Here are a few highlights from the past summer week on AOA:
+ Lauren explored Hudson Crossing Park.
+ A historian said he's determined the site of the first Dutch settlement at what's now Albany.
+ The Wellington annex is set for implosion.
+ Deanna says don't wait on the pulled pork at Stockyard Bar-B-Q.
+ M asked about restaurants that accommodate dogs.
+ A quick scan of local projects hoping to score money in the next round of the state's Regional Economic Development Council game show.
+ A bunch of interesting comments about a push for protected bike lanes.
+ Julie asked about finding local places for good peaches.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: "cowardice" and compassion, an unusual story, summer trips, tubing, a mission to find blooms, Hoosick Falls, Texas de Brazil, brunch at The Low Beat, Dock Brown's, boneless wings, a veggie burger, BCTC, patience for fall, crowdsourced hydrology, a new home, and that first month.
+ We talked with the historians behind 98 Acres in Albany, a project that's turning up some excellent photos of the neighborhood that was replaced by the ESP.
+ Jason asked about finding moving help for hire.
Here's the whole week all lined up.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
bike lane schematic: Lorenz Worden | barbershop photo: NYS Archives via 98 Acres in Albany
In an effort to appreciate the last few bits of summer, AOA is starting our weekend a little early. (We suggest you do the same, if possible.)
But we'd never leave you without a list of stuff to do this weekend. After the jump, you'll find a list of things that are happening this weekend, from the Travers and the orchestra, to fairs and outdoor movies.
Doing something that you don't see on the list. Drop it in the comment section so we can all see. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!
The results of this analysis of college takeout orders is probably indicative of one (or some) of a few things: 1) GrubHub is popular at colleges in New York State; 2) it's cold during upstate winters; 3) when it's cold, you'd rather order in; 4) some combination of the first three. (UAlbany was among multiple New York schools that ranked in the top 10 of Grub Hub's top late night ordering schools.) [HuffPo via Politics on the Hudson]
Macroeconomic fact of the day: New York's gross domestic product (GDP) was $1.3 trillion in 2013, according to figures out this summer from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. That ranked #3 in the nation behind California ($2.2 trillion) and Texas ($1.5 trillion).
So, that's very Empire State-ish, having one of the country's largest economies. And New York's GDP per capita ranked 7th in nation (8th if you count DC and its otherworldly rate). Again, pretty good.
But here's the not good: New York's 2013 GDP grew by just .7 percent compared to 2012, according BEA estimates. That was ranked 46th in the nation.
A table with numbers for New York and the other states is after the jump.
Mike DeMasi got a walkthrough of the process for imploding the Wellington annex in downtown Albany from the projector coordinator for the demolition company. Noted: "We are not blowing the building up... We are disrupting its ability to stand up." [Biz Review]
I see that you have a few old Ask AOA posts on moving companies (from 2011 and 2010) which may be helpful to me, but was wondering if you'd consider opening that topic up again?
[W]e have some friends who will be moving to Niskayuna from Brooklyn. They're packing up their stuff there and will be driving it up in a truck they've rented. What they're looking for is to hire a few movers to unload the truck for a few hours on a Sunday morning. Based on what they have to unload, and the help of a few friends already lined up, they're figuring to hire two movers for two hours.
So I'd be interested to hear referrals to reliable companies that would do something like this, or maybe trustworthy freelancers. I also would be curious to know roughly what one could/should expect to pay for such a service?
Like most things, experience can make a big difference. We're always kind of amazed to see how experienced movers can maneuver some huge, heavy piece of furniture or appliance with relative ease.
So, got a suggestion for Jason and his friends? Please share!
Almost everything about the Empire State Plaza is big: its physical size, its place in Albany's skyline, its presence in the city's history over the last century. It is architecture and history on a huge scale.
But a new project is aiming to focus on the smaller, more intimate parts of the ESP's history. A group of historians, on Twitter as @98AcresinAlbany, is uniting two sets of photos -- a series of meticulous exterior shots in the Albany Institute collection, and a series of interior photos from a collection at the State Archives -- to recover a more detailed picture of that time.
98 Acres in Albany is the creation of Ann Pfau (independent historian), David Hochfelder (professor at UAlbany), and Stacy Sewell (professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College). Their ultimate goal is to create a website to host these photos, document the history of the neighborhood, and collect memories and stories related to the ESP.
As Pfau recently told us: "We've found that everyone has a story about the Empire State Plaza, and everyone has an opinion about the Empire State Plaza."
Teachout survives residency challenge, Troy citizens rally against crime,Port of Albany oil spill quickly contained
A couple of hundred people showed up at a Take Back Troy anti-violence rally on Wednesday, following a double homicide in Lansingburgh this week. Meanwhile, police continue to search for the suspects in the recent murder. [TU][Record][TWCN]
A state appeals court upheld a ruling on Tuesday allowing Zephyr Teachout to remain on the Democratic primary ballot. Cuomo backers went to court in an effort to halt Teachout's bid for governor by claiming she was in violation of required residency rules. [TU]
Time Warner Cable News has invited Andrew Cuomo to debate Teachout, but Cuomo's campaign says the governor has no plans to debate Teachout. Meanwhile, Rob Astorino has offered to debate Teachout[CNY] [Record]
Following a heated discussion at a meeting attended a standing room only crowd including many anti-casino advocates, the East Greenbush town board voted 3 to 1 to advance the Capital View Casino & Resort proposal to the Planning Board. [WNYT][TU]
The US Postal Service is releasing a set of Hudson River School forever stamps on Thursday. The set includes four paintings:
+ Distant View of Niagara Falls (1830) by Thomas Cole, from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
+ Summer Afternoon (1865) by Asher B. Durand, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
+ Sunset (1856) by Frederic Edwin Church, from the collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute
+ Grand Canyon (1912) by Thomas Moran, from the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Oddly enough (well, it's odd to us), none of the four stamps in the Hudson River School set appear to depict a Hudson River location. (The Frederic Edwin Church is apparently thought to perhaps be depicting a scene from New Hampshire.) Sure, "Hudson River School" doesn't necessarily mean "Hudson River," but, you know, the USPS could have done the river valley a philatelic favor.
Could be fun: Stacks Espresso Bar on Lark Street in Albany is hosting "a fun bracket-style latte art competition" on September 4. Blurbage:
A [Thursday Night Throwdown] event, is a common thread through the coffee culture of many major cities, often happening once a month, complete with rotating themes and innovative drink challenges, but this will be the first of it's kind for the Capital District. The evening is co-hosted by the Capital Region Coffee Collective; which started as a meetup for coffee professionals to help improve each others skills and knowledge and quickly morphed into a fun and engaging event to educate participants and raise awareness of the capital region's burgeoning specialty coffee scene.
The goal of a TNT is to foster a spirit of camaraderie, fun, and enthusiasm for local coffee from baristas, coffee shops, and anyone interested in all of the interesting behind the scenes workings that make coffee what it is. Beer will be provided by Troy's Rare Form Brewery to ease nerves, and though many competitors are expected to be local baristas, anyone is open to participate.
Sign-ups for competition start at 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 4. It's a $5 buy in to compete, and a winner-take-all prize package. Admission is free.
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: "cowardice" and compassion, an unusual story, summer trips, tubing, a mission to find blooms, Hoosick Falls, Texas de Brazil, brunch at The Low Beat, Dock Brown's, boneless wings, a veggie burger, BCTC, patience for fall, crowdsourced hydrology, a new home, and that first month.
Tickets are now on sale for AOA's fall event: Farm Tour!
The tour of farms in the Helderbergs is September 13. Tickets are $40 -- they're available online via this link. Capacity is limited.
The tour will visit three farms so we can meet the farmers and hear their stories. We'll get to see cows, chickens, and pigs; sample produce right where the food is grown; and visit a brew shed (and try some beer). We'll finish the tour with some snacks made from locally-sourced ingredients.
Here's an outline of the itinerary, along with some important information...
Hey AOA, is there anywhere to go pick your own peaches around the capital region?
For whatever reason, PYO peaches appear to be a rarity around here. Maybe because the fruit is relatively fragile and growers want to make sure their trees are picked with care. Maybe just because peaches aren't as plentiful around here as, say, apples.
That said, there are some places to score good peaches. We have had some really nice peaches from Golden Harvest in Valatie this year. And in the past we've gotten different types of good peaches from Maynard Farms, which sells at the Schenectady Greenmarket.
Know of PYO place for Julie? Or even just a good local farm or farm stand for buying peaches? Please share!
A few bits of follow up on last week's post about the Capital Region bikeshare:
Protected bike lanes
We mentioned that one of the ideas to make parts of the Capital Region more bike friendly are protected bike lanes -- generally speaking, these are bike lanes that are separated from car traffic by some sort of barrier. These sorts of lanes are said to be safer for cyclists, and they may help more casual cyclists feel better about using a bike for transportation.
As it happens, there's a group organizing to support the creation of protected bike lanes in Albany, specifically as part of the redesigned Madison Ave (the "road diet"). The group's FB page is posting information about protected bike lanes and other bike-friendly ideas.
Also, a proposed Madison Ave redesign that incorporates protected lanes floated our way. The design is above -- here's a large-format version. It was created by Lorenz Worden of the Albany Bicycle Coalition. And it provides an easy-to-understand layout of how redesigned Madison Ave could maybe work.
We gotta admit we're not totally sold yet that protected lanes will prompt a significant number of people to start cycling more often. But the idea looks promising and it's worth a shot. Madison Ave seems like as good a place as any to try it.
Over at the TU, Tim O'Brien has some numbers from the Capital Region bikeshare now that the pilot has ended: there were more than 250 participants, who averaged 2.8 rides during the trial period.
Couple beaten to death in Lansingburgh home, Wellington implosion postponed until Saturday, Q-poll: Cuomo part of ethics problem but still ahead, 999 turns around a traffic circle
Police are looking for two men who broke into a Lansingburgh home and beat a man and woman to death overnight. The suspects are believed to have escaped in the victim's SUV.[TU][Record]
Troy residents are holding a meeting tonight to launch a neighborhood watch to combat the recent outbreak of violence in the city. Troy City Councilman Jim Gordon is personally offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and convictions of the perpetrators of recent shootings in the city.[TU][Record][WNYT]
The implosion of the Wellington building has been postponed until Saturday in an effort to limit disruption downtown. [TU]
Nearly half the voters questioned in a new Quinnapiac poll think Andrew Cuomo is a part of the state's corruption problem, but he maintains a 56 to 28 lead over Republican challenger Rob Astorino in the same poll. [Qinnipiac][TU]
Maybe the best blue sky of the summer. And then, ahead of the sunset, some wonderfully wispy clouds.
The Capital Region Economic Development Council recently released its list of proposed priority projects for 2014. These are the projects the council will be suggesting get state funding in the next round of the Cuomo administration's Regional Economic Development Council initiative. (Or, as we've come to think of it, a game show called Who Wants to Win Some Pork?) The Capital Region scored almost $83 million the last time out.
Not all of these projects will necessarily get funding (or get funded at the requested levels) but it's interesting to see what's in contention because all sorts of interesting bits bubble up in these applications -- stuff that maybe you missed the first time around, or hasn't gotten a lot of attention.
An example: A company wants to build a free wireless internet access service for downtown Troy.
We put together an easy-scan listing, along with a map, after the jump. We've also highlight a few projects that caught our eye.
I am wondering if there is a casual eatery around where dogs are at least allowed, but I hope they are welcome. This place would ideally be anywhere at all between Albany and Gloversville. The casual [category] would necessarily include those places that only sell hot dogs and hamburgers, I guess, since we'll be eating outdoors. But I'm open.
Non-service animals are prohibited in restaurants by state regulation. But we've seen a bunch of places that (perhaps informally) allow dogs on (just off) patios. And it would seem seasonal outdoor places will have much more leeway.
Have a spot to suggest to M? Please share!
Pulled pork is probably my favorite barbecue offering. Barbecued chicken or ribs were never something I got particularly excited about, though I am a fan of brisket. But there is just something hard not to love about that tough chunk of pork being lovingly rubbed with spices and flavorings, then left to marinate in its own fat and juices in the gentle heat of charred wood and charcoal.
Patience is a virtue, especially in cooking, and nowhere is that more true than with pulled pork. Hours of anticipation lead to fork-tender strands of meat that await a sweet and tangy sauce and two pieces of bread to accompany it.
And the version at Stockyard Bar-B-Q is the perfect example of what pulled pork sandwich should be.
And you can always try searching for it: