"This may seem like an obsession, but it is not. This is the residue of an obsession."

NYT 1992 William Kennedy

Totally random, but we tripped over this recently while searching for something and thought you might enjoy reading it: An Elizabeth Kolbert chronicle of a night out in Albany with William Kennedy in 1992, with stops at Cafe Capriccio, (what was then) The Boulevard on Central Ave, and the Dove Street row house where Legs Diamond was killed.

A clip:

Albany has been William Kennedy's home for most of his 64 years; still, wherever he goes he finds the city fascinating. In a desolate spot under a highway overpass he recognizes the heart of the city's old red-light district, the Gut, where mobsters went for a good time. Where a stretch of office buildings now stands he spies the gaudy nightclubs where showgirls and their dates hung out. His own chosen haunts -- restaurants and bars where he is on a first-name basis with the waiters -- are places whose metamorphoses he recounts with the enthusiasm of an archeologist let loose on the Acropolis.
Cafe Capriccio, an intimate restaurant tucked away in a nondescript section of downtown Albany, counts Mr. Kennedy as a regular, and it is there that many of his evenings, including this one, begin. "This was LoPresti's grocery," he said, heading into the restaurant for dinner. "To our right, that was the old Italian neighborhood.
"There were two theaters right here," he continued, gesturing toward a stretch of parking lot. "And one saloon after another, with shows and vaudeville acts and dancing. I remember when this was a wide-open city, an all-night city."

By the way: That new WHMT documentary about Kennedy -- Kennedy of Albany: A Writer and His City Premieres -- is available in full online.

screengrab from NYT Times Machine

Comments

This is so cool! Great find. Thanks for posting!

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.

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.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Finding refuge: Francis Sengabo

This week we're sharing the stories of a handful of refugees who have found new homes in the Capital Region. For 17 years, Francis Sengabo... (more)

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival 2017

The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival returns to SPAC September 8 and 9. And this year's headlining food personality is David Ortiz. Because why not.... (more)

Moynihan Train Hall construction starting

The Cuomo admin announced Thursday that construction is starting on the Moynihan Train Hall, which serve as the new station for Amtrak trains in New... (more)

Biz Review: Central Warehouse has been sold

Ace local real estate reporter Mike DeMasi reported today that Central Warehouse -- AKA, that enormous block of a building with peeling paint that sits... (more)

Finding refuge: Olivier Mandevu

This week we're sharing the stories of a handful of refugees who have found new homes in the Capital Region. Olivier Mandevu came to Albany... (more)

Recent Comments

What a brave young woman. Despite all of the hardships she has endured her main focus is to educate herself in order to spend her life in service to others as a doctor. How inspiring.

Biz Review: Central Warehouse has been sold

...has 3 comments, most recently from Justin

Moynihan Train Hall construction starting

...has 1 comment, most recently from Paul

Imagining possibilities for Sheridan Hollow

...has 3 comments, most recently from BS

Finding refuge: Ni-Lar Way, Besa Paw, Christer-Say, Christer-Htoo

...has 2 comments, most recently from JenR

Finding refuge: Tafsela Hashimi

...has 2 comments, most recently from Kate