York State Senate
your children: Sometimes unbridled, possibly sociopathic self- interest
can take you a long, long way—like to one of the highest posts in
Political Opportunist (With Girlfriend Issues)
York State Senate
turncoat Hiram Monserrate’s time with the Republicans was painfully
short, but the real pain he caused was to the New York State Senate,
New York’s citizens, and anyone who listened to his wildly unconvincing
explanations for whatever action he’d taken most recently. The less
said about the ghastly physical attack he allegedly committed on
his girlfriend, the better.
Failed Political Meddler
York? Florida? Who knows?
really nothing worse than a billionaire with too much time and too
little to do. Which may explain why Tom Golisano, who spent millions
on repeated failed attempts to be elected New York’s governor, was
one of the figures behind the recent failed coup in the New York
State Senate. Except that Golisano does have something to
do: He needs to spend some damn money on his Buffalo Sabres and
bring the Stanley Cup home to Western New York!
York State Senate
this guy’s short tenure as leader of the Senate sure has been a
mesmerizing failure. We almost feel sorry for him, except that it’s
been pretty obvious that he lost control of his conference because
he wasn’t suited to lead it.
York State Senate
guy is a champion homophobe from way back. And now the Democratic
Bronx minister-cum-state-Senator has launched his campaign of intolerance
to all new levels. While his party sought to legalize same-sex marriage,
Diaz mounted his soapbox at the “Power in the Pulpit” rally against
said cause. He then aligned himself as part of the “Gang of Three”
to strong-arm Senate Democrats into tabling the same-sex marriage
bill. May your sons grow up to like boys.
Reason Why We Miss Eliot Spitzer
don’t believe that the chaos in the state Senate would have lasted
quite as long, or maybe even have taken hold, had the governor been
the Fucking Steamroller.
Possibly Unconstitutional Strategic Political Move
Paterson’s appointment of Richard Ravitch for lieutenant governor
matter how this shakes out in the courts, we are happy that Gov.
Paterson made this move. The state needed a clear line of succession
if something happened to the governor, and leaving something that
critical to the morons in the Senate to fight over would have been
a nightmare. Plus, whether or not Espada’s decision to flip back
to the Democrats was contingent on Paterson’s appointment or not,
it certainly looked that way. And that’s a much-needed win for Paterson.
Outcome of a Bad Process
of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
York Gov. David Paterson’s fall in popularity can be traced directly
to his bumbling efforts to name a U.S senator to replace Hillary
Clinton. Anything he and his staff could possibly screw up in the
process, they screwed up. Except for the final outcome: Kirsten
Gillibrand was an excellent pick for the job. One, because she’s
smart and capable, and served with distinction in the U.S. Congress.
Two, because she gives upstate a voice in national politics. Three,
because picking Gillibrand spared New York the services of Caroline
Kennedy, a political amateur who was manifestly unqualified to be
a U.S. senator.
music, ambiance: We thought we knew all that this downtown club
had to offer, but then we heard that Tom Golisano, Pedro Espada,
and Hiram Monserrate had been meeting here, unrecognized, to plan
their senate coup, and had to add conspiracy, villainy, and skullduggery
to the list. However, we’ve yet to confirm that they went, incognito,
dressed in tie-dye shirts and Rasta wigs.
Meaningless Gold Star
All-America City award
you have any idea what criteria was used to name Albany an All-America
City? Us neither. But we did read 27-page the application the city
submitted to secure this “honor.” It read like campaign literature,
highlighting all of the wonderful things that Jerry Jennings and
administration have done for the city since 1994. We might have
been impressed with Jennings’ Albany too—if we didn’t live here.
Postponement of the Inevitable
Road Landfill Expansion
you need a great big stinking metaphor for the stewardship of Albany
Mayor Jerry Jennings’ administration, just drive yourself out to
the towering shitpile we call the Rapp Road Landfill, and think
to yourself: It’s only going to get bigger. Whoever is mayor in
2014 is gonna have one helluva mess to clean up.
Insight Into the Machine
Ghost Tickets Scandal
has been one of the best seasons of political theater a news junkie
could ask for. We were stunned by the council’s willingness to flex
its muscle and begin the investigation into the parking-tickets
scandal surrounding City Hall. We were titillated by every detail—every
lie, every recounting of the casual abuse of power. The council’s
investigation, urged on at every turn by councilmen Dominick Calsolaro
and Corey Ellis, is slowly and steadily revealing just how corrupt
our city government is, and just how willing our officials are to
screw the public that elected and pays them. And the best part?
It isn’t over yet.
Calsolaro has got the brains and integrity that we want in all of
our public leaders, but we rarely get what we want. We do have Calsolaro
in the First Ward, though, and we are thankful for that. In so many
instances, from the ghost tickets to the landfill to the budget,
Calsolaro has been the voice of reason, sounding alarms based on
his consistently thorough and thoughtful research. Sometimes he
is wrong, most of the time he is right, but he is always sincere,
and few will challenge his civic-minded motivation.
Citizen Advocates: Community Advocates for Safe Emissions.est
Citizen Advocates: Community Advocates for Safe Emissions.
Advocates for Safe Emissions
Griffin and Elyse Kunz, the women who started this environmental
advocacy group, represent the best in citizen activism. They are
smart fighters of the common good who have already made great strides.
Cement plants in Ravena have gone too long pumping toxins into our
air without anyone asking the serious question: What is this doing
to our children? The Elyses asked, and they are getting answers.
Not bad for an organization less than a year old.
Bob. You’re the best damn garbageman/legislator/consitutent liaison,
backroom dealing, dirty campaign trickster ever. Ever! (You aren’t
gonna slap us with that code violation now, are you?)
Stockade . . . it’s a world all its own. One of the oldest neighborhoods
in New York, and the state’s first National Register historic district,
you could live there for years, strolling its romantic streets,
and still encounter something new on a daily basis. Filled with
an array of American architecture, an impressive concentration of
local history and businesses as eclectic as their locale, this little
community truly is magical. Beautiful in all seasons and loved by
its inhabitants, promenade down its streets and rediscover this
little jewel tucked away in your backyard.
Park With a View
Boyd Thacher State Park
Hales Cave Road, Voorheesville
Helderberg Escarpment offers some of the area’s most stunning panoramas,
and Thacher Park is the best place of all to enjoy them, be it hiking
the park’s network of trails, hunting for fossils with the kids
or picnicking with that special someone. What better reminder that
the best things in life really are free?
Park (Nature Walk)
Rivers Environmental Education Center
Game Farm Road, Delmar
the perfect easy hike for kids and adults alike, Five Rivers is
as gorgeous as it gets—and just minutes from Albany. With miles
of trails, you could hike around this preserve for a whole day.
The streams, ponds, woods and meadows are teeming with wildlife,
and the preserve features great bird viewing areas and a terrific
educational center. Open year round, you’ll fall in love with Five
Rivers if you haven’t already.
one of the best spots around to have a barbecue, smell the roses,
take a paddle boat ride, play basketball or tennis, or take in a
free concert, Central Park boasts top-notch courts, an acclaimed
rose garden, beautiful Iroquois Lake, and the Agnes MacDonald Music
Park (Chillin’): Washington Park.
in Albany means sprawling tulip beds, splashing in the Moses fountain,
Frisbee, picnics, sunbathing, guitar playing, dog walking and generally
relaxing on the sprawling greens of Washington Park. This park isn’t
exactly chockablock with activities, but it is the ideal place for
soaking up a summer day.
perfect low-key escape from the city, the sanctuary offers easy
hikes around Bozenkill creek, a scenic 30-foot waterfall, and few
crowds. Bring a picnic to eat at the lean-to and a bathing suit
for a dip.
leg of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
path along the Mohawk River starting at the Colonie town pool and
heading west is an area jewel. Recently repaved, it offers not only
a great bike ride, but a perfect place for runners and rollerbladers.
The trail features scenic views of the Mohawk River, pastoral farmland
and historic stop offs that at some of the oldest structures in
our region (Mabee Farm Historic Site, Schenectady’s Stockade), or
stop and watch one of locks take in boaters and send them to their
ports of call.
National Golf Course
Union Ave., Saratoga Springs
may be as expensive as it is challenging, but if you can afford
to treat yourself, this place is as beautiful as golf courses get.
Not only the best in the Capital Region, it has earned a reputation
as one of the best in the country. And despite its private club
feel, Saratoga National is always open to the public.
an hour’s drive of Albany, Jiminy Peak is just the ticket for curing
that midwinter cabin fever, especially if Mother Nature has recently
blessed us with the white stuff. Their night skiing, green ethic,
and affordable lift tickets make a drive to Vermont seem frivolous.
Oneil Road, Albany
golf course during the warmer months, Capital Hills offers acres
and acres of well-groomed trails when the snow comes. Bring the
kids, there’s also great tubing.
Spa State Park
to Victoria Pool if you want to dangle your feet over the side,
order a cocktail and people-watch. But if you’re bringing the family,
get thee to the other side of the park, where Peerless pool awaits
with side-by-side corkscrew slides, a kiddle pool with a fountain
to run under, and a huge main pool with a gently sloping entry side
where you can wade in with your toddler.
Family Fun Park
North Greenbush Road, Troy
you’ve been to the rest, you know why we think this one is the best!
Boasting the Capital Region’s only “Ball in the Water” hole, the
course takes you on a little adventure through nature rather than
just hitting the ball at a clown’s nose. If you are bringing the
kids, or if you’re just a big kid at heart, they also have laser
tag, paddle boats, the Defender Dome and some damn good ice cream
in the clubhouse.
Ice Skating (Bring It Back!)
the rink never opened this year. And yes, there are other places
to skate in the Capital Region. But there is really no competition—even
the memory of skating at the plaza is better than anything else
we’ve tried. Gliding over ice under the stars and the lights of
the plaza was one of those true shining moments that made us proud
to live in the Capital City, even in winter. So bring it back. Please!
Ontario St., Albany
it’s a little dingy and a lot old school, but that’s exactly how
we like our bowling alleys. The prices are wonderfully affordable,
the folks are friendly and fun, they have a full bar, and they even
make their own pizza. The state-of-the-art scoring system registers
how fast your ball was hurled, which adds a whole new level to the
competition, and the vintage façade adds a peculiar charm to this
Pine Hills treasure.
Bar (Albany): Tess’ Lark Tavern.
Madison Ave., Albany
wide selection of beers? Check. Tasty mixed drinks? Check. Great
pub food? Check. Tess’ Lark Tavern has all of the basic ingredients
for a great bar, plus a sense of neighborhood friendliness equal
to any you’ll find in the Capital Region. This can be chalked up
to the philosophy that owner Tess Collins brings to the Lark. The
Lark is also a home for great live music, and one of the most popular
poetry open mics in town. Stop by—you’ll probably see us there.
Main St., Chatham
is the word for this Chatham mainstay. From its faux-Celtic decor
to its current romance with absinthe, Peint O Gwrw does things a
little differently. But the basics are still taken care of. Sixteen
or so quality beers are available on tap, including a couple from
the local Chatham Brewery; the menu offers your basic pub food plus
a few surprises (spicy calamari, mmmm!), and there’s live music
every Friday night. And that name? It’s Welsh for “pint of ale”
and pronounced “pint oh garoo.” Or something like that.
Bar (Saratoga Springs)
Caroline St., Saratoga Springs
are lots of places to slake your thirst in Saratoga, but we still
have a soft spot for this unpretentious little tavern where everyone
feels at home, from Skidmore students to professionals to plenty
of other locals who have long known that DA’s is one of the most
comfortable places to drink in town.
River St., Troy
a gorgeous old long bar, a beautiful deck overlooking the Hudson
River, and prime local in Troy. Add great bartenders and the impeccable
ownership of Chris Ryan and you have a big winner. Always crowded
with people who sound like they are having a great time, Ryan’s
Wake is that rare bar that is fun every time you go.
Bar to Watch the World Cup
Baumgartner has scored a big goal here, recreating Noche into a
world class German beer garden. Enjoy one of the great German, Belgian
or Czech biers and some great wurst while a cool breeze blowing
through the open front. This will be the hottest place in town when
the World Cup hits—Football (soccer to the uninformed) is
Wolff’s sport of choice. There is always a big game on one of the
big screen TVs, and always a festive crowd.
Central Ave., Albany
even has good food—but it’s not about the food, right? Seriously,
DiCarlo’s has long set the region’s standard for class among strip
clubs; it’s the kind of place where you can look at boobies and
not feel dirty. Among the best testaments to the place: People who
don’t usually like such joints have been known to speak highly of
it, and it is favored by women who like an occasional strip-club
Lark St., Albany
may not be situated in Albany’s gay district, per se, but what other
bar encourages people every year to get half-naked, wear Santa hats,
and run around in the cold? Oh! (get it?) Plus good drinks, lively
clientele, and they’ve just about the best karaoke in the land.