Monday is Memorial Day.

Stuff to do this weekend

comedian Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart opens the pop season at SPAC with a stand-up show this weekend.

It's Memorial Day weekend. The official unofficial kickoff to the summer season. There are plenty of picnics, barbecues, and just general hanging out to do, but there are also some more organized events happening around the region.

So take a look at the list we've compiled for you and start planning. Doing something you don't see on our list? Add it to the comment section so we can all see.

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

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Troy Night Out

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Working out the design of the Albany Skyway

Albany Skyway meeting 2018-05-22 rendering

One of the renderings shown at the meeting giving a sense of what might be possible. It does not represent a final design. (There's larger version inside.)

The Albany Skyway project is continuing to move forward, and this week the engineering team heading up the design work presented a few potential concepts for how to use the space on the new linear park/riverfront connector in downtown Albany.

So let's have a look at those ideas, and also talk about some of the key choices that have to be made...

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First house on the street

History + houses + maps = this chronicle of house building in Niskayuna by Guy Spiers. It's remarkable to see how house were clustered in a few sections of the town until the 1950s when -- boom -- they start popping up all over (this is probably true for a bunch of suburbs here and around the country). According to data presented by Spiers, the number of houses in Niskayuna more than doubled between the 1950s and the present. (In 1950 the town's population was 9,442. The latest Census estimates peg the town's population above 22,000.) [via @AlbanyBuildings]

Collar City Candle Craft + Draft BBQ at Lansing Farm

Collar City Candle Craft Draft candle example

This is something a little different and summery: Collar City Candle is hosting a Craft + Draft BBQ event at Lansing Farm in Colonie Sunday, June 10 from noon-4 pm. Event blurbage (links added):

We're so excited to join Field Notes NY & Rare Form Brewery at Lansing Farm for a special Craft + Draft BBQ to kick off the season! Ticket price includes materials to create & bring home your very own Collar City Candle & all you can eat BBQ featuring ingredients grown right on the farm. Rare Form will be on-site serving beers from their van & the farm will also have games & live music. (Beer sold separately.)

That link includes the menu. Tickets are $35 and available online.

More Craft + Draft: Collar Candle City has another Craft + Draft event at Nine Pin Cider in Albany Wednesday, May 30 from 5-8 pm. Tickets are $15.

Earlier: Follow up: Collar City Candle

photo via Collar City Candle Facebook

There's another rail trail public art project this summer, and the call for artists is open

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail mural complete

The mural by Andrea Hersh at Adams Street and Hudson Ave in Delmar.

We mentioned this in the rail trail post this week, but it's worth highlighting: The call for artists is currently open for the next public art project on the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. Project blurbage:

Art on the Rail Trail (ART), a new initiative designed to bring public art installations to the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, is excited to announce a call for artists interested in developing an original public artwork for the piers along the Rail Trail, under the Cherry Avenue Extension bridge. We welcome all artists to apply, but specifically encourage those who work in public art, murals, and mosaic. Artists, designers, studios, and teams may submit multiple concepts for this project, and artists from any location are encouraged to apply. However, preference will be given to Capital Region artists and those from the surrounding area (defined by artists living within a 100-mile radius from the Town of Bethlehem).

The project fee is $5,000 -- that's to cover the artist fee, supplies, equipment, and other expenses. The submission deadline is June 17.

Here's the location of Cherry Ave Ext bridge. That first link above includes important application info.

The first ART project -- a mural by Andrea Hersh on a trail-adjacent building on Adams Street in Delmar -- debuted last October.

Earlier: The Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is set to get a new paved section this summer, and a few more bits about its future

Cuomo easily defeats Nixon for Democratic convention nomination, government wants to seize NXIVM Halfmoon properties, final Saratoga gun show

Nixon loses convention vote
Andrew Cuomo had an easy victory over Cynthia Nixon at the state Democratic convention in Hempstead. Cuomo says he's taking his more than 95% victory as an affirmation of his accomplishments. (Nixon is still working to secure a spot on the primary ballot, which will ultimately decide who runs on the party's line in the November election.) Delegates also endorsed Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James got the nomination for state Attorney General. Former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout has confirmed that she will challenge James. [TU][NYT][Politico][TU]

Republican gubernatorial candidate
Republicans on Wednesday, formally named Marc Molinaro their candidate for Governor. [Spectrum]

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Recycled robots

Albany Center Gallery Maiden Lane park recycled robots

We're charmed by these robot sculptures standing in Jim DiNapoli Park, the wedge of grass and sidewalk and trees and benches between Maiden Lane and Pine Street at Broadway in downtown Albany.

The robots are the creation of a youth art project coordinated by the Albany Center Gallery, which looks out into the park from the adjacent Arcade Building. From ACG executive director Tony Iadicicco:

During LOOK! The Art of Recycling in March, we had the pleasure of working with youth in our community to clean up the streets of Albany and teach the value of re-purposing materials instead of throwing them in the trash. We heard from local artists Betsy Gorman, Jason Schultz (Designs by JAS) and Trisha Zigrosser who use repurposed and recycled items in their artwork as inspiration for the limitless possibilities of what we can create with found objects. Community kids drew designs for "recycle-bots," collaborative sculptures made of the found objects they collected throughout the city.

Totally made us smile this week.

Civil War walking tour of Albany Rural Cemetery

Albany Rural Cemetery shade tree

Update Thursday morning: The tour is now sold out.
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The Albany Rural Cemetery has a Civil War walking tour August 4. Tour blurbage:

Mark Bodnar, known as "The Civil War Guy" at Albany Rural, has documented over one thousand Civil War soldiers and sailors interred in the sacred ground of Albany Rural Cemetery.
As your Tour Guide, Mark will lead you on a tour of the graves of several of these Civil War soldiers and sailors, giving you biographical lectures at each stop. The tour will begin at Cypress Pond, where you will be given a brief history of Albany Rural Cemetery, then proceed to numerous grave sites to be introduced to Civil War physicians, Medal of Honor recipients, three brothers that served, politicians, a Confederate soldier, Union men who died in combat, and a soldier that rode in the company of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant AND Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day during the Civil War!

The tour will be off-road on grass and (maybe) mud. Also: "bug spray is a must."

It's Saturday, August 4 starting at 9:30 am. Tickets are $15 $25 (see the link above) and space limited. We would not be surprised if this filled. A history tour the cemetery had this past Friday filled up very quickly.

What qualifies as the Capital Region?

What or where is the Capital Region? Should be a few core counties? The entire "commuting shed" for people who work here? A broad economic area? The Center for Economic Growth lays some of what it considers pros and cons for drawing the circle for the "Capital Region" to include a range of counties. It ultimately argues for an 8- or 11-county region.

Toasting the Past and Present of Arbor Hill

Albany Barn exterior 2014 v2

The Albany Barn.

This Thursday is the 12th birthday party for the Albany Barn (with food, drinks, music, and art), and the Ten Broeck Mansion is also hosting a history happy hour. So they've teamed up for two events on one ticket. Blurbage:

Join the Albany Barn and Ten Broeck Mansion for an evening of celebration. Kick-off at the historic Ten Broeck Mansion for their History Happy Hour (5-7pm). Sip and schmooze with like-minded history lovers at one of the region's premier historic homes, constructed 220 years ago and once known as 'Arbour Hill'. Then, make your way around the corner to the Albany Barn, a creative arts incubator supporting the endeavors of contemporary creatives in the Arbor Hill neighborhood, to celebrate their 12th birthday at the Spring Fling Birthday Bash at The Barn! (6-10pm.)
Those who purchase combo tickets will receive a discount over the individual price as well as a complimentary combo Albany/Ten Broeck Mansion Swag Bag.

The combo ticket is $40. The Albany Barn party is $25 by itself as is the Ten Broeck Mansion event.

What's up in the Neighborhood

The NeighborhoodAmong the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: guns, crosswalks, a bad case of the selfies, a gravel grinder, floral bounty, a history walking tour, what once stood there, a walking night out, restaurant tickets, the best burgers, El Cilantro, Marrakesh, Vicy water, and an alien landscape.

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Albany Barn in post ad 2018

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A very animated explainer about ticks

This might not be the claymation that we want, but it's the claymation that we need.

The clip embedded above is a short claymation explainer about the life cycle of black-legged ticks and ways to protect yourself against them. It's from the New York State Integrated Pest Management program, which is associated with Cornell and the Cornell Cooperative Extension.*

Ticks and the diseases they carry are a big problem in this part of the country. And just last week the Cuomo admin a announced a new round of increased efforts to address the proliferation of ticks and the diseases they spread, such as Lyme.

But back to the video clip... It was created by Max Helmberger, an entomology grad student. Here's a Cornell news article about his work. And, yep, he has more claymation science videos on Youtube.

* Integrated pest management is a fascinating topic. It's basically about how humans can better deal with things like insects and weeds and plant diseases in ways that hurt the environment as little as possible.

Underwood named Attorney General, Cohen associate pleads guilty in Albany, April unemployment up slightly from 2017, Albany Council bans conversion therapy

Attorney General Underwood
State lawmakers appointed Barbara Underwood as interim Attorney General on Tuesday. She is the first woman to hold the job. Underwood had been the state's solicitor general and became acting AG in the weeks after Eric Schneiderman's resignation following reports of domestic violence. Underwood will serve out the remainder of the year, and has decided not to run for the post in November. [Spectrum] [Politico] [NYT]

Cohen associate pleads guilty in Albany
An associate of Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Tuesday in Albany County Court. Evgeny "Gene" Friedman allegedly stole more than $5 million from New York State and evaded taxes. [NYT][TU]

Democratic convention
The NYS Democratic convention gets underway today, and Andrew Cuomo is expected to make a strong showing with support from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
[NYT]

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The Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is set to get a new paved section this summer, and a few more bits about its future

Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail approaching bridge

Albany County's Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is already one of the most popular bike/hike trails in the region, even though it's just a few years old.

And this summer is shaping up to be a big season for the path as the county prepares to pave the segment from Slingerlands to Voorheesville, adding another four miles of asphalt path.

Here are a few things about the future of the trail -- both in the short term and farther out...

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After Dark: Brains & Games at miSci

There's another adult night at miSci June 2. The theme this time around is "Brains & Games," in connection with the museum's BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head exhibit.

Pasttime Legends will be there will retro video games to play around the main gallery. There will also be yard games outside (weather permitting), planetarium shows, board games, and science demos. And attendees will also get to sample beverages from producers such as Artisanal Brew Works, Brown's, Chatham Brewing, Electric City Roasters, Fort Orange Brewing, and Shmaltz Brewing. A food truck be there sell food.

The event is Saturday, June 2 from 6-9:30 pm at miSci. It's 21 and over. Tickets are $12 ahead / $15 at the door. Planetarium shows are an additional $5.

Walking tour of Albany's Normanskill Farm

Normanskill Farm Albany barn

The Historic Albany Foundation's Walkabout Wednesday series has a tour at the Normanskill Farm June 20. It starts at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $10. (These tours often sell out.)

A few bits about the history of the farm, which is in the city of Albany...

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Shmaltz is selling its brewery

Shmaltz Brewing Company is selling its Clifton Park brewery to the Queens-based SingleCut Beersmiths, and the facility (to be called SingleCut North) will produce beer for the company. Shmaltz will continue its beer brands, eventually shifting over to contract brewing at other breweries. And Shmaltz's owner tells Deanna Fox the plans for the tasting room and bottle shop on Monument Square in Troy are still in the works. [SingleCut] [Biz Review] [TU]

NY Capital District Renaissance Festival 2018

capital district renaissance festival joust knight

The NY Capital District Renaissance Festival returns to Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont June 9-10. Event blurbage:

+ 50-plus vendors, including food trucks (turkey drumsticks, BBQ Sundaes, deep fried Oreos, and more!) toys, pottery, leather goods, blacksmith goods, tarot readings, clothing, costume rentals, etc. fun for the whole family;
+ Live jousts and sword fighting twice a day;
+ A pub crawl for adults( 21 and over);
+ Vixens en Garde,The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told, roving minstrels, magicians, belly dancers, mermaids, the Queen's Menagerie, face painting, a costume contest, vow renewals for married couples, puppet shows, and activities for children all day;

Because, as is well established, in the days of yore knights would return from their gallivanting adventure to feast on deep-fried Oreos. (Perhaps that meal was the death of Arthur.)

Tickets are $15 for adults / $5 kids 12 and under / age 2 and under free. Two-day tickets are $20. They're available online.

photo: NY Capital District Renaissance Festival

Troy police accused of using excessive force during arrest, women allegedly pointed gun at drive-thru workers, Clinton and Cuomo, the pull of history

Troy police accused of brutality
The attorney for a man arrested by Troy police in March alleges that officers inflicted a "savage beating" on his client during the arrest on Congress Street downtown, an allegation surfaced publicly by Luke Stoddard Nathan at The Alt. There is video of the incident, and the attorney played it for the Times Union -- Kenneth Crowe reports it "shows the officers kicking, kneeing and punching" the man after he was already on the ground. [The Alt] [TU]

Schenectady police handling of officer's DWI case
Sara Foss on the Schenectady Police Department's handling of a recent DWI case involving an officer: "We've been told time and again that the Schenectady Police Department's problems are in the past, that the department has turned over a new leaf, that recruits are held to a high standard and that officers who step out of line are held accountable. The Coppola case raises troubling questions that throw this narrative into question." [Daily Gazette]

Guns
Students and adults gathered in Albany's Washington Park Monday for a vigil for the people killed and injured at the school shooting in the Houston area last week. Said an 8th grader to the Times Union: "[Classmates are] afraid to go to school every day because we live with that fear of being shot in school." [WNYT] [TU]

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Today's moment of spring

dandelion seed backlit by sunset

Not in focus: Monday's wonderfully swooshy sunset sky.

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

Although I think the city is best served by having the state decommission and demolish this section of highway, if it is to be, then a couple things to consider. First, a big challenge is integrating the trail with Broadway along the exit ramp that feeds B'way from 787.The second is covering the cost of maintenance, not only of the linear park, but of the framework holding it aloft. ...

The Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is set to get a new paved section this summer, and a few more bits about its future

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NY Capital District Renaissance Festival 2018

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