What are you thankful for this year?

Today's moment of autumn

Buckingham Pond 2015-11-24 surface ice

First time we noticed ice on the pond this season.

It won't make it through the 60-degree temps later this week. But maybe skating isn't so far away.

Another view of the ESP that didn't quite happen

ESP 1962 rendering

We were picking through the Albany Institute's online collection the other day and came across a handful of Empire State Plaza design renderings that we don't think we had seen before. And maybe you haven't, either.

So, because it's interesting to wonder what if, let's have a look.

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On the ethics gridiron

Noted: There is such a thing as Ethics Bowl, and Union College's team is apparently one of the best in the nation. It's heading to the National Ethics Bowl Championship in February. (All bowl games have name sponsors, we wonder who sponsors the Ethics Bowl...) Sample case from the recent Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl in which Union competed: Is it ethical to compost corpses?

Talking about Santa and the Dutch at the Mabee Farm

delicious december cover peter g roseFood/history/holidays: Food historian Peter G. Rose will be at The Mabee Farm Historic Site December 5 for a talk about Santa and the Dutch.

Food historian Peter G. Rose delves into the early history of the life of the Saint; explains the various changes in his veneration; and relates how he was brought to America by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and, again, transformed to Santa in the 19th century. The talk encompasses such subjects as literature, religion, the fine arts, and Dutch food ways to describe the extraordinary story of his generosity that had a lasting impact on us all.

Rose is originally from The Netherlands and has written many books about the Dutch and their influence on the food and culture of the Hudson Valley. Her latest book is Delicious December:

Delicious December mixes food and history in a celebration of Dutch and American holiday traditions. In more than one hundred tried-and true recipes, award-winning food historian Peter G. Rose draws on traditions that date back centuries, as well as on reminiscences of her native country and suggests many ways to incorporate true Dutch treats into American celebrations.

The talk at Mabee Farm is Saturday, December 5 at 2 pm. Admission is $5.

Earlier on AOA:
+ What did Albany eat in the 18th century?
+ Baking that Albany Cake

Another planned co-working space

The push for co-working spaces in the Capital Region has been simmering for the last few years, so it's interesting to see a few new projects pop up recently like the the Tech Valley Center of Gravity and the planned Innovation Garage in Troy, joining already operating spaces like the Beahive. Another one in the works: Thrive, which is aiming to build off some of the recent momentum in Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood -- such as the Albany Barn -- and provide shared workspace. Its organizer is trying raise $10,000 via Indiegogo to help get it started.

Where to get car upholstery fixed?

car steering wheelMike emails:

I just acquired an older car with rips in the driver's seat. Is there anywhere local that can redo the seats and save me the expense and trouble of finding/buying good used ones?

Considering how many cars there are, we figure there's usually a place/way for fix almost everything on them. (Whether it's cost effective is another question...) So we're curious to hear people's thoughts on the best way to go about this.

Got a suggestion for Mike? Please share! And if you're recommending a specific repair place, bonus points for a sentence or two about why you're mentioning that place.

Protestors call for police firings because of Dontay Ivy case, Liberty Ridge Farm challenging fine for refusing same-sex wedding, Lillian's Restaurant is closing

Dontay Ivy
Members of Dontay Ivy's family and Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration rallied at the Albany City Hall Monday, calling for the mayor Kathy Sheehan to fire police chief Brendan Cox and the three police officers involved with the incident in which Ivy died. Celinda Okwuosa, Ivy's aunt: "All this about police doing their job, following their policies -- well, those policies need to be changed because they're discriminatory." [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy fatal stabbing
Police in New Jersey arrested the man wanted in the fatal stabbing of a woman in North Central Monday morning. Troy police say the woman had an order of protection against the man. And the man's brother tells News10 that the couple were married and had been scheduled to finalize their divorce that day in court. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Lillian's closing
Lillian's Restaurant, which has been on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs for more than four decades, is set to close at the end of this year. Owner Raymond Morris says he was recently approached with an offer to the buy building, and decided to sell. Morris said the next owner has retail and office space plans for the building. [Saratogian] [TU] [Biz Review]

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Holiday markets 2015

basilica farm flea photo

Basilica Farm & Flea is one of a handful of holiday markets coming up.

The unofficial official holiday shopping season starts up this week. And if you're looking for something a little bit different -- craftier, handmade, more independent, fair trade -- there are a handful of local holiday markets around the region.

And here's a list...

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Rezone Albany: South End

rezone albany warehouse district public workshop 2015-MayThe Rezone Albany project's next neighborhood specific workshop is for the South End. Blurbage:

The South End Design Workshop is a three-day visioning, zoning and form-based coding discussion that will inform the City's ReZone Albany initiative. This workshop will focus on the area around Albany's South End, gathering input from members of the public in order to arrive at a collaborative solution. The Warehouse District Workshop began the process in May, followed by the Central and Manning Design Workshop in August. ...
This is your community. You are the expert. Who knows the community better than someone who lives and/or works here? ReZone Albany is a rare chance for you to be a part of creating positive change, impacting the growth of your City for years to come. We need your ideas, input and feedback to ensure that the vision reflects community values and aspirations.

The South End presentations are at the Capital South Campus Center:
+ Tuesday, December 8 from 6-8 pm for the hands-on design workshop
+ Thursday, December 19 from 6-8 pm for the work-in-progress presentation

We've stopped into the two previous workshops -- for the Warehouse District and Central Ave -- and they've been interesting, both as a way to learn more about the Rezone Albany project and just to hear the thoughts of the national consultants about various parts of the city. The South End workshop is the last of the currently planned events of its type.

The products of these workshops are being rolled into proposed mixed-use zoning district that will help direct what sorts of development goes on there in the future.

"Manlius, and Skaneateles, and Tully aren't going to exist if the city of Syracuse doesn't."

Over at The Atlantic Alan Semeuls looks at some of the factors that contributed to the concentrated poverty in the city of Syracuse, including discriminatory lending and housing, the construction of I-81 right through the heart of the city, and sprawl. "The story of how poverty became one of the defining characteristics of Syracuse is specific to the city and the region, but in some ways it is illustrative of the many policy decisions that have made all American cities more segregated by race and income over the last 15 years." (Though it's mentioned, the article maybe underplays the effect of the large loss of manufacturing jobs over the last 50 years -- a trend that's continuing.) [The Atlantic] [Brookings] [Syracuse.com]

Baking that Albany Cake

albany cake two versions closeup

Same recipe, two different interpretations.

Last week we mentioned that 1828 recipe for "Albany Cake" (thanks, Pamela!), which prompted a a discussion about some of the quirks of the recipe and what the cake might be like.

Well, Greg Kern -- the pastry chef at Peck's Arcade in Troy -- saw the recipe and decided to actually try it.

So we thought it'd be fun to talk with him about how it worked out...

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Drawing: What are you thankful for this year?

bowl of cherries

Thanksgiving is this Thursday (you might have heard), so as is AOA tradition, we'd like to know:

What are you thankful for this year?

Please share in the comments -- it could be anything or anyone. The Editors will start things off after the jump.

And as part of our annual tradition, we will draw one person randomly from the comments and AOA will donate $100 to the charity of that person's choice. Last year Tess's comment was chosen and she picked Camp Little Notch for the donation.

Important: To be part of the drawing, you must submit your comment (that answers the question) by 11:59 pm on November 24, 2015. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly). The winner will be notified by noon on November 25 and must respond by noon on November 30. The choice of charity is totally subject to AOA approval. (For example, we're not going to give money to People Against Puppies.)

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Search following fatal stabbing in Troy, Walmart responds to can-redemption firing, South End Children's Café already a drawing a crowd

Fatal stabbing in Troy
Troy police say a woman was fatally stabbed early Monday inside a residence in North Central (map). Police are searching for a man they want to question in the case and they say could be armed and dangerous. Update: Police say the man was found in New Jersey. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

Canned at Walmart
A Walmart spokesman tells the Times Union Thomas Smith was fired from the company's East Greenbush store because he redeemed $2 worth of cans that had been left in a shopping cart inside the store, which the company determined to be "gross misconduct." Said the spokesman to the Washington Post about the situation: "Taking items that have been returned to the customer service desk is no different from stealing off our shelves or from customers." The GoFundMe campaign for Smith is up to almost $20,000 as of Monday morning. [TU] [Washington Post] [GoFundMe]

Albany High School
The Albany school board is split over how to proceed on another pitch to voters about renovating/expanding Albany High School. [TU+]

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The week ahead

mythbusters stage show

The Mythbusters stage show is at Proctors Tuesday.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (November-ish and not), to Thanksgiving, to turkey trotting, to mythbusting, to museums, to music...

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This week was brought to you by

albany institute capital region 50 objects composite

A few objects you can see for free over the Thanksgiving weekend at The Albany Institute of History and art.

This week was brought to you by November skies, hot tea, Black Friday ads and the mental preparation for all the upcoming cooking, shopping and decorating.

It was also brought to you by AOA advertisers. Without them there would be no AOA. So if Morning Blend, Stuff To Do This Weekend and all the interesting info in between is important to you, please take time to visit our advertisers and thank them.

Special thanks this week to The Albany Institute of History and Art. The Albany Institute is offering free admission from November 27, 28 and 29 with reindeer, decorated trees, card making, photos with Santa, a holiday shop and more.

Want to advertise on AOA? It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at advertising@alloveralbany.com and we'll get you started.

Office space
The Tech Valley Center of Gravity. This maker space in a renovated historic Troy building currently has co-working memberships available for just $50 per month. The Center of Gravity also offers space, equipment, education and camaraderie to makers, hackers, crafters, tinkerers and artists.

Food and Drink
Nine Pin Cider
Nine Pin Ciderworks, offering cheese and charcuterie in their tasting room, Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

New World
New World Bistro Bar, named #1 Best Restaurant, according to Times Union 'Best of the Capital Region' Readers' Poll and also listed as one of 'the 13 Best New York Restaurants, not in NYC' according to Thrillist.com.

Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar, serving Ethiopian fare every Friday and Saturday evening with traditional Ethiopian flatbread (Injera), and choice of vegetarian choices or meat all seasoned with special Ethiopian spices (berbere).

Local, healthy, delicious
Honest Weight Food Coop. Eat healthy, eat local.

New World Catering, offering Thanksgiving dinners, weddings and big parties to small gatherings in your home.

Fine wine
Capital Wine at the corner of State and Lark Streets, with a wonderful supply of wines from around the world.

Ways to get where you're going

CDTA: whether it's work or play, CDTA can get you where you're going and safely back home again.

Capital Car Share. Share cars for just $8 an hour.

Stuff to do

The Albany Institute of History and Art, presenting its new exhibit: The Capital Region in 50 Objects. From cannons to billiard balls to tulip queens to Uncle Sam's chamber pot -- 50 objects and background images that help tell the story of the Capital Region.

Mop & Bucket Improv Companypresenting a new season of Electric City Improv, every Friday night at Proctors.

Spectrum 8 Theaters. Enjoy a movie at The Spectrum. And don't forget the mint brownie.

Places to Live

The Capital Team
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA. Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region.

Harmony Mills
Harmony Mills Lofts in Cohoes -- Manhattan style loft living in the Albany area.

Helpful stuff

Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C.. Staff Ciampino can help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest, so they're not only good at what they do, they're awesome too.

Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.

The Albany Public Libraries. Their mobile app helps you find library locations and hours, check your library card account, learn about upcoming events, download eBooks, audiobooks, music and more. You can even check ISBN bar codes on books, DVDs and CDs to see if the library owns what you need.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2015-11-20

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

Following Food week!

+ Amy highlighted some of the effort involved in re-growing the local grain industry.

+ Daniel talked with some local chefs about defining an upstate cuisine.

+ We gave away tickets to the Capital District Food Tour + an Honest Weight gift card by asking: If you had to pick one food item to represent the Capital Region, what would it be?

+ Jon wrote about how helping to raise steer has changed the way he eats -- and thinks about food.

+ We talked with food historian Sara Evenson about what people in Albany ate 200 years ago.

+ And Deanna looked ahead at some of the challenges (and opportunities) for New York's growing craft beverage industry.

+ We gave away tickets to the annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Celebration by asking: What's something local that you'd like to bottle?

+ A group argued the case for protected bike lanes in Albany.

+ We looked at some old photos that provided a few glimpses of downtown Troy almost a century ago. (The now-and-then change for one of them is kind of mind boggling.)

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: a term that doesn't fit, Albany High School, Albany as a media capital, once-popular clubs, farming reality, mountain biking, hiking along the border, a new trail, a dash, upstate cuisine, favorite fall bites, the new wine shop, a new brewery, tequila, Tara Kitchen, and fun at the dentist's office.

+ And based on Pamela's answer for that Following Food week drawing, we dug up an early 1800s recipe for "Albany Cake."

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

Today's moment of autumn

otto capital hills 2015-11-20

First walk of the season at Capital Hills. Otto was happy to be back.

Tanglewood 2016 lineup includes Seth MacFarlane

seth macfarlane

Next summer seems like forever from now, but Tanglewood released its 2016 schedule this week. Among the the dates that caught our eye:

+ A Prairie Home Companion on June 25. (There has been some talk this would be Garrison's Keillor's last Prairie Home show.)

+ Violinist Joshua Bell on July 8.

+ Seth MacFarlane -- yep, the Family Guy Seth MacFarlane -- with the Boston Pops on July 10.

+ Superstar pianist Yuja Wang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on July 17.

+ Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on August 7.

+ Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on September 1.

And, of course, there will be appearances by many other performers you'd recognize, such as Renee Flemming, John Williams, Chick Corea, Jeremy Denk, and on and on. And there are sure to be additions to the schedule before the start of the summer.

Tickets go on sale January 24.

photo via Seth MacFarlane Twitter

Looking ahead at New York's craft beverage boom

glass of nine pin cider

Hard cider is one of the many growing segments of the state's craft beverages industry.

By Deanna Fox

We wrap up Following Food week with a few drinks.

I write frequently about the beer, cider, wine, and spirits industry, and to be honest it is hard to keep up with the frequency at which another craft beverage producer is launching, or when new craft products are being released. New York State is a hotbed for craft beverages, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Just ask Andrew Cuomo. Last month, his administration held the third wine, beer, spirits and cider summit in Albany that brought together beverage makers, farmers, politicians, and bureaucrats to discuss the progress made in the beverage production in New York State.

"Our investments in the farm-based beverage industry have created a synergy of economic momentum for wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries. That momentum is fueling opportunity for small businesses across the state, and we are going to keep it coming well into the future," said Cuomo, who then announced a series of investments and initiatives totaling more than $16 million to support the beverage industry's growth.

Here are some of the obstacles -- and opportunities -- that are still ahead...

cdphp in-post ad local food week 2

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Stuff to do this weekend

Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard is at the Troy Music Hall Saturday.

Before you start worrying about turkeys, stuffing, trees, latkes, and pumpkin pies, you have one last pre-holiday autumn weekend. Use it wisely. Sure, you can get a jump on your holiday prep, but if you'd rather play, we've compiled a list of fun options after the jump.

Planning something you don't see here? Share it with the rest of the crowd. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!



opalka-c2c-525x80 (1).jpg

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Recent Comments

At the risk of sounding hokey, I'm thankful for all the gifts Albany has given to me. When I moved here in 1988, I knew no one who lived here. Less than 30 years later, I have the most remarkable network of friends, associates and peers who have supported each of my endeavors be they educational, artistic, personal or business related. I met and married the father of my sons here, have had the opportunity to own my own house and business and can say with confidence that not a single day goes by when I don't feel a Smalbany connection with someone I encounter as I run, walk or drive around my neighborhood. I love you, Albany!

Another view of the ESP that didn't quite happen

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Baking that Albany Cake

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Holiday markets 2015

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Where to get car upholstery fixed?

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