Remsen Street in Cohoes

Remsen St.jpg

Remsen Street in Cohoes

By Jessica Pasko

Lately I've been into taking little sojourns to areas locally that I've never really thought to explore. This weekend I headed to Cohoes in hopes of checking out the views of the falls from Falls View Park . Unfortunately, the lower sections were closed off, making for something of a boring trip.

While deciding where to go instead, I took a stroll down Remsen Street.

I have an affinity for the architecture of upstate's post-industrial towns and cities, and Cohoes definitely fits the bill. Some of the buildings are really impressive and I love the way they are juxtaposed with the several ornate Ukrainian churches in the area, with their big domes and gilded edging.

Remsen Street reminds me of what an old-fashioned Main Street would/should have looked like "back in the day," and it has a definite old-timey feel to it. It's a pleasant mishmash of convenient stores and tattoo parlors, a yoga studio, a store dedicated to new and gently-used purses and handbags, and one of the few independently-owned pharmacies I've seen in the area. There are also a few pizzerias, the long-lived Smith's Restaurant, a couple of thrift stores -- and even a store devoted to yarns and other knitting supplies, Beau Knits, where they offer open knitting sessions on Thursdays and Fridays as well as private classes. There's even a small but lively farmers market on Friday evenings.

However, the place that impresses me most is the Harmony House Marketplace, which includes a bakery that also sells various New York products, a wine store dedicated to New York wines, and coming soon, a tapas bar. I got a tour of the future restaurant and it looks like it will be really lovely when it opens, which is slated for some time in the fall. Diane Conroy-LaCavita and Jane LaCavita Clemente have really done some amazing work here and their commitment and Spindle City pride is kind of inspiring, really. More on that to come.

What really made an impression on me is just how friendly everyone I encountered was. I'm taking Mayberry-friendly, and I mean that as the highest compliment. It was the kind of day that made me feel pretty happy to be alive and well and living in the Capital Region, you know?

From the man selling copies of his memoir, "College and Eighth Street," on a small table outside Falls View Park to the two boys (and their mother) who took a great interest in why we were taking photos of their street, everyone just seemed to be really remarkably friendly. It was hard to resist grabbing a few shots of the two brothers, who were eager to pose on their scooters for us.

Cohoes kids 2.jpg

And Mayor John McDonald is one of the friendliest guys you could hope to meet, even if he's a neophyte in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, Dnipro no longer resides on the street, but Remsen does still have what's quickly becoming my favorite coffee shop, Bread and Jam. It's a great amalgamation of cool vintage furniture, a large performance space for local bands, comedy acts and other live entertainment, a good selection of books for your perusal, and friendly baristas. In addition to coffees and teas, they have a beer and wine list, and they offer a "jazz brunch" on Sundays. It's definitely worth making the trip to Cohoes for a performance here.

Next up from my trip to Cohoes: inside Harmony House Marketplace and the Wine Seller...

Previously on AOA: The ghost at Cohoes Music Hall

Comments

I moved to Cohoes back in 2004 and have really enjoyed watching it rise from the ashes. Remsen Street was clearly quite a busy downtown area not all that many years ago and it's nice to see it reawakening. I am sorry that it appears we will lose the old theater, but as I understand, no one has come up with a financially viable alternative and the building itself is now unsafe and just too expensive to bring back. I would have loved to have seen a Spectrum style theater, but I guess it won't be happening.

You should probably check out Waterford too!

Hurray for Cohoes! The tapas bar is "slated for some time in the fall." Fingers crossed. We've been waiting a while for that one. It could be a serious boon for Cohoes when it opens.

Looking forward to your coverage of the marketplace!

Tugboat festival is coming up in Waterford in early sept - fireworks, great food, boat rides... I'm pretty sure its September 10- 12. There are always excellent fireworks over the canal right at the visitor's center at dusk (about 9 pm) that Saturday - stop by mcgrievey's for a beer too!!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of autumn

Sunflower -- and sun. Enjoy the beautiful weekend.... (more)

Night of the Walking Red V

The League of Extraordinary Red Heads will once again gather at Ryan's Wake in Troy on October 4 for The Night of the Walking Red.... (more)

Troy history walking tours: Uncle Sam, ghost signs, wild women, mayhem

The Rensselaer County Historical Society has a handful of Saturday morning walking history walking tours of Troy coming up over the next few weeks. The... (more)

Checked in

Two bits from this Mike DeMasi story about SUNY Poly and its scandal-stalled plan to build a residence hall on/near its Albany campus: 1) Because... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Another gorgeous September weekend is ahead of us, filled with festivals, cider donuts, theater, haunted tours, and more. Our list is below -- pick your... (more)

Recent Comments

Imagine if a mixed use development - apartments, townhouses, restaurants, offices, a park - were built on the Rensselaer riverfront, and people on both sides could go to work and go out in either Albany or Renss, just by walking to a gondola station? If people had reason to traverse the Hudson - in both directions - for a reason other than commuting or getting to/from the train station, a gondola could be an awesome (and financially self-sustaining) idea, that also cuts down on the need for parking. ...

Checking out 5 Wits at Crossgates, and other Capital Region escape rooms

...has 5 comments, most recently from Lee

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 2 comments, most recently from EP

The Playdium redevelopment! Downtown residential! Neighborhood critics! And more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

...has 17 comments, most recently from cmm2581

Quick-scan primary election results 2017: Sheehan wins Albany Democratic mayoral primary

...has 12 comments, most recently from Bruce

Those plants in Washington Park are for admiring, not taking

...has 4 comments, most recently from Marco Romano