Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sax a Claus:

Here's something that just caught my attention in Downtown Troy on Christmas Eve, that I thought was fabulous. My family and I attended 4 p.m. mass at St. Anthony's church. Father Mario Julian said a beautiful mass, which was attended by more people than I've ever seen at the church. We had parked about a block and a half away, up by the Atrium, so we had the chance to enjoy a walk through downtown, on a beautiful evening.
All of a sudden, we were pleasantly surprised to see Santa Claus walking down the street, playing Christmas music on his saxophone. We stopped, and were treated to a private concert on 4th Street. the entire experience made me close my eye's and remember the hustle and bustle of Troy's downtown during a different era, when events like this were common during the holiday season. The musical Santa goes by the moniker, Sax a Claus. I know it was just a little thing, but, it was just one of those special events that makes the holiday's so unique, and memorable.
Sax a Claus was just walking in and out of different bars, shops and restaurants, playing for the delighted patrons. He wasn't being payed by anyone, nor was he accepting tips for his time and effort. I asked him why he was out there and he replied, "I was blessed with talent, and I think during Christmas time, it's my obligation to share that talent to help brighten people's lives, and maybe enhance someones holiday season."

People like Sax a Claus, give you hope that there are still people out there who care, and perform acts of kindness, just to help make others happy. If everyone did just one thing to help another human being, our city would be a much happier, and healthier place.
My thanks to Sax a Claus for a job well done.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho Ho Ho:

The holiday season always seems to bring out the best in folks. Walking through the streets of Troy, I've found that most people's moods seem to get better, with many wearing a smile, and in a good mood.
It doesn't matter what kind of trash life has been loading on your shoulders throughout the year, the Christmas season makes everyone more pleasant.
So no matter what you celebrate this time of the year, whether it be Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, make the best of it and be nice to someone. It doesn't have to be anything special, maybe just a smile, a friendly greeting, or a kind word.
All to often we forget that just one act of kindness to our fellow man, can sometimes make a world of difference in someones life. So to all of you reading this, Merry Christmas and a happy, and safe holiday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day of Infamy Not to be Forgotten:

This morning I decided to ask the first three people I ran into if they knew what today was. The first two replied with today's date, and the third asked me if it was my birthday. For those who do not know, today is, "a day that will live in infamy," Pearl Harbor day.
On December 7, 1941, the Pearl Harbor Navel Base in Hawaii was invaded by Japanese forces, killing thousands of American soldiers. It's a shame that this sad event which rallied a nation, receives very little mention in today's media.

If you see a veteran today in your travels, especially one who served in WWII, stop, shake their hand, and say thank you for your sacrifice. We enjoy the freedoms we have in our country, primarily due to the sacrifices these men and women made back then. God Bless them & God Bless America.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monster Fundraiser On Wednesday:

I'm back after a 3 week hiatus from the world of Blogs. You'll be seeing multiple postings over the next few days, as many things are happening around town over the next few weeks.

Let me start today by telling you about a fundraising effort that I am involved with, that will take place on Wednesday evening at Revolution Hall. My dear friend, singer, Tommy Love, was diagnosed with cancer this past summer. He's fought a fierce battle over the past few months, which culminated with the removal of one of his kidneys. Tom has been slowly but surely recovering, and will taking a giant step forward at the fundraiser, in his return to the stage.
I've had the pleasure over the past few months, in working with other veteran members of the local music scene to put together this effort to help Tom out with some of the astronomical out of pocket medical expenses he now has on his shoulders. Working with Jim Barrett, Joe Mele, Scott McPherson, Luke MacNamee, and Jared Kingsley , has been a fun experience, as I've known some of them for the better part of 3 decades.

The doors at Revolution Hall open at 7 p.m., with the first act going on stage at 7:30 p.m. The Mysteios open the night, with performances following by, The Savilles, Blue Machine, Super 400, and the outrageous, Blue Hand Luke. A super jam will follow after the last act, with some of the area's top musicians coming in for the jam. Admission is $10, with raffles being held all evening for gift certificates which were donated by local businesses.

So please join us for what is shaping up to be, the most explosive show of the year. Help us show the love, for Tommy Love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Would You Like A Free Trip To London?

If you love 60's music as much as I do, make your way down to Revolution Hall on Friday evening for a performance by rock legend, Gary US Bonds. The rock icon is a timeless performer, gaping generations of music fans with his major hits, New Orleans, and, Quarter to Three. Besides the music, Revolution Hall is offering a special deal for those who purchase a ticket for the 60's dance party. Once inside you can fill out an entry blank with your name & phone number, and if your slip is picked, you win -- it's that easy.
The winner will receive, round trip air tickets, and hotel accommodations for two in London, England. You will also receive two tickets to see, Gary US Bonds, along with Bill Wyman (bassist for the Rolling Stones) & the Rhythm Kings.
Visit, for more information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Hardware Store That Tim the Toolman Would Love:

In case you haven't noticed, Troy has a new hardware store. I visited the city's newest business a few days ago, excited that I no longer had to travel across the river, or to North Greenbush or Brunswick for those occasional Tim the Toolman moments I get. My latest mission is to re-caulk the windows of my Lansingburgh home. I was greeted at the door of the old Stanley building, now renamed, The Conservatory, by Jeff and Deane Pheil, owners of Pheil Hardware. The developers have been friends of mine for 7 years, and they never cease to amaze me with their knack for turning vacant buildings, into something the community can be proud of.
The former department store has been completely renovated, with lofts on the second floor, and retail space at street level. The hardware store has a complete stock of anything you may need in getting your home ready for the winter months. It was actually refreshing walking through the aisle's, checking out the merchandise in this latest jewel of downtown -- and a great break from the Big Box store adventures I've taken over the years. Plus, the prices were extremely competitive with the chain stores.
I was taking notice on how the other customers were doing with their sales people, and was impressed at the knowledge of the products that the employee's were sharing with the prospective buyers. I ask all Troy residents to check out and to support our new hardware store. Before you go Big Box, go Pheil.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank Jeff & Deane Pheil for once again taking a chance on Troy. I wish them all the best, with continued success in the future. For more info, visit,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Clean Fuel at Gendrons North Troy:

About a month ago I saw a sign at Gendron's Pit Stop in North Troy advertising their, Ethenol Free gasoline. Believe me when I tell you, my vehicle is running much better than before after just one month. I've done quite a bit of reading on Ethanol added to your gas, and have come to the conclusion that my 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee is better off without the additive, based solely on its performance since I made the switch. Gendron's gas prices are also cheaper than the majority of stations around the area also.
I also get all of my repair work done there because Gendron's is an honest shop to do business with. Never once in the decade I've been patronizing Gendron's, have they ever tried to do any unnecessary work on any of my vehicles. Nor have I had to return my vehicle because of a screw up on their part. Honest mechanics are hard to find, but you can find this one at the corner of 5th Ave and 125th St. in Lansingburgh.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chow -Dah Festival Number 3:

The third annual 'Chowder Festival' takes place on Sunday, September 20th, beginning at 10 a.m. This event was an instant hit in 2007, drawing thousands of people to sample the many variety of chowders prepared by an array of local restaurants. Last year, a stronger musical presence was added to go along with the ever growing group of contestants. Highlighted with an appearance by country star, Jimmy Wayne -- who just happened to have the number one hit on the country charts at the time!
This year promises to be even bigger, with 20 plus vendors entered to win the annual chowder simmer fest.
Sundays event will feature by local Blue Grass favorites, Twisted String Band at 11 a.m. Seventeen year old country sensation, Renee' Lussier takes over the stage at 12:30 with her fabulous band, Branchwater. At 2:30, the 'Ultimate Country/ Rock Weapon,' Loose Cannon Live' comes back to Troy for the third time this season. The 9 piece, country horn band features the 'Ultimate Country Front Man, Greg Simmons, and is comprised of a veteran professional lineup of fantastic musicians! Loose Cannon was the surprise hit at the recent Ford Country Festival, opening for four straight days for some of the biggest country stars in the world.
Chowder, ice cream, and great music -- sounds like a plan to me!
So come on out on Sunday and visit the Chowder Festival. It's just one more reason to, 'Enjoy Troy.'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eddie Money Will Be Sh Sh Sh Sh Shakin:

Eddie Money returns to the Collar City on Saturday, September 19th to kick off Troy's Quadricentennial celebration. Thousands of people flooded the streets for his performance at the All Star Fan Fest in August of 2008, and were treated to a classic Eddie Money performance. The rock icon is excited about returning to Troy once again, and promises another rockin show to start the Quad off with a bang! Music, food and sunshine have been the norm for Troy's summer events this year, and Saturday promises to offer more of the same.

Entertainment Lineup:
* 2 - 3:15 p.m. -- Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers/ With Special Guest, Graham Tichy.
*3:45 - 5 p.m. -- Solid Smoke
*6:00 -8 p.m. -- Eddie Money

Join us for all the fun and music, and come on out and, 'Enjoy Troy.'

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fun Show Tonight in Troy:

I'm going to a great show tonight at Revolution Hall featuring, Four, and Aquanett. Four is made up of mostly schoolteachers who can really rock it out. Three are from the Lansingburgh school system, and they cover a very wide spectrum of musical styles. Aquanett is an 80's 'Hair Band' tribute act from Massachusetts who play dead on covers. Now that the free concerts at Powers Park, and Rockin on the River are over, I'm bored and want more music. Rev Hall will be the place to be tonight if you feel the same as I do. Hope to see you there. Enjoy Troy!

Show starts at 8 p.m.

34th Annual Uncle Sam Parade:

The 34th Annual Uncle Sam Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. on September 13th. It takes place beginning at 125th St. & 5th Ave, and ends at 106th & 5th Ave.
One of the most anticipated yearly events in Lansingburgh, the event always lives up to the expectations of veteran parade watchers, along with throwing in a few unexpected extras every year. After the parade, the committee invites everyone over to historic Knickerbacker Park for it's annual festival which features a chicken barbecue dinner by Giffy's, along with Snowman Ice cream, skydivers, and fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Live music featuring Donny Elvis at 3 p.m., Imagining Lennon & McCartney at 4:30 p.m., and Cryin Out Loud at 6p.m. Join us for all the fun celebrating Uncle Sam Wilson's birthday on Sunday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Festa Italiano / More to Do in Troy:

If you enjoy good traditional Italian food, make your way down to the Troy's Italian Community Center this weekend. The ICC has been a HUGE part of that neighborhood for as long as I can remember. The "Feast", as we from the neighborhood used to call it, used to be held in Washington Park. I have so many fond memories of this event at the park. The pizza was incredible, as was the camaraderie of the residents of what is now known as Little Italy.
Back then, all the first and second generation families still populated the area -- and everyone knew each other. The ICC played a big part, as a meeting place for friends, and a place where parents in the neighborhood had wedding receptions for their sons and daughters.

The ICC today still has many of the old families as members, and the food is still wonderful. Everyone involved with the day to day operation deserves so much credit, for helping to keep the traditions of the Italian culture alive and well -- as is Troy's Little Italy neighborhood group. The festa runs from Friday, through Sunday, featuring some fabulous entertainment over the course of the weekend. The Good Times Band, TS Ensemble, and Mr. Entertainment, Al Bruno will all be on hand, playing Italian favorites, along with a great selection of various styles of musical genres. Al Bruno's show by the way will be broadcast live on station, WKLI (Magic 100.9FM) on Sunday, from 2-6p.m. There will also be a variety of other events happening over the festa weekend, so check it all out, and come on home and, 'Enjoy Troy'!

The ICC by the way is located on 5th Ave., between Ferry St. & Liberty St.

Mucho Good Things Happening in Troy:

If you're looking for some fun this weekend, go no further than Troy. First on my list of events to invite you to attend, is Troy's German Hall ( Germania Hall) Annual German Festival, beginning at 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 12th.
From noon to 9 p.m, rain or shine, enjoy German Worst, hot dogs, German potato salad, funnel cake, and strudel as you sip some of their fine German beers. There will be entertainment beginning at 12 p.m. with Peggy Vogt, and Paul Slusar from 3 - 6 p.m.
German dancers will also perform, with audience participation as part of the program.

Organizers are asking everyone to come early and stay late! Admission is $2 per person over the age of 12. For additional information, contact Germania Hall at 237-5008.
The hall is located at 309 Third Ave. at 107th St.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Special Show in Troy this Saturday:

A special show will be held this Saturday, September 5th, beginning at 1 p.m. on the Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park.
The schedule is as follows:
* 1 p.m. -- Wylder / performing Motown classics and R&B
* 3 p.m. -- Solid Smoke / performing Motown, Soul, and R&B
* 5:30 -- Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers / Rock N Roll

The show is presented by the city of Troy. It is supported in part by Snowman Ice-cream, Northeast Shuttle, Badass Burrito, Beverage Barn, Whitney Young Health Center/Troy, Troy Uniformed Firefighters Association, and the Tri City Valley Cats. Media sponsors include The Record, Our Towne Magazine, B95.5fm & Magic 100.9fm
Food and beverages will be available at the park, with a no alcohol or dogs policy in effect. Three 50/50 raffles will be held over the course of the day to benefit the upcoming Uncle Sam Day Parade on September 13. The Games2U video van will also be on hand offering free video games for the children to enjoy.
Information is also available by calling, 270-4624, or by visiting,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Uncle Sam Jam Rescheduled:

Mother Nature is a very uncooperative woman! All the planning and work that goes into putting on an event like the Uncle Sam Jam all goes for naught because of another hurricane hitting the Eastern Seaport. Like all the other citizens of New York, I'm waterlogged, and just plain sick and tired of all the rain.
On September 5th, the Uncle Sam Jam now becomes, "Troy's End of Summer Big Band Bash." The Secret, who were supposed to open today's event, are off to Oakland, California tomorrow, and Florida later in the week. Needless to say, they can't make it next week. Here's the revamped lineup, with new show times:
*1 p.m. -- Wylder
*3 p.m. -- Solid Smoke
5:30pm - Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers

I guess you could call this combination, "R&B and Soul meets Rock n Roll."
Stay tuned to the Record, B95.5 & Magic 100.9fm for additional updates on the September 5th show. Or visit, Updates for the event will be up on the website beginning on Monday afternoon. All Catholics reading this, put out the Rosary Beads on the clothesline to help this lousy weather to clear up before next weekend.
If you would like to contact me, feel free to do so at,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No Show Tonight:

Tonights Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers show at the Powers Park Concert Series has been cancelled due to rain. The show has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5th, beginning at 6 p.m.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's Happening:

Last week at Powers Park was fantastic! Al Bruno put on a dynamic show on the Neil Kelleher Stage. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Kelleher came to the show to see the bronze plaque honoring her late husband that was installed on the stage late last season by 'Burgh Councilmen Mark McGrath & Mark Wojcik. Bruno packed the park, as he has done for the past 6 seasons. Many thanks to Al for another job well done.
On Saturday night, join us for the Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers show. Rabb is one of the most respected musicians ever to come out of the Capital District, and has traveled worldwide,playing with some of the all time greats of rock n roll. This promises to be a great show.
Showtime is 6 p.m. Food and beverages are available at the park. And please, no dogs or alcoholic beverages are allowed. Bring your own lawn chair.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Loose Cannon Invasion at Powers:

Loose Cannon, the 'Ultimate Country /Rock Weapon' will take over the Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park this evening, beginning at 6 p.m. The powerhouse band recently returned to the Capital District after blowing away country fans for four straight days at the Ford Country Fest, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The groups dynamic lead singer, Greg Simmons has assured me that the band will be taking no prisoners tonight, and fans should put on their dancing shoe's for the Cannons first performance at the historic park. Teen country sensation, and Troy favorite, Renee' Lussier will also be on stage with Loose Cannon this evening.

Tonight's 50/50 raffle will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, as will the proceeds from a special raffle for a 4 day 3 night Disney Getaway package, provided by Meissner Travel. Tickets for the special raffle are $5.
So join us for all the fun tonight, and 'Enjoy Troy.' Invasion

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Real Kings of Rock n Roll Come to Troy:

If you're looking for something to do tonight, come on down to Revolution Hall for a tribute to Elvis & John Lennon. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Paul Hunt, aka Little Elvis opens the show at 8 p.m., and Imagining Lennon with Paul McCartney takes to the stage at 9:30. Tickets are $10 at the door. More info can be found at

Come join us for all the fun tonight and Enjoy Troy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Powers Park on Saturday Night:

If you enjoy good 'power rock,' check out Mike & the Monsters on the Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park on Saturday. This group is the real deal. The Monsters played both the 2008 River St. Arts Festival & Uncle Sam Jam, to very vocal and enthusiastic crowds last season. They promise to offer up more of the same this year for Troy citizens.
Powers Park is located at 110th -111th St. & Second Ave. Showtime is at 6 p.m. Please Bring your own lawn chairs. For a full schedule of upcoming shows visit,

I Had a Great Time in Troy Tonight:

If you haven't been to a Troy Night Out Yet, you're really missing a good time. This incredibly successful event, the brainchild of the Downtown Business Collaborative, has really brought Troy back to life on the last Friday of every month. All the shops are open and running specials, there's bands, and street entertainers. Large crowds of people wading through the streets, with smiles coming from every direction. The smell of the restaurants cooking for the large crowds visiting their establishments, permeates the streets. It is sometimes overwhelming for a lifelong resident like myself, to see the city so alive again. Kudos to the organizers of Troy Night Out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Marcie Haskell:

Marcie Haskell passed away yesterday. If you were involved, or are active with a neighborhood group,this woman should be praised, as her group, Trojans For Troy, really started it all. Marcie's activism was sincere and true, with sometimes a comical element added to get her point across.
One thing that she did about around the turn of this century always sticks out in my mind. You may remember when 'term limits' were a hotbed issue around 8 years ago. Politicians were attempting to overturn this law, which was put in place by the voters a decade before. Marcie, Marcia Pascarella, Fran Pomiber, and Janet Roberts, all members of the Trojan group, wore 'pig noses, and clown wigs to a public hearing on the issue. I still have that page from The Record in a scrapbook. Marcie never cared what party you were in, her concern was what was best for the citizens of Troy. She lit into both Democrats and Republicans, both publicly, and privately.
Marci and I had our differences over the years, but I'm happy that our last few conversations were positive ones. Being she attended probably more city council meeting, and public hearings then anyone in the history of this city, I hope in the new city hall, they dedicate one seat up front at the new council chambers to her memory. Opportunist politicians who are reading this, feel free to steal my idea!

Now I don't know how Marcie is going to handle Heaven with no slum lords, vacant buildings, or political shenanigans to yell about. And if Marcie is reading The Record online up there in the clouds, my message to her is, relax Marcie - you've earned it!

Tonight at Powers Park:

The Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park will be 'Movin Out' tonight with a performance by the incredible Billy Joel tribute band, Stormfront. Returning to Lansingburgh for the first time in three years, crooner Mike O' Brien stated, "I'm looking forward to returning to Troy as the crowds there are always large, and enthusiastic to say the least." The group packed Powers Park three seasons ago and put on an amazing show, much to the delight of everyone who attended.
Pastor Richard Scheau, who lives across the street from the park, even came out on his front step for this show! Stormfront has been touring the US in recent months, covering the Eastern Seaport to the southern states. 'O Brien added, It's good to be coming home, and Troy's a great place to start things off in New York. We've also added some new material to our song list, which I'll be trying out tonight"
The weather actually looks like it's going to cooperate with us tonight, so come on out and, "Enjoy Troy!" Stormfront promises to make the evening a memorable one.

Powers Park is located at 110th - 111th St. & Second Ave. Food & beverages are available at the park. No alcohol or dogs are allowed. Showtime is at 6:00 p.m.

********** Concert Advisory ***************

Friday, July 17, 2009

Elvis Coming to Powers Park:

Make me a up a big ol batch of peanut butter and nana sandwich's Pricilla, cause Elvis is coming to the Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park on Saturday evening.
Paul Hunt, a.k.a. Little Elvis comes to town to perform a two hour tribute of the real King of Pop, Rock, and Blues. Paul Hunt as Little Elvis, has been amazing crowds across the nation for 4 decades now, and even had a meeting with Presley back in 1971. The King gave the young performer some words of encouragement that day, along with a silk scarf as a memento.
Paul recently performed for a fund raising benefit, held at the 'Burgh Boat Club, and literally brought the house down with his dead on rendition of The King.
The show begins at 6 p.m. A 50/50 raffle will be held, benefiting the upcoming (Sept 13) Uncle Sam Parade. Food, beverages, and ice cream are available at this free show. Additional information on this and other Powers Park shows is available at,
Blues Wax, & Folk Wax magazine editor, Don Wilcock will be Co-hosting the show.

Follow this blog every Saturday afternoon for show status updates, due to the recent unstable weekend weather we've been experiencing. Catholics reading this, please put out the rosary beads in the back yard.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Positively Wonderful at Positively 4th:

I ran into my pal Artie Fredette today and he was all excited over his musical lineup for the weekend at Positively 4th St. Friday night features a performance by local rock legend, Chris Busone. If you enjoy great guitar playing, check out this guy. He's been a large part of the local music scene for three decades, and is a phenomenal guitarist. Chris put on a sterling performance recently at Troy's Riverfest last month, that still has people talking about it. Saturday show features the Troy based duo, Simple Theory, featuring Maurizio and the dynamic, Brittany Robichaud. playing both covers of popular tunes, and original material, the duo aims to please -- and always succeeds! They will also be performing at the Troy Pig Out this coming Sunday afternoon.
Just one more way to "Enjoy Troy" this weekend.

It's Roller Derby Time Again:

Troy's going to be a very busy city this weekend. Troy Pig Out, Powers Park Concerts, and the Hellions of Troy playing a home bout at the Frear Park Thunderdome.
The Hellions of Troy professional roller derby team takes on Slaughter City, looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking defeat last month against Long Island. The girls have vowed to take out their frustrations on their next opponent, promising all who attend to expect the unexpected on Saturday.
Door at the Thunderdome open at 6 p.m., with the bout beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased either at, or in Troy City Hall at the Parks and Recreation Department office. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, $3.00 for children, and $10 for adults.

Gooooooooooo Hellions!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rockin on the River Tonight:

Tonight at Rockin on the River, Blues for Breakfast comes to town for a Grateful Dead tribute. Rockin on the River is a free show held each Wednesday, featuring national acts performing right behind Ryan's Wake on River St. River view dining and seating are available on the outside decks of both Browns Brew Pub & Ryan's Wake. Food and drink are available at either of these establishments, and Jose Malone's.Or just bring a lawn chair and sit outside, adjacent to the Hudson River, with food, drink, ice cream and fried dough available stage side.
It's a beautiful day, so join us tonight and Enjoy Troy!

Free Rabies Clinic in Lansingburgh:

The Rensselaer County Department of Health will be hosting a rabies clinic, free for Rensselaer County residents on Thursday, July 16, at the 115th St. Firehouse.
Time: Cats / Ferrets -- 5 - 6pm & Dogs from 6-7 p.m.
Cats/Ferrets must be in a carrier, and dogs must be on a leash. The Heath Department also asks that you bring your animals last vaccination record with you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Powers Park Concerts Begin:

The Powers Park Concert Series kicks off on Saturday, July 11, beginning at 6 p.m. Now in it's sixth season, the popular series comes in with possibly its strongest lineup to date.
Blue Hand Luke starts things off with a bang, being they are one of the premier, party/dance bands in the Capital Region. Comprised of some of the most veteran musicians in the area, Blue Hand Luke always leaves a crowd asking for more.
Led by master saxophonist, Luke McNamee, the band covers an impressive selection of artist with dead on accuracy. Dueling guitarist, Joe (Monster) Mele, and Charlie (Fast Fingers) Morris are like watching a guitar clinic with their precision solo's and showmanship. Lead singer Tommy Love, prowls the stage with panther like moves reminiscent of Mick Jagger. The groups Italian rhythm section of Jimmy Capella and Peter Vumbaco keep things rolling along with one of the finest keyboardest ever to grace the area stages, Tony (Magic Man) Perino.
So bring your dancing shoes and join us for all the fun at historic Powers Park.

Powers Park is presented by the City of Troy. It is supported in part by, Beverage Barn, Northeast Shuttle, Snowman Ice Cream, Badass Buritto, Troy Uniformed Firefighters, Meissner Travel, and the Tri City Valley Cats. Media sponsors include the Record, Our Towne Magazine, B95.5fm & Magic 100.9fm.
Powers Park is located at 110th-111th St. & Second Ave. in Troy. Additional Information can be found at,
Come and Enjoy Troy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Upcoming Memorial Golf Tournament:

On Saturday, July 25 2009, the Cunningham Family will host the David Cunningham Memorial Golf Tournament, at the Frear Park Municipal Golf Course in Troy. Organizers are seeking $50 'hole sponsors', with 18 holes available for sponsorship.Proceeds from the event will benefit St. Joseph's food pantry. Organizers are also soliciting donations for prizes and awards. Cost is $90 per golfer, and $20 per non-golfer, which includes dinner with beer.
The tournament begins at 11 a.m. with a lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers and salads - with a 12:30 shotgun start on the links. At 5 p.m. there will be a Pig Roast, prepared by the Park Pub.

Contact Amy Smith at, 518 330-2944 for information. Or e-mail Amy at,

Money Saving Tip:

Driving through Troy today, I was paying close attention to the gas prices at local stations. The cheapest I found was at Gendrons' Pit Stop on 5th Ave, at 125th St. Consider this posting as a stimulus to your wallet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wednesday Fun In Troy:

Rockin on the River is back on Wednesday evening to help you get over that mid-week hump. Held behind Troy's mini stretch of bars and restaurants on River St., just north of the Green Island Bridge, the event has grown in popularity, attracting patrons from all over the Capital Region along with concert goers from Vermont and Massachusetts.
The show kicks off at 5:00 p.m. with a performance by Albany based Lynch. Playing a blend of hip hop, and funk, they've gained a reputation as a crowd pleasing jam band, fronted by former members of Albany favorite Conehead Buddha, Terry & Shannon Lynch.
Boston Massachusetts favorite, Hi8us takes to the stage at 6:30 p.m., introducing Troy to its funk-rock-indie sounds.
You can enjoy a variety of food, ice cream, and drink stage side. Grab a table on the deck of Ryan's Wake or Browns Brew Pub and enjoy the music, set on the historic Hudson River. Or if you choose, dine inside at either of these restaurants, along with Jose' Malone's who offer up mucho blends of Tequila, as well as Mexican food.

Come join us for the fun on Wednesday, and take a Troycation!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BelWo Inc. "Give a Web a Way" Contest:

Sometimes you see a business open up blowing smoke saying, "we want to give something back to the community." To see a company actually backing up those words in many cases, is a rare occurrence. BelWo Inc., a small but successful firm located in the incubator building on the RPI campus, is looking to make their offer claim true.
The team at BelWo believes that the key to building a business is by building relationships. For Belwo, it is particularly about building creative and innovative websites from which to develop and grow these relationships. With the economy as it stands now, their belief applies more than ever. BelWo understands that having a face on ones business impacts its ability to succeed. That is why BelWo has decided to pay it forward with a "Give a Web a Way" contest. The firm will be giving away a free, newly designed and customized website, plus a year of complimentary hosting and maintenance to the winner of the contest. Their hope is to give someones dream business, idea or charity a way to grow, and in return their idea will continue to pay forward.

Prospective contestants can submit their information online by visiting, -- where you can view the complete rules, and receive additional information on the contest. Entries for the give a way should be submitted before August 15. The winner will be announced on Labor Day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Night in Downtown Troy:

Two great events are taking place in downtown Troy on Friday night. The city's premier monthly event, Troy Night Out, will feature food, music, street performers, along with some of the most quaint shopping around. Troy comes alive the last Friday of every month with this revitalization effort, produced by the energetic Troy Downtown Business Collaborative.
Over the past two years, thousands of patrons have returned to the downtown area for this spectacular monthly event, which showcases some of the unique shopping that Troy has to offer.
With the sound of music surrounding the shopping district, our city's downtown brings back pleasant memories to longtime Trojans, and helps opens the eye's of out of towner's to all the good things that are now happening here.

After shopping, stop down to Revolution Hall for a Troy CD release party for the incredible, Foy Brothers Band. Rev Hall is a premier showcase stop for many bands on their way to the top of the music business. The party will offer patrons an opportunity to hear the group perform the entire new CD, titled, Time. Winners of the Memphis Blues Festival several years ago, the band will offer up their own style of Funk, Blues, and Soul.
Opening the show at 9 p.m. is a new local group called, 'Four.' Led by the phenomenal Alejandro Williams, this group will have patrons on their feet dancing in record time. Mr. Williams, as he is called during his day gig at Rensselaer Park Elementary , is one of the most dynamic performers in the Capital District who is returning to the stage after a brief hiatus from the business. Tickets can be purchased at the Rev Hall box office or on line in advance for $8 -- $10 at the door.

So just us this Friday, and come home to, 'Enjoy Troy! '

Friday, June 19, 2009

Valley Cats Baseball -- Yeah Baby!

If woman's professional roller derby isn't your thing, head on up to Joe Bruno Stadium for the start of another exciting season of Valley Cats baseball. 'The Joe' is probably the finest facility in the New York State Penn League, where you can actually take your family for a great time, without having to take out a loan to do so. With the ridiculous prices charged to get into the new Yankee Stadium, the Cat's are a great alternative, plus a shorter ride to see some fantastic baseball.
The team has also become a valued member of our community over the years, always reaching out to do more and more for Troy's youth. Assistant General Manager, Vic Christopher is a mass of raw energy, always promoting the team, and always helping out with neighborhood community events -- plus Vic does a mean Elvis. Minor League baseball is such a delight to watch, with the teams always doing more to keep all fans occupied and entertained -- all at family friendly prices.
Saturdays game against the Oneonta Tigers begins at 7 p.m. Gooooo Valley Cats!

River St Festival, The Hellions of Troy, and the Tri City Valley Cats on June 20th -- like I said, "What's not happening in Troy this weekend?" Enjoy Troy.

More To Do On A Saturday Night In Troy:

After the River St. Festival, make your way up to the 'Frear Park Thunderdome' for another exciting bout of roller derby, provided by the Hellions of Troy -- our city's entry in the women's professional roller derby league.
Just for the record, the Hellions have won their first two home bouts of the young season. Their style has been consistent with their team philosophy, playing lightning fast, brutal and aggressive. The women's sport has seen two enthusiastic crowds at both of their home games. The antics and athleticism of the team, along with some ,let's just say, very colorful members of the team, have been accepted and embraced by the Hellions growing fan base in Troy.

Doors open Saturday evening at 6 p.m., with the bout against the Long Island Roller Rebels beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door for adults, $3 for children under 12 yrs old. A portion of the proceeds of the bout will be donated to the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club. So come on out and join, the Beirut Bombshell, Flexi Wheeler and the the girls for all the fun, right here in your hometown, Troy.

FYI: The Hellions will be making a special appearance at Riverfest at 11 a.m.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's Not Happening In Troy This Weekend:

Troy will be rockin this Saturday (June 20) with the city's most popular yearly event taking place, River Street Festival. The annual celebration of music, food, arts and crafts runs from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Over the past five years, the festival has brought thousands upon thousands of people to our city, adding to Troy's growing reputation as one of the best special event towns in the entire Northeast.
This along with Troy Night Out, Troy Pig Out, Rockin on the River, Troy Chowder Fest, Collar City Live, and the Powers Park Concert Series, has been bringing patrons into the city like never before. The Troy Downtown Business Collaborative, led by the creative Elizabeth Young, has put their heart and soul into staging this yearly event. The City of Troy's Jeff Buell also does a great job in rounding this event into fighting form, with months of planning put into the festival. Unfortunately like all outdoor parties, you're basically at the mercy of the weather gods. I'll ask all Catholics reading this to please hang your rosary beads on the clothesline immediately for good luck!
Here's the musical lineup for both stages;
National Stage:
*11:45 - 12:30 / Alternate Routes
*12:50 - 1:50 / Rob Dickenson
*2:00 - 2:50 / Chris Barron (Former Lead Singer of the Spin Doctors)
*3:10 - 4:10 / Mike Doughty (Formerly of Soul Coughing)
*4:30 -6:00 / Cracker

Local Stage:
*12:00 - 12:40 / Simple Theory with Maurizio & Brittany Robichaud
*1:00 - 1:40 / Trouble
*2:00 - 2:30 / Julia Ilowieki
*2:45 - 3:30 / The Dirties
*3:50 - 4:30 / Chris Busone Band with special guest, Joe Mele & Tony Perrino
*5:00 - 5:45 / Imagining Lennon ( John Lennon Tribute)
(The first five acts on this stage are all from Troy)

For the kids, there's an entire area for them, complete with a video game area provided by Games2U. Children will be able to play their favorite Wii games, laser tag, and Guitar Hero free of charge. Magicians and sidewalk painting will also be featured for the children to enjoy.
Downtown will be brimming with over 100 juried arts and crafts vendors in a huge open marketplace. There is also no better opportunity to check out the wonderful shops of Troy featuring clothing, jewelry and antiques for excellent shopping and creative inspiration! The Art Center's Street Painting Competition is another annual River St. Festival tradition. If you've never been street painting before, it's time for you to try this new type of canvas. Transform Troy's streets into works of art and compete for $1,000 in cash prizes. Registrations are now being accepted -- spaces are extremely limited and cost $10 per person. Applications can be found by visiting
There will also be a demonstration at 11 a.m. by the Hellions of Troy, the city's professional roller derby team. I'll be doing a post on Friday regarding the teams next bout (Saturday night) at the Frear Park Thunderdome.

So come on down to downtown Troy for all the fun this Saturday. Additional info on the event can be found at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tonight in Troy:

This afternoon at 5 p.m. brings another addition of the popular, 'Rockin on the River' concert series. Last year was a pleasant surprise to the organizers of the event, in that people came in droves to Troy for the shows making it a hit with concert goers from around the Capital Region.
The series is produced and organized by Elizabeth Young and the Troy Downtown Business Collaborative, Jeff Buell of the City of Troy, Jared Kingsley of Revolution Hall, along with the events sponsors.

The production of these types of events brings a sudden boost in business around downtown, and for many longtime Trojans like myself, memories of when Troy was a destination for those in search of a vibrant nightlife. Last week, the Savoy Brown retro show literally, 'Rocked the River.' Look for more of the same this evening with local act Byrds of Prey opening for the incredible Daniela Cotton. Tonight's show kicks off at 5 p.m. Food and beverages are available on site, with river view seating available at both Ryan's Wake & Brown's Brewing Co. Jose Malone's is also on this vibrant stretch of River St. featuring Mexican fare, along with making killer Margarita's! If you can find the Green Island Bridge, you can't miss, Rockin on the River.

So join in with the fun tonight, and most of all, Enjoy Troy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

At Powers Park Today:

Powers Park will come alive today with a combo platter of things to do. A giant flea market hosted by the Missing Link Street Ministry has already begun as I write. Rev. Willie Bacote, who does a wonderful job for the city's underprivileged youth, has been holding the markets at Powers for years. The flea markets offer a diverse selection of items to the public at reasonable prices. Last year, I purchased a beautiful patio umbrella that sells in stores for $40 and up, for under $20. There's all kind of great bargains, which during these tough economic times every family is looking for.

The North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch group will also host a children's safety program at the park, beginning at 1 p.m. Led by Jim Gordon, Len Kluz, Darlene Simpson, and former Troy police officer Chris Lambersten, this group has been accomplishing great things within the 'Burgh community since it's debut in 2007. The group will be collaborating with the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Dept., Troy PD, Troy Fire Dept, Whitney Young Health Center,and the City of Troy to provide bike safety helmets, photo Id's, and fingerprinting for children, along with other informational services which benefit our community's youth and families.
Jim Gordon and the group have put a great deal of time and effort into presenting this program and deserve kudo's for bringing this wonderful event to the community.

So come on up to Powers Park, located at 111 St. & 2nd Ave. for both the flea market and the children's safety program.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Something To Do On Saturday Night:

The Hellions of Troy are back at the Frear Park Thunderdome tomorrow evening. Doors open at 6 p.m., with Troy's entry facing Assault City, hailing from Syracuse N.Y. at 7 p.m.
If you missed their first match last month, make your way up to Frear to experience what more than 700 fans did last month -- fast paced excitement from your home town team. Tomorrows bout is billed, Spring Fling Her! Hellions fan favorite, Flexi Wheeler has told me that the girls plan to take it up a notch against the Syracuse skaters. Knowing Flexi, I have no reason not to believe her claim. Last month, fans were delighted with the Hellions spirited performance, and reveled in the fast paced fun of the revitalized sport. The diverse crowd cheered on our hometown girls to a rousing victory.

Food and drink (soft drinks & beer) are available at the Thunderdome, provided by the Park Pub. After tomorrows bout, an after party will be held at the pub, giving fans an opportunity to meet, and have a drink with the girls. If you've never experienced the roller derby, do yourself a favor and stop up to check out the intense action. Check out their website at, www.HELLIONSOFTROYROLLERDERBY.COM -- Or check out their MySpace page at,

Tickets are $12 at the door, with admission for children set at $3.00. Their next bout at the Thunderdome is scheduled for June 20, with tickets available in advance ($10), available at both city hall (Deputy Mayors office), and the Frear Park Golf Pro Shop. You can also purchase tickets online at,
With all that's happening in Troy this summer, there's plenty for families to do every weekend without braking the bank.
Join us tomorrow evening at 7 for some of the most fast paced excitement around, the Hellions of Troy. Enjoy Troy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Troy Summer Entertainment Stimulus Package Begins:

After the God awful winter season we just experienced, I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some fun in the sun. And I can't think of a better way to do that then staying close to home and enjoying what promises to be one of the most exciting Troy musical seasons in recent memory.

Troy kicks off it's special events line up with the extremely popular, Rockin On The River concert series. Last years success was a pleasant surprise to the organizers , who were really caught off guard with the sudden popularity of the series. With thousands of people piling into Troy on a Wednesday afternoon, businesses around the city benefited. Being a lifelong Trojan, it brought back memories of when the city was hopping with entertainment and people shopping.

The Downtown Business Collaborative, led by the energetic Elizabeth Young, has spearheaded the organization of the event, with the bands being booked by the talented Jared Kingsley of Revolution Hall. The bars/restaurant's along this particular strip of River St. offer visitors to our city a diverse selection of food and spirits to enjoy. With spirits and festival foods available next to the stage, under the Green Island Bridge. Organizers of the event ask their patrons to drink responsibly, enjoy the beautiful river setting, and most of all, 'Enjoy Troy.'

Here's a look at the lineup:

*June 10 - Savoy Brown with Joe Lowry & the Second Mile Blues Band

*June 17 - Daniela Cotton with Birds of Prey

*June 24 -Rustic Overtones with Nautilus

*July 01 - Aquanett with the Blue Machine

*July 08 - HiBus with Lynch

*July 15 - Blues for Breakfast / Grateful Dead Tribute

*July 22 - Hair of the Dog with Kevin McKrell

*July 29 - Jamie McLean with 3-Four-3

Showtime is 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

News From TRIP:

TRIP (Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program) has announced their latest lineup of informational meetings, and upcoming programs. Trip is located at 415 River St. right in the middle of Troy's busiest strip of bars and restaurants in case you didn't know.

* May 26th, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. / TNAC (Troy Neighborhoods Action Council) meeting to be held at the ARC Administration Offices, located at 79 102nd St. - 3rd Floor.
This meeting is open to representatives of Troy's neighborhood groups, or if you are just an interested resident of Troy. Agenda items include beautifying neighborhoods with presentations of the 'Alley Action Project and the Paint the Boards Project.

*Troy Landlord Training Program to be held on June 1, from 5:30 -9:30 p.m. -- at the Susan Odell Taylor School, 116 Pinewoods Ave. This program is for current landlords or those thinking about purchasing a multi family home. This is free of charge, with limited seating. Call TRIP's Home Ownership Center at 690-0020 or e-mail
to reserve your spot.

*Homebuyer Orientation - June 2nd from 6-7:00p.m. This is an informational meeting about homebuyer programs including matched savings and downpayment assistance programs available for first time homebuyers. Held at the the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. -- Free of charge! Call TRIP's Home Ownership Center at 690-0020 or email to reserve your spot.This is sponsored by TRIP and Rensselaer County Housing Resourses.

TRIP offers programs such as these to help enable individuals and families live in desirable sustainable neighborhoods.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Who Do You Call On The Internet?

In today's print edition of this newspaper, readers opened the first page to see the 'Five Questions' victim of the day was Linda Meissner, of Meissner Travel. When asked about purchasing a vacation on the Internet, she asked the question; Who do you call if there's a problem with your travel plans while on your vacation? Two years ago while on a trip to Disney with my family, the meal plan we purchased as part of our trip wasn't in Disney's computers. I called Meissner Travel, who I booked the trip with, and within 30 minutes of my call, I was eating for free. Plus, the deal I received through the agency was actually cheaper than any Internet deal that I looked into.
Supporting your local businesses is essential to Troy's future. Before you purchase your next trip over the internet, call one your Troy travel agents first. Make this your Travel Stimulus Package!

Summer Bowling Bargain:

Here's a deal that you can't refuse -- free bowling! Alpha Lanes is looking to do their part in keeping kids off the streets this summer, by offering them a chance to receive up to 2 free games per day while they're off from school.
Visit, www.kidsbowlfree. com/alpha, to get full details and to register your children. You'll receive free bowling passes every week by e-mail once registered, then just sit back and enjoy this great deal. You may also register by calling Alpha Lanes at, 235-4941.
For a limited time families that register at least one child in the "Kids Bowl Free" program qualify to purchase a family pass, good for up to 4 family members to qualify for 2 games each per day all summer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Hellions of Troy Are Coming:

Professional Roller Derby comes home to Troy this Saturday evening, at the Frear Park Rink. The all new Hellions of Troy play their inaugural bout at 7 p.m. at the newly dubbed, 'Thunderdome!' The moniker was put on the venue by Hellion, Flexi Wheeler. Trust me, after dealing with this woman for the past two months, I'm not messing with her -- she can call it anything she wants! The Beirut Bombshell is another tough cookie who reminds me of some of the girls I grew up with in South Troy -- tough as nails, but with a feminine twist.
If you don't know anything about the roller derby, do a net search on the movie 'Kansas City Bomber 'starring Rachel Welch, and you'll know what to expect. It is really fast paced excitement that the entire family will enjoy. Flexi Wheeler has assured me that the phony antics of the 70's style play has been eliminated from the Hellions game plan. Better athleticism equals more excitement according to Hellion team members. Plus at halftime, Joe Lowry & the Second Mile Blues Band will be performing a blend of Electric Power Blues/Rock. Joe is a throwback guitarist in the vein of Hendrix/Stevie Ray/Santana, with a veteran rhythm section setting the tone for his high flying, in your face guitar style.
Tickets are available at the Deputy Mayors office in city hall city hall, $10 adult -- $3 children 12 & under. Call 270-4624, or 270-4649 for information. Tickets are also available at the Thunderdome at Frear Park for $12 & $5 on Saturday evening. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the bout commencing at 7 p.m. Tickets are also available on line at, http// Concessions will be provided by the Park Pub. The food at the golf course eatery is fantastic by the way!

So make your way up to Frear Park Saturday evening for the latest entry of Troy's Entertainment Stimulus Package! Information is also available on

Troy's Italian Community Center/ Thatsa Lotta Money!

Troy's Italian Community Center has been feeding people real Italian food for three generations. Not to mention their charitable contributions to many worthwhile causes., and then there's the food -- again! Growing up in the neighborhood, I remember when they were located on Second St. and used Washington Park for their annual Festa. The odor of Italian delicacies filled the park & streets. The tradition has continued at their new digs on short 5th Ave. as has their charitable nature.

On May 23, beginning at 6 p.m. the ICC will host a dinner, featuring a drawing for $15,000 in cash prizes, and a performance by the incredible Al Bruno. Tickets for the event are $100, with only 250 tickets sold. First prize is $10,000 -- Second thru 4th prizes are $1,000 -- Fifth thru 8th prizes are $250. Beer, vino, and an all-you-can-eat buffet are yours for the ticket price.

Pat (Buckeye) Mele is running the event with great efficiency according to club members. The ticket deadline is May 10, so give the ICC a call at ( 1- 800 GoPaisan) - just kidding, call them at 274-0508 for tickets or information.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Benefit Sunday:

A fund raising effort to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will take place on Sunday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Revolution Hall. Tickets. will be sold at the door for $15 dollars.
The event is being staged by Troy Mayor Harry J. Tutunjian, who has been selected by the society as a candidate for its Man or Woman of the Year. Local and national acts performing include Graham Tichy & Johhny Rabb, Julia Ilowiecki, Winchester Young, Stuck on Stupid, Prolonged Exposure, 3-4-3, and Imagining Lennon.
The event promises to be a winner for both the organization and the attendee's,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Having Fun In Troy On A Friday Night:

I'm heading to Revolution Hall tonight for the Refrigerators/Blue Hand Luke Show. The place is sure to be packed. If you've never been to Revolution Hall for a show, believe me when I tell you, it's a fantastic venue for live music! It's a benefit to all the businesses on that stretch of River St.
For a longtime Trojan like myself, it's refreshing to see people in the city again on a Friday night. Ryan's Wake, Jose' Malone's, along with Browns, offer people a wonderful selection of eateries and pubs to enjoy before or after a show at Revolution Hall.
Tonight's lineup features two of the area's best party bands. Both are longtime veterans of both the local, and national music scene's. Luke McNamee, the founder of BHL has toured the world for more than three decades, and has been a strong, and vocal advocate of the Troy music scene.
If you come to the show tonight, I'll be revealing the TRUE story to all of Luke's fans, on how the moniker 'Blue Hand' was bestowed on this world reknown Saxaphone player.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Not bad for a great night of entertainment. Come on out tonight and Enjoy Troy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Literacy Race Happening This Weekend:

I'm a firm believer that an idea is only a simple thought unless you move into action and make it a reality. In 2007, a group of School 12 teachers made their idea a reality. They established the School 12 Running Club. Through hard work and determination, were able to develop their idea into a tradition.

On May 3rd, 10:30 p.m. at the Joe Bruno Stadium, the 2009 Literacy Run/Walk will take place. Pre-registration for the 5K race is $15, with the fee increasing to $20 on the day of the race. The Children Fun Runs ($6) begins at 9:30 a.m. and the Youth Mile ($10) begins at 10 a.m. Registration forms can be downloaded at, www./, or by calling Literacy Volunteers at 274-8526.

The School 12 Running Club has two purposes. One is to get students moving and to introduce them to a healthy lifestyle. The other is to give the children something constructive to be involved in, helping to keep them off the street. I encourage anyone reading the Blog to support this wonderful project. Kudo's to the students and teachers who make this happen!

My Personal Stimulus Package In Action: Tasty Pizza

Over the past few weeks, I've been practicing what I've been preaching in regards to buying locally. Living in the 'Burgh gives my family plenty of choices to choose from when it comes to food. Pip's, Ted's Fish Fry, Chubby's, Snowman, Badass Burrito, Mr. Subb, Sunny Wok, Jimmy's Pizza, Anthony's Pizza and Testo's have all received some of my disposable income recently.

Being I love pizza and try to spread my business around the 'Burgh, I tried Tasty Pizzaria for the first time the other day and was really impressed. I needed to share this with you because the pie reminded me of my fathers pizza, which was the best I've ever had. The dough is made on premisis, and the sauce was delicious! Just like my dad's, who used only quality ingredients for his pizza, I could taste the difference. It brought back some pleasant memories of my father making his pizza for my family on a Friday night.

I spoke with owner Rick Castiglia, and was not surprised to hear that he's had successful pizzaria's in other locations. One of which has been around serving another local community for 25 years. Rick is a great guy, who located Tasty on the corner of 122nd St. & 5th Ave, the former home of Fishers, who also made an amazing pizza. Tasty has an impressive menu, with decent prices in my opinion. Do yoursef a favor and check the place out. If you don't like it, yell at me on this Blog -- but I really doubt you'll be disappointed. If Italians know one thing, it"s food!

Supporting our local eateries is very important to their stabilty and success. Keeping your dollars in your own city is not only a good idea, but the right thing to do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Loose Cannon Live Headlines Earth Day Festival:

We hope you join us for the big Earth Day Festival happening today, April 26th. Loose Cannon Live frontman, Greg Simmons, is ready to pull out all the stops in the Cannon's first return to Troy since opening for Jimmy Wayne last September at the Chowder Fest. The country powerhouse is gearing up for next months Ford Country USA Maximum Country Music Festival in Oshkosh Wisconsin, where they will be sharing the stage with the biggest country stars in the country.
Food, sweet treats, and crafts will all be available, with the event beginning at 1 p.m. It's going to be a beautiful day, so drive up to the Knickerbacker Ice Rink, located on 103rd St. & 9th Ave. Remember to bring your old paper documents for free shredding services (up to 50 lbs. per household).

Join us and celebrate Earth Day, and Enjoy Troy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day / So Far So Good:

The annual ritual of distributing materials for Earth Day is a tradition in Troy. Today more then 30 neighborhood groups, and private citizens looking to help out, were given volunteer tee shirts, recycle bags, and gloves for tomorrows annual city wide cleanup. It was a great way to catch up with community leaders who I rarely get a chance to speak with.
Claire Davis, the Queen of the Osgood neighborhood, walked into the Knickerbacker Ice Rink and immedietly informed me that the door of the facility contained words with improper apostrophe useage. Jim Shepard filled me in on the work being done at the Uncle Sam Trail. The lovely Thila Bell, of the South Lansingburgh N/hd Assoc. is still going strong, even though she's over 50 now! Mary Ann Conroy, who's material order I totally botched last year, received Gold Membership treatment this year -- and walked away happy. Her group, the Frear Park Conservatory, does an incredible job at helping to beautify the historic park.

Tomorrow, groups will be out in force cleaning things up, with city workers picking up the bagged debris. Groups needing city assistance may call Joe Alborelli at, 701-1247. If anyone would like organic material for your gardens, feel free to help yourself at our composting mulch mountains located by the North Lake Ave entrance of Frear Park. The Alamo will be accepting light bulbs, household batteries, flouresent bulbs & tubes, computer equipment, and televisions (one per household please) ,free of charge for Troy residents. You must show proof of residency for this service.

Join us Sunday at the Knickerbacker Ice Rink for the annual Earth Day festival. The event will run from 1 - 4:00 p.m. Food, sweets, treats, face painting, great music, and the projected summer like weather, all add up to a wonderful afternoon for your family. Country sensation, Loose Cannon Live will be appearing. This group has shared stages with some of the biggest country stars today, and will be donating their services for this great cause. To get to the Knickerbacker Ice Rink facility, take 103rd St. to the end, and it's on your left hand side - YOU CANNOT MISS IT! Also, we will have a shredding truck on site that day, and will accept up to 50 lbs. per houshould for Troy residents.

I just pray that tomorrow and Sunday go as smoothly as today did.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Troy's Little Italy - Thatsa Nice!

Troy's Little Italy neighborhood group should be a model for anyone starting one up or currently running one. Movie nights, winter carnivals, bocce, bingo, and let's not forget the food.
This weekend they'll be hosting their second stickball tournament. If you've never played or watched a stickball game, after you clean up you neighborhood on Earth Day, take a ride down to 'The Market' and check out the festivities. The venue has hosted literally thousands of stickball games over the years. I have many fond memories of playing ball there as a boy, with vivid memories of watching the older guy's slam a 'spaldine' off the back of Carlo's Grill on short 5th Ave.
The tounament will benefit the local food pantry's , and is being billed as, "We Play for Food!" Games will begin at 11:00 a.m on April 25. Teams will compete over the course of the weekend with the champion receiving a large bag of meatballs made by Rocco DeFazio -- just kidding! 'The Market' is the old Troy public market place on Hill & Liberty St. Our home town Tri City Valley Cats are also involved with the event. My pal Vic Christopher, assistant GM of the ballclub is always a sure bet to make things interesting. The man is a true showman, and a master of promotion -- and does a mean Elvis impersonation to boot!
Do yourself a a favor, and take the time this weekend to make a trip down to Little Italy for the fun. Read Mike Esposito's Troy Treasures column (April 19) in the Record's archives for more information. Thanks to all involved for helping to revitilize the neighborhood. Benvenuti Little Italy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day Schedule:

It's going to be a busy weekend in Troy. Earth Day kicks off this Saturday with groups from around the city cleaning selected area's of their choosing. This year, 31 groups have registered projects with the city for the yearly mass cleanup.
Bags and volunteer tee shirts will be distributed on Friday (4/24), at the Knickerbacker Ice Rink, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for pre-registered groups.
The Earth Day clean up will begin bright and early on Saturday, April 25. For those who will need additional compostable bags, or a trash pickup, I'll be providing a contact phone number on this blog later in the week for groups to call. Residents of Troy may bring light bulbs, batteries, computer components, and televisions to the Alamo in South Troy, on Main St, near the county jail. This service is free of charge with proof of residency. If anyone is in need of wood mulch, residents are invited to go to Frear Park, at the North Lake Ave. entrance on the 25th, and take what you need. There are three Fucillo HUGE piles composting, just waiting for someone to work them back into the Earth!
On Sunday, April 26, the annual Earth Day festival will be held at Knickerbacker Ice Rink, from 1 - 4:00 p.m. This long standing tradition features a day of music, food, & eco friendly products. A face painter will also be on hand for the children. A performance by East Coast country sensation, Loose Cannon Live will highlight the afternoon. This 10 piece country horn bands leader, Greg Simmons has been a longtime eco-sensitive, vocal proponent for a 'greener' Earth.
Residents may also bring up to 50 lbs. of paper products to the festival for security shredding. I hope you will join us for the work & fun this weekend.

For additional information, e-mail me at,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Uncle Sam Fundraising Event a Success:

The Uncle Sam Parade Committee put on a wonderful party last night at the Lansingburgh Motor Boat and Canoe Club. Performers Al Bruno, and Little Elvis both put on amazing performances for the large crown who attended. The boat club donated the room free of charge, as did both singers, along with sound technician, Rocco Mazzarello who had as much fun as anyone. The event was supported by every restaurant in the 'Burgh, who donated gift certificates for the raffles, as did a multitude of other shops in the community.
Special thanks go out to all involved with the planning of the event. The parade will be celebrating it's 34th anniversary this year. Committee Chairman Jim Gordon did a great job in pulling it all together.

Troy Restaurant Stimulus Package:

With the nations economy tanking, many small businesses are in serious financial distress these days. Many are closing, leaving vacant storefronts throughout our city's. We as residents of Troy can help to try and stop the bleeding. This is a task that can be accomplished, one neighborhood at a time.
I'm proposing a Troy Restaurant Stimulus Package. If everyone of you the next 4 times that you dine out patronize a Troy establishment, then maybe we can help keep our fine lineup of eateries alive and well. Our neighborhoods and the downtown business district are loaded with some of the best food around, all at family friendly prices. From Italian, to Chinese and traditional American cuisine, Troy has it all.
Take Lansingburgh for instance, when I'm not cooking my own Italian food, my family can choose from Testo's, or Verdile's. Want seafood, Trader Ed's is the ticket. Traditional Americana is covered well by both Pip's and MJ's.
The breakfast crowd has a choice of Sue's on 2nd Ave, or Grahams Lansingburgh Cafe. Want a fish fry, try Ted's, or OB's. And plus, there's pizza a-plenty with Jimmy's, Anthony's, Tasty, Pizza Hut, and Liberty Pizza. Outside the box, you can try Badass Burrito, or Delectabulls Delicatessen.
Everytime you take your dollars over the river, you cause yourself to lose money. Sending your tax revenue away from Rensselaer County only hurts you and your family in the longrun. If we, as residents of Troy can better support are restaurants during these tough times, then maybe doing this together we can prevent a vacant storefront on the block where you live. So the next 4 times you go out to eat, keep your dollars closer to home. Support your Troy eateries!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to Community Thoughts

I'd like to welcome everyone to Community Thoughts. We'll be chatting about what's happening in the neighborhood's around Troy. This will be a positive Blog, with hopefully, no banter regarding Troy politics. I'll leave reporting and discussing the blood sport that is Troy politics to Franco and Caprood.

If you have anything at all coming up in your community, contact me at,
I'll be happy to post your events, or discuss any issue which is effecting your community in a positive manner. I'm thrilled the Record has asked me to join their Blog Team., and I hope you'll enjoy what I have to offer up. This will be a people page, talking about what you the citizens who make up our wonderful city, are doing, saying, and making happen.

A bit about me now. I've lived in Lansingburgh with my family for 18 years, and have been a community advocate and organizer for the past decade. My ramblings have appearing in the Record for 7 years in the form of a Troy Treasures column. I previously was a reporter with Empire News Exchange for 5 years. I've lived in Troy for 49 of my 52 years on this Earth, and have a passion for the city.

I hope you enjoy what I'll offer up, and I'll ask that we keep the discussion positive and productive.