Items tagged with 'stufftodo'

The Empire State Plaza skating rink is open for the season

Empire State Plaza skating rink 2016-December

The ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza opened for the season Friday. When we stopped by this afternoon there were a bunch of kids skating and laughing.

The rink will now be open seven days a week, 11 am-8 pm (closed 3-4 pm for maintenance). It's free to skate. And skate rentals are $4 / $3 for kids / free on Fridays. A photo ID is required for skate rental. And, of course, the rink is open weather permitting.

There are also a series of clinics and special events related to the rink through the winter, such as learn-to-skate clinics and try-hockey clinics. Registration is required for the clinics and they often fill up fast. (The learn-to-skate clinic this Saturday is already full.)

The rink does tend to get busy on the weekends. Our favorite time to go is in the evenings during the week. (If you're driving, you can usually snag a spot along State Street.) Stopping by to skate for an hour after work + dinner someplace downtown = a better than usual Wednesday.

And it's good to see people out in the space during the winter. It makes it seem less cold.

Swinburne Skating Rink
The city of Albany's Swinburne Skating Rink is set to open Monday, December 5 (weather permitting). Here are the hours and admission/skate rental info...

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Dead & Company returning to SPAC

dead and company john mayer

The first announcement for a 2017 SPAC pop show is out: Dead & Company is set to return to SPAC June 20. Tickets go on sale December 9 -- they're $40 for the lawn, $75.50 and up for the pavilion. (There's also a limited number of lawn four-packs for $99.)

Dead & Company features Grateful Dead members Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Bob Weir -- plus John Mayer, with bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. It's the same lineup that's been with the group when it's made stops here in 2015 (TU Center) and 2016 (SPAC).

photo via Dead and Company FB page

Stuff to do this weekend

Troy Victorian Stroll balloon man

Sunday is the annual Victorian Stroll in Troy.

Yep, it's the holiday season. If you can find time between the shopping and the baking and the decorating, there's plenty of stuff to do.

After the jump, our look at what's going on this weekend. Planning something you don't see here? Drop it in the comment section so we can all see.

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

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Day trip: New Paltz

new paltz composite

By Julie Madsen

An hour in any direction from Albany is bound to bring you somewhere interesting, but heading south down the Thruway to New Paltz has to be my favorite daytrip of all.

I love the funky, alternative vibe and there are so many options no matter what you are looking to do. And the location is almost equidistant between the Capital Region and NYC, so it can be a perfect middle ground meeting spot for friends who live in different cities.

After your first time visiting, you'll surely be planning your second...

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30th anniversary screening of Ironweed with William Kennedy

It looks like the whole film is on Youtube courtesy of Paramount Pictures. It's embedded above.

The NYS Writers Institute's classic film series wraps up its fall season December 9 with a screening of Ironweed at UAlbany. It is, of course, the film adapted from the William Kennedy novel. Kennedy will be at the screening to talk about the story and answer questions ahead of time with Marion Roach.

Film blurbage:

Adapted for the screen by William Kennedy from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, IRONWEED tells the tale of Francis Phelan, a drifter who returns to his home city of Albany to make peace with a past that haunts him. Filmed at several Albany locations, it brought international attention to the Capital Region and earned Oscar nominations for both Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

The event starts Friday, December 9 at 6:30 pm withe Kennedy talk and Q&A. The screening is at 7 pm. It's in Page Hall on the downtown UAlbany campus. It's free.

Capital Region holiday events 2016

santa saxophone Troy Victorian Stroll

It's saxophone-playing Santa season.

December starts this week and the Capital Region's schedule of holiday-themed events is full of tree lightings, Victorian strolls, concerts, screenings of holiday classics, and a bunch of other activities.

And here's a big, big list of them...

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Santa Speedo Sprint 2016 registration open

The Albany Santa Speedo Sprint -- now in its 11th year -- is back December 10. And online registration is open.

The sprint is what is sounds like: a bunch of people in holiday-themed underthings running/walking 800 meters down Lark Street an back for charity. Here's an FAQ.

The event is organized by the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy, with the Albany All-Star Roller Derby, and is a fundraiser for the Albany Damien Center and the HIV/AIDS program at the Albany Medical Center. The sprints have raised more than $125,000 over the years. It's easily one of the happiest events of the year -- a bunch of smiles and a lot of cheering.

Here are photos from last year's sprint.

It's $25 to make the dash, and early registrants have a chance to get a t-shirt. And non-runners can chip in a donation of their own.

Lark Street Holiday Pop-Up
Also this year: The Half Moon Market is organizing a Lark Street Holiday Pop-Up at 247 Lark St. It will be open Friday, December 9 from 6-9 pm and Saturday, December 10 from 11 am-8 pm.

AOA is again a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint.

photo: Bennett Campbell

The week ahead

Capital Rep Camelot Arthur

Capital Rep's production of Camelot opens this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (not wintry), to the the stage, to holiday events, to public art, to music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

capital holiday lights in the park

The Capital Holiday Lights in the Park display is back for the season.

The holiday weekend has arrived!

Once the tryptophan pumpkin pie coma has wears off, you're going to need to find some stuff to do before it's time for leftovers.

That's where we come in.

After the jump, a cornucopia of stuff to do in the Capital Region over the long holiday weekend.

Pick a few, bundle up and get out there and have some fun.

Doing something you don't see on our list? Share it in the comment section. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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St. Paul and the Broken Bones at The Egg

St Paul and the Broken Bones

The soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones is set to play a show at The Egg March 5. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $35 and up.

From a profile of frontman Paul Janeway at Rolling Stone:

These days, Janeway channels fire-and-brimstone energy as the frontman of St. Paul and the Broken Bones. During the band's feverish live shows, he yelps, screams, croons and often dives into the audience. At a gig in South Carolina recently, Janeway hoisted himself onto an audience member's back. "He's a cat who can do an Otis Redding - he's very interesting to watch," Keith Richards told Rolling Stone last year, after St. Paul and the Broken Bones opened up for the Stones. Janeway isn't shy talking about his ability to fire up a crowd. "Our booking agent was like, 'Just be proud you're opening for the Stones, but nobody's going to pay attention to you,'" he says. "I was like, 'F[---] that. I'll get them to pay attention.' And I got them to pay attention."

See also this review by Ann Powers of the group's new album over at NPR.

Also recently announced for The Egg: The Barenaked Ladies on April 21. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $59.50 and up.

photo: David McClister

Holiday markets 2016

basilica farm flea photo

The popular Basilica Farm + Flea is back in Hudson this year.

The unofficial official holiday shopping season starts up later this week.

And if you're looking for something a little bit different -- craftier, handmade, more independent, fair trade -- there are a handful of local holiday markets around the region.

And here's a list for 2016...

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Mountain Jam 2017

musician tom petty

Tom Petty

The 2017 version of Mountain Jam is June 16-18 at Hunter Mountain. Tickets can camping are one sale for the musical festival -- a three-day general admission pass is currently $184 / $219 with camping.

Initial lineup info is also out: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Shovels & Rope, The Revivalists, The Infamous Stringdusters, White Denim, Elephant Revival, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and River Whyless.

As you know, Hunter Mountain is in Hunter, New York, in the northern Catskills. It's a little more than an hour drive from Albany.

photo via Tom Petty Facebook

Phantogram at Upstate Concert Hall

Phantogram 2016

Just announced: Phantogram is set to play a show at Upstate Concert Hall January 14. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, November 26 -- the first 102 tickets are $10.27 (because of WEQX), after that they're $25 ahead / $30 day of. (It looks like there's also a presale starting Friday.)

This is, by our quick count, the first time they've been back in town for a show since a date at UCH in 2013.

You know the story: Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel played shows around Saratoga Springs, recorded an album in a barn, got a record deal, toured around the world, got on TV, got famous, songs started showing up in all sorts of media, got a bigger record deal, started collaborating with Big Boi, cue the tidal wave. And they released a new album in October, Three.

This show will sell out. So if you'd like to go, don't wait on getting tickets.

photo: Timothy Saccenti

The week ahead

Curious Incident Dog in the Night-Time

A touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at Proctors this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (hello, winter), to the media and politics, to drama, to turkey trotting, to giving thanks...

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Discussing the media and the 2016 Presidential election at UAlbany

UAlbany entrance fountainUAlbany is hosting a discussion about the media's impact on the Presidential election this Monday, November 21.

The panel for the event includes:

+ Moderator Rosemary Armao, a journalism professor at UAlbany and journalist

+ Attorney/political advisor Bruce Gyory, who served in the administration of Democratic governors in New York

+ UAlbany political scientist Bruce Miroff, who specializes in American politics and the presidency

+ Political media strategist Jessica Proud, she was the media coordinator for the New York delegation to the Republican National Convention

+ Boston College political scientist Emily Thorson, who studies "how political information and misinformation reache citizens (through traditional and new forms of media as well as through informal interactions) and the conditions under which this information affects their attitudes and behavior"

Given all the recent focus on Donald Trump Twitter fights with media outlets, questions about which stories got attention during the campaign, fake news sites, and the role of Facebook, they might have one or two things to talk about it.

The discussion is in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on the uptown campus starting at 6:15 pm. It's free and open to the public -- though registration is encouraged (see the first link above).

Stuff to do this weekend

Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields

Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields are at MASS MoCA this weekend for two "50 Song Memoir" shows.

This is the last weekend before the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's holiday season begins.

So, enjoy some low-pressure fun before all the travel and visiting begin.

After the jump, a list of stuff happening this weekend that we thought might interest you. Planning something you don't see here? Share it with the rest of us in the comments.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic and peaceful weekend.

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The Empire State Plaza ice skating rink is set to open for the 2016-2017 season soon

ESP ice rink agency buildings at night

The ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is set to open for the new season December 2 (weather permitting), the state Office of General Services announced Thursday.

As in recent years past, the rink will be open seven days a week from 11 am to 8 pm (closed 3-4 pm for maintenance). And it's free to skate. Skate rental is $4 for adults / $3 for kids 12 and under / and free on Fridays. (A photo ID is required for skate rental.)

Also again this season, there's a series of free learn-to-skate clinics. The first is December 3. These clinics require pre-registration and often fill up fast.

We try to make it over to the ESP to skate a few times each winter. The rink can get crowded on the weekends. But we've found the weekday evenings are often not crowded. And if you pair an evening skate with dinner downtown somewhere, that's a pretty good Wednesday (or Tuesday or whatever day). Also: It's a beautiful scene taking turns around the rink with the buildings lit up.

OGS has also announced the lineup of winter events at the ESP, including the tree lighting, which is December 4 this year.

AOA is a media sponsor of the ESP ice skating rink.

Checking out the Via Aquarium

via aquarium composite

By Nicole Lemperle Correia / Photos by Paul Gallo

The new Via Aquarium opened this past weekend in the mall now called ViaPort Rotterdam. The 25,000-square-foot aquarium is the latest attempt to replace big box stores and retail anchors as mall attractions.

I admit, I was a bit skeptical about a for-profit mall aquarium. But after visiting, I believe this is a valuable addition to the area. It's not the New England Aquarium, but it's well done, provides a new educational experience, and there's nothing else like it around here.

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Price is Right Live returning to The Palace

Price is Right Live 2016 promo photo

And you won't you even have to stay home sick from school to see it.

The touring stage version of the The Price is Right -- The Price is Right Live! -- is set to return to The Palace April 20. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 18 -- they're $32.50 and up.

Show blurbage:

The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to "Come On Down" to win. Prizes may include appliances, vacations and possibly a new car! Play classic games from television's longest running and most popular game show from Plinko™, to Cliffhangers™, to The Big Wheel™, and even the fabulous Showcase.

You don't have to buy a ticket for a chance to be a contestant on stage. Here's the process for applying -- it involves showing up three hours ahead of the showtime and entering your name.

This show has stopped here few a times in the past, and at least some of the dates have sold out. So, if you're interested in going, it might be a good idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

Young The Giant at The Palace

the band Young The Giant

Alt-rock band Young The Giant is set for a show at The Palace February 23. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 18 -- they're $24.50 and up.

The band has been touring in support of a new album, which has an immigrant theme. (The members of the band all are all immigrants or first-generation Americans.) From a Rolling Stone interview this past August with frontman Sameer Gadhia about the album:

I see us as a personally political band. Sometimes you get passed a torch. We have strong beliefs, and now more so than ever, we're talking about human rights. Our main thing is about equality. It's a humanitarian issue; it's not a political issue. So we're comfortable going forward on this path; we have the platform and an open line of dialogue with our fans, some of whom are completely unaware of the racial struggles in America, or the racial struggles that we deal with on a personal level. I think that's a very powerful, important thing. The thing about music is that it really can bring people together, and that's what we hope we can do.

The opener for the show at The Palace is Lewis Del Mar.

photo: Kelly Kenney

The week ahead

tracy kidder truck full of money

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tracy Kidder will be in Schenectady this week giving a talk that's free and open to the public.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (not bad), to stories, to authors, to film, to comedy, to basketball, to all sorts of music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

musician k.flay

K.Flay is at The Hollow this weekend.

It's the weekend, and it's time to start recovering from the presidential election cycle. After the jump, we've got a list of fun stuff happening this weekend in the Capital Region.

Pick one, pick a few -- you deserve it. Then call some friends and get out and enjoy yourself.

Planning something that isn't on our list? Drop it in the comments so we can all see.

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

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Capital Craft Beverage Trail tours

capital craft beverage trail logoThe Capital Craft Beverage Trail is working with The Giddy Up on a series of tours around the Capital Region. The first one is December 11. Here's itinerary blurbage:

We are kicking off the trail on Sunday December 11th, beginning at Nine Pin Cider Works where they will be offering $1 off all drafts. Then stock up on some Nine Pin Signature Cider cans and jump on the bus and head out to S&S Brewery in Nassau, who will be opening up that day just for us. Enjoy their Eternal Sunshine IPA or Udder Darkness Oatmeal Stout in their newly renovated tasting room. From there, the Giddy Up Bus will take you to Browns Brewing Company for happy hour pricing on draft beers and a light lunch which includes beer pretzels, speides and mac and cheese. We suggest you grab a 4 pack of their Burst IPA cans for the ride to our last destination, The Albany Distilling Company, for a private tour and tasting of their entire portfolio. Pick up and drop off for the bus will be in the City of Albany parking lot in Quackenbush Square.

You, like us, might not be too familiar with S&S Brewery -- it's a farm brewery located on an actual farm in Rensselaer County.

Tour tickets are $25 and available online.

Mazzone Hospitality cooking classes

cooking class angelo mazzoneWe noticed recently that Mazzone Hospitality -- the restaurant group that includes 677 Prime and a local culinary empire -- is offering a cooking classes at its headquarters in Clifton Park.

The upcoming schedule includes both hands-on and demonstration-style classes, some of them led by Angelo Mazzone himself -- he has a Feast of Seven Fishes demo class set for December 20. (The schedule's next class -- a hands-on holiday cooking decorating session with Kristin Hartman on November 29 -- is already sold out.)

Class prices range from $65 to $110. Here's what the classes include.

A compressed schedule for the rest of the year is after the jump, if you're curious.

A bunch of places around the area offering cooking classes, including Different Drummer's Kitchen at Stuyvesant Plaza, Gio Culinary Studio in Voorheesville, Spoon & Whisk in Clifton Park, Market Bistro in Latham, Honest Weight in Albany, and the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. (It's been a while since we've done a cooking class roundup -- we should do that soon.)

There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival

There Goes The Neighborhood Film Festival 2016 posterThe There Goes the Neighborhood Film Festival will be at the Sanctuary for Independent Media this Sunday, November 13 with a bunch of films and talks focused on urban communities, history, and the tensions involved with redevelopment.

The quick schedule listing:

12:00 - What do you tear down next
12:45 - 98 Acres in Albany
1:15 - Crossroads: The History of Rapp Road
1:45 - Slow Motion Riot
3:00 - Youth Media Makers
6:00 - 7:30 - Community Potluck

Many of the films will be paired with talks from people who were involved with making the film and/or with the issues highlighted in them. And the youth media films will feature works from Youth FX (Albany), TBU Productions with Proctors (Schenectady), and Youth Media Sanctuary (Troy).

Tickets are $10 and available online.

Earlier on AOA:
+ 98 Acres in Albany
+ Hey there, Bhawin Suchak, YouthFX program director
+ The Rapp Road Community Historic District

The Scoop

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Recent Comments

I know some people get excited when they hear that some chain from outside the area is coming to the Capital Region, but I'm not one of them. Local businesses mean local dollars; the money stays here rather than going to a corporate headquarters far, far away. If Price Chopper is sold to an outside company - especially a company that answers to its stockholders more than its customers - that could have a huge impact.

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