Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ We gave away tickets to Historic Albany's BUILT event by asking: If you could build anything in the Capital Region, what would it be?
+ That time Albany's Washington Park was a grave yard.
+ Lauren checked out Pittsfield State Forest just over the border in Massachusetts.
+ Sean asked about finding a good HVAC contractor.
+ Eat this: chicken parm at D'Raymond's.
+ We got a look at the new Wolff's Biergarten in Schenectady.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: being the village, a wine tour, Taconic Sculpture Park, an autumn trip to the beach, old school, the new Maestro's, smallcheapunique, beloved soup, Mexican Radio, Soul Cafe, the Squirrelly Six, 8-bit fire, and a particular philosophical pickle of living.
+ Liz asked about finding a church with a younger congregation.
+ A look at Impact Downtown Albany's vision for what the city's downtown could be.
+ Lauren got a look at the newly-opened The Shop in Troy, and talked with the owners.
+ An estimate of the Capital Region neighborhoods with the most (potential) trick-or-treaters.
+ And Deanna shared the recipe for cider donut bread pudding. Yep, cider donut bread pudding.
Here's the whole week all lined up.
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
This is total linkbait, but it's funny linkbait: The real estate website Movoto asked Californians how to pronounces the names of places in upstate New York.
Coxsackie. Skaneateles. Canajoharie. And so on. Hijinks ensue.
We saw that Deanna had made this for a party and it looked like an idea that needed to be shared. So, we asked her how to make it.
I recently hosted a group of foodies at my house for brunch to celebrate a good mutual friend. Hosting brunch can be intimidating. Hosting brunch for people who seriously know their food? Even more so.
This was no time to hold back. This is when the big kitchen guns come out: the no-holds-barred, all-stops-pulled kind of cooking.
This was the time for cider donut bread pudding.
After a recent conversation about popular trick-or-treat neighborhoods, we were curious about which Capital Region neighborhoods have the most trick-or-treaters.
And while we can't really say without some sort of trick-or-treater census, there are numbers are which neighborhoods have the most potential trick-or-treaters.
So we looked it up. Is there an orange map? You know there's an orange map.
It's Halloween. And it's the weekend, so there's plenty of stuff to do.
After the jump we've assembled a bag of fun-sized treats for your weekend. The good stuff. No Necco Wafers. Unless of course you like Necco Wafers. Does anyone like Necco Wafers? Someone must or they wouldn't still be making Necco Wafers...
Wait, what were we talking about?
The weekend! Yes!
After the jump a few things you might like to try this weekend. If you're doing something that you don't see here, drop it in the comments so everyone can see.
And whatever you're up to, have a safe and happy Halloween weekend.
Numbers point to local rise in poverty, food truck owners file second suit against state, SUNY chancellor in line for big raise, goal for year 101
The Albany metro area "registered a significant uptick in the number of residents living below the poverty line" between 2012 and 2013, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution. Local charity organizations say they've been feeling the trend. [Brookings] [TU]
The state Gaming Commission released some previously redacted info regarding the casino applications, including some details about Hard's Rock's arrangement with the proposed Rensselaer casino. [Daily Gazette]
The Democratic Party in New York has sent out letters to about a million registered Democratic voters telling them: "We will be reviewing the ... official voting records after the upcoming election to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014." [AP/Daily Gazette]
The owners of the Wandering Dago food truck have filed a second lawsuit against the state arguing that co-owner Andrea Loguidice was inappropriately fired from a position with the state DEC because of her association with the business. They allege DEC officials were wary of her connection to the truck because Andrew Cuomo had expressed criticism of the name. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
This Friday marks the grand opening for The Shop, a new restaurant and bar in downtown Troy. It's the third commercial space to open at the former site of Trojan Hardware along 4th Street and Congress, following the May opening of Rare Form Brewing Co. and the Collar Works art gallery.
Looking to create a neighborhood bar, owner Kevin Blodgett says The Shop will have a "casual atmosphere, with no pretense. We just want people who are going to enjoy good food and good conversation."
I stopped by to talk to Blodgett and his partner Nada Rifai to get the scoop on the restaurant, the building, and how The Shop fits into Troy.
Pizza fact of the day: We've heard a few times that Halloween is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza shops. How busy? One example today from DC's Pizza in Albany via Twitter: "[Halloween is] easily double [a typical day], out of our top 10 all time highest sales days 6 are #Halloween." So, if you'll be getting pizza Friday evening for a party (or, um, because it's Friday) -- ordering ahead is probably not a bad idea.
The entity now known as the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is taking over the month of November again and dubbing it NANOvember.
The series of events starts with the annual Community Day this Saturday, November 1, from 11 am-3 pm. It's free. Blurbage:
In addition to getting an up-close look at CNSE's ever-expanding 1.3 million-square-foot megaplex, both adults and children will have the opportunity to interact with CNSE students, faculty and staff, and to participate in a variety of activities that promote a greater understanding of nanotechnology, including:
+ Tours of the cutting-edge cleanroom facilities
+ Hands-on experiments
+ Cleanroom gowning demonstrations
+ A Kid's Corner featuring several kid-friendly activities relating to nanotechnology
+ Sustainable Energy Activities
+ Nanotechnology overview presentations
+ Displays and hands-on activities showcasing research in CNSE's constellations, including health care, energy, electronics and economics
+ Presentations on CNSE's undergraduate program
Among the other NANOvember events: A public Q&A with Alain Kaloyeros at the Albany NanoTech complex on November 17 "bout the growth of the nanotechnology industry across New York State, its impact on the Capital Region, pertinent educational and economic opportunities, as well as any other topics of relevance."
By the way: As we understand it, there is no truth to the rumor the CNSE/SUNY Poly/Nano Empire will be acquiring other months beyond November and incorporating their date-based distinctiveness into its globally recognized high tech temporal ecosystem.
Election Day is next Tuesday, and that means campaign yard sign season is at its peak. Front lawns, street medians, parking lots, and many other spots are now filled with the signs -- they're everywhere.
So we thought it'd be fun to get together a few designers again to critique this year's crop of campaign yard signs as design objects. (Alternately, you might view this as test of how much questionable typography it takes to make a designer's spleen start throbbing -- and we now have an answer.)
Because it's a campaign yard sign bumper crop, we've split the signs into two batches. First up: governor, state Senate, and Schenectady Family Court.
Schaghticoke cat house condemned, AG candidates debate tonight, Bethlehem police warn against grandparent phone scam, you can't put campaign signs outside the Governor's Mansion
The fugitive arrested in Hudson Falls on Tuesday had jumped bail and escaped from house arrest where he was awaiting trial on rape charges. Police believe he was headed east to try to kill his first victim. [TWCN][WNYT]
The Schaghticoke building where 150 cats were found earlier this week has been condemned and the four people who lived there have been offered housing and medical assistance by the county. Charges against the residents are still pending. Crews are still attempting to rescue cats living inside the walls of the home and trying to determine whether some of the cats actually belonged to other people. [TWCN][TU][Record][WNYT][News 10]
On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Andrew Cuomo visited Staten Island where he announced an Upstate Strategic Fuel Reserve system in response to fuel supply disruptions that occurred during the event. One of the locations where fuel will be stored for the initiative will be in Rensselaer.[TU][Record]
Andrew Cuomo says allegations that he spent Superstorm Sandy recovery money on television ads are "political baloney." [TU]
The NYT suggests that the handling of Superstorm Sandy and the handling of Moreland Commission have something in common. [NYT]
This week Impact Downtown Albany -- the ongoing project to develop a "tactical" plan for downtown development -- released its vision of what downtown Albany could become over the next 5-10 years.
"This is the shared definition of success based on the hundreds of stakeholders that have been part of this process," Sarah Reginelli -- the new president of Capitalize Albany -- explained to us Tuesday afternoon. "This is really what's been identified as the opportunities that we need to take advantage of to make downtown the best downtown that it can be at this point."
Among the identified possibilities: continued growth of new housing units, unique retail, a "high line"-type park connecting downtown with the riverfront, and transformation of part of the warehouse district.
Here are a few things that caught our attention.
CDTA officially announced today that it's now offering realtime info for regular route bus arrivals.* The functionality has previously only been available on BusPlus. Blurbage:
Customers will be able to access real time transit information for CDTA fixed route services through the free CDTA iride mobile application for Apple and Android devices, through Google Maps' mobile apps and maps.google.com, through the trip planner on its website (www.cdta.org) or by speaking with a customer service representative at CDTA's Call Center. Customers will now see a gray clock icon near a route that indicates real time information is available. Real time is currently not available on Northway Xpress service. ...
CDTA tracks its vehicles using GPS devices to report bus location data back to its servers. This information allows CDTA to estimate when the buses will arrive at a stop. If a bus goes off its regular route, the system may not be able to fully predict accurate arrival times.
As long as the realtime info is accurate, the function is a nice addition. In our experience, some CDTA routes and stops tend to have reliable arrival times -- and others less so. (Yep, we're looking at you #10. We know it's not totally your fault what with all the traffic lights and riders. But you've interpreted the concept of a "schedule" very loosely.)
By the way: If you ride the bus, even just occasionally, and you have a smartphone -- definitely get the iRide app if you don't have it already.
* This function has been at least partially active for at least a few days. Thanks to the person who pointed this out to us last week.
CDTA was a sponsor of the Rail, River, Hudson tour.
I am looking to join a new church, and truthfully, one thing I'm really looking for is a congregation with a healthy number of members in their 20s and 30s who are active with the church and get together for fellowship activities (and fun). Can anyone recommend a church that skews a little younger or has an active group of younger congregants?
It's a bunch of years since we've had a church question, and it sounds like Liz has something specific in mind.
So, got a suggestion for Liz? Please share!
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: being the village, a wine tour, Taconic Sculpture Park, an autumn trip to the beach, old school, the new Maestro's, smallcheapunique, beloved soup, Mexican Radio, Soul Cafe, the Squirrelly Six, 8-bit fire, and a particular philosophical pickle of living.
The new new Wolff's Biergarten in downtown Schenectady opens Wednesday around 4 pm.
This Wolff's looks a lot like the Albany location, but it's larger, with three garage doors, more picnic tables, lots of flat screens for viewing soccer matches, and the requisite indoor faux tree. The building has been vacant for about ten years. It started out as a service station and last belonged to KEM cleaners.
If the Erie Blvd location seems strange, Matt Baumgartner says, it is a little.
"I think that's also consistent with Wolff's in Albany, which opened before there was much down in that area. And hopefully it will grow the same way."
Renovations on Erie Boulevard and recent growth in Schenectady were encouraging factors, he says. And the building itself interested him. "It was really affordable, and I love an old, sad building -- and this one was really sad. But I knew you could have garage doors, and having the garage doors is a real asset. People love them."
So with a Bombers and a Wolff's, is there going to be a Schenectady Sciortino's too? Baumgartner just laughs.
"Well, that's a good question. There's an empty building across the street."
After the jump, a look inside Wolff's Schenectady.
Alleged serial rapist captured following Fort Edward chase, 80 cats removed from "giant litterbox" in Schaghticoke, meeting on gun violence in Albany, Morette's reopens in Schenectady
An alleged serial rapist was captured overnight in Fort Edward, ending a multi state manhunt. Police say 26 year old Gregory Lewis was wanted in eight states for raping women he has arranged to meet through escort services. Police attempted to pull him over for driving without a license plate when he led them on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed into the Hudson River. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][News 10]
Troopers removed 80 of 150 cats from a Schaghticoke home one trooper described as "a giant litter box." The homeowner and her family were identified as having been involved in three previous cat hoarding incidents.[TU][WNYT][News 10]
A detailed account of the New York State quarantine order for travelers from West Africa - which goes beyond federal recommendations but would seek to allow people to choose where to spend their time under quarantine-- has been released by the Cuomo administration. [NYT]
Looking out over Lincoln Park to the south from the Corning Tower this afternoon.
Albany city historian Tony Opalka is giving a talk titled "Albany's First Mass Transit System: Horse Cars and Trolleys 1862-1946" this Thursday, October 30 at 10 am at the Albany County Hall of Records. That might be a little hard to get to because of the time of day -- but, you know... trolleys. Earlier: Riding the trolley -- everywhere
There are two types of Italian restaurants in the Capital Region: The eh-talian, and the EYE-talian. The former are the restaurants that serve food more in line with something plucked from the Tuscan hills. The latter are the checkered tablecloth joints where most dishes come slathered in red sauce.
Unless you count D'Raymonds in Loudonville. Then I guess there are three.
D'Raymonds lies somewhere in the middle of the two mentioned above. It embodies the cuisine of red sauce joints with a more upscale vibe. It's Little Italy meets Upper West Side. It's Nonna meets your hot WASPy girlfriend. It's comfort, with class.
No dish on the menu emphasizes this more than the D'Raymonds chicken parmesan.
And you can always try searching for it: