Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Morris Diner

Blurred by Saturday's rain, an old sign rests outside the Quintessence Diner as the building is torn down as part of the Albany Medical Center expansion.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Santa Speedo Sprint 2014

Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" like an inflatable shark and a crowd of cheerful people in colorful underwear running down Lark Street on a cold, wet December afternoon!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Trolley Tree

Metal leaves dangle from a whimsical tree sculpted from old trolley tracks removed from Delaware Avenue several years ago.  The tree stands behind the Delaware Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library and honors the late city historian, Virginia Bowers.  If you'd like to buy a brick for the memorial, see this post at Albany (NY) History.

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

State Street Magi

A pair of Wise Men seem to be looking for their missing hands beneath a tree just off Lark Street.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Berkshire Silhouettes

Silhouettes of people and objects fill in the windows of the former Berkshire Hotel.  Part of the long-neglected Wellington Row, it's now part of a project that will construct new buildings while saving the old facades.  The gramophone and dog are definitely an homage to Albany's iconic statue of Nipper on Broadway.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fresh Air

Maybe the fresh air wasn't quite fresh enough for the person who placed these car air fresheners on a shrub in Washington Park.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lonely Fruit

An orange sits on the marble wall outside the Justice Building at the Empire State Plaza.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

After The Rain

A manhole cover alongside the Washington Park lake lies open after the Tuesday storm that flooded intersections and left the lake path a mess.  I could hear the furious rush of water deep inside this culvert.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Lost Plate

A license plate tucked on a utility pole on New Scotland Avenue near Myrtle.  I don't know how long it's been there, but perhaps it's a bit of flotsam from the bad storms which flooding the intersection last evening.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This Haunted Face

One of a pair of decorative heads carved on a Willett Street facade, this face has eroded badly and looks quite eerie. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tulips 2014

The Tulip Festival was last weekend, but there's still quite a few lovely tulips to be seen in Washington Park this weekend.  Despite a rough winter and a rather late start to spring, the flowers look quite pretty.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things In The Tree

It was the blustery wind a few days ago that directed my attention to the decorations in this tree along Lark Street.  They promote the nearby creative co-op, The Machine.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Albany Glacier

Another ugly, lingering bit of winter.  This sheet of ice near one of the Albany Medical Center parking garages was several inches thick in places and today's rains only did little to thin it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bolton Hall

Shadows fill the courtyard of the former nursing dorm which is soon to be demolished as part of the Albany Medical Center expansion.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


A dated manhole cover set in the sidewalk of South Lake Avenue just north of New Scotland Avenue.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Yeti Sighting

You just know that spring is off to an awfully cold start when you spot the Abominal Snowman climbing a house just down the street from the Bung Factory.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Sign Underneath

I've already written about the BOOKS sign that used to hang on this storefront on Broadway near Hudson Avenue.  But I've always wondered about the older sign that could just be glimpsed beneath the bookstore sign.  Now that the used bookstore has closed, the old sign is revealed.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moon Over Leonard Place

It's not as famous or grand as the golden fish or the other Half Moon, but this wonderful weather vane at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Leonard Place has a charm all its own.  The folksy moon is perched atop a sprawling old house now divided into apartments.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Written On The Walls

Names and other words on the wall of the soon-to-closed Valentine's.  The old New Scotland Avenue music club is going to regenerate on Central Avenue with a new name (The Low Beat) as this block is pending demolition.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fourth Precinct Plaque

This plaque is mounted just inside the doorway of the old police station on Madison Avenue near Lark Street.  Built as the Fourth Precinct, it was home to Metroland until last year and is now being converted to condos.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Phantom of The Plaza

I've been a huge fan (or, as some say, phan) of "The Phantom of The Opera" since I heard the original cast recording back in 1988.  I also run a web site for the show's current star, Hugh Panaro.

So, it always make me smile to randomly encounter something Phantomy in an ordinary, everyday setting. 

Yesterday, on my way to run some errands, I spotted this portrait of the Opera Ghost in the Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.  It's part of an exhibit of student art being held there this week.

Monday, January 27, 2014