Stuff to do this weekend.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2015-09-04

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:

+ Janae asked about ideas for changing up her workday lunch spot lineup in Albany. There were some solid suggestions.

+ We talked with Albany's forester about a threat facing many of the city's street trees.

+ Deanna highlighted a regional summer classic: Martha's Dandee Creme.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: monuments, the kiosk mentality, the Santanoni Range, horses, four miles in the dark, a tea factory, Travers Day, Ama Cocina, korean BBQ, metal needs, and railroads.

+ We gave away tickets to the "Murder at the Mansion" event at the Ten Broeck Mansion by asking: What's the title of your Capital Region mystery novel or police procedural TV show? (There were some fun answers.)

+ Lauren checked out the new Nordstrom Rack store at Colonie Center.

+ The best person for a job at Albany's Loudonville Reservoir is... a goat?

+ And Lauren talked with the people behind the new Superior Merchandise Co. in Troy.

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

Stuff to do this weekend

Thumbnail image for fork_in_the_road_2015-05-01_1.jpg

The Fork in the Road food truck event is back to kick off Labor Day weekend.

The bad news first: It's Labor Day weekend -- the unofficial end to the summer season.

The good news? It's Labor Day weekend! And there's still time to do some of that stuff you've been trying to pack in all summer. So grab swimsuits, towels, picnic baskets, baseball hats, and whatever else you need for your good time. And don't forget the sunscreen, you'll need it.

After the jump, a handful of things we thought you might like to try. Planning something else? Drop it in the comment section. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

River Week in-post ad Dutch Apple

coco-tourism-ALLoverALBANY-525x80-2015-SEPT.png

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Superior Merchandise Co.

superior merchandise exterior

By Lauren Hittinger

Opening in Troy this Saturday is Superior Merchandise Co., a shop that combines a home goods boutique, a coffee bar, and a florist. While it seems like an eclectic mix, somehow everything fits together in this Fourth Street business.

It has not been an easy journey for Felicity Jones and Mike Romig, who are co-owners and partners. They have spent two years transforming a building that was slated for demolition into a comfortable and hip shop. Much of their aesthetic inspiration comes from Copenhagen, with an eye toward creating a simple, clean, and modern interior.

I was able to stop by in advance of their opening to catch a glimpse of Superior Merchandise Company and to chat with some members of their team.

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Wild edibles foraging and wilderness skills classes with Sean Rowe

sean rowe tree to table mushroomAs you know, Sean Rowe is a singer/songwriter from Troy who's risen to fame over the last few years, touring around the world and performing on TV. He's also an accomplished naturalist -- and he's teaching a handful of foraging and outdoor skills classes over the few months. Blurbage:

Ok so forget Naked and Afraid. How about Naked and Comfortable? Sort of. How about just for fun, we go out on a day hike and leave our matches and lighter at home? How would you like to go out into the landscape, pull off a dead branch from a Cottonwood tree, take your knife or sharp rocks and carve out a bow and drill fire set with nothing but your bare hands? Then, make some rope from the wild Dogbane plants that live there to use in your fire kit. Sound cool? Let's do it!

The dates include:
+ A foraging and skills class at Kawing Crow Awareness Center in Greenfield Center on September 27.
+ A journalist naturalist class for kids at Kawing Crow on October 12.
+ A foraging and skills class at East Greenbush Town Park on October 18.
+ A natural history walk at Peebles Island on October 25.

photo via Sean Rowe FB

Do the words matter when we talk about pedestrian and traffic deaths?

Two links, both about how we all talk about incidents in which cars hit people... Chris Churchill in the TU: "Don't run the kids over." And Sarah Goodyear at CityLab: "Why do so many stories about traffic deaths omit any mention of a human behind the wheel?" [TU+ (link around)] [CityLab]

Checking out Nordstrom Rack at Colonie Center

Nordstrom Rack Colonie Center exterior

By Lauren Hittinger

I tend to be critical of the retail selection in the Capital Region, especially when it comes to women's clothes. Maybe my disdain is unwarranted, but this area is missing some of my favorite brands -- among them, the upscale department store Nordstrom.

As you've probably heard, a new Nordstrom Rack opens today at Colonie Center. It's not quite a full-fledged Nordstrom, but more like its less expensive, bargain-centered little sister. I'll take what I can get.

I had an opportunity this week to poke around Nordstrom Rack to see what shoppers can expect from this new spot.

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Ira Glass at Troy Music Hall

Ira Glass 2015

The Ira Glass is set to return to the Troy Music Hall May 22. Tickets go on sale September 11 -- they're $35 and up.

Glass is, of course, the creator of the radio program This American Life, and a hugely influential figure within public radio. His appearance at the music hall will be another "Reinventing Radio" talk. Blurbage:

In Reinventing Radio, Ira will return to the Hall to once again talk about how they put together This American Life: what makes a compelling story and where they find these amazing tales. He mixes stories from the show, live onstage, recreating the sound of the show. And he plays funny and memorable moments from the show and talks about what was behind their creation.

Let's hope he goes easy on the crowd this time around and no one passes out.

Selected Shorts
The Ira Glass event is one a handful of new events the Troy Music Hall announced today. Also among the new slate: a performance of the popular public radio show Selected Shorts on November 13. Blurbage: The theme of the night at the Music Hall is "Uncharted Territories" - moving, comical, and surprising stories about unexpected encounters. Featured readers: Sam Underwood (The Following, Dexter), Patricia Kalember (Sisters), and Tony winner Boyd Gaines."

Tickets go on sale September 11. They're $27 and up.

photo: Jesse Michener

Arrest after man found buried alive with corpse in Schenectady basement, sketch released in connection with fatal Colonie stabbing, no tax increase in proposed Albany County budget

Disoriented man found with body in Schenectady basement
Police have arrested a Schenectady man for allegedly hitting a man over the head with a shovel then burying him in the basement of a Union Street apartment building under several feet of debris. The victim was found by police after people expressed concerned for the welfare of a resident. He was discovered in the basement along with the badly decomposed remains of a woman. Forty-four-year-old Harold Michael Ortiz of Schenectady is now charged with attempted murder and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly hitting the man and trying to bury him in the basement. An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the woman died. [TU][Gazette][WNYT][TWCN]

Cars crashing into buildings
The 87-year-old- driver of a car that crashed into the Blue Ribbon Diner in Schenectady has been sited for unsafe backing and imprudent speed. The 72 year old woman who was pinned between the car and the building was last reported to be in stable condition. The owners of the Tint King, down the road at 2167 Central Avenue say they will have to relocate after an out of control truck smashed through their building some 14 hours after the diner incident. [Gazette][TWCN][WNYT]

Sketch released in salon stabbing
Colonie police have released a sketch based on a description from someone who saw a man walking south on Russell Road shortly before the fatal stabbing of
a woman at a Sand Creek Road salon. [News 10]

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Reservoir goats

goats eating brush at loudonville reservoir

They're working.

It can be hard to hire a contractor. Sorting through all the various options. Coordinating calls and appointments for estimates. Trying to pick the best person.

And what if, as the Albany Water Board recently decided, the best person for the job is... a goat?

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Another resurrected Albany Ale is now available

gravina and demler working on previous version of Albany aleThe Albany Ale Project and C.H. Evans Brewing Co. have teamed up again to resurrect another version of the once-famous Albany ale.

This latest version is based on recipes from 1830 that were surfaced by Albany Ale co-creator Craig Gravina, and adapted by Evans head brewer Ryan Demler. (You might remember the first time they did this a few years back -- that version was based on an 1865 1901 recipe.)

Beer blurbage from C.H. Evans:

Our version of the 1830s recipe uses New York grown and malted 6-row barley from Pioneer Malting in Rochester, NY as well as NY produced honey from B's Honey in Watervliet. As with many older styles of beer, "Albany Ale" was brewed with hops, though at the time there wasn't a distinction as to the types or timing of additions, so we took a bit of creative license here and used some cluster variety hops and a token amount of NYS grown Cascade.
This mid-strength beer (of the time) clocks in at 7.9% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and drinks rather crisp and clean for a recipe nearly 200 years old. The body is light, almost sharp and dry. The relatively heavy hopping rate (for the style) and heavy use of honey result in a brew that's dry and has a pronounced bitterness that helps clean up the finish. A bit of "breadiness" comes through from the grain and works well with the subtly piney hop flavor.

This latest resurrected Albany ale will be on tap exclusively at the Albany Pump Station starting today (September 2) -- and they expect it to be available for about three weeks.

So much of history is the little, everyday stuff that gets lost over time, or just isn't compatible with the way we transmit history. So the Albany Ale Project and the collaboration with C.H. Evans are interesting not just because they highlight Albany's robust brewing history, but also because they afford the opportunity to actually taste (more or less) something from the 19th century.

Drawing: Murder at the Mansion

Ten Broeck Mansion gardens 2015

The garden at the Ten Broeck Mansion.

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

The Ten Broeck Mansion is hosting an 1890s Murder Mystery Garden Party September 12. The evening will feature a live murder mystery show, along with food from chef Josh Coletto (of Rock 'n Roll Brunch fame). We have two tickets to the event and we're giving them away -- the mystery is... TO WHOM?!?.

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

What's the title of your Capital Region mystery novel or police procedural TV show?

It could be anything: The Affair in Center Square, CSI: Green Island, whatever. (Goofy and fun is a good angle here.) We'll draw one entry at random -- that person wins the pair of tickets.

Here's a synopsis of the event's murder mystery, which will be played by Murder Cafe, a theater company from the Hudson Valley:

t's 1890, the height of the Gilded Age, and banking tycoon Dudley Olcott is hosting a summer garden party at his Arbor Hill estate, the Ten Broeck Mansion. The Olcotts are known for their soirees and there's no shortage of famous guest who may attend; luckily you're invited. Mingle with the Vanderbilts, John Jacob Astor IV, and his unlikeable wife Lady Astor. Enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and live music in the mansion's enchanting gardens and elegant parlors. But don't let your guard down, the evening might take a deadly turn.

And Josh Coletto will be making era-appropriate hors d'oeuvres (menu is post jump).

The 1890s Murder Mystery Garden Party at the Ten Broeck Mansion is Saturday, September 12 at 6 pm. Tickets are $35 ahead (available online) / $40 at the door. They include the show, live music, and food. There will be a cash bar.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Thursday, September 3, 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 noon on Friday and must respond by noon on Tuesday, September 8.

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: monuments, the kiosk mentality, the Santanoni Range, horses, four miles in the dark, a tea factory, Travers Day, Ama Cocina, korean BBQ, metal needs, and railroads.

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Scott McCloud at Skidmore

comics artist scott mccloud

Artist, writer, and comics theorist Scott McCloud will be at Skidmore September 17 for a talk. The title: "Comics and the Art of Visual Communication." Blurbage:

McCloud is best known as the award-winning author of the influential "Understanding Comics" (1993), a visual treatise on the definition, history, vocabulary and methods of the medium. Later works include "Reinventing Comics" (2000) and "Making Comics" (2006).
His graphic novel "The Sculptor" was released this year. McCloud also wrote 12 issues of DC's "Superman Adventures" and the series "Superman: Strength." In 2009, he was featured in "The Cartoonist," a documentary film on the life and work of Bone creator Jeff Smith.

The talk is Thursday, September 17 at 5:15 pm in Gannett Auditorium. It's free.

Two separate cases of cars going through buildings, civil suit in Ivy death, Troy charter commission suggests smaller council, truck driver sentenced in trooper's death


Car goes through diner
Seven people were injured on Tuesday when a car went through the wall at Schenectady's Blue Ribbon Diner during the lunch hour. Police say an elderly man put his car in reverse, hitting a woman behind the car and backing through the wall of the diner - pinning the woman between the car and crash debris. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]

Car goes through window tinting building
A pickup truck on Central Avenue hit a utility poll and traveled about 100 yards before slamming through the wall of a window tinting business. Police fear removing the truck may cause the building to collapse. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]

Civil lawsuit in Ivy's death
The family of Donald "Dontay" Ivy has filed a federal civl rights lawsuit against the city of Albany and the three police officers who use a taser to subdue Ivy at a store near his home in April. Earlier this week Ivy's death was ruled a homicide in a coroner's report. [WNYT][TWCN]

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Today's moment of summer

green stuff buckingham pond

There's this green... stuff... that accumulates on Buckingham Pond. Up close, it looks like a bunch of tiny green seeds. Collectively they mass together and slowly swirl. And if you look at them a certain way, it's like looking a some sort of green Jupiter.

A bunch of numbers about a bunch of different topics

Capital Region Statistical Report 2015 violent crime rate chart

A chart about violent crime from the report.

How many people are here? What's the range of incomes? How are people getting around? What direction are crime rates headed?

Numbers related to those questions -- and many other topics -- are stuffed into the aptly-titled "Capital Region Statistical Report," which was released today by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission.

And it is exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of numbers about a bunch of topics in the Capital Region from a bunch of different sources, all aggregated in one report.

One example is above -- it's a chart from the report about annual violent crimes per 1,000 people in areas of the Capital Region. And it includes this short discussion of the chart:

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Ice cream at Martha's Dandee Creme

marthas dandee creme composite

By Deanna Fox

The unofficial last week of summer is upon us -- that time between August and Labor Day, when the calendar says it is time to sharpen our pencils and pull sweaters out of storage, but the weather claims cut-offs, beach towels, and ice cream.

The Capital Region is flush with classic ice cream stands, but few stand out the way Martha's Dandee Creme, just outside of Lake George, does.

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"[I]n Albany, where I am obliged to Quarter more Troops than the People can support, or reasonably ought"

4th Earl Of Loudoun via WikipediaThis is an interesting bit of local history that we didn't know: During the French and Indian War the British army made extensive use of Albany homes to quarter soldiers -- much to the dismay of Albany residents -- and that experience played a significant role in fomenting local support for the American revolution.

From an article by Elizabeth Covart in the Journal of the American Revolution:

Between 1754 and 1760, thousands of British soldiers, colonial officials, merchants, and camp followers made their way to and through Albany. The war proved to be both a profitable and an antagonistic experience for the Albanians. Albanians profited from the war both financially and via the opportunity to extend their patronage networks. Merchants, tavern keepers, artisans, and laborers furnished their visitors with supplies, housing, and services. Elites rubbed elbows with aristocratic British officers. The Albanians had expected to profit from the war, but they had not anticipated the adversarial politics of identity that the war brought out. Although the Albanians claimed to be Britons, their British guests recognized them only as foreigners, Dutch colonials. The British Army used this non-British view of the Albanians to justify their quartering practices. Many Albanians believed the army's quartering practices had violated their constitutional rights as Britons and they reflected on this when it came time to choose their loyalties during the American Revolution. The Albanians' disagreeable experiences with the British Army during the French and Indian War predisposed the community to side with, or at least not oppose, the Patriot cause.

After the war, the city essentially tied to boot the British army from its land -- and the British didn't agree. The pent up frustration resulted in protests and riots. And by the time the revolution came along, there was a campaign in Albany to root out loyalists.

By the way: The British officer who oversaw the the quartering of troops in Albany was John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun (that's him on the right). Name sound familiar? Yep, it is from his name that the hamlet of Loudonville in Colonie is said to have gotten its name. Why him? Good question -- here's an article rolling around the question.

[via @paulalemire]

portrait from National Galleries Scotland via Wikipedia

Talking about board games at Overit

the networks board game preview croppedThis cold be fun/interesting: Overit in Albany is hosting a discussion event about creating and crowdfunding board games September 10. Blurbage (links added):

Gil Hova, founder of Formal Ferret Games, and Jeff Warrender, co-founder of Spielbany, will present on their process for developing games, and how to stay creative in the gaming industry. In addition, Gil will discuss running a successful crowdfunding campaign stemming from his experience raising $30,000 from over 1,000 backers for one of his games.
Guests will also have the opportunity to play Gil's latest game, called The Networks, following the presentation.

That game -- The Networks, in which you compete as a TV network exec to acquire shows, stars, and ad revenue -- starts a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter today, September 1 (as of this morning it hadn't started just yet).

"Games at Overit: The Creative Process of Building & Crowdfunding Boardgames" is September 10 from 5-8 pm. It's free -- and you can register to attend online.

screengrab from Gil Hova YouTube

Troy police officer released from hospital, muggings in Albany student neighborhood, possible parking ticket amnesty in a can, Rice Building sold

Lansingburgh police shooting
Troy police officer Joshua Comitale was released from Albany Med Monday -- a week and a half after the shooting in Lansingburgh in which he was hit four times in the legs. (The other officer shot in the incident, Chad Klein, was released last week.) TPD chief John Tedesco said the department expects Comitale will return to duty after rehab. In remarks to the media Monday Tedesco again mentioned that the TPD has surveillance video of the incident in which Thaddeus Faison was shot and killed -- and he said the video would be made public eventually. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]

Colonie salon stabbing
A group of 50 State Police recruits were deployed Monday to help search the area near the Colonie salon where police say Jacquelyn Porecca was fatally stabbed a week and a half ago. Colonie police say they didn't find anything new. [WNYT] [TWCN]

Muggings in Albany student neighborhood
Albany police say there was a string of street robberies over the weekend in the section of Pine Hills in which many college students live (map). (Students from both UAlbany and Saint Rose recently returned.) A UAlbany student tells News10 that he was assaulted by a group of 8-10 people who took his phone and tablet. APD says it's made one arrest in a another incident in which four people were allegedly attacked by a group that punched them in the head and robbed them. [TU] [News10] [APD FB]

Saratoga Springs hit and run
Saratoga Springs police say a Ballston Spa man is accused of hitting pedestrian on Broadway at Caroline Street Saturday morning then driving away. SSPD says the pedestrian suffered multiple broken bones and taken to Albany Med via helicopter. Police say a tip from a city employee led them the alleged driver. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

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Recent Comments

Caporizzo, Lee, and Aisles. The premise of the show would be that Steve Caporizzo invents a machine that he thinks will predict the weather with 100% accuracy but goes haywire and winds up switching the brain of a grizzled Private Detective with the brain of a plucky, pound puppy named "Lee." Caporizzo and Lee the puppy then join forces to try and undo the brain switch whilst also solving mysteries at local Supermarkets.

Superior Merchandise Co.

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Stuff to do this weekend

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