Items tagged with 'cool'
The weather was unfortunate, but oddly appropriate.
After a week of summer-like temperatures, Albany put on its cold, wet, gray English countryside look just in time for Sunday's Tweed Ride.
A couple of dozen cyclists donned their best tweed and wool knickers, skirts, caps, argyle socks, and other stylish riding togs and pedaled from the Ultraviolet Cafe on Delaware Ave, through Washington Park and down the hill to The Olde English Pub in Albany's first Tweed Ride, organized by Ethan Georgi.
After the jump, some of our photos from the morning, and a few from Dave Mercier, who followed the cyclists through the park and down to the pub.
This weekend, fortified by turkey and stuffing, teams from all over the Capital Region competed in the Albany Institute of History and Art's first LEGO Building Challenge. Teams of LEGO-maniacs faced off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Their mission: create Albany architecture from either the past, present or future.
We got to judge the contest on Sunday afternoon along with David Brickman, Jim Kambrich and Rebecca Angel Maxwell. We saw everything from an awesome model of the 1864 Saratoga Race Course, to a Village People concert at The Egg, to a futuristic hydroelectric power plant...
Jeremy Snyder loves a good chocolate chip cookie.
The Albany resident and father of two describes the chocolate chip cookie as "absolutely my favorite food ever." He's been baking them since his childhood and has amassed a huge pile of chocolate chip cookie recipes.
So maybe it isn't a surprise that he and his family took on the methodical task of unearthing the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe -- the chocolate chip cookie that towers above all others. The apex of sweet, chocolat-y, ooey-gooey on the inside, and crisp on the outside.
It took over a month, a lot of research, and the assistance of some 40 volunteers -- but they got there. Or darn close.
They say everybody has a story. And Abby Lublin wants to hear them all.
Abby is the founder of the monthly Front Parlor storytelling series in Troy.
We've been meaning to make it over for a few months, and last night we were part of the standing-room-only crowd at The Ale House.
Kevin Clark likes to do things big.
Kevin's a mural artist -- you've probably seen his handiwork on Capital Region Walls.
The "Welcome to Troy" mural? His. The one on the side of Brown's Brewing? His. He's also responsible for works on the walls of a bunch of schools, arenas, restaurants and shopping malls around the Capital Region.
His latest creation stands on the side of a building in downtown Troy and depicts the interior of Troy Saving Bank Music Hall.
Just passing by his work kind of brightens our day. And after we caught him in action last month in Troy, we had a few questions about this large scale work and the guy behind it.
Kevin's answers, and some more of his amazing work, after the jump.
Laura Glazer and Lori Hansen think Albany's Center Square residents are proud of their neighborhood. So when they were working on a 1st Friday project for the big windows at Capitol Wine, in the heart of the Washington Park/Center Square neighborhood, they wanted to find a way to express that pride.
The photographer and graphic artist considered a number of ideas before settling on the one thing that neither of them felt they were good at: drawing.
The result: some fun rolls of Center Square "wallpaper" that are fun, quirky and as it turns out, just a tiny bit AOA inspired.
Photos and a little more from Laura Glazer after the jump.
Italy, France, Belgium, Windham N.Y.
The final leg of the Tour De France of Mountain Biking-- The World Cup Mountain Bike Finals -- gets rolling this week about an hour from Albany. The best mountain bikers in the world are gathering on Windham Mountain this weekend to compete for the World Cup title.
This is the first time the World Cup final will be held in the U.S., and it's the first East Coast World Cup race ever.
After the jump, a few details about the weekend and some video of what you can expect to see.
An often strange (and fun) box of chocolates.
Not everything you find there will be to your taste, but you'll marvel at the wide variety of cool ingredients. At the Warehouse is a little bit Restoration Hardware, a little bit antique shop, a little bit craft store and a little bit kitschy history museum -- with a whole lot of je ne sais quoi.
On a recent trip to find some items to complete the AOA patio-office (one of our happy places) we stumbled on a few things that struck us as weird/fun/cool/bizarre...
So we were walking through the Washington Park neighborhood yesterday when we saw this long rope tied between two trees. It kind of looked like a makeshift dog run or something.
But when we came back a while later, we got this picture of its real purpose. Filmmaker and musician T'Chaka Sikelianos says tightrope walking is something he learned to do when he lived in Portland. Oregon. "People do it a lot there -- just for fun. To pass the time."
He's gotten pretty good at it too.
A few more pictures after the jump.
Ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time and redo your high school prom, but this time without the nerve-wracking search for a date or ridiculous cost of a five-minute limo ride?
Well, that's just what the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy aims to do on Saturday, May 29 -- give Albany adults the chance to get down, give back and leave the stress out.
The Engineers are at #13 Union this Saturday at 7 pm.
Ever notice how many cool old retro signs are hanging around the Capital Region?
I can't help it -- I find something about about all that kitsch rather charming. The other day I got thinking about some of my favorites and made a list.
Some of my favorites (with pictures of course) can be found after the jump.
What did I miss?
This is funny/cool/awesome: Ecovative's Greensulate material (you know, the insulation made from mushrooms) showed up as evidence on CSI:NY last night. Here's the episode -- the segment name-checking Ecovative and Greensulate is at 25:20.
It's a pretty great spot for the product. The characters talk about how it's fire-resistant and eco-friendly. But there's a mystery -- how did "cutting-edge insulation get on our vic?" Hmm.
Ecovative, which was started by two RPI grads and is now based in Green Island, has been been getting all sorts of attention recently. Founders Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre were on CNN in September. Bayer spoke at spoke at the nerd-chic PopTech conference in October (here's video). And now they're helping Gary Sinise catch bad guys.
Earlier on AOA: A (very cool) fungus grows in Troy
screen grab: CBS
Ever hula hoop? Yes, hula hoop.
Of course you have.
You can still find some of the standard, garden variety hoops in the toy stores next to the boxes of colorful rubber balls, but Wende Smith would rather make her own. And hers have sparkly pink and purple butterflies and other cool stuff.
Wende is a Saratoga County mom and the owner of a little company called Happy Hoops.
Kaitlyn Ross knows cold. It seems Capital News 9 is always sending her out into to it to do live shots in blizzards and ice storms.
She and photographer Victor Lopez went along with the New York National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing -- which is based at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia -- on a support mission to the science stations in Greenland. (The 109th is the wing that flew the Antarctic rescue flight for Dr. Jerri Nielsen 10 years ago today.) Their story about the trip airs as a half-hour special on Channel 9 this Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 10 am (a series of smaller segments is also online).
It sounded like a wild ride. So we emailed Kaitlyn a few questions -- and she bounced back answers about bundling up, bed bugs, and badass National Guardsmen.
Leah Walsh has worms.
Lots of them, in fact.
And they're living under her kitchen sink.
The Albany resident, whose blog Our Yellow House documents DIY crafts, cooking, gardening and raising her two girls in the mansion neighborhood, got the worms awhile back to help her compost food waste and garbage.
So how's that working out for her?
Check out this video clip from the Other Guys shoot this past weekend in downtown Albany:
There's a clip of the same stunt, from a different angle, after the jump (the sound is better on the second clip).
And check out the pic Brian posted of the car stuck in the side of the bus.
Plenty of people brew their own beer, but Patrick Boegel takes home brewing a step further.
The Delmar home brewer has been crafting his own beers for about ten years -- but last year he decided to start growing his own hops.
Hops are one of the main component of beer -- and they're a really important part of how the beer tastes, but most home brewers just buy them.
So why did Patrick Boegel start growing his own? To get him through the great world hops crisis of 2007.
A peace pagoda sounds like something you'd have to trek to Nepal to find, right? Uh-uh. There's a gorgeous one right in Rensselaer County, in the quiet little town of Grafton.
The Grafton Peace Pagoda is a lovely spot that's home to a famed Buddhist nun .
Here's the scoop.
When we heard there was a shipwreck in the middle of Lake George we kind of went, "Waitaminute, what?"
But there is, in fact, a shipwreck in Lake George. Joe Zarzynski told us so. Zarzynski is a former high school social studies teacher turned underwater archeologist. In the 1980's he spent most of his free time chasing the Loch Ness Monster and Champ -Lake Champlain's version of the Nessie.
He stopped actively looking for underwater "monsters" in the early 90's and focused on shipwrecks instead. The shipwrecks were easier to find because-- you know-- they don't move.
Zarzynski says there are actually lots of shipwrecks in Lake George -- more than 200. And he's helped to find a lot of them. But the most impressive wreck he's found is The Lost Radeau a floating bastion from the French and Indian War -- that rests more than 100 feet below the surface of the lake. Now, thanks to his efforts, you can see it too - just be sure to bring your wet suit.
Think back to your old talking toys. You know, like the Speak and Spell, or the mini Barbie Karaoke machine (what, you didn't have one of those?).
Now imagine them souped-up and turned into musical instruments. That's kind of the idea behind Casper Electronics in Troy.
Pete Edwards has been modifying and creating unique electronic instruments for about nine years using things like old circuit boards, keyboards and old toys. He's worked on projects for all sorts of musicians, including Negativland, Mike Patton (of bands like Faith No More and Mr. Bungle) and Danny Elfman. .
Recently Edwards and his partner Kate Sweater, moved their shop from Brooklyn to Troy. Hmm.
You can smell Louise Sikelianos coming.
As she tools down the streets of Albany in her 1990 VW Jetta, the air smells of french fries. Three years ago Louise converted her deisel to a grease car that runs on a combination of diesel fuel and vegetable oil.
It's one of a handful of grease cars that are running on the leftovers at Capital Region restaurants.
AOA went with Louise for a quick spin in the grease car...
This is one of the stranger things we've seen lately. RPI student Kyle McDonald built an interface for a synthesizer using a laptop, a webcam and... Skittles.
Here's an earlier version of the setup, which controlled a beat sequencer. One of the problems with the first version, as noted by McDonald: "people like to eat Skittles."
There's more about McDonald's work -- including a tea cup theremin -- at The Approach.
When your parents told you not to play with your food, they probably meant the utensils too. But what if they knew you could make a living at it. Really.
At this year's Tulipfest and Art on Lark events, I spotted this very cool art made entirely of forks.
Just bent forks.
No glue, no soldering, no Matrix-like powers -- just a pair of pliers.
Monday through Friday she works with pixels and laser printers, designing computer
graphics for advertising and public relations at EMA in Albany. But on Saturdays Lori Hansen abandons keyboard, mouse and laser printer for ink, wood and steel.
A couple of years ago Hansen found a vintage 1880's letter press on Ebay. Fifteen hundred dollars, five guys, a hydraulic lift, an elaborate system of pulleys and a big truck later it was hers.
She gave us a tour of her vintage print shop, tucked away in a corner of the Historic Albany Architectural Parts Warehouse, where she prints fun, quirky, handmade cards on beautiful paper.
A closer look at Lori and the press, including photos and video of how it works -- after the jump.
Also, we could never quite figure out how to pronounce his name, which is why we -- and almost everyone else -- refer to them as "The Twin Bridges."
He took a few minutes out of his weekend to give us the inside scoop on Kosciuszko who, it turns out, was a pretty impressive guy: an engineer, an abolitionist and, oh yeah, the guy responsible for the plan that helped change the course of the Revolutionary War.
A few details and an early map of his battle plans after the jump.
And we also find out how to pronounce "Kosciuszko."
Since my husband is allergic to every animal that walks on earth, fish have become the pet of choice at our house. But the over bred and sad little fishies sold at the big box pet stores weren't cutting it. I needed to find fish with gumption. I needed to find fish with the will to live.
My search led me to a flipping good fish store (I know, but it's really tough to resist a good fish pun).
Davey Jones Locker is like a funky little aquarium on Delaware Avenue in Albany.
Not so long ago the circus came to A-town and it started a discussion here at AOA about the poor treatment of the elephants and lions. Well here's a way for those who want to boycott the PETA-unfriendly circuses to experience some big top style thrills.
Check out the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.
So this weekend at Art on Lark, AOA's too-fabulous Jess Pasko got her best Tim Gunn on and joined Kristi G, fashion designers Katie Pray and Gina Ulrich and Upstate Magazine's Christa Dijstelbergen to judge Project Larkway (think Project Runway for local designers and models).
This year's designers were Amy Orr , Jill Castle and Joleen Button. Button won.
Here's a little of the inside scoop from the judges on how it went down and more pictures from the runway.
What's the most fascinating exhibit at the New York State Museum?
The giant woolly mastodon? The Iroquois longhouse? The set of Sesame Street?
Ask my kids and they'll tell you it's the merry-go-round on the fourth floor. Ask me-- or other adults that have seen it-- and you might actually get the same answer.
So, remember a few weeks ago when I talked with fire eating hula hooper extraordinaire Dehva Colure and she mentioned a local fire artists meet up group? Mmmm-hmm.
Well, I promised more about that later -- and here it is.
"Hmm... should I get the oil changed, wash the car or bathe the dog?"
Well, that's one dilemma you'll never have to struggle with again. Now you can do them all at once at the auto clinic/car wash/dog wash in Menands.
Yes, the auto clinic/car wash/dog wash.
It made sense to me, considering my dirty dog is often to blame for my dirty car. And if you've got a dog bigger than say, a Chihuahua or a pug, then you know what a pain trying to bathe them at home in the tub can be.
This week, the pooch was starting to smell a bit from all that rolling in the park so I decided to check it out.
Just in time for Earth Day, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is docked at Riverfront Park in Rensselaer.
The 106-foot wooden replica of a 19th Century Dutch Sloop travels the Hudson between NYC and Albany to spread the word about fighting pollution and remind people of the beauty of the river.
Every once in a while the sloop drops anchor near Albany and gives Capital Region residents a chance to see what it's all about.
OK, so you've probably heard all about locavorism and the effort to buy locally-sourced, but what about taking that philosophy and applying it to industrialism?
That's exactly what RPI grads Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre are trying to do with their company Ecovative Design.
If you have a couple of hours before the end of October, check out the Berkshire Bird Paradise. Yes, we said bird paradise. It's about 40 minutes from Albany, easy to find, and totally worth it.
Over 30 years Peter Dubacher has collected/rescued more than 100 species of birds from all over the world and made a home for them at his bird sanctuary in Petersburgh (near Grafton). Don't leave without talking to him (and make sure you ask him how he met his wife).
What will you hear and see?
Art? From a vending machine?
Yes, IPods aren't the only things that come in vending machines here in the Capital Region. A vending machine* in Troy has been refitted to dispense miniature pieces of art by emerging artists.
Yeah, we know It sounds a little weird, but it's actually kind of cool.
Updated October 17, 2008.
If you've always wanted to visit a sculpture museum that evokes an auto body shop (and really, who hasn't), here's your chance.
Check it out: AOA faves Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned are currently on tour through Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina, so they stopped by the offices of famed indie label Merge Records in Durham, NC to play an impromptu show. It sounds like the Merge folks were just sitting there when they started hearing music and looked out the window.
We like how Matthew Loiacono described it: a drive-by Albany-ing.
UPDATE: The Hobo Banned reports that the South is different but awesome!
Earlier on AOA: Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned live
photo: Merge Blog