Gregory Maguire on Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood

Check it out: Akum got Gregory Maguire to write about the Pine Hills of his childhood -- of the architecture, the geography, the shops, and perhaps most importantly, the library:

To pull open the heavy oak door of the library! -- then to encounter, first, the silence; and slowly to note the creak of floorboards and the squeak of rubber soles on grey linoleum tacked down in heavily trafficked areas. Then to hear the clank of antique radiators and to smell the radiator heat. Then to notice the pleasant odor of old lady clothes, and of those replacement library bindings, which seemed to be made of plastic chitin and gave off a noxious smell that provided a good buzz. Then, at the same moment, both to smell and to see the wood varnish on the golden lintels and rood screens and turned bannisters of the magnificent staircase ... It was a kind of heaven.

Maguire grew up on Lancaster Street, near North Pine Ave. As he writes in the piece, his family moved there in 1955. And his stepmother lived there until this past spring when she passed away.

By the way: Akum has been working on a history of her house -- not too far from Maguire's childhood home -- and the surrounding neighborhood. You can catch pieces of the project on her blog.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A good dog park?

Mary asks via Twitter: Any recommendations for dog parks in the Albany or Colonie areas? Django needs some friends... Mary included this pic of Django.... (more)

Peak moose activity

Noted, from the state Department of Environmental Conservation: "Early fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York. During this time moose are... (more)

Gary Shteyngart at Saratoga Springs Public Library

Author Gary Shteyngart will be at the Saratoga Springs Public Library November 6 to talk about his memoir Little Failure. Tickets are $45 -- they... (more)

Tournament of Pizza 2014

Each September in the Capital Region we mark the return of the crisp autumn air, the warm sun shining upon us from brilliantly blue skies,... (more)

Capitol Hauntings Tour 2014

Registration is now open for the annual Capitol Hauntings Tour at the state Capitol. Tour blurbage: Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol... (more)

Recent Comments

Dutchfest. Dutch food, Dutch beer, wooden shoes, Vincent van Gogh lookalike contest. Everybody pays their own way (goes Dutch) and arrives by bicycle...

A good dog park?

...has 1 comment, most recently from Carl

Drawing: Oktoberfest

...has 76 comments, most recently from Mike H

Tournament of Pizza 2014

...has 8 comments, most recently from OKW

Saint Rose adjuncts vote to unionize

...has 4 comments, most recently from Bill

Margination: An attempt to create a different sort of local economy

...has 3 comments, most recently from Troy Girl