Blueberry. Blueberry. Blueberry.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2015-07-31

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

+ Lauren took her brunch tour to Latham.

+ There was a seal in the Hudson River.

+ It was hot this week -- but there was that time it was 104 in Albany.

+ With a baby soon to arrive, Dana asked about suggestions for meal delivery services.

+ A few thoughts about the push for protected bike lanes in Albany.

+ And on that topic... here are the options the city has floated for the Madison Ave Road Diet.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: Track season, Tanpopo, Chester's, Siro's, sushi cake, birthday cake, the ValleyCats, the uptown campus, Thacher Park, moths, Washington Park, a secret beach, FDR, disturbing mini hot dogs, and Neanderthals.

+ Sean asked about renting a boat on Lake George.

+ We're in the thick of blueberry season -- here are a bunch of places you can pick your own.

+ Lindsay asked about good brunch spots in Schenectady.

+ The "playbook" for Impact Downtown Albany is out, so we read through it.

+ And clickable map of all your favorite local lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.

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

Today's moment of summer

white tree flower Cortland St

Posing on Cortland Street in Albany in the early evening sun.

Favorite lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and other bodies of water

canoes at Grafton Lakes

Grafton Lakes got a mention.

It is currently time to do all the summer things. And "all the summer things" often includes finding a lake, river, stream, some body of water to take in the view, relax by, dine next to, kayak in.

A few weeks back as part of the River Week drawing, we asked you about your favorite bodies of water around the Capital Region. There were a bunch of good suggestions. So, as with the neighborhood highlights, we combined all the suggestions into a clickable map and listing.

Have a look...

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Stuff to do this weekend

Cherry Plain beach

This could be a great weekend for a trip to the beach.

A midsummer weekend awaits, full of sunshine and stuff to do. Savor it. Enjoy it. Commit it to memory so you can conjure it in February.

After the jump, we've pulled together a list of things that looked interesting. Got something planned that you don't see here? Drop it in the comments so we can all see.

And whatever you're up to, bring your sunscreen and have a great weekend.

River Week in-post ad Dutch Apple

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Outpouring of support after slur, looking toward a new Schenectady train station, Mission Impossible was possible

Community support follow slurs
People in Wynantskill have been rallying support for a couple whose house was vandalized with anti-gay slurs -- and a local hardware store offered free supplies to help fix the damage. Said John McEnerney to the Times Union: "They didn't just attack our house ... They attacked our whole neighborhood. This is a nice place and it made people angry." [News10] [WNYT] [TU+]

Stephentown dog death
A Stephentown farmer to the Times Union on the incident in he which he says he had to shoot a neighbor's escaped dog because it was menacing his horses: "I feel bad enough because I love animals and now this will get all over social media and make me look like a bad guy." [TU]

Troy mayoral race
An effort to get Ernest Everett bumped from the Democratic mayoral primary failed after a judge ruled Thursday the challenge missed a deadline for filing. [Troy Record] [TU]

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Reading through the Impact Downtown Albany playbook

impact downtown albany zones

The plan identifies four zones downtown.

The "playbook" for the Impact Downtown Albany project is out. It's aimed to be a set of specific ideas and steps the city can take to continue the redevelopment of downtown Albany -- touching on topics such as residential and retail development, taxes, parking, pop-up events, and branding.

"Impact Downtown Albany was designed as a game changer," said Sarah Reginelli, the president of Capitalize Albany, the city's economic development arm. "It was designed as a tactical approach to downtown revitalization."

The report was produced for Capitalize Albany by a team of consultants over the last two years. Capitalize Albany released it this week so that it might help the Capital Region's bid for one of those $500 million Upstate Revitalization grants from the state.

"Downtown has wonderful assets already, downtown has a strong momentum," Reginelli told us Thursday. "Part of it is changing perceptions of downtown and understanding that this momentum has been occurring and that there is potential here for people to reach out and grab."

We read through the report. And there's approximately three tons of stuff in it. So, if this topic interests you -- go skim through it (pdf). But here are a few chunks of it that caught our eye...

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Options for the Madison Ave Road Diet

Madison Ave at St Rose 2015-07-29

Could it stand to lose a lane or two?

Can Madison Avenue in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood be a better version of itself, one that both moves cars along but also provides a safer, more comfortable experience for cyclists and pedestrians?

That's the question at the heart of the proposed Madison Ave Road Diet, one of the region's most interesting transportation projects -- and a high-priority focus for cycling advocates pushing for protected bike lanes. Wednesday night at the College of Saint Rose city officials and consultants unveiled the menu of proposed options for reconfiguring the thoroughfare.

"It's most important that we get it right," Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan told the crowd Wednesday in emphasizing the importance of public feedback on the project. "We're really going to have one opportunity and then this will become the model for what we do in other parts of the city."

Here's the menu of options, along with a few thoughts...

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"I'm not alone in being baffled by the candidacy of George Elmer Pataki."

Given that his chances of winning seem vanishingly small, why is George Pataki running for President? That's the question T.A. Frank looks into over at the National Journal as he follows Pataki around New Hampshire, exploring the psychology of longshot candidates -- and whether its the process of running for President, and not candidates like Pataki, that is flawed. [National Journal]

Good brunch spots in/near Schenectady?

french toastLindsay emails:

I just moved to Schenectady, and I'm wondering if anyone has good recommendations for brunch spots (especially those with bars) for Saturday/Sunday mornings.
I've tried Union Cafe, which has fantastic service, darn good pancakes, and tasty Greek eats. Eating on the patio in the sun is nice (although the view leaves something to be desired), and there is no alcohol served (i.e., cravings for a bloody mary or mimosa go un-quenched).
Any tips from the AOA community would be greatly appreciated.

Lindsay mentions that she's been following Lauren's brunch mini-tour. But that hasn't made it to Schenectady, yet. So if you have suggestions for Lindsay, they can also double has possible spots for Lauren to check out.

So, got a good place in mind? Please share. And, as always, a sentence or two about why you're suggesting that place is like an extra kick of horseradish in the Bloody Mary.

Midmorning music break: Dryer

Something to get you going today: A demo of "Summer of 87" by Dryer. Power pop. So much.

The Saratoga Springs band -- back together again -- is playing at the Low Beat in Albany Friday Saturday night. The lineup also includes Slowshine and Haley Moley. All for the low, low price of $5.

Now we have to fight the urge to go digging up old clips from 120 Minutes...

Inmate found dead at Albany County Jail, anti violence rally planned in Schenectady, questions about Quirky, all over a Scooby Doo doll

Inmate found dead at Albany County Jail
A prisoner at the Albany County Correctional facility was found dead in his cell on Wednesday night, in what is believed to have been a suicide. The man was due to be sentenced next week on a conspiracy charge in a scheme to get an 80-year-old woman to turn over her home. [TWCN][TU]

Dannemora
David Sweat is still spilling information about his Dannemora escape. [TU]

Joyce Mitchell, the Dannemora prison employee who helped Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the prison, will collect her state pension, even though she is forced to retire because she is going to jail for her role in the incident.[WNYT]

Sentences
Chris Churchill on the sentence 16-year-old Marquis Dixon received for stealing a pair of sneakers in Albany-- which is significantly longer than the one Jeffrey Mann got in Saratoga County for his role in the bar fight that killed Aaron Huggins. [TU]

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Pick-your-own blueberry season 2015

box of blueberries at samascott

We are into the thick of blueberry season around the greater Capital Region. And as we've mentioned before, blueberries are just about our favorite pick-your-own crop because they're easy to pick (on bushes about waist high), relatively cheap (usually between $2-$3 per pound), and they freeze beautifully, so you can stock up for later in the year.

There are a handful of farms around the Capital Region that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Here's a list with some info. And, of course, if you know of a place that should be on the list, please share.

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Massry Center 2015-2016 season

Jake Shimabukuro 2015

Ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro will be there in November.

The schedule for the upcoming 2015-206 season at the Massry Center at the College of Saint Rose is out. The slate includes a ukulele virtuoso, a couple of banjo titans, a river-spanning jazz festval, and the return of the popular Christmas concert featuring the music of Vince Guaraldi.

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"That pile of snow is like a glacier"

Noted: There is still snow in Buffalo left over from last November's huge snow storm. [WGRZ]

Where to rent a boat on Lake George?

boat bow waterSean emails:

I've got some friends coming into town and we thought it would be a blast to head up to Lake George and rent a boat for the day. There seems to be a ton of places out there that rent so I was wondering if any of your readers have done this before and could perhaps recommend something to us. We'll have 7 adults and are not tied to any particular location on the lake.

If you have a place to suggest -- or even thoughts on what to look for -- we'll be awarding non-redeemable bonus points for suggestions that include a sentence or two about why that's a good place.

Got advice for Sean? Please share!

Earlier on AOA: Where to go paddleboarding?

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Track season, Tanpopo, Chester's, Siro's, sushi cake, birthday cake, the ValleyCats, the uptown campus, Thacher Park, moths, Washington Park, a secret beach, FDR, disturbing mini hot dogs, and Neanderthals.

Broadway Plaza Liquor in-post ad

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"They started hitting us a little bit and Ed started loosening up, and he was a lot of fun that night"

William Kennedy and E.L. Doctorow walk into a bar in Albany... Not the beginning of a joke, but an actual story as told by Kennedy to Paul Grondahl. The story also involves "vodka poppers." (There's also a glancing cameo by Hunter S. Thompson.) [TU+ (link around)]

EMPAC fall 2015 season

Composer/performer Holly Herndon caps off the schedule in December.

Without ado, further or otherwise, here's the slate for the upcoming fall season at EMPAC. It is, as usual, full of performances, talks, and events that promise to be interesting, thought-provoking, even challenging.

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Dannemora employee takes plea deal, Malta man sentenced in wife's murder, Quirky cuts jobs, goat rustlers sentenced

Dannemora employee pleads guilty to aiding escape
Joyce Mitchell, an instructor at the tailor shop at Clinton Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aiding Richard Matt and David Sweat in their escape from the prison in June. Mitchell told a judge she "was caught up in he fantasy," and that she enjoyed the attention they gave her and the thought of the start of a different life. [TU][NYT]

Former cop sentenced in wife's murder
The Malta man and former Long Island cop convicted of killing his wife of 40 years was sentenced to 15 years in prison.[TU]

Schenectady shooting victim named
The 18 year old man shot on a Schenectady Street on Monday has been identified as Kusaan Tolliver. The shooting was the second in five days in the city. The president of the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association says the group is planning a march against violence with the help of the Southern Christian Leadership conference.[TU][TWCN]

Mann sentenced
A Lake George man was sentenced on criminally negligent homicide in connection with a fatal bar fight in Saratoga last September. At the sentencing Andrew Mann apologized to Aaron Huggins' family and to his own, saying " not a day goes by that I don't wish I hadn't put my hands on him." [WNYT][Saratogian]

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Today's moment of summer

frog state office campus

This guy was clinging to the side one of the pools at the Harriman State Office Campus Monday evening, as tadpoles darted around the dyed-blue water below.

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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Recent Comments

The state of our roads makes it too dangerous for me to want to use my bike to go to work. It's scary enough to walk/jog around town and have people fly through stop signs/lights when I'm using intersections... and on a bike it's that much worse if you attempt to bike legally in the street. This would be a great start to making our community more safe in general. We have to start somewhere.

Three thoughts about the push for protected bike lanes in Albany

...has 42 comments, most recently from JayK

Reading through the Impact Downtown Albany playbook

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Options for the Madison Ave Road Diet

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Good brunch spots in/near Schenectady?

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Morning Blend for Jul 31

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