The following is a selection of write-in entries for categories too broad to tabulate official winners:
Best Use of Public Funds
@NYSenate Twitter feed, Albany Public Library, Alive at Five, APD response to Occupy Albany, arts, community gardens, Delware Avenue construction, education, Empire State Plaza ice rink, feeding the homeless, fixing roads, hurricane cleanup, LarkFest, parks, Planned Parenthood, public education, public pools, putting a hole in Troy City Hall, SNUG, solar trash bins, Veggie Mobile, unemployment benefits.
Best Misuse of Public Funds
Alan Chartock, Albany Convention Center, APD response to Occupy Albany, building 787, Capital Lights in the Park, changing all the bus-stop signs, charter schools, county government, entire government, everything, food stamps, Global Foundries, Jennings’ spray tan and Cuomo’s hair products, live music tax, NYS DMV plates for the Giants and not 9/11, politicians, roundabouts, Saratoga Housing Authority, state workers who don’t do anything, tax exemptions for wealthy corporations.
Best Way to Lure People to the Capital Region
A club and ropes, roofies, a casino, actually have cool shit, affordable homes, another Trader Joe’s, music festival like SXSW, better tax-to-public-benefit ratio, House of Blues, candy, cats, unite the colleges with the city, concerts, chloroform, IKEA, more events in Empire State Plaza, dubstep!, free beer, free BJs, popsicles, weed, Global Foundries, good bands at Alive at Five, high-speed train, jobs, jobs, jobs, lower taxes, magic, make movies here, good Jewish delis, urban sustainability, shhh (don’t tell), stop talking smack about it.
Best Time to Be Had in the Capital Region for Under $10
1st Friday, $6 Tuesday at Bow Tie, Alive at Five, apple picking, Albany Museum, blanket and bottle of wine in the park, bandaoke at Savannah’s, a pack of cheap smokes and a walk, dodgeball at the Armory, dog park, dollar bowling at Uncle Sam Lanes, Famous Lunch, garage bands in the garage, geocaching, free boot of beer at Biergarten, 25-cent skeeball at Footsy Magoo’s, Guptill’s roller skating, hookers in Albany, Troy Night Out, OUTPOST1, Palais Royale, poetry open mics, potluck dinners, Rockin’ on the River, six pack of beer and sex, watching little league.
Best Place to See and Be Seen
Albany Chefs Food and Wine Festival, Alive at Five, Washington Park, Angelo’s 677 Prime, City Beer Hall, Crossgates, DiCarlo’s, Divinyl Revolution, Elda’s, walk of shame on Lark Street, Hudson River Coffee House, Schenectady, Honest Weight Food Co-op, LarkFest, McGeary’s, New World Bistro Bar, Occupy Albany, OUTPOST1, Palais Royale, SPAC, the Ruck, the cover of Metroland, the corner of Central and Henry Johnson, Valentine’s, Waterworks.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Albany
787 gone, a new mayor with a better vision, a real jazz club opens, a public concrete skatepark, all the hipsters kicked out, all the stupidos move to Troy, an aquarium, an Ethiopian restaurant, arena football, atomic bomb, backyard chickens, better parking, casino, clean up downtown, college students would try to bring life to their city rather than sucking life from it, continuation of the Warehouse Entertainment District, crackdown on slumlords, demolish Central Warehouse, develop waterfront, grow downtown resident population, economic upswing, Erin Harkes winning The Voice, Fred Dicker leaves for good, Henry Hudson’s bones are found, hookah bar, IKEA, Jamba Juice, legal art walls, legal marijuana, less bullshit, local band gets big, light rail, major sports team, make Broadway in daylight what Pearl Street is in the dark, more pride, realize its own awesomeness, tax the 1 percent, a zoo.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Troy
A bath, new police force, new co-op under different management, proper music venue, skate park, time machine, anything, attacked by a Kraken, Bob Mirch gone for good, better parking, bike lanes, Bomber’s, Christian revival, better public transit, continue development of River Street and downtown, Revolution Hall, free Mike Loporto, Trader Joe’s, legalize UFC, it’s happening now, major breakthrough at RPI, make Pig Out two weekends, mall built at old city hall, no one way, rebuild theater district, same as Albany, Singularity engulfs everything but Brown’s and the Ruck, forgetting the term “Troylet,” Uncle Sam comes to life and stages a coup.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Schenectady
Apocalyptic moron culling, gourmet vegan restaurant, more clothing stores downtown, artists move there, became 10 miles closer to Albany, better drugs, Bon Jovi, better police department, bike lanes, change its name, clean up crime, downtown development, disco golf, experimental farming, film and TV production destination, GE contracts, enlarge the community college, mega millions, local dramatist debuts a hit at Proctors, Mexican Radio, midsized showcase club like the Iron Horse, no guns allowed, no more shouting, people recognize the good things already going on, walkable corridor on Erie Boulevard, Wegman’s.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Saratoga Springs
Zombie apocalypse, a brewery, affordable housing, it goes back to 1992, Ben and Jerry’s megastore, better parking, bus service from Albany, celebs, cheaper, close bars earlier to prevent fights, Dave Matthews never comes back to SPAC, fix NYRA, extend racing season, Kunstler for mayor, khakis are outlawed, less cops, less fist pumpers in the summer time, move it 30 miles south, Mumford and Sons at SPAC, Popeye’s Chicken, something with horses, wealthy rappers discover horse racing.
Best Thing That Happened in 2011
Arab Spring, Occupy Albany, Bin Laden gone, changes to CDTA, community response to Hurricane Irene, gay marriage in New York state, got pregnant, ice skating back at the Plaza, it ended, Kegs and Eggs, Living Walls, no snow, NY Giants won the Super Bowl, the Olde English Pub, pulled out of Iraq, Restoration Festival, Saratoga Springs skate park dug out, Trader Joe’s, walking a llama at Dakota Ridge Farm.
Best Evidence That the Region is Looking Up
Albany BARN, Andrew Cuomo, arts and music, chip fabrication, Trader Joe’s, have yet to see it, I moved here, Living Walls, job creation, Malta is expanding, less crime, Metroland, meow?, movies being filmed here, nanotech, no winter, Occupy movement, more investment at grassroots level, people are out, Ryan Gosling, saw a rainbow, Sasha Grey at the Racino, Shop Rite, the fact that you asked the question, Trailer Park Boys is coming, two cafes and a bakery on Quail where kegs and eggs was last year, Troy.
Best Kept Secret in the Capital Region
(Can’t tell you), Five Rivers, MOVE Festival, All Good Bakers, 9 Maple Avenue, Arkell Museum, Anton Pasquill, Blanchard doesn’t wear panties, art in Empire State Plaza concourse, Burger Centric, Capital Region Language Center, CDTA bike and ride, Carmen’s Café in Troy, Chatham Brewery, Dirty Paris, Front Parlor storytelling series at the Ale House, it’s cool here, Laughs on Lark, love, midnight skinny dipping in Washington Park, ongoing voter fraud, Peebles Island, me and Greta are pregnant with twins, summer concert series in Dana Park, the amount of marijuana smokers, Tree Shurts, where the fireworks are launched from.
Best Local Celebrity with Whom You’d Like to Have a One-Night Stand
Andrew Cuomo, Andrew from Keep Albany Boring, any one of the YNN newswomen (is that redhead still doing the traffic report?), B.A. Nilsson, Carl Strock (but just to chat), Caroline Corrigan, Eli Hargrave, Erin Harkes, Glenn Slingerland, if your sexual bucket list contains a local celebrity you don’t aim high in life, Jessica Layton, Liz Bishop, Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Matt Baumgartner, Matt Baumgartner (if he were straight), Nipper, oh you’ll see, OP Callaghan or John Rodat, Paul Caiano (rarr!), Rachel Ray, Ryan Gosling, Samson Contompasis, Sarah Barthel, Shirley Ann Jackson, the mayor of Lark Street, Tim Koch, Trumastr, Yolanda Vega.
Best ____ (add your own category)
Art studio: Sow’s Ear. Belly Dancer: Margaret Bunkoff. Animal rescue: Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. CDTA busdriver: Joshua Owens. Cult: NXIVM, Dollar Tree: Central Ave., Film fest: It Came From Schenectady, Friend: Tiny Dobbins, Latte art: Coffee Planet, Local blogger to disagree with: Kristi Gustafson Bartlette, Model: Chrissy Croft, Mentalist: Tregar, Mother: Michele Graham, Party house: Struna house in West Sand Lake, Potholes: southern 787, Burlesque: Bing Bamboo Room, Dive bar: Palais Royale, Hardware store: Pfeil’s, Wrestling: In Your Face, Local cartoon: Smallbany, Massage therapist with attitude: Mary Panza, Pub name to scare off those with a weak stomach: Capital City Gastro Pub, Roller coaster: the Comet, Skate shop: Seasons.