A big list of things to do this weekend...

Approval for another large residential project in downtown Albany that could be the first of many notable projects, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

16 Sheridan downtown Albany exterior medium 2018-August

This building in downtown Albany is in line to become 133 apartments -- and get another story.

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million dollar projects around the city are (partially) decided.

This month: The first in a series of notable developments for downtown Albany, a tear-down-and-rebuild in Park South, and potential new life for a problem property...

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A row of buildings gone, except for one

lower State Street Albany early 1900s

A follow up of sorts about the old, beautiful Mechanics and Farmers Bank building at the corner of State and James in downtown Albany and it's now missing architectural neighbors.

The image above is from a 1918 history of State Street published by the National Savings Bank of Albany (it was the bank's 50th anniversary). The viewpoint is from Pearl Street. And, as you can see, those whole two blocks of State Street are very different now. (Current street view.) But the Mechanics and Farmers is still there.

There's a bonus image below showing the opposite side of State Street.

Albany's old and its streets have changed -- many times.

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BUILT 2018 call for entries

BUILT 2018 poster card

This year's Historic Albany Foundation BUILT event -- "Albany's Architecture through Artists' Eyes" -- will be at the State Museum November 3.

The annual fundraiser is showcase for work by local artists that's inspired by Albany's built environment. And there's a call for entries (link added):

For the past 17 years, HAF has used this annual art exhibit and silent auction to highlight the built environment of the Capital Region. A portion of the proceeds from the reception and art sales will benefit the Foundation's mission of programming, technical services, and, preservation efforts including the stabilization of 48 Hudson Avenue, Albany's oldest building. BUILT is unique in that it supports the local arts community and preservation initiatives throughout the year. This year's theme revolves around the 40th anniversary of the HAF Architectural Parts Warehouse. Artists are encouraged to submit art made from salvaged, reclaimed and recycled materials. For more information, a prospectus and entry form, artists can visit [the HAF BUILT website]. This year's judges are local artists Peter Leue and Mark Gregory.

This year's poster/card for the event (above) features an Albany mosaic by Karen Schupack.

BUILT is Saturday, November 3 from 6:30-9:30 pm, and will feature food from BMT Hospitality and wine from Capital Wine and Spirits. Tickets are $95 / $55 for attendees under 35 years old.

"Gambling was the bedrock of every day of our lives growing up in Schenectady"

At the center of this Ringer profile of new Monday Night Football play-by-play man Joe Tessitore is an account of his childhood in/around Schenectady and some of the *colorful* characters connected to his family. [The Ringer]

The Breeders at Upstate Concert Hall

the band The Breeders 2018

Catching up a bit: The Breeders are set to play Upstate Concert Hall October 28. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $30 ahead / $32 day of.

It's been 25 years since Last Splash, and the same band lineup behind that hit album is back recording and touring, including a new album out this past spring.

Of course, Kim Deal is one of the most influential figures in the history of alt rock. She wrote some of the best Pixies songs -- tracks that were, along with the first Breeders album, an inspiration to Kurt Cobain. And The Breeders would go on to be an acclaimed and popular 90s band. Even today you can hear the echoes of the sound Deal helped shape in newer acts.

Albany landfill closure date extended and city trash plan on hold, Nixon pushes for universal rent control, Goldstock's closed

Albany landfill and trash collection
The projected closure date of the Albany landfill has been extended to 2026, and the city's new DGS commissioner tells Amanda Fries the transition to pay-as-you-throw garbage collection "is not dead, but it's not alive." [TU]

State money for Albany crime prevention
The Cuomo admin says it's directing $2.2 million toward anti-violence initiatives in the city of Albany, including money for job training, a mentorship program, State Police assistance on patrols, and crime analysis. [TU]

Albany County ADA resigns over freelance work
The Albany County prosecutor found out to be doing freelance appeals work for a prominent local defense attorney has resigned and is taking a job with the county public defender's office. [TU]

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Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Chris Lamberth

comedian Chris Lamberth

The Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show series is bringing Chris Lamberth back to Proctors August 25. Tickets are $15 ahead / $20 at the door and available now.

Lamberth was a previously a headliner for the series back in 2016. Bio blurbage:

[Lamberth] has toured nationally with Chris Hardwick and shared the stage with notable comedians Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, D.L. Hughley, Marc Maron, Trevor Noah and Craig Robinson. He has been featured on AXS TV's Gotham Comedy Live, the webseries Co-Operation, MTV's prank show Bugging Out and the critically acclaimed podcast 2 Dope Queens. ...
His other television and film credits include High Maintenance (HBO), Jessica Jones (Netflix), The Last O.G. (TBS), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix) and the upcoming film Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) starring Melissa McCarthy. He also serves as host of The Mundane Festival--a weekly podcast...

The show's at 8 pm. And with all Pretty Much shows, there will be a host and opener.

Four years of Pretty Much The Best Comedy Show
The show this August will mark the fourth-year anniversary of the Pretty Much The Best Comedy Show series, which has consistently brought interesting, rising comics through town, among them Aparna Nancherla and Josh Gondelman.

Forest walk for mushrooms, and a few other things do with the Rensselaer Land Trust

mushroom in forest Rensselaer Land Trust

This could be interesting: The Rensselaer Land Trust has a mushroom walk led by mycologist Sue Van Hook lined up for August 25. Blurbage:

Sue Van Hook, local mycologist, will lead us into the woods at one of our forests or preserves. Participants will have a chance to develop their ?eld skills in mushroom identi?cation. Bring a basket or bag with stiff sides, a ?eld knife or trowel, and a hand lens if you have one.

The walk is Saturday, August 25 at 10 am.

Registration is $10 per person (kids are free) and available online. It's limited to 25 people.

More land trust events
If you're looking to get outside and learn a little bit about the natural world around here, the Rensselaer Land Trust has a handful of upcoming events:
+ August 18: Celebrate Stephentown at Robert Ingalls Preserve Hike
+ August 19: Wilderness Ways for Families and Children
+ August 23: After Work Walk-Poestenkill Community Forest - Where is the water in the woods?
+ September 8: Bird Walk and Talk About bird Census at the Poestenkill Community Forest

See the links for the details and registration info.

photo via Rensselaer Land Trust Facebook

Stuff to do this weekend

Altamont Fair ferris wheel

It's Altamont Fair weekend. / photo: Kimberly Dunham

Gather your summer weekend fun while you can. This weekend is overflowing with music, summer theater festivals, fair food, Ferris wheels and more.

Here's our list of stuff we thought you might like to try this weekend. Doing something you don't see here? Tell us about it in the comment section.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

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Delaware Ave road diet in Bethlehem

The town of Bethlehem is moving toward a road diet/traffic calming for Delaware Ave -- and it's interesting to watch the conversation in the town as people point to the recently-completed road diet on Madison Ave in Albany as example. [Spotlight] Earlier: The Madison Ave traffic calming project is finished -- so what's next?

Colson Whitehead is the next New York State Author, Alicia Ostriker the next State Poet

novelist Colson Whitehead and poet Alicia Ostriker

Colson Whitehead and Alicia Ostriker

The next New York State Author will be Colson Whitehead, and the next State Poet will be Alicia Ostriker.

Their selection was announced this week -- and they'll be inaugurated at the opening of the Albany Book Festival at UAlbany Friday, September 28 at 7:30 pm. Both writers will be reading at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Colson Whitehead is, of course, a famous novelist whose most recent work -- The Underground Railroad -- won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is a poet and poetry critic. Bio blurbage: "Alicia Ostriker, the author of sixteen volumes of poetry, is one of the most acclaimed poets, as well as one of the most influential poetry critics of her generation. Joyce Carol Oates asserts that her 'iconoclastic expression, whether in prose or poetry, is essential to understanding our American selves.' Ostriker's work explores motherhood, womanhood, social justice, Jewish identity and-- in the words of poet Joan Larkin-- 'takes on nothing less than what it feels like to be alive.'"

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Mother arraigned on charges related to discovery of deceased infant, man injured in Grand Street shooting, protestors greet Spicer in Saratoga, French teen visits nurses who saved her life

Police: Addicted mother buried child
Heaven Puleski was arraigned on Wednesday on charges relating to the disappearance of her four-month-old-son Rayen, whose body was found this week in hole behind their State Street home in Schenectady. Police say Puleski was too high on heroin to care for the child, and admitted to wrapping him in plastic bags and hiding him behind the house after he died. The judge set her bail at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond, and sent her to county jail.[News 10][Gazette][TU]

Baby safe haven laws
Sara Foss shines a light on the little known Baby Safe Haven laws that could have protected Rayen Puleski.[Gazette]

Cuomo's America was "never that great" comment
Firing back at Trump's "Make America Great Again" rhetoric, Andrew Cuomo said "We are not going to make America great, America was never that great." Donald Trump and other Republicans quickly took aim at Cuomo for the quote. The governor continued saying,"We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged." [Spectrum][WNYT][TU][NYT]

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Today's moment of summer

bumblebee above cosmos

It turns out bumble bees love cosmos. Which it totally understandable.

It's outdoor movie season

outdoor movie Empire State Plaza 2012

The ESP outdoor movie series is now in West Capitol Park. (This is an old file photo from 2012.)

Well, presumably, all of summer should probably be considered outdoor movie season, but for whatever reason movie-outside events tend to happen in greater numbers around here in August. And so it is again.

A handful that are popping up, starting up, or continuing -- including three this week...

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There's a second rail trail mural in progress, and an open call for artists for a third

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail Cherry Ave mural rendering

The second Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail mural is in progress under the Cherry Ave Bridge. John DeMarco of Washingtonville has been selected to create a mural called "Full Spectrum." That's a clip from the rendering for the project above. Mural blurbage:

John describes the work as "making flowers and grasses larger than life, to capture the rail trailer's attention and imagination. Some of the references for the flora come from photos taken along the rail trail, walks in my neighborhood, and my mother-in-law's garden." The murals will cover each of the eight pillars under the bridge. Every pillar will be painted in a different, brilliant hue, with silhouettes of organic forms imposed over the color.

There's a community paint day for the mural this Friday, August 17 from 9 am to noon if you'd like to pitch in.

Call for entries for rail trail mural #3
With mural #2 in progress, the Art on the Rail Trail committee of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is already pursuing a third mural -- this time on the inside of the top of the bridge that crosses Delaware Ave in Delmar (site photo).

And there's an open call for artists who would be interested in creating the mural. See that link for details. The deadline to apply is August 24. The project has a budget of $2000-$3000, which would include the artist fee and supplies.

Earlier:
+ That Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail mural is now complete
+ A few more bits about the present and future of the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

Step away from the edge

Come for the beautiful drone video of Kaaterskill Falls in this NYT article, stay for its look at safety around the site and others like it: "According to Rob Dawson, a state forest ranger, the last four people who died at Kaaterskill Falls were either taking or posing for pictures." [NYT]

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: hoax or hope, TV, Willett Rock, the attempted abduction of Philip Schuyler, storm damage, road rage, being doored, rare plants, complaints, Troy restaurants, food when it's hot, local beer, deep dish pizza, church cookbooks, and ribbons.

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Albany Barn in post ad 2018

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There's a new mural going up in downtown Albany

Liz Zunon Clinton Ave ramp mural in progress 2018-08-14

Check it out: The next downtown Albany mural is being created by local artist Liz Zunon, and she'll be working on it during the next two weeks.

The mural is along south side wall of the Clinton Ave off-ramp at Broadway, near the Quackenbush Parking Garage. Look for the bluebird mural on the garage and the new mural-in-progress is nearby on ground level.

The public artwork is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Albany Parking Authority, Albany Center Gallery, and Albany Barn. The orgs have already teamed up for a handful of other murals downtown (see the links below).

You might be familiar with Liz Zunon's work. She's an accomplished children's book illustrator. (She's also working on a book she both authored and illustrated, Grandpa Cacao, that's inspired by her time growing up in Ivory Coast. It's set to be published next year.) And Zunon also created one of those giant Dutch clogs that were placed around Albany a few years back as part of a public art installation.

Press release mural blurbage:

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Mother faces charges connected to discovery of infant's body, state sues OxyContin makers, Rensselaer planners reviewing gondola plan

Investigation of infant death in Schenectady
Schenectady police have charged Heaven Puleski, the mother of 4-month-old Rayen Puleski, with a string of felonies related to the discovery of a body now believed to be her baby. The charges include one count each of tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse, felonies, as well as misdemeanor child endangerment but she has not been charged with murder. Puleski is in Schenectady city jail awaiting arraignment today. An autopsy on the child is expected to take a while. [Gazette][WNYT][TU][News 10][Spectrum]

Opioid suit
New York State is suing the maker of OxyContin for allegedly downplaying the risks and overstating the benefits of opioid products, helping to fuel an addiction and overdose epidemic. [TU]

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Debbie's Kitchen is returning (with Debbie)

Debbie's Kitchen 2010.JPG

Debbie's reopening the kitchen.

There's wondrous sandwich news in Albany: Debbie's Kitchen is planning to return to its old location on Madison Avenue in Albany -- with Debbie herself at the helm.

Debbie, of course, is Debbie Klauber, whose soups, sandwiches, and desserts were Albany famous for 25 years.

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Recent Comments

Who would have thought that the way to finally get Exit 3 made after 30+ years was to just name it 'Exit 4 II: The Other Exit 4'.

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