Stuff to do this weekend.

The modern house of then -- on many levels

Lafferty House Niskayuna Civkin blueprint

A 1947 Victor Civkin blueprint for the Lafferty House.

The latest batch of recommendations for the the State and National Registers of Historic Places for New York includes a handful of sites around the Capital Region, including the sorts places you'd expect like churches and a rural historic district.

It also includes a site you might not expect: a suburban home in Niskayuna.

The home in question is the James M. and Eleanor Lafferty House, which is in a neighborhood just off Rosendale Road. It's been nominated as a representative of the modern movement. And the home's national register nomination form is an interesting read (including diagrams and photos) -- especially if you're interested in midcentury design.

It's glimpse into both residential architecture of the time and also GE's efforts to create the kitchen "of tomorrow." (No, wait, The kitchen... of tomorrow.)

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Cohoes Music Hall season 2016-2017

The Palace recently signed on to manage the Cohoes Music Hall, and this week announced there will be a "grand re-opening" in September. And it also released an early schedule of the upcoming season at the venue.

The preliminary schedule is after the jump -- it includes films, concerts, and other performances. The Palace says it expects the season to eventually include 60 events.

The Cohoes Music Hall was built in 1874, and it's said to be the fourth-oldest music hall operating in the country. (And is it haunted? Maybe.)

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What's the future of the 518?

518 area code map

You know, the actual area code.

The 518 area code has had a good run. It was one of the original area codes, and it's made it almost 70 years without being broken up or having to share its expansive geographic area with other digits.

But finally, after all those years, it's running out of numbers. The current projection is that its supply of phone numbers will be exhausted by early 2019.

So what now? Here are the two options...

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Stuff to do this weekend

Best Coast band

Best Coast is at Upstate Concert Hall later this weekend.

On your mark. Get set. Weekend!

It's time to stop reading about politics for a few hours and do something fun. Everyone's opinions will still be on social media when you get back. We promise.

This weekend's list of stuff to do includes ballet, baseball, blueberries, and a whole bunch of other fun things that don't start with "b." You'll find a whole alphabet of fun after the jump.

Planning something that didn't make our list? Drop it in the comments so the rest of us can see it.

Now get out there and start weekend!

Go. Now. Good job.

YNHW in-post ad Downtown Albany BID

CDPHP Customer Connect Ad

Ballston Spa Film Festival ad

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Clinton accepts nomination for president, Cuomo speaks at convention, "ban the box" bill for Albany County, undersized lobsters seized, alligator gar still swims free

Clinton accepts Democratic nomination
Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president at the party's convention in Philadephia. Said the former New York US Senator and US Secretary of State: "We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together." [NYT]

Earlier in the day, Andrew Cuomo spoke to the convention, invoking his father's memory and touting New York as a home of progressive ideas. [NYT] [TU]

Also: Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan on her convention experience in Philadelphia. [TU]

20 year to life for fatal Troy stabbing
The Troy man who pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his wife in front of their children last November was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Said David Campos at the sentencing: "I want to apologize to the court. I want to apologize to the city of Troy. I want to apologize to my wife's family for putting them through this." Said an aunt of Denise Gely: "We don't want to have hate in our hearts. Justice is justice, and we're happy that justice is still working." [TWCN] [TU] [Troy Record]

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Today's moment of summer

Considering how dry it's been, it's kind of hard to get upset about getting caught under a tree during the pop-up shower Thursday afternoon. And the sound of the rain falling on all those leaves... nice.

The Capital Region's largest private employers*

* According to the state's RFP for the Harriman campus land sale

Tucked in that request for proposals for the sale of part of the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany was an interesting list: The largest private-sector employers "within commuting distance" of the site.

We've seen similar lists before. The state Department of Labor publishes lists for the state and individual regions (last update March 2014). But that list doesn't include job counts (the labor department cites confidentiality) -- and the one in the RFP does.

So, can you guess the largest private-sector employers in this area? We'll give you a few hints: healthcare and supermarkets...

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How the train station ended up where it is now

Kiernan Plaza former train station Albany 2016-May

The old Union Station on Broadway in Albany (AKA, Kiernan Plaza) has since found new use as offices.

The fact that Albany's train station is over the river in Rensselaer is one of those things that prompts a lot of "What... why... huh?" reactions from people. (Even though the new version is actually pretty nice.) And it can be especially puzzling since the old train station in Albany still stands -- and is a rather grand building at that.

Over at Hoxsie, Carl recently took up this topic and it's the best account we've seen of how things ended where they are today. Here's a clip:

Those who remember Albany's Union Station as a glorious destination in the '50s and '60s most likely benefit from the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. A 1969 column in the Knickerbocker News acknowledged that "In its dying days, Albany's Union Station was an odiferous and dingy cavern, but still, if you looked hard, you could see traces of the station's earlier grandeur." If you grew up later than the '70s, you may not be able to understand just how dingy cities were back then - between coal ash, diesel fumes, and the horrendous exhaust that came out of each and every automobile, every structure was covered in soot. Likely the exterior of Union Station had never been cleaned, and by some accounts the same could be said of the inside. ...
The Rensselaer station opened sometime in 1968, a box next to a grocery store that served as the region's rail station until 2002. That Knick News columnist who in early 1969 called Union Station "odiferous" also said that
"In contrast, the Penn Central's new Albany-Rensselaer station in Rensselaer is - with all due respect to our neighboring city - a rude comedown and a ride to the new station is a dispiriting experience. Situated at the northern edge of Rensselaer, the station is reached after a bumpy ride over narrow streets. It looks more like a small-town depot for short-haul buses than a railroad station and is tucked away in a shallow ravine as if the Penn Central were ashamed at what it had done, as well it might be. Let us hope that the railroad's new Albany-Schenectady regional station on Karner Road in Colonie has more class."
Well, one could hope.

A train station in Colonie? Yep! That's one of many interesting bits in Carl's series of three posts about the topic (they're all quick reads) -- here are parts two and three. It's a story of railroads that weren't all that interested in railroading, the midcentury planning obsession with cars, and decisions that elicited "What the...?" reactions from the start.

Earlier on AOA:
+ A miniature version of Troy and its past
+ Riding the trolley -- everywhere>
+ Thinking about high-speed rail in New York

Weekend Destination: Thousand Islands

thousand islands weekend destination composite
By Julie Madsen

Why: nature, water sports, romance
How far: 3.5 hours

The origin of Thousand Island dressing can be controversial, but legend has it that it was the wife of a fishing guide in the Thousand Islands region of New York who first served the condiment during dinners for her husband's tours. Prominent visitors from New York City tried and loved it, and it spread from there.

Of course, the Thousand Islands area is more than simply a famous salad dressing -- it's also a place of beauty and adventure. And close enough for an easy weekend trip.

To be precise, there are 1,864 islands in the Saint Lawrence River, which separates New York from Ontario. In the summer months it is a water lover's playground with options including fishing, swimming, boating, and diving. And on land there's a castle paired with a love story, many wineries -- and pirates!

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A peek at our possible future climate

climate explorer january rainfall map

A screengrab of the Climate Explorer map that allows you see projected rainfall change under two different emissions scenarios. This map is showing projected rainfall for the Northeast January in 2050. (The deeper the green, the larger the project rainfall increase from the 1960-1989 normal.)

We've had an unusually dry summer so far, and it's been somewhat hotter than usual, too. And while any one year isn't necessarily a sign of some broader trend, this summer is in some ways an example of what the future summers here might be like because of climate change.

We were thinking about that today while looking around the federal government's new Climate Explorer website. It takes projections based on climate change models and greenhouse gas emission scenarios and makes them easy to map and graph for locations around the country. For example: Here's the page for Albany County.

So, what sort of future are the models pointing toward for our area?

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Cuomo to address convention, first PFOA personal injury lawsuit,Lake George fatality causes concern about festival, DEC searches for invasive fish in Schenectady Central Park

Cuomo to address convention
Andrew Cuomo has big shoes to fill when he addresses the Democratic Convention tonight.[NYT][NYT]

Schneiderman on Trump
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman spoke at the convention, calling Donald Trump "a guy who leaves a trail of broken deals, unpaid contractors, unpaid lawyers, unfulfilled obligations and ruined lives behind him wherever he goes."[TU]

Hit and run prompts look at festival
The hit and run boat crash that claimed the life of a 9-year-old girl on Lake George this week has prompted authorities to consider canceling Log Bay Day -- an annual informal party on the lake. The Warren County Sheriff's Office says 19 people were arrested at this year's festival, which attracted about 600 people. [TU][TWCN]

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A few more bits about the potential sale of a chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus

Harriman campus site for sale overview

A site map from the state's request for proposals (RFP).

As you might have heard, the state has put a large chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus up for sale. It could be a big deal for the city of Albany because it holds the potential of adding taxable land (which the city's budget could use) and transforming a large site.

The state held a webcast about the sale Wednesday. It's online if you'd like to watch it, and only about 15 minutes. But we watched it so you wouldn't have to.

Here are a handful of interesting bits we took from it...

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PechaKucha series returns to TVCOG

Tech Valley Center of Gravity exterior 2016-JulyThe local PechaKucha series returns this Friday with an event at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy.

What is this PechaKucha? It's a format in which the speaker gets to talk along with 20 slides, each slide only on display for 20 seconds. (Each talk is just short of 7 minutes total.) So, it moves quickly and it forces people to get right to the point.

The lineup for Friday's event includes speakers talking about robots, pre-Civil War baseball, ecosystems, social justice and other topics. (It's posted after the jump.)

The event at TVCOG is Friday, July 29 starting at 6:30 pm with snacks and socializing. The talks start at 7 pm. It's free.

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Rezone Albany: UAlbany downtown corridor

former Albany High School now UAlbany building wide

The building UAlbany would like to transform into the home for it new engineering college.

Here are the details for those upcoming public events that are part of the Rezone Albany focus on the downtown UAlbany campus corridor. The events will be in Milne Hall room 200 (135 Western Ave).

+ Monday, August 1: hands-on design workshop with input from the public from 6-8 pm

+ Tuesday, August 2 and Wednesday, August 3: open design studio from 9 am-6 pm at which members of the public can drop in

+ Thursday, August 4: work in-progress presentation from 6-8 pm

From a UAlbany email about the events:

On the agenda are issues like walkability, traffic calming, future development needs, safety, neighborhood identity and parking. Input from people who live, work and otherwise use the neighborhood is essential to crafting a cooperative vision for the area's future.

The consultancy holding the events will be Dover, Kohl & Partners, the same group that ran the neighborhood-specific Rezone Albany events -- the Warehouse District, Central Ave, and the South End -- last year. All three of those mini-series were interesting -- not only to see what members of the public were interested in, but also to hear from the consultants about how what's going on here fits into broader trends around the nation.

Based on these earlier events, if you're thinking you'd like to go to just one of the events, the first one will probably be the best bet for offering input, and the last one for seeing renderings and potential neighborhood plans.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: OK Slip, botanical finds, the Pine Bush Sprint Triathalon, the Boilermaker, the chances of it happening here, Hamilton, L-Ken's, lifesaving, a kitchen remodel, birthday gifts, garden neighbors, yogurt, brunch, donuts, a pizza castle, and the non-goodbye goodbye.

Neighborhood in-post ad APL 2015

Downtown Albany BID residential open house 2016-August-12 in-post ad

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Four casseroles and a funeral

Noted: Funeral homes in New York State may now offer snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, thanks to recently signed legislation. Why was it banned previously? Maybe because of Victorians and the ether. (And also maybe because of an attempt back in the day to limit comeptition.) [NYT]

Suggestions for youth soccer programs?

soccer ball grass

Sean emails:

Are any of your readers familiar with the youth soccer programs in the Capital District? We live in Albany and are looking for a way to introduce our current and future kids to organized soccer. We would love some help figuring out the options and getting some input on which ones people prefer.

Sean's question touches on something we've wondered about: Where are kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? Are there kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? We've seen a bunch of baseball diamonds and Little League games and some football games. But we can't remember passing a kids soccer game. That's always seemed weird, because in most places around the country soccer is a big youth sport. (And given that Albany has an increasing immigrant and refugee population -- including many people who come from soccer cultures -- it seems like there'd be even more kids who'd want to play.)

So, digression over... Got a suggestion or thought for Sean? Please share! And a sentence or two explaining your suggestion is always helfpul.

photo: Flickr user Kate Brady (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dems nominate Clinton, police seek photos in boat accident, Erie Blvd to close for roundabout, new program puts cats in jail

Dems nominate Hillary Clinton
History was made at the Democratic Convention on Tuesday when former First Lady, NY Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for President of the United States. Andrew Cuomo, surrounded by state and local elected officials including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Common Council member Leah Golby, announced New York's votes. [NYT][TU]

Police search for photos of Boat involved in fatal Crash
Police are searching for photos to help them determine if the boat they believe is responsible for the fatal hit and run that claimed the life of a 9-year-old girl on Sunday spent part of the day at the Log Bay Day boat party on the lake before the incident. [TU]

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Today's moment of summer

They look so fidgety at full speed -- but at half speed, they're graceful and kind of peaceful.

Blackened Fish Po'Boy at Hooked Seafood Co.

hooked seafood co blackened fish poboy

By Deanna Fox

Some people say the Capital Region food scene is behind the times, a decade behind the trends in major metropolitan areas like New York City and San Francisco.

That might be true. I think the decade span is waning, though, as social media keeps us connected to the food of elsewhere with unprecedented speed. Nevertheless, I don't mind if we are behind the curve a bit, for it keeps us from going through the same growing pains and trial-and-error slip-ups that more risk-tolerant, innovative cities experience.

Take food courts, for instance. Why not let people like Corey Nelson (of Troy Kitchen) or Richard Rosetti (of Galleria 7 Market) go and suss out what does and doesn't work other places so we can benefit and keep our bellies full of good food here?

A recent lunch at Galleria 7 Market, in Latham, cemented that thought for me. Just gazing into the oyster case at Hooked Seafood Co., which operates from the market, delivered me the option to try a fresh St. Simon oyster -- a perfect amuse bouche and gentle enticement to a lunch of blackened fish on a fresh roll.

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

And you can always try searching for it:

The Scoop

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Recent Comments

Seconding the above. Albany Youth Soccer. I played for many years with this organization. Absolutely excellent experience. Good mix of fun and hard work. Very diverse group of kids and coaches. Well organized. Many other kids I knew growing up in Albany played as well. In my opinion this is the integral kids sports experience.

What's the future of the 518?

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The Capital Region's largest private employers*

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A few more bits about the potential sale of a chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus

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Weekend Destination: Thousand Islands

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Morning Blend for Jul 28

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