AOA birthday drawing: Lunch with AOA

Thumbnail image for famous lunch troy exterior 2013-April

It could be a "famous" local lunch place, or wherever. Your choice.

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Drawing's closed!

We've had an awesome birthday week. Thank you to all the businesses who provided birthday "presents" for us to give away this week. And many thanks to the people at The Malt Room at Brown's for a great party.

But we're most most grateful to the readers, contributors, and members of the AOA community for making the last six years such a fascinating ride for us. As we've said many times before, the part of all this has been the people. It's been great to meet so many interesting people.

So our final birthday week drawing is a little different, but we think it will be fun: The AOA Editors will take the winner of today's drawing out to lunch at that person's favorite Capital Region lunch spot. (We'll leave it up to you to decide if that's a prize or not.)

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

What's one thing you've learned/thought was interesting via AOA? It could be something from a story here, it could be something someone said in a comment, could be whatever.

We'll draw one winner at random. That person gets to pick the spot for lunch. (The location is subject to the Editors' approval, but barring something weird or outrageous, we're probably going to say yes to it.)

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Monday, April 21, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) 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 5 pm on Tuesday, April 22 and must respond by 5 pm on Wednesday April 23.


I LOVE the articles posted on Fridays about what's happening this weekend. I've found a lot of cool things to do that I never would have known about without AOA.

AOA provides my game plan of what to do every weekend that I am in town!

I have learned about many things from you, but right now I'm thinking how glad I am that I attended the Lydia Davis reading Wednesday that you'd featured in The Week Ahead.

The local crodo!!!

All of the latest new businesses/bars/whatever opening in the area. You keep my up to date!

So many come to mind, but I'll pick one of your map explorations: The one showing the locations and frequency of Stewart's Shoppes in the region. As someone who isn't from this area, but now calls it home, the abundance of an uber-regional chain like this both amazes and satisfies me.

new bars, restaurants, and shops in the area - love it

Anything from Casey Normile was a gem - but I learned first about the Hold Steady and Deer Tick concerts at the Hollow - you guys were on the ball for that.

AOA is absolutely SKILLFUL at taking a large issue and breaking it down into it's components, but without sounding preachy or taking sides. Example: The oil tanker train cars in Albany, casino location issues, the construction near Albany Med... I can't think of a specific example, but there have been several times when an article was posted, and I just thought, "Yes! Now I can finally understand what's going on here!"

I love that this blog is read by people who like Albany and want to make it better. Coming to this town, I met a lot of people who lived here but had zero (or less than zero) Albany pride. Reading the articles and comments on here taught me that there are some people around here who do care!

I'm not an Albany native, I came up here to go to SUNY. I always thought Albany was terrible, there was nothing to do, nothing to eat, nothing at all! I started to embrace this city after I graduated and all my college friends were gone, but I stayed for grad school. I found out about AOA, and learned so much about Albany. "Stuff to do," "Eat this," you name it, I've read it and enjoyed it. I've been enjoying this city so much, partially with the help of AOA, and three years later I still haven't left. Thanks guys!

AOA posted a link to a story in 2012 by American Troyalty about tubing the Battenkill. Because of that I bought kayaks and have been trying to go down every river possible in the area...I check the water levels first, having learned from Jessica you might be miserable if you don't.

I think the best part of AOA is finding out all the things to do I never would have known about!!! It's kind of like a really cool social calendar!

I've learned so many tidbits about the history of the capital region - AOA is a great place for these random interesting bits of knowledge!

I've learned that there are so many interesting places and activities in this city that do NOT involve politics.

The Dyken Pond article was awesome! We checked it out shortly after reading it and it was such a great local find.

Wow, that's a tough question. The first thing that comes to my mind was that I used AOA's bday freebies post a couple years ago when thinking of bday stuff to do/eat/drink.
And I like how, in the comments of that post, things are still being added.

AOA has made me want to give certain neighborhoods, restaurants, etc another try....

Not being from around here, AOA was amazing when I first moved here as far as where to eat, what shows to see, etc. It continues being my fav local guide by introducing me to local people who contribute to AOA and who attend the events! I love What's Up in the Neighborhood!

Tournament of Pizza!

All are fine stories but I recently found most interesting is the one on the AOA Startup Grant.

boot scrapers. i had no idea and now i see them everywhere

I love the stories with maps. It's fascinating!

I've also learned of a ton of things to do on the weekend through All Over Albany. I always check it before the weekend starts!

I love the Tournament of Pizza. I might have to open a pizzeria to compete in it.

The maps and the local pronunciation guide and the historical tidbits and...

The thing that brought me to AoA in the first place was the local Craigslist roundup, which has continued to please over the years. I think this year my favorite thing is I get to pretend I am way more knowledgeable about the E23 issue than I really am when I have brunch with my boyfriend's parents because of what I have read on here. Keep up the good work!

I read AOA to find out about issues that are important to people in my neighborhood. I especially appreciate your coverage of Troy. Just earlier this week I learned about the memorial downtown, and shared the story with a new friend last night. They thought I was smart. AOA is my secret, of course.

Boot scrapers! I notice them all the time now after having read Casey Normile's article.

The weekend outlook is super useful, and I like how you cover the local land use issues in a pretty non biased manner. I also like that the blog comments aren't as snarky as some other local blogs.

The number of things that I've found out about via AOA over the years is countless. I'll give just two recent examples: the "purple mustard" at the birthday party (never heard of it, and it was delicious) and the Maple Water product being developed (never heard of it, sounds delicious!)

Too many things to name. But I love when you announce concerts. I was able to get Springsteen tickets thanks to you. Keep up the helpful, amazing work XOXO

AOA always entertains and educates me about my adopted home. Fun fact I learned on AOA is that the park by my house was a giant slaughter yard and meat processing place in th 1800's. Have fun kids!

I'll second the Tournament of Pizza. Found some great places through that.

There are so many things I've learned from AOA, but my favorite was the Tournament of Pizza! From stories on local history and architecture to What's up in the neighborhood AOA keeps informed and entertained! Happy birthday and may you have many more!

Tournament. Of. Pizza.

So much stuff! But my favorite thing I've learned are that the holes by the ESP are the parking garage's nostrils. That still makes me laugh.

I've learned quite a bit from this site. One of my favorite things is discovering new restaurants based on articles or comments. One of my favorite places I've found from reading this site is Taiwan Noodle. Great food!

I learned that if I get someone hooked on AOA, they think I'M that smart, saavy friend (you know, the one you wish you had?).

Daniel B's column on what is good really turned me on to AOA.

You gave me Crisan! What more could I ask for?! I am forever in your debt!

ONE thing? Are you kidding? I seriously love all of the Ask AoA features...a fair number of my questions have been posted to this feature and answered by readers. They've saved me money, kept me from getting screwed on home/car repair and in one case - introduced me to Carl's mom who is a bad*ss and one of my favorite people.

One thing that I've found quite useful is the Supermarket Showdown. I'd like to see Trader Joe's and the Co-op added though.

I made my first trip to the Roosevelt baths in Saratoga after reading a post on AOA about it. You guys post awesome posts about day trips and things to do and enjoy in the capital region. I've found other local bloggers on your What's happening in the neighborhood post also.

The post on the census info - breaking it down into interesting stuff...I loved it!

Kimchi fries!

I have learned to love Albany! Thanks, Mary and Greg.

I've learned that the comment section can be smart, sane and civil. Thanks for being such good online citizens.

Ive learned that there are a lot of people selling (and im assuming buying (?)) goats through Craigslist.

Like Danielle said, the post with birthday freebies was super useful. It was probably the first thing I saw that got me reading AOA.

I learned about the kerfuffle between the Times Union and Anthony Gucciardo stemming from a Piece by Kristi Gustafson about real estate agents. Obviously, this was not covered by most media outlets, but it was a peek into how media outlets weigh objectivity in light of income.

AOA is where I discovered WEXT's My Exit, resulting in my own My Exit show.

I have learned so much. I love hearing about new restaurants and events. I also really enjoy your neighborhood blog roundup. It led me to a few more local blogs that I really enjoy.

Just a belated shoutback to Val, and a thanks -- my mom IS a bad*ss.

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What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


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