Neighborhood, what's up?

Wide awake, in print again

albany wide awake city brochure laura glazerYou know that 1916 brochure touting Albany as the "The Wide Awake City" -- the one that sang the city's praises in verse -- that we mentioned earlier this week? Laura Glazer (of Hello Pretty City fame) downloaded it and had the brochure printed.

A batch of them is for sale about the Fort Orange General Store on Delaware Ave in Albany. They're $10 each.

A good company/person for drywall work?

wall with hole in itSean emails:

I live in Albany and have an upcoming renovation project and would love nothing more than to pay someone else to do the drywall work. In the past, my wife and I enjoyed learning + doing it the first time, grumbled our way through it the second time... and are now loathing the prospect of having to do it a third time. Would any of your readers happen to know a person or company they could recommend that might be able to spare us from this misery and gladly take our money??? Please please please!

Sometimes the lesson of a DIY project is that you shouldn't do it yourself. And there's nothing wrong with that.

So, got a suggestion or advice for Sean and his wife? Please share!

The Price is Right Live! returning to The Palace

price is right live publicity photo

do do de dooo

The Price is Right Live -- a traveling version of The Price is Right -- will be back at The Palace April 10. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (November 22) -- they're $32.75 and up.

The show was at the Palace back in 2013 and was so popular that a second date was added. So if you're interested in going, getting tickets sooner rather than later might not be a bad idea.

Show blurbage:

The Price Is Right Live! is the hit interactive stage show that gives contestants pulled right from the audience the chance to "Come On Down" to win appliances, vacations and even new cars by playing classic games from television's longest running and most popular game show. From Plinko to Cliffhangers to the Big Wheel, and even the fabulous Showcase, all the favorite games are played just like the TV show.

From what we can gather the live version doesn't work exactly like the TV version -- more audience members are involved in various ways, and the prizes are smaller.

The last time the show was here pre-registration was required to be a potential contestant. It looks like that's changed -- and contestants are now picked from a pool of people who register on site just ahead of the show. You don't have to be a ticket holder to put your name in to be a contestant, according to the show FAQ.

Roosevelt Grooming Company

roosevelt grooming adam cresko vintage straight razors

By Lauren Hittinger

Before we all ran through disposable razors every month, there was a different way of shaving -- with a straight razor. And as Adam Cresko sees it, something was lost when we made the switch.

So Cresko is helping bring back the art of the straight razor through Roosevelt Grooming Company, a business he started that refinishes vintage straight razors and sells a line of grooming products.

I talked with the Cohoes-based Cresko about shaving with a century-old razor, making things by hand in a world of disposable items, and the history and art of a daily ritual.

(there's more)

What effect?

How can one part of the Buffalo area get multiple feet of snow in a day, while other nearby locations get much less? Because lake effect snow, which affects large parts of western and central New York and makes cities there some of the snowiest in the world. (The effect is like a conveyor system for dumping fluffy, frozen lake water on land.) Mental Floss has a quick explainer on the phenomenon. [Mental Floss]

Map: Foreclosed properties for sale in Troy

troy foreclosure sale map cummings screengrab

A screengrab of the map.

The city of Troy currently has more than 140 foreclosed properties up for potential sale. The city is accepting sealed bids on the properties -- many of which are vacant land -- between now and December 19.

Here's the list of properties as a pdf. But here's a better way to browse them: a clickable map of the properties along with some of their associated information. (We've also embedded the map after the jump.)

The map is the creation of Anasha Cummings, who was prompted to make it because, as he said to us in an email, "I don't think a PDF on a website is a good way to browse for properties you might want to buy."

Cummings says he's currently in the process of filling in some of the holes in the list (some properties don't have exact addresses) and matching up the properties with more information about them from the city's real property database (important info like square footage, even a photo).

This situation highlights an issue that's frustrated us for a long time: local municipalities often post information/data in ways that make it hard to find or use.

(there's more)

Body discovered in Coeymans, special prosecutor appointed in Glans case, $61k in tax breaks for Playland project

CSX railroad employees discovered a body near a bridge in Coeymans.
An autopsy is scheduled for today and police are still trying to identify the body. [News 10][TU][WNYT]

The Albany County IDA and the Capital Resource Corporation have approved $61,000 in tax breaks to move the Hoffman's Playland rides to the Huck Finns Warehouse property. [TU]

The locations of up to 20 red light camera intersections in Albany will be released by the end of the year.[TU]

Plans to vote on Troy's proposed budget have been canceled yet again while the City Council continues to work on changes to the spending plan. [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Hoffman's Playland, ESP neighborhood documentaries set to air

Hoffmans Playland Story trailer image

WHMT has scheduled premiere dates for a few local documentaries that a lot of people will probably interested in:

One More Ride: The Hoffman's Playland Story
Pretty much what it says on the label:

"One More Ride: The Hoffman's Playland Story" captures the history of the beloved family amusement park. For 62 years, it was where we brought our children to play and to celebrate birthdays. We rode the roller coaster and merry go round. It was a tradition of smiles and laughter for generations. And while this past season was its final one, WMHT will provide viewers with one last ride as we celebrate the history, nostalgia and memories of Hoffman's Playland. We'll meet the Hoffman family whose long-standing devotion, work ethic and continuous attention to detail and perseverance made the park what it was. It will all come to life through original videography, archival photos, home movies, behind the scenes video and emotional on-screen interviews.

It's set to air on November 29 at 9 pm. (It will also be streamed online.)

The Neighborhood that Disappeared
This is the doc by Mary Paley about the neighborhood knocked down for the Empire State Plaza. (You might remember the Kickstarter for the project.) We get the sense it's very much from the ESP-skeptic perspective. Blurbage:

In 1962, one of the most massive urban renewal projects in American history sterilized the cultural and ethnic heart of Albany, New York. An arrangement made by first term Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and longtime Albany Mayor, Erastus Corning the 2nd, displaced almost eight per cent of the City's diverse population, razed more than a thousand buildings, dislodged 3,600 households, and closed 350 businesses.
Tune in as 'The Neighborhood That Disappeared' unearths the vibrant ethnic neighborhood that housed courageous immigrants and the Greatest Generation. More than a half-century after it was lost forever; we'll revisit 'The Neighborhood That Disappeared.'

The doc is set to air December 12 at 8 pm.

When is the coldest day of the year?

NOAA coldest day of the year around US

Because winter is happening, apparently: This map depicts the when the typical coldest day of the year occurs around the United States.

The map is the creation of the federal National Climatic Data Center, based on 1981-2010 climate averages. Blurbage:

The map reveals several interesting regional differences across the country. Most prominently, the western half of the Lower 48 typically reaches its climatological coldest day in December, whereas most eastern stations reach their minimum in January. In addition, areas with higher snowfall Normals, such as the Northeast and high-altitude regions in the West, tend to reach their climatological coldest day much later, which is likely because of the increased reflection of solar radiation at the Earth's surface due to the presence of snow cover.

This map prompted us to look up the typical "coldest" day of the year for the Albany area. And it's actually multiple days -- a stretch from January 14 to January 20 when the normal average daily temperature is 22.1 degrees.

Here's a gratuitous graph of Albany daily temperature average normals.

"There's nothing in our way except anything from 4 to 6 feet of snow drifts"

Another story from the totally bonkers-level lake effect snow that has buried parts of the Buffalo area: The Buffalo News reports that people have been trapped on the Thruway for 35 hours -- the photo included with the story looks like something from one of those disaster movies where the climate goes crazy and there's any icy apocalypse. And over at Mashable there's an as-told-to account of being trapped on I-90. [Buffalo News] [Mashable]

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: sidewalks, the hardest year, the supermarket data industrial complex, Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, the best Danish, Schoharie County, Wolf Creek Falls, frostweed, fast food, Vegan Black Metal Chef, arancini, burgers, cheesecake, the lore of our grandmothers, an important chronicler, the Patroons, and doing your job.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

(there's more)

Albany, embroidered

albany embroidered patch

Mitch sent this along and we thought it was fun: It's an Albany patch -- like, the kind of patch you can sew on things. He explained:

Over the course of the past year or two, I've been on an occasional (but ongoing) search for an embroidered Albany souvenir patch. I came to the conclusion that we somehow live in the only city in the entire country that DOESN'T have one of these that can be purchased with 2 clicks of a mouse or a trip to a store.
I decided to take the task on myself. I'm a designer at a local agency, so it sounded fun anyways.

Mitch is selling them online -- they're $6 each.

We asked him if he had any specific applications in mind for the patch. His reply:

Honestly, the only real application I really had in mind for the patch was to put it on MY jacket. I think that part of the beauty of something like this is that everybody can, if they want to, figure out their own application for it. Like I said though, it's really just something that I couldn't believe didn't already exist, especially considering the local pride that Albany residents have.

Where to donate a turkey?

coldwater creek farm turkeys flockT. emails:

I was told at ShopRite today that I've qualified for a free turkey. I don't want it myself, but I was wondering if I should pick it up and drop it off at a food pantry or shelter. Seems like there are probably other people in my position too - how about a roundup of places to donate them, how and when etc? My receipt says to get it from ShopRite between 11/16 and 11/27.

We were just thinking it'd be great if these supermarket chains would allow you to designate your free turkey or ham or whatever to be given to charity directly.

Got an idea for T.? Please share!

Man suing Saratoga County over alleged deputy's slap facing charges over Wilton Mall incident, more blighted buildings to be demolished in Schenectady, code blue shelters open as temperatures drop

Five people have died in the snowstorm that dumped four feet of snow on Buffalo yesterday. Amtrak service west of Albany is on hold because of the snow. [TWCN] [TU]

One of the men who is suing Saratoga County after he was allegedly slapped by a Sheriff's deputy earlier this month is now facing charges for allegedly nearly running over a security guard in the Wilton Mall parking lot as the guard was investigating reports of someone trespassing at the mall. [TU][News 10]

A decision on the placement of casinos in New York is expected sometime next month. The NYS casino siting board is expected to meet on Friday. [TWCN][TU]

Sheldon Silver is trying to add an infrastructure investment package to the pre-holiday legislative session that would dip into a $5 billion state surplus to pay for mostly one-time infrastructure expenses. [TU]

Nine more blighted buildings will be torn down in Schenectady, and $7 million has been amassed to help knock down about 150 abandoned buildings in the next year. [TU][WNYT]

(there's more)

How the Albany metro area accesses the internet

cable modem

Common.

Roughly 3/4 of households in the Albany metro area have a broadband internet subscription. But almost 20 percent of households don't have any internet access at all.

Those are a few bits from a recent Census Bureau release of data about internet access around the country. Last year was the first time the Census collected this sort of information. So we thought we'd have a look.

(there's more)

The good cousins

From The Onion: "SCHENECTADY, NY--In a highly disappointing development expected to put a damper on the entire holiday weekend, sources within the Cunningham family confirmed Tuesday that none of the good cousins are coming to this year's Thanksgiving gathering." (Capital Region datelines seem to pop up in The Onion remarkably often...)

The Buffalo snowpocalypse

Farther afield: As you've probably heard, Buffalo is getting hammered by lake effect snow today. That's created some crazy scenes, like the one above of a "wall of snow" advancing on the city. Here are a few more views.

As of around noon today, parts of the Buffalo area have already gotten roughly four feet of snow.

The Best Dozen: Bella Napoli

bella_napoli_donuts_in_box.jpg

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called "The Best Dozen."

Donuts are a great way to start the day. Don't listen to the naysayers. Not only do fat and sugar make human beings happy, but they provide us with a burst of quick energy. This is especially true when paired with a cup of coffee.

Nobody makes the best decisions blurry eyed at the donut shop early in the morning. And picking out the best dozen at any given shop shouldn't be left to chance. So we'll be going out and trying as many different donuts as we can to help you fill your box with the best sweet deep fried breakfast treats in the region.

First up, Bella Napoli in Troy.

(there's more)

New rulers for the castle?

Remember Helderberg Castle, the property with a castle-like ruin (and a colorful backstory) in New Scotland that's been up for sale for the past year or so? Over at the TU, Leigh Hornbeck reports buyers are in place and they plan to restore the property. [TU]

Drawing: Chefs Consortium pairing of local beer/food at City Beer Hall

city beer hall exterior

Drawing's closed!

This Thursday, November 20, there's a fundraiser for the Chefs Consortium at the City Beer Hall in Albany that will be pairing local beers with locally-produced foods. We have a pair of tickets to the event, and we're giving them away.

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

What are two local things that pair well together?

This could be anything -- food, places, activities, whatever. We'll draw one winner at random, that person gets the pair of tickets.

Featured breweries at the event are: Chatham Brewing, Crossroads Brewing Company, Nine Pin Cider Works, and Rare Form Brewing Company. Beers (and cider) from those places will be paired with food made with products from Hawthorne Valley Farm, Honest Weight Food Co-Op, Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Northwind Farms, and R & G Cheese works.

The event starts at 6 pm on Thursday, Novemeber 20. Tickets are $35 each, and include $1 off drinks all night at the City Beer Hall and a 20 percent discount ticket for dinner there. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chefs Consortium's educational programs.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 am on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 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 Wednesday and must respond by 7 pm that day.

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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Rants, raves, suggestions, tips, shout outs:

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Recent Comments

I'm in a similar situation. I was just going to ignore it (not take the free turkey) but if I can donate it to a charity I am all over that like gravy on mashed potatoes.

The Price is Right Live! returning to The Palace

...has 1 comment, most recently from J

A good company/person for drywall work?

...has 1 comment, most recently from CAOD

"There's nothing in our way except anything from 4 to 6 feet of snow drifts"

...has 1 comment, most recently from Paul

Roosevelt Grooming Company

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Stuff to do this weekend

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