Friday, November 14, 2014

Taking Down The Diner

The diner that stood at the corner of New Scotland and Dana Avenues is coming down.  Mostly recently known as Quintessence and, before that, the U.N. Diner, it's being demolished as Albany Medical Center continues is expansion.  There was a little hope that the iconic little building could be saved, either incorporated into the redevelopment of the neighborhood or moved intact, but plans never materialized and crews are taking it down.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Wreath For The President

A memorial wreath on the grave of President Chester A. Arthur in the Albany Rural Cemetery.  The wreath-laying ceremony is held every year on his birthday.  Considering how much time I spend exploring and researching the Cemetery, I'm embarrassed to admit this is the very first time that I have attended the ceremony.  I won't miss it next year.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Half Moon

A replica of Henry Hudson's ship unfurled its sails near the Corning Preserve yesterday as part of "Early Albany - A Hudson River Festival."  It was an excellent event featuring Dutch Colonial and Native American culture, including blacksmiths, a drum circle, dancing, and other exhibits.  Attendance was very good and it proves that local history and heritage can indeed be an attraction.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Bench For Souls

The Pond at the Albany Rural Cemetery (also known as Cypress Waters) is surrounded by benches which give visitors a nice place to relax.  The benches were made possible by donations and there are plaques affixed to each.  This one is particularly interesting.

Given by William D. Dearstyne, Jr. and Peter R Kermani, classmates and lifelong friends, in honor of their families buried at Albany Rural Cemetery, October 1, 2007. This bench is for visitors to use to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this place overlooking The Pond. When the Cemetery is closed, this bench is reserved exclusively for the souls of the donors.

Monday, August 25, 2014


The rubble left behind after the demolition of the Wellington Hotel Annex on Saturday.  The partially collapsed structure on the right is the old parking garage from the Wellington complex In the background, the bell tower of City Hall and, to the left, the DeWitt Clinton Hotel which is being renovated. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Last Look

The final moments of the old Wellington Hotel's Annex on Howard Street.  This was the view of the Annex from the main platform of the Empire State Plaza just minutes before a rather colorfully choreographed implosion reduced the long-vacant building to rubble behind a cloud of smoke.

For video, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Phantom Flour Sack

44 Central Avenue is one of two buildings which form "The Point" where Central and Washington Avenues meet.  A wonderful old commercial brick building an old hoist stick mounted on an upper floor, it is now home to the Preservation League of New York State.

I have walked past this building hundreds of times over the years - as a little girl going shopping at Woolworth's and, later, on the way to buy David Bowie albums at World Records or vintage clothing at Daybreak.  In more recent years, I'd walk by on the way to Honest Weight.

But, while I had noticed the faded ghost signs which overlook the parking lot on the west side, I would never have noticed this ghost sign on the front if not for a discussion in the Facebook group, Albany...the way it was.  If you're from Albany, have an interest in its past (distant and recent), and you're on Facebook, consider joining them.

 It's a flour sack - a nod to the building's past as a grain and feed store.  Man