The last week's worth of items on AOA

The Best Dozen: Park Side Eatery

park side eatery dozen donuts

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called "The Best Dozen."

Donuts are a special treat. Given the ubiquity of that one regional orange and pink chain, sometimes we forget that.

At Park Side Eatery, donuts are only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The flavors also change frequently, typically offering between 10-15 varieties on any given day. So all of the donuts sampled on a recent visit may not be available when you go. And they don't make a ton, so popular varieties often sell out by noon.

Still, by going to the shop and sampling one of every donut on the rack, it is possible to learn how to cobble together the best dozen.

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New UAlbany president's residence

The UAlbany Foundation has bought a new president's residence -- in Guilderland -- and university president Robert Jones will be moving there, at the foundation's request, from the downtown Albany apartment he had been leasing, the Times Union reports. (The Foundation says it needs the new residence for hosting events.) Didn't UAlbany already have a president's residence? Yep -- a 6,000-square-foot house near Washington Park in Albany that was put up for sale by the foundation last year after Jones chose to live downtown. [TU]

Drawing: What are you thankful for this year?

bowl of cherries

As is now an annual tradition, we'd like to know...

What are you thankful for this year?

Please share in the comments -- it could be anything or anyone.

As is also tradition, we will draw one person randomly from the comments and AOA will donate $100 to the charity of that person's choice.

The Editors will start things off after the jump.

Important: To be part of the drawing, you must submit your comment (that answers the question) by 11 pm on November 25, 2014. You must include a working email address (that you check regularly). The winner will be notified by 10 am on November 26 and must respond by noon on December 1. 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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Cuomo tries to blame NWS for snow forecasts, pedestrian killed in Colonie, water main break affects busy restaurants

On Saturday Andrew Cuomo blamed the National Weather Service for not forecasting the massive lake effect snow that hit the Buffalo area last week. Except the NWS did forecast multiple feet of snow and the possibility of a "historic" lake effect snow event. Cuomo walked some of his comments back Sunday, but still used the events to tout a planned state-run system of weather sensors. [TWCN] [Gawker] [Buffalo News]

The new weather concern in the Buffalo area: flooding, as warm weather melts the multiple feet of snow. [Buffalo News]

Colonie police say a 66-year-old pedestrian was killed Friday night in Colonie in a hit and run. CPD says the driver was an 88-year-old woman and she was unaware she had hit the man. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]

The city of Troy is looking at eliminating 27 full-time positions in an attempt to address its budget situation. Of those positions, 18 are in the police and fire departments. [TU x2]

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The week ahead

empire state plaza ice skating

The ice rink at the ESP is scheduled to open for the season on Friday.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (snow midweek?), to Thanksgiving, to history, to trotting, to ice skating, to music...

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This week was brought to you by

Mop and Bucket Co.jpg

Mop & Bucket Improv Company is now booking holiday parties.

This week was brought to you by donuts, weather that makes you want to sit inside and eat donuts, and hot chocolate that you want to drink to keep you warm while you're picking up your donuts.

It was also brought to you by AOA advertisers like The Mop & Bucket Improv Company. MopCo offers a new improv show every Friday night at Proctors with music, scenes and improv games based on audience suggestions. They're also teaching classes in improv and creativity for adults and kids at MopCo World Headquarters on Union Street in Schenectady, and they are now booking holiday parties and special events.

You'll find more of the advertisers that make AOA possible in the list below. Please patronize them when you can, and thank them for their support. If there's something you want to pass along to the AOA crowd, we can help get you started. It's easy and affordable. Just send us a note at advertising@alloveralbany.com.

Stuff to do

Saints Basketball
Get your tickets now for one of 14 Siena home games at the TU Center.

Beverage Trail tour
Check out the wineries, breweries and distilleries along the Columbia County Beverage Trail.

Albany Institute
The Albany Institute of History and Art, presenting the 2014 Exhibition by artists of the Mohawk-Hudson region,highlighting the work of the best visual artists in the region.

Troy Music Hall
Troy Music Hall presents an evening with Lily Tomlin, March 7 at 8pm.

See a movie
Spectrum 8 Theaters.

Places to live
Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe at The Capital Team at Realty USA,created a bonafide tournament of pizza miracle, when they bought out all of the tickets to last weekend's TOP final at Shmaltz brewing and gave them away to 100 hungry readers. In addition to being pizza philanthropists, Brian and Reggie can help out with your residential and commercial real estate needs in the Capital Region. Because that's how they roll.

Food and Drink

Honest Weight Food Coop. Honest Weight has all kinds of local deliciousness for your holiday table.

Beer
Shmaltz Brewing, host of the All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza People's Plate tasting event.

Farmie Market
Farmie Market -- Farm fresh food delivered right to your door.

Cider
Nine Pin Ciderworks in Albany, sourced entirely from Capital Region apples.

Cider donuts, pies and other deliciousness
Lakeside Farms in Ballston Lake: breakfast, lunch, gift shop, cider donuts and pies for the holidays.

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 Thrillist.com.

Now Open
Broadway Plaza Liquor is now open at 418 Broadway, next to Coulson's News.

Kimchi fries
+ Mingle on Delaware Ave in Albany. Be on the lookout for Fin the Fishmonger's "Fin"-tastic specials, including fresh haddock fish tacos & pan-seared whole trout. Their chef will be using local products to create new specials daily to keep the menu fresh. Try the Kimchi fries.

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

Food and beer
+Brown's Brewing

Stuff to drive

Keeler Mini, sponsor of AOA's Tournament of Pizza to end all Tournaments of Pizza.

Stuff to learn

The College of Saint Rose, offering 52 Graduate Programs with a purpose. Programs include: MFA in Creative writing, MBA, Computer Information Systems and more.

Helpful stuff

Healthy food
Capital District Community Gardens. CDCG is seeking help from the community to fund its Urban Grow Center in Troy .

Historic home help
Historic Albany's architectural parts warehouse -- the Capital Region's only not-for-profit architectural parts warehouse.

Taxes
April 15 has come and gone, but Staff Ciampino & Company, P.C. can still help you with your business and personal tax needs. They're also the sponsors of the All Over Albany Start Up Grant business contest.

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

Libraries
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 2014-11-21

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

+ It's the pivot and center of Albany's whirl -- and back in print.

+ We gave away tickets to a Chefs Consortium event at City Beer Hall by asking: What are two local things that pair well together?

+ New (short) series! The Best Dozen -- in which Daniel will be eating a lot of donuts. He started at Bella Napoli in Troy.

+ How households in the Albany metro connect to the internet (or don't). (There are people still using dialup.)

+ T. asked about where to donate one of those free turkeys you get for spending x amount at a supermarket.

+ Fun: An Albany embroidered patch.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: sidewalks, the hardest year, the supermarket data industrial complex, Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, the best Danish, Schoharie County, Wolf Creek Falls, frostweed, fast food, Vegan Black Metal Chef, arancini, burgers, cheesecake, the lore of our grandmothers, an important chronicler, the Patroons, and doing your job.

+ Anasha shared a map of foreclosed properties for sale in Troy with us.

+ Lauren talked with the owner of Roosevelt Grooming Company, which is refinishing vintage straight razors in Cohoes.

+ Sean asked for suggestions for a good dry wall contractor.

+ And an interesting episode of local history that doesn't seem to get the sort of attention you might expect.

Here's the whole week all lined up.

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

Today's moment of late autumn

capital hills 2014-11-21 sunset

Otto got his first visit to Capital Hills since it closed for the season earlier this week. And by closed for the season, that means open for the season of walking dogs. (And when there's snow, sledding and snowshoeing and cross country skiing.)

There were a bunch of other dogs there, too, which made it even better.

New blog worth a look: Chefsday

chefsday screengrabOne of our favorite things to do is to ask about people about their jobs. Not just "What do you do?" -- but more "How do you do that?" and "Why do you that?" and "What do you think about doing that?" Almost everyone has some interesting answers to those questions.

So we've been really enjoying Chefsday, a blog started recently by Dominic Colose, the chef at the Wine Bar in Saratoga Springs. As he explains in an intro post, he hopes it to be "an outlet for some of the great stories, victories, frustrations, and thoughts that come out of life in the restaurant business."

Here's a clip from his take on restaurant week:

I believe the start of this thing was done with good intention, meant to bring new diners into restaurants, and for restaurants to showcase what they can do.
Well, somewhere along the way chefs got lazy, owners got cheap, and the target market got fed up. So now we have mostly sub-par menus, low quality food, and bargain hunters. It's time to do away with this thing.

And a clip from a different post about the changing preferences of local diners:

It's almost embarrassing gloating about my ability to sell offal on a grand scale, I mean in an area with more savvy diners they'd laugh at me being proud of my eclectic offerings. In the Capital District however we need to celebrate getting sweetbreads on a menu without the "what the hell is that" reaction. We need to keep encouraging folks to leave their comfort zones and try some new shit. Go have some irregular food this weekend.

Or his take on whether the Capital Region could support a Michelin star restaurant.

What Colose has posted so far is interesting and entertaining. Subscribed.

[via Daniel]

The Anti-Rent War

Anti-Renters posterThis week we've been reading a bit about a wild episode of local history that we hadn't know much about: The Anti-Rent War, also known as the Helderberg War. Here's a clip that gives a broad outline of the story from The Anti-rent Era in New York Law and Politics, 1839-1865 by Charles W. McCurdy:

On July 4, 1839, angry tenant farmers on New York's oldest estate assembled in the Albany County village of Berne to adopt a declaration of independence from their landlord. Nobody counted heads that afternoon. But 3,063 families leased farms on the 726,000-acre Manor of Rensselaerwyck, and all of them had cause to complain. Manor contracts required an annual rent for every 100 acres ranging from ten to fourteen bushels of wheat, delivered to the landlord and ready for milling. All mill sites and mines were reserved, together with all rights necessary and proper to make them available to the Van Rensselaer family or its agents. Mills might be built, cropland or pasture flooded, and roads laid out on the tenant's premises without payment of compensation. There were also feudal dues. Every year farmstead heads owed a day's labor with horse and wagon and were bound to deliver "four fat fowl" on rent day ... Every indenture enumerated remedies for breach of this or any other covenant. Among them was the landlord's right to reenter the premises and repossess not only the land but also any improvements -- houses barns, fences, growing crops -- annexed to the land. Taken together, proclaimed the Independence Day mass meeting at Berne, these contractual provisions amounted to "voluntary slavery." The time had come to avow "that we can no longer endure the infamy of tamely entailing upon future generations such wretchedness and unhallowed bondage as inevitably awaits them if we any longer submit ourselves to be thus unjustly, unrighteously, inhumanly oppressed and imposed upon." So began the longest rent strike in United States history.

The whole situation was something like a super intense version of an American Downtown Abbey that mashes together the remnants of Dutch influence, economics, agriculture, and politics.

The death of Stephen van Rensselaer III -- probably the richest person in the United States at the time -- prompts a breakup of the patroon of Rensselaerswyck, what was essentially a feudal estate that included much of what's now the Capital Region. Authorities try to collect back rents. Farmers revolt, taking up arms against law enforcement. A posse that included a former governor of New York is turned back. There's a revolt leader named "Big Thunder." William Seward plays a role as governor of New York. People are tarred and feathered. Again, it was intense.

A portion of McCurdy's book is on Google Books, and it looks like a good way of reading up on the topic. There's also a Wikipedia entry related to the episode. And here's an Encyclopedia of New York State page about it.

Old Songs: We started reading about this topic this week because Old Songs is hosting a "Down with the Rent! The Anti-Rent Rebellion of New York" music event this Friday and Saturday featuring songs and stories related to the Anti-Rent Revolt. Tickets are $20.

image via Wikipedia

Hands on History: 98 Acres in Albany

98Acres Lucius Major barbershopTwo of the historians behind the 98 Acres in Albany project that's documenting the neighborhood knocked down for the Empire State Plaza will be at the University Club in Albany November 25 to present a bunch of the remarkable images they've collected. Event blurbage:

Ann [Pfau], an independent historian, and Dave [Hochfelder], a professor at the University at Albany, recently embarked on an effort to document the people displaced and the structures demolished to make way for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza. Stacy Sewell, a professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College, is also part of the 98 Acres in Albany project.
The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue, and will include a presentation of dozens of photographs of buildings and the people who lived in them uncovered in their research. Ann and Dave will also share research strategies with those who may be interested in finding out more about their own homes or neighborhoods.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (details at that first link). Also the U Club will be collecting donations for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

Earlier on AOA: 98 Acres in Albany

photo via 98 Acres in Albany

That word

In light of the uproar over the "Ghetto Chopper" t-shirt, Amy Biancolli looks at why the word "ghetto" is so loaded and prompts such a strong reaction. [TU]

Stuff to do this weekend

the parlor eric jen closeup

The Parlor, Bear Grass, Secret Release, Rival Galaxies and many others are playing the annual B3nson Funsgiving at The Low Beat and Pauly's.

This weekend should be a good one to break out the long underwear and hot cocoa. But don't put the fall coat away yet. Temperatures in the 60s will be back on Monday. Because that's how Mother Nature plays the game in the Northeast.

After the jump, a list of stuff to do with with this chilly autumn/winter weekend. Got something planned that you don't see here, drop it in the comments and let the rest of us in on it.

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

Saint Rose Stuff to Do This Weekend in-post ad

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Body identified as missing Saint Rose student, Ballston boils over proposed Walmart, judge contest decided by .5 percent of the vote

Officials say the body recovered near the Hudson River in Coeymans this week was that of missing Saint Rose student Connor Trapatsos. Coeymans police say injuries indicate the 17 year old had fallen from a railroad bridge. Police say they're not sure why Trapatsos was on the bridge, but they don't suspect foul play. He had been missing since October 15. Hundreds of people gathered at Saint Rose Thursday night for a prayer service honoring the student. [Troy Record] [TU] [TWCN] [News10] [TWCN]

About 600 people packed a Ballston planning board meeting about the proposed Walmart store on Route 50 just south of Ballston Spa. The crowd included both opponents and supporters of the proposed store. It's the company's second attempt to build a store in the town in a decade. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [News10]

Albany High School officials say four white students have been suspended for online harassment aimed at the school's senior class president, who is African-American -- the parents of one of the suspended students says their son didn't do anything wrong. [TU]

Thirteen deaths have now been attributed to massive lake effect snow that hit parts of the Buffalo area. Roofs are caving in under the weight of as much as 7-feet of snow. A section of the Thruway is still closed. And Chuck Schumer is calling for federal aid. Resources from other parts of the state -- including trucks from Albany County and the city of Albany -- have been dispatched to the Buffalo area to aid snow removal. [Buffalo News x2] [AP/News10] [TWCN] [WNYT]

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Wide awake, in print again

albany wide awake city brochure laura glazerYou know that 1916 brochure touting Albany as the "The Wide Awake City" -- the one that sang the city's praises in verse -- that we mentioned earlier this week? Laura Glazer (of Hello Pretty City fame) downloaded it and had the brochure printed.

A batch of them is for sale about the Fort Orange General Store on Delaware Ave in Albany. They're $10 each.

A good company/person for drywall work?

wall with hole in itSean emails:

I live in Albany and have an upcoming renovation project and would love nothing more than to pay someone else to do the drywall work. In the past, my wife and I enjoyed learning + doing it the first time, grumbled our way through it the second time... and are now loathing the prospect of having to do it a third time. Would any of your readers happen to know a person or company they could recommend that might be able to spare us from this misery and gladly take our money??? Please please please!

Sometimes the lesson of a DIY project is that you shouldn't do it yourself. And there's nothing wrong with that.

So, got a suggestion or advice for Sean and his wife? Please share!

The Price is Right Live! returning to The Palace

price is right live publicity photo

do do de dooo

The Price is Right Live -- a traveling version of The Price is Right -- will be back at The Palace April 10. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (November 22) -- they're $32.75 and up.

The show was at the Palace back in 2013 and was so popular that a second date was added. So if you're interested in going, getting tickets sooner rather than later might not be a bad idea.

Show blurbage:

The Price Is Right Live! is the hit interactive stage show that gives contestants pulled right from the audience the chance to "Come On Down" to win appliances, vacations and even new cars by playing 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, all the favorite games are played just like the TV show.

From what we can gather the live version doesn't work exactly like the TV version -- more audience members are involved in various ways, and the prizes are smaller.

The last time the show was here pre-registration was required to be a potential contestant. It looks like that's changed -- and contestants are now picked from a pool of people who register on site just ahead of the show. You don't have to be a ticket holder to put your name in to be a contestant, according to the show FAQ.

Roosevelt Grooming Company

roosevelt grooming adam cresko vintage straight razors

By Lauren Hittinger

Before we all ran through disposable razors every month, there was a different way of shaving -- with a straight razor. And as Adam Cresko sees it, something was lost when we made the switch.

So Cresko is helping bring back the art of the straight razor through Roosevelt Grooming Company, a business he started that refinishes vintage straight razors and sells a line of grooming products.

I talked with the Cohoes-based Cresko about shaving with a century-old razor, making things by hand in a world of disposable items, and the history and art of a daily ritual.

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What effect?

How can one part of the Buffalo area get multiple feet of snow in a day, while other nearby locations get much less? Because lake effect snow, which affects large parts of western and central New York and makes cities there some of the snowiest in the world. (The effect is like a conveyor system for dumping fluffy, frozen lake water on land.) Mental Floss has a quick explainer on the phenomenon. [Mental Floss]

Map: Foreclosed properties for sale in Troy

troy foreclosure sale map cummings screengrab

A screengrab of the map.

The city of Troy currently has more than 140 foreclosed properties up for potential sale. The city is accepting sealed bids on the properties -- many of which are vacant land -- between now and December 19.

Here's the list of properties as a pdf. But here's a better way to browse them: a clickable map of the properties along with some of their associated information. (We've also embedded the map after the jump.)

The map is the creation of Anasha Cummings, who was prompted to make it because, as he said to us in an email, "I don't think a PDF on a website is a good way to browse for properties you might want to buy."

Cummings says he's currently in the process of filling in some of the holes in the list (some properties don't have exact addresses) and matching up the properties with more information about them from the city's real property database (important info like square footage, even a photo).

This situation highlights an issue that's frustrated us for a long time: local municipalities often post information/data in ways that make it hard to find or use.

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Body discovered in Coeymans, special prosecutor appointed in Glans case, $61k in tax breaks for Playland project

CSX railroad employees discovered a body near a bridge in Coeymans.
An autopsy is scheduled for today and police are still trying to identify the body. [News 10][TU][WNYT]

The Albany County IDA and the Capital Resource Corporation have approved $61,000 in tax breaks to move the Hoffman's Playland rides to the Huck Finns Warehouse property. [TU]

The locations of up to 20 red light camera intersections in Albany will be released by the end of the year.[TU]

Plans to vote on Troy's proposed budget have been canceled yet again while the City Council continues to work on changes to the spending plan. [TU]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Hoffman's Playland, ESP neighborhood documentaries set to air

Hoffmans Playland Story trailer image

WHMT has scheduled premiere dates for a few local documentaries that a lot of people will probably interested in:

One More Ride: The Hoffman's Playland Story
Pretty much what it says on the label:

"One More Ride: The Hoffman's Playland Story" captures the history of the beloved family amusement park. For 62 years, it was where we brought our children to play and to celebrate birthdays. We rode the roller coaster and merry go round. It was a tradition of smiles and laughter for generations. And while this past season was its final one, WMHT will provide viewers with one last ride as we celebrate the history, nostalgia and memories of Hoffman's Playland. We'll meet the Hoffman family whose long-standing devotion, work ethic and continuous attention to detail and perseverance made the park what it was. It will all come to life through original videography, archival photos, home movies, behind the scenes video and emotional on-screen interviews.

It's set to air on November 29 at 9 pm. (It will also be streamed online.)

The Neighborhood that Disappeared
This is the doc by Mary Paley about the neighborhood knocked down for the Empire State Plaza. (You might remember the Kickstarter for the project.) We get the sense it's very much from the ESP-skeptic perspective. Blurbage:

In 1962, one of the most massive urban renewal projects in American history sterilized the cultural and ethnic heart of Albany, New York. An arrangement made by first term Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and longtime Albany Mayor, Erastus Corning the 2nd, displaced almost eight per cent of the City's diverse population, razed more than a thousand buildings, dislodged 3,600 households, and closed 350 businesses.
Tune in as 'The Neighborhood That Disappeared' unearths the vibrant ethnic neighborhood that housed courageous immigrants and the Greatest Generation. More than a half-century after it was lost forever; we'll revisit 'The Neighborhood That Disappeared.'

The doc is set to air December 12 at 8 pm.

When is the coldest day of the year?

NOAA coldest day of the year around US

Because winter is happening, apparently: This map depicts the when the typical coldest day of the year occurs around the United States.

The map is the creation of the federal National Climatic Data Center, based on 1981-2010 climate averages. Blurbage:

The map reveals several interesting regional differences across the country. Most prominently, the western half of the Lower 48 typically reaches its climatological coldest day in December, whereas most eastern stations reach their minimum in January. In addition, areas with higher snowfall Normals, such as the Northeast and high-altitude regions in the West, tend to reach their climatological coldest day much later, which is likely because of the increased reflection of solar radiation at the Earth's surface due to the presence of snow cover.

This map prompted us to look up the typical "coldest" day of the year for the Albany area. And it's actually multiple days -- a stretch from January 14 to January 20 when the normal average daily temperature is 22.1 degrees.

Here's a gratuitous graph of Albany daily temperature average normals.

"There's nothing in our way except anything from 4 to 6 feet of snow drifts"

Another story from the totally bonkers-level lake effect snow that has buried parts of the Buffalo area: The Buffalo News reports that people have been trapped on the Thruway for 35 hours -- the photo included with the story looks like something from one of those disaster movies where the climate goes crazy and there's any icy apocalypse. And over at Mashable there's an as-told-to account of being trapped on I-90. [Buffalo News] [Mashable]

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: sidewalks, the hardest year, the supermarket data industrial complex, Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, the best Danish, Schoharie County, Wolf Creek Falls, frostweed, fast food, Vegan Black Metal Chef, arancini, burgers, cheesecake, the lore of our grandmothers, an important chronicler, the Patroons, and doing your job.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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Albany, embroidered

albany embroidered patch

Mitch sent this along and we thought it was fun: It's an Albany patch -- like, the kind of patch you can sew on things. He explained:

Over the course of the past year or two, I've been on an occasional (but ongoing) search for an embroidered Albany souvenir patch. I came to the conclusion that we somehow live in the only city in the entire country that DOESN'T have one of these that can be purchased with 2 clicks of a mouse or a trip to a store.
I decided to take the task on myself. I'm a designer at a local agency, so it sounded fun anyways.

Mitch is selling them online -- they're $6 each.

We asked him if he had any specific applications in mind for the patch. His reply:

Honestly, the only real application I really had in mind for the patch was to put it on MY jacket. I think that part of the beauty of something like this is that everybody can, if they want to, figure out their own application for it. Like I said though, it's really just something that I couldn't believe didn't already exist, especially considering the local pride that Albany residents have.

Where to donate a turkey?

coldwater creek farm turkeys flockT. emails:

I was told at ShopRite today that I've qualified for a free turkey. I don't want it myself, but I was wondering if I should pick it up and drop it off at a food pantry or shelter. Seems like there are probably other people in my position too - how about a roundup of places to donate them, how and when etc? My receipt says to get it from ShopRite between 11/16 and 11/27.

We were just thinking it'd be great if these supermarket chains would allow you to designate your free turkey or ham or whatever to be given to charity directly.

Got an idea for T.? Please share!

Man suing Saratoga County over alleged deputy's slap facing charges over Wilton Mall incident, more blighted buildings to be demolished in Schenectady, code blue shelters open as temperatures drop

Five people have died in the snowstorm that dumped four feet of snow on Buffalo yesterday. Amtrak service west of Albany is on hold because of the snow. [TWCN] [TU]

One of the men who is suing Saratoga County after he was allegedly slapped by a Sheriff's deputy earlier this month is now facing charges for allegedly nearly running over a security guard in the Wilton Mall parking lot as the guard was investigating reports of someone trespassing at the mall. [TU][News 10]

A decision on the placement of casinos in New York is expected sometime next month. The NYS casino siting board is expected to meet on Friday. [TWCN][TU]

Sheldon Silver is trying to add an infrastructure investment package to the pre-holiday legislative session that would dip into a $5 billion state surplus to pay for mostly one-time infrastructure expenses. [TU]

Nine more blighted buildings will be torn down in Schenectady, and $7 million has been amassed to help knock down about 150 abandoned buildings in the next year. [TU][WNYT]

(there's more)

How the Albany metro area accesses the internet

cable modem

Common.

Roughly 3/4 of households in the Albany metro area have a broadband internet subscription. But almost 20 percent of households don't have any internet access at all.

Those are a few bits from a recent Census Bureau release of data about internet access around the country. Last year was the first time the Census collected this sort of information. So we thought we'd have a look.

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The good cousins

From The Onion: "SCHENECTADY, NY--In a highly disappointing development expected to put a damper on the entire holiday weekend, sources within the Cunningham family confirmed Tuesday that none of the good cousins are coming to this year's Thanksgiving gathering." (Capital Region datelines seem to pop up in The Onion remarkably often...)

The Buffalo snowpocalypse

Farther afield: As you've probably heard, Buffalo is getting hammered by lake effect snow today. That's created some crazy scenes, like the one above of a "wall of snow" advancing on the city. Here are a few more views.

As of around noon today, parts of the Buffalo area have already gotten roughly four feet of snow.

The Best Dozen: Bella Napoli

bella_napoli_donuts_in_box.jpg

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called "The Best Dozen."

Donuts are a great way to start the day. Don't listen to the naysayers. Not only do fat and sugar make human beings happy, but they provide us with a burst of quick energy. This is especially true when paired with a cup of coffee.

Nobody makes the best decisions blurry eyed at the donut shop early in the morning. And picking out the best dozen at any given shop shouldn't be left to chance. So we'll be going out and trying as many different donuts as we can to help you fill your box with the best sweet deep fried breakfast treats in the region.

First up, Bella Napoli in Troy.

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New rulers for the castle?

Remember Helderberg Castle, the property with a castle-like ruin (and a colorful backstory) in New Scotland that's been up for sale for the past year or so? Over at the TU, Leigh Hornbeck reports buyers are in place and they plan to restore the property. [TU]

Drawing: Chefs Consortium pairing of local beer/food at City Beer Hall

city beer hall exterior

Drawing's closed!

This Thursday, November 20, there's a fundraiser for the Chefs Consortium at the City Beer Hall in Albany that will be pairing local beers with locally-produced foods. We have a pair of tickets to the event, and we're giving them away.

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

What are two local things that pair well together?

This could be anything -- food, places, activities, whatever. We'll draw one winner at random, that person gets the pair of tickets.

Featured breweries at the event are: Chatham Brewing, Crossroads Brewing Company, Nine Pin Cider Works, and Rare Form Brewing Company. Beers (and cider) from those places will be paired with food made with products from Hawthorne Valley Farm, Honest Weight Food Co-Op, Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Northwind Farms, and R & G Cheese works.

The event starts at 6 pm on Thursday, Novemeber 20. Tickets are $35 each, and include $1 off drinks all night at the City Beer Hall and a 20 percent discount ticket for dinner there. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chefs Consortium's educational programs.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 am on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 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 Wednesday and must respond by 7 pm that day.

Investigation into death of UAlbany student, another building for the NanoCollege, the ongoing soap opera of Troy politics

Albany police say they're investigating the situation surrounding the death of Trevor Duffy, the 19-year-old UAlbany student who died from what appears to have been excessive alcohol consumption during a gathering at a house on Hamilton Street. "A source who knew [Duffy]" tells the Daily Gazette that Duffy had been pledging an underground frat. Students tell TWCN that the house is the "known headquarters" of the unsanctioned frat. APD chief Steven Krokoff said it appears there was some sort of organization, but said it hasn't been determined if there was hazing. [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [News10]

State Senate Republican majority leader Dean Skelos said he supports a vote on a pay raise for state legislators before the end of the year -- but he won't trade it for legislative items sought by Democrats. [NYSNYS/Troy Record] [TU]

Among the topics at the public Q&A with Alain Kaolyeros at the Nano College: the new building planned for the Fuller Road campus, plans for more space in downtown Albany, and architecture. [TU] [Biz Review] [Troy Record]

Saint Rose MB in post ad 2014-fall

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Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Aparna Nancherla

comedian aparna nancherla

Looking ahead to the weekend: The Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show series has Aparna Nancherla coming into town for a standup show Saturday.

Nancherla has been on TV a bunch of times, including appearances on Comedy Central and Conan. From her bio: "Aparna's comedic goggles are dry and observational, and her act is sprinkled with absurdist wit and a whimsical point-of-view." A clip of a Conan appearance is post jump.

The opener this month is the one and only Kevin Marshall.

The show starts at 8 pm Saturday in the Underground at Proctors. Tickets are $15. And we hear last month's show sold out, so getting tickets ahead of time isn't a bad idea.

photo: Mark Manning

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One hair at a time

Two things: 1) There's a lice-removal service in Ballston Lake that the owners say is so busy they've stopped advertising and don't post their address for fear people would be showing up at all hours. 2) It is called "Miracles on Lice." [Daily Gazette]

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