Birthday week drawing #4!

Today's moment of spring

garlic shoot spring garden

One of the things we've come to appreciate about gardening is the way it prompts us to be optimistic. You do all this work in the hope that -- eventually -- something good will happen.

It's especially true of garlic. The cloves are pressed into the soil in late October on the promise that they'll endure through the winter and come up on the other side. It's like an expression of hope that across the wide, snowy expanse we'll once again find a place that's warm and green.

And now we're there.

Dog etiquette

puppy sniffing Otto

You know, it's usually a good idea to ask first before doing something like this...

Now that the snow is gone, once again evidence re-emerges -- perhaps "unthaws" is the better word -- that not every dog owner is as courteous as he or she could be. As Albany Common Councilwoman Leah Golby said today on Twitter of people who don't pick up their dog's poop: "You are giving us responsible dog owners a bad name!"

There are a lot of neighborhoods in the Capital Region that include a lot of dogs. And we think this is generally a good thing -- dogs are often a way for people to get to know each other. We've met a bunch of people in our neighborhood because of Otto.

As with any situation involving other people (and dogs), a little bit of responsibility on everyone's part can go a long way toward creating a more courteous environment. Also: We're all better off when people aren't stepping in dog !@#$.

So, based on things we've seen around town, here are a few thoughts on dog etiquette...

(there's more)

TAP NY 2014

TAP NY judgingThe annual TAP NY craft beer festival will be back at Hunter Mountain April 26 and 27. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $73.44 for that Saturday / $60.48 for Sunday / $21.60 for designated drivers.

There are more than 70 breweries registered for this year's festival, 18 of them new to the event. Blurbage:

Many of the invited brewers produce their beer for sale only in their location.... whether it is a restaurant, a brewpub or a small brewery. Others are breweries large enough to distribute on a larger scale, but maintain an excellent quality through their commitment to hands-on, craft-brewing their product. You won't find Anheuser-Busch, Coors, or Miller products here. What you will find are some truly remarkable beers that will tantalize your taste buds... beers that offer a variety of color and flavor that the big brewers don't do. You'll find everything from pale ales and pilseners, to weisbiers, porters, stouts, and scotch ales; from hearty Bohemian and Bavarian-style lagers to glorious Belgian-style ales and much more.

The festival is also a competition for beer brewers in the state.

We get the impression the Saturday session of the festival often sells out, so if you're interested in going, it's probably a good idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

Hunter Mountain is in the northern Catskills, a little over an hour's drive from Albany.

New breweries: Over at In The Name of Beer, Greg Back has been profiling the breweries that are new to the festival this year.

Earlier on AOA: Trying the "best craft beer in New York State"

photo: TAP NY FB

Suzanne and Erik's North Chatham homestead

open house Chatham Farmhouse composite

By Nicole Lemperle Correia / Photos by David Hopper

Suzanne and Erik's home story is one of transitioning from urban to rural, from a large house to a smaller one, from a life of convenience to a life of homesteading.

A year ago, the couple and their two young boys moved from their large home near Schenectady's Central Park to a smaller home on several acres in the northern Columbia County countryside.

I had a chance to visit with the family -- as well as their 19 chickens and 4 alpacas -- and hear about what it's meant for them to live in a rural part of the Capital Region, where their land is as important to them as their home itself. The family brings a unique perspective, with Suzanne's background as a biologist and Erik's background in engineering. They take a passionate, thoughtful, and intentional approach to their home and the land surrounding it.

(there's more)

AOA birthday drawing: cider, spirits, and beer

glass of nine pin cider

A glass of Nine Pin cider.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Today's drawing is for those 21 or older. It includes:

+ A bottle of spirits from Albany Distilling Co.
+ Two free tasting flights at Nine Pin Cider Works
+ A $25 gift certificate to Druthers Brewing Company

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What would be on your "must do" list for an epic night in the Capital Region?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Friday, April 17, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Monday, April 21 and must respond by 5 pm on Tuesday April 22.

Knickerbocker Film Festival 2014

hellions documentary still shannon straney

A still from Hellions.

The Knickerbocker Film Festival returns this Friday, April 18 to start week of screenings at locations in Albany and Troy. This year's festival slate includes 12 films -- including fiction and documentaries -- from filmmakers both local and international. (The film lineup, with short blurbs, is after the jump.)

New this year is the festival's expansion to Troy with a screening at the Arts Center this Friday night. Among the films lined up for that screening: Hellions, a documentary by Shannon Straney about the Hellions of Troy roller derby team.

Tickets for screenings are $10 and available online. There's also an awards show and reception next Thursday, April 24, at Taste in downtown Albany -- tickets for that are $35 ($30 with festival screening ticket stub).

AOA is a media sponsor of the Knickerbocker Film Festival.

(there's more)

Supporters/opponents at E23 casino forum, FBI raids Malta home, $15 an hour "fair wage" proposed, Union hockey victory parade today

Both proponents and opponents of the proposed E23 casino project showed up for a public forum on the project at Giffen Elementary School Wednesday evening. [TU] [News10]

Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen says the city will get to have some say about Saratoga Casino and Raceway's proposed a 134,000 square foot expansion -- but it's unclear to what extent. [TU]

On the first day of the murder trial for Trinity Copeland, her defense attorney argued the teen had no choice but to shoot her father. The prosecution told the jury Copeland talked about TV shows and Ramen noodles on the night of the incident and asked an officer, "Is he dead yet" twice. [WNYT] [Record]

A state Supreme Court justice has rejected a lawsuit that argued the NY SAFE Act shouldn't have gotten the "message of necessity" that allowed the legislature to pass it without the usual three day waiting period. [TU]

A pilot program component of the NY SAFE Act meant to update handgun licenses is on hold. [TU]

SaintRose_all-over-albany_generic_525x40.jpg

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Another year

AOA6 cupcake

There have also been about a thousand cupcakes.

Back when we were like, "Hey, we should start a website," a lot of things seemed possible. But probable? Not really.

Yet here we are, six years later, celebrating another year. Along the way we've learned a lot, worked a lot, and met a bunch of interesting people. The best part has been the people.

Thank you.

Electric City Couture 2014

electric city couture 2014 promo photo

The Electric City Couture Fashion Show is back April 26. And this time it will be at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs. Event blurbage:

The evening will showcase signature collections of six regional designers and will include roughly 55 male and female models on the runway. Targeted proceeds from this year's show will go to the ongoing restoration work of Historic Universal Preservation Hall, a year-round arts and community events venue located at 25 Washington St. in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ...
A new edition to this year's show format will be the ability to "buy it off the runway" in a retail sales area that will be available both after the show on Saturday for show attendees and on Sunday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the general public. This year's show will be a partnership between Proctors Theater of Schenectady, N.Y., Universal Preservation Hall and Electric City Couture. It is designed to highlight the strengths of the regional creative economy.

The show is at 8 pm on Saturday, April 26. Tickets are $15 and available online.

photo: 2014 Electric City Couture Designer Showcase Shoot - Shrine of Fashion. On location at Historic Preservation Hall in Saratoga. Photographer: James Pickett

Ice Cream Man Saratoga now open

The new Saratoga Springs location for The Ice Cream Man -- a longtime favorite over in Greenwich -- opened this past weekend. (The stand is in the spot on South Broadway once occupied by Alexandra's.) Hours are 11 am-9 pm daily. [via Fun in Saratoga] Earlier: 12 flavors at The Ice Cream Man

What's up in the Neighborhood

freedlyville_ice_quarry_vermont_sebastien.jpg

Sebastien visited a magical-looking spot in Vermont.

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: a hidden ice rink, the Jericho, Panther Mountain, an exquisite butterfly, good chicken, restaurant week, lobster, a breakfast sandwich, Sweet Sue's, COB pizza, old entrees, a rude driver, things learned in the dressing room, and The Exiles exit.

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AOA birthday drawing: DelSo dinner, movies, cheese, and cookies

New World ext.jpg

New World, part of what makes the DelSo delicious.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Drawing's closed!

Today's drawing prize comes from the DelSo:

+ A $100 gift certificate for New World Bistro Bar
+ A pair of passes to The Spectrum
+ A $25 gift certificate to go shopping at The Cheese Traveler
+ One dozen of Bake for You's signature White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

The Delaware South neighborhood, or DelSo, is one of Albany's most interesting neighborhoods, with a mix of residential, restaurants, and shops. What is your favorite Capital Region neighborhood and why?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Thursday, April 17, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Friday, April 18 and must respond by 5 pm on Monday, April 21.

The Meade Brothers' daguerreian gallery

meade brothers

The Brothers Meade, Charles (left) and Henry.

Photography is so ubiquitous now -- almost everyone carries around some sort of camera in their pocket -- that it's a bit difficult to imagine a time when it was a new and rare. That to be a photographer was to be on the avant garde of art and technology.

As it happens, two of the earliest famous photographers were from Albany: Henry and Charles Meade.

(there's more)

E23 Alliance forms to support Albany Casino, 18 wheeler tips and kills cattle, Schumer pushes to improve Troy seawall, Cuomo's memoir advance higher than his salary

The E23 business alliance, a group of more than 40 business owners who support a proposed Albany Casino, has formed in the city.[Record]

A public hearing on a proposed Schoharie County casino got heated. And personal. [TWCN]

A public hearing on the Albany Capital Center's draft environment impact statement was held on Tuesday -- another step toward construction of the conventions center which is slated to begin in June. [TU]

Fallout from the Takim Smith murder is partially fueling a gang feud between Albany and Troy that resulted in an unusual increase in shootings over the winter.[TU]

A two-level 18-Wheeler hauling about 100 cattle rolled over in Berne on Tuesday morning, killing several of the animals. [TU]

(there's more)

The monument in Monument Square

monument square troy soldiers and sailors

By Lauren Hittinger

The center of downtown Troy -- figuratively, if not necessarily geographically -- is Monument Square. And it's aptly named -- there's 93-foot monument right in the middle of it.

So, to what is it a monument?

Here's the answer, which includes a bunch of little bits about Troy's history...

(there's more)

"If we screw it up, it will set back this effort for a long time."

Over at Vox, Sarah Kliff looks at Vermont's push to create a single-payer health system in the state by 2017. Among the obstacles: The estimated cost of the system is about $2 billion -- in a state that currently collects only $2.7 billion in a tax revenue. [Vox]

Green River Festival 2014

green river music festival logoFor the list of summer music festivals: The Green River Festival, July 12-13. The lineup includes Josh Ritter, Trombone Shorty, Puss N Boots featuring Norah Jones, Trampled by Turtles, Lucius, and a bunch of others.

The festival is in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which is about two hours from Albany. (Basically, get on Route 2 and head east.)

The early bird price for both days is $59.99.

[via @SarahLaDuke]

More summer music festival-age:
+ The Hudson Project 2014
+ Mountain Jam 2014 lineup

"I would love to do it, and if I can do it, I'm keeping it in Buffalo."

Donald Trump tells the Buffalo News that he's serious about trying to buy the Buffalo Bills (or, at least, more serious than he is about running for governor). And if he does so, he'll keep the team in Buffalo -- in part because... it's an easy commute for him. [Buffalo News]

Fried oysters at Javier's

javier's fried oysters overhead

By Deanna Fox

Fried oysters are a fairly common dish on Capital Region menus. It's not a revolutionary preparation of the shellfish by any means -- fried oysters have been a hallmark of po' boy sandwiches for at least a century, and they've made appearances in many a basket at a fish fry or seaside shack.

However, if done right, variations on the dish can elevate the mere mollusk into something memorable, crave-able, extraordinary.

The fried oyster put forth by Javier's Nuevo Latino Cuisine in Saratoga Springs does just that.

(there's more)

AOA birthday drawing: Brown's & Bilinski's

bilinski's chicken sausage package

Made in Cohoes.

Drawing is closed

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Today's drawing prize: Beer from Brown's Brewing Co. in Troy and a big basket of products from Bilinski's in Cohoes.

From Brown's: A growler and a $15 gift certificate to Brown's Brewing Co. (Must be 21 or older.)

From Bilinski's: A basket of products including:
+ Bilinski's All Natural Spinach & Garlic Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Bilinski's All Natural Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Organic Italian Herb with Porcini Mushroom- 2 packages
+ Buffalo and Blue Cheese Chicken Meatballs- 1 package
+ Chicken Parmesan Chicken Meatballs-2 packages


To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

Since today's drawing is about birthdays and food and drink, what is your favorite birthday dinner?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Thursday, April 17 and must respond by 5 pm on Friday, April 18.

*The gift basket has changed slightly, but is just as delicious. The last three items are substitutions as Bilinski's is no longer making the items originally listed.

Looking for more? Check out the last week's worth of posts or the archive.

And you can always try searching for it:

The Scoop

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Rants, raves, suggestions, tips, shout outs:

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