Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Motif

The Alfred E. Smith Building at Swan Street between Washington Avenue and State Street features a carved band with the names of every New York State county and figures engaged in various occupations from beekeeping to factory labor.  This figure in military clothing overlooks Washington Avenue and, in fact, seems to be keeping an intent look-out for today's Memorial Day Parade

Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Ducks

A female Mallard with two of her three ducklings at the Empire State Plaza

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


View of the Verizon offices as seen from the Vietnam Memorial Courtyard at the Empire State Plaza

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The De Luxe Pie Company

This sign in Garden Alley is all that's left of the old De Luxe Pie Company.  Garden Alley is a cul-de-sac of carriage houses directly behind Madison Avenue where the bakery was located during the mid 1900s.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Calgary Tulips

The tulips in Washington Park are a bit past their prime now and they'll be dug up for the bulbs in a day or so.  But here's a last look at one of my favorites from this season, a frothy white variety called Calgary.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pine Hills Turtle

When I was very little, two of these large concrete turtles stood on Madison Avenue near the long wall that runs in front of the Price Chopper supermarket.  I remember playing on them after visits to the nearby Pine Hills library or before shopping.  The pair have since been moved across Madison on the lawn of the Steamer Ten Theatre. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Park Lake Additions

These twin fountains appeared rather suddenly in Washington Park Lake some time during the past week or.  I walk through the park at least four or five times a week; one day there were no fountains and, the next day, there they were.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tulip Mania

The annual Tulip Festival will be held in Washington Park this year and the flowers are in full bloom for it.  The tulips are some of the prettiest I've seen and absolutely worth checking out (though tomorrow's weather might not be as great as today's and yesterday's).  This beautiful bloom reminds me of fresh lemonade.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


When I was very little, the city planted maple trees along my street and a number of others in the Center Square area.  The trees were surrounded by little iron fences like this.  As the trees grew, the fences were removed.  But they must have missed this one near the corner of Dove and Spring Streets.  As the trunk has expanded, the iron has become embedded in the bark.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bad Experience

This morning I had a bad experience with a local taxi service.  A driver who tried to avoid quoting a price at all, quoted a price above what we pay for the exact same trip every month, insisted a little too emphatically that the fare was posted, accused us of "trying to pull something," and tried to hold our items hostage in the trunk. Only the threat of police involvement resolved the situation (and only then barely and not without a threat from him). 

As for the fare being posted...I took a picture of his rate list (as well as the taxi medallion sticker, car number, etc.) and the entire lower half  (which included the fare in question) was so damaged that it made it impossible to verify the fare he was so reluctant to commit to (and his dispatcher was just as bad). 

I won't burden this blog with all the details.  The only way to describe this driver would require pretty much every "expletive deleted" known to the human race.  My Yelp review is here.  Oh, and I'm making a complaint to the appropriate city department. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Not George Washington

Last weekend, I saw a couple who appeared to be tourists.  They paused by this statue in front of City Hall and one of them said, "Huh, this must be George Washington."  I might have forgiven the mistake if they hadn't been looking right at the front of the pedestal which clearly identifies this as General Philip Schuyler.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Visiting Vale

I've featured photos from Albany Rural Cemetery both here and at a dedicated blog.  Last week, though, I took a break from exploring there and visited Schenectady's historic Vale Cemetery.  The angel above, with its broken wings and and missing arm, is one of the many beautiful monuments there.

A photo essay from that trip is featured at my new site. - Visiting Vale