Drawing: Tickets for Lewis Black at The Palace and dinner at The Merry Monk

Thumbnail image for lewis black press photo

Drawing's closed!

Comedian, playwright, and William Kennedy fan Lewis Black returns to the Capital Region March 22 for a show at The Palace. And AOA is giving away a pair of tickets. And we're topping it off with a $40 gift certificate to the nearby Merry Monk.

In his stand-up shows and appearances on The Daily Show, Lewis Black has become known for his rants -- and they're often about something absurd. So, to enter the drawing:

Tell us what do you think is absurd about the Capital Region?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Tickets to Lewis Black's "The Rant is Due" show at The Palace are on sale now and start at $29.50.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 am on Friday, November 30, 2012 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of 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 noon on Friday and must respond by 8 pm on Friday.

Live Nation advertises on AOA.


I find traffic absurd in the Capital Region. I-90 west in the morning commute is ridiculous! Learn how to merge & drive people!!!

the residential parking permits... and i'm a resident of a neighborhood affected.

I think it's absurd that we have no proper grocers in downtown Albany. Parking is not the only reason people don’t want to rent or buy down there. If we can have three super markets that are walking distance from each other on the 900 block of Central Ave., why can’t we have a second option, alternative to the Price Chopper on Delaware.

The new rounabouts on Fuller Road are quite absurd.

It's absurd that with 870 thousand people (and great websites like AOA) that some folks STILL complain about being bored in "smAlbany" and surrounding areas.

Maybe I find this absurd because I come from a small country town where we don't do this, but every time I drive on the Northway and there is an accident/cop pulled someone over/construction/a motorcyclist pulled over under a bridge because it's raining/etc, every vehicle feels the need to slow down to 30-40 mph to take a good look at the scene, which in turn causes a huge traffic build-up behind them, but as soon as you get past the scene, it's easy 70 mph driving. Pay attention to the road, not someone getting a ticket!

All of the traffic circles that are popping up everywhere!

That they start a highway years ago and never finish it (i.e. no exit 3 off of I87, no tunnel under Washington park, blocked off lanes on Rt. 9, bridge to nowhere over the Hudson river.

That troy is now better than Albany

2 pronged:

The fact that we have a major highway with no exit 3! What the heck kind of place does that? You can't just ignore a number! It doesn't matter if it was planned to be built or not. What happens if someone that isn't from up here is looking for exit 4, gets to exit 2, and thinks "oh, don't have to get over yet, I still have to pass exit 3!"

Also, we used to have a mass transit system up here that used trolleys. I think we are one of the only major metropolitan areas of the country that actually disassembled their effective mass-transit rail system.

That is all :-)

It's absurd Cadbury Mini Eggs are only available around Easter. That's a real problem.

It's absurd that the capital region doesn't have a California Pizza Kitchen

I'm from Albany ... don't find anything absurd. Now when I visit other places I find some absurdies there. I had no shoes and complained until I met a man with no feet.

I think it's absurd that a) there is so much road construction being done in the same area at once in the Capital Region right now. 87 is just a mess. And b) that there are so many grocery stores! We're weirdly obsessed with them around here…

I find it absurd that it took the massive electronic music shows at the Armory for the Albany media to acknowledge the otherwise lively, interesting, and long-established dance music scene in the Capitol District.

The Lewis Black show would be the most wonderful gift for my endearingly disgruntled father!!

No flying cars!

The number of froyo shops that have opened in the last 15 months is pretty absurd.

The most absurd thing about Albany is having a highway blocking off the waterfront of the hudson river.

The Hudson River waterfront being totally blocked off, basically by stupid 787!

(and a big hearty ditto on the Resident Permits! I am also in an effected area, and I think they're just idiotic. We don't have parking issues during the hours they are for!)

I find it's absurd to say that the Capital Region's attractiveness is its proximity to New York City, Boston, or Montreal. Love the Capital Region for what it is, not for what it's close to.

The lack of a Wegman's

The constant relocation of Troy City Hall as well as the construction project/demolition area that was it's previous home.

@Alex -- it's the law to slow down (and move to the farthest away lane if possible) when there are emergency vehicles, police cars, tow trucks, etc doing their business along the side of a highway.

My absurdity: only 3 mayors in Albany since 1941.

It's absurd that so many people complain about all the absurdity of things in the area!

The number of traffic circles over by New Scotland Ave. / NY 85 is pretty absurd. It's like driving through the Olympics logo.

Yet another market... moving into the mall.... Absurd!

One flight to Toronto? And they have the chutzpah to call it Albany "International" Airport? Absurd!

Program note: I left Albany for Vermont 18 years ago, but still am in love with the Capital Region. Great place to live...not absurd.

Most absurd thing? Easy. The "SmAlbany" designation. The CD is a great area with amazIng events, wonderful food and drink, and spectacular people.

The people who complain because there is not an Ethiopian restaurant (really? How often are you going to go out for Ethopian?) or say that I miss X from where I was living before fail to see what a really special place we are living in.

Shame (SHAME!) on those who perpetuate the myth of SmAlbany.

Absurd: with the number of really awesome restaurants that have opened in the capital region over the past 5 years, people still go to, say, TGI Friday's, and pay the same amount for a meal that they would at the local establishments (for instance - find me a sit down, chain restaurant with burgers cheaper than Gastropub's 1/2 price burgers on Wednesdays - and the quality of ingredients doesn't even compare).

The way people drive in the capital region. The roundabouts have been here for a while- you should know how to navigate through them by now. And don't brake in the middle to let someone else in- they'll have their turn.

I find 787 absurd. Why destroy your riverfront real estate?

Wolf Road. Abzurd.

The Dunn Memorial Bridge only having one lane open headed into downtown Albany. Half of Rensselaer County is trying to cross that bridge every morning. One lane makes a normall quick 10 minute trip into a horrendous 45 minute trip.

Mayor Jennings sun tan.

It's absurd that the lights on Washington ave and Western ave between Allen and downtown are not synchronized. There's no reason to wait at more than two red lights when there's no other traffic on the road.

November, December and January In Albany we have an average UV index of between 0-1 yet our Mayor is tan all year 'round

Hey now, the commute on 90W isn't bad if you're coming from far away and cut in to get on 787 after the east greenbush traffic filters in.

but maybe that's not the nice thing to do. i don't know. :)

Wolf Road is absurd. End of thread.

That vacant building on Madison Ave. in Albany near the yoga studio and Women's Club. I wish I had the money to restore it.

The inability of drivers to "keep right except to pass"

I find that the lack of a decent mass transit system in the capital city of one of the larger states of the northeast is absurd!

its absurd that not more people know how good the burgers are at merry monk

parking in center square.

and maybe the recent abundance of traffic circles.

It's absurd that we don't tax the ware and tear by State government on the City of Albany and allow 787 to block our beautiful waterfront.

The traffic on the northway

It's absurd that we should have been home to Stanford, but instead got UAlbany (or whatever its name is these days) as a consolation prize 80 years later.

I find it absurd that people don't think anything good comes out of Albany High School.

The amount of people that enjoyed the sounds of the Refrigerators and the Burners UK.

It's absurd that most folks buy art at the mall not from artists.

The lack of Internet options. At least we now have Fios competing with Time Warner.

Many chain restaurants aren't up here that would be nice... Fazoli's, Chik-Fil-A, etc.

It's absurd that I'm the first to mention how absurd the Egg is.

Hrm... How dark it is right now is pretty absurd to me. I mean, yes, it's par for the course for this time of year, but really. I have to leave work and it's PITCH DARK!? RAWR THIS MAKES ME SAD! Alternately, the lack of a camera rental shop is absurd to me, but... I'm a weirdo/photographer. =D

The number of pedestrians that don't follow traffic rules and walk out in front of my car is absurd.

I find it absurd that there is no public transit, ie trains, busses or trolleys, that are willing to bring you from surrounding country towns to Albany and back out. If I go out to dinner I have to worry about how many drinks in how long of a time frame I had so I know I'm ok to drive rather than hop on the train and go home after spending more time and money in a place I really enjoy

Pedestrians directing traffic before they cross the street (to people in cars making a turn). As a pedestrian, y'all have the right of way! It's weird that you yield to me in my car and wave me on - I'm stopping because that's what drivers do. Albany is the only place where I've seen this phenomenon.

Also, the wacky Fuller Rd. roundabouts.
Also, Mayor Jennings' radioactive tan.

It's absurd that there's no exit three on the Northway! It's also absurd that we have multiple grocery stores that are across the street from one another. Lets spread it out a little bit!

The obsession many locals have with supermarket chains.

Pot Holes and poorly paved streets.

The lack of stores and style at Latham Circle Mall and Latham Regal Cinemas is Absurd. Demolish and rebuild already.

People's obsession with supermarkets.

Its absurd there is no decent Ethiopian restaurant here. Why? We want to eat with our hands! We crave it! Is there nobody from Ethiopia who will come save us?

how insane people go over freebie giveaways at Saratoga aka The Track.
Wow! free seat cushions! whoopie, a crappy tote bag...a tiny blanket... its free crap you dont need people.

The fact that people thought destroying the riverfront for the sake of building 787 was a good idea. Also absurd is how that hideous old white factory building alongside of 787 is still standing ... WHY is that awful eyesore still there??

It's absurd that there are three Providence Streets in Albany.

It's absurd how many mediocre Italian restaurants and pizzerias we have. Gah, enough already! Now, how about an Ethiopian restaurant....someone? Please?

I find it absolutely absurd how much effort is put in to keeping Pearl St. and its environs clean but you can't get someone to keep an eye on the abandoned buildings in Arbor Hill!

The area's biggest rock club (Upstate Concert Hall) is located in a suburban strip mall which has also been home to a church & Big Lot's.

Mayor oompa loompa. I mean Jerry Jennings.

absurd gas prices

The state not paying the city taxes on its land use in Albany.

a grocer can't stick around in downtown troy :-/

That everyone gets out of their minds excited when we get a new supermarket,,,

The Egg

How some people think that traffic on the Northway is actually a problem.

I think it is absurd that we have such a poor quality newspaper serving the Capital of New York State. That I tend to get more relevant coverage of important local news from AOA is both a testament to the good work here and to the skewed priorities of the Times Union.

lack of regular and accessible public transportation in points north of albany into albany

I find "smallbany" absurd--my network of friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc here is more interconnected than the network in my hometown, where I lived for 22 years, and I've only been in Albany for 2 years--that's absurd.

I have recently been house hunting and the one thing I found to be absurd is the divider lines of school districts. Specifically as you go up Albany Shaker Road and enter into the N. Colonie/S. Colonie districts. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how the lines were drawn!

What's absurd? The Holiday Lights in the Park, that's what! Gigantic displays of our city's waste of funds and energy come blinking through my window in their erratic, egregious way the whole night through. You "can't walk through it" even though there's a walking path RIGHT NEXT TO THE ROAD! Well you "can" until 5:30 or whatever, but they don't even have the lights on for "walkers only" during the time our illustrious city "permits" people to walk through it. In addition, countless patrons will actually pay money to see this "winter wonder" in their automobiles, pouring carbon monoxide ad nauseum into the air around us, adding insult to injury with all the noise and pollution we already experience. Now don't get me wrong here: I like the holidays, I enjoy festive decorations, and I support the Police Athletic League, but seriously?!

It's absurd that we have an "International Airport" but anytime I want to fly somewhere out of the country, I have to travel to NYC, Boston, or Newark first!!

all the roundabouts in malta are absurd. also the drivers who blow right thru the yeild signs!

that the armory is allowed to have raves again. WTF. W.T.F.

I find it absurd the amount of municipal energy spent on useless projects such as the proposed convention center when we have an enormous abandoned building problem that still has no firm total for the number of vacant properties.

I find it absurd that Albany urban planning seems to only be concerned with how it will get Northway people to spend money during their commute, as opposed to developing Albany into a city that makes people want to stay when they decide to settle down and have kids.

It's absurd that the the majority of people calling Albany "SmAlbany" are the same people who frequent the numerous chain restaurants, shop exclusively at large chain supermarkets, never attend any cultural events and never make an effort to do anything of substance in this city. As evidenced by their terribly poor attempt at a portmanteau. There is plenty of amazing local culture to experience in Albany. Get up from your computer, stop eating at Applebee's and give this city a real chance.

You know what's absurd about Albany? The plague of double-parking in this town for no apparent reason - and which never seems to happen in Troy or Schenectady. For the past decade I have seen cars double-parked on city streets with an open parking spot - sometimes more than one open spot - a few feet away. The person driving seems not to care about disrupting traffic or parallel parking a few feet away, as long as they can sidle up right next to wherever it is they need to be. Why? Is it really that much to ask in a city where outside of Center Square there's actually quite a bit of parking, for you to take the time to pull your car out of traffic so the rest of us don't have to swerve around you? Ridiculous.

55 mph speed limit on the northway....

Within the Capital Region, I think it is absurd that you can literally walk one block and go from high rent area to low rent area in a matter of a house or two - in every city.

It is absurd how many local restaurants are closed on Sundays, including Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Lack of bike lanes.

I find the amount of people who think it's okay to drive slow in the fast lane absurd.

I think it's absurd that there are no good comedy clubs that bring in great comedians.

It's absurd how long road work takes in certain areas, especially Troy.

All of the good music venues keep shutting down (Revolution Hall, Jillian's)

The driving around the capital region is absurd when the first real snowfall hits. People forget how to drive.

I find the unemployment rate to be absurd.

I think it's absurd the way that 787 is built right next to the Hudson in Albany, and we can never fully take advantage of the riverfront community atmosphere, the way that other cities have done (Boston, Baltimore, Chattanooga, etc).

I think that it's absurd that it's called the Capital Region, not the Capitol Region. There is no finance hub or big money to speak of, so Capital seems misleading, but there is a huge, beautiful Capitol building which also is job anchor and general focal point of the area.

It is absurd that they would rather put up "Rough Road" signs on Route 85 than fix it.

That we have so many roundabouts (seems like more and more every month) and so many drivers that have absolutely no idea how to use them.

NYS taxes!!!!

Attempting to get on the northway at 5:30pm on a Friday. Foooo'get it!

Oh man, Lewis Black and Merry Monk! Great giveaway!

I think the relationship between drivers and pedestrians in Albany is absurd. A recent trip to San Francisco showed me how a city can/should operate, and what is wrong with Albany's drivers AND it's pedestrians.

The big public works are absurd. Between replacing the heart of Albany with a block of concrete and the riverfront with a highway; it certainly makes Albany distinctive.

It's absurd how many awesome giveaways AOA does!

It's absurd that every new business seems to go to Wolf Rd. I'd love to have things more spread out and develop the entire city!

How great it is to have an ice skating rink in the center of the Plaza!

I find it absurd that so many businesses feel the new to build new building for stores, banks, etc. when there are so many vacated buildings sitting empty.

I think it is absurd how many people cannot figure out how to parallel park efficiently on Albany city streets. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to drive by so many single cars taking up a space that could easily fit two vehicles.

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