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2007 Year In Pictures

Architecture, Painting and Film

(clockwise from top left) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s EMPAC started the one-year countdown to construction completion; Saratoga-based painter Iona Park enjoyed her process; buon fresco artist Cindylee Alexander practiced her ancient art in Troy; and two of the mad geniuses behind the Edwood FilmFest, (l-r) Keith Pickard and Peter Barnett, helped bring Hollywood to Albany.

PHOTO: Leif Zurmuhlen
PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle
PHOTO: Alicia Solsman
PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle

Comedy, Literature and Community

(clockwise from top left) Greg Aidala’s Brew Ha-Ha comedy nights at Albany’s Tess’ Lark Tavern thrived and grew; author Edward Schwarzschild explored his Philly roots from his Albany home; Michael Weidrich helped steer Albany’s 1st Fridays to success; and the Altamont Fairgrounds balanced rising costs with the needs of cash-strapped users.

PHOTO: Alicia Solsman
PHOTO: Leif Zurmuhlen
PHOTO: John Whipple
PHOTO: Alicia Solsman

Crusading for Change

(clockwise from top left) Rose Mapendo survived the horrors of tribal warfare in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and shared her story at a Capital Region event to remember the massacre of Gatumba; Michael and Lisa Carey, here with their son Joshua, continued this year to fight for reform in the state’s treatment of the mentally disabled after the death of their autistic son, Jonathan; Erin Davies’ car was vandalized by hate speech and she made sure everyone saw it; and Allison Banks lost her son to gun violence and spent this year galvanizing efforts to stop the fighting on Albany’s streets.

PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle
PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields

In Good Taste

(clockwise from top left) Avenue A moved out of its digs just off Albany’s New Scotland Avenue and completed a handsome renovation of the former Bagel Bite, bringing international food and flair to Delaware Avenue; Midtown Tap & Tea room filled the vacancy left by Avenue A, and made tapas a New Scotland neighborhood staple; the wife-husband team of Maria Gandara and Gregor Trieste took their home-kitchen business into the national spotlight when they signed up with Whole Foods to distribute their Buddhapesto; and the recently remodeled, 60-plus-year-old Cardona’s Market continued to thrive on Delaware with three generations of the family working in the store, and founder Augusto Cardona still making the meatballs.

PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle
PHOTO:: B.A. Nilsson
PHOTO:: Shannon DeCelle
PHOTO:: Shannon DeCelle

Political Heavyweights

(clockwise from top left) David Soares made himself a name on the national stage this year by prosecuting pharmacies that illegally sell steroids, while making his name statewide by making the deal that took Comptroller Alan Hevesi out of office and looking into Troopergate; Albany Common Councilman Corey Ellis spent his time on the streets trying to give kids an alternative to gangs; the gun-violence task force advocated for years by Albany Common Councilman Dominick Calsolaro finally became reality this year; and Sen. Hillary Clinton looked right at home at the center of New York’s most powerful Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Martin Benjamin
PHOTO: Chris Shields

Political Middleweights

(clockwise from top left) Democrat Valerie Keehn simultaneously fought to keep her job as Saratoga Mayor while fighting battles with longtime Democrat Dept. of Public Works commissioner Thomas McTygue—she lost her job and so did McTygue; Saratoga DPW Commissioner McTygue faced the political battle of his life this year as his uncivil behavior in council meetings was exposed on YouTube and allegations of an FBI investigation into him were made public; despite controversies surrounding a hurried deal to sell City Hall, Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian sailed into his second term; and another glitch in Albany’s Democratic machine appeared this year in the form of Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings’ Democratic city committee, which endorsed candidates contrary to that of the county committee.

PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Chris Shields

Big Noise

(clockwise from top left) Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band brought their magic show to downtown Albany in November; Slash and the rest of Velvet Revolver partied like it’s 1989 in their August show at SPAC; the Evens rocked the stacks at the Howe Library in June; at the Times Union Center in September, the reunited Genesis proved that, while they can’t dance, they can still play.

PHOTO: Leif Zurmuhlen
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Joe Putrock


We Rock

(clockwise from top left) Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai shredded at the Egg in early October; the Pussycat Dolls bared their, um, souls in their April Palace Theatre show; Colin Hay had some stories to tell at Club Helsinki in May; the Ronnie James Dio version of Black Sabbath, known as Heaven and Hell, rocked hard at the Times Union Center in May; the Reverend Al Green closed this year’s Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at SPAC with a smile.

Photo: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Martin Benjamin
 
PHOTO: John Whipple

 

In Your Backyard

(clockwise from top left) Country-folk duo Palatypus soothed the souls of anyone who came across them; the Erotics soldiered on with a well-received new album and more European touring; soulful songstress Ashley Pond burst onto the scene with a big voice and a great debut CD; rapper Rick “Shyste” Allen got serious about hip-hop.

PHOTO: Leif Zurmuhlen
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Joe Putrock

Around the Bend

(clockwise from top left) Hard-working jazzer Brian Patneaude celebrated another year of multitasking; rockabilly vets Rocky Velvet brought their first decade to a close with the release of their first CD; beloved Saratoga-based vocalist Sarah Pedinotti turned heads on a national level with her City Bird disc; the Ramblin Jug Stompers brought old-school good times to stages around the region.

PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Chris Shields


In the News

(clockwise from top left) After the death of local entrepreneur Diva de Loayza in a bicycling accident, volunteers gathered to paint bicycle helmets and trade safety tips at an event honoring her life; advocates gathered outside the federal courthouse in Albany after the sentencing of Mohammed Hossain and Yassin Aref; Nadia Conseillant claimed that a confrontation with a driver from Joe’s Osborne Street Garage ended with her being dragged across a parking lot; and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany continued to grow its world-class facilities and reputation.

PHOTO: Alicia Solsman
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Chris Shields

It’s an Interesting Life

(clockwise from top left) Motorcycle designer Will Thibeault worked on one of his one-of-a-kind bikes; mixed martial arts became a sports fad this year, and local martial-arts experts like Carlos Machado (top, with student Michael La Duke) got into the game; Kathy Stevens, the director and founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, released her memoir Where the Blind Horse Sings, detailing her experiences with the sanctuary; and KingJamell Modest worked with Albany Common Councilman Corey Ellis in the Save Our Neighborhood program.

PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle

Making Their Voices Heard

(clockwise from top left) Religious leaders and activists gathered at the Pastoral Center of the Roman Diocese of Albany to speak out against Guantanamo Bay and torture; among the few who voiced support for Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to broaden the issuance of drivers’ licenses, immigration activists gathered in Troy; advocates joined mental-health workers and consumers to denounce Albany Medical Center’s plan to halve its number of mental-health beds; advocates for the mentally ill marched in Albany, calling upon the Legislature to include $100 million for housing; and Women Against War rented a billboard to spread their antiwar message.

PHOTO: John Whipple
PHOTO: Chris Shields
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
PHOTO: Chris Shields
 
PHOTO: Chris Shields


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