SPAC orchestra tickets + Putnam Market picnic

Orchestra on the lawn at SPAC.jpg


Update: We have a winner! Congrats Ellen.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC is on the lawn with a picnic and a bottle of wine. It's a relaxed, fun, classy way to spend a summer evening.

We're giving away four lawn passes for the orchestra at SPAC this season, and to class up the experience even more we're throwing in a picnic for four from Putnam Market, plus a bottle of red wine and a bottle of prosecco (courtesy of SPAC). Oh, and you'll also get VIP parking behind the Saratoga Auto Museum.

The winner gets to choose one of these performances:

+ Thursday July 28: "Casablanca Night" (screening of the classic movie with live orchestral accompaniment
+ Friday July 29: David Hyde Pierce / Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
+ Saturday, July 30: Celebration of an Artist Night with Emmanuel Ax
+ Thursday, August 4: "All Beethoven" with violinist, James Ehnes
+ Thursday, August 11: "From Russia with Love" with pianist, Gabriela Montero

To enter the drawing, answer this question in the comments:

What's the classiest thing about the Capital Region?

Maybe it's a really classy person. Maybe it's a piece of great architecture, a garden or a museum. Maybe it's a great restaurant or a way to enjoy the summer (or winter).

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday (July 27, 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 winner will be notified via email by 10 pm on Wednesday and must respond by noon on Thursday (July 28, 2011). When responding, the winner must specify which night they will attend.

Yep, SPAC does advertise on AOA.


In all honesty, I think that SPAC's efforts to incorporate both the NYC Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra into their live performance rotation adds elegance and sophistication to what otherwise would be a descent into a rotation of solely rock and pop concerts, as has happened in other outdoor music venues. There's nothing wrong with the genre, but it attracts a rowdier crowd, and all of the problems inherent with that. An evening on the lawn for a performance of ballet or orchestra, accompanied by a politely genteel audience there to appreciate artistic culture is an unparalleled experience.

I would say, generally speaking, it is the residents that are the classiest thing about our fair region. I'd lived a lot of places over the years before I moved to the Capital Region, but nowhere else did I feel at home so quickly as I did here.

Classiest? Tough; I think right now I would go with Jason Baker's food at the Wine Bar on Lark.

The State Room. Without putting too much time or planning into it, I ended up with the classiest wedding I've ever been to. That place oozes class, from the gorgeous columns and high ceilings to the super professional staff and incredible food. It's now the first thing I think of when I think of "classy."

I'll go with museums - the Auto, Dance, and Racing museums are all beautiful and classy, plus the Albany Institute of History and Art...

It's not NYC, but you can get there if you want. It's not Boston, but you can get there if you want. It's not Montreal, but you can get there if you want. It's smallbany.... and I live here, and I love it.

Classy = my friend, Alan Bennett Ilagan. Between his sophisticated photos making things such as a folded shirt look elegant, his witty blog, and the fact I was just sent a lavender scented invitation to a themed soiree.... he is one classy cat.

Washington Park keeps it classy!!

I would have to say the classiest thing about Albany at his time are the cracks in two pier cap beams supporting the South Mall Expressway in Albany as it leads into the Dunn Memorial Bridge.

The classiest thing(s) about the Capital District are the awesome moments and events where people of all walks of life converge and for the most part peacefully co-exist. I have never lived anywhere with so many unique characters per square foot.

The classiest thing about the Capital Region is its ability to embrace all cultures through its myriad festivals and events, museums, educational institutions and restaurants.

When I think of what it means to be classy I think of social etiquette. If I had to choose a place or thing that I thought was classy I would have give you a short list of places I feel embody these virtues because I would not be able to narrow them down to just one.

On that list would be the the Troy Farmer's Market, New World Bistro, Taste Restaurant, Capital Wine and Spirits, & the Yaddo Gardens.

The floral display of the Tulip Festival. (Regrettably not the Festival itself.)


The classiest thing about the Capital Region is that its residents are eager to help those in need.

The "classiest" thing about the Capital Region is our educational system, including local school districts and public/private colleges and universities.

My wife, who I adore!

Crisan bakery is the classiest place in the capital region. Their desserts are works of art!

There are so many things, but my two top choices would be either Albany Symphony Orchestra performances at the Palace (especially their "Night in Old Russia" show a few years back), or some of the donors I've worked with at local nonprofits.

Regardless of the amounts given, we live in a very generous community. I think it speaks well of our residents that even though we're all trying to make ends meet, people still give as much as possible to help others in need--and most people want as little recognition as possible. In my mind, that's a pretty classy way to be.

Can I please have some tickets now? PLEASE???

The classiest thing about the Capital Region is the Albany Institute of History and Art.

Albany Institute of History & Art is Always very Classy!

Plug: (Also FREE admission in July and August on Fridays)

In my opinion, the classiest place in the Capital Region is the back courtyard at the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga. I love that the scene is more date-night than frat party, even during track season. It's romantic enough for a proposal, yet casual enough for a drink/dessert with the girls.

The classiest thing about the capital region is the array of little gems just waiting to be discovered. For me, lately that means : Congress Park, the Jonesville Store, Moreau State Park, New World, the Saratoga farmer's market and people watching just about anywhere! Looking forward to finding more gems this summer!

Our governor forced through same sex marriage equality...very classy!

Community gardens, downtown Albany architecture, and row houses off Lark St.

I have a soft spot for the Yaddo Gardens (and the associated writers' retreat.)

Does Tanglewood count? If not, how about Yaddo?

I'm going with Yaddo as the classiest park/garden ever. Just beautiful.

I think the classiest thing about the capital region is in summer time when the dining and drinking establishments (especially in Albany and Saratoga) setup their outdoor seating. Its just so nice to enjoy an evening with friends, while having some food and drink, in the afternoon sun or under the stars.

I'm going to go with the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark, it's always elegant and never pretentious.

Is it totally cliche for me to say that going to the racetrack is definitely the classiest thing in this area.

I love bringing friends from out of town to see the fancy hats and dresses and men in suits walking around making bets. You've got to get a seat in the grandstands though, the yard/fence area can be very un-classy.

Hahah, Classy???? JIllians, for sure!

Kinnaree on Lark's Basil Duck. Check it out.

The classiest thing about this area is when all the local ice cream establishments are open for the summer, bringing out diverse groups of people to share tables and enjoy the beautiful summer evenings together. A great place to make new friends!

One of the classiest things about the Albany area is the quality of and loyalty to our local businesses. From fresh food, craft brews, local art, etc - i have thoroughly enjoyed finding and supporting everything this region has to offer.

My beautiful wife who I'd be taking to one of these lovely performances

Architecture of the state buildings in downtown Albany

Classiest thing about the area is probably the patio at the Wine Bar on Lark.

The Stockade in Schenectady!

My two little girls, who'd just be crazy about a picnic on the lawn at SPAC!

The classiest thing about Albany is its history: That Old Albany feel you get when you walk into Lombardos, or stroll Center Square, or walk through Capital Park. This place is saturated with history, just begging us to honor and preserve it.

The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark is probably the classiest place I've ever been.

I moved away from the Capital District for college, but when my boyfriend moved here for graduate school, I got to see Albany through new eyes, and what I noticed was class. From champagne toasts on top of peaks in the Adirondacks, to stomping the divots on the polo field in Saratoga, to impeccable service at local Albany eateries (shoutout to Grappa '72, our new favorite), to enjoying ballets on the lawn at SPAC, we've had a classy time this year enjoying the Capital District. :-)

New World Bistro. The food is always excellent and the service is top-notch.

The Park Playhouse is classy because even though you are in the heart of Albany, when you see a production there under the stars at night, you feel like your are in a completely different place. The Park Playhouse brings Broadway to Albany. It is perfect for a fun date night with your loved one.

The classiest thing is the access to so many great venues, activities and picnic opportunities within a 60 minute drive or ride; SPAC (Picnics, Ballet, Orchestra, Rock, Jazz), Breakfast @ The Track, Saratoga Polo, Lake George, Thacher Park, Barberville Falls, Yaddo Gardens, Swimming holes, Skiing (Water&Snow), Albany Saratoga Speedway, Proctors, The Palace, EMPAC, multiple beautiful Theatres, Museums, incredible restaurants, Troy Valley Cats, Community Parks, Fireworks, Golf Courses, Cocktails on Patios (Gristmill, SNGC, Maestro's, The Vista at Van Patten, Lanzi's), The Sagamore, Hot Air Ballooning, Local Wineries, Orchards (Berry/Apple picking), Great Escape, Trails & Hiking, Canfield Casino, Picnics in Congress Park, Mineral Springs, River Tubing, and 100's of Camping sites.
If you're bored... it's 100% your own fault. There's no other place that has as much to offer the wonderful people who take advantage of; and enjoy our area.

IMO - The Gingerman. Nothing says classy like short ribs with a lobster stuffed chili.

classes at the arts center are the classiest!!

That has to be SPAC. There's the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Saratoga, the NY City Ballet and a host of gala events.

Palace Theatre....hands down classiest.

I always enjoy my evenings at Proctors.

Class to me is when the local movie theaters actually have the air conditioners turned on.

I always feel classy when I make a trip to Saratoga. Love it up there!

The people of the capital region and the pride they show for it.

I think Captial Hills in Albany and the Van Patten in Clifton Park are some classy and inexpensive golf courses.

Lil Wayne concert at SPAC was the farthest from classy - shame on you, SPAC for hosting that thing on stage.

The Egg. Great location, great events and it looks great too.

The staff at Sperry's that didn't bat an eyelash when I and a party of 4 other people came in soaking wet and stinking of horse (and hamster... horse bedding stinks awful when wet) after a rainy May evening back in the barns at Saratoga.

Easily one of the top 5 meals of my life.

The classist thing is the Cap Reg is our rich, vibrant history. From the Dutch settlers to the Port of Albany, from the Center Square Brown Stones to the Famous Saratoga Race Track, from Elegant design of our old banks and train station in downtown to the masterpiece of the State Capitol Building and Education Building.

Our History the classist thing by far.

Keep it classy Albany.

It doesn't get much classier than the New World Bistro Bar.

Crisan Bakery!

The nonprofit and community service orgs in the capital region are super classy, and we're all classier for having them around. I'm continually impressed by the work of groups like Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Community Gardens, Equinox, et. al.

the flowers the medians, in hanging baskets, in planters. From the tulips in spring to the late summer/fall flowers. Puts a smile on my face every time. Kudos to the Albany City Gardener Judy Stacey for making Albany even more beautiful - it will be difficult to find anyone to fill your shoes.

The classiest part of the capital region is the Moses statue in Washington Park

Easy - The "Elbo Room." As it says right on its door, Dress Code Strictly Enforced. :-)

I'm going to say The Gingerman on Western. I love love love all the other places mentioned in these comments already. The Gingerman is classy, and they have fun wine flights that I love! And I want the stuffed figs I had there last week again RIGHT now.

OWNEY- the first official postal mascot- found as a puppy sleeping on mail bags in the Albany, NY post office back in 1888. Nothing says classy more than decking your mail with an Owney the Postal Dog Forever stamp!


I'm going to have to agree with the masses - the combinations of culture and people here is the classiest thing about the Capital Region. Such an interesting merging of groups that effortlessly co-exists. It is hard to find such a characteristic anywhere else in the Northeast.

The "Italian Garden" section of Congress Park. I love this hidden gem.

I believe the city of Saratoga Springs to be the epitome of class in the Capital Region. Saratoga boasts beautiful architecture, fabulous eateries and the Race Track (which I hate, but draws the incredibly elite). To top the glitz and glamour of downtown, the city is rich in history, as represented by the Battlefield. It's my favorite place to wine, dine and savor the arts!

I think the architectural elements in the buildings downtown are classy and fabulous - who doesn't love flying buttresses?

The historic architecture in Saratoga Springs sure is classy!

Saratoga Springs State Park is one of the classiest places in the area. Can't wait to attend SPAC this summer!

The parks. More specifically, the Crossings of Colonie, and Washington Park during Tulip Fest. Nothing says classy to me like beautiful flowers and scenery.

The classiest place in the area is by far the sculpture room at the Albany Institute of History & Art. The Hudson River School gallery is a close second!!!!

Classiest thing in the capital region? All Over Albany, of course ;)

Others may not like it, but I think the Albany skyline is pretty classy. When you come over that bluff westbound on I-90 at about exit 9 or 8 and see it for the first time, perhaps while the sun is starting to go down....well, it still makes me smile every time.

I think the culture of Albany has gotten rather classy over the last few years. In addition to being close to a few major cities, Albany has wonderful public spaces, restaurants, events, museums, historical areas and government. I know a lot of people who scoff at the Capital Region, but I am very happy to be living here

If I want to be romanced, I love the Wine Bar on Lark. Truly classy. But say what you want, there's is just some thing special about Jack's on State. You walk in there, the manager Brad smiles and says "Welcome home." You can't beat that!

The architecture of Downtown Troy is timeless and classy.

I'd have to say the classiest thing about the Capital Region would be the buildings and the architecture in downtown Albany. There's something very romantic about viewing the cityscape of downtown Albany while driving over the crest of RT9/RT20 in Rensselaer. Up close the views are even more profound: from the historic houses on Madison Ave to the lights shining up at The Capitol and other legislative buildings in the evening. After all, the entire Capital Region was within the original Albany County boundaries before it formed into smaller regions - so clearly any distinguishing class should be rewarded to Albany!

The great restaurants from classy chefs like Rick Orlando, Kevin Everleth, Jason Baker, and others are the classiest thing about this area. The ability to go out and enjoy a night filled with amazing food and drink in the company of friends is the best!

Classiest thing is the wine bar on lark!

Love that block with McGuires, Wine Bar, the gelato and delicious creations at Crisan. Really classes up the Lark Street neighborhood and makes for a fancy night out!

Jack's Oyster House.

The classiest things about the Capital District is the fact that we have a Pride Week instead of a mere Pride Weekend like other small cities.

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