Items tagged with 'stufftodo'

Checking out 5 Wits at Crossgates, and other Capital Region escape rooms

5 Wits Albany Deep Space

"Transported away from the relative safety of Earth and onto an abandoned ship in deep space..."

By Cristin Steding

One of the fastest growing branches of the entertainment industry is one that's still largely under the radar of most people: the escape room. More than 1,700 have popped up around the country since 2015 -- including five of them here in the Capital Region.

So I got together a group and checked one out.

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Adult swim at Via Aquarium

Via AquariumThis looks like it'd be a different sort of night out: Via Aquarium in Rotterdam is hosting a "Mer-Mixer" evening September 29 that "allows adults to explore the 30,000 sq ft Aquarium's 37 exhibits - without kids." Blurbage:

Guests who attend the event will be able to listen to live jazz music, purchase signature cocktails, and enjoy unlimited hors-d'oeuvres while mingling amid the sting rays, sharks, jelly fish and over 2,000 other forms of aquatic life.
Food and beverage services will be catered in from the newly reopened restaurant inside Via Entertainment.
If this event goes well, Via Aquarium plans to host more after hours events on a monthly basis.

The event is Friday, September 29 from 6-10 pm. Tickets are $50 ($40 if you're an aquarium season pass holder).

Earlier: Checking out the Via Aquarium

photo: Paul Gallo

Autumn Evening in the Garden 2017

Capital Roots urban grow center Troy

The Capital Roots Urban Grow Center in Troy.

The annual Autumn Evening in the Garden event to benefit Capital Roots is September 28 from 6-9 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy. It's a fundraiser to support the various programs that Capital Roots backs, from its many community gardens to the Veggie Mobile. Blurbage:

The event will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, connecting more than 20 of the region's most talented chefs with 40 local growers, producers, and beverage makers from all over the greater Capital District. The farmers contribute meat, cheese, and produce which the chefs use to create unique dishes to share nearly 350 guests. Guests sample outstanding cuisine drawn from the creative kitchens of some of the area's finest restaurants while enjoying local wines, beers, and spirits, and mingling with chefs, farmers, and friends.

A list of participating chefs and bakers is below. It includes a bunch of names you'll recognize.

Tickets for the event are $150 for individuals, $250 for couples, and $75 for people age 35 and younger. They're available online.

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Downtown Albany Residential Open House 2017

99 Pine Street Albany exterior 2016-April

99 Pine Street is one of the buildings listed for the tour. They upper floors have been undergoing conversion to apartments during the past year.

The Downtown Albany Residential Open House event returns September 28. It's pretty much what it sounds like -- a bunch of residential buildings in the neighborhood will be open for tours, which are free and open to the public.

We went on the self-guided walking tour last year and it was interesting to see how the various buildings had been adapted to residential use. One of the notable aspects of the shift toward residential downtown has been that it's put many buildings back into service after years (decades?) of being unused or underused because they don't fit the style or demand for modern office space.

Reps for the buildings are there to answer questions and hand out info. And if you're just there to gawk, as we were, everyone seems OK with that.

That link above lists some of the participating buildings with more to be announced.

The open house is Thursday, September 28 from 5-8 pm. Check-in is at the Pearl Street Pub.

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

TEDxAlbany is back in December, and the call for speakers is out

TEDxAlbany 2017 logoTEDxAlbany -- the local, independently-organized version of the TED talks series -- will return to Overit in Albany December 7. And the call for speakers is now out. Blurbage:

Interested speakers are encouraged to apply early to ensure consideration. What are we looking for in a great TEDxAlbany talk? We're looking for interesting, thought-provoking talks that:
Tell us something new
Evoke contagious emotions
Are focused
Think globally
When solidifying your idea, ask yourself: What's a controversy in your field that a general audience would understand? What's a common misconception you'd love to clear up? Why is this idea important, and to whom? Who would disagree with you, and why? How did you carry out this idea in your own work?

That second link above includes details on how to submit an idea. Here are the talks -- with video -- from last year.

Tickets for the event will be available later this fall.

Albany Last Run 2017 registration now open

Albany Last Run 2017 course map clipThis year's Albany Last Run 5k is December 9, and registration is now open. The race field is capped at 1,900 participants and often fills up. The entry fee is $25 / $30 after November 1.

The race course starts near city hall and then heads ups up State Street to Washington Park, winds through the holiday lights display in the park, and then returns back down State to the Capitol. There are then results, awards, and fireworks at the ESP.

Troy Turkey Trot
Speaking other popular holiday road races... Registration for this year's Troy Turkey Trot opened last week. Early bird registration for the first 500 people is $20. After that, it's $30.

The week ahead

New Yorker art director Francoise Mouly

Fran├žoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker, will be at Skidmore to talk about cover designs for the magazine that didn't make it publication. / photo: Sarah Shatz

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (bonus), to words, to cartoons, to the new civil rights movement, to history, to all sorts of music...

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New book and tours about the historic St. Agnes Cemetery

St Agnes These Sacred Grounds coverThis is the 150th anniversary of that historical "rural" cemetery in Menands.

No, not that one. The other one: St. Agnes Cemetery. And oo mark the anniversary, there's a new book and tours this fall.

First, the book -- These Sacred Grounds: 150 Years of St. Agnes Cemetery -- by the cemetery's historian, Kelly Grimaldi. Blurbage:

In the Victorian era, lot owners of all socio-economic means took great pride in creating sacred grave spaces. Over the years, burial practices have changed and the landscape of St. Agnes Cemetery reflects those changes in its funerary art and architecture that fill its 114 acres. Large, ornate family grave lots with neo-classically designed mausoleums and memorials gave way to smaller lots with respectable monuments more uniform in size and bronze markers in shrine sections. Additionally two beautiful Community mausoleums bathe thousands of individual crypts and cremation niches in natural light while protecting the remains of those entombed or inurned within the polished marble walls.
The wealthiest citizens gave us much to admire with their stately burial lots but the ordinary citizens and the poor played an important part in the shaping of history and their modest graves tell their own story. Sometimes these stories are sad stories of high infant mortality; tragic workplace accidents; ravaging infectious diseases; and some are stories of triumph, inspiration, perseverance and success. Today each memorial provides us with a lesson in art and in history that we explore within the book.

Starting next week, Grimaldi will be offering tours of the cemetery through the fall. They're free, but there's also a catered lunch-on-the-hill option for $20. See that link for details about how to reserve a tour.

Albany Rural Cemetery
Of course, the Albany Rural Cemetery is right next to St. Agnes in Menands. You could definitely stop by both in an afternoon. They're beautiful spots to walk in the autumn.

Melt N' Toast at Takk House

melt-n-toast logoAn event called Melt N' Toast -- "the Capital Region's first grilled cheese festival" -- will be at the Takk House in Troy November 18. Blurbage:

Melt N' Toast showcases the Capital Region's culinary and craft beverage landscape, featuring the creativity of local food vendors paired with regional craft beverage producers. Whether it's stacked with classic or artisan ingredients, the combinations are endless, and everyone has their own way of enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich.
Come taste delicious chefs' choice grilled cheese creations, paired with a featured local craft beverage selection, and vote for your best Melt N' Toast combo. Also be ready to Melt N' Groove with live DJ, and win some goodies from the silent auction to bring back home!

Tickets are currently available online. Early birds are $30 -- the tickets include ten samples of grilled cheese, one free beverage, and a souvenir glass. There's also a $70 VIP ticket that includes unlimited grilled cheese samples and open bar.

It's a 21-and-over event.

They Might Be Giants at The Egg

The duo They Might Be Giants are set to return to The Egg April 22. Tickets go on sale to the general public September 22 -- they're $27.50.

Of course, TMBG have a song about The Egg. It's embedded above -- it was part of the band's "venue songs" series. A thousand years ago, we talked with John Flansburgh about the song:

"The Egg" is actually a very good example of a song that is really responding to the extraordinary qualities of the venue itself. I mean how many venues are like The Egg, you know -- none. It's sui generis as they say in the legal profession.
The song "The Egg" is one of the few songs I've ever written while driving. I recorded it on a tape recorder singing out loud. When I got to the parking lot of The Egg I sat in the back of my car and put some chords to it and then I gave it to the band and we played it that night.

This upcoming concert is billed as an all-ages show: "Science, Kids, and Beyond."

Stuff to do this weekend

pearl palooza crowd

Pearl Palooza is back in downtown Albany, one of the many, many, many festivals around the area this weekend.

Fair warning: You may have trouble selecting what to do from this weekend's menu. It's packed with music, fairs, festivals, and performances.

We've harvested a bunch of items we thought might interest you. You'll find them below. Select a few and get our and enjoy the last weekend of the summer.

Doing something that didn't make our list? Share it in the comments so the rest of us can see. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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The popular State Education Building tours will now be offered each Saturday

State Education Building late sun 2016-September

Because Albany embraces its inner architecture nerd: The State Education Building will be open for public tours each Saturday starting October 7. They're free, but you need to register ahead of time.

NYSED and OGS said the regular Saturday tours are a response to the "the overwhelming popularity" of the once-a-month Saturday tours that had been offered this fall. (You might remember us urging you to sign up because they were filling up fast.)

Tour blurbage:

New York State Museum staff lead the 45-minute Education Building tour, and visitors will have the opportunity to explore the historic Chancellors Hall, Regents Room and the Rotunda adorned with murals by Albany native Will H. Low. The tours start outdoors on the front steps of the State Education Building, which is located at 89 Washington Avenue, Albany. This year marked the first time the building has been made available for regular public tours since the State Museum and Library were moved from the Education Building to the Cultural Education Center in the 1970s. When the monthly State Education Building tours were announced to the public in July, all available reservations were booked within 24 hours.
The New York State Education Building was designed by renowned New York City architect, Henry Hornbostel, one of 63 architects to submit plans, and was constructed by the Rochester firm R. T. Ford and Company. Construction began in 1908 and the building was dedicated in 1912. At the time, the cost to construct the building amounted to approximately $4 million and covered everything from the purchase of the land to building construction. The Education Building was the first major building constructed in the United States solely as a headquarters for the administration of education. In addition to State Education Department staff, the Education Building housed the State Library and State Museum--now currently in the Cultural Education Center.

The Saturday tours are at 12:30 and 2:30 pm.

Albany History Race 2017

Quackenbush Square Albany 2016-OctoberThe Albany Public Library's Albany History Race returns Saturday, September 30. This year's race has a fire theme. Blurbage:

The Fourth Annual Albany History Race is an Amazing Race-style afternoon scavenger hunt for history experts, novices, and visitors interested in learning about Albany's past. The event is free and no prior knowledge is needed. This year, to support the efforts of the future Albany Firefighters Museum, Albany Public Library is partnering with Albany firefighter Tim Blaney and City Historian Tony Opalka, who are researching the history of the Albany Fire Department. All locations visited in the race will have connections to the fire department and historic Albany fires.

The race starts at 2 pm at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center (25 Quackenbush Square) this year, and ends at Albany Distilling's new tasting room (75 Livingston Ave). There will be prizes for the teams that finish with the fastest times.

It's free to participate, but your team has to pre-register. Details are at the link above.

APL advertises on AOA.

Albany Symphony: Star Wars & More

David Alan Miller.jpg

ASO David Alan Miller

The Albany Symphony opens its 2017-2018 season October 14 at The Palace with a performance of music from the Star Wars films. Individual tickets are sale now -- they're $15 and up. This will be a popular performance.

The ASO will be performing the Star Wars suite by John Williams, along with music by composer Erich Korngold. Violonist Simone Porter will join for Korngold's violin concerto.

There's also a "Galactic Gala" following the performance. "Enjoy out of this world food by Mazzone, a silent disco dance party and a futuristic dessert lounge. Elegant & space-age attire encouraged." Tickets for that are $175.

ASO also offer season subscriptions, which can save you money on tickets if you're interested in going to multiple performances.

photo courtesy of the Albany Symphony Orchestra

Spoon at Upstate Concert Hall

the band Spoon 2017

The band Spoon is set to play a show at Upstate Concert Hall December 5. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 15 -- they're $27.50 ahead / $30 day of.

Spoon just keeps kicking, turning out catchy indie rock. The band's touring in support of a new album -- its ninth -- released earlier this year. It's gotten good reviews.

The opener for the show at UCH is White Reaper.

The show is part of a national tour this fall. A handful of dates this September are already sold out.

photo via Matador Records

Capitol Hauntings tours 2017

creepy state capitol

The very popular Capitol Hauntings tours at the New York State Capitol return Monday, October 2 and run through Halloween. Registration is now open. The tours are free. And they will fill up.

Tour blurbage:

This special tour, which explores the legends, folklore, and "ghost stories" connected to the historic state Capitol, begins on Monday, October 2. In tales that mix history with the macabre, tour guides will tell shocking stories about the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 and still makes his rounds today and the two United States presidents who visited the Capitol after they died. Find out where the Assembly Chamber's "lost" murals are located and what happened to the tormented artist who created them. Walking among the gargoyle-like carvings and strange carved faces, visitors will discover the location of the Capitol's "secret demon" and evidence of a curse the demon may hold on the Capitol will be revealed, along with other dark secrets.

The tours are offered Monday-Friday at 1 pm and 5:30 pm. Also this year, there are Saturday tours at noon. In years past the 5:30 pm tours have filled quickly. And we're guessing those Saturday tours might book up even faster.

So, if you're interested in going on one of the tours, do not wait to sign up. You can register online or via phone: 518-474-2418.

image: NYS Office of General Services

Rodrigo y Gabriela at The Egg

rodrigo y gabriela

The duo Rodrigo y Gabriela is set to play a show at The Egg November 12. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 15 -- price isn't posted, yet. (It looks like there's also a pre-sale via the band's site.)

Rodrigo y Gabriela are Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero, acoustic guitarists originally from Mexico whose music is influenced by flamenco, rock, and heavy metal. Listening to them -- and the huge sound they produce -- it's easy to forget they're just two people.

They were last in town in 2016 for a show at The Egg.

photo: Peter Neill

100 Mile Beer Fest

100 Mile Beer Fest logo

The 100 Mile Beer Fest will be at Lakeside Farms in Ballston Spa October 7. Blurbage:

We're a brewer-focused festival hosting only 25 of the 150+ breweries within a 100 mile radius from Lakeside Farms in Ballston Lake, NY. Some may be behemoths of sales, others may be unheard of mysteries, but many you'll be familiar with their names, product, and reputation. Each year we'll have the brewers we hand-select, come and pour their own creations for you.

A list of some of the participating breweries is below. And as the materials for the event note, the list is subject to change.

Tickets for the festival are $52 and available online. Organizers say net proceeds will go to Friends of Clifton Park Open Space.

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Trevor Noah at The Palace

comedian Trevor Noah

Daily Show host Trevor Noah will be at The Palace December 9 for a stand-up show. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 15 -- they're $39.50 and up.

The Palace date is toward the end of a national tour for Noah this fall. Many of the shows have already sold out. So if you're interested in going, it's a good idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

More comedy at the Palace
+ October 6: Mike Epps
+ October 7: Ron White
+ November 3: Lewis Black

The week ahead

the band Bastille 2017

Bastille is at The Palace this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (classic), to Primary Day, to craft beer, to poetry, to music festivals...

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Troy Turkey Trot 2017 registration open

troy turkey trot 2014 pat hendrick photographyRegistration is now open for the Thanksgiving morning Troy Turkey Trot.

The annual Thanksgiving morning race includes a 5k, 10k, walk, and grade school mile. You can register online -- and early bird registration for the first 500 people is $20. (In the past, registration prices for the 5k and 10k have been $30.)

The Troy Turkey Trot is now in its 70th year. It's said be the 12th oldest road race in the nation. Last year 7,210 people took part.

Albany Last Run
Another popular local holiday 5k -- the Albany Last Run -- is December 9 this year. Keep an eye out for registration to open in October. The number of race participants is capped and often fills up.

photo: Pat Hendrick Photography / Troy Turkey Trot

Stuff to do this weekend

tugboats in Waterford

The tugboats are back in Waterford this weekend.

These next few weekends in September are some of the busiest of the year here in the Capital Region. This week alone has tug Boats, a bunch of street festivals, roller derby, and a jazz festival. There is plenty of stuff to do.

After the jump, you'll find our list of things we thought you might enjoy. Doing something you don't see here? Tell us about it in the comments.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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Albany and Anti-Suffrage at Albany Institute

Albany Institute anti-suffrage exhibit

Pink was one of the trademark colors of the anti-suffrage movement.

New York State was a hotbed of the women's suffrage movement. Seneca Falls. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It's a story you know.

But New York -- and Albany, specifically -- was also a focal point of the anti-suffrage movement.

A new exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art shines a light on this aspect of the story surrounding the push for women's suffrage. Blurbage:

Today it is impossible to imagine a world where women didn't have the right to vote. The years leading up to 1917 were fraught with difficulty both politically and personally for women on both sides of the argument. Not every woman wanted the right to vote. In fact, Albany was considered a stronghold of the anti-suffrage movement. This exhibit tells the story of the women who first met in 1894 before the New York Constitutional Convention convened, organized the Albany branch of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, lobbied to make their views heard in 1915, and lost their fight in 1917.

As the exhibit notes, 8,000 women in the Albany area signed document in 1894 opposing a change to the state constitution that would have opened the way for women to vote. And a listing details the officers of a local anti-suffrage women's group in 1905 -- it's full of prominent names you'll recognize from local history.

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Literary Libations tour returns this fall

Herman Melville c 1846-1847 by Asa Weston Twitchell

A young Herman Melville, from a portrait by Asa Weston Twitchell. / image via Wikipedia

The Albany Public Library Foundation's Literary Libations tour -- a public crawl/history walk led by Maeve McEneny Johnson -- returns October 7. Blurbage:

A team of guides with a tome of tales will lead you and your friends through Albany's historic Center Square. We'll admire the buildings, visit some pubs, but more importantly, your guides will tell you the stories behind Albany's surprising literary history. Albany was the home to many literary legends, such as our own William Kennedy and Gregory Maguire. But what other literary luminaries wandered these streets? Did Herman Melville find inspiration for 'Moby Dick' in his own backyard? What's the connection between Vladimir Nabokov and the Albany Pine Bush? This and more will be revealed on the tour!

October 7 is a Saturday, and the tour meets up at 4:30 pm.

Early bird tickets are currently $20 through September 15. After that, they're $25. Proceeds benefit the APL Foundation.

Drink Albany 2017

Drink Albany 2017 October promo image

The Capital Craft Beverage Trail's Drink Albany event returns October 6, this time at the State Museum. Event blurbage:

General Admission tickets include a souvenir sample glass and the opportunity to sample the world class libations produced right here in the Capital Region and New York State. In addition, products will be available for purchase by the can, bottle and growler to take home.
This year's event will be in a new location at the New York State Museum! Sip away while enjoying views of the New York's capital city. The carousel will be running from 6 to 8 pm for complimentary rides as well!

Early bird tickets are currently $25 until September 15. After that, they're $30. There's also a designated driver ticket for $5.

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