Birthday Present: A year's worth of Bettie's cupcakes

Update: The drawing's closed! Thanks for entering.
Congratulations to AJ and Chrissy!

Bettie's Cakes Logo.jpgIt's day two of AOA's big birthday week, and we have another present for you.

Today's winners will get a dozen mini cupcakes a month, for a year, from Bettie's Cakes.

Mini cupcakes are some of the little things that make us happy. Which prompted the following question:

What are the little things about the Capital Region that make you happy?

Post your answer in the comment section to enter. We'll draw two winners at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Tuesday (March 22, 2011) to be entered in the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winners will be notified via email by 5 pm on Wednesday and must respond by 5 pm on Thursday.


Cool, weird contests like this that you can't help but enter make me happy.

The ability to enjoy an energetic urban environment then within 15 minutes be able to enjoy the peacefullness of complete wilderness. You don't find that in other East Coast cities and it's wonderful!

Traveling gnomes (aw, Red Pants, where are ya?).

Bringing my daughter to Bettie's so that she can eat all the frosting off the cupcakes then hand me the rest to finish off.

This will sound weird but after living in Boston for a long time I am always happy that parking is easy whereever you go and movie theaters don't usually sell out! Also rush hour is never very bad!

I love the natural beauty of the area. You could find a new and different place to take a hike each day.

the abundance of ice cream stands... and the fervent following maintained by each.

Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course.
Exactly 4 months from today.

All the independently owned restaurants, cafes, etc. Its much nicer to have cute places like that so when you wanna go out for food you dont find yourself at some place you can find in any other city/town.

A short commute along a mighty river makes me happy every day.

Right now it's the little hints of green as the tulips, crocuses, lilies and daffodils begin to poke their heads out in their beds.

The availabilty of adventures to be had around here. Even if there's nothing of interest going on in Albany itself, there's always something fun and exciting going on somewhere close.

being so close to the Adirondacks!

-gelato at Crisan (gelato season is almost upon us!)

-pomegranate margaritas from El Mariachi

-trail running/hiking at Thatcher Park

-tulips in Washington Park in the springtime

Proximity to the Adirondacks and Catskills and of course, Washington park: Reading on a blanket under a tree, walking through it to Dove and Hudson books, snowshoeing across it's frozen lake and over to the wine store on Lark in a snowstorm, and taking pictures there with my sweetie.

All the fun local fests that go on in the summer time. Nothing like being outside in beautiful weather with great food and drink with family and friends!

Many things, but today I'm feeling particularly happy that we have Bettie's cupcakes!

Driving on 787 and looking at the city skyline and Crisan's on Lark Street.

The opening of the Country Drive In in Clifton Park...only 9 days away!

food trucks on washington ave. all summer long.

The central location of the Capital District to EVERYTHING.

The little tulips peaking up through the ground this week have made me really happy!

Rollerblading along the Hudson River on the Corning Preserve Trail - so beautiful!

Fantastic local websites!

I love my little city neighborhood – gorgeous buildings, lots to do, and (compared to my big city friends) lower crime and MUCH lower housing costs.

That I can access books, audiobooks etc from the whole network of public libraries in the area and have items delivered to my nearest branch. Amazing service!

Days like friday.

The two random, massive koi in Buckingham Pond.

Everything's much more mellow here than downstate.

When I'm on Long Island, just going the supermarket is an exercise in anger management. Every where you turn you meet another disgruntled person mad that you're in their way.

Here - not so much.

The remarkable wealth of farmer's markets providing locally grown food.

Amazing small businesses, diverse culture, and especially Bettie's cupcakes! The CapReg is such a great place to live with a little bit of everything right here and so close to NYC and Boston too!! 518!!!!

My family just moved here from a crowded metropolitan area. A little thing that makes me happy about the Capital Region is that comparatively, there's basically no traffic. It means more time at home (or out doing whatever I want) instead of sitting in the car on the highway waiting for my patience to expire.

The Albany skyline at dusk and sitting on a patio in the summertime at one of Albany’s fine restaurants with an ice cold beer in hand

I love that all the spring flowers are popping up this week, even if it will snow 5 more times before winter is over!
I love the Egg, the Linda, and Caffe Lena.
I love WEXT and WEQX.
I love finding out about super cool things in the area from AllOverAlbany, and I especially love(d) the giant Guilderland Snowman.

The Schaghticoke Fair always makes me happy. I always have so much fun there.

The great people in the Capital District!
The public events - like Tulip Fest, Alive at Five, and so many others!

Sledding at Albany Muni, tulips in the spring and dog parks.

The Hudson, mighty, wide, and beautiful. The Catskills; views of them are something I just can't seem to tire of. Hard roll sandwiches! Walking to work and everything I need helping me get to know my great new neighborhood.

crocuses (crocii?) popping up in my yard!

also, the blue spice location in Clifton Park.

Great local bloggers, including those at AOA!

the best apples anywhere!

all the weird historical facts, and buildings, and stories.

-Old architectural elements
-Enjoying the view over the Hudson from the Empire State Plaza on a quiet Saturday
-Kurver Kreme
-The selection of bulk items at Honest Weight
-Prompt snow removal (most of the time)

A bagel and cup of coffee for breakfast at Uncommon Grounds.

I love all of the areas to hike that have been preserved. The Pine Bush and Thatcher Park are two of my favorites and are such a short drive away!

Downtown Troy!

Rooftop Decks and the 4th of July Fireworks!

Being a part of the Albany Running Exchange with whom I have had such a special view of the capital district, up close and personal, via my own two feet over the last 3 years.

All of the great parks and outdoor spaces:
Washington park
Saratoga State Park
Corning Preserve

the seasons and the local foods that surround them

The variety that our area offers. From downtown Albany to Troy to Thatcher Park, there are so many different views within a small radius.

Such diversity of environments / neighborhoods, restaurants, and cultures in such a "small" place.


The Capital Region in fall is breathtakingly beautiful. And the cider doughnuts at Indian Ladder Farms are great too!

Taking a walk in centersquare to see Lynn B @ Cheesecake Machismo

The peaceful suburbs & its closeness to NYC & Boston.

The delicious foods - both prepared and those that come in the form of fruits and veggies - available at the Farmer's Markets around the area (especially the Delmar Farmer's Market)!

The Tiffany windows at the Troy Public Library

As much as I was sick of this past winter, I do love the fact that we have 4 seasons, and the onset of Spring is starting to pop up all over. I saw my first robin today!

Diversity of businesses. We have farms and restaurants and small shops and huuuge stores. The perfect balance of urban variety (ethnic markets), suburban convenience (target, walmart) and "old-school" farm stands and apple orchards. Most locales aren't so lucky to really have the best of both worlds within a 30 minute radius.

That we have three (at least!) cupcake trucks!

All of the great little coffee shops

City (s)porch-ing!

Fall leaves, mountain lakes, great neighbors and small restaurants that serve amazing food.

Free cheese samples at Cardona's Market!

You can always find an odd little adventure to go on, usually to eat some new and interesting foods.

Not little, but I love Washington Park. Also, love seeing the skyline from 787. Especially the Egg. Makes Albany so unique.

summer time ALWAYS something to:
now I'm not talking big events rather the simplier things in life
music in parks, plays in parks, so many outside activities at little or no cost. When the weather is nice there is no better place to live !!!!

Downtown Troy, Andy & Sons, Falvo's, The Egg, etc...

A summer hike in the adirondacks makes me soo happy

The abundance of hiking/exploring opportunities to share with my kids, all within a 30 minute drive (often less). There have been so many great adventures and so many more to come.

outdoor patios and a nice craft brew in the summer, but even better at the beginning of the fall

The farm land mixed with the quasi-urban. I love having both around.

The proximity to the adirondacks!

Exile #3, Exile #4 and E5N1 - although they're getting bigger all the time they're still my little ones.

Eating a heaping cup of Plum Dandy frozen yogurt while wandering up and down Broadway in Saratoga on a sunny summer day with my boxer in tow!

Watching small companies in the area grow and prosper in these difficult times.

I like how I can drive to Montreal or NYC from this area or just go camping in the adirondacks. Its accessible to so much!

Fo'Castle Farms in the fall - the smell of apples and really good food. When I lived in Virginia, it was the one thing I missed.

I like that chipotle has moved in!

Going to the many great local music shows or theater performances! There is always something to do!

that it has everything that makes my 3 year old happy from Central Park toddler playground and children's museum to making his mama happy, like cella bistro and watersedge lighthouse and proctors theater.

Cycling and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods with locally owned businesses like Delaware Ave.

I love the fact that I am never at a loss for activities to share with my children: ice skating, roller skating, swimming, parks and playgrounds, and always a new fun place to explore. Makes being an active Mom super easy!

The 'scene'.

Anyone who says, "there is nothing to do in Albany" isn't trying.

Oh and the Community Garden / CSA / farmer's market scene is great too!

An easy commute!


I love all of the independent small businesses that still exist. That we have not succumbed to only supporting large chains.

-watching the dogs play in Washington Park
-Jumpin' Jack's
-the food trucks on Washington Ave (who open this Monday, March 28!)
-Alive @ 5
-sitting on a stoop on Lark Street people watching while eating Ben & Jerry's

Driving (aka crawling) behind a tractor loaded sky high with hay on a back country road and not caring that you're late because the sun is shining, your favorite song is on the radio and all is right with the world for those few minutes.

Spring, summer, fall are the best things

Tollgate ice cream - same place I went to when I was a kid and it hasn't changed a bit!! A step back in time...

I would like to second the gelato and pastries at Crisan and the farmers' markets in Schenectady and Troy.

My favorite thing about the capital district is that it has all 4 seasons

My favorite thing is that I have a job here.

When my daughter and I go running and then we get an Ice cream at Snowman

A rush hour that, for the most part, moves pretty quickly.
The variety of weather.
The mix of pro and college sports.
The proximity to the some of the finest urban areas in the world (New York City, Boston) and some of the finest rural areas in the world ( the Adirondacks, the Catskills).
The Egg.
The abundance of places to go for cider doughnuts.

My family...I was raised here and moved away after college for 11 years...when it was time to start a family I moved back so my kids could experience life in Upstate NY with their aunts, uncles, cousing and grandparents just like I did. Summers on lake george, winters at Gore, fall picking apples at Bowman's Orchard and spring at the Tulip Fest. My kids are experiencing all the things that made me happy as a kid growing up in Albany and that in turn makes me very happy!

The Robert Burns statue in Washington Park

I enjoy the little things like: walks in the Five Rivers Nature Preserve, Guptill's Skating Arena ;), North Albany Architecture, and Delmar's Four Corners.

The little things I enjoy are Thatcher Park, Snowman's icecream, Colonie mall's sephora, Washington Park playhouse, and Alive at Five concerts.

Being able to walk into Italian resteraunts like Ferrari's where you can get a family atmosphere and sauce like your grandmother made. After travelling around the country as much as I have, it really is something unique to this area.

$1 gelato.

The Landis Arboretum in Esperance, the Glens Falls Public Library, Music on Mainstreet in Canajoharie, Dutch heritage, seeing cows along the Thruway

Tulips in Washington Park!

I love the hidden gem restaurants in the area, from Perecca's in Schenectady to Hatties in Saratoga to Betties Cupcakes (sucking up cant hurt right?!?)... some fantastic eats around here!!

Train whistles and church bells. Amazing cemeteries. The new airport. Community gardens.

The Hudson valley seed library, the little "hole in the wall" shops, cider doughnuts and the community gardens! :-)

sunday strolls through washington park after a yummy brunch on lark.

Alive@5, Tulip Festival, First Night, Lights in the Park and Washington Park Playhouse!

That you're only a short trip away from something different. I love it here.

In August, I had to move away from Albany and relocate to Potsdam to organize a political campaign. I worked 7 days a week, 10-12 hours or more a day so I could never take a day trip down to the 518. When the election wrapped up, I immediately went down to Albany to reunite with my friends and finally step back into the city I adore so much.
I walked into the Daily Grind, after a 4 month absence, and my favorite barista- Ed said "you're back!"
That meant the world to me. I knew that I was back home

Steve Caporizzo's Pet Connection on News10. It's wonderful to have five minutes of Good (Furry) Samaritan every Monday and Thursday to brighten my day!

I really like the State Museum because on a given day off I can wander down there and just tour the exhibits and see my home town listed for things that I wouldn't expect. I always learn something new when I visit. And it's free (although I drop a couple bucks in every time I go.)

The way the sunlight hits the trees in late summer/early autumn.

Feeling the warm spring air pushing away the cold of winter (not quite yet, darnit!)

going to Jumpin' Jack's for ice cream and stumbling on a bagpipe rehearsal in Collins Park..

Lark festival :)

1st Friday!

walking around downtown and seeing so much history. getting iced coffee with coffee ice cubes from Scratch. spending time in the park. having adventurous day trips. Eating Bettie's cupcakes!!

The first snowfall of the season... but then the first tulips of the Spring!

Mobiles - The Veggie Mobile; Bettie's Cupcake Stand

The people, the art, the architecture, my friends, the festivals, the food, the drinks, the cheesecake and the surrounding vistas, just to name a few.

The abundance of decent, greasy diners.

The mountains, the seasons, the lakes (Sacandaga, Lake George), Saratoga Race season, the history surrounding us. Local farms and parks and local businesses.

I grew up there! (Rotterdam, in Schenectady County)

Ice cream stands and real seasons.

Thacher Park, so close it's like my back yard!

The canal and flight of locks in Waterford

There are so many things about the capital region that I love, like the old architecture from the 19th century and the empire plaza skyline. The variety of food from delicious cheesecake to diners to cozy and quiet restaurants. All of the festivals ranging from tulip and lark fest to the alive at fives, and all of the wonderful autumn fairs. The trees, and the seasons, and all of the flowers that brighten up the streets after long winters. I know the list could go on and on. The greatest thing of all has to be the community, there are so many wonderful people that make Albany such a unique place to live.


I love the random little places you can find where the food is absolutely amazing. (Sushi Tei? Bello Pronzo Ziti) And where else can you find a double decker cupcake truck?

Madison ave,New scotland ave,Lark street,Western ave,The Capital Building,The State Museum,The Institute of history , and ArtThe Spectrum, Kurver Kreme,Lombardos, Saati's Deli in Latham, J.C.'s in kohl's Plaza,Ruby's on Madison ave,Barnes and Noble in Colonie Center, Colonie Center, Stuyvesant Plaza,and my sisters , and friends faces!

The first time its warm for the season (even if it snows a day later) and every single dog owner within a five mile radius appears at Washington Park at the same time. Its the best feeling to just stand in the sun while all the dogs get as muddy as they want, its been a long winter and they deserve some fun too.

Also, walking through downtown Schenectady on a break from work and noticing the Bettie's trunk appear on the sidewalk. Always a fun surprise!

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