Pizza fact of the day: We've heard a few times that Halloween is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza shops. How busy? One example today from DC's Pizza in Albany via Twitter: "[Halloween is] easily double [a typical day], out of our top 10 all time highest sales days 6 are #Halloween." So, if you'll be getting pizza Friday evening for a party (or, um, because it's Friday) -- ordering ahead is probably not a bad idea.
The entity now known as the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is taking over the month of November again and dubbing it NANOvember.
The series of events starts with the annual Community Day this Saturday, November 1, from 11 am-3 pm. It's free. Blurbage:
In addition to getting an up-close look at CNSE's ever-expanding 1.3 million-square-foot megaplex, both adults and children will have the opportunity to interact with CNSE students, faculty and staff, and to participate in a variety of activities that promote a greater understanding of nanotechnology, including:
+ Tours of the cutting-edge cleanroom facilities
+ Hands-on experiments
+ Cleanroom gowning demonstrations
+ A Kid's Corner featuring several kid-friendly activities relating to nanotechnology
+ Sustainable Energy Activities
+ Nanotechnology overview presentations
+ Displays and hands-on activities showcasing research in CNSE's constellations, including health care, energy, electronics and economics
+ Presentations on CNSE's undergraduate program
Among the other NANOvember events: A public Q&A with Alain Kaloyeros at the Albany NanoTech complex on November 17 "bout the growth of the nanotechnology industry across New York State, its impact on the Capital Region, pertinent educational and economic opportunities, as well as any other topics of relevance."
By the way: As we understand it, there is no truth to the rumor the CNSE/SUNY Poly/Nano Empire will be acquiring other months beyond November and incorporating their date-based distinctiveness into its globally recognized high tech temporal ecosystem.
Election Day is next Tuesday, and that means campaign yard sign season is at its peak. Front lawns, street medians, parking lots, and many other spots are now filled with the signs -- they're everywhere.
So we thought it'd be fun to get together a few designers again to critique this year's crop of campaign yard signs as design objects. (Alternately, you might view this as test of how much questionable typography it takes to make a designer's spleen start throbbing -- and we now have an answer.)
Because it's a campaign yard sign bumper crop, we've split the signs into two batches. First up: governor, state Senate, and Schenectady Family Court.
Schaghticoke cat house condemned, AG candidates debate tonight, Bethlehem police warn against grandparent phone scam, you can't put campaign signs outside the Governor's Mansion
The fugitive arrested in Hudson Falls on Tuesday had jumped bail and escaped from house arrest where he was awaiting trial on rape charges. Police believe he was headed east to try to kill his first victim. [TWCN][WNYT]
The Schaghticoke building where 150 cats were found earlier this week has been condemned and the four people who lived there have been offered housing and medical assistance by the county. Charges against the residents are still pending. Crews are still attempting to rescue cats living inside the walls of the home and trying to determine whether some of the cats actually belonged to other people. [TWCN][TU][Record][WNYT][News 10]
On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Andrew Cuomo visited Staten Island where he announced an Upstate Strategic Fuel Reserve system in response to fuel supply disruptions that occurred during the event. One of the locations where fuel will be stored for the initiative will be in Rensselaer.[TU][Record]
Andrew Cuomo says allegations that he spent Superstorm Sandy recovery money on television ads are "political baloney." [TU]
The NYT suggests that the handling of Superstorm Sandy and the handling of Moreland Commission have something in common. [NYT]
This week Impact Downtown Albany -- the ongoing project to develop a "tactical" plan for downtown development -- released its vision of what downtown Albany could become over the next 5-10 years.
"This is the shared definition of success based on the hundreds of stakeholders that have been part of this process," Sarah Reginelli -- the new president of Capitalize Albany -- explained to us Tuesday afternoon. "This is really what's been identified as the opportunities that we need to take advantage of to make downtown the best downtown that it can be at this point."
Among the identified possibilities: continued growth of new housing units, unique retail, a "high line"-type park connecting downtown with the riverfront, and transformation of part of the warehouse district.
Here are a few things that caught our attention.
CDTA officially announced today that it's now offering realtime info for regular route bus arrivals.* The functionality has previously only been available on BusPlus. Blurbage:
Customers will be able to access real time transit information for CDTA fixed route services through the free CDTA iride mobile application for Apple and Android devices, through Google Maps' mobile apps and maps.google.com, through the trip planner on its website (www.cdta.org) or by speaking with a customer service representative at CDTA's Call Center. Customers will now see a gray clock icon near a route that indicates real time information is available. Real time is currently not available on Northway Xpress service. ...
CDTA tracks its vehicles using GPS devices to report bus location data back to its servers. This information allows CDTA to estimate when the buses will arrive at a stop. If a bus goes off its regular route, the system may not be able to fully predict accurate arrival times.
As long as the realtime info is accurate, the function is a nice addition. In our experience, some CDTA routes and stops tend to have reliable arrival times -- and others less so. (Yep, we're looking at you #10. We know it's not totally your fault what with all the traffic lights and riders. But you've interpreted the concept of a "schedule" very loosely.)
By the way: If you ride the bus, even just occasionally, and you have a smartphone -- definitely get the iRide app if you don't have it already.
* This function has been at least partially active for at least a few days. Thanks to the person who pointed this out to us last week.
CDTA was a sponsor of the Rail, River, Hudson tour.
I am looking to join a new church, and truthfully, one thing I'm really looking for is a congregation with a healthy number of members in their 20s and 30s who are active with the church and get together for fellowship activities (and fun). Can anyone recommend a church that skews a little younger or has an active group of younger congregants?
It's a bunch of years since we've had a church question, and it sounds like Liz has something specific in mind.
So, got a suggestion for Liz? Please share!
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: being the village, a wine tour, Taconic Sculpture Park, an autumn trip to the beach, old school, the new Maestro's, smallcheapunique, beloved soup, Mexican Radio, Soul Cafe, the Squirrelly Six, 8-bit fire, and a particular philosophical pickle of living.
The new new Wolff's Biergarten in downtown Schenectady opens Wednesday around 4 pm.
This Wolff's looks a lot like the Albany location, but it's larger, with three garage doors, more picnic tables, lots of flat screens for viewing soccer matches, and the requisite indoor faux tree. The building has been vacant for about ten years. It started out as a service station and last belonged to KEM cleaners.
If the Erie Blvd location seems strange, Matt Baumgartner says, it is a little.
"I think that's also consistent with Wolff's in Albany, which opened before there was much down in that area. And hopefully it will grow the same way."
Renovations on Erie Boulevard and recent growth in Schenectady were encouraging factors, he says. And the building itself interested him. "It was really affordable, and I love an old, sad building -- and this one was really sad. But I knew you could have garage doors, and having the garage doors is a real asset. People love them."
So with a Bombers and a Wolff's, is there going to be a Schenectady Sciortino's too? Baumgartner just laughs.
"Well, that's a good question. There's an empty building across the street."
After the jump, a look inside Wolff's Schenectady.
Alleged serial rapist captured following Fort Edward chase, 80 cats removed from "giant litterbox" in Schaghticoke, meeting on gun violence in Albany, Morette's reopens in Schenectady
An alleged serial rapist was captured overnight in Fort Edward, ending a multi state manhunt. Police say 26 year old Gregory Lewis was wanted in eight states for raping women he has arranged to meet through escort services. Police attempted to pull him over for driving without a license plate when he led them on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed into the Hudson River. [TWCN][WNYT][TU][News 10]
Troopers removed 80 of 150 cats from a Schaghticoke home one trooper described as "a giant litter box." The homeowner and her family were identified as having been involved in three previous cat hoarding incidents.[TU][WNYT][News 10]
A detailed account of the New York State quarantine order for travelers from West Africa - which goes beyond federal recommendations but would seek to allow people to choose where to spend their time under quarantine-- has been released by the Cuomo administration. [NYT]
Looking out over Lincoln Park to the south from the Corning Tower this afternoon.
Albany city historian Tony Opalka is giving a talk titled "Albany's First Mass Transit System: Horse Cars and Trolleys 1862-1946" this Thursday, October 30 at 10 am at the Albany County Hall of Records. That might be a little hard to get to because of the time of day -- but, you know... trolleys. Earlier: Riding the trolley -- everywhere
There are two types of Italian restaurants in the Capital Region: The eh-talian, and the EYE-talian. The former are the restaurants that serve food more in line with something plucked from the Tuscan hills. The latter are the checkered tablecloth joints where most dishes come slathered in red sauce.
Unless you count D'Raymonds in Loudonville. Then I guess there are three.
D'Raymonds lies somewhere in the middle of the two mentioned above. It embodies the cuisine of red sauce joints with a more upscale vibe. It's Little Italy meets Upper West Side. It's Nonna meets your hot WASPy girlfriend. It's comfort, with class.
No dish on the menu emphasizes this more than the D'Raymonds chicken parmesan.
We just opened up a wall between our Kitchen and Dining room and the new view and copious amount of daylight is spectacular!!.. well, except for that ugly metal heating duct. So with that in mind, I was wondering if any of your readers could recommend someone who could help relocate that duct-work to somewhere much less visible. Thanks!
Having never done something like this, we're curious if you can just call a typical heating/cooling contractor for something like this, or whether it requires a company with a different set of skills.
Got advice for Sean? Please share!
Cuomo/Christie and CDC differ on Ebola policies, police say Albany shootings not connected, former police officer accused of stalking attorney, the ring wanted to be found
The Ebola quarantine policies announced by Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Friday -- and then adjusted over the weekend -- caught criticism for being more motivated by politics than science. On Monday the CDC announced new guidance to states on how to handle people who might have been exposed to Ebola, and it's not as restrictive as the policies announced in New York and New Jersey. Said Cuomo Monday: "I disagree with the CDC, and at the end of the day, I'm the governor of the state of New York, and my No. 1 job is to protect the people of the state of New York." [NYT] [NPR] [AP/TU]
Albany police chief Steven Krokoff says the five shootings in the city this month are not related, nor are they gang related. Said Krokoff: "These are people that have some level of connection and in some way, shape or form got into an argument, and it resulted in gun violence." There's a community meeting at the Capital South Campus Center Tuesday evening about gun violence. [TU] [News10] [TWCN]
NYPIRG's Blair Horner on the public campaign financing pilot in the state comptroller's race: "It was designed to fail, and it has." [TU]
This year I've been visiting local state parks. Well, mostly state parks -- last time it was Saratoga National Historic Park. This time, it's Pittsfield State Forest in Massachusetts.
Fall is very much in progress and it will soon be over. So now is the time to go on a hike and get a look at the last part of foliage season.
To do just that I headed over to Pittsfield State Forest this past weekend. It's very beautiful and a great place to enjoy a beautiful autumn day. And it's just across the border in Massachusetts.
My suggestion: Head over to the forest for a walk, and then make a day of it by exploring some of the small towns in the Berkshires.
Over at the Times Union, JCE has details on the proposed $13 million "face lift" for the TU Center's Pearl Street atrium, along with a rendering from the architecture firm that's apparently in the lead for the job. [TU]
Update update: The rocket did launch Tuesday. But it exploded shortly after take off. [CNN]
Update: The Monday launch was postponed to Tuesday at 6:22 pm.
A rocket with supplies for the International Space Station is launching from a NASA site in Virginia early Monday evening -- and we might be able to see it here. The launch is scheduled for 6:45 pm -- and the rocket could be visible here about 3 minutes after launch.
This map shows the rough time at which you can first expect to see Antares after it is launched. It represents the time at which the rocket will reach 5 degrees above the horizon and varies depending on your location. We have selected 5 degrees as it is unlikely that you'll be able to view the rocket when it is below 5 degrees due to buildings, vegetation, and other terrain features. However, depending on your local conditions the actual time you see the rocket may be earlier or later. As an example, using this map when observing from Washington, DC shows that Antares will reach 5 degrees above the horizon approximately 117 seconds after launch (L + 117 sec).
Note that because the first stage of Antares is liquid fueled, its ascent is slower than the Minotaur rockets that were launched from Wallops last year. Also keep in mind that the video web-cast of the launch is sometimes delayed by up to one minute, if you rely on the web-cast for timing, it may be too late when you look up. In addition to the web-cast we recommend subscribing to our Twitter Feed for up to the minute status.
If conditions are right, the rocket will be visible just above the horizon to the south southeast.
Another rocket was launched from this same site last November, and apparently it was visible here.
Space station: Speaking of the space station, it could be visible here shortly after the rocket launch.
map: Orbital Sciences
Pecha Kucha returns to the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy this Tuesday, October 28. The theme this time around "Ghost in the Machine." The topics of the short talks lined up include Lincoln's last rail journey through New York, the robot apocalypse, and bacterial nano wires. Doors at 7 pm, talks start at 7:30 pm. Beer from Rare Form, and snacks from First Choice Caribbean. Free.
Historical fact of the day, because Halloween: The site of what is now Albany's Washington Park was once a cemetery -- a rather large cemetery.
The image above was created by Albany Archives. It's an overlay of a map of the old cemetery on Washington Park. It covered a big portion of what's now the park.
A few years back Paula Lemire wrote about the "State Street Burying Grounds" over at Albany History. A clip:
The State Street Burying Ground, founded in 1800 as an alternative to the overcrowded churchyards and private family graveyards, was located at the present park's northeast corner. Enclosed by a ten-foot high wooden fence, the grounds were divided into four large section for various churches, as well as an area set aside for strangers, African-Americans, and deceased persons not associated with any religious congregations. Graves from a number of smaller burial grounds were relocated here as progress encroached on downtown churchyards, raising the real estate value of land previously dedicated to the dead.
Within a few decades, however, the State Street Burying Ground was already in serious decline. The high mortality rate of the early 19th-century, combined with epidemics such as an 1832 cholera outbreak, had resulted in a badly overcrowded graveyard. The fence had suffered from neglect and vandalism, livestock wandered freely among graves, headstones were stolen or damaged, and immigrant gangs used the forlorn spot for violent brawls.
After the opening of the Rural Cemetery in 1844, the State Street Burying Grounds' condition became so pitiful that it was deemed "in the highest decree discreditable to the city authorities and the churches interested." A future Superintendent of Albany's parks later recalled that there was "a mouldy and neglected air about the place."
The situation eventually prompted the Common Council to close the cemetery, and the graves -- said to be 40,000 in number -- were moved to the then-new Albany Rural Cemetery all the way out in the far, far reaches in would come to be called Menands.
Of course, the Albany Rural Cemetery still exists (even if it's no longer rural). And it's a nice place to walk as you take in the monuments to the many Albany-famous figures from the past.
Earlier on AOA: Capital Region haunts
And you can always try searching for it: