Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ AOA7 drawing: New World Bistro Bar + The Spectrum: What's a highlight of your local neighborhood, and why?
+ We broke up with Winter. It was well past time.
+ Proctors unveiled its upcoming Broadway season.
+ Alisa asked about how to spend an early spring weekend with some out-of-towners visiting with kids.
+ AOA7 drawing: The Confectionery or Peck's Arcade or The Grocery: Which Capital Region building/place would you like to make over, and how?
+ The story of Audrey Munson, who was the model for the Spirit of Life statue in Congress Park (and many other monuments around the country).
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: the line, the game winner, flattery, American Express, half marathoning, frogs, winter, chit chat, salad, sushi, Route 7 Diner, Rock 'n Roll Brunch, Psychedelicatessen, popcorn, cheese sticks, critics, and Girl Scout Cookies.
+ AOA7 drawing: Nine Pin Cider + Albany Distilling: If you could bottle something about the Capital Region, what would it be?
+ Sean asked about finding a good spot to get General Tso's chicken -- there were a bunch of suggestions.
+ AOA7 drawing: Fort Orange General Store, The Cheese Traveler, Saratoga Sweets Candy Co.: What's something in the Capital Region that lifts your spirits?
+ And thanks to everyone who celebrated AOA's birthday this week, in person or in spirit.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
party photo: Tim Raab Northern Photo
The city of Albany has a public meeting about food trucks lined up for this coming Monday (March 30) at 5 pm at city hall. Press release blurbage:
What are your thoughts on food trucks in Albany? If you'd like to see more of them, where should they go and when should they operate? What did you like about last year's Mobile Food Vendor Pilot Program, and what would you like to see changed?
This Monday, March 30th, at 5 p.m. in the rotunda of City Hall, a meeting will be held to discuss these questions and explore what worked and what can be improved on last year's Mobile Food Vendor Pilot Program, which ran from August to October 2014. The City is looking to launch a revised food vendor pilot program this spring.
The meeting is open to the public, and the city says it welcomes attendance from business owners, including food truck operators and owners of fixed-location restaurants.
Here's the city's information about the food truck pilot program it ran last year.
We had a lot of fun celebrating AOA7 Wednesday evening. Thanks to the Takk House for being such great hosts, New World Catering for the tasty food, Yogibo Crossgates for setting up a sweet comfy lounge and DJ Trumastr for spinning the music.
And most all, thank you to everyone who celebrated with us, either in person or in spirit. We appreciate it. A lot.
Here are a bunch of photos from the party...
Oh, weekend -- we were afraid you'd never arrive.
But it's Friday, and like clockwork, here you are. After the jump, we have some plans for you that do not involve catching up on dishes and laundry.
Got some weekend plans you don't see here? Share them with the rest of us in the comment section. Everything is more fun when you share.
And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!
More testimony in hearing over custody of Kenneth White's sisters, state budget crunch time, an exit through fire, stolen wheel chair prompts many donations
On the second day of testimony in the Albany County Family Court case over whether Brenda VanAlstyne should be allowed to have custody of Kenneth White's two sisters the foster mother of the girls said one of them told her she had been hit by Tiffany VanAlstyne multiple times. The defense has argued that there's no evidence there was abuse by Brenda VanAlstyne. A judge is scheduled to rule on the case in April. [TU] [News10] [Daily Gazette]
There have been high levels of hunkering, behind closed dooring, and hashing out at the state Capitol as leaders negotiate the details of the state budget. If the budget is to be on time, and follow the typical rules of procedure, the budget bills will have to be ready by the end of Saturday to make the Tuesday deadline for a vote. [TWCN] [TU]
Education continued to be a big topic at the Capitol as the budget process headed into crunch time -- on Thursday there was another rally inside the Capitol to oppose education initiatives floated by the Cuomo admin. Also: "growing number of New York parents," according to the Times Union, are pushing for the state to stop student testing on the Common Core curriculum. [News10] [TU]
Albany County leaders have indicated the county won't appeal the federal court decision regarding redistricting and minority voting rights. [TU]
Skidmore has extended the suspension of a student accused of raping another student by two years, the accuser and her attorney reported Thursday. The accused hasn't been charged with a crime, but an administrative board found him guilty of violating the college's code of conduct. Reina Kiefer said the college should have expelled the student. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [WNYT]
The last prize of the week includes:
+ A $25 gift certificate to the Fort Orange General Store in Albany.
+ A $15 gift certificate and a tote bag from the The Cheese Traveler in Albany.
+ A basket of candy from Saratoga Sweets Candy Co. in Saratoga Springs: Chocolate bunny, jelly beans, chocolate eggs, etc. A $40 value.
To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:
What's something in the Capital Region that lifts your spirits?
It could be something big, but we'd really like to know about those little things that brighten your day. A note from someone, the sight of flowers somewhere, maybe some food item. We'll draw one winner at random.
Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Friday, March 27, 2015 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 and must respond by 5 pm on Tuesday, March 31.
General Tso's Chicken is a huuuuuge guilty pleasure of mine. It was a staple of my college diet. Trouble is, since moving out here to Albany, I've had a heck of a time finding somewhere that can give me a decent version, let alone a GREAT version. I was wondering if any of your readers shared my guilty pleasure and could point me in the direction of their favorite spot. I live in Albany and work in Latham so anywhere near either place is fair game.
General Tso's chicken has an interesting history (or histories), as illustrated by this short profile of the dish by Fuschia Dunlop. Its roots can be traced back to the Hunan province of China, but like a lot of Chinese food in the United States it went through some interpretation and change before becoming popular here. In this specific case, the thread runs through Taiwan, New York City, Henry Kissinger (really), and back to China. (OK, culinary history tangent over.)
Aside from Ala Shanghai and Hong Kong Bakery & Bistro, we don't hear much about individual Chinese food restaurants around the Capital Region. That is undoubtedly our fault -- we're probably not listening in the right places. So, this question is a good opportunity to maybe learn a little bit more.
Got a suggestion for Sean about a good place for General Tso's chicken -- or good Chinese restaurants in general? Please share!
Like some sort of multi-year tidal cycle on the Hudson River, the attention of the New York Times briefly shifts upriver to focus on the state of the city of Troy in 6-8 year intervals. And if you'll consult your almanac, you'll see that the next scheduled appearance of this phenomenon is set for this weekend.
Oh, look, it's here now. (Must be climate change.) Posted online today for this weekend's paper: "A Town on New York's Hudson River Reinvents Itself."
Let us now chart the some of the changes over each recent interval...
The Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show series at Proctors is bringing Giuli Rozzi to town on Saturday for a standup show.
Rozzi has appeared on The Moth, a bunch of TV shows, and in print around the web. And he's had her own Upright Citizens Brigade show, "Bad Bride." Here's a clip from a recent Washington Post interview with her about her comedy:
Most of it is just really silly and stupid -- and probably some of it is self-serving. It's like: "Oh, I just want to tell this story about me." But I try to discuss issues that affect women -- in a funny way -- and issues about depression and anxiety and relationships. I think that just sharing a very open, self-aware style of comedy and storytelling, I think that . . . helps other people have permission to be more honest themselves.
The show at Proctors starts at 8 pm on Saturday. Tickets are $15.
Wiltshire enters Troy mayoral race, Kenneth White's aunt in family court over abuse allegations, homeless services approved for New Scotland Ave church
Troy City Council President Rodney Wiltshire officially announced his bid for Mayor on Wednesday. At his announcement, Wilshire promised to create jobs, capitalize on he waterfront and make the streets safer. A Lansingburgh native and pharmaceutical sales rep says he also plans to throw his hat into the Troy mayoral race. [Record][WNYT][TWCN]
Carl Heastie says raising the minimum wage "absolutely has to be on the table" in budget negotiations as far as the assembly is concerned. [TU]
State Senate Republicans say they are close to an ethics agreement with Democrats. [CNY]
The aunt of Kenneth White, the five-year-old boy police say was killed in December by his cousin, Tiffany, was in court on Wednesday, attempting to clear herself of abuse charges. Lawyers for Albany County are arguing that Brenda VanAlstyne knew her daughter Tiffany was not in a proper state of mental health when she let her care for 5-year-old Kenneth White. Brenda VanAlstyne is trying to gain custody of Kenneth White's two sisters. [Gazette][TWCN][WNYT]
Wednesday night we're celebrating AOA's 7th birthday party.
Those years, somehow, seem both really long and really short.
And at this point there's not much else to say except this: Thank you.
This week AOA celebrates our 7th birthday, so of course that means presents. Throughout the week we'll have drawings for fun Capital Region stuff.
The next prize up includes:
+ A gift certificate for two 7-cider flight tastings at Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany
+ Two bottles of rum and a hoodie from Albany Distilling Co.
To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:
"If you could bottle something about the Capital Region, what would it be?"
This could be anything. And, you know, we're not really looking at all too literally. You want to bottle the view from Thacher Park? Sure, why not. We'll draw one winner at random.
Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2015 to be entered in the drawing. You must be 21 years of age to enter. 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 and must respond by 5 pm on Monday, March 30.
Two Saint Rose students were on the Tonight Show Tuesday night as part of the "Freestylin' With the Roots" bit -- and it was all spring flowers and... candy corn.
And, of course, Jimmy Fallon is an alum, so they had that to talk about, too.
The New York State DMV has banned/rejected about 7,000 vanity license plates since 2010, the Syracuse Post-Standard's Marnie Eisenstadt reports. (Apparently there's a "Red Guide" of about 2,000 custom license plates that automatically get rejected.) The Post-Standard has posted a databased of all the rejected plates. [Syracuse Post-Standard]
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: the line, the game winner, flattery, American Express, half marathoning, frogs, winter, chit chat, salad, sushi, Route 7 Diner, Rock 'n Roll Brunch, Psychedelicatessen, popcorn, cheese sticks, critics, and Girl Scout Cookies.
(This post includes photos that could be considered mildly NSFW.)
This year the city of Saratoga Springs is celebrating its centennial.
So is its most noted statue: The Spirit of Life in Congress Park.
The sculptor, Daniel Chester French, is well known. But French's model for the Spirit of Life -- Audrey Munson, and the tragic story of her rise and fall -- have nearly disappeared into history.
Troy city council president to announce mayoral bid, state of emergency lifted on Jay Street, pedestrian hit by train in Mechanicville, support for Schenectady County farmer
A federal judge ruled this week that Albany County's 2011 redistricting plan diluted minority voting power, and ordered legislators to rework the plan before this year's legislative elections. [TU]
Unlikely to be part of the state budget: raising the age of criminal responsibility and The DREAM Act.Still being discussed: ethics and an overhaul on plans to evaluate public schools.
Troy City Council President Rodney Wiltshire is expected to announce his candidacy for mayor today. [TU]
A pedestrian was hit by a train in Mechanicville early Wednesday morning.[WNYT]
The founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, Geoffrey Canada, will be at Siena this Thursday for the college's annual King Lecture on Race and Nonviolent Social Change. Canada's talk is titled "The Crisis Facing Youth: What Adults & Communities Can Do to Save Our Children."
The Harlem Children's Zone is, in its own description, aimed at "disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem through our innovative and effective programs." Toward that end it's attempting to provide comprehensive family, social service, educational, and health services to kids in a roughly 100-block area of Harlem.
In recent years the program has gotten the support of the Obama administration, which has touted the program as a model to replicate. And the HCZ has been one of the inspirations for the Albany Promise program.
The Canada talk is at 7 pm, Thursday, March 26 in Siena's Marcelle Athletic Complex. It's free and open to the public.
A group of local historical and cultural groups has teamed up for a series of events to collect family stories that somehow related to the history of Albany. Blurbage from the Partners for Albany Stories:
Come and share a story about you and your family that relates to the history of Albany. You will have 10 minutes at the microphone to enchant and enlighten the audience. Sign up is on a first-come, first-tell basis. Stories will be video documented for preservation at the Albany Public Library.
Interested, but not sure what to talk about? Check our website for story suggestions. Interested, know what you want to talk about, but want help with telling your story? Come to a free coaching session one hour before the event. Interested, but don't want to tell a story? Just come and listen.
The first event is this Thursday, March 26 at the Albany Institute at 6 pm. Admission is free.
Additional dates, at spots around the city, are listed after the jump.
PASt describes itself as "organizations working together to develop a comprehensive and compelling story of Albany's rich history."
Over at the Biz Review, Mike DeMasi reports that Uri Kaufman has lined up the financing to move ahead with the residential conversion of the former Albany International building on the Albany/Menands border. (The plan has been in the works since 2012.) [Biz Review]
And you can always try searching for it: