The last week's worth of items on AOA

This week was brought to you by

New World ext.jpg

Holiday celebrations + New World = awesome

This week was brought to you by turkey, stuffing, family, friends and gratitude. Also, by tryptophan hangovers.

And of course, it was brought to you by AOA advertisers. Without them there would be no AOA. So if Morning Blend, Stuff To Do This Weekend and all the interesting info in between is important to you, please take time to visit our advertisers and thank them.

Special thanks this week to New World Bistro Bar and New World Catering. Chef Ric Orlando recently beat Bobby Flay with his amazing latkes. He and his team are ready to make your holiday celebration delicious with parties, catering and special holiday dinners.

Want to advertise on AOA? It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at and we'll get you started.

Office space
The Tech Valley Center of Gravity. This maker space in a renovated historic Troy building currently has co-working memberships available for just $50 per month. The Center of Gravity also offers space, equipment, education and camaraderie to makers, hackers, crafters, tinkerers and artists.

Food and Drink

Nine Pin Cider
Nine Pin Ciderworks, offering cheese and charcuterie in their tasting room, Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

New World
New World Bistro Bar, named #1 Best Restaurant, according to Times Union 'Best of the Capital Region' Readers' Poll and also listed as one of 'the 13 Best New York Restaurants, not in NYC' according to

Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar, serving Ethiopian fare every Friday and Saturday evening with traditional Ethiopian flatbread (Injera), and choice of vegetarian choices or meat all seasoned with special Ethiopian spices (berbere).

Local, healthy, delicious
Honest Weight Food Coop. Eat healthy, eat local.

New World Catering, offering Thanksgiving dinners, weddings and big parties to small gatherings in your home.

Fine wine
Capital Wine at the corner of State and Lark Streets, with a wonderful supply of wines from around the world.

Ways to get where you're going

CDTA: whether it's work or play, CDTA can get you where you're going and safely back home again.

Capital Car Share. Share cars for just $8 an hour.

Stuff to do

The Albany Institute of History and Art, presenting its exhibit: The Capital Region in 50 Objects. From cannons to billiard balls to tulip queens to Uncle Sam's chamber pot -- 50 objects and background images that help tell the story of the Capital Region.

Mop & Bucket Improv Companypresenting a new season of Electric City Improv, every Friday night at Proctors.

Spectrum 8 Theaters. Enjoy a movie this Holiday Season at The Spectrum.

Places to Live

The Capital Team
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA. Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region.

Harmony Mills
Harmony Mills Lofts in Cohoes -- Manhattan style loft living in the Albany area.

Helpful stuff

Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C.. Staff Ciampino can help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest, so they're not only good at what they do, they're awesome too.

Berkshire Bank, providing the $1,500 prize money for this year's AOA Startup Contest. Great rates on home equity loans.

The Albany Public Libraries. Their mobile app helps you find library locations and hours, check your library card account, learn about upcoming events, download eBooks, audiobooks, music and more. You can even check ISBN bar codes on books, DVDs and CDs to see if the library owns what you need.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2015-11-29

Here are a few highlights from the past holiday week on AOA:

+ As is tradition, our annual Thanksgiving charity drawing asked: What are you thankful for this year?

+ Greg Kern, the pastry chef at Peck's Arcade, shared with us his pics and thoughts from trying out that 19th century recipe for Albany Cake.

+ Here's a list of holiday markets around the Capital Region.

+ Mike asked about where to get car upholstery fixed.

+ Another batch of renderings for ESP designs that didn't quite happen.

+ Deanna stopped into the French Press Cafe in downtown Albany for crepes.

+ And what was up in the Neighborhood this week: Bob & Ron's, local icons, a choice facing Albany, close calls, Albany media then, Moreau Lake, a bar tab, sushi, the Gateway, fast food, pizza, a found couch, and going around and around.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea this week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stuff to do this weekend

Cap Rep Christmas Story leg lamp

A Christmas Story: The Musical starts this weekend at Capital Rep

Welcome to the holiday season in the Capital Region -- when there are more things to do than you can shake a peppermint stick at.

After the jump, you'll find a weekend guide to shopping, movies, theater, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Got something planned that you don't see here? It's the season of sharing, so drop the details in the comment section for everyone to see.

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



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Happy Thanksgiving!

one-pie brand squash cans on shelf

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving. (We hope it involves pie.)

Thank you for being a part of AOA this year.

"A day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in this State"

Until 1863 "days of Thanksgiving" were irregularly observed holidays in the United States. That's when Abraham Lincoln -- at the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale, and with a proclamation written by New York's own William Seward -- declared the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. Here in New York the regular observance of the holiday stretches back to 1817 when governor DeWitt Clinton declared "a day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in this State" for November 13 of that year.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Bob & Ron's, local icons, a choice facing Albany, close calls, Albany media then, Moreau Lake, a bar tab, sushi, the Gateway, fast food, pizza, a found couch, and going around and around.

Neighborhood in-post ad APL 2015

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"I think it feels like Thanksgiving."

Stripping is labor -- both physical and emotional. So, if you're a stripper working on Thanksgiving, do you get time-and-a-half and 1.5x tips? Helping to fill the emotional role of a person's family and friends on a holiday would seem to be worth the extra compensation. [TU+]

Crepes at The French Press Cafe and Creperie

French Press Cafe Albany exterior

By Deanna Fox

On some of the oldest real estate in downtown Albany -- Clinton Square -- lies a small piece of France. A French cafe, in fact, that churns out classics of French cuisine, like baguette sandwiches, cafe au lait, and crepes.

A taste of France in this area is nothing new: French fur traders were some of the earliest Europeans in the Albany region. Throughout history, France and America have traded barbs are readily as they've supported each other when Le Merde hits Le Fan; regardless, we've embraced French culture and perhaps appreciate it best through food: Croissant, macarons, boeuf bourguignon, wine. Romantic notions of what France is draw American visitors regularly to the country, though experiencing it first-hand is a mere Gene Kelly-esque pipedream for those of us with wanderlust bigger than our bank accounts.

But thankfully, on the cobblestone promenade just west of the Hudson River, we can find a budget-friendly glimpse of France at The French Press Cafe and Creperie, where we can linger en plein air on wrought iron bistro seating, sip our coffee, and indulge in that wonderful French creation: The crepe.

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Cousin admits to Kenneth White murder, police search for missing Troy woman, Silver deliberation gets weird, Collar City boom

Van Alstyne admits to Kenneth White murder
Tiffany Van Alstyne plead guilty on Tuesday to the murder of her 5-year-old cousin Kenneth White. The 20-year old will face 18 years to life when she is sentenced - if she had been convicted by a jury that sentence would have been 25 years to life. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says he believes the boys death could have been prevented if Child Protective diagnosed problems in the family sooner. An advocacy group formed in Kenneth White's memory wants to see charges filed against Kenneth White's aunt, Brenda Van Alstyne. [News 10][TU][TWCN][Gazette]

Missing Troy Woman
Police are searching for a Troy woman who went missing after a co-worker drove her home from her shift as a hostes on Sunday. Documents with Noel Alkaramla's personal information on them were found in the street near her home on Washington Street in Troy.[Record][WNYT][TU]

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Today's moment of autumn

Buckingham Pond 2015-11-24 surface ice

First time we noticed ice on the pond this season.

It won't make it through the 60-degree temps later this week. But maybe skating isn't so far away.

Another view of the ESP that didn't quite happen

ESP 1962 rendering

We were picking through the Albany Institute's online collection the other day and came across a handful of Empire State Plaza design renderings that we don't think we had seen before. And maybe you haven't, either.

So, because it's interesting to wonder what if, let's have a look.

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On the ethics gridiron

Noted: There is such a thing as Ethics Bowl, and Union College's team is apparently one of the best in the nation. It's heading to the National Ethics Bowl Championship in February. (All bowl games have name sponsors, we wonder who sponsors the Ethics Bowl...) Sample case from the recent Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl in which Union competed: Is it ethical to compost corpses?

Talking about Santa and the Dutch at the Mabee Farm

delicious december cover peter g roseFood/history/holidays: Food historian Peter G. Rose will be at The Mabee Farm Historic Site December 5 for a talk about Santa and the Dutch.

Food historian Peter G. Rose delves into the early history of the life of the Saint; explains the various changes in his veneration; and relates how he was brought to America by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and, again, transformed to Santa in the 19th century. The talk encompasses such subjects as literature, religion, the fine arts, and Dutch food ways to describe the extraordinary story of his generosity that had a lasting impact on us all.

Rose is originally from The Netherlands and has written many books about the Dutch and their influence on the food and culture of the Hudson Valley. Her latest book is Delicious December:

Delicious December mixes food and history in a celebration of Dutch and American holiday traditions. In more than one hundred tried-and true recipes, award-winning food historian Peter G. Rose draws on traditions that date back centuries, as well as on reminiscences of her native country and suggests many ways to incorporate true Dutch treats into American celebrations.

The talk at Mabee Farm is Saturday, December 5 at 2 pm. Admission is $5.

Earlier on AOA:
+ What did Albany eat in the 18th century?
+ Baking that Albany Cake

Another planned co-working space

The push for co-working spaces in the Capital Region has been simmering for the last few years, so it's interesting to see a few new projects pop up recently like the the Tech Valley Center of Gravity and the planned Innovation Garage in Troy, joining already operating spaces like the Beahive. Another one in the works: Thrive, which is aiming to build off some of the recent momentum in Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood -- such as the Albany Barn -- and provide shared workspace. Its organizer is trying raise $10,000 via Indiegogo to help get it started.

Where to get car upholstery fixed?

car steering wheelMike emails:

I just acquired an older car with rips in the driver's seat. Is there anywhere local that can redo the seats and save me the expense and trouble of finding/buying good used ones?

Considering how many cars there are, we figure there's usually a place/way for fix almost everything on them. (Whether it's cost effective is another question...) So we're curious to hear people's thoughts on the best way to go about this.

Got a suggestion for Mike? Please share! And if you're recommending a specific repair place, bonus points for a sentence or two about why you're mentioning that place.

Protestors call for police firings because of Dontay Ivy case, Liberty Ridge Farm challenging fine for refusing same-sex wedding, Lillian's Restaurant is closing

Dontay Ivy
Members of Dontay Ivy's family and Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration rallied at the Albany City Hall Monday, calling for the mayor Kathy Sheehan to fire police chief Brendan Cox and the three police officers involved with the incident in which Ivy died. Celinda Okwuosa, Ivy's aunt: "All this about police doing their job, following their policies -- well, those policies need to be changed because they're discriminatory." [WNYT] [TWCN] [TU]

Troy fatal stabbing
Police in New Jersey arrested the man wanted in the fatal stabbing of a woman in North Central Monday morning. Troy police say the woman had an order of protection against the man. And the man's brother tells News10 that the couple were married and had been scheduled to finalize their divorce that day in court. [TU] [WNYT] [News10]

Lillian's closing
Lillian's Restaurant, which has been on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs for more than four decades, is set to close at the end of this year. Owner Raymond Morris says he was recently approached with an offer to the buy building, and decided to sell. Morris said the next owner has retail and office space plans for the building. [Saratogian] [TU] [Biz Review]

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Holiday markets 2015

basilica farm flea photo

Basilica Farm & Flea is one of a handful of holiday markets coming up.

The unofficial official holiday shopping season starts up 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...

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Rezone Albany: South End

rezone albany warehouse district public workshop 2015-MayThe Rezone Albany project's next neighborhood specific workshop is for the South End. Blurbage:

The South End Design Workshop is a three-day visioning, zoning and form-based coding discussion that will inform the City's ReZone Albany initiative. This workshop will focus on the area around Albany's South End, gathering input from members of the public in order to arrive at a collaborative solution. The Warehouse District Workshop began the process in May, followed by the Central and Manning Design Workshop in August. ...
This is your community. You are the expert. Who knows the community better than someone who lives and/or works here? ReZone Albany is a rare chance for you to be a part of creating positive change, impacting the growth of your City for years to come. We need your ideas, input and feedback to ensure that the vision reflects community values and aspirations.

The South End presentations are at the Capital South Campus Center:
+ Tuesday, December 8 from 6-8 pm for the hands-on design workshop
+ Thursday, December 19 from 6-8 pm for the work-in-progress presentation

We've stopped into the two previous workshops -- for the Warehouse District and Central Ave -- and they've been interesting, both as a way to learn more about the Rezone Albany project and just to hear the thoughts of the national consultants about various parts of the city. The South End workshop is the last of the currently planned events of its type.

The products of these workshops are being rolled into proposed mixed-use zoning district that will help direct what sorts of development goes on there in the future.

"Manlius, and Skaneateles, and Tully aren't going to exist if the city of Syracuse doesn't."

Over at The Atlantic Alan Semeuls looks at some of the factors that contributed to the concentrated poverty in the city of Syracuse, including discriminatory lending and housing, the construction of I-81 right through the heart of the city, and sprawl. "The story of how poverty became one of the defining characteristics of Syracuse is specific to the city and the region, but in some ways it is illustrative of the many policy decisions that have made all American cities more segregated by race and income over the last 15 years." (Though it's mentioned, the article maybe underplays the effect of the large loss of manufacturing jobs over the last 50 years -- a trend that's continuing.) [The Atlantic] [Brookings] []

Baking that Albany Cake

albany cake two versions closeup

Same recipe, two different interpretations.

Last week we mentioned that 1828 recipe for "Albany Cake" (thanks, Pamela!), which prompted a a discussion about some of the quirks of the recipe and what the cake might be like.

Well, Greg Kern -- the pastry chef at Peck's Arcade in Troy -- saw the recipe and decided to actually try it.

So we thought it'd be fun to talk with him about how it worked out...

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Drawing: What are you thankful for this year?

bowl of cherries

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

Thanksgiving is this Thursday (you might have heard), so as is AOA tradition, we'd like to know:

What are you thankful for this year?

Please share in the comments -- it could be anything or anyone. The Editors will start things off after the jump.

And as part of our annual tradition, we will draw one person randomly from the comments and AOA will donate $100 to the charity of that person's choice. Last year Tess's comment was chosen and she picked Camp Little Notch for the donation.

Important: To be part of the drawing, you must submit your comment (that answers the question) by 11:59 pm on November 24, 2015. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly). The winner will be notified by noon on November 25 and must respond by noon on November 30. The choice of charity is totally subject to AOA approval. (For example, we're not going to give money to People Against Puppies.)

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Search following fatal stabbing in Troy, Walmart responds to can-redemption firing, South End Children's Café already a drawing a crowd

Fatal stabbing in Troy
Troy police say a woman was fatally stabbed early Monday inside a residence in North Central (map). Police are searching for a man they want to question in the case and they say could be armed and dangerous. Update: Police say the man was found in New Jersey. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

Canned at Walmart
A Walmart spokesman tells the Times Union Thomas Smith was fired from the company's East Greenbush store because he redeemed $2 worth of cans that had been left in a shopping cart inside the store, which the company determined to be "gross misconduct." Said the spokesman to the Washington Post about the situation: "Taking items that have been returned to the customer service desk is no different from stealing off our shelves or from customers." The GoFundMe campaign for Smith is up to almost $20,000 as of Monday morning. [TU] [Washington Post] [GoFundMe]

Albany High School
The Albany school board is split over how to proceed on another pitch to voters about renovating/expanding Albany High School. [TU+]

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The week ahead

mythbusters stage show

The Mythbusters stage show is at Proctors Tuesday.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (November-ish and not), to Thanksgiving, to turkey trotting, to mythbusting, to museums, to music...

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Looking for more? Check out the archive. Or try searching for it:

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

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