Birthday Present: Uncommon Grounds new organic roasts

UG Coffee Give Away.jpg

Grounds. Uncommon Grounds.

Update: The drawing's closed! Thanks for entering.

The winner of today's AOA birthday present drawing will be among the first to sample Uncommon Grounds three new organic roasts. They're not available to the public yet, but our friends at UG have passed along a few pounds of their new fair trade/organic blends and an Organic Dark Roast.

The basket includes:

3lbs coffee (all Organic - two exciting new blends and a single-origin Dark Roast)
2 1/4lbs tea (Organic, as well)
UG mug
UG t-shirt (winner specifies size, style, color)
1/2 lb of dark chocolate covered espresso beans

Coffee is kind of a "pick-me-up," so here's today's question:

What's your favorite Capital Region pick-me-up?

Sure, it could be something caffeinated, but it could also be a visit with a friend, a walk at a favorite place, a volunteer gig, or a game of fetch with your dog.

Whatever it is, share it in the comments below and we'll enter you in today's drawing. We'll pick one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Wednesday (March 23, 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 Thursday and must respond by 5 pm on Friday.


My favorite pick me up - a brisk walk, cup of coffee in hand, at the Crossings with my dog before stopping at the farmers market stalls on the weekends.

Can't wait for Spring!

My favorite pick me up is a bike ride around downtown on a warm spring early morning.

Definitely a good cup of coffee and a walk around town!

Riding out to the cliffs at Thacher Park that overlook the fairgrounds and watching the hawks circle around. The silence and beauty clears my head and picks me up!

The best pick me up is some serious salsa dancing in the middle of the week. :)

My favorite "pick me up" is finding a decent parking spot in center square.

Just jogging and weaving in and out through the neighborhoods in my area. It is so peaceful.

My favorite short hike (and one of the most beautiful) is Sleeping Beauty. Hiking clears my head, makes me happy and energizes me, and the view of Lake George from the summit can't be beat.

So far my favorite pick me up has been a scoop from Stewarts. I like a lot of different flavors, and the price could not be more right. Filling up the car with gas is a pain when you aren't in NJ (read: you have to get out of the car and it's cold/raining/snowing), so the fact that you can get a cheap tasty cone in the same spot makes it all worthwhile.

Karaoke and cotton candy at Circus Cafe in Saratoga!

Sampling the different coffee houses in the area.

A walk in Washington Park with the dog on a sunny day when the fountains are on and the tulips are blooming, and there are people people playing latin music in a group by the playground! Best pick-me up around.

Milkshakes from Stewart's.

Favorite pick-me-up these days: watching the sun rise earlier each morning, and seeing flowers poking through the dirt at last!

My favorite Capital Region pick-me up is a bagel and a cup of coffee at Uncommon Grounds. Coincidentally, it's also one of the little things about the Capital Region that makes me happy.

Kurver Kreme!

A fudge fancy from Coccadotts Bakery is all I need.

Local coffee! Only Uncommon or Professor Java's served in my house.

My favorite pick me up is the expressions on my 2 year old son's face when he plays with his favorite toys.. He always makes me feel happy.

Becky beat me to it, but: the gurgling giggle of my toddler pulling the covers of me with "I want breakfast, Daddy!"

Walking dog at the golf course. Always lift my mood. (But first things first: coffee before walk is a must. Coffee before anything in a.m. is a must.)

The first day of porch reading in the spring!

OK... I'm sorry... I wasn't going to be that guy, but I guess I AM that guy:

In the article above, you used "you're" in a sub-heading where it should have been "your".

I'm sorry. I hate myself a little for saying this, but it's driving me nuts.

Editors: Fixed. Thanks.

Walking up State from a meeting downtown, stopping to grab a bottle of wine and maybe some gelato on Lark, and running into 5 people I know on the way home through the park...and thinking about how fun it is to live in a little city.

A drive out to Rensselaerville on a beautiful summer day, followed by a walk up the waterfalls to the top of the Huyck Preserve. Nothing better!

Washington Park - in all weather...

Albany Ultimate Summer League

my favorite pick-me-up? there are a few, of the food/sweet variety - betties for sure, but more -- cider doughnuts in the fall with hot apple cider....yum.

Enjoying happy hour or a bite to eat at an outdoor eating spot on one of the first beautiful days of the season after a long winter!

Fav pick-me-up is a weekend walk with wife and son at any of the many nature trails with waterfalls in the area. Close second is seeing a formation of honking geese flying in a northerly direction instead of south, as has finally been observed the past couple weeks.

I never stopped loving you. Thank you.

Honestly, Erik's comment on grammar just served as a good pick me up for today!!
But on other day's I'd have to say I enjoy a nice walk with my fiance around the (good Albany) neighborhood in the nice weather!

Treating myself to lunch out once a week is a standard favorite of mine. I’m a freak for a BLT at Sandwiches To Go on Maiden Lane in downtown Albany.

That first glass of wine on the patio at the Wine Bistro is my favorite seasonal pick-me-up! The anticipation of it keeps me going all winter long.

The Crossings!

in the summer, rowing currachs on the hudson
in the fall, getting some fresh cider and cider doughnuts (many) and hanging out in thacher park

For me, a slice of Cheesecake Machismo cheesecake can turn any day into a special occasion - that would be my favorite local pick-me-up.

Honestly, my favorite Capital Region pick-me-ups this week have been these birthday present threads. Reading through them reminds me all over again how much I love living here, how many great memories I have of growing up here, and how fortunate I am to be able to raise my kids here. Thanks for that, AOA, and happy birthday.

Brown's Brewing or Kurver Creme, depending on if I'm PMS'ing :)

Espresso from my espresso maker (preferably beans from Uncommon Grounds) is my favorite local pick-me-up

The variety of local music venues and performers available.

The first few snowfalls of the year:) I know nobody is thinking fondly of snow right now, but that's really the best feeling when you go out for the first time into the newly fallen snow.

A latte from sunspot cafe. I get very picky buy every time I order they don't even bat an eyelash at my requests. And I can walk there and back so by the time I get home I'm definitely energized.

Without a doubt - my favorite pick-me-up is a day at the spa or I would even go for a 1 hour massage (preferably a hot stone massage).

One of my favorite pick-me-up places is Chuck E Cheese. Where an adult can be a kid! - right? Think about it - it is one of the only video arcades left in the area that I know.

Sitting in Crisan's with friends, enjoying a delicious treat while watching the happenings of Lark Street

Tiramusu at Bella's in the name.

Hot yoga at eStudio in Loudonville!

I slow walk down Lark street with my girlfriend, popping into Pastime Legends. Reminisce over old games, and whether or not I want to repurchase a Nintendo 64 to replay my old favorite games. Later going into lil' buddha tea to grab some beet juice. mmmm.

Mine is the Indian lunch buffet at Lazeez. Nothing picks me up like unlimited Indian food! But after I eat my weight in naan, it definitely slows me down :)

One of my fave pick-me-up activities involves a mint tea from Lil' Buddha to go, and taking the "scenic" route home via the ESP and Riverfront Park. Sometimes I feel like taking a 20 minute (cough, hack) nap when I get home, but its all part of the pick-me-up process ;)

The first and second margaritas of the night at El Loco. The third probably isn't a pick me "up" though...

When my youngest son approaches me with arms outstretched and says "uppy uppy!" The snuggle that is sure to follow always makes me feel better.

visiting the ducks at Congress Park in Saratoga. They really are the friendliest ducks I've ever encountered.

A run through the downtown Albany hood on a fall day.

Coffee. Always coffe. Maybe tea, too...

Walk with my wife and daughter

Crisan in the summer, Crisan in the winter.

Bike Polo under the Rt. 7 bridge in Green Island!! Nothing picks you up better than whacking a street hockey ball on a basketball court on a bike. Sunday's at 1:00

watching Subrina Dhammi

A hike up Sleeping Beauty for the view, or a walk through Saratoga State Park.

Trying out a new beer from Oliver's.

Picking up my daughter from school after a glorious day [emphasis sarcastic tone] at work.

A workout at the JCC or a yoga class at a local studio...

Grabbing and Italian soda at Ultra Violet, gabbing w/friends and then watching a movie at Spectrum.

Running into Kenny at the Lark St. Dunkin Donuts. Not only is he a local miracle, he's also a friendly knowledgeable local historian.

A long run around the backroads of New Scotland.
A bike ride through the Helderbergs.
An afternoon of pond hockey.

Fresh homegrown veggie deliveries from my neighbors in the summer!

First iced coffee of the season

Without a doubt its the trail along the Mohawk River, just before Rotterdam Junction. Great birding, too!

A nice fresh cup of coffee and a trip to the farmer's market (usually troy) to find some random, tasty purchases like sweet potato biscuits!

Or Go Karting. I love that.

There's no better pick-me-up than a night out with friends in one of the many top notch Capital Region restaurants/watering holes!

I love to take walks on sunny days. Also a good cup of tea is a great pick me up.

The best pick me up is a nice run/jog around Washington Park on a gorgeous spring or summer day.

a long run on a sunny day, followed by Only 8 Frozen Yogurt

My favorite pick up in Albany is a walk through Washington Park with friends and ending by grabbing a drink and chatting the night away!

Yoshi's sushi. Yum

Definitely a nice cup of tea. Cannot make it through an afternoon without one!

My favorite pick me up is definitely a trip to the puppy part of Washington Park. While I sadly don't have a pup of my own I love watching all of the dogs run around and play while I bask in the sunshine (on a good day). I then like to take a walk over to Crisan Bakery and get some tasty gelato! What great days those are :)

Love early morning summer walks through the crossings. The Che and I go before all those other dogs show up!

Definitely an iced coffee! Doesn't matter where it's from.

A soft serve ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles!

Heading to crisan for a little treat is a nice pick-me-up! :)

Going for a beer at Mahars!!

A slice of cake from Crisan's on Lark Street.

Walking down Lark Street or through Washington Park on a nice day!

I always love wandering through the Albany Rural Cemetery on a crisp fall day.

Kayaking the Normanskill every summer.

a tall boy of genny cream ale

Riding around Pine Hills on my tandem bicycle in the summer!

Happy Hour on a Lark Street patio in the summer.

We haven't done it in a while, but my husband and I used to start our Saturdays with bagels at Uncommon Grounds and amazing iced coffees. Walking out into the sunshine with a full belly and an ice cold wake up bomb makes you ready to take on the world!

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