Friday, December 14, 2012

Tears in Heaven:

   I drive my son Vito to school every morning. When I drop him off, the last thing I say to him is, "have a great day, learn something, and be safe."  My son came home today and right now is safe in his room playing XBox. For many parents in Connecticut, their children didn't come home today.
   The senseless tragedy, that was carried out by a spineless coward today, is exactly what any normal parent in today's world would consider their worse nightmare. The shooters hate was apparently so strong for his mother, that he chose to not only kill her, but to murder those children whom she was devoted to, as a way to get back at her, and to hurt her. You ask yourself why would anyone do something like this? Those poor babies didn't have a chance to run away, or the means to defend themselves. They won't get the chance to learn, play with their friends, or attend a prom. Their parents lives will never be the same. How does a parent cope with this type of grief, knowing their child was senselessly slaughtered for no reason.
   Over the next few days, we'll be bombarded with stories of what happened. Talk show shrinks will delve into the root cause of why this happened. And over the next few weeks the media frenzy will die down. But those parents who lost children will have nothing but an empty bedroom, memories, a lost future, and a hole in their hearts that will never heal. We should all say a prayer for them, then give your own child a hug, and thank God that they came home safe from school today. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How The Heck Did I Forget The Friends of 112th St.:

   I thanked many people for their contribution to the O 'Brien Family fundraiser -- but it seems I missed one very important group. The Friends of 112th St came in late with a large, and in charge check. The group holds it's annual fundraising dinner on the final Saturday of February each year. The money raised is disbursed to special causes, and worthwhile organizations through out the course of the year. They are always there when needed, and I apologize to them for the oversight in my last blog posting.  Their Mission Statement is for the group to benefit the money it raises, back to the community. They've been doing it for many years, and will continue to do so in the future. 
Many thanks goes out to them for their generous contribution to the cause. And my apologies go out to them for the 70's Brain Cramp I suffered when last blogging.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

O 'Brien Fundraiser Postscript:

   The fundraiser held  on 11/11 for Don & Terry O 'Brien was a smashing success. Many people need to be thanked for their contributions of food, gift certificates, and generosity in making this event a reality.
   The Troy Boat Club was just wonderful in offering us the use of their facilty. It's always a pleasure to work with Bill Bowles, who has a heart as big as the 112th St. Bridge. Val Fiaco of the Beverage Barn is another generous guy. The B-Mart donated quite a bit of beer and a gift certificate for the raffle.  Jimmy Farley,of Jimmy's Pizza, as always, gave us a gift certificate. Jimmy is always there when needed. Many thanks goes out to Troy's Director of Parks & Recreation, George Rogers, for the donation of a round of golf/with cart at Frear Park golf course. Lighthouse Liquor , donated a gift basket, and the ladies at 'This is Whair it's At' gave a basket of hair care products, as well as a certificate for a wash/cut/blow dry at their long standing business on 5th Ave. Eastside Collars gave a custom dog collar, With Mick Cahrenger donating a marble nameplate/ with free engraving. Francesca Tutunjian gave us a $20 gift certificate for her fine eatery, Francesca's. Vic & Heather  Christopher donated a $50 gift certificate for their new venture, Lucus Confectionary & Wine Bar on 2nd St. downtown. The Troy Elks gave a $25 gift certificate, and Mary McDermott donated a Phillips Sonicare Toothbrush set. Ed McAvoy gave a $350 gift certificate for exterior pressure washing, and Gary Reynolds donated a wine gift basket. Kyle Harbinger, of Brunswick Computer Services rounded things out with a donation of five, $50 gift certificates for computer repair.
Special thanks goes out to our performers who donated their time, including Brian Kane, Paul Stokowitz & Harmonic Duo, and Maurizio Russamano. Rocco Mazzarello of Adirondack Sound Sysytems also deserves thanks for giving up his entire Sunday afternoon to be with us. My partners in putting this together, Bill & Penny Bashford did a great job, and gave up quite a bit of their time for the organization of this event, and deserve much credit.
The community came out strong to support our neighbors, Don & Terry --even though it was a football Sunday. Lansingburgh has always been a very tight nit community. On November 11th, they stayed true to the course in their support of their neighbors, the O'Briens.Thank you to all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fundraiser For Another Fire Victim:

   The boys at the Troy Boat Club are hosting a fundraiser for  Lansingburgh fire victim. Rich Layton, who was recently burned out of his 123rd St. home.
   The event will be held on November 17, beginning at 4pm. The boat club is located at 763 1st Ave, and can be contacted by phone at, 235-9697. The guy's and gals over at the club, have a heart as big as Donald Trumps yacht. They are always reaching out to people in need, offering their facility on 1st Ave as a means of helping out those going through a difficult stretch.
   For additional information, contact the Boat Club directly, for cost of the benefit, and what's being offered.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunday Fundraiser:

   Imagine leaving your home, thinking it's going to be a normal day. Then you get a call telling you that your home is on fire. Your possessions, family photo's, and a lifetime of memories, gone in a flash. Well, that's what longtime Lansingburgh community members Don & Terry O 'Brien recently experienced.
   A fundraiser will be held to help them out in their time of need this Sunday, November 11, at the Troy Boat Club (731 First Ave), beginning at 2pm. Don't worry about missing your Sunday football, as all the games will be on at the club. Plenty of food will be available, as well as a full afternoon of entertainment, and raffles.
   Donating their time for the event will be performers, Brian Kane, Paul Stockowitz & Harmonic Duo, along with Maurizio Russomanno. Sound tech services will be supplied by Rocco Mazzarello of Adirondack Sound Systems. Cost of the event is $20 at the door. Also many of our local businesses have donated goods, and gift certificates for this event
   Don & Terry have lived in the 'Burgh forever, and have invested in the community not just as homeowners, but also as proprietors of O'Briens Public House on 5th Ave. They've put their sweat equity into the 'Burgh, and it's only right to give back to them and their family. So please take the time on Sunday to join us in supporting them in their time of need. If you would like to donate any items for the raffle, e-mail me at, Check out our Facebook page also. Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Urban Composting:

   If you enjoy gardening as much as I do -- keep reading. If not, go read Franco's, Tailspin.  I've been an avid gardener for many years, and I'd like to share with you a few tricks I've picked up on, to help maximize your own growing experience.
   It all starts with good soil. People always run out in the Spring to purchase bagged soil mixes. If you buy cheap, that's exactly what you get is cheap, bad soil. There's a few great soil mixes out there, but, they are also very pricey. Why not make your own? It's easy, and not very time consuming. 
I've been composting for 2 decades, and the rewards of my efforts are seen by the high yield of veggies, & herbs I get from a small garden year after year. Plus my houseplant's just thrive from the natural nutrients from my homemade mix.
   In an urban environment, composting can be tricky because of the two S's -- space and smell. Here's a great way to avoid those two detriments, and to get you started. 
1) Purchase a 33 gal. plastic, or rubber trash can, with locking handles. With an ice pick or screwdriver poke some small ventilation holes in the sides and bottom. This enables the airborne bacteria to get to it, as you turn your pile, once you've got a few things in there.
2) put in one or two shovel full of topsoil to cover the bottom.
3) Add old veggies, fruits, peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds, used teabags, fish scraps, sawdust, bone-meal or anything else organic in nature.
4) Add some baking soda to the mix to help keep down the stench.
5) After a good rain, grab some worms and add them to the mix. They help expedite the breakdown of materials. Always keep your pile moist.
6) Roll that barrel on the ground occasionally to help mix everything up. 
7) You can use them, but try to stay away from composting weeds. They may contain some seed, that sometimes is not killed off by the heating of your compost heap, which naturally occurs as you add layers of materials. 
8) Manure is another great addition to your compost. Just don't use your house pet waste, which contain some detrimental pathogens, which will not be destroyed, even in a hot pile. Chick, goat, pig, and cow manure works best. (The last time the circus was in town, I was able to get some Elephant waste. It mixed well in my compost pile, but it took me a month to get the smell out of my Jeep!)
9) Never mix in any meat products, or salad that had a dressing on it either. Diseased or pest infested plants are another no-no.
10) I always add a thin layer of grass clippings, which really turns up the heat of your pile.
11) Add a bit of Lime Stone, or some additional Baking Soda for increased smell control.
12) Fill your barrel gradually throughout the winter, giving it a bit of moisture now and again. Only fill to about 3/4 full to give you some mixing room for your weekly roll of the barrel. 

   Your compost should be ready to use by June if you follow my method. Most people just feed the landfill with their waste. Save some space by using your waste to grow something spectacular. I always throw a couple of shovels full of  my 'Black Gold' into each tomato planting hole. This season, most of my tomato's weighed almost 2 lbs. There's many ways to compost, this is just my preferred method, which will help if you want to compost, but don't have much space to do it.
Over the next few months, stay tuned for some great tricks, and tips I'll share with you about growing bigger and better things in, and around your home--all organic baby!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chowdah, Chowdah, Chowdah:

Troy's 6th Annual Chowder Fest takes place this Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. This year, the location has been moved to our new, Riverfront Park, located on Front St --right past Dinosaur BBQ. Chowder Fest has rapidly become one of Troy's signature events over the years, that brings thousands of chowder lovers into the Home of Uncle Sam. More than 20 vendors will be competing this year, complimenting a full day of music. Tickets for sampling the chowders will remain at a bargain price of $1.This year will feature one of the hottest acts in the Northeast, Rich Ortiz at 10 a.m. The Standard Clams (pictured above) will hit the stage at around 12, with the Hi-Flyers headlining the festival at 1:30.
Chowder Fest is sponsored by the Troy BID & the City of Troy.  Join us for another full day of fun, food & music in the Cpaital Regions hottest event city.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Busy Weekend in The 'Burgh:

To say it's going to be a busy weekend in the 'Burgh would be an understatement. Saturday & Sunday will bring one of the most fun packed weekends in recent memory. Here's a scheduled listing of all the great things happening North of 101st St.

10am -- Uncle Sam Wilson Graveside Ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery.
11am -- Uncle Sam Brunch at the Veteran's of Lansingburgh, 777             1st Ave. Tickets at the door // $15.00
  2pm -- Uncle Sam Block Party at 41 Sports Bar & Grill. Free to get in. A full day of music, 50/50 raffles, kids amusements, and great food. 112th St. will be shut down from 5th to 6th Ave for this event. Portion of the proceeds will benefit the Uncle Sam Parade.
Party continues indoors later in the evening. Performing will be the amazing Rich Ortiz, and the Square Pegs. 

1pm -- Parade kicks off at 125th & 5th Ave., and will continue on  to the  Parade Reviewing Stand at 106th St. 
2:30pm -- Parade festival at Powers Park. Performing will be Carmine Dio  & Roaring Thunder, along with the fantastic Funk Evolution. Chicken dinners will be available at nearby Germania Hall. Festival foods will be available at the park, along with a Giant Bouncy Bounce for the kiddies, as well as a giant 50/50 raffle.

Why go anywhere else when all the fun is happening so close to home. Another reason to, ENJOY TROY! See you all there.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Tonight's show at Powers Park has been cancelled. Local Meteorologist may have gotten one right this time --We'll see though, as their batting average this summer season is lower than Russell Martin's!!!!!!  Show will not be rescheduled.

This Isn't Looking Good:

   According to every weatherman & woman, it looks like we're going to get hit with a large rainstorm. Now back on July 28th, I cancelled this same country show, because all the experts (snicker snicker) predicted a torrential thunderstorm to hit our area that day,  between 5 & 8pm  -- so the show was called. Well low & behold at 4:45pm that day, the skies miraculously cleared, and the sun came back out.
   So I'm taking a page from the WHO, and saying, "We Won't Get Fooled Again"! Today, I'm going to wait awhile before making the call. Let's see what develops. As of right now, the Carmine Dio & Roaring Thunder show is happening at 6pm, at historic Powers Park.. Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Uncle Sam Jam Returns:

Join us today at Historic Powers Park for the 7th Annual Uncle Sam Jam/ Power in the Park Classic Car Show. Car show begins     at 12, with the music beginning at 2pm. Come enjoy a tribute to  Billy Joel, the Beatles, and the great 80's Hair Bands, with performances by Stormfront, Hey Jude, and Aquanett. Plenty of festival foods, and beverages will be available. 
Price of admission is at least one, non-perishable food item for donation to the Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club Food Pantry. Event is sponsored by the City of Troy ,Wellcare, and the South Troy Timing Association. Huge 50/50 raffle will benefit the upcoming, Uncle Sam Day Parade, being held in the 'Burgh on Sunday, September 16, at 1pm

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bluz House Rockers Tonight:

The Bluz House Rockers make their way to the Neil Kelleher Stage tonight at historic Powers Park. Showtime is 6pm. Bring your own lawn-chair and please, leave the pets home people. They can live without you for a couple of hours. This season alone, some folks have decided to bring their ferrets, a snake, and dogs of many shapes and sizes.

Come enjoy the music and festive atmosphere of the popular concert series. The weathers going to be great, so come on out and, Enjoy Troy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jazz Tonight at Prospect Park:

Free Jazz returns to Prospect Park tonight with a performance by the Mitch Kessler Quartet, beginning at 6pm. We ran yesterday's hard copy story a day early, but the show will go on tonight. Food & beverages are available, with a 50/50 raffle, benefitting the upcoming Uncle Sam Parade, also going on. This will be the last show of the short series. The weather is going to be beautiful, so please join us.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Return of Bruno:

   Iconic Capital Region performer, Al Bruno makes his way back to the Neil Kelleher Stage at Powers Park on Saturday, August 18, beginning at 6pm. Al usually brings the rain with him to his performances at Powers Park every year, along with a park full of music lovers.
   Rain or shine, people still make hteir way to 420 2nd Ave. to hear Al's rendidtions of oldies, and Neil Diamond covers. Bruno has performed with, or opened shows for some of the biggest names in show business over the past four decades, and has traveled all over the United States to sing for delighted crowds. His Las Vegas style show is reminisant of a differant time, when entertainers looked, and dressed the part. "Powers Park is a place I love coming back to year after year, and I promise to pull out all the stops on Saturday for the people of Troy, my hometown", said Bruno.
   Powers Park Concerts are presented by the Mayor Lou Rosamelia & the City of Troy, along with health care provider WELLCARE. It is supported in part by Whitney Young Health Center/Troy, Snowman, Beverage Barn, Northeast Shuttle, Lansing Laundry/Gamers LLC., Barrett Blacktopping, Tri City Valley Cats, and the Friends of 112th St. Media sponsorship is provided by the Record (your hometown newspaper), and WVCR, 88.3fm, The Saint. Food and beverages are available weekly, with a No Dog policy in effect for each show.
   So bring a lawnchair, and with Bruno's history at the park, an umbrella might come in handy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Show is On Tonight:

   Come rain or shine, tonight's Motown/ Soul Train Tribute by Solid Smoke will go on. 
We cancelled yesterday's Jazz show at Prospect Park based on several local Meteorologist having brain cramps, and me paying attention to them. The weather in Troy cleared up around 4:30pm, and the next batch of rain came much later in the evening, much to my dismay.
   So tonight folks, we're rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Showtime is 6pm at Powers Park, located at 420 2nd Ave. Food is available every week. Leave the dog at home please.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Tonight's performance by the Standard Clam's has been cancelled, due to a bit of rain. We're attempting to get this rescheduled for August 24, 6pm, at Prospect Park. Stay tuned to this Blog, and the hard copy edition of The Record for updated info on the next show. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Emerald City Returns to Powers Park:

   Join us Saturday night for a performance by the Capital District's most iconic classic rock group, Emerald City. The group reunited in 2011, after breaking up 30 years ago. Upon their return to the local stages, they performed at the Troy Pig Out, and headlined the Uncle Sam Jam to rave reviews.
   Most of the original lineup is back, including the triple guitar threat of Joe Mele, Gary Tash, & Dave Costa -- all master guitarist, unmatched by anyone. Gary Brooks holds down the keyboard duties, with Gary Tash doubling on keys for select songs. 4 part harmonies are handled to perfection by saxman supreme,  Rick Roarke, Brooks, Tash, and bassist Ed Powers. Newcomer to the group, Chris Garebedian (formally of Sweet Silence, and Back Bay Brew), takes on the percussion duties with style & grace.
   In this writers opinion, this is, by far, the best rock n roll band I've ever seen in this area -- bar none! The group covers songs that many bands wouldn't even think of trying. And they do it with a flair, and precision that is unmatched by anyone.
   Powers Park Concerts is presented by Mayor Lou Rosamelia & the City of Troy, along with health care provider WELLCARE. It is supported in part by Whitney Young Health Center/Troy, Beverage Barn, Northeast Shuttle, Snowman Ice Cream, Lansing Laundry/Gamers LLC, Tri City Valley Cats, Barrett Blacktopping, and the Friends of 112th St. Media sponsorship is provided by the Record, and WVCR, 88.3fm, The Saint.
   Showtime is from 6 to 8:30pm, with a NO DOG policy in effect. Food & beverages are available at each show. Please bring your own lawnchair.

Benefit For Blaise Family This Sunday:

There will be a fundraiser held this Sunday, 8/5, for the family             of Donnie Blais. Don passed away on June 3 at his Lansingburgh home.He leaves behind his wife Eileen, and sons, Jared, Chris, and Michael.The benefit will take place at the All Troy Club, located at 538 2nd Ave.,beginning at 1pm. There will be a $15 charge at the door, with food, raffles, and a 50/50 being offered. Don requested prior to his passing that there be no services for him. So this will be a great way for his family & many friends to remember Don. If you can't make it, donations can be made to the family directly, or to the Lansingburgh Boy's & Girl's Club, 501 4th Ave. Troy NY 12182 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Tonight's Carmine Dio & Roaring Thunder big country show at Powers Park isn't happening folks, due to this well needed soaking we're getting. 
The show is re-scheduled for Saturday, Sept 8, at 6pm.
No music tonight, but here's a pic of Carlos Santana, up close & personal I shot last night at SPAC. Great show by the way! See you all next week at Powers for Classic Rock Night with the amazing, Emerald City. Showtime is 6pm.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Carmine Dio Roars Into Powers:

Country Night returns to Historic Powers Park this Saturday, with Carmine Dio & Roaring Thunder making their first appearance at the Lansingburgh music mecca.
Long considered one of the most dynamic local country singers in the region, Carmine's stage presence takes over the crowd, along with his seasoned ability to get concert goers, both young & old,  into his song styling web of country magic. Showtime is at 6pm, July 28. No dogs are allowed.
Check out his webpage for free music sample's of his latest CD, 'Boy's Night Out'.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Be-Boppin At Powers Park:

   Powers Park will be Be-Boppin on Saturday night to the big swing sound of Nitro Jive. The eight piece powerhouse makes it's first return to the historic park in 6 seasons with a new lineup, and a , 'take no prisoners' attitude. Led by vocal master, Bill Deuel, the group puts its audience into a dancing frenzy, with spot on replication of music's greatest swing bands. Showtime is at 6pm on July 21, with a NO DOG policy in effect at the show.
   The Powers Park Concerts are presented by Mayor Lou Rosamelia & the City of Troy, along with health care provider, WELLCARE. They are supported in part by Whitney Young Health/Troy, Snowman, Beverage Barn, Northeast Shuttle, Lansing Laundry/Gamers LLC, Barrett Blacktopping, Tri City Valley Cats, and the Friends of 112th St.
   So join us for all the fun and great music right here in your hometown Troy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prospect Park Jazz Begins:

Prospect Park Jazz kicks off on July 20, at the historic Troy park, located on Congress St. We're fashioning this, similar to the popular, Powers Park Concerts, beginning with 2 shows in it's first season. Depending on the success of the short season of shows, we plan to expand the series next season to a full, 6 week schedule. Our first show will feature keyboardist Jim Wilson, and his quartet. Food & beverages will be available, with RBC Jazz Club serving beer & wine, as an extra added attraction. Beautiful weather, historic park, and America's truest musical artform, all add up to a peaceful, relaxing evening. So join us for all the fun. Enjoy Troy!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Big Day In Troy:

   Thousands of people will be visiting Troy on Saturday & Sunday to eat some of the best BBQ, this side of the Mississippi. They'll also be coming to hear some pretty good music, at two separate events. 
   The 5th Annual Troy Pig Out kicks off at 10am, on July 14, with the music starting at 11am. Over the course of the 2 day event, you'll be treated to a diverse array of musical styles, ranging from Blue Grass, Blues, and some pretty darn good rock n roll. Headlining on Saturday will be Blues master guitarist, Albert Cummings. 
   Also appearing will be Troy favorites, Super 400, and swing kings, The Jump Daddies. The Sunday lineup, also beginning  at 11am, features the immortal local legend, Charlie Smith, as well as Blues Sanctuary, and the electric newcomers to the local blues scene, Collette & the Mudcats.
   Bring your appetites, cause like I said earlier, the food is Large & in Charge. Pulled Pork, Ribs, Brisket, & Chicken, as far as the eye can see. BBQ teams from across the USA will compete for cash prizes, as well as the honor of displaying, the 'Golden Pig', which is awarded to the overall winner, to display at their business for the next year. There is also numerous festival food vendors available is you so choose. Just Google, Troy Pig Out for the full schedule of events. 
   Also happening on Saturday night, is the return of the legendary, Refrigerators, to the Neil Kelleher Stage at Historic, Powers Park. Showtime is at 6pm. Long recognized as the Kings of local horn bands, the group just keeps getting better & better every year. Their legions of fans, flock to their shows, which resulted in the band drawing the largest crowd ever in the history of the popular concert series -- as well as it being one of my own personal favorite shows I've ever heard performed over the past eight seasons -- and I've been to every single one. 
   Troy is giving you options this weekend. So DVR the Yankee games, and join us for all the fun, food, and great music. ENJOY TROY!
The Refrigerators
Albert Cummings

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Powers Park Concerts Return Tonight:

   Season 9 of the Powers Park Concert Series begins tonight at the historic Lansingburgh venue. Over the years the popular FREE concert series, has become a destination spot for many, each & every Saturday evening. Not only having a strong local following, the concerts attract music lovers from neighboring states such as Vermont, Massachusetts, &   Connecticut.
   Opening the series tonight with a bang, Funk Evolution, voted the area's #1 party band in 2012 in the recent, Metroland Readers Poll, this high energy,big horn, powerhouse, has been captivating local audiences for the past several years. Comprised of some of the top musical talents in the area, their chemistry together provides their audiences with some of the best, funk n soul you'll ever experience at a live show.
   Powers Park Concerts are presented by Mayor Lou Rosamelia & the City of Troy, along with health care provider WELLCARE. It is supported in part by Whitney Young Health/Troy, Snowman, Northeast Shuttle, Beverage Barn, Lansing Laundry/ Gamer's LLC., Barrett Blacktopping, Tri City Valley Cats, and The Friends of 112th St. Media advertising is  provided by The Record & WVCR, 88.3fm, The Saint.
   Food & beverages are available at each show, as is face painting for the kids. No pets are allowed please. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket. Showtime is at 6pm. 


Monday, July 2, 2012

499 Second Ave Lives Another Day:

   I decided to check out the 1760 Manor Inn this weekend, and let me tell you -- the food was just GREAT. Located at 499 2nd Ave. , the most recent reincarnation of this Historic Lansingburgh eatery, is a homerun in anyone's book. As it was as the Olde Daley Inn, 499 House, Mahoney's, MJ's on the Avenue, and Rennihans, this 17th century structure, still has all the charm, & class that I remember from years gone by.
   Having a hankering for a big slab of beef, I made my way down for a meal --and what a great meal it was. I ordered the 20oz cut of Prime Rib, and it came out cooked to perfection, as well as being a good quality cut of meat. The sides were fresh, with the presentation screaming, 'quality meal here Vito'! The bill for two (2 prime rib dinners, sides, and a couple of beers, came to $49. Wow!
   My waitress, Nicole, was first rate also. I hate when you're trying to eat and the waitress comes over every 30 seconds to see if your meal is acceptable, and expects an answer when your trying to chew. None of that at the 1760. She stayed on top of things while waiting on all the downstairs tables, and I never wanted for nothing. My compliments to the owners for hiring this first rate server.
   1760 still has that classic charm, and class I remember from my first visit there, more than 40 years ago (Olde Daley Inn back then). I would highly recommend this eatery for celebrating any type of occasion you may have. Or, just for an inexpensive night out. Other reviewers give stars to rate restuarants. But me, I'll give the 1760 Manor Inn, a 5 meatball rating! Try it, you won't be dissappointed.

Friday, June 15, 2012

River St. Arts Fest 2012:

Join us on Saturday, June 16th for Troy's signature event, the River St. Arts Festival. Headlining the event will be 90's rockers, Stroke 9.
There will be three stages of music for all to enjoy.
Main Stage / Broadway & 2nd St.:
11am -- Rich Ortiz
12:30 --Acoustic Trauma
1:45 -- Graham Tichey Band
3:30 -- Stroke 9

Local Stage // State & River St.
11:00am -- Chelsea Cavanaugh
12:15pm -- Mike McMann & the Doornails
1:30 pm --  Shut Up Tim
2:15 pm -- Maurizio
3:15 pm -- The Mysteios

Kids Stage // On the side of the Arts Center building
4 acts, all geared to children.

More than 100 food & craft vendors will also be on hand. So join us for all the fun, from 10am to 5pm, right here in the home of Uncle Sam.
ENJOY TROY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Powers Park Concerts Return - Season 9

Need I say more? Watch for my upcoming, Troy Treasures column. I'll have plenty more to say at that particular time. I will however say thank you to WELLCARE, for the HUGE financial support they provide us with every year, to help us put together this type of quality schedule of family entertainment. Whitney Young Health, Snowman, Beverage Barn, Northeast Shuttle, Gamer's LLC, Barrett Blacktopping, and the Friends of 112th St, all provide further financial support, and I send them another, HUGE THANK YOU!
Mayor Rosamelia, & Dept Mayor Ryan deserve thanks for understanding the value of the shows to the residents, and keeping this tradition on going. Our vendor lineup has changed a bit over the years, but we will be offering some of the finest quality event food around , as usual! 50/50 raffles will benefit the Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club, Uncle Sam Parade, 9/11 Memorial Committee, Lansingburgh High Baseball Booster Club, and the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. The shows are, 'lawn-chair concerts,  and we ask that if attending, please be respectful of the people around you. There is a strict, no dog policy in effect. Visit this Blog throughout the summer season for up to date event info.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Abandon Ship -- I Don't Think So:

The Troy Motor Boat & Canoe Club has been having quite a time dealing with the damage done last year by Hurricane Irene. They suffered more than $165,000 worth of damage, and now are looking for your help. Being they are a private club, the group was not eligible for any federal funding for repairs to their docks, or property. The group will be hosting a series of fundraising events over the next two months to help raise some much needed cash. Being they are our neighbor here in the 'Burgh, I encourage everyone to support their upcoming efforts. Here's a look at what they have planned to assist their effort.
Saturday, May 26th // 8am to 3pm: Garage Sale, Bake Sale & Chicken BBQ:
Look around your home and take this chance to donate items that are in decent condition and worth selling. They will sell those items in the garage sale and use the profits for continued dock re-construction, and general maintenance around the boat club. They could also usae your assistance to help sort, lable, and selling the items. You can also donate baked goods, so that they can incorporate a bake sale with the garage sale into the mix. By the way, the leftover items that do not sell, will be donated to Joseph House in the 'Burgh. They will also be offering a chicken BBQ, starting immedietly after the rummage/bake sale, at 4:30 pm. Tickets are $10.00 per dinner. Cash only please. The rain date for this event on 5/27. The group also has raffle tickets to win an Ocean Kayak Cabo Tandem for $10.00. Some of you may say, "well, it's a private club, why should we help them out? We should help them out because they are a big part of our community. They've never said no to me whenever I was looking for a contribution for whatever fund-raising effort I've been involved in. Plus, they've donated the use of their facilities anytime I was involved with. My belief is that we should assist our neighbors in their time of need. The Boat Club has been a good neighbor, let's all pitch in and help out. For more info, call the boat club directly at, 235-9697.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Walking in Memphis:

   Living in the Great Northeast offers residents a great deal of recreational activities, very close to home. Now I usually don't write about things happening outside of the Capital Region, but there's a fantastic event  going on every year up in Lake George that I always attend, and I'd like to share with you.
   Elvis Weekend in Lake George will be held from May 31, thru June 3. All the businesses run fantastic specials, as do the eateries. But the main attraction is the army of Elvis impersonators found pretty much on every street corner during this celebration of the King of Rock n Rolls, life and career. I always crack up watching the tribute artist. Their attention to detail is amazing, and when some of them sing, you could close your eye's and think you're listening to the real thing. The point I'm making is that the entire weekend is good family fun, and for Elvis fans -- it's Mecca!
  I was made aware of a GREAT deal being offered by my favorite hotel up at the lake. Former Trojan, Rob Gregor is now operating the Motel Montreal (
Here's the deal:
*Book a minimum, two day stay, at $79 per night (depending on number of people in room), and Rob will give you a pair of, 'Blue Suede Shoes' -- Yeah baby! Rob treats all of his guest so much like family, you would swear he was Italian! The motel is in a great spot by the lake, offering a variety of activities, and offers a peaceful setting for you to unwind. If you decide to book a room for this fantastic weekend, tell Rob that Vito sent you, and you'll get a 0% discount!
     Lake George is such a treasure, right in our back yard. Take a ride up to the Motel Montreal, and drive back home in your new, Blue Suede Shoe's!

Friday, March 30, 2012


   The Easter Bunny was spotted hopping across Third St. today, according to eyewitnesses. Wearing a turquoise sash, astonished shoppers stood in awe, as the iconic figure gracefully worked his way through downtown, playfully racing after a school bus full of what he believed to be children, but instead was full of inmates being transported back to Rensco County Jail. "Here I was looking for kids, and boy did I make BIG mistake, " said a laughing E. Bunny.
   This roving reporter caught up with him today to ask him a few questions:
VC --  How long have you've been doing this Mr. Bunny?
EB  -- Well Vito, I was around long before Bugs Bunny was, that's for sure.
VC --  How come you chose Troy over other Capital District towns?
EB --  Troy is the home of Uncle Sam, and the kids are always so nice to me when I come. I'm also looking forward to going over to Dinosaur for a rack of ribs.
VC -- So where will you be tomorrow.
EB -- We'll be at Prospect Park, beginning at 11:30.
VC -- Any advice for the kids tomorrow?
EB -- Tell mom & dad to call your dentist ahead of time -- I'm bringing a HUGE amount of candy.

   Join us tomorrow at 11:30. Bring the kids, and meet the Easter Bunny.

Where -- Prospect Park
When  -- March 31 -- 11:30 a.m.
Free --Free --Free

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scratch My Italian What?:

   Marcia Pascarella passed away on February 17. I don't usually write about people passing, but Marcia is a special case. And boy was she special!!!!!!!!!!!!
   I first met her when I  became active in my community, back in 1996, and began attending city council meetings. Her group, Trojans for Troy, was a vocal, pro-active, political watchdog, and the grandmothers of the wave of community groups which sprung up soon after, following their lead. I used to watch in amusement as the Marcia, Pam, Marcie & Janet show took place, once a month on the Monument Square stage.       They came armed with legal documents, a strong desire to keep the politicians in their place, and sometimes well, they wore pig noses to get their point across.      
   Marcia didn't know how to take me back then, so we sometimes clashed. Including the time I told her to, "scratch my Italian backside" (I used another term though). Jim Franco, being the roving reporter he is, wrote about it the following Monday in Tailspin - bless his heart! Over the years, we developed a friendship though She used to call me quite often at city hall for this or that. We always took care of her concerns the best we could. The Island  in front of her home on River St., was one of her pet peeves. So, every now and then, I would go over with a jug of Roundup, and spray the grass and weeds for her,  put flowers in the planters, or get the flag changed.. 

  But Marcia had a caustic way about her if you got on her wrong side, and believe me, I caught her wrath many a time. All she wanted was for some normalcy in her neighborhood. She took more chances with some very scary people, than she should have sometimes. Marcia was born in a time when houses were mostly owner occupied in Troy. She watched in horror as a once proud and beautiful neighborhood decayed. A neighborhood she loved, and fought for. Marcia never stopped fighting for, or believing in North Central. The last time I spoke to her was about 4 months ago, and when I approached her she said, "Oh look who just crawled out from behind a rock"! That's the Marcia I'll remember -- the fighter, the woman who I watched take on any politician you can think of. The woman who drove John Hedley so crazy he wound up giving Marcia, Marcie, Pam, & Janet rides in a limo. There will never be another like her. Sleep well Marcia -- you've earned the rest.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Life Is A Cabaret Old Chum - For A Fee:

   Just when you think politicians couldn't get any dumber, the Albany City Council is proposing a Cabaret Tax.  Under the proposed local law, any nightclub, or establishment offering entertainment using musical instruments  plugged into amplifiers, would be required to pay a $150 fee. Now they want to tax the music too.
   You would think that in this depressed economy, lawmakers would be looking for ways to ease the burden on their constituents. You would also think that they would see the need  to work with their local businesses, which includes a bustling Albany night club scene. Imposing this fee isn't going to shut anyone down, but the way I see it, it's just another way of picking the pockets of those who can pay it. Taxing music is morally wrong in many respects. Music for many is relaxation, for some a profession and a passion.  
   The local music scene has always been fragile over the years, but it's been on the rebound over the last decade. Cities, town and villages all over the Capital District offer free entertainment throughout the Summer season, and into the early Fall. Nightclubs all over see a down-slide in business during these months, unless you operate in Lake George or Saratoga. So during the cold months, these businesses get the opportunity to catch up, so to speak. Hitting them up for ANOTHER TAX  is just not fair. The musicians are also directly effected by it. I've dealt with club owners for four decades, and can tell you first hand that most travel a fine line between staying open, and going bust. Every dollar helps. The more they make, the more generous they are when dealing with musicians. 

   But it's not just the music scene that would be effected by this, the arts in general, plays and other artistic expression's would be forced to pay if using amplified music. Church's & other not for profits would be exempt for this lunacy. 
If you live in Albany, send an e-mail to the members of the city council that support this nonsense, and tell them no thank you, I'm already taxed to death. Leave the damn music alone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy New Year and Pass the Cheese Please:

   I've been wondering what my first blog post for 2012 was going to cover. Troy is just such a vibrant city at times, with so many fun and exciting things going on, I just couldn't decide what the heck to write about. The politics in this town pretty much write their own stories, and plus, my bud Jim Franco has his hand on most things happening in that no dice there. Sports? I'm a baseball fan who wish's the grand old game went year round, and I'm extremely upset the Yanks just traded Jesus I'm not writing about that either. Just when I thought I had writers block -- there on today's front page of the print edition of the Record was, the billboard that broke the writers bedrock.
   Now you cannot, should not, nor will not eat cheese, or we will gross kids out so bad, they will vomit in mom's mini van after seeing the disgusting GIANT BILLBOARD of an over-sized, obese, cellulite marked thigh  - and mom may veer off the road into a ditch at the distraction, but please don't eat the cheese cause you may get fat. You know what? If you over indulge in many things, you may put on weight. The key with cheese is like anything else -- moderation, moderation, moderation! It just really gets to me when some agenda driven group is allowed to put up a billboard as distracting as this. The DOT should have some sort of regulation against this type of advertising.  I also think that those rolling billboards should not be allowed on our highways where people are traveling more than 70mph. Am I the only one who thinks this is a safety concern that someone should be looking at? There's enough road hazards out there every day that it's not in any one's best interest to provide additional distractions for drivers.
   Look folks, if you sit, Ala George Costanza, in your underwear eating a giant block of cheese on a regular basis, or stuff a dozen or so double cheese-burgers down your throat every week -- you may develop a blockage or four. Putting a giant, obese, cellulite ridden thigh on a humongous sign above eye level on a well traveled road,  just might kill you faster than that slice of cheese on your sub will. If the organization who paid for those gross billboards, took the money they paid, and gave it to a local food pantry, it would greatly help the many families who are struggling in today's economy. 

Join me tomorrow when I write about how many times you should chew each bite!