AOA Birthday 2 photos

aoa birthday2 wide

Midtown was packed for the party.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Midtown Tap and Tea Room last Thursday for the AOA birthday party. It was a really fun time! It was great to see so many people again -- and meet a bunch of others for the first time.

There are a whole lot of photos from the party after the jump. Also, here are recaps by Albany Jane and The Exile. And you can read most of the party tweets by searching for the hashtag #AOA2.

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Emily and Katherine

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Kaitlin and John

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Drew and Lauren

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Megan, Mark, Chris

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The required Joe Burke cupcake photo; Laura and Ali

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Alan, Alex, Jonathan

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Leigh, Josh, Jack, Jennifer

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Sebastien, Bennett, Paul

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Stephanie, Katherine, Emily, Kevin

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AOA Mary, Stacie, Bill

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Michael and Rose

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Liz and Melissa

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Melissa, Mark, Peter, Michael

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Johanna and Anne

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Mary and Jess

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James and Martin

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Mary and Emily

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Lisa, Rhea, Kim, Renée

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Jennifer and Mariah

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Yasmine Perez and Silvia Lilly

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Jane and Luke

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John and Lou

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Nicole and Amy

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Carey, Rob, Emily

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Rich and Penny

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Daniel and Kevin

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Kari and Mat

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Matt and Lai-Yee

aoa birthday2 light
Midtown has really good light

A big thanks to Andy and Marcie for taking photos!


What an awesome party! Did I mention the cupcakes? Yes, about a thousand times on Twitter! Thanks for having us there. I had a great time and met some awesome people. Happy Birthday AOA!!

Looks like a good, sociable, cupcake-nomming time! Sorry I missed it.

I think it's safe to say that AOA has the best-looking readers on the Web.

I am really shocked looking at these photos - one would think everyone in Albany is Caucasian.

Ooh! Ooh! I made it into a picture! In the bottom photo, in the group standing in the right of the frame, see that half-circle shape next to the gentleman's ear? That's part of my head.

Great, great party.

Contrary to popular belief, Paul and I did not coordinate our hair for this event.

xina, unfortunately you have point. Have any ideas why this is and what can be done about it?

Yaay! It was so much fun to meet everyone! And cupcakes, ahh!

And the lighting was indeed fantastic :D

"Jennifer and her friend, whose name we unfortunately didn't catch" is Mariah from the Honest Weight, lookin' great as usual!

Looks like a good time was had by all and yes, great lighting in there.

Editors: Thanks!

Nice time! I didn't break away much from the bar as sitter time was ticking down rapidly, but it was great to meet Martin (see pic) and others.

I am so disappointed I got snowed into Ct and couldn't make the drive home for the party. I was really jones'n for one of those amazing cupcakes.

And the food too!

Looks like a good time!

Ohh, I remember Yasmine from her McGuire days!

Unfortunately a cute pic of me & Mat with the bunny ears. Gotta love him. Gooberhead!! :)

Oh man those cupcakes were so dope! They tasted great even in the rain as I was stuffing one in my face, running down the street to get to my car to make it back to The Linda for my gig!

Thanks again AOA!

You are indeed, the best.

I agree with Alice Person - a fine looking bunch, indeed!

Just so everyone knows - those girls I'm standing with demanded I stick my boobs out more, and I was just trying to oblige.

@B - there's got to be something. why doesn't AOA have a more mixed audience? i've only recently relocated back here (from seattle - which was also has racial segregation problems) before that i lived in brooklyn and loved it - how everyone mixed and worked and lived and played together. something has to be done. maybe AOA needs to do outreach in different areas? libraries? what is that arts center down on grand st. in downtown albany? i don't know, but i was and am shocked as i look at the photos. i wasn't able to attend (total bummer!) b/c of the weather and i am disabled and transportation issues. i'll have to think on things...anyone else have an opinion? seriously.

xina, I wasn't being facetious, to be sure. This may not exactly be the right place to come up with a real solution, but Albany is very racially diverse, though as you say segregated. I think sites like AOA tend to be -- how to say it... gentrified? -- by nature. But I don't think its the fault of reportage; Mary, Greg, and the rest of the staff don't exclude any coverage that even remotely falls under the wide umbrella of "related to Albany". I too wonder what can be done.

xina: a fine question though, which could be solved by a little poll. Or maybe AOA knows about their demographic already. Anyway. Many of us are local; if you are disabled and transportation is an issue, *please* do not hesitate to mention it next time, I'm certain somebody here will offer to pick you up (you are not going to like my car, believe me).

It was a great night filled with good friends, nice conversations, good food and yummy cupcakes - yeah, I know cupcakes are food, but they deserve their own mention ;)

1. I hate that I didn't know about the party/cupcakes until afterwards.

2. The lack of ethnic diversity is disheartening.

3. What can be done?

Have the party somewhere else next time. No, Seriously.

Ms. B touched on the issue of gentrification. It's important to note that there are different kinds of gentrification. The two types which pertain to this story are geographical and educational gentrification. Let's connect the cupcakes:

Where is Midtown Tap & Tea?
New Scotland Ave.

What's surrounds New Scotland Ave?
Albany Law
Albany Med
Albany Pharmacy College
St. Peter's
University Heights
Affluent neighborhoods

What kind of people inhabit these places, and therefore, patronize
Midtown Tap and Tea?


What is the predominant ethnic make-up of the people that are educated and employed by the institutions and inhabit the neighborhoods listed above and, therefore, patronize Midtown Tap and Tea?


Let's be honest: If the party was at a bar on Lark St., Central Ave, Western Ave or even Wolf Rd., The party would definitely have been more diverse as these areas have larger concentrations ethnic people in the vicinity who patronize the bars.

hmm..I must respectfully beg to differ with snugalug, who I fear is putting the bar before the crowd, so to speak.
People didn't come to the party because of the location, they came to the party because they are involved with/contribute/read/stalk/lurk AOA. The crowd was attracted by the content, not by geography. Perhaps AOA content is culturally parochial to mainly white, middle class, educated, gentrified folks. Not casting aspersions, just making that observation.

and I'm so sorry I couldn't make the relative swarthiness could have helped mixed things up a bit..!

First of all: This party was great.

Second of all, it is not AOA's job, (I believe) to attempt to bring in minority readership if it doesn't fit in with their vision. AOA covers news in minority neighborhoods as fairly as anyone else in Albany.

@snugalug You are right in pointing out that AOA appeals to an educated crowd, but that CERTAINLY doesn't mean white only. Affluent: not I.

Additionally, the aesthetic represented on AOA (including fashion and music) isn't exactly "urban" but its certainly not exclusive.

Also, lack of attendance at this party does not necessarily imply a lack of minority readership.

Lastly, as far as diversity, this seems to be a pretty LGBTQA friendly publication.

Before I respond, I want to say it’s not only great to see this feedback, but it also speaks volumes of us AOA readers that there are those who can have a respectful dialogue about Ethnic diversity.

Rebecca was right when she said the party was attended by those who are involved with/contribute/read/stalk/lurk AOA, but those party pics do make a statement about the readership of AOA. When one looks over the Things To Do page, the highlighting of local eateries, music and local art events dominates (and rightfully so. This is a locally focused blog). However, most of the events on this page appeal to people with very esoteric and non-traditional tastes.

It could be easy to say that the ethnically diverse population of the Capital District doesn't express an interest these events, but in all honesty, ethnic diversity doesn't permeates the offerings of the Stuff To Do page in a notable amount. The saying holds true: If they read it, they will come. And it is my opinion that if more ethnically diverse people not only shared the interests highlighted in this blog, but knew that some offerings were as culturally diverse as the Capital Region is, the party’s attendance may have been a little different. Again, this is only my opinion.

Geography aside, educational does play a large factor as Rebecca made an astute observation when stating perhaps AOA’s content [could be] culturally parochial to mainly white, middle class, educated, gentrified folks. [She's] Not casting aspersions, just making [an] observation. I'll be devil's advocate to myself when I say It’s not only up to the readership to inform themselves of events, it could definitely be more of a priority of the AOA bloggers to inform themselves of more culturally relevant events.

Moreover, I believe advertising plays a large part in the popularity and discovery of this blog. For example, when I went on, I was extremely surprised when I didn’t see AOA in the line-up of local blogs offerings. TU ran a story about them a while ago, but that didn’t come up in the TU search either! (when I switched to their Yahoo search, an old Conan blurb did, however, come up)

Erik pointed out that he believes it’s not AOA's job to attempt to bring in minority readership if it doesn't fit in with their vision. This is true. However, I believe if a publication claims to be All Over Albany, they would be more informed about and highlight alot more things. To their credit, AOA created a wonderful map showing the locations of ethnic markets. But there were quite a few notable local cultural events that have occurred which received no coverage on this site and it was disheartening to me. there a great things happening all over albany and beyond and they're not always on a college or art gallery calender. Again, I emphasize that is my interpretation of the title All Over Albany.

Xina made the suggestion of outreach into different locations. This isn’t needed as much as the outreach into and knowledge of different EVENTS is. I happen to know of some noteable and ethnically diverse movers and shakers who are doing things and creating events that would be of would interest to the AOA audience like social and professional networking events, concert series, philanthropic and community events.

Moreover, I believe advertising plays a large part in the popularity and discovery of this blog. For example, when I went on, I was extremely surprised when I didn’t see AOA in the line-up of local blogs offerings. TU ran a story about them a while ago, but that didn’t come up in the TU search either! (when I switched to their Yahoo search, an old Conan blurb did, however, come up).

I’ll conclude by saying it all comes back to one simple truth: I was born and raised in the Capital District and when I meet people who are not from here and complain about there not being “enough to do” I tell them they have to DIG for it. If mainstream activities leave a bad, bad taste in your mouth, you must diligently seek things which interest you. You MUST Facebook, you MUST Google and blogsearch, and damnit, you just have to get the hell out of your house because it’s not like big cities where everything finds you. When more people realize this, we’ll truly be all over Albany and beyond.


@snugalug I don't feel like typing a lengthy response at the moment. However, let's say that I disagree with you on a few points.

I do appreciate though, that we've been able to talk pretty reasonably freely about race and class without any accusations. That's kinda rare. I wonder how it is that AOA appeals to such REASONABLE people :)

Stay classy everyone!


We choose our news outlets (from very, very many) by how well they fit our interests and tastes. It's reasonable to want our most favored outlets to fit us even better, adopt even more of our priorities, etc.

But it's also true that the news channels we especially like are inorganic, and only exist (so we can enjoy them) because of their producers' editorial vision and business aims. That's eminently fair as well. It's their channel. Heck, it's their livelihood. At bottom, it's a read-or-don't proposition.

Still, I'd be surprised if AOA refused a good volunteer stringer who'd focus off-gentry. In other words, if there's reporting you think should be done but isn't, maybe you should just do it, here or elsewhere. Anyone with energy and talent can publish. You're looking at the proof.


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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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