Summer with Arielle Ewell


Arielle knows everyone in Albany.

If you want to fall in love with summer in Albany, talk about it with Arielle Ewell.

As part of AOA's stay-cation week, this native Albanian mom/student shared some of her favorite ways to enjoy the season here in the Capital Region.

Check them out after the jump.

About Arielle:

It doesn't get more Albany native than me. Born here, schooled here, started a family here. I met my husband at Albany High for goodness sake. I recognize people everywhere I go. And yes, I probably know your cousin and his friend Billy. Sometimes that's comforting. Sometimes it sucks. Right now I'm in the midst of grad school for nutrition science and I babysit on the side to make a little money. I entertain myself by listening to Albany police scanners, playing with my various animals and reading AOA. Okay, that last sentence sounded way more nerdy than I intended it to.

What do you like to do for fun in the summer her in the CR?

I'm all about enjoying life's simple pleasures. Summers in Albany are ripe for that. My two year old and I love having the ducks waddle up to us at Buckingham pond, flying kites in Westland Hills, flagging down the ice cream truck when we hear the jingle, running through the sprinklers at the Brevador playground, watching traffic from the Corning Tower observation deck, spotting wildlife at Five Rivers, eating mulberries off the trees, exploring different neighborhoods on foot, witnessing airplanes land at the airport and trying to find fireflies at night. The other day we were driving down Krumkill road at dusk, and the fields were full of fireflies. I literally gasped because it was so beautiful.

We're lucky enough to have a big front porch on a busy Albany street. My friends and neighbors love to come over in the evening, grab a glass of cheap wine, sit out there and people-watch. Like I said, simple pleasures. And summer "porch sitting" with good company is definitely something I look forward to.

On the rare occasion where I'll shell out money for summer entertainment, I'll usually hit up Double M Western Rodeo in Ballston Spa. Western culture is so incredibly foreign to me, and I find the whole riding-a-wild-bull-thing fascinating and thrilling. It's like a car wreck. You're simultaneously horrified and mesmerized.

Do you have a favorite summer food that you have to get before the season is out?

You mean, besides the ice cream truck? Albany is blessed to have really rich and fertile soil and I'm enthusiastic about growing my own summer food. It's really easy. Throw some seeds in the ground, keep it watered, and weeks later you're eating squash. Right now my backyard has 27 different varieties of fruits and vegetable plants. Mapping out my summer garden is something that helps me mentally get through Albany's long grueling winter.

Do you have any favorite Capital Region summer memories?

Oh boy, the things I could say (am I right daleyplanit?). I'll keep it light. When I was a kid, my father lived in an apartment near Washington Park. When I visited him, we'd go down to Park Playhouse (back then it was called "Live at the Lake House") and we'd watch the free theater. We'd see the same show night after night and discuss which actors had a good night and which ones didn't. Sometimes before the show we'd rent a paddle boat and go out on the lake and try to find lost tennis balls. Like a lot of things, the Washington Park paddle boats have long since disappeared. It's a shame. I wish my son could have experienced it.

What do you wish we had more of in our Capital Region summers?

As any Albanian can tell you, our epic winters can strain our moods as much as our heating bills. So, I certainty don't take the warm weather for granted and I wish we had more of it. I also wish there were more people like Ruth Pelham and her famous Music Mobile. She takes people who were once strangers in the park and turns them into a singing community. I think we need more of that.


Great piece, Arielle! I'll add to this thread with some of my own fav capital region summer memories too - being a near life-long townie that I am!

Ahhhh.... if only our porch were open like yours!

come back to twitter arielle, we ms. you!

This is a really great piece. It actually made me nostalgic for Capital Region summer memories I don't have... "Yeah, I love running through the sprinklers at the Brevador playground! Oh, wait, I don't even know where the Brevador playground is."

Wherever it is, you made it sound perfect, Arielle!


Don't forget the good times listening to your drunken neighbor on the porch. Free entertainment at its best!

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