Category Archives: writing

Wading in with my new wellies

bought these last month in Ireland - hasn't rained since.

Bought these last month in Ireland – hasn’t rained since.

Let me open with a nod to Saratoga in August: I’ve got no horse in this race. I state this has an attempt to assure you that I have no investment in the current Capital District food blogging dust-up. But while I don’t really care either way about who is “right,” I’m not without some opinions. Which I’d like to share, naturally. Hell, everyone else has, so why not?

I’m not 100% clear on the exact chronology of things, but it seems that Daniel over at the Fussy Little Blog wrote something about the food culture of the Capital District. Now, Daniel isn’t a native, something he doesn’t attempt to hide, and he has a critical eye and high expectations. He often is disappointed, yet remains surprisingly optimistic about where things are going food-wise in the Albany area. We aren’t always in agreement – he will never understand my devotion to Cafe Capriccio, nor my fondness for Emperor’s Palace, and I’m ok with that. I suspect he is too, because he does give me a coveted link from is blog.

Michelle Hines Abrams of MHA Innovations, is someone I’m familiar with due to our sharing mutual friends. We often seen one another at events and our encounters are always pleasant. I could be wrong, but, from my observations of her social networking activities, I assume she is employed in some capacity as a public relations professional by various restaurants and other hospitality outfits. I’ve frequently wondered what her position is and how she was fortunate enough to have created a career in which she spends her time wining and dining. Sounds pretty satisfying to me. Lucky her!

Well, Michelle wrote a piece which kind of read, to me, as diatribe in defense of the Capital District restaurant scene. In all honesty, I didn’t read the complete post because it was too damn long. I think it would have been more effective broken up into smaller, more manageable bites, but, again that’s just me.

I don’t regularly read Michelle’s blog, but a lot of what she posts on Facebook seems to be links to published stories from other sources. Not so much innovative, more a regurgitation. I don’t intend that as a harsh criticism (who am I?), original writing isn’t always necessary in a blog, right? Many bloggers accumulate hits based upon give-aways and polls, promoting other people’s work is in a similar vein, I suppose. Whatever.

From what I understand, Daniel is an advertising guy – or was in a previous life, at least. If Michelle is indeed a professional hospitality industry booster, I would imagine they have more in common than either would ever admit. They both have experience with promotion, no?

The fact that they are in such disagreement over the state of the local food scene is a little amusing. More than that, though, it is proof that there is more of a local food scene than there ever has been before. Believe me, 25-years-ago there wouldn’t have been sufficient mud for either of them to lob at the other.

I think I’ll just keep my boots on and see what happens next. How about you?


Filed under Albany, Eating, Food, Local, Observations, Random, Restaurants, writing

The Paris Wife

Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.” Isn’t that an inspired opening line?  I, regrettably, just finished reading The Paris Wife and all I can do is sigh that it is over.  Wow, I almost feel as if I just had 2 trips to Europe, one via a printed time machine, to those heady expatriate days I originally fell in love with while reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast.   In this creative,  fictionalized retelling of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage, author Paula McLain has told a completely captivating tale of a time with which I could easily become utterly obsessed.  Ok, maybe I already have.

A long time ago, I took a course, or two, on Hemingway and pretty much read everything he wrote.  I had a bit of a conflict between my Women’s Studies minor and Papa’s misogynist ways, but overall, I was smitten.  His use of language, his characters, the romanticism of the time period and the settings.  I became an admirer and have never wavered in my affection for his talent, or my fascination with his life.

In the Paris Wife, McLain has beautifully recreated those days and tells the tale from Hadley* Richardson Hemingway’s perspective.  The debauchery and drinking, the traveling from city to city, country to country, the presence of other famous literary personalities and characters… I absolutely could not stop reading this book.  I was completely taken in by the story, one which was familiar to me from my studies, and truly feel as if I was given a bird’s-eye view to the birth and subsequent death of a marriage, along with the nearly mythical career of one of America’s finest writers.

Fascinating, well-researched and written, this is the best novel I’ve read since Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.    Get it.

*Hadley was my “girl name” if I ever had a daughter.

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Filed under Books, Europe, favorites, Recommendations, writing


Here’s my introductory post for the new (to me) project. The picture cracks me up – especially since Quinn recently asked me “How come you don’t just use your third hand, Mom?”

Check it out and comment!  These are busy, exciting days.  Share them with me, please.

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Filed under Boys, family, moms, Moms@Work, Recommendations, writing

Santa Speedo Sprint!


Pretty darn cute, right?


Quinn is like the paparazzi!

Winter  WonderLark, continues to be my favorite annual Lark street event.  My little guy and I have gone three years in a row and we always have a good time.  When I pitched the plan to him late last week, I mentioned the race with all the Santas.  He looked at me blankly.  When I refreshed his memory with the UAG’s gingerbread decorating festivities, he perked up and immediately began listing all the decorative (and edible, natch) candies he enjoyed in years past while decorating his house and/or cookies.  I learned two things from this exchange – 1. He has an excellent memory for details relating to candy and 2. He apparently has not yet been traumatized enough by the sight of a couple of hundred under-dressed, fun folks racing by us as we shout encouragement and take photos.

Here’s this year’s set of pictures:

DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0007 DSC_0008 DSC_0011 DSC_0015 DSC_0017 DSC_0021 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0026 DSC_0031 DSC_0039 DSC_0043

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Filed under Albany, Boys, Christmas, Events, favorites, holidays, Lark Street, Recommendations, writing