Items tagged with 'stufftodo'

Stuff to do this weekend

Maceo Parker by Ines Kaiser

Maceo Parker returns to the Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC this weekend.

It is the first weekend of official summer -- so soak it up.

After the jump, a whole list of stuff we thought might interest you -- music festivals, baseball, swimming, strawberry picking, summer markets, and more. Pick your favorites, grab some sunscreen and go.

Doing something we didn't list here? Share it in the comments so we can all see.

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

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Bites Camera Action in downtown Albany

Downtown Albany BID Bites Camera Action logoThe schedule for the downtown Albany outdoor movies/food trucks series -- Bites Camera Action -- is out.

You might remember this is the series for which the Downtown Albany BID asked people for their votes to narrow down the slate for the series in Tricentennial Park. And here it is:

movie title | live music act

July 10: Back to the Future | The Graham Tichy Trio

July 17: Jurassic Park | Kimono Dragons

July 24: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone | The Useless Cans

July 31: La La Land | Bryan Brundige & Crick Diefendorf

August 7: The Goonies | DJ Mercy

August 14: Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Victory Soul Orchestra

Those dates are all Mondays. Food and live music starts each night from 5-8 pm. Movies start at 8:30 pm. Admission is free.

Tricentennial Park is the park on Broadway across from Kiernan Plaza/the old train station.

Gawking at the new Five Rivers visitor center

new Five Rivers visitor center exterior

The new $8.9 million visitor center is now officially open at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar. The "green" building includes interactive exhibits, classrooms, multipurpose space, restrooms, and staff offices. It's open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 4:30 pm.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has an Outdoor Day event there this Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm with activities such as animal demonstrations and guided walks.

Here's a look around the new building...

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Pine Bush Big Birding Day

It's not any regular birding day. It's a big birding day.

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is hosting the first Pine Bush Big Birding Day starting June 30, an event in which teams will try to observe as many bird species as possible over a 24-hour period. Blurbage:

"A big birding day allows the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to learn what species of birds are in the preserve. Detecting birds this time of year also suggests that those birds may be breeding here," says Amanda Dillon, Field Ecologist and Entomologist. "Commission staff regularly conduct surveys during the summer months where we record every bird we hear and see at points located around the preserve. This event will help us get more eyes and ears on the ground and expand our coverage area. Birds are very sensitive to changes in their habitat and some can only be found in particular types of habitats like the inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens found the in the Albany Pine Bush. Knowing which species are present in the preserve tells us a lot about how effective our efforts are in restoring this globally rare landscape."

The bird species spotting starts at 6 pm Saturday with a kick-off and refreshments at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center. And then things wrap up Saturday at 7 pm with dinner and closing ceremony. It's free to participate, but registration is required.

Earlier: Birding in Washington Park

photo: Julie Madsen

Science on Tap: "The Riddle of the Invisible Dark Matter"

science on tap logoThe local drink-and-discuss series Science on Tap is still rolling along after starting up this past February. The next talk is Tuesday, June 27 at MopCo in Schenectady. The topic: "The Riddle of the Invisible Dark Matter":

We are sure that it exists! Searches for this mysterious "dark matter" have gone on for decades, but discovery still eludes us. Please join Dr. Matthew Szydagis, Assistant Professor of Physics at UAlbany, at MOPCO Theatre where he will discuss the status of these searches.

The talk starts at 7 pm and admission is free.

Science on Tap is a monthly series aimed at providing opportunities for conversation between scientist and the general public. Previous talks have focused on solar eclipses, conservation, and "how to smell bullshit."

Future at SPAC

the rapper Future CC

The rapper Future is set for a show at SPAC August 23. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 23 -- they're $26 (lawn) and up.

Future released two albums earlier this year -- in the span of a week. Both debuted at #1 on the US album chart, and he became the first artist to release #1 albums one week after another.

Openers for the SPAC show are Post Malone and Zoey Dollaz.

photo: Flickr user The Come Up Show (CC BY 2.0 - cropped)

Walking the history of Pine Hills, with a guide

History of Here cover Pine Hills walking tour app

The cover of Akum Norder's upcoming book, and an app screenshot of the Pine Hills neighborhood tour.

Check it out: The Pine Hills Neighborhood Association in Albany has put together an app-guided walking tour of the neighborhood via the PocketSights app. Blurbage:

Focusing on twenty sites, the tour uses offbeat stories and historic photos to tell the story of the Pine Hills neighborhood's development. It highlights landmarks such as Steamer No.10 firehouse, the Madison Theater, and The College of Saint Rose, as well as lesser-known places such as the St. Vincent Orphan Asylum, the Aurania Club, and the Brady Maternity Hospital.

The org say it's planning a paper booklet for the tour later this year.

PocketSights is available for both iOS and Android, and it's free. It also currently includes other local tours, such as one of downtown Albany. The company behind the app is based in Ithaca.

Take a walk with the tour creator
The creator of the walking tour is local journalist and author Akum Norder. She'll be leading a history walk of Pine Hills next Wednesday, June 28 at 5:30 pm. It's free, but attendance is limited. You can sign up online.

Norder's book -- The History of Here: A House, the Pine Hills Neighborhood, and the City of Albany -- is set to be released next February by SUNY Press Excelsior Editions. You might remember that Akum was writing a similarly-themed blog for the Times Union for a while (and was once a contributor to AOA). She's a wonderful writer with a keen sense for stories. We're very much looking forward to her book.

Summer in the City movie series at The Palace

palace theater exterior 2012 sunnyThe Palace is again this summer showing a series of free kids movies on weekdays. The theater opens at noon for activities, and the movies start at 1 pm. There's also free popcorn for kids 12 and under.

The series includes eight dates in July and August. The first -- a screening of Kung Fu Panda -- is July 11.

The free tickets are available from The Palace box office up to a day in advance. And groups can get blocks of tickets through box office group sales.

Here's the schedule...

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A checklist for summer

summer checklist 2017 composite

The summer solstice -- with the longest daylight of the year -- has arrived. You know how in winter you dream of doing all those summer things? Get out there and do them! That time is now!

So we've put together a checklist of summer stuff to do...

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READ & FEED 2017 at Basilica Hudson

Basilica Hudson Read and Feed 2017 logo

The literature and food event READ & FEED returns to Basilica Hudson Sunday, July 23. Event blurbage:

The festival includes a celebration of legendary Hudson-based poet John Ashbery's 90th birthday, acclaimed food writers and chefs presenting demonstrations and interactive discussions, a superstar collection of authors offering literary performances and novel conversations, a marketplace featuring some of America's most intriguing small literary publishers and artisanal food makers, plenty of affordable food and much more.

Tickets are on sale now -- they're $15 / $10 students and seniors.

Among the events:

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Summer tours of the Empire State Plaza

ESP art Untitled by Fritz Glarner section

Sure, everyone knows the ESP. But it has a lot of nooks and crannies (if those are the right words). One of our favorite spots is this huge mural by Fritz Glarner that's tucked into a space on the concourse level in the Abrams Building.

The New York State Capitol Tours program is has a new round of Empire State Plaza tours this summer starting July 3. Blurbage:

The one-hour tours feature highlights of the world-class, 98-acre complex where state government, unique architecture, and modern art share the same space. No two tours are the same, and highlights can include The Egg Center for the Performing Arts, the concourse, and outside where visitors will learn about the Plaza's main platform, Capitol, Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, Cultural Education Center, Corning Tower, Legislative Office Building, and agency buildings, as well as the memorials that honor those who have dedicated or given their lives in service to others. Those taking the tour will also learn about the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, which is known as the largest publicly owned modern art collection in the country housed outside of a museum.

The tours run each weekday through August 31 (no tours on holidays). They start at 1 pm and they're free. Reservations aren't required, but it's a good idea to show up a little bit early.

Saturday Capitol tours
The tours program is continuing to offer Saturday tours of the state Capitol on the second Saturday of each month. It's also offering them July 1 for Independence Day. Tours are at 11 am and 1 pm, advance registration is required. (And they do fill up.)

Park Playhouse 2017: Ragtime

Park Playhouse in Albany's Washington Park opens its 2017 summer season June 29 with a production of Ragtime. The show will run through July 29.

It's looking like a very strong production, with a cast that includes many talented performers from the Capital Region. That video above is from a rehearsal posted by the production this past weekend. Show blurbage for Ragtime:

The Tony-winning score is just as diverse as the melting pot of America itself, drawing upon many musical styles from the ragtime rhythms of Harlem and Tin Pan Alley to the klezmer of the Lower East Side, from bold brass band marches to delicate waltzes, from up-tempo banjo tunes to period parlor songs and expansive anthems. Ragtime - a truly unique and powerful portrait of America.

Reserved seating for Park Playhouse shows is $16 for side sections, $18 for the center section, and $24 for table seats. And, of course, lawn seating is free. (That reserved seating does fill up.)

The rest of the Park Playhouse summer season includes production of The Music Man in the park during August, and a Park Playhouse Kids production of The Lion King Jr. at the Cohoes Music Hall later in August.

The ValleyCats open their 2017 season this week

tri-city valleycats night game

The Tri-City ValleyCats open their 2017 home season this Wednesday at The Joe against the Lowell Spinners. There will be fireworks after the game. It's part of a six-game homestand that runs through next Monday. (Their season opens on the road at Connecticut Monday night.)

The ValleyCats are a farm team for the Houston Astros in the New York-Penn League, which is the "short-season A" level. (Minor league baseball's levels go from rookie ball up to AAA.) And while that's a few steps from the majors, more than 30 one-time ValleyCats have ended up making appearances in MLB -- including Hunter Pence, Ben Zobrist, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Dallas Keuchel.

Many of the Astros top draft picks -- especially older players out of college -- end up being assigned to the ValleyCats.

Tickets start as low as $5.75 (the most expensive are $11), so it can be relatively cheap night out. And The Joe -- Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College -- is a nice venue. Also: It's minor minor league baseball, so there are a bunch of promotions, wacky theme nights, and the mayors race.

The week ahead

dead and company john mayer

Dead & Company is at SPAC this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (summery), to words, to baseball, to gardens, to strawberries, to music festivals...

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2017 Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region

Mohawk-Hudson_Region_Richard_Barlow_chalk_illustration

Among the works in this year's exhibition is this chalk mural by Richard Barlow

The 2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region opens this weekend at the Albany Institute. The annual exhibit is now in its 81st year and it's said to be the longest running annual juried exhibition in the country. It's open to artists living within 100 miles of Albany and Glens Falls.

The exhibit includes 87 works from 32 artists. They were selected by this year's juror -- Jack Shear, a photographer, curator, and president of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation -- from a pool of 600 works submitted by 268 artists. The pieces range from paintings to sculptures to mixed-media works.

The annual exhibit rotates among the The Hyde Collection, the University Art Museum at UAlbany, and the Albany Institute. Each year the institutions acquire pieces from the exhibit for their collections. The Albany Institute has put on display some of the works it's acquired over the years at the head of this year's exhibit.

When you stop by for a look, also wander through the institute's adjacent gallery of 19th century sculpture. Shear has directed a temporary re-installation of the pieces there to provide a different perspective on them.

The 2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region is on display at the Albany Institute through September 3. There opening ceremony and awards reception was Friday evening. And there's a series of gallery talks with some of the artists throughout the summer. That schedule is below.

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Stuff to do this weekend

troy river street festival 2013 above

The Troy River Festival returns Saturday.

Ready? Set? Weekend!

But wait -- first you have to decide what to do. That may not be as easy as it sounds. We've pulled together a list of things we thought you'd like to try.

Doing something you don't see here? Tell us about it in the comments.

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

Albany Dadfest in-post ad 2017

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Hiking the Mid-Hudson Valley

mid hudson valley hiking composite

By Julie Madsen

The Capital Region is blessed with mountainous surroundings, both the Catskills and the Adirondacks, and places to hike.

But if you're looking to change things up, the Mid-Hudson Valley is less than two hours from Albany. And one area there is particularly rich in good hiking. Over the few miles between Beacon and Cold Spring along the Hudson there are numerous trailheads for hikers at every skill level.

Pack water, snacks, put on a good pair of shoes, and head south!

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Pick-your-own strawberry season 2017

strawberries in basket straw closeup

Strawberry season has arrived! Many local farms just opened pick-your-own strawberry fields this week, and others will be doing so shortly.

All that cold, cloudy, wet weather a few weeks back held up this year's crop. Multiple farms have noted that things are a bit behind schedule. But it sounds like the recent sunny weather has things rounding into shape.

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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Jackie Baldwin Memorial Scholarship Gala

chef Jackie BaldwinThere's a fundraiser at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom this Monday, June 19 for the newly formed Chef Jackie Baldwin Memorial Scholarship at at SCCC's Culinary Arts Program. The new fund is in remembrance of the longtime local chef who died last year.

The event will include more than 15 tasting tables from a lineup of prominent local chefs. The list is below.

Tickets are $60 each -- $100 per couple -- and available online (see the link above).

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West Fulton Puppet Festival 2017

Legend of the Banana Kid puppet show

From the description for The Legend of the Banana Kid: "The Legend of the Banana Kid features 20 of our hand-crafted glove, mouth and rod puppets, and a slew of flying and twirling styrofoam bananas." What other sort of bananas would you ever want?

The West Fulton Puppet Festival returns to its eponymous hamlet in Schoharie County July 7-8. Now in its third year, the festival includes performances of all sorts of puppetry. Some condensed blurbage:

The 2017 West Fulton Puppet Festival will feature work suitable for the whole family by puppetry artists, and one circus performer, from New York, Maine and Florida, playing in rotation throughout the two-day Festival. The lineup includes Double Image Theater Lab's I Laid an Egg, join Margot and her imaginary friend, Egg, as they take us on a surprising journey into the wonderful world of make-believe ... Morgan Kelly's Island Turtle, explore the coastal ecosystems through the eyes of a child and includes a post-show workshop ... Seano Presents: Shakespeare's Clowns! performed by former Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus clown Sean Fagan, it's part poetry, puppetry, parade, and play ... and the award-winning Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers, who ride into town with their wild west cowboy adventure The Legend of the Banana Kid ... Andy Gaukel's Schweinehund--a live puppetry and animation piece inspired by the life of Nazi concentration camp survivor, Pierre Seel--will round-out the Festival with a special presentation for adult audiences only ...
The Festival takes place in and around West Fulton Park, and utilizes The Hall at Panther Creek Arts, plus non-traditional performance spaces, including nearby barns, the Historic Schoolhouse, and a circus tent.

Here's the schedule of events. Admission for the puppet performances is free, but tickets are required. They're available on site the day of, starting with the beginning of each day.

West Fulton is a hamlet in the town of Fulton -- it's pretty much right in the center of Schoharie County, just about an hour from Albany.

Ghost tours at The Mount

The Mount exterior

The Mount -- Edith Wharton's home in Lenox -- has a series of ghost tours on Wednesdays this summer. Blurbage:

Creaking floors, slamming doors, and ghostly footsteps...The Mount's haunted history includes it all! For over a century, The Mount has been home to writers, actors, wealthy families, hardworking servants, and teenage girls. Take a special guided tour of the most haunted parts of the estate to find out who may still call The Mount home. You never know who-or what-might happen to show up!

If anything, it sounds like it could be a fun way to get a tour of the estate. The tours start at 7:30 pm on Wednesdays.

Advance tickets are required -- they're $24 / $20 for kids (not recommended for under 12). And they sell out -- both remaining dates in June are already full.

Lenox is in western Massachusetts, just about an hour's drive from Albany.

photo via The Mount's Facebook page

Electric City Couture "Identity" at State Museum

electric city couture identity state museum promo photo

Electric City Couture has a new fashion show lined up for the State Museum July 8. Blurbage:

Electric City Couture presents IDENTITY, a runway fashion show. The show will feature a bold mix of four established and up-and-coming New York State designers and 35+ ethnic and gender-diverse models in a single night performance that explores fashion as an expression of identity while simultaneously celebrating and raising questions about this timely social issue.

The show will be staged in the New York Metropolis section of the museum. There will also be a pop-up shop at which people will be ably to buy designs from the runway directly from the designers.

Tickets for the show are $20 and available online.

photo: Sarah Pezdek

Tape Face at Troy Music Hall

the performer Tape Face

The Troy Music Hall announced a group of shows for its upcoming season today, and it includes the usual mix of concerts. And then there's Tape Face on October 12.

Tape Face is, um, a guy with tape over his mouth. And his act pretty clearly draws on mime, clowning, and prop comedy. He got a lot of attention last year for his performances on the TV show America's Got Talent, on which he made it to the finals.

Show blurbage: "So what does he do exactly? Well, simply mentioning any aspect of this diverse show would be a disservice - the less you know the more you will enjoy this show."

Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public this Friday, June 16 -- they're $27.

Here's the rest of the newly-announced shows...

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The week ahead

the band Deerhoof

Deerhoof plays Rockin' on the River this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (hot), to stories, to helping others, to the most interesting man in the world, to gelato, to swimming, to music...

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The Hyde Collection's new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery opens this weekend

White by Grace Hartigan Hyde Collection

"White" by Grace Hartigan, 1951. Oil on canvas, 38 x 44 3/4 in., copyright of the Grace Hartigan Estate.

The Hyde Collection opens its new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery Saturday with an exhibition of modern art works donated by the gallery's namesakes. It's also the museum's annual Community Opening Day, which includes free admission. Blurbage:

The Feibes & Schmitt Gallery is the result of a donation made last year from Werner Feibes and his late partner, James Schmitt, who gave the Museum their Modern and Contemporary art collection valued at more than $10 million, and a $1 million leadership donation to build the 1,500-square-foot exhibition space. The collection establishes the Museum as a regional hub for Modern and Contemporary art, and greatly increases its educational and programming opportunities. ...
The celebration June 10 also marks the opening of the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery's inaugural exhibition, To Distribute and Multiply: The Feibes & Schmitt Gift, which includes more than forty works from the collection, representing some of the twentieth century's most influential artists, such as Jean (Hans) Arp, Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Keith Haring, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Man Ray, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, and Andy Warhol, among others.

Feibes and Schmitt had an architecture practice in Schenectady for many years, and they were prominent figures in the effort to preserve the Stockade neighborhood. After many decades together, they married in 2013. Schmitt passed away two months later at age 87. As Werner Feibes told the Times Union in 2015 when discussing the gift to the museum: "You can't own art. It's meant to be seen and enjoyed by people." [TU x2]

The new gallery opens to the public at noon Saturday, and there will be Community Opening Day events from 1-7 pm.

As you know, They Hyde Collection is in Glens Falls. Here are a few ideas for rolling a trip there into a day trip.

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