Items tagged with 'stufftodo'

Stuff to do this weekend

smokey robinson

Smokey Robinson is the headliner for the Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC this weekend.

Summer! Summer! Summer!

Sorry. We're excited about the summer. We should be focused on telling you what there is to do this weekend.

Weekend! Weekend! Weekend! Focus. So, we just checked the forecast and it calls for lots of sunshine.

Sunshine! Sunshine! Sunshine! OK, you know what, we're not even going to try. After the jump, a bountiful list of summer stuff to do.

Stuff to do! Stuff to do! Stuff to... Seriously, we'll stop now.

If you're planning something you don't see here, we hope you'll tell us about it in the comments. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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Trolley tours of downtown Albany

irish american heritage museum horse trolley tourBecause trolleys: The Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany is hosting horse-drawn trolley tours of Albany starting this Saturday, June 25. Tickets are $25 and available online.

Tour blurbage:

A local Historian will walk you through some great points of interest. Did you know that Herman Melville, author, wrote Moby Dick while staying here in Albany or the very first basketball game was played right here at the then YMCA on Pearl Street? Of course there will be a bit of Irish history told as well! Come and enjoy some local history and relax as we bring you back in time all while riding on a horse drawn trolley. This ride is approximately 1 1/2hr long ~ bring your cameras and enjoy Albany as we bring you back in History.

As we've mentioned before, trolleys had a long history in Albany and the Capital District. And the first trolleys, which started operating in the 1860s, were drawn by horses. Check out these historical photos of Albany and Schenectady.

The horse-drawn era didn't last long -- the local trolleys started switching over to electric power in the 1890s. And by the 1940s, the local trolley system was discontinued in favor of buses.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Riding the trolley -- everywhere
+ Thinking about Capital Region light rail

photo via Irish American Heritage Museum FB

Weekend Destination: Finger Lakes

weekend destination finger lakes composite

By Julie Madsen

Why: lakes, waterfalls, and wine
How far: 3-3.5 hours

The land surrounding the eleven long and narrow lakes resembling fingers in Central New York is filled with much natural beauty to behold -- and many libations to sample.

The Finger Lakes region is New York's largest wine producer, boasting over 100 wineries. There are also plenty of little towns to explore, as well parks and lakes to take in. And it's an easy summer weekend getaway from the Albany area.

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

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Taste of Troy food tours

troy monument squareA business called Taste of Troy, started by Amy Koren-Roth, is offering food walking tours (Or should be that walking food tours?) of downtown Troy. Blurbage for its "Central Troy Historic District Food Tour":

Put on your walking shoes for an entertaining and delicious way to learn about Troy, its ups and downs, and the role food is playing in bringing this architectural gem back to life. You'll sip and sample some New York classic flavors (often with a new twist). Of course, we will sprinkle in history, architecture, and culture to round out your perfect Saturday in the Collar City. Our Central Troy Historic District Food Tour is a leisurely 3 hour, 1.5 mile walk with plenty of refreshing and informative stops along the way, so it's suited for most ages and fitness levels.

The tours are offered on Saturday mornings. Tickets are $49 and must be purchased in advance.

Daniel went one of the tours recently -- here's his recap.

Capital Region swimming pools 2016

victoria pool large

(splash)

Swimming pool season has arrived.

Many of the Capital Region's municipal pools, beaches and spray pads have already opened, or will be opening soon.

After the jump, a list of town/city swimming pools, spray pads, and state beaches around the Capital Region with info about when they open, hours, and cost.

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NYS Summer Writers Institute 2016

author margo jefferson

Margo Jefferson -- whose memoir Negroland won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography last year -- is one of the authors on this year's schedule. / photo: Michael Lionstar

The schedule for this summer's New York State Writers Institute's free public readings series in Saratoga Springs is out. And as usual, the lineup is full of names you'll recognize, such as Rick Moody, Claire Messud, Robert Pinsky, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Kennedy.

The readings are on Skidmore's campus and are free and open to the public.

Without further ado...

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Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher at Albany Startup Grind

The Confectionery

The Albany Startup Grind series has an event with Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher lined up for July 6 at The Confectionery in Troy. Tickets, which are being sold by the event series, are currently $10 and available online. (The price increases to $20 this Friday, and $25 at the door.) Proceeds go to support the series.

As you know, LaVine and Christopher are the owners of The Confectionery, Peck's Arcade, Twenty Two Second Street Wine Co., and the upcoming Little Peck's cafe. They'll be talking wit organizer Patrice Perkins about how they've gone about building their projects and what they've learned as businesses owners.

Not familiar with this series? Here's little bit of background from Perkins:

We're a monthly fireside chat series - each month I choose a successful local business leader and have a fireside chat about their journey to building a successful company. Agenda is networking for an hour, 1 hour fireside chat then Q&A from the audience then about 1/2 hour for more networking.
We're a global org so we tape the live chats and they go up on global website; you can see some earlier ones at www.startupgrind.com/albany

The event at the Confectionery is Wednesday, July 6 at 6 pm.

Lyle Lovett + Robert Earl Keen at Troy Music Hall

Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett

Announced Tuesday: Lyle Lovett will be playing a show at the Troy Music Hall with Robert Earl Keen September 29. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday (June 24) -- they're $38 and up.

Lovett makes a stop in this area just about once a year or so and his shows seem to be popular. This time he's bringing along Keen, a Texas singer/songwriter and longtime friend. (They went to Texas A&M together.) They'll be performing together.

Also announced Tuesday: Big Head Todd and the Monsters will be at the Troy Music Hall November 16. They'll be performing the music of famed blues musician Willie Dixon with Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, and Ronnie Baker Brooks. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday -- they're $36 and up.

Myths and misconceptions about the Battles of Saratoga at NYS Military Museum

Battles of Saratoga Surrender of General Burgoyne painting

The surrender of British general John Burgoyne at Saratoga -- this painting by John Trumbull is in the US Capitol. / image via Wikipedia

Could be interesting: Eric Schnitzer -- a historian and a ranger at the Saratoga National Historic Park -- will be giving a talk at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs this Saturday about some of the myths about the Battles of Saratoga, one of the key turning points in the American revolution. Blurbage:

Schnitzer will speak about the myths and misconceptions that have grown up around the battle, which hamper people's understanding of what really happened there in September and October of 1777.
He will discuss weaponry, commanders, personnel, and the training of the troops who fought on both sides.
Schnitzer contributed a chapter to the recently published book "The Saratoga Campaign: Uncovering an Embattled Landscape." The book focuses on the archeology of the battlefield and what is being learned there.

The talk is Saturday, June 25 at 1 pm. It's free, as is admission to the museum.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Saratoga National Historic Park
+ How to commemorate a traitor
+ Kosciuszk-who?

Schenectady downtown residential tour and HOMES Fair

Schenectady HOMES fair 2016 posterThe city of Schenectady's annual H.O.M.E.S. Fair is this Sunday, June 26 in the Jay Street Marketplace downtown from 10 am to 2 pm. Poster blurbage:

Citywide Open House
Schenectady throws open the doors to a variety of neighborhood homes during the 2016 Citywide Open House. Visit attractive and affordable living options throughout Schenectady and picture yourself owning or renting a home in this rising Capital Region City.
New This Year! - Downtown Residential Tour
For the first time, several new residential developments in Downtown Schenectady will showcase their upscale apartments and amenities. Stroll around downtown from location to location, grab a bite to eat, do some shopping and visit the Schenectady Greenmarket to experience the quality and convenience of downtown living.

Here's a link with info about the downtown residential developments that will be open for touring -- there are seven spots listed.

H.O.M.E.S.? Home Ownership Made Easy in Schenectady.

By the way: It's a good time of year to stop by the rose garden in Schenectady's Central Park.

Drawing: Hidden City House and Garden Tour + Yono's or dp

Hidden City Garden Tour promo 2016

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

The annual Hidden City House & Garden Tour is this Thursday evening in Albany. The self-guided tour, organized by the Historic Albany Foundation and the Center Square Association, gives people a look at some of the beautiful gardens and historic homes in the Center Square/Hudson/Park neighborhood.

We have four tickets for the tour and we're giving them away. BUT, WAIT, THERE'S MORE: The prize also includes a $50 gift card for Yono's or dp in downtown Albany.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's something local that you're looking forward to eating this summer?

It could be heirloom tomatoes from you backyard. It could be ice cream from your favorite seasonal stand. It could be whatever. We'll pull one winner at random and that person gets the four tickets and the Yono's/dp gift card.

The Hidden City House & Garden Tour is Thursday, June 23 from 5-8 pm. Tickets are $20 and available online -- they're also available at the Historic Albany Foundation office on Lexington Ave and Capital Wine at State and Lark.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 10 am on Wednesday, June 22 and must respond by 10 pm on that same day.

HAF advertises on AOA.

The week ahead

Lucius 2016

Lucius will be at Upstate Concert Hall this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (summery summer), to stories and poetry, to soccer, to baseball, to historic homes, to all sorts of music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

tri-city valleycats night game

It's opening weekend for the ValleyCats at The Joe.

Last weekend felt a bit like fall, and this one will bring us full on summer -- because that's how we roll here in the great Northeast. So break out the sunscreen, stay hydrated and get outside and have fun.

This weekend's list of stuff to do includes baseball, circus, festivals, carnivals and all things dad.

After the jump, our list of stuff we thought you might like to try. Planning something you don't see here? Drop 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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Hannibal Buress at Proctors

hannibal buress comedian

Comedian Hannibal Buress will be at Proctors July 29 for a stand-up show. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $20 and up.

Buress has been popping up all sorts of places in recent years: his own comedy specials on Netflix, TV shows such as Broad City, movies, a bunch of late night show appearances. (He's also gotten attention for his 2014 bit about Bill Cosby and how it prompted increased attention on the accusations against Cosby.)

Buress was last in town this past fall for show at Skidmore. And in February of 2015 he played a sold-out show at The Egg.

photo via Hannibal Buress website

Lake Street Dive at Troy Music Hall

lake street dive 2016

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is continuing to fill out its fall schedule. The latest addition: Lake Street Dive on October 4. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday -- they're $30.

Lake Street Dive was recently through this area for a stop at Brewery Ommegang. They're touring in support of an album -- Side Pony -- released this past February. Album blurbage:

[A] side pony, for them, is really a metaphor for their philosophy and personality as a band, one that seamlessly incorporates R&B, pop, '60s-era rock, and soul into a unique, dance-party-ready mix. As bassist Bridget Kearney puts it, "When we were settling on the album title, that one just stuck out to us as embodying the band's spirit. We've always been this somewhat uncategorizable, weird, outlying genre-less band. That's the statement we wanted to make with this record: be yourself."

If you like Lake Street Dive... There's a good chance you also like Lucius. A reminder that group is at Upstate Concert Hall next Wednesday, June 22 with Margaret Glaspy.

photo: Danny Clinch

98 Acres in Albany talk at Howe Library

albany public library howe branch exteriorThe people behind the 98 Acres in Albany project will be at the Howe Branch of the Albany Public Library this Wednesday (June 15) at 6 pm for a talk. It's free. Poster blurbage:

David Hochfelder, Ann Pfau, Stacy Sewell, and Tracey Casseus will be leading on the research they had done as part of the 98 Acres Project which looks at the history of the people of the South End before the Empire State Plaza's construction. Their research draws on government documents, oral histories, and local reporting.

We've talked with Hochfelder and Pfau and few times before about the project -- and they wrote about some of their research for AOA. They're turning up some interesting stuff, and really working to get an accurate sense of who lived in the neighborhood wiped out by the ESP.

Howe Branch: Come for the history talk, a get a bonus look at the Rip Van Winkle fireplace.

You're New Here: Hiking

youre new here week hiking composite

By Jen Masa

As You're New Here Week continues, we head outside. Jen has some suggestions to get you started hiking here.

One of my favorite things about living in the Capital Region is our close vicinity to so many outdoor recreation areas. With many state parks and areas like the Adirondacks and Catskills, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Here are a few of my favorites.

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Shakey Graves at Helsinki Hudson

shakey graves musician

The Americana act Shakey Graves will be at Helsinki Hudson July 26. Tickets are currently on sale -- they're $25 for standing room / $35 for reserved club seating.

Shakey Graves is one person: Alejandro Rose-Garcia, and has performed at times as a one-man band (with a suitcase kick-drum). Here's an NPR Tiny Desk show from last December with a backing band.

Shakey Graves was last through here in March of 2015 at The Hollow. That show sold out. So if you're interested in going to the Helsinki show, getting tickets sooner rather than later might not be a bad idea.

photo: Kirk Stewart

Jennifer Weiner coming to Saratoga Springs for Northshire event

jennifer weiner hungry at heart coverBest-selling author Jennifer Weiner will be appearing in Saratoga Springs October 16 as part an event organized by Northshire Saratoga. Tickets go on sale July 12 -- price is TBA.

Weiner will be in town to talk about her upcoming book Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing as part of an "Off the Shelf" discussion with WAMC's Joe Donahue. Book blurbage:

You know Jennifer Weiner as many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and "an unlikely feminist enforcer" (The New Yorker). She's also a mom, a daughter, and a sister; a former rower and current runner; a best friend and a reality TV junkie. Here, in her first foray into nonfiction, she takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins it into a collection of essays on womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Tina Fey, Fran Lebowitz, and Nora Ephron. ...
No subject is off-limits in this intimate and honest essay collection: sex, weight, envy, money, her mom's late-in-life lesbianism, and her estranged father's death. From lonely adolescence to modern childbirth to hearing her six-year-old daughter's use of the f-word--fat­­--for the first time, Jennifer dives deep into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.

The specific location of the Saratoga Springs event hasn't been announced, yet.

Marissa Meyer
Also: It looks like Marissa Meyer -- author of The Lunar Chronicles -- will be at a Northshire Saratoga event November 11.

The week ahead

The Joy Formidable 2016

The Joy Formidable is playing Alive at Five this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (return to summer), to words, to history, to strawberries, to music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

Marquis Circus Gasholders House Troy-Douglas   Liebig.jpg

Marquis productions presents Yol Circus, this weekend in the Troy Gasholder Building

It's a weekend in June. We'd thought we'd remind you of that because the weather might not feel like a weekend in June. So dig out one of the sweaters you packed away last month and pick some adventures from this weekend's list of stuff to do. This week's list includes circus performances, parades, art festivals a Renaissance fair, and more.

Doing something you don't see on 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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Pick your own strawberry season 2016

strawberries box strawberry field samascott

Summer, it is here.

Strawberry season is here! Many local farms are just opening for pick-your-own strawberries, or will be very shortly.

We get the sense this year's crop is maybe a little slow in arriving because of some of the cool weather. And the early warmth in spring further complicated things.

A typical strawberry season at many farms in this area only lasts a few weeks, though some farms have strawberries for longer stretches -- even most of the summer -- because their fields include a range of varieties that produce at different times. When you're at the farm stand, ask about the varieties the farms are growing. In our experience people are happy to talk about what's available, for how long, and why. (It's also a good idea to call ahead or check the website before heading out.)

Here are a handful of places in the greater Capital Region that you can pick your own strawberries. Know of a good place not on this list? Please share!

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Windham mountain bike park open for the season

Windham Bike Park Trail Map 2016 clip

A clip from the trail map.

Windham Mountain Resort's Bike Park recently opened for the season. We get the impression is works kind of skiing -- there are trails, equipment rentals, even a lift. And there's a beginner's area, too. Blurbage:

A Skills Park (designation: Green Circle [Beginner]) where new mountain bikers will be born. This is a beginner area to learn the basics - braking, weight distribution, how to stand on pedals, controlling the bike over obstacles, including rollers, roots, and berms. This area will be simple with small features, including eight berms, a mini rock garden, mini drops and skinnies that will allow riders to really experience their bike for the first time in a controlled MTB setting. First-timers welcome!

The park is open weekends until July 1, and then it's open Monday-Sunday through September 5, before switching back to weekends through October 10.

Regular lift tickets are $36 for adults. And bike rentals are $75. Protective gear is also available for rental (helmets are required).

Mountain Bike Festival at Grafton Lakes State Park
Speaking of mountain biking... The Saratoga Mountain Bike Association is hosting a mountain bike festival at Grafton Lakes State Park this Saturday, June 11 from 9 am-4 pm. The lineup includes bike demos, trail rides, kids activities, and vendors.

Individual registration is $10 / family registration is $20. Festival proceeds will go to support mountain biking trails around the Capital District.

Food Truck Festival of NY at Saratoga County Fairgrounds

food truck festival troy 2013 slidin dirty crowdThe Food Truck Festival of NY is returning this year with an event at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds this Saturday, June 11 from 11 am to 7 pm. Admission is free. Be sure to check out the rules.

Here's the lineup of vendors -- the published list includes more than 20 trucks.

The organizer of this event -- Townsquare Media Group -- is the same group that was behind the food truck festival in Troy a few years back. (The pic on the right is from the Troy event.) That event ended up being very popular, and we're guessing this one will be, too.

The big crowds at that earlier event prompted Daniel to write up some suggestions for food festival strategy suggestions.

Fork in the Road
Speaking of food trucks... The Fork in the Road food truck series is back in Tricentennial Park in downtown Albany this Friday from 5-8 pm.

photo: Daniel B

Albany Hidden City House & Garden Tour 2016

Hidden City Garden Tour promo 2016The annual Hidden City House & Garden Tour in Albany is June 23 this year. Tickets are $15 and available online.

The tour is jointly hosted by the Center Square Association, Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association. and Historic Albany Foundation. Blurbage:

Every year, this tour brings the neighborhood to life as homeowners open their doors and gardens to the public. Guests are able to tour, at their leisure, the beautiful and historic homes and hidden gardens that make up the Center Square & Hudson/Park neighborhoods. Residents of these neighborhoods open their homes & gardens for one night only.
This year, the Lark Street BID is also putting together a list of discounts for area restaurants and businesses that you can enjoy on the night of the tour.

The self-guided tour is Thursday, June 23 from 5-8 pm. Map pickup for ticket holders/buyers is at Trinity Church (235 Lark Street) or Capital Wine & Liquor.

The Scoop

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