"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

Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day (observed) Monday. The annual Albany Veterans Day Parade will be starting at Central and Ontario and heads east on Central to Hawk... (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 (November for real), to... (more)

An update on that big project near Quackenbush Square (the one that's currently a big hole in the ground)

At the beginning of this year the big mixed-use development proposed for the site just north of Quackenbush Square on Broadway in downtown Albany got... (more)

The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection at the State Museum

The State Museum opens a new exhibit -- The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection -- this Saturday. It includes more more... (more)

Kirsten Gillibrand's appearance on The Late Show -- and her answer to that question

Kirsten Gillibrand's appearance on the The Late Show Thursday night is embedded above. The clip has been getting a lot of attention this morning because... (more)

Recent Comments

Much, Much improved over the movie theatre idea...reallly embraces Troy as a residential city. Keep the tower tall---troy needs the tax dollars, it adds to the skyline. Access and development of the waterfront was well done. And returning Hudson River Sloops--nice touch, reminds me of the learn to sail places along the Charles in boston. This is a plan worthy of public investment. Let's not make perfect the enemy of the good.

Kirsten Gillibrand's appearance on The Late Show -- and her answer to that question

...has 2 comments, most recently from BS

The week ahead

...has 1 comment, most recently from U Club

Fresh Neighborhood Market

...has 9 comments, most recently from patty

An update on that big project near Quackenbush Square (the one that's currently a big hole in the ground)

...has 3 comments, most recently from BS

There's a new, bigger proposal for residential + retail development on New Scotland Ave across from St. Peter's Hospital

...has 8 comments, most recently from grandmastergus