Items tagged with 'jessicapasko'

What I miss about the Capital Region

Larkway judge Jess Pasko.JPG

We miss Jess.

By Jessica Pasko

soapbox badgeIt's been a little over four months since I packed up my belongings and my dog and drove west to California. After finishing graduate school in Chicago and applying for jobs there and all over the East Coast, I got frustrated with the rejections and decided to start applying to random places out west. I ended up landing a gig in a little surfing city that's perhaps best known for being the fictional Santa Carla in that 80s classic The Lost Boys. These days I spend my time marveling over the myriad species of succulents and palm trees that grow around me, listening to the siren song of the sea lions, and chastising myself when 45 degrees in January seems cold to me.

Santa Cruz is a small city, smaller than Albany, about an hour and a half south of San Francisco and at the tail end of the Silicon Valley. I live two blocks from the ocean and there are awesome taquerias a-plenty. Still, lately I've been feeling a little homesick. Sure, that's largely due to missing friends, family and AOA, but there's a lot I miss about living in the Capital Region.

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Back in town: Eric Ayotte

By Jessica Pasko

eric ayotteTraveling film fest impresario, musician and Troy native Eric Ayotte will be back in town this week, performing and showing films at Tuesday at the Albany Social Justice Center.

While living in the New Paltz area, Ayotte had the idea for a traveling film festival that could help foster a stronger community for DIY filmmakers like himself. That led to the creation of the Gadabout Film Festival almost a decade ago, a collection of short films that Ayotte and others brought from town to town in a bio-diesel powered van. Since then, the festival has completed several national tours and screened the works of filmmakers from all over the country and the world. It's a festival that's not competitive and is aimed more at creating connections and building communities among those producing truly independent film.

Ayotte's also a musician and he'll be showing off both talents at Tuesday's show.

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Local stocking stuffers

holiday gifts 2010 stocking stuffers

A little something.

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. We'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

On this final day of gift ideas, I bring you the stocking stuffers. Most of these would also make great gifts for those people for whom you need just a little something.

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Holiday cards from Delaware Community School

Delaware School Card

Happy holidays, from the Delaware Community School

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. We'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

Today on the AOA gift list -- Reindeer over Albany, birds of peace and happy polar bears, straight from the imaginations of local kids at the Delaware Community School.

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Vintage Video Games from Pastime Legends

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You can't go home again -- but you can play your old games.

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

On this ninth day of the gift guide, AOA brings to you: retro video games and a partridge in a pear tree.

OK, no partridge. And no tree. But the rest, yes. Absolutely.

I'm not much of a gamer myself - when I think games, I think of Scrabble or Apples to Apples. And my video game skills don't go too far past the occasional attempt at "Guitar Hero." But for the right person -- the video game freak (or is it geek?) who doesn't just want the hot new thing but appreciates a good game of Super Mario Brothers, Pastime Legends is your place.

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New York wine and cheese

Harmony House Marketplace

A one-stop shop in Cohoes.

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

This next suggestion just might be my favorite -- the gift of wine and cheese.

Sure, New York doesn't appear to be any closer to allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores, but that doesn't mean there's no place to go for both wine and cheese.

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Run, We Must shirts and hoodies

ben kn shirts composite

Wear, you must?

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

This next item just might be on my own wish list.

You might know Ben Karis-Nix for his unique blend of indie rock, but the local musician also designs a clothing line called Run, We Must.

I'm all about the feel-good gifts this year. And these shirts are a way to be fashionable and eco-friendly at the same time.

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The gift of garlic

Saratoga garlic

Breath mints optional.

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

My love of garlic is well-documented at this point, but in my mind, you can never have enough of the spicy stuff in your life. So today in the AOA gift guide -- the gift of garlic.

Garlic aioli to be exact, from Saratoga Garlic.

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Carbon Reduction Certificates

Adirondacks -B.jpg

Ahhhh.

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season.

OK, this one is for that person in your life that has absolutely everything. You know the type. It's also good for the particularly eco-conscious person.

Carbon reduction certificates from the Adirondack Council.

Because what says love more than helping preserve clean air?

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Hudson Valley Seed Packets

Hudson Valley Seeds - Dragon Tongue

Because winter won't last forever

By Jessica Pasko

The AOA elves are back to help you with your holiday shopping. For the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you fun, interesting, local gift ideas for the holiday season. Today Jess kicks things off with flowers and veggies from the Hudson Valley Seed Library.

These aren't your -- excuse the pun -- garden-variety Burpee packets. Think varieties like Kaleidoscope carrots, Green Zebra Tomatoes, and Dragon's Tongue Beans.

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I'll see you later

albany b sign

By Jessica Pasko

This is hard to say, but I'm taking off. It's been a good ride but it's time for me to try something new in life and unfortunately, that also means taking a break from Albany in the form of graduate school in the Midwest.

Like so many of us, I never intended to come back here. The lure of immediate post-graduate employment in the form of a job with the Associated Press brought me back, and ended up pushing my dreams of moving to San Francisco to the side. So I stayed... longer than I ever anticipated, and I've enjoyed myself more than I would ever have expected.

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Peebles Island

Peebles 1 Large.jpg

The view from Peebles Island -- New York's smallest state park.

By Jessica Pasko

A recent Saturday spent exploring Cohoes led me to nearby Waterford, a quaint little place on the edge of Saratoga County that to me seems almost quintessentially upstate New York.

I don't know how I've managed to live here so long without having ever made a trip to Peebles Island in Waterford, right outside Cohoes. It's beautiful. One hundred and 91 acres of land at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers.

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The Pig Pit BBQ

pig pit vs dino sign.jpg

Hmmm... do we smell a BBQ smackdown?

By Jessica Pasko

While driving around Cohoes , I couldn't help but giggle at this "Pig Pit vs. Dinosaurs: Bring it on!" sign. Clearly I had to check that out.

So, my look at Cohoes continues with, The Pig Pit.

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Harmony House Marketplace & the Wine Seller

Harmony House.jpg

They love NY wines.

By Jessica Pasko

Okay, okay, I'll admit it - I don't think of New York when it comes to choosing a wine. And I'm definitely not alone in that thinking.

The folks at Harmony House Marketplace's The Wine Seller are hoping to change that.

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Remsen Street in Cohoes

Remsen St.jpg

Remsen Street in Cohoes

By Jessica Pasko

Lately I've been into taking little sojourns to areas locally that I've never really thought to explore. This weekend I headed to Cohoes in hopes of checking out the views of the falls from Falls View Park . Unfortunately, the lower sections were closed off, making for something of a boring trip.

While deciding where to go instead, I took a stroll down Remsen Street.

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Olde Polish Deli in Watervliet

olde polish deli deli case

You know they have kielbasa.

By Jessica Pasko

On a recent trip through Watervliet (okay, okay, actually I was lost), I stumbled upon The Olde Polish Deli. And well, finding a cool little ethnic shop I've never been to is one of the best ways to get lost, in my humble opinion.

After my first trip, I was enthralled.

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Box lunch: bento boxes at Sushi Tei

bento box.jpg

Lunch in a box

By Jessica Pasko

Something about a bento box, the traditional Japanese lunch box, just makes lunch seem a little more fun.

I can't entirely explain it, but being served a meal that's divided up into little individual sections holds incredible appeal. It seems tidy, precise, organized. And it's fun to look at. Of course, eating it is the most fun part...

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Delish Deli: lunch from... a gas station?

Delish Deli sign

You won't believe what you'll find in here!

By Jessica Pasko

Gourmet grub from a gas station?

Sounds like a Top Chef quickfire challenge, doesn't it? When users started praising the Delish Deli at the Mobil station in Delmar on Yelp, other users were quick to dismiss.

Really, who goes to a gas station for lunch? I mean, unless your concept of a meal consists of Twinkies and those rancid-looking hot dogs in glass cases? I don't.

Well... I didn't.

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Scooter Pie at Midnight's rock n' roll burlesque

By Jessica Pasko

scooterpie.jpgClad in fishnets, wigs and pasties, Scooter Pie is bringing her own brand of rock n' roll burlesque to Albany -- and audiences seem to be digging it.

When Scooter, aka Kiley Oram, first started doing burlesque in New York City, she was pretty naive. At her first show at the Boudoir Bar in Carroll Gardens, the other performers were surprised that she hadn't known to bring pasties. The Schenectady native and Notre-Dame/Bishop Gibbons alumna says it hadn't occurred to her that she'd have to take her bra off!

She learned fast.

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The teas at One of A Kind Teahouse

One of a kind teahouse outside

The One of a Kind Teahouse -- in the Chinatown building on Central Ave.

By Jessica Pasko

I'm a sucker for a good bubble tea.

Something about that sweet milky concoction of tea and flavoring with the tapioca pearls swimming in it is just oh-so-appealing.

I've been getting my fix at the Good Leaf Tea Co. or the Hong Kong Bakery on Central Avenue, but now that I've discovered the One of A Kind Teahouse, well, my bubble tea heart has been stolen.

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Timothy's World Market in Schenectady

Timothy's sign

Timothy's -- your one stop shop for goat and cricket bats.

By Jessica Pasko

Back when I compiled the AOA Ethnic Market Compendium a commenter pointed out that I'd missed some great Guyanese markets in Schenectady.

Schenectady has a pretty big Guyanese population, one that former Mayor Albert Jurczynski worked to help develop . The city now has a chapter of the Guyanese American Association and a whole bunch of Guyanese markets.

I took a drive out to the Electric City yesterday to check some of them out for myself. This was both a good idea and a bad idea.

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Men's roller derby coming to the Capital Region?

By Jessica Pasko

men's derby.jpgWe've already got two women's roller derby teams in the Capital Region, so why not a men's team?

That's what George Dunckley, aka Museknückle wants to know.

The current Albany All Stars Roller Derby referee is looking to get a guys team going locally. Among other things, he's looking for a few good men.

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Help set the Guinness record for dodgeball

dodgeball rush by Brian Kraus

Ready. Set. Dodgeball.

By Jessica Pasko

Albany could soon lay claim to a new record: the world's longest dodgeball game.

The folks of Albany Dodgeball, which is made up largely of members of the Albany Society for Advancement of Philanthropy, are trying to set a new Guinness World Record -- but they need a little help.

Here's the deal...

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Road Trip: North Adams & MASS MoCA

Mass MoCA lg.jpg

The trip to MASS MoCA is part of the art

By Jessica Pasko

One of the good things about living in the Capital Region is that there are a wealth of cool places within a short distance.

Such as MASS MoCA and North Adams.

After the jump -- the virtual road trip.

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The Grand Street Vacant Lot Project

Vacant Lot.jpg

What would you put here?

By Jessica Pasko

What would you do with a vacant lot? The folks of Grand Street Community Arts want to know.

They've got big plans to turn some of the empty lots in Albany's South End into areas of urban beautification. Through the Vacant Lot Project, organizers will be working with community organizations and individuals to come up with new ways to revitalize the spaces.

And they're looking for input.

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The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

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