Stuff to do this weekend.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2016-10-22

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

+ D. asked about getting design help for a small kitchen.

+ We gave away a pair of tickets to a wine class at Lark + Lily by asking: What's your favorite Albany street? Why?

+ Deanna talked about the Little Pecks take on the tuna sandwich.

+ Poems in the fountain.

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: becoming a 46er, summer in October, a message for men, the rigged election, being a restaurant owner, 43 weeks of pregnancy, a hand up, the surrender of Gentleman Johnny, a tumultuous time in Troy, mineral springs, happy birthday, the Tour de Donut, Warehouse Grill and BBQ, Chops and Hops, Sunhee's, diet bread, the pizza oven project, and one moon in another.

+ Sean asked about good neighborhoods for trick-or-treating with his family.

+ We gave away tickets a contemporary circus clown show at Rev Hall from Marquise Productions by asking: What's something that made you smile recently?

+ Deanna pulled together a big list of Halloween-related events, including ghost tours and costume parties.

+ A look at maps of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy posted by the Mapping Inequality project that show how neighborhoods in those cities were redlined.

+ We got a tour of the Albany Capital Center construction site.

+ We talked with MopCo about the improv company's new theater in Schenectady.

+ And thanks to everyone who bought tickets for this year's Bad Boys, Broads, and Bootleggers Tour, which is sold out!

Here's the whole week in one place.

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

Marquise Productions clown photo: Renald Laurin

The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection

Smoker by Philip Guston ESP art collection

"Smoker" by Philip Guston is one of the works in the exhibit.

Opening this weekend at the State Museum: The People's Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.

The exhibit features 20 works from the ESP's extensive modern art collection, including works by artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. Blurbage:

The Empire State Plaza Art Collection has been heralded as one of the greatest collections of modern American art in any single public site. Beginning in 1965, following a procedure he established decades earlier during the construction of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, Governor Nelson Rockefeller assembled a commission of art experts to select the works for the Plaza and personally signed off on each acquisition. Funds for the art purchases were allocated as a percentage of the construction cost of each building on the Plaza.

The exhibit will be on display until September of 2017.

By the way: If you stop by to see this exhibit, you might also want to take the short walk over the ESP concourse and see Magnetic Shift, a display of works by Phil Frost. It's at the Corning Tower Plaza and concourse levels. And opens October 31. It will be on display until next August.

A look at MopCo's new Schenectady theater

Mopco theater Schenectady exterior after

The new MopCo Theater is at 10 North Jay Street in Schenectady.

Two things we should disclose before you start reading this post.

1. One half of AOA performs with the Mop & Bucket Company. (Hint: It's not Greg)
2. The Mop & Bucket Company advertises on AOA.

MopCo, the long-standing Capital Region improv company, now has its own theater -- a renovated former firehouse (and onetime strip club) on North Jay Street. It's sharing the space with its sister company, Koppett, which uses improv to train employees of companies such as Facebook and Apple in creativity.

In addition to its own improv shows, MopCo will use the new theater to host other improv troupes, classes, readings, music performances, story nights, and a wide variety of other special events.

MopCo officially opens the new space this Saturday with a TheaterSports show by its house team.

The company has been playing at Proctors for many years. For the last two years it worked on growing the business in a small rented space on Union Street while it searched for a permanent home.

The founders considered different areas in the Capital Region, but eventually found that home right around the corner in a broken down building in Schenectady's Little Italy.

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Stuff to do this weekend

Thumbnail image for rufus wainwright 2016

Rufus Wainwright plays a fundraiser for Basilica Hudson on Saturday

Welcome to the weekend. We're so glad you could make it.

After the jump you'll find a fall bounty of stuff to do -- from music and theater to farmers markets and fall festivals.

Planning something you don't see here? Drop it in the comment section so the rest of us can see.

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

16-0375 All Over Albany Small Business online Ad_525x80.jpg

YNHW in-post ad Columbia County Tourism

2016 aoa ad2 copy 2.jpg

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Murder charges in Rensselaer County homicides case, donations help football team after suspicious fire burns equipment, the Onrust says it needs help

Rensselaer County homicides
Authorities say the three men arrested in Virginia this week in connection with two separate homicides in Rensselaer County are facing second-degree murder charges in the death of Javier Gomez, the man found dead in a Troy apartment Monday. Gomez was roommates with Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez, whose body was found in Brunswich Tuesday. "Law enforcements sources with knowledge of the investigation" tell the Times Union that three suspects arrested had been at a Colonie motel with Hernandez when the situation became violent and they beat Hernandez, then drove him to Brunswick and and slit his throat -- the trio then went to the Troy apartment where Gomez was killed. A former co-worker at a Clifton Park restaurant tells News10 that Gomez and one of the men charged, Luis Monge Guevara, had both worked there and were good friends -- Guevara quit his job there Monday afternoon. [Daily Gazette] [TWCN] [TU] [News10]

High school field house burned
Schenectady police say a fire at the Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons field house overnight appears to have been arson. The fire destroyed all the equipment for the combined football team based there -- just ahead of its playoff game this weekend. Offers of donated equipment have already been rolling in and the team's coach says they will play the game. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [News10] [TU]

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Albany Capital Center construction tour

Albany Capital Center construction exterior 2016-October

The Albany Capital Center doesn't open until next March, but the structure of the new convention center has taken shape and, from the exterior at least, it's starting to look like it's finished form.

The road to this point has been a long one, stretching back years. And it didn't event start at this site on Eagle Street -- the first proposed spot, for a much larger project, was on the south side of downtown.

So, we're curious to see how this is all going to turn out. (And we suspect you are, too.) Toward that end, we got a chance to tour the construction site this week.

Let's have a look...

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Mapping a history of inequality in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy

Mapping Inequality HOLC map Albany cropped

A clip from the HOLC map for Albany.

You've probably heard of the term "redlining" -- it refers to the practice of denying services, such as mortgage lending, to people in certain neighborhoods based on the race or ethnicity of the people who live there. It's one of the ways discrimination became incorporated into economic systems in this country.

The practice and the term have roots that stretch back to the 1930s and a federal program called the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC), which surveyed cities and graded sections of them based on perceived "security" of investments there. From those surveys came maps -- with redlined sections.

A project based at the University of Richmond and involving researchers from a handful of institutions -- Mapping Inequality -- has gathered up these maps and made them accessible online.

So we pulled out the maps for Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

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A winter that's back to normal?

NOAA Precipitation Outlook Winter 2016

An outlook for precipitation this winter from NOAA.

Projections for what a winter is going to be like here -- especially when it comes to snowfall -- are probably best taken with some salt (because healthy skepticism and... icy sidewalks). For example: A "typical" seasonal total of snow can be tipped by a few coastal storms that just happen to track a little farther inland. You don't know until you know.

But there are some large scale phenomena that do generally point toward some sort of direction. Last year's winter is a good example: A strong El Nino -- that is, warm water off the Pacific coast of South America by the equator -- helped prompt a historically warm, un-snowy winter here.

The El Nino has ended. And for this winter we're now looking at the prospect of La Nina -- basically the inverse of El Nino -- influencing things. Maybe.

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Halloween tours, parties, and events around the Capital Region

spooky foggy pond

The spooky season is upon us.

By Deanna Fox

Don't worry if you haven't figured out your costume for Halloween yet, there's still plenty of plain-clothes fun to be had in the Capital Region leading up to the holiday. Bonus: Halloween falls on a Monday, which gives us an entire extra weekend to pack in the creepy fun.

Here are a handful of tours, parties, and showings that will get you in the trick-or-treat mood...

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Drawing: Tickets for contemporary circus clown show at Rev Hall + a Brown's gift card

Aaron Marquise clown

Aaron Marquise

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

Marquise Productions -- the contemporary circus company based in Troy (and a finalist in this year's AOA Startup Grant competition) -- has a show lined up for Revolution Hall next Wednesday, October 26. And we have four tickets to give away.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: The winner will also get a $50 gift card to Brown's Brewing (which, as you know, Brown's is next door to Rev Hall).

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

What's something that made you smile recently?

Could be a joke or story. Could be something you spotted. Could be whatever. We'll draw one winner at random -- that person gets the package of four tickets (so you can bring some friends) and the Brown's gift card.

The show at Rev Hall is called "This is Not a Test," and it's a one-man clown show by Aaron Marquise. (He's a graduate of the National Circus School in Montreal and has performed around the world.) Show blurbage:

A mix between theater and a French-style of clowning, "This is Not a Test" is about an isolated clown who finds shelter in a desolate theater. With only inanimate objects as his friends, he attempts to live out the end of times, trapped between the music of yesterday and the disaster of tomorrow.
This show was created through an artist-in-residency program, provided by The Arts Center of the Capital Region and is sponsored by Brown's Brewing Company. The performance contains some mature content and runs approximately one hour with no intermission. Marquise says he aims to show the audience that clowning is an art form. He is not just going for laughs.
"I did not want to have a show that was just all jokes and only focused on laughter but also a show that had some heart and could challenge the audience to think," Marquise said. "My clown is living alone in this sort of post apocalyptic war world, living on a stage in a theater but he's still hearing sounds of bombs dropping and planes flying overhead. He is very lonely."

The show starts at 7 pm on October 26. Tickets are $12 and available online.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Friday, October 21, 2016 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 am on Monday and must respond by noon on Tuesday, October 25.

photo: Renald Laurin

Rensselaer Co. homicides may be connected, former MMA fighter convicted in police beating, Albany Med's PILOT payment to city

Rensselaer County homicides
Police say three persons of interest have been arrested in Virginia in connection with a pair of Rensselaer County homicides this week. Investigators believe the two incidents are connected. [WNYT][Record][TU]

Explosion victim dies
One of the victims of an explosion earlier this week at Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions in Glenville has died. [TU]

Albany Med
"What we all must be about is solving the problem in the place in which we reside" -- Albany Med CEO James Barba -- who presented Kathy Sheehan with a $500,000 check on Wednesday as a voluntary Payment-in-lieu-Taxes (PILOT) for the city's 2016 budget --on his efforts to get other not for profit institutions in Albany to step up and make similar payments to the city. [TU]

Former SUNY Poly head Alain Kaloyeros has received court approval to travel to Pennsylvania to interview for a consulting job. [TU]

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Beer Diviner planning Troy spot

461 Broadway in downtown Troy

Update: Here's a press release about the new taproom, which mentions an opening date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Check it out: It looks like The Beer Diviner is setting up a bar in downtown Troy.

The brewery mentioned the plan for 461 Broadway recently on both its Instagram and FB page. (Also: The building is owned by Harry Tutunjian, and he tweeted a welcome to the location to the brewery Wednesday afternoon.)

The Beer Diviner currently has a farm brewery and tasting room in Cherry Plain in Rensselaer County. A few years back Casey talked with owner Jonathan Post about the operation, his approach to beer -- and how he became known as the Beer Diviner.

We have an email in with The Beer Diviner and we're hoping to hear back about a potential opening date.

461 Broadway? If that address seems familiar, it was the location for both Nibble, and before that, Francesca's.

New York's farm cideries

fermentation tanks at Nine Pin

Fermentation tanks at Nine Pin in Albany.

The hard cider industry in New York continues to fizz -- there are now 24 farm cideries around the state, according to the Cuomo admin. That's up from eight in 2014, when the farm cidery law took effect.

Farm cidery? It's a type of license issued by the state that smooths out some of the regulations and requirements for running a cidery -- if the operation uses New York State apples to make its products. (There are also farm winery and farm brewery license.) The state's first farm cidery was Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany's Warehouse District.

Of course, the requirement to use New York apples isn't too much of a hurdle. The Empire State is the nation's #2 producer of apples, behind only Washington State. So the hard cider industry is another way to make use of the state's abundant crop.

Given the growth in the number of farm cideries, we figured it'd be fun to roll together a map of where they're located around the state.

Let's have a look...

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Camping record (again)

New York's state park campgrounds set a record for attendance this year, according to the Cuomo admin. The state's camp site, cabins, cottages were occupied for 633,000 nights. That's the fifth straight year of record attendance. [Cuomo admin]

Good neighborhoods for trick-or-treating?

otto superhero cape

Sean emails:

I was wondering if your readers could weigh-in with the places they think are the best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. Our family had a lot of fun exploring a new neighborhood last year and were hoping to do the same this year.

On a tangent from Sean's question: Candy and costumes get most of the attention for Halloween, but one of the great -- yet probably under appreciated -- things about the holiday is the way neighborhoods become, at least for one night, explicitly open and friendly to people we might not know. There's something heartening about that.

Anyway... got a suggestion for Sean and his family? Please share! A sentence or two about why you're recommending a neighborhood is helpful.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: becoming a 46er, summer in October, a message for men, the rigged election, being a restaurant owner, 43 weeks of pregnancy, a hand up, the surrender of Gentleman Johnny, a tumultuous time in Troy, mineral springs, happy birthday, the Tour de Donut, Warehouse Grill and BBQ, Chops and Hops, Sunhee's, diet bread, the pizza oven project, and one moon in another..

Neighborhood in-post ad APL 2015

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Poems in the fountain

poems in Washington Park Moses fountain

While taking in the summer-like weather Tuesday in Washington Park, we noticed these little bundled scrolls blowing along with the leaves around the empty King Memorial Fountain fountain in the park (AKA, the Moses fountain). There were maybe 15 or 20 of them.

So we opened one of the scrolls. Inside, a poem:

Raise your words,
Not your voice.
It is rain that
grows flowers,
Not thunder.


As the scroll noted, that poem is attributed to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, a Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and mystic who lived during the 1200s, born in what's now Afghanistan and later moving to what's now modern-day Turkey.

Earlier on AOA:
+ The Troy Poem Project
+ The Moses fountain in Washington Park

Siena poll: Clinton's lead growing in NY, Body found in Brunswick creek, SUNY Poly projects may be rebid, dinner at The White House

Siena poll
The latest Siena College poll shows Hillary Clinton with a 24 point lead among New York Voters. The poll also showed Senator Chuck Schumer with a 63% favorability rating and Barack Obama with a 64% favorability rating among New Yorkers polled. [TU][Gazette]

Body in Brunswick Creek
Sheriff's investigators say the body of a man was discovered on Tuesday in a Brunswick creek. The investigation is continuing but police are calling the case suspicious. [TU][WNYT]

Troy homicide
Police in Troy are now calling the death of a 23 year old man this week a homicide. [TU]

SUNY Poly projects
The head of Empire State Development says some contracts overseen by SUNY Poly may go out for a rebid, in the wake of a bid rigging scandal that allegedly involves Alain Kaloyeros. [Politico]

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Kanye West at the TU Center this December

kanye west

Announced late Tuesday (for real this time): Kanye West is set to play the TU Center December 11. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (October 22) -- $29.50.

The show is an extension of Kanye's Saint Pablo Tour. He was last here for a show at the TUC in 2014.

Troy Music Hall updated 2016-2017 slate includes San Fermin and Selected Shorts

San Fermin and NOW Ensemble

Ellis Ludwig-Leone of San Fermin + NOW Ensemble

The Troy Music Hall announced the second half of its 2016-2017 season Tuesday. The lineup includes the chamber pop group San Fermin with NOW Ensemble, the public radio fave Selected Shorts, and the folk group The Wailin' Jennys.

A compressed schedule of the new shows is after the jump. (Next year's portion of the season schedule already had some announced shows, including Marc Maron on March 11.)

Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, October 21.

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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 Helderberg neighborhood is fabulous for Trick or Treating, maybe too much so. We always see families coming from other parts of Albany by the van load - being dropped off at one end and working their way to the other. Lots of houses in friendly neighborhoods = a packed and good time. It is also rumored that a few adults dress up and roam the streets handing out adult beverages to other adults. Again, just a rumor...

Stuff to do this weekend

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