Stuff to do this weekend.

A quick recap of the week

week review 2016-10-01

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

+ We announced the winner of this year's AOA Startup Grant contest!

+ We gave away tickets to Drink Albany by asking: If you could make up your own Capital Region-theme beer/cider/spirt, what it would and what would you name it? (There were a lot of fun answers.)

+ People offered a bunch of thoughts about future LarkFests.

+ Sean asked about favorite local ciders from orchards.

+ Here's the plan for the new train station in New York City. (As you know, a large portion of the trips from the busy Albany-Rensselaer station either end up in, or come from, NYC.)

+ What was up in the Neighborhood this week: how much is enough, a crash, Maiden Lane, Amelia Earhart, pretty things, a battle monument, the third trimester, being hands off, the Schenectady Greenmarket, bao art, Thai food, an unusual etiquette question, pizza touring, and ribbons.

+ Jen asked about finding a new hair stylist in the Albany area and there were many suggestions.

+ The big Breathing Lights public art project has opened in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

+ And we're giving away tickets to this year's Albany Barn Fusion event by asking: What are two Capital Region things that should be combined -- and what would they create? (The drawing's open until 5 pm Monday.)

Here's the whole week in one place.

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

Tic tac Troy

Troy street tic tac toe

Spotted this today River Street and 1st Street in downtown Troy, painted like one of the markings used to identify utility lines or paving instructions.

Breathing Lights begins this weekend

Breathing Lights Schenectady Stanley Street

Stanley Street in Schenectady

The much-anticipated Breathing Lights project opens this weekend in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. For the next two months hundreds of vacant buildings in the three cities will be illuminated from the inside by gently pulsing lights as part of the public art installation.

The project is backed by up to $1 million in funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, and it won out over more than 200 other entries in a national competition for public art projects.

Here's a quick overview, along with some thoughts at the start of the project's public phase...

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Stuff to do this weekend

Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox is at the Palace.

It's the weekend! Wake up and smell the cider donuts.

So much stuff to do, and only two days to do it. No worries -- we're here to help.

After the jump a list of weekend events we thought you might enjoy. Doing something you don't see here? Share it with the rest of us in the comment section.

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

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YNHW in-post ad Columbia County Tourism

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Looking at crime numbers around the Capital Region, continued chatter about creepy clowns, toward a regional taxi system

Crime numbers
+ A look at 2015 crime numbers for Capital Region municipalities out this week from the FBI. [Daily Gazette]
+ Troy had a 22-percent increase in the number of reported violence crimes between 2014 and 2015. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Creepy clowns
+ From the Daily Gazette: "Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region" [Daily Gazette]
+ And from The Saratogian: "A local law enforcement press release on suspicious clown sightings in the southern part of Saratoga County has the area's professional clowns asking the public to take a step back." [Saratogian]

SUNY Poly allegations
Bits continues related to the state and federal allegations involving SUNY Poly continued to spill out this week:
+ A look at the situation surrounding the prominent architecture firm EYP and its tenancy at, and dealings with, SUNY Poly. [TU+]
+ Rensselaer mayor Dan Dwyer says Todd Howe tried to hit the city up for a $4k-per-month lobbying fee when discussions started about SUNY Poly developing a piece of land on riverfront. [TU+]

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Today's moment of autumn

grasshopper on sunflower stalk

It's insect week, apparently.

Art Spiegelman at Skidmore

cartoonist Art Spiegelman

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman will be at Skidmore October 4 for a talk about the history of comics. Blurbage:

His lecture, titled "What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?" will explore evolving perceptions of comics as a literary medium. Although they have often been disdained by academics and other literati, they can be eloquent and powerful, Spiegelman argues, in part because "comics echo the way the brain works. People think in iconographic images . . . and bursts of language, not in paragraphs."

Spiegelman won the Pulitzer in the 1990s for his graphic novel Maus, which focused on the Holocaust and cast the various people involved as animals (the Nazis were cats, Jews were mice). And it's the work for which he's most famous. But he also created the Garbage Pail Kids series of trading cards for Topps. His career has also included work for The New Yorker.

Spiegelman's talk is this year's Steloff Lecture at Skidmore. It's Tuesday, October 4 at 8 pm in Palamountain Hall's Gannett Auditorium. It's free and open to the public.

photo: Enno Kapitza - Agentur Focus

Google Express is now available here

google express vanGoogle expanded its Google Express delivery service to the Northeast this week, including New York State.

What is it? It's sort of like Amazon Prime, but for a specific group of retailers. And it offers delivery times ranging from end of day to two days depending on the item and location. Like Amazon Prime, there's a membership fee -- $95 per year (it's currently offering six months free). For non-members there's a $4.99 per store charge.

From the about page: "Google Express is an online marketplace that connects shoppers with popular retailers. You get fast delivery of a wide variety of essentials, from apparel and electronics to pantry staples such as bread and cereal."

Among the things it doesn't sell are perishables -- apparently it did in the past as part of a pilot program, but Google cancelled that service as part an expansion plan. So if you're looking for grocery delivery, one of the services offered by Price Chopper and ShopRite are probably a better bet.

As mentioned above, this is a pretty obvious competitor to Amazon Prime. But apparently it's not just an attempt by Google to compete with Amazon on delivery, but also on search -- Amazon's been cutting into Google's position as the place to start searching for products, and Google's trying to push back.

Anyone tried this service?

Earlier on AOA: Delivery! Comparing ShopRite from Home and Price Chopper Shops4U

photo via Google Express FB page

The milkman

Look who's over at Eater writing about the Capital Region's own Meadowbrook Farms and the persistence (and resurgence) of home milk delivery. [Eater]

Drawing: Albany Barn Fusion 2016

albany barn fusion 2016 logo

The Albany Barn's annual Fusion event -- exploring "the intersection of art and industry" -- is October 14 this year. And we have a pair of "catalyst" tickets to give away. Maybe to you.

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

What are two Capital Region things that should be combined -- and what would they create?

We've asked a similar drawing question in the past and gotten fun answers. It could be anything -- two geographic areas of the region, a drink from one place and a food item from another, whatever. Be creative. We'll pick one winner at random.

Here's what's lined up for Fusion this year:

+ custom menu by Chef Michelle Hines Abram with special guests Chef Derek Adams and Chef Benji Blanco
+ wine and craft beverage pairings from Empire Wine & Druthers Brewing Co.
+ decadent coffee and desserts by The Cookie Factory
+ musical selections to keep you moving
+ live art installations and exhibition featuring artists in residence
+ silent auction and more!

And with the "catalyst" tickets, you'll also get reserved parking and commemorative Albany Barn glassware with a signature cocktail.

Fusion is Friday, October 14 starting at 6 pm at the Albany Barn. Tickets are $75 each / catalyst tickets are $125 ($200 for two) -- and they're available online.

The event is a fundraiser for the Albany Barn.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 5 pm on Monday, October 3, 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 Tuesday and must respond by noon on Wednesday, October 5.

AOA is a media sponsor of Fusion.

Herb

The federal complaint filed last week alleging bribery and bid rigging involving former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and Todd Howe, another longtime Cuomo associate, includes snippets from multiple emails that use the term "Herb" to refer to people. (And these people are not named Herbert.) Jimmy Vielkind looked into the origin of the term, and even found the person who's said to be the Herb index case: "I'm really a little perplexed about the use of my name." [Politico NY]

General registration now open for UAlbany Humans of New York event

humans of new york brandon stanton

Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton.

A quick update on that Humans of New York event at UAlbany October 8...

Registration is now open for the general public -- UAlbany says people should register via the homecoming weekend registration page. (It's OK if you're not an alum or somehow connected to the school.) The event is in the SEFCU Arena, and a UAlbany rep told us this week they're expecting there should be room for everyone who wants to attend. (The registration is to keep a headcount just in case.)

And if you didn't see the earlier post: Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton will be at UAlbany Saturday, October 8 for about the very popular photography series. It's at 8 pm and it's free.

The event is one of a whole bunch of events for UAlbany's homecoming weekend, October 7-9, many of which are open to the public.

photo via Humans of New York Twitter

Cuomo to set aside developer contributions, Schumer's bid for NCAA in Albany, creepy clown or Halloween costume?

SUNY Poly/alleged bid rigging
Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the state and federal complaints in the alleged bid rigging case were primarily about flaws in SUNY's purchasing and procurement systems, and were not due to unchecked corruption in his office. Meanwhile, Tom DiNapoli's office says the alleged bid rigging scandal shows the need for more state oversight of SUNY spending.[TU][TU]

SUNY Poly has removed photos of and links referencing Alain Kaloyeros from the school and its website. [TU]

Cuomo on alleged bid rigging
Chris Churchill on Andrew Cuomo's handling of the SUNY Poly scandal. [TU+]

Contributions
Andrew Cuomo says his re-election campaign will "set aside" the $350,000 in contributions it received from developers who are facing corruption charges in connection with the bid rigging scandal unveiled this week. Republican state Senate candidate George Amedore says he won't return the more than $30,000 in campaign contributions he has received from Albany developer Joe Nicolla , who is facing charges in the alleged bid rigging scandal. [WNYT/AP][TU]

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Clean tech hackathon at Tech Valley Center of Gravity

Tech Valley Center of Gravity exterior 2016-JulyThe Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy is hosting a clean tech hackathon October 15-16. It's free to attend if you'd like to gawk at what's been made. And if you have a team that would like to take part, registration is still open -- there will be $5,000 in cash prizes.

What is this hackathaon? Blurbage:

A hackathon is an event, usually lasting more than a day, where groups of computer programmers and other tech-oriented people collaborate intensely on projects using software. Hackers typically staying in the space the entire time working constantly. To help inspire the competitors, organizers of the TVCOG Clean Tech Hackathon have solicited problem statements from key players in the industry in the areas of Advanced Buildings, Renewables and Clean Transportation. Some problems hackers may tackle include: making solar photovoltaic and wind energy more predictable; innovations in "smart" building technology that can adjust energy usage based on intelligent predictions of the occupants' behaviors; and designing hardware/software solutions that use on-street installations to improve bike and pedestrian safety and comfort.

Participating teams will have mentors from NYSERDA, BessTech, The Wagoner Firm, New York State Mesonet, and Bette & Cring Construction Group. Also: "An abundance of high quality free food is available to all hackers and participants."

As mentioned above, it's free to attend or participate, but registration is required.

TVCOG advertises on AOA.

Asbury Short Film Concert at The Linda 2016

Drawcard short film still

A still from Drawcard, one of the shorts in this year's lineup. (It's about an office joke gone wrong.)

The Asbury Short Film Concert series will be back at The Linda this Saturday, October 1. This is 35th year for the series, which a traveling "concert" of short films. Blurbage:

Did you ever watch the Academy Awards when they were presenting the Best "Live Action" Short Film or Best Short Animation Oscars and say to yourself...
"Where are these films, and why haven't I seen any of them?"
Well, the The Asbury Shorts Concerts has been giving people the opportunity to see these little gems in a real theater format on a big screen since 1980.
The Asbury Shorts Concerts covers it all: Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentary and Experimental.
Our show is like a trip to the best film festivals in the world where you sample the elite of the short film genre but without competition and plenty of live surprises!

Tickets are $10 and available online. The event at The Linda starts at 8 pm Saturday it's about two hours long.

Here's a quick description of some of the films on this year's slate, if you're curious...

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A good hair stylist in the Albany area?

statue with curly hair

Jen asks via Twitter (and a series of tweets):

I swear I ask once a year at least, but I can't seem to get my ish together finding a hair stylist I like. Suggestions? Cc: @alloveralbany
Not too concerned about $ bc I only get my hair cut 3-4x/yr. Just want somewhere convenient (location + hrs), high quality, & not sales-y.
My last stylist was great but her hrs are limited & no longer work w my schedule. Went to John Paul last & it was fine but very sterile.
Albany area, I would say within a 10-20 min drive from Center Square. Guilderland, Loudonville, Colonie, Delmar, EG.

Similar questions have been popped up in the past, but we checked the archive today and it's been (at least) a few years. And things changed, shops close, stylists move.

So, got a suggestion for Jen? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a person or shop can be a big help.

photo: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski, cropped (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: how much is enough, a crash, Maiden Lane, Amelia Earhart, pretty things, a battle monument, the third trimester, being hands off, the Schenectady Greenmarket, bao art, Thai food, an unusual etiquette question, pizza touring, and ribbons.

Neighborhood in-post ad APL 2015

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Schenectady bike lane demonstration

schenectady bike plan Craig Street demo

The city of Schenectady's ongoing work toward a master plan for bike infrastructure includes a demonstration project that starts today (Wednesday) and runs through the weekend on Craig Street in Hamilton Hill that's focused on bike lanes, shared lanes, and street calming. Blurbage:

As part of the Schenectady Bike Infrastructure Master Plan, riders and residents are invited to participate in this community demonstration project showcasing street-level bicycle improvements designed to increase safety and connectivity. The temporary installation through funding from CDTC, is designed to explore bicycle-related Complete Streets options for improving Craig Street as a City, Neighborhood and Schools connection.

Here's a map and other backgroun about the project.

The demo includes a bike fest Wednesday afternoon from 2-6 pm with bike-themed activities and prizes. And the Electric City Bike Rescue will be there helping with repairs and maintenance.

This is the second demostration project as part of the bike master plan process. Earlier this year there was a demo of a contra-flow bike lane on Washington Ave.

Schenectady Wing Walk 2016

Schenectady Wing Walk 2016 posterThe annual Wing Walk returns to downtown Schenectady this Saturday. Tickets are $10 / $5 for students with a valid ID and available online.

How it works: You pick up a map at the Proctors box office (it's also your ballot), then you visit a series of restaurants around downtown Schenectady that are offering samples of chicken wings in a variety of styles. Then you vote for your favorite.

There are 22 restaurants participating this year. The list is after the jump.

The Wing Walk is Saturday, October 1 from noon-5 pm.

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No tax hike in Albany's proposed budget, National Grid truck pulled from Hudson, SUNY Poly's financial woes, Capital Region leads state metro areas in economic growth

Albany budget
Albany's proposed 2017 budget contains no tax increase, but Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she'll be looking to the state for more payments in lieu of taxes for state properties. [TU]

Truck in Hudson
Authorities are trying to figure out why a National Grid Truck crashed into the Hudson River in Troy overnight. It took three tow trucks to pull the vehicle out of the water. The truck was reportedly involved in a police chase just prior to crashing through the gate and into the river. Rescuers pulled a body out of the river. [TWCN][TU][WNYT][News 10]

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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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