I'll see you later

albany b sign

By Jessica Pasko

This is hard to say, but I'm taking off. It's been a good ride but it's time for me to try something new in life and unfortunately, that also means taking a break from Albany in the form of graduate school in the Midwest.

Like so many of us, I never intended to come back here. The lure of immediate post-graduate employment in the form of a job with the Associated Press brought me back, and ended up pushing my dreams of moving to San Francisco to the side. So I stayed... longer than I ever anticipated, and I've enjoyed myself more than I would ever have expected.

Writing for All Over Albany has helped me gain a new appreciation for my hometown. I've learned about things I never knew - such as Albany being the birthplace of modern toilet paper and that there's an entire nature preserve in Arbor Hill that's been shamefully neglected. And it's allowed me to share the things that I love and find interesting with the entire community.

It's helped me appreciate the interesting things that are lurking just under the surface here that often go unnoticed. For instance, discovering a fire spinning and eating meet-up group was pretty neat. And there's a certain joy I get from knowing where to go for the best appetizers to take to a party or where to find the best liverwurst. I like knowing where to find the best secondhand clothes and the perfect spot for a glass of wine in the summer (clearly my choice is the Wine Bar on Lark.) But more importantly, it's helped me meet some amazing people, who make this area what it is and whom I will dearly miss.

And while I'm excited for a new journey in Chicago/Northwestern University, there are countless things I will miss here. To name a few: the view from Thacher Park, strolling around the Empire State Plaza at night, the little hand-written tasting notes at the The Wine Shop on New Scotland Ave., relaxing at Victoria Pool in Saratoga Springs and feeling temporarily rich, the amazing garlic paste from Al-Baraki, the coffee at Flavour Cafe, having the wonderful smells and tastes of Cardona's just blocks from my house, the amazing array of gorgeous produce at the Schenectady Greenmarket, and being able to sit down at the bar at New World Bistro and know that Nick will know exactly what I want to drink and eat (Hendrick's cucumber-lemonade, small order of blackened string beans.)

But maybe the best way to really appreciate one's roots is to get away from them for a while, so I can come back and rediscover everything all over again.

And if this journalism thing doesn't work out, maybe I'll become a tugboat captain. Or a sommelier.

Who knows? Maybe I'll come back and start AOA's little sister, All Over (the) Hudson Valley -- but I promise I'll work on a catchier name.

This isn't exactly good-bye Albany; more like, I'll see you later.

With love and squalor,

Jessica Madeline

Editors: To say we'll miss Jess is an understatement. We had a whole day for her. She's the best contributor AOA has ever -- and probably will ever -- have. And on top of that, she's a really cool person. We hope Chicago knows how lucky it is.

photo: B Campbell


Good luck and best wishes!

As somebody that's recently relocated to New Jersey for grad school, I can relate completely. Good luck in Chicago!

As a Chicagoan, let me be the first to welcome you to our club. If you have to live someplace other than Albany, it’s a great option.

Best wishes on your future endeavors!

You will definitely be missed!

Chicago has no idea of the gem it has just gained, nor can we express how much richer we are for having had you here, albeit too briefly.

Travel well and enjoy the journey, we shall miss you and eagerly await your return (And perhaps a report from Chicago now and again on something strikingly Albanian!)

Can that garlic paste be sent in a care package, you think?

It could be one of those hazardous, fragile, or perishable items they ask about at the post office.

Chicago +1 Albany -1
I demand we get Oprah. It's a fair trade damn it!

I will definitely miss reading your work on this site. Best of luck to you.


We'll miss Jess Pasko. :(

First time I've ever cried while reading an AOA post. Will miss you sooooo much. C

WE WILL MISS YOU JESS. You make Albany, and AOA, fun.

P.S. B - I would argue that garlic paste is hazardous, fragile, AND perishable, which is what makes it amazing.

You will be missed Jess! But wherever you go, you'll do great!

I'm so sad to see you go, but at the same time I'm so happy for you! I can't wait to see Chicago through your eyes. I never thought I would end up back in Albany either, but you and AOA have made it a better experience than I could've imagined.

Jess, it sounds like you have made up your mind so we are not going to try and talk you out of this.

But for gods sake come to the Yelp event in Saratoga on 9/12 so we an give you a proper sendoff!

(For those who have not yet indicated their interest/plans to attend, please email otis@otismaxwell.com and we will put you on the VIP list.)

We at Exit 97.7, WEXT are extremely sad to be reading this news. We had heard rumors, conjectures, and all kinds of things to this effect. Kept sayin' "say it ain't so!" Apparently, it is so.

All we can say is thank goodness AOA and you have helped us have more fun while we're here, too! Keep rockin'. The Internet is a cool thing; so, make sure you still make a contribution to AOA once in awhile. Even though Chicago is not officially part of Albany (we're working on annexing it right now), your voice still needs to show us the way here!

Best wishes, and say "hi" to Backyard Tire Fire while you're there! Lots of great rock and roll in Chicago!

Chicago's motto is Urbs in Horto - City in a Garden.
Chicago is based on the French wording of a Native American word shikaakwa, translated as wild garlic from the Miami-Illinois language.
Be well and prosper.

Dearest Jess,
From all of us at The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark we wish you the absolute best in your new endeavor. We will miss you more than you know!! Xoxo

Jess, you will be certainly missed. I always looked forward to your wonderful contributions to AOA. Good luck in your endeavors. Welcome to the Midwest! If you ever find yourself in the Nati while in Chicago stop in.

Jessica is coming to join me in Chicago! This is awesome! I assure AOA that the "alumni" will keep it real quirky and damper it a bit with east coast words and accents.

Welcome, Jess! And Backyard Tire Fire is pretty stellar, too. It's a really amazing city, this Chicago...

Hi there. Comments have been closed for this item. Still have something to say? Contact us.

The Scoop

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.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine