Tom Genovese

tom genoveseTom Genovese, the owner of the Sunspot Cafe in Albany, has passed away. He was 38 years old. He died in a motorcycle accident on the Northway yesterday near Exit 26. [Post-Star]

Tom was one of a handful of business owners working to change the image of Quail Street. His cafe -- a warm, inviting place -- just celebrated its one-year anniversary. He was also very active in the local swing dance scene. And you might know him from walking his two very recognizable dogs (there's a photo after the jump -- we only put it together that he was he was "the guy with those dogs" after seeing the photo today). Tom was connected to a lot of people, and he'll certainly be missed.

The cafe will be closed until further notice.

Update: Here's his obituary, which includes information about services. (Also noted by Daniel Mackay in the comments.)

tom genovese with dogs

photos via Laura McCarthy


Tom just celebrated the first anniversary of the cafe's opening. I didn't know him much before that, and in the year that I did get to know him well there are many, many fond memories. In fact, it feels like I've known him much longer, but he's that kind of guy, such a big heart he left everything and everyone around him that much better. He'll be sorely missed.

We are in shock and extremely saddened to learn of Tom's passing this morning. He was talented in so many ways and engaged in numerous community activities. I first met him while working at Stagecoach Coffee downtown 5 years ago and had many conversations with him in the last year on Quail St. Tom was always smiling and willing to lend a hand or a hug if you needed one. Such an incredible shame that this wonderful person in our community is just gone now. He put his whole life into Sunspot, I hope it can live on. Our deepest sympathies to family and dear friends. If we can help in any way, please let us know.

I am so saddened by this loss to the community and of course, his family & friends. So unbelievably sad & tragic. Rest in Peace Tom.

Wow. Seeing an article on AOA just made this real for me. For me, it's hard to separate Albany from Tom. He was one of the first people I met when I moved there in 2002.

From then on, he seemed to be everywhere. I ran into him at more social events and on the street more than anyone else in that city, and my time there was better for it. He was a stable, positive, caring, bright, funny (if you've even seen his Halloween costumes, you know just how funny he could be) constant in my otherwise crazy life. He knew exactly what to say or what to ask to help me feel more grounded.

My favorite memory of him is singing a duet of Wish You Were Here with him on a lazy Sunday afternoon after brunch. Right now, the memory couldn't be more appropriate. Wish you were here, man.

Visiting the Sunspot has been like taking a mini-vacation to a favourite haunt in Provincetown, right down to the fella with the beatnik goatee and the two friendly dogs. Wish we'd had more opportunity to know him better, but grateful he decided to be our neighbor. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

This is indeed very sad news. I did not know Tom personally, but I am fortunate to live near the Sunspot Cafe and I've seen first hand the positive impact it had on the community. It would seem that Tom was committed to being a good neighbor, and that makes the loss that much more tragic. My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Wake, Thursday March 15, 2012, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
McVeigh Funeral Home, 208 N. Allen Street, Albany 12206
... (between West Street and Bradford Street, two blocks from Central Avenue)

Mass, Friday March 16, 2012, 10:30 am
Blessed Sacrament Church, 607 Central Avenue, Albany 12206
(between N. Main Avenue and N. Allen Street)
Followed by burial at St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Avenue, Menands 12204

Tom, your generous and friendly spirit will be missed, and always remembered.

I have been friends with Tom since college. He is my closest, most dear friend. For all you that have met him, I am sure you can attest that Tom truly embody care for his family, friends, the environment, and making Albany a place where we can all enjoy its cultural richness. And now a special message to Tom - Thank you for loving me and accepting me for who I am. I will always remember our trip to Maui, hiking mountains, going for long walks with good talks, kayaking, hiking on the trail when the caterpillars were falling from the trees (yuck!), going to family events, being there for each other during the good - the bad - and the downright ugly, and finally our support to each other to embrace life and take advantage of it (because as we both discussed, this life is not a dress rehearsal - which is why you followed your passion to open the coffee shop). For being so young, you lived so big - fearless yet not reckless - you used wisdom for your decisions and took on the challenges that faced you. You truly cared for all your friends - I would hear about your swing friends (a good bunch!) as well as graduate school friends, your childhood friend(s), and each new person you met who made an impact on you. Thank you - to all Tom's friends - for enhancing his life. I love you, Tom - watch over us so we, too, will embrace life fully as you did.

What a terrible loss. I was always so happy to run into Tom out and about. I loved hearing all about his coffee research before opening up the Sunspot. He was always a welcome person to see and try to snag a dance with. I'm going to miss that smile.

This is awful news. If there was a bright sunlight in the area, it was Tom. Loved watching him walk with his dogs, chat with him in the cafe, and generally enjoy his calm, thoughtful persona.

E un momento triste.................. mi stringo al cordoglio di mio zio carmelo e i miei cugini antonietta, filippo, cristina e rispettivi/e consorti.
Ci mancherà a tutti tanto.

Il Cugino Filippo Genovese con la moglie Pamela e la piccola Mariachiara.

Editors: Translated from Italian via Google Translate:

It is a sad moment .................. I cling to the grief of my uncle and my cousins ​​Antoinette Carmel, filippo, cristina and their / and their spouses. We will miss everyone so much.

Cousin Philip Genovese with his wife Pamela and small Mariachiara.

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