There's a thing called OktoBIRDfest, and we're giving away tickets to it...

How New York and the Capital Region compare on income inequality

ACS2013 state median income map

States by median household income in 2013. / map: US Census Bureau

Income inequality has been a much-discussed topic over the last few years, so some new numbers about income -- and income inequality -- out this week from the Census Bureau caught our eye.

As part of the income data from the 2013 American Community Survey, the Census Bureau released Gini coefficients for various places -- these numbers are the result of calculation intended to give a sense of how income is distributed within a group of people, usually a nation. It's a very common of income inequality when comparing countries.

So we were curious to see how New York -- and the Capital Region -- compared to the rest of the nation...

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Roommates, y'all

Revealed in Kirsten Gillibrand's new memoir: KG and Tami Taylor were roommates for a brief time during college. (What? That's not Tami Taylor? She was played by an actor named Connie Britton? Oh... ) [WP via NY Mag]

Film Columbia 2014

birdman michael keaton screengrab

Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, is on this year's slate.

Film Columbia -- the annual autumn film festival in Chatham -- returns October 22-26. As in years past, the festival slate includes a bunch of films that are already getting attention because of screenings at other festivals and/or they're eagerly awaited because of stars or directors involved.

A few of this year's selections that caught our eye are after the the jump.

Tickets for the festival go on sale October 4 online, and October 3 in person . Individual screenings are $12 (day) and $16 (evening). An all-festival pass (screenings + events) is $250 / an all-screenings pass is $225.

Many of the screenings sell out, so if you'd like to attend, it's probably better to buy earlier rather than later.

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Drawing: OktoBIRDfest

oktoBIRDfest 2014The Audubon Society of the Capital Region has its first OktoBIRDfest (get it?) September 27 at Quackenbush Square in Albany. The fundraising event includes samples from a group of regional breweries/wineries/distilleries, food, and birds. (Really, there will be birds there.)

We have a pair of tickets for the event and we're giving them away. To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's something in the Capital Region that's for the birds?

You can interpret that literally or figuratively. (Just remember that normal commenting guidelines apply.)

OktoBIRDfest is from noon to 5 pm on September 27 at Quackenbush Square (Albany Pump Station & Albany Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center). Tickets are $30 ahead / $35 at the door. It's a 21 and over event. And, yep, Wolff's Oktoberfest is the same day. So you can stop by OktoBIRDfest and then head up Broadway to Oktoberfest.

The lineup for the outdoor tasting courtyard: Druthers Brewing, C.H. Evans Brewing, Steadfast Beer Co., The Beer Diviner, BrookView Station Winery, Cascade Winery, and Albany Distilling Co.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Friday, September 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 5 pm on Friday and must respond by 5 pm on Monday, September 22.

Amsterdam supports Schenectady casino, former SPAC president Chesbrough has died, 677 Broadway sells for $33 mil, Luuuke--I am the giant floating head of your father

Casino opponents and supporters are gearing up for next week's public comment hearings. [TU]

The Amsterdam city council has voted to throw its support behind the plan for a Schenectady casino.[WNYT]

The 38-year-old Schenectady man facing rape and murder charges in the case prosecutors says involved the serial rape of a teen and murdered baby waived his right to a jury trial on Wednesday in favor of a bench trial. [TU]

Nearly 60 people turned out on Wednesday for Take Back Troy's first public meeting in response to the recent spate of violent crime in Lansingburgh. [Record]

Former SPAC president Herb Chesbrough has died at age 67 -- he was a key figure in building the arts venue into what is today. [TU]

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Pop. Pop. Pop. Shop.

Rise and Shine pop up

The Rise and Shine Company pop up is in a shipping container in the park.

We took a few minutes Wednesday afternoon to stop by the pop-up shops that are at Tricentennial Park in downtown Albany this week.

Pop-Place includes six shops set up in/around the park. It's been arranged by Capitalize Albany's Impact Downtown Albany project as way of experimenting with retail in the neighborhood. (Spurring new retail development is one of the aims of the "tactical plan" the org is developing.)

The pop-up shops will be in place through September 23 (here's the schedule). This Thursday, September 18 there's an "Experience: Pop-Place" event with food tasting and music from 5-8 pm.

A few more pics are after the jump.

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Lucius at The Hollow

Lucius band

Could be fun: Indie pop group Lucius will be at The Hollow December 5. Tickets are now sale -- they're $16 ahead / $18 day of.

From a Guardian mini profile earlier this year:

Lucius are an intriguing proposition, to be sure. They're fronted by identikit women in matching outfits who sing in unison but aren't twins, and backed by a trio of moustachioed males. Their music is exuberant, relentlessly melodic, epic country-pop, and they're fashion-mag stylish (all their own work) with a dash of wacky. They're surfing a tidal wave of Haim-like press in the States, but they might be a slower-build affair over here, more reminiscent perhaps of the way Arcade Fire crept up on people as Funeral slowly but surely sunk in. In fact, they're mooted to be touring with Arcade Fire and they describe themselves as "energetic, indie pop, rock... the B52s meets Arcade Fire" although we'd say they're more Arcade Haim with maybe some of B52s' zany modishness as regards their image.

The opener for the show at The Hollow is Bahamas (which is one guy from Canada).

photo: Peter Larson

Local food list

You're probably familiar with a lot of the names and places on this list of farmers' markets/CSA/PYOs/other local food producers compiled by CDPHP, but it's a nice all-in-one-place overview. (And probably helpful if you're new to the area.)

Reminder: Yaddo tours this weekend

Yaddo exterior.jpgA quick reminder that Yaddo that will open for tours this Sunday, September 21 (as mentioned). Two of the four time slots are already sold out -- the remaining tours are at 8:30 am and 4 pm (and they will also probably sell out). Tickets are $50 each.

This will be just the sixth time that Yaddo, an artist retreat in Saratoga Springs, will be open for tours of this type. We took the tour in 2011 and it's really interesting. You get to see the dining rooms, a studio, the elegant staircase down which John Cheever is rumored to have ridden an antique sled, and the artists' studios. Even the pencil sharpener under the stairs made us wonder what was written with the No. 2s sharpened there.

The rose garden and rock garden at Yaddo are open to the public anytime between dawn and dusk.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Hoffman's Playland, red light cameras, birthing lessons, having nice things, Roosevelts in Albany, the Long House Revival, wine prices, Troy on Tap, sandwiches, fried oysters, Shwe Mandalay, Thacher Park, Moreau Lake, and head cases.

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The latest One Monument Square plan evolves

one monument square massing 2014-09-16 closeup

A massing diagram for the proposed project.

The proposed One Monument Square development in downtown Troy is one of the area's most interesting projects -- and it's evolving.

The latest version of the plan (itself the third major proposal for the site) sticks to the original concept -- a bunch of residential units, mixed-use space including a permanent spot for the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market, a plaza with access to the riverfront -- but it shifts the arrangement of the two buildings planned for site.

The new massing diagaram for the project is above (and after the jump in large format) -- it was shared by the developers at a meeting of the Troy City Council's planning committee Tuesday evening. Where the original version of this plan had the two buildings roughly splitting the site down the middle, the new plan includes one wide building and one much narrower building.

Here's more about the current version of plan, and a few other bits...

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Pioneering former APD chief dies, dashboard cam shows teen tasered after surrender, Astorino's kid to Cuomo: stop cutting up our family photos, Schenectady laser cat yearbook picture settled

Former Albany police detective John Dale, a Korean War veteran and the city's first and only black police chief in Albany history, has died at the age of 80. [TU][WNYT]

An Albany County jury convicted 42 year old Oscar Valcarcel of mmurdering a 27-year-old Albany man while burglarizing his home in December. [TU][WNYT]

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says he wants Sgt. Vincent Igoe fired after video was released showing Igoe tasering a teen who had surrendered and was on his knees following a high speed chase in August. Igoe's attorney says the video vindicates his client. [TWCN][WNYT] [TU]

The newest plan for the mixed use project at the former site of City Hall at Monument Square in Troy is estimated at $25 million and includes more than 80 apartment units, restaurant space and a permanent home for the Troy farmers' market. [TU][Record]

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Old routes and faded hamlets

Albany County map 1850 Annals of Albany cropped

Today's moment of historical cartography: We can across this map the other day -- it's of Albany County, published in 1850 as part of the Joel Munsell's The Annals of Albany.

It was interesting to trace the old roads, and spot the names of hamlets that have since faded away. But, really, we just liked the way the map looked. Here's a larger, uncropped version.

We came across the map via The British Library's online effort to georeference thousands of old maps. Here's the map above layered onto a modern a map.

image from The Annals of Albany (1850) via The British Museum

Most educated

You know how we've come to feel about these place rankings, but for what it's worth: A new list has the Albany metro area ranked as the 20th "most educated" metro in the country, thanks largely to relatively high numbers of people people with college and graduate degrees. [Wallet Hub]

Lunch at Sweet Sue's

Sweet Sue's exterior on River Street in Troy

By Deanna Fox

If you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, neither should you judge a restaurant by the sign in the window.

Sweet Sue's on River Street in Troy has mastered all things sweet and sugary, but savory hasn't been forgotten. From weekend brunch to mostly-from-scratch lunch sandwiches, this "treatery" ignites all five tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami), and bridges the sweet-savory divide in ways missing from many other eateries.

At Sweet Sue's for lunch you can have your cake (and eat it, too) -- and not neglect your more substantial savory cravings.

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Help with kitchen renovation design?

kitchen tools in holderM. messages:

We are thinking about doing a kitchen renovation. Got the contractor, got a "look" picked out, but kind of clueless about the actual design process. Has anyone had a good experience with a designer, either through one of those kitchen renovation one stop shops, or an independent person?

We're always a little amazed by how talented designers can look at a situation and see solutions/angles/ideas non-designers might miss. And, sure, hiring one will probably be more expensive. But when you think about how much a kitchen gets used -- and how frustrating a design flaw can be over the years -- it can be worth the extra money.

So, got a suggestion for M.? Please share!

Albany I Spy: Center Square

Albany I Spy Center Square

It lives: The Albany I Spy scavenger hunt from Albany Archives and the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau is returning for a second year, and this time around it's focused on the Center Square neighborhood. How it works:

Step 1: Download the form here on September 20
This is your Master Albany I Spy Clue Sheet. Sounds important, right? It is! Be sure to write your name and contact information where indicated because this is how we will contact the winners.
Step 2: Set your course
You'll use the clues on this form to identify the mystery landmarks. Then, set your course each day - or wait for one spectacular day - to head to Center Square to spy and write the name of the landmark on your Master Clue Sheet.
Step 3: Get extra clues
Stumped? Don't worry, we're here to help! Each day, we'll be posting a special extra clue on our social media sites: Albany Archives, Discover Albany, and All Over Albany, or search using the hashtag: #albanyispy.

The deadline to submit your answers is October 4 (see the details at that link). That same day there will be get-together at the Center Square Pub at whic the winners will be announced and prizes (many of which are gift certificates to downtown Albany businesses) will be handed out.

Last year's contest drew a good crowd and people seemed to have a lot of fun at the meetup.

Yep, AOA is a media sponsor of the hunt.

Home health aide pleads guilty to murder of man she'd been hired to care for, focus on pedestrian safety on Central Ave, restored Proctors marquee unveiled

Sara Moore -- the home health care aide accused of killing the man she'd been hired to care for at home off New Scotland Ave in Albany this past February -- pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Moore had been charged first-degree murder and facing possible life in prison without parole. She's now up for 25 years to life. [Albany County DA] [TU]

The state Department of Transportation announced a range of safety measures aimed at making Central Ave/Route 5 safer for pedestrians from the Albany city line to the Schenectady city line. The DOT is also pushing a campaign to raise awareness among both drivers and pedestrians. Eight pedestrians died on the stretch between 2009 and 2013. [NYSDOT] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Question before the Cuomo admin's Wage Board: Should the minimum wage for tipped employees be raised from $5 to $8 per hour? [TU]

The mother of the Rensselaer man arrested last week for jumping the fence at the White House says her son has been suffering from mental illness. She says her son had apparently been turned away for mental health treatment at an out-of-state hospital because of a coverage problem and he had gone to the White House thinking he could take up the issue the president. [TU] [Troy Record]

SaintRose_all-over-albany_generic_525x40.jpg

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The Northeast, upper Midwest, and the South... uh, really?

quartz uh um map

The deeper the pink, the prominence of "uh." The deeper the blue, more so "um."

The map above is via Quartz. And it's based on the work of a linguistic researcher who sifted through millions of Twitter posts looking for geographic patterns indicating where people are more likely to use "um" or "uh." Blockquotage:

The regional breakdown is clear, and it doesn't look much like other maps that try to show where some phenomenon or another is happening in the United States. Grieve said the use of "um" looks to follow the elusive "Midland dialect," which linguists have suspected follows the Ohio River southwest from central Pennsylvania. That accounts for most of the blue that sweeps from West Virginia all the way to Arizona. Grieve said the "uh" and "um" analysis is the first time his research has shown clear evidence of the Midland dialect.

The Quartz article is interesting and includes some important details about how the map was created.

We were just struck by the distribution of "uh" -- the Northeast and upper Midwest.. OK, maybe not hard to believe. But the South as well? Surprising.

(Also, probably coincidental more than anything: The strong "uh" tendency starts to fade out in New York State about the same place as the pop/soda line.)

Earlier: An Albany dialect?

map: Quartz

Green power

Farther afield: The power company for Burlington, Vermont -- a city of 42,000 residents -- says it now gets 100 percent of its electrical power from renewable sources. Here are some of the caveats and context. [AP/Washington Post via @stellapds]

Looking for more? Check out the last week's worth of posts or the archive.

And you can always try searching for it:

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