Category Archives: art

Saturday – a celebration and a speakeasy

DSC_0005Saturday was one of those days when I wished I could get ahold of that special timepiece that Hermione used in the Prisoner of Azkaban – even if it came with a Dementor or two.  There were just too damn many fun things to do!  Had I been able to master the skill of being in two places simultaneously, I would have managed to attend both Winter WonderLARK and the wonderful celebration for newlyweds Amy & Gretchen held in the oh-so-cool space known as Time & Space Limited in Hudson.  After those events wound down, I would have loved to have remained in Hudson for their holiday walk while also attending Albany Center Gallery’s Speakeasy Gala held at 90 State Street.  I did the best I could, believe me.

What I managed to accomplish was a drive to Hudson to toast the brides, a quick run and then a delightful couple of hours at the speakeasy-themed Gala.  The gala was held at Angelo Mazzone”s newest event space on lower State Street in downtown Albany.  Parking was a bit of an issue, but, in all honesty, I found the challenge of parking to be a wonderful indicator of downtown’s appeal on a Saturday night – go, Albany!  The venue, formerly a bank, was magnificent with gorgeous details and elaborate ceilings.  They don’t build ‘em like that anymore. There definitely are some finishing touches which will complete the space, particularly some attention to the acoustics from the lowers level, but it is a incredible option for any of you planning an event.photo

The party was fantastic – a  great crowd of artfully attired guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the music, food and entertainment.  As always, there were many familiar faces, as well as new folks I hadn’t met previously. There were performers who provided a wonderful theatrical interlude and, as a woman, I was thrilled and appreciative of the beautiful female burlesque dancer whose body was womanly and sexy.  So nice to see in a world filled with lollipop performers!  Here are some pictures to show you what a lovely event Tony Iadicicco and his entire crew put on.  Hope to see you there next time!

1 Comment

Filed under Albany, art, Events, SEEN

Last weekend – in photos

a bonfire with friends

photo(152)

soccer season opener

a memorial service
image: http://www.gbgm-umc.org

Were you Seen at September Splendor to benefit the Washington Park Conservancy at the Washington Par

an event – September Splendor
image: Joe Putrock

photo(153)

there were flowers

photo(154)

and a trip to the Hyde Collection

to see this…
image:nytimes.com

I think I finally caught my breath…

1 Comment

Filed under Albany, art, Boys, Events, Flowers, friends, Lark Street, Local, road trips, Wine

So-so to DelSo

DSC_0043My day started unbalanced.  There was a fantastic series of wind storms that interrupted my sleep with clanking blinds and papers flying.  I had a dream I would have preferred to forget and a slippery bottle of milk left my sneakers in a puddle of white.  The clean up of that dairy disaster, stole my YMCA mojo and left me feeling slightly…sour.

But, then… a coffee moment with someone special, a thorough bathroom scrubbing, and a somewhat cooler afternoon, started to swing the pendulum in the opposite  direction.  I watched a little Wimbledon, read a couple of chapters and had a five-minute power nap.  Yes, there is such a thing.

Slightly after 5 pm, I made my way, accompanied by my favorite globe-trotting 30-something, to the Albany Barn fundraising event, Build Up.  I wasn’t familiar with the location, but it was easy enough to find and we found convenient parking before the skies opened up for real.  There was a meaty smokiness to the air which did nothing to diminish the bright airy quality of the well-lit room.

The attendees were upbeat and overwhelmingly familiar.  There were more burger toppings than you could dream of, including locally sourced chanterelles, cheeses from R&G in Cohoes, sesame seed sprinkled buns from All Good Bakers and an overwhelming array of pickled, chopped and shredded veggies.  Libations, exclusively from the Empire State were served.

I met the couple who own the house I most admire in the DelSo and had a Carrie Bradshaw moment despite my flat sandals.  I shot photos and made introductions and assembled my own slider with chipotle chèvre, chimichurri, bacon and purple leaf lettuce.  I drove home, noticing that Delaware Avenue was parked nearly full on both sides.  My neighborhood was busy.  It was a good day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Albany, art, DelSo, Events, Local, SEEN, Summer

Everything I know about Troy, I learned from Mary Panza

A flower grows in South Troy

A flower grows in South Troy

Ok, maybe that isn’t 100% true, but she really did get me started on my Troy education.  When I first moved to Albany almost 25 years ago, I received some advice from a childhood friend regarding Troy.  He said, and I quote, “Troy is the armpit of the Universe.” I was uncertain exactly what that meant, but seeing as how I didn’t have a car, Troy wasn’t an area that I planned to explore with any haste anyway.  No problem.

But, then I met Mary Panza, South Troy denizen extraordinaire, and began venturing across the river.  We generally ended up at her sister’s house, where we consumed fantastic quantities of eggplant and pasta, all bathed in the senior Mary Panza’s fabulous red sauce.  My personal opinion began to form about the collar city – Troy was ok with me.

Since that time, I’ve been pulled to Troy for their superior Farmer’s Market, beer and music venues, restaurants and unique shops.  I learned to never move a folding chair left in the street and to maintain a sense of the river’s location to navigate the grid of one-way streets.  I like Troy – there, I said it.

Last night I intensified my like of Troy to a level of affectionate love.  Granted, the company I was in was a definite factor, but the charm of Troy is strong and it has never looked better. Speaking of looking, our evening began at the beautiful and historic St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands. Photographer and TU blogger, Chuck Miller, had an event to celebrate the opening of his stellar photo exhibit.  The images he captures are primarily local and demonstrate a keen eye for both lighthearted humor and thoughtful observation.  Cool venue, great show, get there before it’s all gone.

Plenty for two - with leftovers for lunch!

Plenty for two – with leftovers for lunch!

Our next stop was DeFazio’s in Troy for some real pizza.  Everything about this joint charms me – the almost magical way the simple ingredients combine for a pizza that is the best I’ve ever had outside of NYC, the politeness of every person who helped to take care of us, the black and white tiled floor, and the red convertible the delivery guy drives.  Everything!  We went with an antipasto and a small pizza with olives and prosciutto.  The antipasto is substantial (served with crunchy garlic bread) and the small pizza was the perfect size for 2.  I think we may need to try the pasta next time because we witnessed a plate of it being served and were practically in need of restraints.  Have any of you ever had their pasta?

The pizza is all that.

The pizza is all that.

We ended the evening with a visit to the Charles F. Lucas Confectionary around the corner from Monument Square, in downtown Troy.  I would feel guilty about not getting to this place sooner, but I believe last night was the first time I’ve been in Troy since this fantastic place opened.  I have to say, it isn’t as if I’ve been missed, because the joint was positively jumping!  The waves of guests entering and departing during our 90 minutes there, was impressive.  We had a tour of the space by the owner, Vic Christopher, and I can’t say enough about the vision he and his wife, Heather, made into a dreamy reality for us all to share.  Wow.  Our bellies were full of pizza and cappicola, but the beautiful glass of Cote du Rhone rose’ Vic brought my way was exactly the crowning touch to a memorable May evening.  I am incredibly enthusiastic about this project. the additional related grocery store business in the preliminary works and the new-to-me term “reclamation construction.”  Troy is a lucky city to have landed such super smart and cool entrepreneurs and I imagine myself finding my way to the Collar City with previously unimagined frequency.

Armpit of the universe?  Au contraire – more like the heart of the Capital District.  Let’s hope our next Albany mayor fosters the kind of growth Troy is now experiencing – and that Mary invites me over for eggplant really soon.

2 Comments

Filed under art, Eating, Events, favorites, Food, friends, Local, pizza, Recommendations, Restaurants, Spring, Troy, Uncategorized, upstate New York, Wine

Gala is my 2nd favorite word for “party.”

DSC_0057A close second, I might add.  Just for the record, my most favorite is “fete,” but enough of language.  Here are the pictures which tell a thousand words!  Seeing as how everyone at the fete event looked like a million bucks, let me add a few additional words of the text variety:

  • This was a really fun crowd with many familiar faces.  Not one person declined to pose for a picture and I didn’t hear a single complaint while I worked the crowd.
  • The staff at the Hilton Crowne Plaza Albany Hotel were all professional and pleasant.
  • It was fun shooting pictures of some of the same people from Thursday’s event.  It didn’t feel indulgent or redundant – the faces you see in both photo sets are the faces of the folks who make the restaurant industry happen.
  • The Times Union merged my two galleries with another set of photos taken during Friday’s Grand Tasting event – you’ll know mine by the credit in the caption.
  • Personal shout out to a former student and his lovely fiancee* ~ It made my night to see you!  And I told you that you weren’t a Republican – thanks for listening.

*two French words in one post – Mon dieu! That’s 3…

1 Comment

Filed under Albany, art, drinking, Eating, Events, favorites, Food, Local, Observations, Recommendations, Restaurants, SEEN, upstate New York, Wine, winter

From jingle bells to a masquerade gala

Yep, just another day in the life.  December dawned with an appropriate and picturesque dusting of snow, pretty to look at, but not necessarily fun to run on.  I thought the Jingle Jog 5K began at 9:00, but since 10:00 was the actual time, I had plenty of time to stretch and mentally prepare to run at a cautious, slow pace.  You know, slow down and enjoy the run, Christmas Pandora and all.  I was wearing my new UnderArmour compression shirt, and I have to say, it really did keep me warm as my base layer.  The crowd was festive, with Santa and the Grinch represented in the pack of participants and I started at a nice even pace.  I came this close to injuring myself when I rolled my ankle in the first 1/2 mile, but pressed on and was able to run fairly comfortably to continue the race.  I finished 141st out of 446, with the not particularly stellar time of 30:08, but the time wasn’t important, especially at a time of the year when time is so precious.  It was a wonderful way to start this month of holidays and festivities.

I didn’t take photos, but here’s a gallery of the event from TU photographer, Michael P. Farrell.

IMG_1552

After an afternoon of making cookie dough, doing laundry and running errands, I found myself gussied up and heading to the State Room for Albany Center Gallery’s 35th Anniversary Masquerade Gala.  I was seriously concerned about the parking situation with the huge UAlbany-Sienna basketball game at the TU Center, but did well on State Street only having to mince step for a couple of blocks on my ace-bandage wrapped ankle.  (Thank you, to my friend, for taking care of my war wound.)  The State Room was pleasing to the eye in every direction and the guests were creatively attired – a good looking crowd, I’d say.  Check out those photos here.

Walking back to my car, I captured this shot of the Capitol.  Ah, Albany!

photo(87)

1 Comment

Filed under Albany, art, baking, Christmas, Events, Local, running, SEEN, snow, winter

Blocks of conversation at BUILT

Saturday night was the Historic Albany Foundation’s annual art auction/fundraiser hosted at the stunningly beautiful (and really well-lit, Nick) Cathedral of All Saints.  This was my 3rd time to attend this event and it just keeps getting better!  The crowd is always uniquely and colorfully dressed and it is an absolute feast for the eyes (and ears!)in a thousand different ways.  Here’s some of what I heard as I worked the room stalking photographing folks…

“The art is the best I have seen!”

“I have a Ragsdale in my bathroom”*

“The food is terrific!”

We in the DelSo are very proud of our own Ken Ragsdale whose spectacularly detailed drawing won the top prize in this juried event!!  Laura Glazer’s charmingly re-purposed glove also was very deservingly honored.  Please read Chuck Miller’s post for much more intelligently expressed information about the show and the works which were displayed – and successfully auctioned off.  Kudos also need to be given to Nicole’s Catering which did a wonderful job with the food and service – way to represent our neighborhood, guys!

I shot a SEEN gallery for the TU and you can check those photos out here.  I feel awful for not snagging a picture of Ken, but I did capture a photo of Laura Glazer looking as fabulously tall as ever.  Look out, Ken, I’ll get you next year!

*Ok, this was actually something I said to silence the two men bragging about the Ken Ragsdale pieces they have hung in their homes.  It worked.  And I do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Albany, art, beauty, DelSo, Eating, Events, favorites, Local, SEEN