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

Morning Blend

Watervliet warehouse fire A large warehouse fire in Watervliet Saturday night took multiple departments and many hours to extinguish. Watervliet's fire chief says the cause... (more)

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (classic), to swimming pools,... (more)

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Sandy looked at whether light rail is right for the Capital Region right... (more)

Today's moment of summer

Euclid Ave in Albany.... (more)

Downtown Albany outdoor movie series survey

The Downtown Albany BID is setting up an outdoor movie series for later this summer and fall. And it's looking for input on which movies... (more)

Recent Comments

... I can't overstate enough how wrong stereotypes about school districts can be. A lot of people have preconceived notions about places, both positive and negative, that don't always match reality until you and your child experience it yourself. ...

Another record year for New York State maple syrup production

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

The week ahead

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danielle Sanzone

Milk delivery options in the Capital Region

...has 42 comments, most recently from Lauren

On Lark Street, not extinct

...has 4 comments, most recently from Heather Hewitt

Weekend Destination: Finger Lakes

...has 6 comments, most recently from Laura