Category Archives: Lark Street

Last Run and a good run

This past weekend may have been close to perfect.  One of my favorite girls arrived prior to the snow and we settled in to an afternoon of satisfying household tasks.  There was cooking, roasting and baking.  A tree was agreed upon and chopped down, by me. Later, it was beautifully decorated, not by me.  I call that a win-win situation.

With our bellies full of delicious chili and layers of spandex and Lycra firmly in place, we ventured downtown to the starting line for Albany’s 2013 Last Run. Being smart and all, we stashed some clothes at the Wine Bar for a post-race nosh.  We are not amateurs, my friend.
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I’ve done this race three years in a row and I have to tell you – it is the most fun race I do each year.  The fireworks, the costumes, the crowd, the lights – it is consistently a blast.  This year, despite the weather conditions (pretty damn cold with face freezing precipitation) I had the most fun ever, probably a combination of the perfect running friends and an entire day devoted to holiday tasks and festivities. Joy to the world, for sure!
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We followed our exertions with a fantastic dinner at the Wine Bar.  You might think that I praise the food at the Wine Bar with such frequency because I work there, but you’d be wrong.  The reality, though, is I work there because the food is so damn good. Truth.  My meal, from the grilled Caesar salad to the phenomenal pork shoulder to the epic wedge of cheesecake from Cheesecake Machismo was flawless.  Perfect.
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There was another Lilly enjoying her weekend’s activities and menu, Cassidy Bono.  She feasted on sirloin steak, ground beef, sardines and chicken breast, punctuated with plenty of biscuits.  There were lots of cuddles, along with belly rubs, and what turned out to be our last weekend together will always be a time which I will treasure.
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We both had a good run.

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Filed under aging, Albany, Christmas, Cooking, Dinner, Events, favorites, Food, friends, Lark Street, Local, running, snow, winter

Last weekend – in photos

a bonfire with friends

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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

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there were flowers

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and a trip to the Hyde Collection

to see this…
image:nytimes.com

I think I finally caught my breath…

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

I’ve got a badge – and a glass of wine.

Another perfect little find from Elissa Halloran's little shop on Lark Street.

Another perfect little find from Elissa Halloran’s little shop on Lark Street.

Well, guess who gets to be the bad cop?  Yes, yes, I know, if the shoe fits, blah blah blah.  Whatever.  Give me a second, please, while I take another swig swallow sip of wine, ok?  Exhale.  Sigh.

You know how kids like to play their parents, especially in divorce situations?  Yes, you do, you must have seen it before. Child, typically a teen, decides that the demise of their parents’ marriage provides them with the perfect opportunity to slack off?  Well, it is a crap situation that requires parental attention and communication…something which isn’t always easily managed as a former couple transitions to a new normal of shared parenting done in an isolated, yet equally invested fashion.   Maybe it’s a natural impulse for a child who wants to ensure that his recently apart parents maintain an open dialogue.  Perhaps it is a symptom of adolescence.  I don’t know for certain, but I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is exhausting and demoralizing.  Ugh.

Most of us are familiar with that cliched police interrogation technique – the whole good cop/bad cop thing, right?  Well, guess which officer I get to be?  I’ve always been the calendar keeper, the planner, the appointment maker, the initiator, shall we say.  I have a knack for making, and keeping, a schedule and taking care of things.  Naturally, it has fallen to me to be the one who checks in on the boys’ grades and initiates contact, when necessary, with their teachers.  And the reward for my attentions from my child who is treading seriously close to the line between living up to his potential and being a rebel without a cause?  Well, let’s just say it  is sort of the opposite of gratitude.

It would be so much easier to be hands off.  I would prefer to devote my attention to celebrating the wonderful talents and capabilities of my children, but it seems that a different type of focus is being demanded at this time.  Well, if I have to be the one who enforces the law in these parts, I’ll do it, with or without the assistance of a deputy.  Don’t you doubt it.

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Filed under Boys, family, Lark Street, moms, musings

Soap scum and love for the Wine Bar!

image: Joe Keegan

Check out Joe Keegan’s blog over at the TU for some tips on cleaning glass shower doors and his impressions of the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark.  I had a blast taking care of his party and was tickled to be included in his post.  I’ve been reading his blog, which deals with the painstaking, but not annoyingly so, restoration of the home he shares with his family, for a couple of years and I’m always happy when he posts a new entry.

PS.  I’m not the soap scum of which he speaks.

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Filed under Albany, drinking, Eating, favorites, Food, house, Lark Street, Recommendations, Restaurants, Wine

Albany’s Last Run

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There were fireworks!

Saturday night was the 16th annual Last Run in Albany.  This is absolutely one of my favorite races of the year – festive, fun and filled with friends.  This year, my friend Lisa got herself together and registered before the race reached its 1500 runner capacity and we had a blast!  The course for this run is fantastic – up State Street, across Willett and into and around the park.  It is such a treat to run through the holiday lights display and if the spirit of the season doesn’t touch you, well, it’s time for you to slow down a bit then.  The mayor was there to get things started and I was really pleased by the moment of silence he requested for the Newtown, Connecticut victims.  Well done.

As far as the race went I took 14 seconds off my time from last year, which is fine considering it is impossible to really run until nearly 3/4 of mile into the race.  That being said, I have to admit, I don’t run well with others.  I like to run my own pace, whatever that is, but Lisa and I found each other easily after the run and got up to some of our usual antics.  Trust me, enough said.  Can’t wait until next year!

Fab bourbon sour made by Jonathan at the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark.  Yum, yum!

Fab bourbon sour made by Jonathan at the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark. Yum, yum!

We were SEEN!!

We were SEEN!!

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Filed under Albany, Christmas, drinking, Events, Exercise, favorites, friends, Lark Street, Local, Recommendations, running, SEEN

Santa Speedo Sprint!

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Pretty darn cute, right?

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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:

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

Birthday Weekend Memories!

Maybe I’m simple or I have a low threshold for happiness.  I’m not really sure, but what I do know is I had a fantastically, perfect weekend.  As the weekend progressed, I mentally inventoried each special little thing that cumulatively gave me one of my favorite birthday celebrations ever.  Noting 46 of these items was an easy feat to achieve.

  1. Early morning surprise drive-by with birthday wishes
  2. A Happy Birthday text from my son.  (He was upstairs when he sent it to me.)
  3. Birthday cards at work
  4. Facebook birthday messages, especially when they contained the word “inspiring.”
  5. A pedicure and manicure to begin my weekend
  6. The tuna roll I inhaled
  7. A gigantic salted caramel mocha sipped pond-side in the sunshine
  8. Thoughtfully selected, thoughtfully wrapped presents.
  9. Reading a funny book aloud with a friend
  10. Receiving a handcrafted card from Quinn
  11. Listening to Quinn explain the handcrafted card he gave me.  It involves superpowers, popcorn falling from the sky and the sentiment that he “lives” me.
  12. That run that I took as the sky began to darken and the sliver of moon that led me back home.
  13. Finding the perfect thing to wear for my birthday dinner.
  14. Reading a special card.
  15. That parking space on the corner of State and Lark.
  16. A tasty sparkling rose from New Mexico, Gruet.

    I wish you could smell this pasta!!!

  17. The pasta that was worth every moment of self-denial, house made tagliatelle with a cinghiale Bolognese at the bar at the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark.
  18. The tasty glass of Spanish granache that accompanied my pasta and the beautifully rare hangar steak that I enjoyed as my main course.
  19. The creme brûlée
  20. The glass of tawny port I sipped with desert
  21. The enjoyable conversation I shared at the bar with friends
  22. Neil Young playing during my meal
  23. Getting a good night’s sleep
  24. A beautiful morning on the first day of fall
  25. The soccer game beginning early
  26. Getting every single chore out of the way prior to my friend’s arrival
  27. Driving my friend’s stick shift Beetle.  I’ve still got it!

    Note the crown.

  28. The sunshine topping off my apricot glow, poolside under a mostly blue sky.
  29. That dive into the pool which simultaneously took my breath away and confirmed that I was alive.
  30. Laughing with Will about the disparity between how men and women perceive 4 inches

    Crown still in place – lots of candles!

  31. Being presented with the sickest cake I have ever tasted – Civitello’s Italian rum cake.
  32. The hot tub!
  33. Joining the Decades Party.
  34. Popping that bottle of Prosecco knowing we wouldn’t be driving any place.
  35. Watching that rain storm creep in.
  36. My boy making popcorn for movie night.
  37. Walking a couple of laps in the misty rain.
  38. A friend stopping by for a night-cap.
  39. That cake…
  40. Sleeping soundly in a cozy bed with the windows open.
  41. Breakfast from All Good Bakers.
  42. Seeing the faintly yellow reflection of the leaves out my window.
  43. Another piece of that cake…
  44. A nap as the sun shined onto my first-flannels-of-the-season made bed.
  45. A walk through the Honest Weight Harvest Fest in Washington Park
  46. My run, all 5.66 miles of it, and the best hot shower I could imagine.

    Now, when your special day comes around again – be sure to celebrate it.  Indulge yourself.  Feel special.  And, if you need any ideas for having a memorable time, feel free to borrow any of mine.  I’ve been blessed with plenty to share.

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Filed under aging, birthdays, DelSo, drinking, Eating, favorites, Food, friends, ideas, Lark Street, love, Random, Recommendations, running, Summer, upstate New York, Wine