Some stuff going on this week...

Window shopping at the grocery, then

B. Lodge (Lodges)  and Grand Cash Market  North pearl albany ny 1940s

Check out this Pearl Street pic from the 1940s posted from the Albany Group Archive on Flickr. The Albany Muskrat highlighted it on Twitter with a Thanksgiving ad for the grocery, Grand Cash Markets.

Recommended: Heading over to Flickr and zooming in on the photo. You can see into the store itself a bit and gawk at the all the vegetables on display.

Also: There's a woman standing under the B. Lodge sign (same typeface as today!), and she has a "I'm an annoyed you're taking my photo" look on her face.

Here's every violation issued by the city of Albany over the last three winters for not shoveling a sidewalk

fully shoveled sidewalk

That's how it should be done.

Albany got an early start on its annual discussion of the topic of snowy sidewalks -- shoveled and unshoveled -- this fall when the Common Council approved a tightening of the city's grace period for how long property owners have to clear walks before there's a fine.

There were a lot of claims and speculation thrown around about who would be affected by the change. And while we can't see into the future, we can flip through the past.

So that's just what we did.

We looked at every violation the city of Albany issued over the past three winters for not clearing a snowy sidewalk, and uncovered a few things.

(there's more)

A home away from the home district

Here's an interesting look from Jon Campbell and the USA Today Albany crew at state legislators buying homes in the Albany area -- something made easier by the per diem payments legislators get for being at the Capitol ($174 per day this year). An eight-unit co-op in downtown Albany once had six units owned by legislators. [Democrat and Chronicle/USA Today Network]

The Empire State Plaza ice skating rink is opening soon for the 2017-2018 season

Empire State Plaza ice skating rink overhead 2017-January

Winter is happening: The ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is set to open December 1 (weather permitting), the state Office of General Services announced today.

As in recent years, the rink will be open seven days a week from 11 am to 8 pm (closed 3-4 pm for maintenance). And it's free to skate. Skate rental is $4 for adults / $3 for kids 12 and under / and free on Fridays. (A photo ID is required for skate rental.)

There are also a series of free learn-to-skate and hockey clinics -- that link includes the schedule. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because they fill up fast.

Tree lighting
The annual ESP tree lighting is December 3 this year. There's a whole day of events leading up to the lighting at 5:15 pm and fireworks at 5:30.

Also: There's rock-and-skate event with Moriah Formica that evening from 6-8 pm.

AOA is a sponsor of the ESP skating rink.

Fatal fire in Saratoga County, Albany budget passed, the Cuomo admin and Sam Hoyt, Joe Biden at Proctors

Fatal Saratoga County fire
A mother and daughter died in a house fire in Corinth Monday morning. Three other people, including two young children, were rescued and taken to the hospital. Officials have not yet indicated was caused the fire. [TU]

Albany budget
The Albany Common Council approved the 2018 budget 12-0 with a few changes, including a small reduction in the trash fee for multi-unit buildings and two-percent raise for council members. [TU]

Troy trash fee
Is a 17-year-old plan the way for Troy to move toward a pay-as-you-throw trash system? (A trash fee is currently a key issued for the Troy budget.) [Troy Record]

CDPHP small business in-post-ad 2017-September

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As it turns out, Tucker Carlson's understanding of Albany demographics is lacking

Central Ave Asian market

Central Ave has become a bustling center of Albany's immigrant communities.

Summer noticed something during Kathy Sheehan's appearance on Fox News last week about "sanctuary" cities that stuck out to us, too:

Clearly Tucker Carlson's assertion that "40% of Albany residents are foreign born" is a made up statistic. But I'm curious... Do we know what the real number is?

Whether Carlson made that number up (possible) or was just confused (also very possible), it is not correct.

(there's more)

Novel canids

Here's an interesting AP story about how eastern coyotes -- that is, the kind we have in this area -- are becoming wolflike. "It's especially bad news for deer. In becoming more wolflike, the coyotes might become more effective predators, scientists said. And the genetic changes bode well for their ability to keep thriving in highly populated areas, including New York City and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as well as the deer-rich woods of Maine and upstate New York." (The article also includes some comments from former NY State Museum scientist Roland Kays.) [AP/Washington Post] Earlier: Coyotes in Albany

Empire Pass Card 2018 sale

empire pass card 2018

New York State parks are currently on sale.

OK, to be more specific, passes to New York State parks are now on sale. The 2018 Empire Pass Card is now available for $65 online through March 31, 2018. After that it will be $80.

State parks press release blurbage (emphasis added):

[The] Empire Pass Card is a better and more cost effective way to enjoy the more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, recreational trails, boat launches and more. The Empire Pass Card is a wallet-sized plastic card that can be shared among family members including parents, grandparents, caregivers and more. It is presented upon vehicle entry and includes QR code and embedded chip technology to allow for easier park access at select facilities. ...
As a special note, those wishing to give the gift of the outdoors this year should order their new specially priced 2018 Empire Pass Card by Friday December 8 to ensure delivery in time for the holidays.
The former Empire Pass decal, which was not shareable and required attachment to one vehicle, will no longer be offered. All 2017 Empire Pass Decals will be accepted through their expiration on March 31, 2018.

If you're a frequent New York State Park visitor the Empire Pass -- and it's unlimited admission -- has been the most economical option for paying entrance fees. If you go to a park 8-10 times during seasons with admission fees, you've pretty much paid for the pass and admission after that is free.

The 46ers set to make its local debut on WMHT

That documentary about the Adirondack High Peaks and the people who hike them -- The 46ers -- is set to run on WMHT December 4 at 7:30 pm. Blurbage for the doc, which was directed by Blake Cortright:

The film seeks to discover what transforms ordinary men and women into the legendary 46ers. The project began in the summer of 2012 when Blake first experienced the commanding view atop the lofty summit of Mt. Marcy, NY's tallest mountain.
Over the last two years, the filmmakers interviewed more than twenty 46ers and aspiring 46ers, hiked over 100 miles, and filmed over 100 hours of footage. The crew summited several High Peaks and many shorter hills carrying camera gear to capture the film's breathtaking scenery. The mountains provide an incredibly vast and wild backdrop for the documentary, inspiring a sense of scale and wonder.

The project in the works since at least 2013 when it raised more than 14k on Kickstarter, and it's now being distributed nationally by WCNY in Syracuse.

In addition to December 4, The 46ers will also air on WMHT December 10 at 5:30 pm and 11 pm.

(Thanks, Tim!)

Charming prints of Albany

Paul Gallo State Street print

Check out this fun series of prints by Paul Gallo in his No3rdW Etsy shop. Many of them feature local scenes, such as as the above titled "State Street, Albany, NY."

From an announcement on the shop page:

Here you can find original linocut prints made by me! Each item comes from one or more hand-carved linoleum blocks. These blocks are then inked and printed by hand onto paper. Each print has it's own unique texture and appearance. In the case of the 'reduction prints', the blocks are carved away with each color applied to the paper - this means that additional prints can never be created of these designs. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

The Etsy shop collection includes a handful of different prints, along with holiday cards.

Paul's name might be familiar to you as the photographer for many of the Open House features here on AOA.

photo: No3rdW Etsy

Reaction to guilty verdict in Troy murder trial, protest of police conduct in Troy, talking with Carolyn McLaughlin

Reaction to guilty verdict in the death of Noel Alkaramla
+ Debra Napoli -- Noel Alkaramla's mother, and Johnny Oquendo's former wife -- after Oquendo was found guilty Friday of murdering her daughter in Troy in 2015: "I'll never hold my child. I'll never be a grandmother. There's no time that can fill the empty space that he's left me in my heart ... Johnny, God's got a place for you and not in his kingdom. There's a place you will be going below, reserved in Hell." [Troy Record] [WNYT] [Spectrum]
+ Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove on Andrew Botts, the ADA who prosecuted the case and the subject of criticism from the trial judges for procedural issues: "He is the consummate professional, and this verdict bears out all the hard work he put into the case." [Spectrum]
+ Oquendo's attorney says he's planning to appeal. [TU]

Cuomo admin accused of not responding to sexual harassment complaint
The woman who's accused former Empire State Development Corp. regional president Sam Hoyt of sexually harassing her alleges in a lawsuit that the Cuomo administration exhibited "deliberate indifference" to her complaints about the state official. Cuomo admin counsel Alphonso David called the allegation "patently and demonstrably false." [NY Post] [NYT]

Local ethics boards
A Times Union review of local municipal ethics boards around the Capital Region "revealed many of the panels meet only 'as needed' and do not update their codes or proactively conduct investigations -- throwing them into a state of dormancy that can last years." [TU]

CDPHP small business in-post-ad 2017-September

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The week ahead

vice president Joe Biden

Amtrak enthusiast Joe Biden will be at Proctors.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (expected), to Thanksgiving, to Joe Biden, to words, to turkey trotting, to museums, to music...

(there's more)

A quick recap of the week

week review 2017-11-19

Here are a few highlights from the past short week on AOA...

+ We gave away tickets to the Regina Spektor show at the Palace -- and a gift card for The Hollow -- by asking: What's a song that means something to you? Why? (There were many good answers.)

+ Here's a look inside The Cuckoo's Nest, the new restaurant from the owners of Crave that's taken over the old Ginger Man space.

+ Deanna pointed out the Benedict Trio at Tipsy Moose.

+ Ahead for the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail: another paved segment and a trailhead upgrade.

+ The crow trucks are returning.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: vegan food, Daley's on Yates, Minar Indian Cuisine, a membrane to constrain cheese and bacon, baked beans, donuts, a short hike with good views, yoga in the Hill Towns, the first frost, the appalling conflagration, restoring an old cemetery, gas station etiquette, a name vote, and simplifying.

+ A few more details about the proposed mixed-use development near St. Peter's hospital -- Albany has some density issues it needs to work out.

+ And more exciting tales from the Albany Planning Board, including neighborhood opposition to the big private dorm proposed for Western Ave.

Here's the whole week in one place.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!

Private dorm opposition, a big downtown residential conversion, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

1211 Western Ave dorm rendering

A rendering of the proposed private dorm project on Western Ave.

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience in Albany City Hall once a month in which the fates of multi-million dollar projects are (partially) decided.

This month: Opposition to a new private dorm on Western Ave! Approval for a big residential conversion downtown! A new turn in a long running drama! And more exciting tales...

(there's more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Thumbnail image for Bob Dylan 2017

Bob Dylan plays The Palace this weekend

Welcome to that transitional weekend when we go from falling leaves to holiday lights. This is also the last weekend before the holiday craziness sets in for many people, so find a way to enjoy it.

After the jump, our list of things we thought might make you happy. Doing something that didn't make our list? Tell us about it in the comment section.

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

CDPHP small business in-post-ad 2017-September

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Jury deliberating in the murder of Noel Alkaramla, Gillibrand says Bill Clinton should have resigned, Bow Tie suing Troy over 1MSq

Trial in the death of Noel Alkaramla
Update: The jury returned Friday and found Oquendo guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder. [TU]

The jury in now deliberating in the the trial of Johnny Oquendo -- accused of killing Noel Alkaramla in Troy, stuffing her body into a suitcase, and dumping it in the Hudson River. During closing arguments, the prosecution admitted its case was circumstantial, but pointed to testimony from neighbors about hearing a thud and seeing a suitcase at the bottom of the steps, video showing a shadowy figure heading to the river, and the testimony of Oquendo's former girlfriend that the suitcase belonged to him. The defense attacked the credibility of the former girlfriend, arguing her history of mental illness, work as a psychic medium, and possible axe to grind cast serious doubt on her testimony. [News10] [Troy Record] [TU] [Spectrum]

Republican tax plan
+ Five Republican members of New York's House delegation voted against the Republican tax plan that passed Thursday, including Elise Stefanik and John Faso. (Their objection was the removal of the deduction for state and local taxes.) [TU]
+ Andrew Cuomo said the four New York Republicans who voted for the plan are "treasonous" and tried to argued that John Faso's "no" vote wasn't enough -- that he should have resigned in protest. The state's Republican delegation pushed back on Cuomo's claims that he had been contact with them and that they told him their leadership were pushing them to vote "yes." [Politico x2]

Albany and sanctuary cities
Following the feds' warning this week that Albany's "sanctuary city" policies could endanger its federal funding, Kathy Sheehan appeared on Fox News Thursday night to spar with Tucker Carlson over the issue. [Fox News]

CDPHP small business in-post-ad 2017-September

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Today's moment of architecture

State Education building night 2017-11-16

Architecture moods around West Capitol Park Thursday night:

The Capitol: LOOK AT ME!

The Smith Building: I just want to efficiently finish this file and end the day.

The State Education Building: Hello, friend. Come on over, let's sit and talk.

The Regrettes at The Low Beat

the band The Regrettes

Garage rock band The Regrettes are set to play a show at The Low Beat December 6. Tickets are $10 and available online.

The band's music clearly draws on mid-century acts such as Buddy Holly, while their lyrics are infused with modern feminism and attitude.

The opener for the show are locals Mystery Girl.

photo: Chade Kamenshine

The Women of Schuyler Mansion

women of schuyler mansion

The Schuyler Mansion has closed for general admission for the winter season, but it will still be open in the coming months for special tours. And the focus tour up for November is "Women of Schulyer Mansion":

The "Schuyler Sisters" have been causing quite a stir in the Broadway musical Hamilton: An American Musical, but did you know that there were really five sisters? Learn what it was like growing up as a Schuyler, as this focus tour presents an in-depth look at the history of the Schuyler women, their daily lives, and the impact they had in shaping their famiy's history. Be prepared to participate, as volunteers will be asked to read quotes by and about these historic women.

The tours are Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 pm (except for holidays and school groups). Reservations are required ((518-434-0834). Admission is $5 / $4 students and seniors / free for kids 12 and under (cash at the door).

Thanksgiving weekend
The Schuyler Mansion will also be open for regular tours Saturday, November 25. The tours are on the hour from 11 am to 3 pm. They're first come, first tour. Same admission prices as above (and cash only).

image via Schuyler Mansion Facebook

Moriah Formica doesn't advance on The Voice

Moriah Formica just missed out on making the top 12 on The Voice. In the episode that aired Wednesday night, she was cut during the playoff round. Her performance of Beth Hart's "World Without You" is embedded above. For whatever reason it seemed like maybe the song wasn't a good match for her.

Making it on to a show like this is an accomplishment -- and making it through multiple rounds is even more so. And, oh by the way, she's just 17 years old. (See Amy Biancolli's recent profile of the Shaker High student.) So there's a lot to be proud of.

Formica is set to play a show at Jupiter Hall in the Crossgates Lucky Strike November 24. Tickets are $8 ahead / $10 at the door -- though it looks like it's now sold out.

Here are clips of her performances from The Voice...

(there's more)

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

And you can always try searching for it:

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Recent Comments

I'm glad to see people involved in community decisions. But at the same time, we can't just keep saying we want development "somewhere else" or "not in my backyard!". Having mini-suburbs in the city of Albany was feasible at one point in time, and now development is catching up. ...

As it turns out, Tucker Carlson's understanding of Albany demographics is lacking

...has 17 comments, most recently from BS

Window shopping at the grocery, then

...has 1 comment, most recently from Amy

Here's every violation issued by the city of Albany over the last three winters for not shoveling a sidewalk

...has 2 comments, most recently from daleyplanit

The Empire State Plaza ice skating rink is opening soon for the 2017-2018 season

...has 1 comment, most recently from karner_blue

Downtown Albany's getting a dog park

...has 21 comments, most recently from -B