Items tagged with 'Martin Daley'

Rediscovering a Capital Region childhood

Mason Daley - Soapbox Photo.jpg

One of Albany's newest residents has a lot to look forward to.

soapbox badgeAt 7:57am on Sunday, April 29, 2012, my life changed forever.

My wife, Jennifer, and I welcomed a beautiful 7lb,12oz. baby boy into the world. Mason Royal Daley. Our first child.

Words cannot do true justice to the emotions that poured over me when Mason was born. I felt bliss, fear, admiration, confusion, and excitement all at the same time. I'm coming to understand how much love I have that I didn't know I was capable of. I am so looking forward to being a part of my son's life. I'm excited to share with him all the things that I experienced growing up.

Parenthood, in some ways, is a bit of a second shot at childhood.

Mason's arrival has rejuvenated my desire to go out and explore, discovering and rediscovering wonderful things that are right here in my backyard.

Here's what's at the top of that list:

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Albany Rural Cemetery, after dark

ARC Martin Daley moon behind cross.jpg

ARC, after dark

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeI have a strong phobia of death.

Like, a wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the night-in-a-cold-sweat kind of fear. The kind of fear I sometimes just need to talk my way through.

I simply can't fathom not existing. It scares the heck out of me.

Why then, you might ask, would someone with this terrible, gripping fear of the great beyond be wandering around Albany Rural Cemetery in the middle of the night?

It was all about the photos.

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The view from 33

bank hours

3 pm?!?!?!?

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeI turn 33 on March 30. I'm an old man. An old, cantankerous man. And boy, have I gotten ornery. Things just seem to get to me more than they ever have in the past.

From Pine Hills litterbugs to bankers hours to parking whiners. It all seems to be getting on my nerves more than it used to.


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An urban wish list

787 Corning view

On Martin's urban wish list: tearing down 787.

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeI've written a lot about what I wish for in the Capital Region: A walkway on the Livingston Ave. Bridge (for which I have a petition), chickens, and preservation of our historic/unique architecture.

These are fairly practical ideas. In fact, I think they're no-brainers, which is why I get more than a little irritated when I hear we can't have them or our elected officials brush them off.

But my imagination is filled with an even longer urban wish list filled with things I'd make happen if I had a billion dollars to spend.

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The quintessential Capital Region food?

Doughboy.jpg

The Esperanto Doughboy is on the list.

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeLet me get this out there right off the bat: I AM NOT A FOODIE. I know about as much about food as most people know about the rules of cricket. Do I like to eat? Yes. But I am not a food expert, nor have I ever claimed to be one. Surely, the following treatise is going to spark a great debate, rage perhaps. But take my list here with a grain of salt. I. Am not. A foodie. I'm just an average dude, looking for some meaning in local food.

Philadelphia has cheese steaks. Boston has baked beans. New York is known for pizza and bagels. Chicago for deep dish pizza. Kansas City has made a name with their BBQ, New Orleans is brimming with jambalaya and Baltimore has blue crabs. Sure, the these cities are major metropolitan areas, but Utica is known for Tomato Pie, Binghamton has Spiedies, and all Western New York towns claim beef on weck as their own. Hey, Buffalo invented wings.

So what have we got? What is Albany's, or rather the Capital Region's, claim to gastronomical fame? I have wondered far too long.

I reached out to a few Capital Region friends and asked them this question: What qualifies as a "quintessential" local food?

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Awesome Albany architecture

575 Broadway Albany

One of Martin's favorite Albany buildings .

By Martin Daley

One of the first things you notice about a city is its architecture.

The layout of a place and its buildings are a kind of looking glass in which you can see the values of past generations. Architecture helps give a city its character.

Albany has plenty of architectural character. But being so close to New York, we sometimes suffer from what I call "place esteem" issues.

New York has buildings like the Guggenheim, the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Grand Central Station (the interior of which which I consider one of the greatest places in the world). Sure, Albany may not match up in terms of scale or recognition -- but we've got some pretty spectacular stuff. Our city hall was designed by world-renowned architect H.H. Richardson. The plans for the University Club were drawn by Albert Fuller. Perhaps our city's most prolific and celebrated architect, Marcus T. Reynolds, designed so many distinctive and recognizable downtown buildings that his pen may have shaped Albany more than any developer until the South Mall was built.

I'm by no means an art historian, or an architecture buff. I can hardly tell the style of a building, but I know what I like. So after the jump, seven reasons why I think Albany can be proud of its architecture. Granted not all of these buildings are architectural wonders, but to me, well, I can't help but swoon over them.

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Winter stuff for your car, your house, and you

yaktrax on a boot

Martin on YakTrax: "These ingenious little cheap accessories saved my ass a few times walking around the city on icy sidewalks..."

By Martin Daley

Winter will be here soon, whether you like it or not. Rather than be a passive complainer, make to the choice to grab winter before it grabs you. Over the next few weeks we'll have a series of posts about how to make winter better/easier/more fun. You should own winter, not the other way around.

First up: Martin's list of items you should have for your car, house, and person. He is both a hardy Northeasterner and the kind of guy who stops to help people get their cars unstuck from the snow. Now is a good time to get these things organized -- before you actually need them.

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A walkable Livingston Avenue Bridge

livingston ave bridge

A way across the Hudson -- possibly for more than just trains.

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeIt's a frustrating thing to watch bureaucracy get in the way of great vision. It can result in some pretty bad decisions, the kind that make you look back and say "woulda, coulda, shoulda..." when it's too late to make changes. Which is what we may be saying soon about the pedestrian walkway on the Livingston Avenue Bridge.

The bridge has become a very important issue to many cycling advocates and pedestrians. I am one of them. I tell people this is my "chickens issue" -- a project that could significantly transform Albany.

So what's so special about a walkway on a bridge?

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A dog's life in the Capital Region

Martin Daley and Murphy.jpg

Murphy and his person, Daleyplanit

By Martin Daley and Murphy Daley

Greetings, All Over Albany Readers! My name is Murphy. And yes, I'm a dog! My Master, Daleyplanit, sometimes writes for the Sunday Soapbox. This week he wanted to post about the life of a dog in Albany -- a subject I'm pretty familiar with -- so we decided I should step in.

So here's Murphy's dog-eye view of life in Albany.

First, a little about me...

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The one-car household: a car junkie cuts back

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeI am what you may call a recovering car junkie.

I. Love. Cars.

I've had over 10 of them -- even a couple of classics. And I still pine for the restored 1986 Jeep CJ-7 I once owned.

But a couple of years ago a muffler shop noticed a ton of frame rust on my barely-broken-in Toyota Tacoma and told me about a buyback program created to address the problem. After a month of back and forth, Toyota eventually bought my beloved truck back.

Since then, we've been a single car household.

Here's how it's worked out.

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The Lark Tavern: where everybody knew your name

lark tavern neon sign

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeI miss the Lark Tavern. I really, really, really miss the Lark Tavern. Funny, I never thought I'd ever get so nostalgic about a bar, but then again, you don't know what you've got until it's gone and the Lark Tavern wasn't just any bar.

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Of government and chickens

albany common council law committee chickens

The Albany Common Council law committee's meeting on backyard chickens last month.

By Martin Daley

soapbox badgeAll my life I've tried to steer as clear as possible from the political arena. But, the older I get, the more I see how government makes a difference in my everyday life. It would seem that politics has found me.

There's an old saying that laws are a lot like sausages -- no one wants to see how they're made. Sadly, I'm finding out just how true that saying is. The more I get involved in local government, the more frustrated I am.

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Loving -- and hating -- the Empire State Plaza

egg corning tower museum from esp

Impressive -- and maddening.

By Martin Daley

soap box badgeLike lots of Albanians, I have a love/hate relationship with the Empire State Plaza.

I've never known Albany without the ESP. It's just always been there for me. I know I'm coming home when I see it on the horizon. It's a symbol of this city, and there's no changing that.

Nelson Rockefeller sure knew how to make his mark.

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An urban planner grows in Albany

By Martin Daley

soap box badgeWe're pulling out the AOA soap box each Sunday for people to praise, complain, suggest, joke, or make an observation about things they see going on in the Capital Region.

Nostalgia can encourage people to play fast and loose with their memories.

I'm sure I remember my childhood in Albany's Helderberg neighborhood as far more exciting and enjoyable than it really was. I was born in Boston, but I was three when we moved here, and I can say with certainty that I'm Albany-bred, of Albany stock, a true Albanian.

As a kid, your definition of "worst things ever" is pretty undeveloped, so it's certainly likely I wallowed in the misery of dating (lack of), homework, and boredom, but my brain doesn't store much of that stuff. The good memories of childhood (including sunny summer days playing football; late fall nights playing street hockey; making race car tracks in the yard for matchbox cars; riding bikes; and general mischief) are the memories that resonate.

I didn't realize until years later that the layout and landscape of the neighborhood I grew up in played a strong role in shaping my values -- and my career.

I'll admit, there were signs very early on that I might grow up to be an urban planner: I loved Sim City, my favorite book was New Providence, and I had a gigantic Lego city laid out in the basement.

Sometimes, you just don't see the forest through the trees.

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Whenever I drive into the Warehouse District, things get eerily quiet. If I get out of my car, I can't see anyone else around, and I get the sense that Nipper is watching me... sometimes I feel like I can just barely see his tail wagging out of the corner of my eye. That's crazy, right? I always get an urge to pick up a tree branch and throw it... but there aren't any trees. When I feel the first playful bite on the back of my leg, that's when it's time to get back in the car and drive. #nipperisalive

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