Items tagged with 'people'

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Track season, Tanpopo, Chester's, Siro's, sushi cake, birthday cake, the ValleyCats, the uptown campus, Thacher Park, moths, Washington Park, a secret beach, FDR, disturbing mini hot dogs, and Neanderthals.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: kids and the future, Athens, the emergency vet, Nipper, North Creek, cycling around an island, hiking, mood lifting, apples, how the bread is made, near restaurants, cooking competitions, the Savory Delicatessen, uncertain closing time, ice cream announcements, and a wig where it probably shouldn't have been.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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Follow forward: The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark

Wine Bar and Bistro Exterior.jpg

Soon to be under new ownership.

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going. But our last post of the week flips things a bit -- we're looking to the future of a local business that's changing hands.

Nine years ago, chef Kevin Everleth opened The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark and turned a small wine and tapas bar into a popular neighborhood jewel. The food was always delicious, the staff was always welcoming, and the wine selection was always varied and interesting.

But Everleth is fond of saying about restaurants, "I buy them, I build them, and I sell them." And so, after nine years, he says it's time for him to move on. This week Everleth announced that he is selling The Wine Bar to one of his employees, Silvia Lilly, who currently works at the restaurant a few nights a week. (Lilly is a school librarian by day. And, of course, she lives in Albany's Delaware Ave neighborhood.)

Lilly has never owned a restaurant, but she's been working in Capital Region restaurants for more than 20 years and she's passionate about the business. And she's excited about carrying on the business Everleth founded.

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Follow up: Brew

Brew - Josh and August.jpg

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

Next up: a look at Brew. Almost exactly one year ago Joshua Cotrona, who owned the Fuzz Records shop at the corner of State and Lark in Albany partnered with August Rosa to turn the space into Brew, a beverage shop featuring craft beer and specialty coffees.

A year ago Rosa told us why they were opening a craft beverage shop on Lark Street:

The idea came up when we realized the need for a craft beer outlet in the Center Square neighborhood. We decided to expand the offerings to include coffee, teas, and other beverages down the road. Our shop will help residents in downtown Albany skip a trip out to the suburbs for these items.

A year later, they're still there educating customers about craft brews, hosting tastings, and balancing their dreams with the wants and needs of a constantly changing neighborhood.

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Follow up: Fort Orange General Store

Fort Orange General Store 2015 Katy Smith and Caroline Corrigan

Katy Smith (left) and Caroline Corrigan

By Lauren Hittinger

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

Today we're checking back with Fort Orange General Store (FOGS), a small lifestyle shop that opened on Delaware Ave in Albany last May. FOGS is owned and operated by friends Caroline Corrigan and Katy Smith, who remain committed to sourcing wares from working artists, and who care a lot about their local community.

When we first visited with FOGS, Corrigan told us:

"People will come to Fort Orange because we aren't a big box store! We offer items are that are a little different and special. It's a great place to buy a thoughtful gift. If you care about where your products are coming from, and about investing in local business, this is a great place for you."

After about 14 months in business, Corrigan and Smith have a lot to say about paying attention to customers, sorting through potential products to carry, and what happens when people ask who's the owner.

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Follow up: Collar City Hard Pressed

collar city hard pressed 2015 jessica

By Lauren Hittinger

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

Next we're revisiting Collar City Hard Pressed (CCHP). When we first interviewed owner Jessica Garrity, now Jessica Quijano, she was running her business solely at the Saturday Troy farmers' market. Since then, she has moved to working full-time for her juice and smoothie business, taking up residence on Broadway in downtown Troy.

A snippet from March 2014:

"I found myself basically obsessed with fresh juice and smoothies and was suddenly annoyed that there wasn't a place in my neighborhood where I could get any. I kind of hate leaving my neighborhood on the weekend so just thought it was only fair that we had a juice place here downtown. I also recognized that juicing was a pretty trendy business and thought downtown Troy would be a great place to get to work."

I caught up with Quijano to see what it's like to be running a small business on her own, and to get the scoop on the different reactions to a juice bar in downtown Troy.

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Follow up: Bread and Honey

bread and honey 2015 July exterior

Bread and Honey is in the commercial strip on Madison Ave between Quail and Ontario.

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going.

First up is Bread and Honey in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood. Owner Naomi Davies opened the artisan bakery in March of 2014 after a major renovation of the storefront at 809 Madison Ave. She has a background in construction management (and dance before that), and consulting on the new Honest Weight location had sparked the idea of opening a bakery.

A quick clip from 15 months ago:

"I learned so much about retail and food, just being with people who really cared about what they did and how they did it," she said recently as we stood in the bakery space. "And getting to know how they work, I saw an opportunity for a bakery here in Albany that could provide good, fresh, artisan breads. And I was craving a great bagel."

We got a chance to catch up with her last week -- and it was some real talk about what's it like to run a small, local business.

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New books from local authors

bell weather dennis mahoney

Dennis Mahoney's Bell Weather is out this week.

A handful of new books from Capital Region authors have floated by recently, so let's have a quick scan, shall we...

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Adirondacks for beginners, the Fulton Chain, Kaaterskill Falls, Seneca Lake, a small Vermont town, an inspiration, wholehearted living, fragmentation, printing, the Sonic frenzy, closing a restaurant, Chester's, vegan options, and Budapest.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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Capital Cobblestone Project

old albany street map clipA local author/historian is researching the backstory on the names of Albany's streets. All of them.

Erik Schlimmer, who's also a UAlbany grad student, has previously worked on place-name history books of the Adirondacks. He's aiming for the Capital Cobblestone Project to also become a book.

Schlimmer is posting updates and historical bits on a Facebook page for the project. Here's a sample:

Many streets in Albany, especially those downtown, do not retain their original names. Eagle Street is named for our national bird, a symbol of freedom and patriotism. It used to be called Duke Street after the Duke of Albany of the British royal family. Out with the British and in with the Americans.

Given all the histories of Albany, it's kind of surprising this hasn't been done before. It's total history nerd candy.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: patriotism, the media, art, crypto currency, a relay, Buck Mountain, the Ice Meadows, Venus and Jupiter, a culinary tour, disappointing mac 'n cheese, banh mi bread, serviceberries, and adulting.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: BusPlus, horses, mountains, the thick of the woods, pollinators, Ivanhoe Bland, a donut burger, a hidden gem, yucca and chicharron, everything at Muza, six with the works, low expectations, tables for one, a clock, and Copenhagen.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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The goal: For everyone in the Capital Region to make a video game

TVGS interactive showcase

A TVGS interactive showcase earlier this year. / photo courtesy of Jamey Stevenson.

The recently-launched Tech Valley Game Space in Troy has a goal: For everyone in the Capital Region to make at least one game.

Like, every everyone? Yep, everyone.

"It doesn't take long [to learn] if people feel like they're in an atmosphere where there's someone who knows to guide them," TVGS founder Jamey Stevenson told us recently. "There are few things more fun or exciting to me to see people get surprised. It happens during the first hour of doing it."

Toward that goal, TVGS -- which also serves as co-working space for small startup games studios -- is offering a series of classes and events aimed at getting a wide range of people involved: artists, designers, programmers, women, men, kids, introverts, extroverts. One of the events is coming up this weekend at the Arts Center of the Capital Region: River Jam, a free learn-to-make-a-game event for game makers who identify as women.

Stevenson is clearly passionate both about video games, and opening up the process of making them.

Here are a few clips from a conversation with him about learning to make games, the need for diversity in the industry, games as art, and his favorite games...

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: livestock, advocating for yourself, Frontier Town, waterfalls, dogs on restaurant patios, working out, slow living, garnishes, annoyances, ramen, oysters, soccer, and clairvoyant medicine.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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The Mercer Street Project

Mercer Street Project screengrab

A screengrab from the Mercer Street Project tumblr.

Like so many people, Kaira Kristbergs was faced with the question of what to do with a houseful of stuff after her grandmother, Anna Rande, passed away in 2012, leaving behind one of those classic Albany two-family houses on Mercer Street in Pine Hills.

Her grandparents, Latvian refugees, had arrived in Albany in the 1950s. They got jobs at places like Tobin's and Freihofer's and found their way as immigrants. Kaira's mom grew up in the house, as did Kaira.

By the time of her grandmother's passing, the house was full of stuff collected not just by her grandparents, but also items Kaira's parents had accumulated from around the world while working in the international shipping business. All sorts of stuff: furniture, toys, family memorabilia, mason jars, so many picture frames, and on and on.

So Kaira, an illustrator, turned the situation into The Mercer Street Project -- a sort of online documentary of her family's life, one object at a time, folded into an ongoing estate sale.

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: the little things, Mountain Jam, forgiveness, embracing change, owning your mistakes, Cherry Plain, the North Woods, fungi, The Fried Chicken Sandwich from God, The Killer Ketchup Burger, froyo, paella, unusual foods, sharing the share, and awe.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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Grilling with Kate

TWC/Charter/Not-Comcast News really just needs to give Kate Welshofer her own show.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Albany to Chicago, returning here, the Freihofer's Run for Women, Karner Blue paradise, Pharaoh Mountain, Schodack Island, Lake George, four good people, a foraged dinner, the restaurant industry, like a moth, beer, burgers, a bright smudge, photos, and China.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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UAlbany's Lyle Thompson wins college lacrosse's top trophy. Again.

ualbany lyle thompson Tewaaraton trophy 2015

UAlbany lacrosse star Lyle Thompson won the Tewaaraton Trophy Thursday night for the second year in a row. (The trophy is like the Heisman for college lacrosse.) He's the first men's player ever back-to-back winner of the award.

Thompson was the co-winner of the award last year with his brother, Miles. They were the first co-winners of the award. And they were the first Native Americans to win the trophy -- which is especially signifiant because lacrosse originated as a sport played by Native Americans. (Tewaaraton is the Mohawk name for lacrosse.) The Thompsons are from the Onondaga Nation just south of Syracuse.

Lyle Thompson finished his UAlbany career as one of the sport's all-time greats. He holds the career record for career points with 400 -- almost 50 more than person in the #2 spot. (He's #8 in points per game all time.) He's the all-time assists leader with 225 (#9 all time in assists per game). And he holds the top two spots on the all-time list for points in a season (and the #5 spot).

Thompson has already started a pro lacrosse career, and he's signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

photo: UAlbany Athletics

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: "upstate," tapping that, the 1920 waterfront, floral finds, running in the Berkshires, Portland, rhubarb, sipping and strolling, extraordinary brunch, raw bar, ordering wrong, chain restaurants, and photography.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: ideas for summer, New York's Mount Rushmore, Noonmark Mountain, the upper Hudson, waterfalls and bison, a farmer's perspective, Ramp Fest, restaurant snippets, Creo, Wine Bar, Slidin' Dirty, unusual beans, men of New York, Washington Park lake, and keeping your pants on.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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A big check for Flower Scout

startup grant 2015 flower scout big check

From left to right: Dan Ciampino of Staff Ciampino, Jon Dion from the College of Saint Rose, Colie Collen of Flower Scout, Justin Priddle from Berkshire Bank, Mary Darcy from AOA, and Sue Conroy from the College of Saint Rose.

The giant check is always fun.

The winner of this year's AOA Startup Grant -- Colie Collen from Flower Scout -- was awarded the giant $1,500 prize check today at the Huether School of Business at the College of Saint Rose. (She's also getting a smaller check that she can actually deposit.)

This year's prize money was provided by Berkshire Bank, and the contest was sponsored by Staff Ciampino & Company P.C., Certified Public Accountants and the College of Saint Rose.

Flower Scout will be using the prize money for a hoop house on its farm lot in Troy, which will allow it to extend the growing season for flowers to supply its floral services. Which are in demand! Colie was preparing for a wedding later this weekend before stopping over at Saint Rose.

And Flower Scout also got a bonus prize today: Dan Ciampino of Staff Ciampino offered Colie a year of free consulting and accounting services! That's in addition to the business planning class that the Community Loan Fund also has offered.

Speaking of bonus prizes, many thanks again to the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce for offering the Dutch Udder, one of this year's runners-up, free enrollment in Janet Tanguay's Entrepreneur Boot Camp. And thank you to Outspoken Media for offering Kristine Lambracht $1,500 in in-kind services to help Jerzey's Dog Resort, another runner up, to refine its online branding and messaging.

Thank you to everyone who helped out with this year's contest, including Jon Dion of Huether School for coaching, and our judges Lissa D'Aquanni from the Community Loan Fund, Rhea Drysdale from Outspoken Media, and Duncan Crary from Duncan Crary Communications.

And thank you again to our sponsors, Staff Ciampino & Company P.C., the College of Saint Rose, and Berkshire Bank.

startup contest 2014 sponsor ad staff ciampino

Startup2015 Berkshire Bank in-post ad

startup grant 2015 saint rose in-post ad

Tech Valley Civic App Challenge winners

tech valley app challenge winner screenshots

Screenshots from the entries that took that top 3 spots in the contest.

Announced today: The winners of the AT&T Tech Valley Civic App Challenge, which this past March called for entries with "potential to benefit the local community." The contest included $18,000 in prize money.

The grand prize winner: Food Pantry Helper, which was created by Russell Kirkwood of Stillwater, and aims to help food pantries manage their operations more efficiently.

Here's a bit more about that app, along with the other winners...

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What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Tulip Fest, fire towers, wildflowers, a Jumbuck theft, a bike trailer, donut sliders, lambs on the farm, 15 Church, Albany's Supreme Court justice, and mom.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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Who hasn't been inspired by the "Let's Have a Party, Albany" video?

drawing up central 2015 winner

You know that Washington Park Moses is going to keep it festive and chill. / photo courtesy of Central Avenue BID

Here's the winning entry from the Drawing Up Central sidewalk art contest this past Saturday in Albany.

The winning entry, a play on Albany's coat of arms, was created by Sam Wickstrom, who told the Central Ave BID her panel was also inspired by the "Let's Have A Party, Albany" music video from 1986. Heh.

Here are more photos from the contest.

AOA was a media sponsor of Drawing Up Central.

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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