State parks in the Capital Region are getting $8.675 million for a handful of construction/repair projects, the Cuomo admin announced today.
The biggest chunk -- $3.8 million -- has been tagged for the construction of a new visitor center at Thacher Park. Dan Keefe, a spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, told us this afternoon that the agency is currently also raising private money for the project, but it's scheduled to begin construction this fall with the goal of being finished by fall 2015.
As projected in the the park's master plan, released last November, the new facility will include a visitor center, event space available for rent, exhibits, and offices. Keefe said it will also have a view from the escarpment.
The Thacher Park master plan covered a wide range of projects intended to be spread out over many years. Keefe said a a few of them are lined up for work this season -- including replacement of bathrooms in late August.
A list of the other regional park projects funded in today's announcement is after the jump.
Check out this trailer/preview for The 46ers*, a documentary about people who hike the Adirondack's High Peaks. The cinematography is beautiful.
"The 46ers" is a documentary feature about the men and women who hike all of the 46 High Peaks (over 4,000 ft elevation) in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY. The filmmakers set out to answer the question, "what transformers ordinary men and women into the legendary mountaineers known as the 46ers?" ...
The idea for the project came about in July, 2012 when director Blake Cortright summited Mt. Marcy, New York's tallest mountain. As he took in the surrounding view, he was amazed that this area hadn't been given better cinematic treatment. After an exhausting weekend hiking Marcy, Tabletop, and Wright Peak, Blake began to ask "why do people do this?" That started the idea for the project.
The project raised more than $14,000 on Kickstarter last year. The filmmakers are aiming for an "early 2015" completion, according to the project's website.
* There are 46 of the peaks, thus the name for the people who hike them all.
A recent article in Intelligent Life -- a(nother) magazine from The Economist -- about the role of light in human biology highlights (ha) some interesting work by Mariana Figueiro at RPI's Lighting Research Center. Figueiro has experimented with adding bright lamps to various areas of assisted-living facilities. And the article includes some of her advice for getting good sleep.
Lauren and George are planning a wedding in the Capital Region, and they're chronicling the planning process here on AOA. But this time, Lauren's talking with a couple about going a different direction...
When planning a wedding, not everyone decides to do a big bash in a ballroom with all of their family and friends. Some couples forgo a traditional wedding and opt to elope instead.
Local couple Nick and Sita chose to "sorta-elope" to Lake Placid -- and say they couldn't be happier with their decision.
Fun: Local designer Andrew Gregory -- AKA lunchboxbrain -- has a shirt in the new Threadless collection inspired by The Big Lebowski. Andrew's shirt is called, appropriately, "Abide." Earlier: Rock on, lunchboxbrain
A Taste of Albany will be back at the State Museum May 1. The annual event -- a fundraiser for the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless -- includes samples more than 30 Capital Region restaurants and chefs, along with entertainment.
We have two tickets for the event, and we're giving them away.
To enter, please answer this question in the comments:
Fill in the blank: I know it's spring in the Capital Region when __________.
It could be an event, a type of flower blooming, a feeling, whatever. We'll pick one at random.
A Taste of Albany is May 1 starting at 5 pm on the State Museum's terrace gallery. Tickets $75 each, and they're available online. (Previous years have sold out.)
Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday, April 23, 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 10 am on Tuesday, April 24 and must respond by 10 am on Friday, April 25.
photo: Bennett Campbell
New York recently became the 10th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an effort to circumvent the electoral college for presidential elections. Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver looks at why this effort probably isn't going to make it all the way -- because swing states don't want to give up their influence. [FiveThirtyEight]
Oberst played a show at The Egg in 2012 and it sold out. Obviously the field at Ommegang is bigger than that theater, but if you're interested in going, getting tickets sooner rather than later might not be a bad idea. (See: Modest Mouse.)
photo: Butch Hogan
Saratoga racino owners turn attention to East Greenbush for potential full casino, Troy city engineer resigns, Francesca's is closing
The owners of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway (AKA the racino) said Monday they have decided to not pursue a full casino for the Saratoga area -- and instead will focus on trying to build a casino in East Greenbush. The owners tell the Times Union that they've bought land in the town near the FedEx distribution center off Route 4. Saratoga had been looking like a bad bet because the Saratoga Springs city council had voted against a resolution in favor of a casino -- but the East Greenbush board recently passed a resolution generally in favor of a casino, and the town supervisor said the potential revenue is a consideration. The reaction around Saratoga: a little bit of everything. [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU]
Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin on the council's consideration of a resolution supporting the proposed E23 casino project in the city, in light of the East Greenbush news, to the Biz Review: "To know there is definitely a proposal coming out of East Greenbush, to me that should spark some urgency among council members ... We have to shake the dust off our feet and keep moving. We've got to get some answers here." (Speaking of E23 -- Chris Churchill wonders about the trustworthiness of the developer pushing the project.) [Biz Review] [TU]
The city of Schenectady is looking at possible zoning changes necessary if a casino is proposed there. [Daily Gazette]
Troy's city engineer, Russ Reeves, is resigning, a move prompted in part by recent demolition work at the former King Fuels site -- near a gas line -- that wasn't reviewed by his department. The city has also been the subject of recent FBI review of multiple projects, including the emergency demolition of the building next to Bombers. Said Reeves of his decision to leave the city job: "I've got to protect my license." [Troy Record] [TU]
For whatever reason, Kings of Leon seems like one of those bands that just sort of slowly, perhaps improbably, really, really popular -- "arguably the biggest band in the world" at one point, as a Rolling Stone article declared. They've sold something north of 16.5 million albums. Along to the way to becoming really popular they've gone from critically praised, to the sort of band some people like to not like. So it goes.
The openers for the August 10 show at SPAC are Young the Giant, and Kongos.
Live Nation advertises on AOA.
photo via Kings of Leon Instagram
A link to this video on YouTube -- a 1984 promo film by the Pyramid Companies for the then just-opened Crossgates Mall -- popped up in our inbox with a message from Fred that simply said: "Eight minutes of eighties awesomeness."
Heh. And Fred was right. It is 80s-tastic, like some synthesizer newsreel film. Come for the 80s fashion and stores long gone, stay for the the now-three-decade-old aerial footage.
A few stills are after the jump to give you a sense of the video...
Matt Baumgartner announced Friday afternoon that he and his business partners will be opening a second Wolff's Biergarten, in Schenectady, probably for fall 2015. Over at Tablehopping today, Steve has a few more details.
The annual Dining Out for Life event returns this Thursday, April 24 at restaurants all around the Capital Region. The event is a fundraiser for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. And it's super easy to take part.
Here's how it works: You go out to eat at one of the participating restaurants on Thursday. That's it.
The restaurant will donate a portion of its checks from that day to the AIDS Council. You don't have do anything else. (Well, you could also make a donation...)
Some of the restaurants get busy that night, so reservations are a good idea.
AOA is a media sponsor of DOFL.
Over the weekend in the Daily Gazette there was an interesting article from Kathleen Moore about how the Schenectady Police Department is continuing to use crime analysis to deploy police coverage -- and the ways the SPD says it has worked, and hasn't worked, so far. [Daily Gazette]
Baby Boomer emails:
Could you ask your readers if they could recommend a driving instructor, specifically in Albany, who could teach an older person who is very nervous when learning to drive? I took a few lessons years ago and was very stressed out. I still want to learn before I get too old.
A bunch of years ago we had a question about driving schools, but it was in reference to teens. Things change. And also, we're curious if there are any driving instructors who specialize in -- or just happen to be really good with -- adults who are taking up driving.
Got a suggestion for Baby Boomer? Please share!
You can get a view of a person from their music collection. The same goes for WEXT's My Exit, the show on which a listener programs an hour of music from their own collection. It's like randomly asking someone, "What's on your iPod?"
On tonight's My Exit, Bobby Z. makes a return visit with a theme show.
What's the theme? You figure it out.
Does he say that to all the potential casino sites?, shootings in Albany and Schenectady, errant check mark keeps man out of jail, a week of solitude in Scotia
A profile of David Flaum, the developer who's been pushing the E23 casino proposal in Albany -- and, apparently, pursuing a handful of other casino sites around the state. [TU]
In other casino related bits: A partnership between two large gambling companies is reportedly ready to put down $1 million as a placeholder for a potential casino bid in the Capital Region. And the East Greenbush town board voted to support a casino project there -- if one is proposed. [TU x2]
David Paterson papers recently sent to an archive at Columbia University shed light on the process his administration used to pick someone to replace Hillary Clinton in the US Senate -- an appointment that went to Kirsten Gillibrand, in part because of something she said to Paterson following an SNL skit that had made fun of him. [Capital]
Schenectady police say a 60-year-old woman who had been missing for a week told them she had gone to Scotia for "solitude and rest" -- and ended up living outside in an "igloo" of vines and brush near the Mohawk River. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (workable), to film, to pot, to writers, to knife skills, to music...
This week was brought to you by, cupcakes, presents, parties and all things birthday related. Thanks to the wonderful folks at The Malt Room at Brown's for throwing a fantastic party, and to everyone who has helped make this week, and the six years before it, truly wonderful.
AOA wouldn't exist without its advertisers, so if you like us, check out the list below and thank them for their support. If there's something you want to pass along to the AOA crowd, we can help get you started. It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at email@example.com.
Stuff to do
Dining Out for Life
This Thursday, April 24 is Dining Out for Life -- the easiest and most fun way we can think of to do a good thing. Go out to lunch or dinner on Thursday at a participating restaurant and a portion of your bill will be donated to The Aids Council of Northeastern New York.
Drawing Up Central
The Central Avenue BID's Drawing Up Central sidwalk chalk drawing competition, Saturday, May 10.
+The Knickerbocker Film Festival. April 18-24.
+ The Arts Center of the Capital Region offers a wide range of classes, from dance to wood working to digital illustration. You can register for spring classes today.
+The Mop & Bucket Company -- offering a full slate of classes throughout the year. Not a performer? Improv can help increase your creativity and openness in the workplace too. You can catch MopCo performances every Friday night at 8 pm at Proctors.
See a show
+The Troy Music Hall, presenting Red Molly, Friday, May 16.
+The Palace Theater presents 50 Shades: The Musical, a parody of 50 Shades of Gray, Wednesday, April 30th.
The Albany Institute of History and Art presents "The Mystery of the Albany Mummies," series through June 8.
Food and Drink
Easter Brunch at New World Bistro Bar is sold out, but the full menu will be available during dinner service, 5pm-9:30pm, along with extra-special-specials in honor of the holiday. Reservations are strongly suggested, (518) 694-0520. New Spring Menu Launches Wednesday, April 23rd! Keep your eyes on newworldbistrobar.com for all the mouth-watering details. On Thursday, April 24th New World Bistro Bar is proud to participate once again in the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York's Dining Out For Life! NWBB will donate 20% of all sales to this amazing organization. Just dine to donate! Reservations are strongly suggested, (518) 694-0520.
+ The Cheese Traveler, introducing its new sandwich and panini menu --available Tuesday through Sunday. Sandwiches built on loaves sourced from Bonfiglio & Bread in Hudson and will feature a variety of high quality meats, cheeses, condiments, and other fine accompaniments. Offerings will change based on seasonal availability and inspiration, and can be enjoyed in-store or packaged to go.
Here's a menu sample:
Laguiole, Apple Peach & Apricot chutney (Rosebud Farms) $6.99
Toma Celena, Pawlett, smoked duck breast (Larchmont Charcuterie), black currant jam (Les Comtes de Provence) $7.99
Manchego Artesano, salchichon Iberico (Fermin) oil-cured olive tapenade $7.99
+ Mingle on Delaware Ave in Albany. Be on the lookout for Fin the Fishmonger's "Fin"-tastic specials, including fresh haddock fish tacos & pan-seared whole trout. Their chef will be using local products to create new specials daily to keep the menu fresh. Try the Kimchi fries.
Food and beer
+Brown's Brewing-- a sponsor of the AOA BAd Boys, Broads and Bootleggers tour. Relax with a cask beer at the new Malt Room.
Historic home help
Historic Albany's architectural parts warehouse -- the Capital Region's only not-for-profit architectural parts warehouse.
April 15 has come and gone, but Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C. can still help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest.
Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.
CDPHP, helping you reach your fitness goal for the 2014 Workplace Challenge
Stuff to learn
The Albany Public Libraries. Their mobile app helps you find library locations and hours, check your library card account, learn about upcoming events, download eBooks, audiobooks, music and more. You can even check ISBN bar codes on books, DVDs and CDs to see if the library owns what you need.
+The College of Saint Rose, proud sponsor of the All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza. Offering 52 Graduate Programs with a purpose. Programs include: MFA in Creative writing, MBA, Computer Information Systems and more.
Albany Law School
Stuff to Try
Local gift ideas
+Urban Maker -- art, clothing, sculpture, jewelry and photography, made here in the Capital Region. Urban maker is currently seeking artists and crafters to sell their wares in this online local marketplace.
Places to live
+The Lofts at Harmony Mills, Manhattan style loft living in the Capital Region.
+Choose Cohoes -- Tourism, dining, entertainment and shopping in the Spindle City.
+ Get a FREE MONTH of Wink High Speed Internet Service from Tech Valley Communications. Enter this code when you sign up for service at: www.winkinternet.com: w1n87k0
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
Lots of fun answers to birthday drawing questions this week:
+ This year's AOA Startup Grant contest is down to three finalists!
+ Anon asked about finding a company to install insulation for his house.
+ Deanna recommended the fried oysters at Javier's.
+ Lauren looked into the backstory of the monument in Monument Square.
+ Two of the early famous photographers were from Albany.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: 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.
+ Nicole returned with another Open House, this time a farmhouse in North Chatham (with alpacas).
+ A few thoughts on dog etiquette.
Here's the whole week all lined up.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
And you can always try searching for it: