Pine Hills. The new restaurant occupies one end of the Loudon Plaza strip mall across from Albany Memorial Hospital. It has big windows, a long bar up front, and a brightly decorated interior designed by Jessica Evans. (She also designed Ama Cocina in downtown Albany.)

"This space allows us to do a little more behind the bar, including cold-pressed juices, but it's pretty much same [as the other Cafe Madison]," said Brian Viglucci, the managing partner of BMT Hospitality. The menu is, with the exception of a few additional items, roughly the same as the Madison Ave location. Viglucci said the both spots will eventually have the same menu.

This is the 10th restaurant for the Albany-based BMT, whose holdings also include Junior's (both Albany and North Greenbush), The Point, Madison Pour House, Ama Cocina, Albany Ale & Oyster, Spinner's Pizza, and The Pub.

Here's a look around the new Cafe Madison...

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The new season of the CDPHP Cycle bike share has started up

bike share rack Washington Park 2018-04-18

The hub in Washington Park is one of the locations that's gotten an expanded 10-bike rack this year.

Check it out: The new season for the bike share operated by CDTA -- CDPHP Cycle -- started Wednesday. Bikes are back out on the racks and they're available to use.

This is the second season for the bike share, and the first full season. (Last year's season started in late July.) This time around includes double the number of bikes (320 vs. 160) and more than 20 additional rack locations. You can see where bikes are available -- and reserve one -- via the bike share's online map or mobile app.

And that early-bird pricing for a full-season membership is still available through April 19. The $65 membership (it's usually $85) includes an hour of bike use per day.

The base price for using a bike without a seasonal pass is $5 per hour (prorated to the minute), with an "out of hub" fee of $2 and a "brought to hub" bonus of $1. (The bikes don't have to returned to a hub. The electronic tech for renting the bikes is on the bikes themselves, and they're equipped with GPS.)

CDTA exceeded its membership goal for last season, ultimately signing up 2,467 people, logging 11,481 trips that averaged 2.34 miles per trip. One of the goals for this season, with the additional bikes and racks, is to expand the service area further into neighborhoods beyond the downtowns of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs.

Earlier: What's next for the CDPHP Cycle bike share

CDPHP advertises on AOA.

Where to donate a virtually new mattress?

pillow on bedElisabeth emails:

[My husband] and I recently ordered a new mattress online...thing is, we're not feeling it and decided to return it.
The company told us "there is no one in your area to donate it to..." so they're going to schedule a 1-800 Got junk pick up. Ugh. I find it hard to believe that no organization will take a practically brand new queen size mattress!
Can you ask the AOA hive mind if they know of an organization that will take it? It has to be a not-for-profit and not a friend of a friend thing as we need to provide proof of the donation.

Charities sometimes have rules about what sorts of items they will take, often because of logistics and sometimes because of concerns about condition. In this case, with one of these foam mattresses that would seem to be relatively easy to inspect, we're guessing some org might be interested.

So, got a suggestion for Elisabeth? Please share!

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: walking around downtown Albany, the Pemberton Corner, decorum on the streetcar, a scam, Asshole Sports Parents, a microcosm of society, meditation, tools, NYC, tiny pits of pink, foraging, Malcolm's, Yono's, po'boys, and a weird scar update.

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Albany Barn in post ad 2018

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Mid century

The city of Albany isn't all that big geographically, but it still includes a wide variety of interesting architecture. Maybe less prominent among those styles: There are a bunch of beautiful mid century homes in some of the uptown neighborhoods. And one of them -- with what looks like many of the original details -- is up for sale if you'd like to get a peek.

There's another public meeting coming up to talk about that new sewer facility planned for Albany's Lincoln Park

The Albany water department has another public meeting set for next Monday, April 23 to talk about the Beaver Creek Clean River Project -- the new sewer facility planned to be built in Lincoln Park in an effort to mitigate the effects of combined sewer overflows on one of Albany's main sewer lines.

Press release blurbage:

The Beaver Creek was once a major watercourse in the City of Albany. The project location is just west of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at the access road to the Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology.
The project, led by the City of Albany Department of Water & Water Supply, will address sewer overflows in the ravine to the south of Park Avenue between Delaware Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and includes significant community benefit elements designed to work closely with the education mission of the Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology.
The project is currently in preliminary design and is scheduled for construction to start in 2019, and be completed and enter operation in 2022. The $45 million satellite treatment project was identified in the 2014 NYSDEC Consent Order. agreed upon by the Albany CSO Pool Communities (Albany, Troy, Cohoes, Watervliet, Rensselaer and Green Island).
The project is the recipient of a $10 million Intermunicipal Grant Award from New York State. The project presentation will solicit input on the proposed design and community benefit proposals.

The meeting is Monday, April 23 at 6:30 pm at the Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) (94 Delaware Ave).

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Police gave protest video to RPI, IDC staffers face layoffs following unification, Cuomo releases tax return, Pulitzer winner has roots in Troy

Police taped RPI protest
Troy police officers hired by RPI videotaped a protest at the school last fall, and handed the tape over to institute officials, who used it to identify protest leaders. [TU]

IDC layoffs
IDC staffers are dealing with salary cuts and layoffs now that Senate Democrats have unified. [TU]

A middle class guy
Andrew Cuomo released his tax return on Tuesday, and declared himself a "middle class guy."[DN][Buffalo News]

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A few takeaways from one of the public forums about the next Albany police chief

Albany police chief search forum 2018-04-16 behind crowd

Respectful. Fair. Open-minded. Humble.

Those were a few of the characteristics people said they'd like to see in the next Albany police chief during a public forum at the Albany Public Library Monday. It was one of three forums this week the city has been conducting as it starts the search for a permanent chief. And in a sense, the events are the start of the next chief's term -- whoever that might be.

"The more inclusive you are, the more community involvement you have, the more transparent you're going to be in your process and ultimately that provides legitimacy for the selection," said Gary Peterson of Public Sector Search & Consulting, Inc after Monday's meeting. He's assisting the city with the chief search. "And when you onboard the new chief they come in with the vote of the community, the community support. Versus if you completely exclude the community they don't have a voice, then the new chief is coming out with a strike against him or her."

Here are a few takeaways from what people had to say during Monday's conversation...

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Enfrijoladas at Cocina Vasquez

Cocina Vasquez Albany enfrijoladas de cecina

By Deanna Fox

I'm down to eat breakfast any time of day. In fact, I would rather eat traditional breakfast food post-noon than any time in the morning.

So when I walked into Cocina Vasquez on a recent Sunday looking to try something from this South-Central Mexican menu, I was on-board when the teenage girl behind the counter told me her favorite thing on the menu was enfrijoladas, a classic Mexican breakfast item.

I took her advice and order a plate for myself.

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Mushroom leather

The latest product to grow (literally and figuratively) out of Troy/Green Island-based Ecovative: a "leather" made from mushroom mycelium. As Chelsea Diana reports, Ecovative has teamed up with a California company to turn the material into apparel products. [Biz Review]

Creative Economy Symposium 2018

Creative Economy Symposium brochure

Proctors is hosting the second annual Creative Economy Symposium June 21-22. The topic for this year's event: "The Next Steps Toward a Diverse Workforce." Blurbage:

Join Upstate [Alliance for the Creative Economy], Workforce Development Institute, and the Themed Entertainment Association, global experts, and regional individuals, entities & industries in exploring critical issues relating to cultural, social and racial inclusion in Upstate New York's Commercial Creative Industries.
This 2nd Symposium in Schenectady involves Employees & Employers in Regional Creative Industries engaged in a conversation about overcoming obstacles, educational curriculum, hiring practices, job placement services, and career opportunities, rural & urban, leading us to a more diverse workforce.

Updated: A flyer with the schedule of events and speakers is embedded below. There's an opening reception that Thursday evening and then presentations/talks/discussions during the day on Friday.

Diversity in the local creative economy was the subject of a recent event at the Opalka Gallery this month. It was a good discussion, and there's a lot to talk about -- especially on how to turn intent into action and results.

The registration deadline for the symposium at Proctors is June 15. The fee is $40. (If that's maybe more than you can cover, we get the sense the organizers don't want to turn anyone away for not being able to pay -- so reach out to them.)

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Where to get measured for a suit?

sport jacket button detail closeupSean emails:

A friend is having some tuxedo's made for his wedding by a shop in China. He's asked that all of the groomsmen get measured so he can pass those measurements along to the tailor. Do any of your readers know of a good place to go to get measured?

We had a somewhat similar question many years ago. Then, as now, we wonder how a local shop will react to taking measurements so a tux or suit can be made somewhere else. But maybe they'll be OK just charging for the time.

Got a suggestion for Sean? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a place can be helpful.

State Board of Elections scrutinizes Sheehan campaign, Schenectady officials say building inspection process improved, billboard presses Amedore over Child Victims Act

Sheehan campaign complaint
The state Board of Elections has filed a complaint alleging Kathy Sheehan's mayoral campaign took contributions from donors that exceeded limits, filed late reports, and violated a law that forbids political parties from holding raffles -- a campaign spokesman said the campaign has been working with the state BOE "to amend filings and ensure compliance." [TU]

Race for governor
+ Andrew Cuomo leads Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic primary 58-27 in the Siena poll out Tuesday. [SRI]
+ It sounds like the Cuomo campaign is trying to drop Kathy Hochul as lieutenant governor. [Buffalo News]
+ The leadership of the Conservative Party is lining up behind Republican Marc Molinaro, which could mean an exit from the race for John DeFrancisco. [TU]

Schenectady code enforcement
Schenectady city officials told a city council committee meeting that the city's buildings department is more quickly addressing code violation reports, emphasizing training, and working toward other improvements. The department has been the subject of significant criticism following the fatal Jay Street fire. [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]

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Recent Comments

... Also I would try a Tux shop. They do measurements for other tux shops all the time (for free), it's an industry courtesy. Waldorf Tux shop (Lark St) is an independently owned, "old school" tux shop--real sense of proper fitting---not just taking the "closest size" from the rack. ...

The new season of the CDPHP Cycle bike share has started up

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