The last week's worth of items on AOA
The Ten Broeck Mansion is hosting an 1890s Murder Mystery Garden Party September 12. The evening will feature a live murder mystery show, along with food from chef Josh Coletto (of Rock 'n Roll Brunch fame). We have two tickets to the event and we're giving them away -- the mystery is... TO WHOM?!?.
To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:
What's the title of your Capital Region mystery novel or police procedural TV show?
It could be anything: The Affair in Center Square, CSI: Green Island, whatever. (Goofy and fun is a good angle here.) We'll draw one entry at random -- that person wins the pair of tickets.
Here's a synopsis of the event's murder mystery, which will be played by Murder Cafe, a theater company from the Hudson Valley:
t's 1890, the height of the Gilded Age, and banking tycoon Dudley Olcott is hosting a summer garden party at his Arbor Hill estate, the Ten Broeck Mansion. The Olcotts are known for their soirees and there's no shortage of famous guest who may attend; luckily you're invited. Mingle with the Vanderbilts, John Jacob Astor IV, and his unlikeable wife Lady Astor. Enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and live music in the mansion's enchanting gardens and elegant parlors. But don't let your guard down, the evening might take a deadly turn.
And Josh Coletto will be making era-appropriate hors d'oeuvres (menu is post jump).
The 1890s Murder Mystery Garden Party at the Ten Broeck Mansion is Saturday, September 12 at 6 pm. Tickets are $35 ahead (available online) / $40 at the door. They include the show, live music, and food. There will be a cash bar.
Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Thursday, September 3, 2015 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 noon on Friday and must respond by noon on Tuesday, September 8.
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: monuments, the kiosk mentality, the Santanoni Range, horses, four miles in the dark, a tea factory, Travers Day, Ama Cocina, korean BBQ, metal needs, and railroads.
McCloud is best known as the award-winning author of the influential "Understanding Comics" (1993), a visual treatise on the definition, history, vocabulary and methods of the medium. Later works include "Reinventing Comics" (2000) and "Making Comics" (2006).
His graphic novel "The Sculptor" was released this year. McCloud also wrote 12 issues of DC's "Superman Adventures" and the series "Superman: Strength." In 2009, he was featured in "The Cartoonist," a documentary film on the life and work of Bone creator Jeff Smith.
The talk is Thursday, September 17 at 5:15 pm in Gannett Auditorium. It's free.
Two separate cases of cars going through buildings, civil suit in Ivy death, Troy charter commission suggests smaller council, truck driver sentenced in trooper's death
Car goes through diner
Seven people were injured on Tuesday when a car went through the wall at Schenectady's Blue Ribbon Diner during the lunch hour. Police say an elderly man put his car in reverse, hitting a woman behind the car and backing through the wall of the diner - pinning the woman between the car and crash debris. [TU][Gazette][WNYT]
Car goes through window tinting building
A pickup truck on Central Avenue hit a utility poll and traveled about 100 yards before slamming through the wall of a window tinting business. Police fear removing the truck may cause the building to collapse. [TU][TWCN][WNYT]
Civil lawsuit in Ivy's death
The family of Donald "Dontay" Ivy has filed a federal civl rights lawsuit against the city of Albany and the three police officers who use a taser to subdue Ivy at a store near his home in April. Earlier this week Ivy's death was ruled a homicide in a coroner's report. [WNYT][TWCN]
There's this green... stuff... that accumulates on Buckingham Pond. Up close, it looks like a bunch of tiny green seeds. Collectively they mass together and slowly swirl. And if you look at them a certain way, it's like looking a some sort of green Jupiter.
How many people are here? What's the range of incomes? How are people getting around? What direction are crime rates headed?
Numbers related to those questions -- and many other topics -- are stuffed into the aptly-titled "Capital Region Statistical Report," which was released today by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission.
And it is exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of numbers about a bunch of topics in the Capital Region from a bunch of different sources, all aggregated in one report.
One example is above -- it's a chart from the report about annual violent crimes per 1,000 people in areas of the Capital Region. And it includes this short discussion of the chart:
The unofficial last week of summer is upon us -- that time between August and Labor Day, when the calendar says it is time to sharpen our pencils and pull sweaters out of storage, but the weather claims cut-offs, beach towels, and ice cream.
The Capital Region is flush with classic ice cream stands, but few stand out the way Martha's Dandee Creme, just outside of Lake George, does.
"[I]n Albany, where I am obliged to Quarter more Troops than the People can support, or reasonably ought"
This is an interesting bit of local history that we didn't know: During the French and Indian War the British army made extensive use of Albany homes to quarter soldiers -- much to the dismay of Albany residents -- and that experience played a significant role in fomenting local support for the American revolution.
From an article by Elizabeth Covart in the Journal of the American Revolution:
Between 1754 and 1760, thousands of British soldiers, colonial officials, merchants, and camp followers made their way to and through Albany. The war proved to be both a profitable and an antagonistic experience for the Albanians. Albanians profited from the war both financially and via the opportunity to extend their patronage networks. Merchants, tavern keepers, artisans, and laborers furnished their visitors with supplies, housing, and services. Elites rubbed elbows with aristocratic British officers. The Albanians had expected to profit from the war, but they had not anticipated the adversarial politics of identity that the war brought out. Although the Albanians claimed to be Britons, their British guests recognized them only as foreigners, Dutch colonials. The British Army used this non-British view of the Albanians to justify their quartering practices. Many Albanians believed the army's quartering practices had violated their constitutional rights as Britons and they reflected on this when it came time to choose their loyalties during the American Revolution. The Albanians' disagreeable experiences with the British Army during the French and Indian War predisposed the community to side with, or at least not oppose, the Patriot cause.
After the war, the city essentially tied to boot the British army from its land -- and the British didn't agree. The pent up frustration resulted in protests and riots. And by the time the revolution came along, there was a campaign in Albany to root out loyalists.
By the way: The British officer who oversaw the the quartering of troops in Albany was John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun (that's him on the right). Name sound familiar? Yep, it is from his name that the hamlet of Loudonville in Colonie is said to have gotten its name. Why him? Good question -- here's an article rolling around the question.
portrait from National Galleries Scotland via Wikipedia
This cold be fun/interesting: Overit in Albany is hosting a discussion event about creating and crowdfunding board games September 10. Blurbage (links added):
Gil Hova, founder of Formal Ferret Games, and Jeff Warrender, co-founder of
Spielbany, will present on their process for developing games, and how to stay creative in the gaming industry. In addition, Gil will discuss running a successful crowdfunding campaign stemming from his experience raising $30,000 from over 1,000 backers for one of his games.
Guests will also have the opportunity to play Gil's latest game, called The Networks, following the presentation.
That game -- The Networks, in which you compete as a TV network exec to acquire shows, stars, and ad revenue -- starts a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter today, September 1 (as of this morning it hadn't started just yet).
"Games at Overit: The Creative Process of Building & Crowdfunding Boardgames" is September 10 from 5-8 pm. It's free -- and you can register to attend online.
screengrab from Gil Hova YouTube
Troy police officer released from hospital, muggings in Albany student neighborhood, possible parking ticket amnesty in a can, Rice Building sold
Lansingburgh police shooting
Troy police officer Joshua Comitale was released from Albany Med Monday -- a week and a half after the shooting in Lansingburgh in which he was hit four times in the legs. (The other officer shot in the incident, Chad Klein, was released last week.) TPD chief John Tedesco said the department expects Comitale will return to duty after rehab. In remarks to the media Monday Tedesco again mentioned that the TPD has surveillance video of the incident in which Thaddeus Faison was shot and killed -- and he said the video would be made public eventually. [TWCN] [TU] [WNYT]
Colonie salon stabbing
A group of 50 State Police recruits were deployed Monday to help search the area near the Colonie salon where police say Jacquelyn Porecca was fatally stabbed a week and a half ago. Colonie police say they didn't find anything new. [WNYT] [TWCN]
Muggings in Albany student neighborhood
Albany police say there was a string of street robberies over the weekend in the section of Pine Hills in which many college students live (map). (Students from both UAlbany and Saint Rose recently returned.) A UAlbany student tells News10 that he was assaulted by a group of 8-10 people who took his phone and tablet. APD says it's made one arrest in a another incident in which four people were allegedly attacked by a group that punched them in the head and robbed them. [TU] [News10] [APD FB]
Saratoga Springs hit and run
Saratoga Springs police say a Ballston Spa man is accused of hitting pedestrian on Broadway at Caroline Street Saturday morning then driving away. SSPD says the pedestrian suffered multiple broken bones and taken to Albany Med via helicopter. Police say a tip from a city employee led them the alleged driver. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]
Trees are often one of those things you don't really have a real sense of until they're gone. It's remarkable how much emptier, starker, hotter a street can feel after a few longstanding trees are taken down.
The city of Albany is facing the possibility of experiencing this sort of impact on a large scale. Last year an invasive beetle was detected in the city for the first time and the city's ash trees -- of which there more than 2,000 along the city's streets and in its parks -- are threatened with being killed off.
We talked with Albany's city forester, Tom Pfeiffer, recently about dealing with this threat, the problems associated with uniformity, trees that stink, and trees as infrastructure.
Quillio is celebrating the new album with a free show (this) Monday evening as part of the Dana Park Summer Concert Series in Albany. The show starts at 5:30 pm with Meara McTague, and Olivia Quillio at 7 pm.
Earlier on AOA: Interesting in 2011: Olivia Quillio
The US Army would like it back. The Army tells Ars Technica one of its helicopters lost the non-explosive "dummy" missile during a flight Friday between Fort Drum and Stewart airport. [Ars Technica] (Thanks, S!)
Janae asks via Twitter:
I want to break some habits and find a new Albany workday lunch spot. (quick, not sit-down) Any recommendations?
The "quick" part of Janae's question complicates things a little bit. But a lot of places offer order-ahead for lunch, so you can just stop in, pick up, and go.
We're guessing you have a few suggestions. But we'll start with one of our own: Crave recently opened at Western and Quail -- we've been twice already, and we're looking forward to going again. Some of the more unusual burgers are fun -- both the turkey reuben and kung pao shrimp burgers we've tried have been packed with interesting flavors.
OK, your turn. Got a suggestion for Janae? Please share!
Finn is, of course, the frontman for The Hold Steady. His second solo album is scheduled for release this September, and this tour is in support of that effort. The new album, Faith in the Future, was recorded in Woodstock -- Finn is also playing there, at the Bearsville Theater, October 14.
The opener for both shows is Esme Patterson.
Whenever The Hold Steady rolls into town the show usually sells out. So, if you're interested in this show, getting tickets sooner rather than later isn't a bad idea.
New details in Dontay Ivy case, no strike for Ellis nurses, American Pharoah finishes second, Ed Lewi remembered
Dontay Ivy case
There has yet to be an official, publicly-released report on the death of Dontay Ivy while in Albany police custody this past spring, but Brendan Lyons reports in the Times Union that a coroner's report designated the death as a homicide -- and a possible grand jury review of the case "has stalled." "A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation" tells Lyons of the incident in which Albany police stopped Ivy: "Everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong here." An attorney representing the police officers confirms to WNYT the homicide designation in the coroner's report, noting it's a medical rather criminal determination. [TU] [WNYT]
Nurses at Ellis Medicine cancelled their plan to strike later this week after the org representing them reached an agreement on a contract with the hospital group early Saturday morning. The agreement must still be voted on by the nurses. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
American Pharoah did not win the much-anticipated Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course this past weekend. The Triple Crown winner lost to a horse named Keen Ice in a close race. American Pharoah joins a string of star, undefeated horses to lose at Saratoga. [TU] [NYT] [Saratogian]
Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (hot streak), to the last week at The Track, to the last home stand of the season, to the last county fairs, to the first event of the new season at EMPAC, to music...
This week was brought to you by horses, sweet corn, ball games, barbecues and the waning days of summer.
And of course, as always, the week was brought to you by AOA advertisers. If advertisers didn't support AOA, we wouldn't be here. If we weren't here we couldn't bring you Morning Blend, Stuff To Do This Weekend and all the interesting info in between.
So thank you to all of our advertisers, especially Dutch Apple Cruises.Dutch Apple was a big part of the AOA Rail, River Hudson tour this summer. There's still plenty of time to sneak in a Hudson River trip of your own this season. Dutch Apple is cruising until the end of October.
Please support our advertisers when you can. And tell them AOA sent you.
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Food and Drink
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.
Nine Pin Ciderworks -- now offering their delicious cider in cans. You can stop in at Nine Pin this summer and grab a beverage and dinner from a food truck in the loading bay next to their Broadway tasting room -- Wednesdays through Saturdays this summer.
Farmie Market -- Farm fresh food delivered right to your door.
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 Thrillist.com.
New World Catering, from weddings and big parties to small gatherings in your home.
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
Spectrum 8 Theaters. Enjoy a movie at The Spectrum. And don't forget the mint brownie.
The Albany Institute of History and Art's 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 Lofts in Cohoes -- Manhattan style loft living in the Albany area.
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.
Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA:
+ That time Nellie Bly declared Saratoga "the wickedest spot on earth."
+ Each weekday the Capital Region's urban centers (Albany, especially) swell with a tide of commuters -- so where do all those people come from?
+ New York State and Albany were once a hotbed of bicycle activism.
+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: a transition, crossing the street, dealing with the city, the Livingston Avenue Bridge, the river with less water, running at Thacher Park, Track season, wedding details, Peck's Arcade, an insiders dinner, customer threats, and a catabetic emergency.
+ The results of calculator aimed at projecting how it costs to have a "secure yet modest standard of living" prompted some interesting discussion about topics such as the cost of child care.
+ As, as you might have heard, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is running in the Travers this weekend. There's has been much hype. Admittedly not a track person, Greg talked with local sportscaster Robert Lee to try to understand why it's been such a big deal. (Also: Why you shouldn't bet American Pharoah to win.)
Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or shared an idea or photo this week!
horse photo via NYRA / bicycle photo from the Larry Hart Collection, Schenectady County Historical Society, Grems-Doolittle Library
The annual Oktoberfest block party in North Albany organized by Wolff's is set for September 26. The event will again include food vendors, dachsund races, and other activities.
Admission is $10 and includes a commemorate 1-liter stein. (We haven't seen the ticket info posted yet -- but tickets are usually available ahead of time online.)
New this year is the Spaten Sprint 5k that morning. The course follows along Broadway and North Pearl Street in the Warehouse District.
Registration is $30 ($35 after September 18) and includes a commemorative beer stein, free beer (in the stein), free entry to the Oktoberfest block party, and the usual 5k stuff like chip timing. There are also cash prizes for top finishers, both individuals and teams.
What's it like to a ride along with one of the horses as it cruises around the track at the Saratoga Race Course?
The closes most of us will ever to get to finding out is a video like the one above -- the exercise rider for American Pharoah wore a Go Pro camera Friday morning during the Triple Crown winner's workout gallop around the track. (NYRA posted the video on YouTube.)
One of the things we were thinking about while watching the video wasn't about how things appeared, but about how they sound -- the thunderous hoof strikes and rushing wind, and the tide of crowd noise as the distance between the horse and the grandstand expands and contracts.
Earlier on AOA: American Pharoah? Really? Please explain.
Tech Valley Center of Gravity founder Laban Coblentz is moving to France for a new job, and today bid farewell to Troy in a post on Facebook: "In my heart of hearts, I identify with Troy, with Troy's grit, its authenticity, its blue-collar can-do reclaimed-alley post-Age-of-Innocence post-industrial post-affluence up-by-the-bootstraps farmer's-market urban-flea rockin'-on-the-river arts-tech micro-brew pig-fest fine-wine Maker-Movement innovate-till-you-drop bad attitude." The whole thing is worth reading. Earlier: A look inside the Tech Valley Center of Gravity new space in the Quackenbush Building
We hate to be the ones to say it, but it's the last weekend in August. If there are any items remaining on your summer to do list, we suggest you get cracking.
For those of you looking for stuff to do, you'll find our weekend round-up after the jump.
Mix them, match them, trade them with your friends.
And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.
Huge crowd expected in Saratoga Springs this weekend, Saint Rose facing faculty and program cuts, the pigeon whisperer of Schenectady
Saratoga Springs police say they're expecting more than 100,000 people in Saratoga Springs Saturday for the Travers, and multiple agencies have been drawn in to help handle traffic and crowds. There will also be increased security at the Saratoga Race Course, with hand-held metal detectors screenings at the entrances. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]
American Pharoah's workout this morning at The Track drew an estimated 15,000 people. [@CBS6Torie]
Lansingburgh police shooting
Officials say Troy police Officer Joshua Comitale is now out of intensive care. Troy have said he was shot in both legs during the shooting in Lansingburgh last weekend. [TU]
Colonie Center shooting
Colonie police say they have a suspect in the shooting outside the mall, but have not made an arrest. [TU]
Faculty cuts at Saint Rose
Facing a structural budget deficit and operating shortfalls, the College of Saint Rose told faculty and staff members this week that the school is going into "retrenchment," which will include faculty layoffs and program cuts. [TU]
The train stopped just to one side of the Livingston Avenue Bridge. And while it was probably because of track congestion or some sort of traffic, we'd kind of like to think it was taking a moment to admire the Hudson just before sunset.
A book to keep an eye out for: Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek, a writer in residence at Skidmore. The novel is set for a September 22 release and is already getting attention -- including a starred review in Kirkus and a spot on the "most anticipated" list over at The Millions.
From some of the publisher blurbage:
Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metallic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. Like everyone, she ran, but she couldn't outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home.
Flash forward to a post-incident America, where the country has been broken up into territories and Muslims have been herded onto the old Indian reservations in the west, even though no one has determined who set off the explosion that destroyed San Francisco. Twelve-year old Dorian dreams about killing Muslims and about his sister--even though Dorian's parents insist Skyler never existed. Are they still shell-shocked, trying to put the past behind them . . . or is something more sinister going on?
Meanwhile, across the street, Dorian's neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan from the territories. It will set off a series of increasingly terrifying incidents that will lead to either tragedy or redemption for Dorian, as he struggles to prove that his sister existed--and was killed by a terrorist attack.
Not on Fire, but Burning is unlike anything you're read before--not exactly a thriller, not exactly sci-fi, not exactly speculative fiction, but rather a brilliant and absorbing adventure into the dark heart of an America that seems ripped from the headlines. But just as powerfully, it presents a captivating hero: A young boy driven by love to seek the truth, even if it means his deepest beliefs are wrong.
There's a book launch party for the novel at Northshire Saratoga October 1.
We noticed this week that the prominent rose mural gracing the side of an office building on Broadway in Albany's Warehouse District was looking a bit brighter. And it turns out the mural recently got a refresh. (Here's how it looked last year.)
In one of those coincidences of fate, the artist who painted the mural almost two decades ago was Casiano del Peral -- the father of Nine Pin Cider Works founder Alejandro del Peral. As you know, the cidery opened a few years back in a building right below the mural. And Casiano was the one back on the scaffolding to refresh the rose.
Nine Pin advertises on AOA.
Speaking of the Travers... Ashley has put together a detailed list of viewing parties around Saratoga Springs to watch the race on Saturday. (Admission to the Saratoga Race Course is sold out for the day.) [Saratoga Food Fanatic]
I have to admit that I'm not a Track person.
It makes sense to me how it could be fun for some people -- the time spent relaxing at a beautiful venue, the thrill of placing a successful bet, the majestic animals, the hats. I'm just not one of those people.
Probably as a result of not being a Track person, the recent non-stop hype about the arrival of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah for the (sold-out) Travers this weekend is a little odd to me. It's a horse. I mean, obviously, a special, accomplished horse. But, still... a horse.
So, to get a better sense of the the American Pharoah hype train as it passes through our area (Do I wave? Is that how it works?), I got in touch with my friend Robert Lee -- local sportscaster, voice of Siena Saints basketball, and avid horse racing fan.
American Pharoah. Please explain.
Controversial Troy memorial
There's been some controversy over a memorial to Thaddeus Faison, the man who died in the Troy shootout that injured two police officers.The memorial on 7th Avenue was constructed after the original one, near the site of the shooting was taken down at the request of the property owner. Faison's wife told News10 that the memorial is not a sign of disrespect abut a way for those who knew him to say goodbye, and assured people that no death threats were being sent to police. Graffiti commemorating Faison, who is being remembered by his friends as a man who was good to children and made a bad decision, was being cleaned up on Wednesday.[Chris Churchill][Record][News 10][WNYT][Record]
Police arrested a Troy man who had an AK-47 style assault rifle as he was headed toward the 7th Avenue memorial for Faison on Tuesday night.[WNYT]
Former Peter Young COO pleads guilty
The former CEO of the Peter Young Housing Industries and Treatment has pleaded guilty to filing false reports for claiming $600,000 in state funds would be used on a Brooklyn treatment center, but using the money instead to pay upstate employees and fund upstate projects. [TU][News 10]
Admitted: We're a sucker for sunflowers.
A family budget calculator posted online Wednesday by a think tank -- Economic Policy Institute -- aims to to answer that question for metro areas around the country. A few of the results for the Albany area posted above. (Here's a Washington Post interactive using the data that gives a quick look at how a metro stacks up against the rest of the nation.)
A bit of blurbage about the calculator:
Poverty thresholds are generally national income levels used to measure the number and share of Americans who are economically deprived. Conceptually, these measures are important metrics, but are fundamentally different from EPI's basic family budgets. Families above poverty thresholds are just thought to be free of outright material deprivation. In contrast, family budgets offer a broader measure of economic adequacy by measuring the dollar amount necessary for families to live securely but modestly in various communities across the nation.
As with anything like this, the methodology is going to make a difference in the outcome, and EPI documents the recipe it used.
One thing that caught our eye right away was the cost of child care. While it wasn't surprising that it was expensive, we wouldn't have guessed it was quite that much. A look through the methodology reveals that the cost of childcare is from data published by state. So it's possible the number is inflated a bit by the downstate cost. (Now we're curious about the cost of day care here in the Albany metro area...)
Earlier on AOA: A few ways of thinking about the minimum wage
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