Restaurant for a Power Lunch
2. Jack’s Oyster House
3. Angelo’s 677 Prime
thought breakfast was the most important meal, but our readers
seem to disagree.
Best Restaurant to Take a Date
Jack’s Oyster House
2. Café Capriccio
to impress a babe or hot dude? These three restaurant studs
show the opposite sex that you know swank and you’ve got money
in the bank.
Best Restaurant to Take the Kids
2. Red Robin
3. Chuck E. Cheese
cream! Yay! Peanut-butter-cup-Friend-Z! Whoo! Chicken tenders!
Pizza! Brawling moms in Chuck E. Cheese! Boo!
Best Indian Buffet
2. Curry House
3. Tandoor Palace
on Central Avenue in Albany is an old standby that barely
ever faces a true challenge, and with good reason—Shalimar
has great naan and even better Tandoori chicken.
Best Chinese Buffet
Capital Buffet (Wolf Road)
2. Dragon Buffet (Central Avenue)
3. Golden Phoenix (Niskayuna)
us while we gorge . . . yum . . . yum . . . *burp* Capital
Best Bakery (dessert/pastries)
2. Villa Italia
3. Mrs. London’s
that a cannoli in your pocket or are you just happy to see
us? Oh, it is a cannoli! Can we have a bite?
Best Bakery (breads)
Panera (all locations)
3. Bountiful Bread
in this category must not get out much. Yes, there is a Panera
Bread in just about every local strip mall but that does not
make them best bakery. Oh, what us Metrolanders would give
to be graced by the return of clearly superior fake bakery
chain Au Bon Pain. Until its return we will have to patronize,
you know, real bakeries. Shucks!
Best Wine List
The Ginger Man
2. The Wine Bar
3. Vin Santo
we’re a little surprised that the place with “wine” in its
name didn’t come out on top. But then, the Ginger Man does
have a selection of, like, three billion bottles.
Peking & Alibi’s
3. Blue 82
we always say, the best martini is the next one, and these
three establishments keep ’em flowing.
3. Daily Grind
must be that Milky Way-flavored hot chocolate that draws our
readers to Dunkin’ Donuts (excuse us while we retch). But
seriously folks, with a bevy of amazing local coffee shops
like Daily Grind, Perfect Blend, the Ultraviolet Café and
Muddy Cup, maybe its time you guys hit a coffee shop without
a drive-thru and microwaved faux-egg sandwiches.
2. Villa Italia
3. Bella Napoli
is no better way to get that bloated feeling you so love than
to finish your night off at Colonie Center with a mound of
cheesecake in your gullet.
3. Debbie’s Kitchen
explains all the entries we received from guys named Jared.
2. Uncommon Grounds
3. Price Chopper
and Uncommon Grounds are both great places to grab a bagel,
no doubt. But Price Chopper? Next thing you know you guys
are going to vote Price Chopper Best Florist. Oh wait—you
I Love NY (Troy)
Love NY in Troy keeps the pizza bubbling late, late into the
Wings Over Albany
3. Mild Wally’s
our error—we misread this at first and thought our readers
had voted in an obscure Paul McCartney live album.
2. Five Guys Burgers & Fries
3. Sutter’s Mill
love ’em some robin burgers—er, hamburgers.
Best Cheap Eats
Bombers Burrito Bar
3. Taco Bell
Glen Sanders Mansion
2. Old Daley Inn
3. Classe Catering
winner brings a mansion of food.
2. Bangkok Thai
Linh? Sure. Van’s? Check. Bangkok Thai? Um, that’s a Thai
2. Gideon Putnam
new-ish Café Madison won your stomachs with its lovely brunch
fare, with the Gideon Putnam and Justin’s considered almost
Best Outdoor Dining
2. Jumpin’ Jack’s
3. The Lighthouse
know it’s a difficult time of year to think about this kind
of thing. Thanks for making the leap.
3. Latham 76
Gateway done gone and got made up all nice for you, and the
best you can do is give it No. 2?
Best Brew Pub
Brown’s Brewing Co.
2. Albany Pump Station
3. Troy Brew Pub
Brewing Co. is such a fine brew pub that voters selected it
as both their first and third place winner in this category.
(Note: It hasn’t been the Troy Brew Pub in, like, a century.)
Browns’ brewed-on-premises-beer is a treat along with their
hearty menu. You might even catch a few Metrolanders taking
in a brewsky and watching the Hudson on Browns’ alluring deck
during the summer months.
Best Beer Selection
3. Albany Pump Station
is the home for hardcore brew fanatics from all walks of life.
Angelo’s 677 Prime
2. Delmonico’s Italian
of Kansas City, you ain’t find a better steak anywhere.
fine restaurants specialize in the biggest, sloppiest good
ole eatin’ around.
2. Avenue A
3. Café Helsinki (Great Barrington, Mass.)
been all around this big, crazy world, and yup, you’re right:
These are the best international restaurants.
2. Four Seasons
3. Shake Shake Mamas
in the Capital Region have no reason to complain—these are
some top-notch offerings.
A Taste of Greece
2. Grecian Garden
3. The Chariot
traditional favorite wins.
Best Southern/Soul Food
2. Magnolia’s on the Park
3. Southern Bistro
could eat fried chicken every meal, every day. Seriously.
2. El Loco
in numbers (there are three of them now) helps El Mariachi
return to the top of the chart.
thing—Sitar is also the one Indian musical instrument that
most people can name off the top of their heads.
people, people: It’s time to work through those five stages
of grief, because Clayton’s is long gone.
3. Andy’s Import
very close race. Clearly our readers were in a . . . wait
for it . . . pickle.
2. Midtown Tap and Tea Room
we need to get our eyes checked: We thought you awarded best
tapes to Vin Diesel. Which doesn’t make much
sense. But, whatever.
Best Place to Eat at 3 AM
2. Bob’s Diner
3. 76 Diner
category is “Best Place to Eat at 3 AM” not best place to
wait out your buzz over undercooked eggs. So by default, Bob’s
Diner and 76 Diner should be No. 1 and No. 2 with Denny’s
being relegated to the land of chain-restaurant shame.
Now we are gonna be about Teriyaki all day. Thanks.
3. Plum Blossom
Chang’s huh? Em, have you folks been to second- and third-place
Emperor’s or Plum Blossom? Their more authentic Chinese cuisine
exposes PF Chang’s as the mall-chain imposter we all know
it is. But man, what about them lettuce wraps?
Real Seafood Co.
2. Red Lobster
3. Jack’s Oyster House
we do enjoy our close proximity to the Hudson River.
2. Nicole’s Bistro
3. Chez Sophie
year some clown writes in “my senior-year girlfriend” for
this category, and we die a little inside each time.
2. Red Robin
3. Cheesecake Factory
a reason for the running joke, “If you want to find a Metrolander
check Justin’s.” That’s because Justin’s is a great place
to devour burgers, inhale martinis and enjoy a delicious café
ropa. And it’s across the street.
got a problem wit dis? Apparently not, as you, our readers,
made the call here.
3. International House of Pancakes
with the Denny’s. But IHOP, too? Are you trying to hurt our
Best Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s
3. Cold Stone Creamery
have trouble deciding the Best Ice Cream category because
if there is ice cream in front of us we eat in indiscriminately.
But we have to agree with readers that Ben & Jerry’s is
top dog. If you leave some at our front door we will eat it.
Spectrum 8 Theatres
2. Regal Crossgates 18
3. Bow Tie Cinemas Movieland
been a long time since Schenectady had an entry in this category.
New York State Museum
2. Albany Institute of History & Art
3. (TIE) MASS MoCA, Clark Art Institute
It’s the New York State Museum, it has to win!
Best Art Gallery
Albany Institute of History & Art
2. Kismet Gallery
3. Clark Art Institute
beats the Clark? Nothing against that funky new kid on the
Troy scene, but you must thinking with your stomachs. (OK,
the Clark’s a museum, not a gallery, but still.)
Best Live Theater Venue
2. Capital Repertory Theatre
3. Cohoes Music Hall
giant expansion has paid off! Not that there’s a prize for
winning the Metroland Readers Poll or anything, but
good for them.
Best Children’s Arts Programming
Steamer No. 10 Theatre
2. Proctors Theatre
3. The Egg
one’s for the children.
Best Local Performing Arts Organization
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
2. Capital Repertory Theatre
3. Proctors Theatre
like Mac, is back.
Best Local Visual Artist
2. Janet Tanguay
3. Tommy Watkins
our readers like what they see.
Best Local Filmmaker
2. Sean Cranston
3. Penny Lane
was a very busy man last year, and now he takes the gold again.
Best Local Author
2. Paul Grondahl
3. Vince Zandri
Name an Albany author other than William Kennedy! At least
a few of you can.
Best Local Poet
2. Mary Panza
3. Dan Wilcox
are red/violets are blue/we love local poets/and so do our
Best Local Solo Musician
2. Ashley Pond
3. Sean Rowe
makes her perennial visit to the top of the chart, with newcomer
Pond nipping at her heels.
Best Live Music Venue
2. Northern Lights
3. Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Hall continues to improve year after year, and our readers
have taken notice.
Best Dance Club/Dance Night
3. Sneaky Pete’s
it at Jillian’s is where it is at.
Best Open Mic
Tess’ Lark Tavern
2. Muddy Cup
readers seem to be conflicted: They gave further credence
to the Lark’s “Best Damn Open Mic Ever,” while awarding third
place to an event that hasn’t existed in quite some time.
2. (TIE) Maxie’s, Oh Bar
those of you who still think it’s the ’90s. In Japan.
Best Country Band
Back 40 Band
2. Rene Luccier & Rainwater
3. Aged in the Hills
Ride ’em, cowgirls.
Best Local Blues/R&B Band
2. Bluz House Rockers
3. The Foy Brothers
age before beauty when it comes to the blues, as Williams
continues his march to world domination, one readers-poll
win at a time.
Best Local Jazz Band
Brian Patneaude Quartet
2. Adrian Cohen Trio
3. George Muscatello
three names look awfully familiar. Probably because, between
the three, they play out about 15 nights a week.
Best Punk Band
2. King & Crown
3. (TIE) Murderer’s Row, Blasé Debris
Erotics usually self-identify as a hard-rock band, but they’re
also more punk rock than you’ll ever be. Nyah.
Best Local Hip-hop Artist
is good for the kids!”
Local Rock Band
2. The Blisterz
3. Stuck on Stupid
veteran power trio trump the newcomers once again.
Best Local Alternative Band
2. Ten Year Vamp
need to buy y’all something nice. This is like the millionth
time they topped this category.
Best Cover Band
Hair of the Dog
2. The Refrigerators
guess Hair of the Dog technically are a cover band,
but is there really any new Celtic traditional music?
Best Tribute Band
2. The Deadbeats
3. (TIE) British Steel, Slip-Not
check: We’ve got the Misfits, Grateful Dead, Judas Priest
and . . . who’s that last one?
Best Metal/Hardcore Band
In the Casket
2. Last Call
3. (TIE) Brick by Brick, Held Under
are so morbid! Where are the bunnies and flowers?
Best Local DJ
2. DJ Lady Luck
3. DJ Turnstyle
to a house party near you!
2. Lens Crafters
3. DiNapoli Opticians
had your eyes on Empire Vision for this category, but Lens
Crafters and DiNapoli weren’t far behind.
Best Appliance Store
Buy is an evil temptress. Beware her siren call!
River Street in Troy
2. (tie) Aunt Katie’s Attic, Madison Art and Antiques
are blessed with many nifty shops to go to for treasures.
2. Barnes and Noble
3. Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza
and Noble vs. Borders is a debate we at Metroland have
had in our personal lives with our significant others. We
prefer Borders as far as massive, overly stocked bookstore
chains go; our significant other prefered Barnes and Noble—that
is until it moved to Colonie Center. It seems readers have
sided with us (nyah, nyah!) and now that that argument is
settled, get in the car and go to the Book House.
2. Barnes and Noble
holds it down for local periodical purveyors.
Best Internet Provider
enough, Road Runner also won “Best at Not Being Eaten by a
Best Garden Store/Nursery
3. Home Depot
it was in the beginning and shall ever be, y’all love Hewitt’s.
2. (tie) Danker, Gallo
Excuse us for a second while we regain or composure. Price
Chopper is best florist? Come on guys, you are not supposed
to admit that, not even in an anonymous survey—it ruins it
for the rest of us Don Juans.
Best Home Electronics Store
3. Circuit City
Buy for that kitchen-counter TV; Hippo’s for your complete
home entertainment center; and Circuit City for when the Best
Buy parking lot is full.
Best Furniture Store
2. Old Brick
3. Raymour and Flanigan
know you can’t resist the huge selection, mega showroom and
massive parking lot of Taft Furniture in Colonie.
Best Pet Supply Store
3. Benson’s Pet Center
to see local chain Benson’s—with convenient locations in Saratoga
Springs, Clifton Park, Colonie and Queensbury—show again in
Best Gift Store
2. Wit’s End Giftique
could there be three more different gifting experiences? Hallmark
shops brighten plazas and malls; the Wit’s End Giftique is
an indescribable Clifton Park wonderland; and Romeo’s is
Best Wine/Liquor Store
Exit 9 Wine and Liquor
2. All Star Wine & Spirits
3. Empire Wine
it comes to drinking, you people are all about volume.
Best Vintage Store
2. Plato’s Closet
3. Last Vestige Record Shop
old standby makes an impressive showing while Last Vestige
sneaks in to yet another category.
Best Women’s Clothing Store
3. (tie) Ann Taylor Loft, Some Girls
ladies love Macy’s; but it’s also nice to see some appreciation
for local indies Circles and Some Girls.
Best Men’s Clothing Store
2. JC Penney
3. Old Navy
gentlemen love Macy’s, too.
Best Children’s Clothing Store
2. Children’s Place
once, we’re with the Wal-Mart shoppers. Do you think that
14-year-old girl chained to the sewing machine gets paid more
if your kid’s jeans have a fancy label?
Best Women’s Shoe Store
3. Payless Shoe Stores
win, but style isn’t far behind.
Best Men’s Shoe Store
3. Shoe Depot
with DSW—whither the shoe stores of our youth?
Best Women’s Haircut
Jean Paul Spa
3. Fantastic Sam’s
Jean Paul Spa is a Capital Region legend.
Best Men’s Haircut
Rumors IV Men
2. (tie) Fantastic Sam’s, Super Cuts
4. Gregory’s Barbershop
are some great places to get a haircut around here; maybe
we should get one.
Best Sporting Goods Store
2. Sports Authority
3. (tie) Goldstock’s, Eastern Mountain Sports
mall-and-plaza chain wins again.
Best Head Shop
3. Shining Star
of course by “head shop,” we mean a fine place to buy implements
to smoke tobacco. Only tobacco.
Best Holistic Shop
2. (tie) Delmar Health Hut, Earthly Delights, Delmar Wellness
those who want to live well.
PHOTO: Leif Zurmuhlen
Art Supply Store
Arlene’s Artist Materials
3. Central Art Supply
is another great, longtime Capital Region mainstay that deserves
all the kudos it gets.
Best Bike Shop
3. (tie) Dick’s, Freeman’s Bridge
Downtube wins again.
Best Toy Store
Toys ‘R’ Us
the cute giraffe, isn’t it?
Best Video Rental
kinda expected those red boxes outside Price Choppers to make
the list this year, but your choices are exactly the same
as last year’s.
Lark St. Tattoo
3. Jammin’ Ink
Best Cellular Service
you hear us now?
Northeastern Fine Jewelers
2. Kay Jewelers
3. Hannoush Jewelers
when he or she is really, really, really worth it.
Best Day Spa
Kimberley’s, A Day Spa
2. Jean Paul Spa
3. Crystal Spa
impressed at how willing our readers are to pamper themselves.
Best Musical Instrument Store
2. Parkway Music
3. Drome Sound
Center, the superstore, wins, but locally owned faves Parkway
and Drome remain in your hearts.
Best Farmers Market
3. Empire State Plaza
you’re all about the local freshness.
3. W.F. Ryan’s
win again, Price Chopper! We salute you!
Best Place to Buy a Computer
2. Dell Online
3. Apple Store
to the massiveness that is Best Buy, consumer slaves.
Best Place to Service a Computer
2. Apple Store
3. Computer Renaissance
Geek Squad owns you, apparently.
Best Shopping (Plaza)
2. Colonie Center
3. Mohawk Commons
what you’ve done, Colonie Center? By sprucing yourself up
with new stores sporting direct parking-lot access, you’ve
managed to place in both the plaza and mall categories.
Well played, but—Stuyvesant Plaza wins again anyway.
Best Shopping (Mall)
2. Colonie Center
3. Rotterdam Square Mall
Guilderland behemoth wins again. Colonie Center places second
again. Rotterdam Square Mall takes third again.
Best Shopping (City)
3. New York
That New York City made it on this list is clearly a cry for
help from Capital Region consumers.
Best Shopping (Outlet)
2. Lake George
3. Woodbury Commons
those bargains that are worth the drive.
3. Honest Weight Food Coop
know how the Golubs win this one every year? Location, location,
Best Health Food Store
Honest Weight Food Coop
2. Green Grocer
3. Earthly Delights
many places to get healthy food, and yet we still eat Doritos.
(Cool Ranch flavor, of course.)
Best Record Store (used)
Last Vestige Music Shop
3. River Street Beat Shop
two urban-friendly locations in Albany and Saratoga Springs,
Last Vestige is your main source for those old 45s newish
Best Record Store (new)
2. Best Buy
a measure of the state of the (new) retail music business
that your third-place pick is long gone from the Capital Region
Local TV News
2. Capital News 9
3. WTEN 10
is a news station and it won. What now John Gray? What now?
Best Local TV News Anchor
2. Benita Zahn
3. Jim Kambrich
Amazon woman of news is victorious. All beware.
Best Local Meteorologist
2. Steve Caparizzo
3. Pail Caino
that skiing weatherman! Take that!
Best Local Sportscaster
2. Rich Becker
3. Dan Murphy
We will take your word for it on this one. We don’t want to
Best News Radio Station
323-9262, 1(800) 323-9262! Sing it with us!
Best Local Music Radio Station
the only radio station where we can still hear non-singles
by our favorite indie artists. Bless you WEQX.
Best Local Radio DJ
3. Jason Keller
brah, Renna is the tits brah!
Best Local Publication
2. Times Union
Our independently owned alternative news source dominates
the mainstream press. Our condolences go out to Chronogram.
Best Local Arts Coverage
2. Times Union
where the art be covered.
Best Local Print Journalist
2. Carl Strock
3. Chet Hardin
LeBrun and Carl Strock, two fine local columnists. (Does Fred
really do the journalisms anymore, though?) Ah well, at least
the top two entrants are human. Chet Hardin is not a real
person, he is a journamalism robot designed by RPI scientists
to write about Troybecca and geek out about nanobots.
Best Local News Website
you can have the win this year, but beware when we do our
Web redesign, Metroland will own this category. Honest!
Best Local Community Website
has a great interactive community where political lackeys
slag each other all day long. We can’t get enough of it! The
local bloggers are also pretty cool. We should get some of
those. . . . Screw it, we will just stick to the lol cats.
Oh, and . . . ahem . . . Craigslist is in San Francisco.
Best Local Arts Website
hearts the arts!
Best Local Music Website
music is rad. The Internet is fab. Combining the two is just
crazy. Thank you for thinking of it Crumbs.
Best Local Blog
2. Table Hopping, TimesUnion.com
3 Albany Eye
worried after Liz Benjamin’s departure that Capital Confidential
might take a turn for the worse. But Capital Confidential
still keeps us informed about all the intrigue at the capitol.
But Albany Eye? ALBANY EYE IS DEAD, PEOPLE. DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!
Washington Park, Albany
2. The Crossings, Colonie
3. Central Park, Schenectady
Park is simply the best.
The Crossings, Colonie
2. Washington Park, Albany
3. Central Park, Schenectady
the parking, right? That’s why you prefer the Crossings to
Best Day Trip
2. New York City
3. Saratoga Springs
the Berkshires think they’re all that.
Best Bike Ride
Mohawk River Trail
2. Corning Preserve
3. The Crossings
readers aren’t just spinning their wheels here.
Best Running Trail
Mohawk River Trail
2. Corning Preserve
3. The Crossings
biking or running, our readers have made their favorites clear.
Best Hiking/ Nature Trail
2. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
3. Albany Pine Bush Preserve
has changed with nature: This is exactly what our readers
said last year.
Albany Indoor Rock Gym
2. Electric City Rock Gym
3. Indian Ladder Trail (Thacher Park)
they’re all closer than the Grand Canyon.
2. Gold’s Gym
to go when you want to get fit.
Best Massage Therapist
Tricia Logiudice, Alternative Health Services
2. Mary Panza, Balance Massage
3. Jill Handford, 20 Mall
ladies all have the right touch.
The Movement Lab
2. Best Fitness
think you got strong abs? Spend a half hour with Julie Rose
at The Movement Lab.
Best Golf Course
Saratoga National Golf Course
2. Capital Hills at Albany
3. Colonie Country Club
we haven’t invested in those fancy golf pants, we’ll just
have to take your word on this one.
Best Mini Golf
2. Oasis Family Fun Park
Fun Park! Funplex! We get the idea.
2. Jiminy Peak
gotta agree, these are our favorite mountains to race down
to our deaths.
Best Ice Skating
Empire State Plaza
3. Central Park (Schenectady)
to twirl on our skates on a sunny day in the plaza.
PHOTO: Alicia Solsman
2. Sunset Lanes
3. Latham Bowl
fave the Playdium wins again.
Best Pool Hall
Diamond Eight Billiards
2. Golden Cue
3. Trick Shot Billiard Hall
’em up and shoot.
Tess’ Lark Tavern
3. Bayou Café
Collins has a sign up behind the bar at the Lark Tavern, “Where
Good Friends Meet.” You obviously agree, because Tess’ Lark
Tavern is again the winner. Bombers and the Bayou are new
to this list, this year.
Best Hook-Up Bar
2. Bayou Café
3. Oh Bar
nobody gets lucky in Saratoga Springs, Troy, Schenectady or
Best Gay Bar
2. Water Works
3. (tie) Club Phoenix, Rocks
not surprised Oh Bar won; it’s right next to Metroland
world headquarters and it always sounds like a gay old time
is being had by all.
Best Wine Bar
The Wine Bar
2. The Ginger Man
3. Vin Santo
when you’re particular about your pinots and merlots.
Best Happy Hour
and down—is the place to bend an elbow after a long day at
Best Strip Club
2. Nite Moves
3. Double Vision
don’t typically allow ballot-stuffing, but we’ll give John
Sweeney a pass here as he’s our resident expert on the topic.
Kevin McLaughlin, Potter’s Tavern, Troy
2. Tess, Tess’ Lark Tavern
3. Susie, Susie’s
remain particular about the fine art of mixology.
Aleph Ashline, Justin’s
2. Sarah, Tess’ Lark Tavern
3. (tie) Albert, Italian American Community Center and Michael,
can’t argue with Aleph—he’s one of our favorites too. We’re
reasonably certain there are two Sarahs currently serving
at the Lark, so we’ll consider that a tie.
Best Public Official
2. Eliot Spitzer
3. David Soares
boy, has Spitzer’s approval rating taken a dive or what?
Best Citizen Advocate
2. Jerry Jennings
3. Barbara Smith
Really? We’re speechless.
PHOTO: Joe Putrock
2. Ward Stone
we like News 10 meteorologist Steve Caporizzo too! And longtime
DEC mainstay Ward Stone. And the ASPCA. Because we’re all
about the puppies and kitties and duckies, too.
Best Local Charity
3. Ronald McDonald House
staff must have come in fourth.
Best Swimming Pool
Victoria Pool, Saratoga
3. Colonie Town Pool
is one of those categories in which the Best Of and Readers’
Picks issues agree: Victoria Pool is the best.
Best Swimming Hole
Grafton State Park
2. Lake George
3. Plotter Kill
down with Grafton, but Lake George is a bit . . . large to
be considered a “swimming hole,” don’t you think?
2. Moreau State Park
3. Thompson’s Lake
it’s all about being near the water.
Best In-Store Pet
Amber the cat, Sweater Venture
2. Dutch, At the Warehouse
3. Dogs, All Star Wine and Spirits
hai. We can has retail?
Use of Public Funds
Libraries; CDTA; Empire State Plaza Christmas-tree lighting;
landscaping; new roundabouts; downtown Schenectady revitalization;
a convention center; Capital District Community Gardens’ Veggie
Mobile; WinterFest Albany; Alive at Five; Menands park program;
Lake George Land Conservancy; Joseph L. Bruno Stadium; gardens
in Washington Park; bridge to Albany waterfront; 1-800-POTHOLE;
Albany Center Galleries; Albany college of nanotechnology;
anything that makes Bruno mad; Child Health Plus; dredging
of Hudson River for PBCs; education; Jerry Jennings’ tan;
giving us a neat obstacle course of potholes and speed bumps
in 55 mph zones; feeding and housing the homeless; NYRA; politicians
investigating politicians; the Crossings of Colonie; Tulip
Festival; free ice skating at the Empire State Plaza; fireworks;
David Sores; Park Playhouse; medical research; Music Mobile;
public parks; revitalization of Cohoes falls and mills; state
workers; Star program.
Best Misuse of Public Funds
Paving at gun club in Colonie; AMD/Luther Forest subsidies;
Spitzer; Bruno; Albany police; roads; East Greenbush School
District; Schenectady police; convention center; downtown
Schenectady; Empire State Plaza; politicians; Albany Aquaducks;
new roundabouts; Bruno’s helicopter rides; charter schools;
dredging the Hudson; Harry Tutunjian moving Troy City Hall;
Mayor Stratton’s raise; Schenectady Metroplex; political campaigns;
predatory towing by Joe’s Garage; prisons; Rockefeller drug
laws; the Crossings of Colonie; my boss’ salary; security
cameras; Albany plowing contracts; using the Troy PD to close
the Hudson Duster; war; welfare; mounted policemen; red tape.
Best Way to Lure People to the Capital Region
lost my puppy; want to help me find it?”; 85-cent drafts at
WTs; develop a waterfront shopping and entertainment district;
Albany Aquaducks; alcohol; Alive at Five; the arts scene;
better jobs; natural resources; better public transportation
and bike commuting; the convention center; cake; candy; cash;
chloroform; colleges; call it “Tech Valley;” downtown shopping
and eateries; foliage; get rid of the drugs, slums and gang
violence; high-speed train to NYC; history; lower taxes; $40
massages at CNW School of Massage; naked women; nanotech;
night life; protests; Saratoga; SPAC; the Egg; 1st Friday;
Troy Night Out; Tulip Fest; locals need to improve their image
of the region; a zoo; big-name concerts; bribery; low cost
of living; diversity; fix the roads; location; lie; legalize
prostitution; Joe Bruno Theme Park; we don’t need any more
Best Time to Be Had in the Capital Region for Under $10
Alive at Five; 1st Friday; Troy Night Out; a Sirsy show; an
hour at the Albany Art Room; trivia night at Bombers; the
Carousel at the state museum; flirting for drinks; Denny’s
breakfast; filling out the Metroland “Best of” survey;
fishing; the Fuzebox; a picnic in Washington Park; happy hour
at Lark Tavern; ice skating at the plaza; local bands; coffee
and a movie at the Spectrum; Lark Fest; Laser Tag; lunchtime
people watching at the Capitol; Hollywood Drive-In; Muddy
Cup open mic; the state museum; Peebles Island; Tuesday-night
bowling at the Playdium; Guptills roller skating; your local
library; explore downtown Troy; movie and popcorn for two
at the Crandell Theatre; Hudson-Mohawk bike trail; rolling
down hills; Troy’s little hotdogs; host American Idol
auditions; Saratoga in August; Thacher park; Water Works amateur
drag night; a baseball game at the Joe; farmers markets; mini
golf; test-driving cars you’ll never buy; weekends at the
Warehouse; watching the plans land and take off; CRUMBS Night
Out at the Linda.
Best Place to See and Be Seen
Alive at Five; First Friday; Angelo’s 677 Prime; Lark Street;
Appeltini’s; Bombers; August in Saratoga; Bubba Frank’s hotdog
stand; Capitol lunch vendors; Crossgates; Envy Lounge; Troy
Night Out and TNO afterparties; Jillian’s; Lark Tavern; Muddy
Cup; South Pearl Street; Red Square; a window seat at the
Ultraviolet; SPAC; the bus; Times Union Center; Washington
Park; Tulip Fest; Altamont Enterprise’s Blotters and Dockets;
At the Warehouse; Bayou Café; MySpace; NYS Capitol steps;
Revolution Hall; the Lionheart; the supermarket; anywhere
around Jerry Jennings; Midtown Tap & Tea Room.
Best Place to See Without Being Seen
Adirondacks; Albany Riverfront; Alive at Five; Palace balcony;
Bayou Café; Broadway in Saratoga; Crossgates; DiCarlo’s; Dejavu;
the Empire State Plaza Concourse; First Friday; Goodwill;
the corner of Muddy Cup; Holiday Lights in the Park; Humpy’s;
the Internet; Jillian’s; on a boat on Lake George; Lark Tavern;
a movie; Corning Tower Lookout; Planned Parenthood; lawn seats
at SPAC; Thacher Park; Vapor; Troy Night Out; Washington Park;
Albany City Counsel meeting; Art Night Schenectady; Double
M Haunted Hayride; Henry Hudson planetarium; Mary Lou Whitney’s
Gala; NYS Museum; Revolution Hall; the Spectrum; New Year’s
Eve fireworks; a CDTA bus window seat.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Albany
Jerry Jennings removed; Jerry Jennings stays; a governor that
cares; separate uptown and downtown high schools; a high-speed
train to NYC; a music festival; more parking; a real sports
team; properly fund public schools; round up the drug dealers
and make them serve in Iraq; improve public transportation;
better snow removal; development of the riverfront; blow it
up; bring back the street cars; build the convention center;
lower taxes; city-wide clean up; a community center; fix the
streets; use Palace parking lot as a Farmer’s Market; rehab
the abandoned buildings; IMAX; Joe Bruno’s retirement; fill
empty storefronts; boil the egg to feed the homeless; stop
the convention center; resident parking passes; a rich philanthropist;
spring; the Justice League moves their headquarters here;
a big independent music venue; AMD; effective cops; structured
after school programs; free Wi-Fi; demolish I-787; unify the
local music scene; public art and murals; preserve historic
buildings; bring in Trader Joe’s; Scavo gets the boot; strike
gold while digging for the convention center; Sheldon Silver
and Joe Bruno get caught making out in the Capitol.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Troy
Two-way streets; keep building the art community; burn it
down; clean it up; AMD; drastically cut the property taxes;
better integration of town and gown; better public transportation;
birth control; develop the waterfront; funding to restore
residential housing; fix the streets; oust the drug dealers;
Joe Bruno resigns; it sinks into the Hudson; a downtown movie
theatre; grocery co-op; new city hall; a new mayor; parks
and playgrounds; plow the roads; rain of frogs; better parking
and bigger bands at Rev Hall; renovate and use Proctor’s on
4th Street; win a murder case; free birth control; nightlife;
develop Hoosick Street; improved schools; renovate more than
just RPI and River Street; light rail; more big business;
preserve historic architecture; Valley Cats start winning;
annexed by Massachusetts; keep up the current progress.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Schenectady
Continued downtown development; a new school board; safer
streets; tighten code enforcement; cut property taxes; expand
the museum; free STD testing; GE comes back to life; GE cleans
up their mess and moves; new police department; a new mayor;
Stratton continues his great work; quality downtown housing;
level it and build Crossgates Mall West; Jesus returns; more
pedestrian friendly; introduce it to the new millennium; more
restaurants; new jobs; better public transportation; ninjas;
lower prices at Proctor’s; a wrecking ball; charter schools;
youth centers; light rail; more gentlemen’s clubs; close the
sex clubs; reopen the Van Dyck; develop Erie Boulevard waterfront;
Proctor’s turns punk.
Best Thing That Could Happen to Saratoga Springs
Better mall; commuter train to Albany; a real casino; Trader
Joe’s; perpetual August; downtown parking; affordable property;
a reality check; it stays exactly the same; county water plan;
legalize table gambling; humility; longer track season; lower
the prices on everything; more street performers; less development;
plague; SPAC allows coolers again; acknowledge and assist
the homeless; NYRA keeps the track; get rid of NYRA; expand
the park; a mass evacuation of snobby elitists; teen activities;
AMD; no more chain stores downtown; get rid of Bruno; more
gay bars; better shows at SPAC; obviously not Vapor; NASCAR;
a recession; a second Battle of Saratoga.
Best Thing That Could Happen To the ’Burbs
Bike trails; better public transportation to downtown; affordable
housing; urbanization; pizza after 9 PM; summer block parties;
Albany convention center; close Wal-Mart; keep cities from
intruding; less building and more nature; more sidewalks;
end Chemlawn sponsored perfect lawn competitions; light rail;
lower gas prices; talk to the neighbors; more upscale shopping
plazas; more trees; smaller houses; return to green space
after subprime foreclosures; diversity; youth activities;
good restaurants; carpools; town centers; outlaw television;
fewer SUVs; lower taxes; stop building; nanotechnology—whatever
Best Evidence That the Region is Looking Up
AMD???; $10 martinis; Albany Aqua Duck’s 100,000th passenger;
more high-end retailers; blossoming arts scene; better flights
out of Albany; Colonie Center; downtown Schenectady; downtown
Troy; downtown Cohoes; EMPAC; successful farmer’s markets;
nanotech development; new jobs; Pataki is gone; improved test
scores at Albany High; rising property values; flourishing
independent businesses; more citizen involvement in politics;
sunburned chins; the convention center; that the convention
center may not happen; roller derby; housing development;
the Metroland calendar; Senate about to turn Democrat;
Jennings says so.
Best Evidence That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us
2008 elections; Starbucks on every corner; Brian Scavo is
an elected official; corruption in government; Hannah Montana;
global warming; those fat chicks on roller skates in Albany
actually think they’re hot; gas prices; drought; the 6 o’clock
news; South Pearl Street; Huckabee; McCain; Hillary; Obama;
Bush; Spitzer/Bruno; the subprime market; missing bees; the
convention center; Nostradamus and the Mayans (2012); An
Inconvenient Truth; the length of this survey; two-story
Wal-Mart; a walk down Central Avenue; Jerry Springer; shooting
spy satellites out of the sky; senseless violence; deep-fried
candy bars; those barefoot shirtless dancing guys at the flurry;
small fissures in the Space Time Continuum; total eclipse;
Jennings’ tan is fading.
Best Local Celebrity with Whom You’d Like to Have a One-Night
Ashley Pond; Billy Fucillo . . . he’s HUGE; Carmine Spiro;
Chip Fasciana; Courtney Haydock; Crista Leigh; Debbie Gabrione;
Ed Dague; Figaro from the Velmas; Rachael Ray; Jerry Gretzinger;
Jerry Jennings; Joe Bruno; John Gray; Justin Resnick; Kaitlyn
Barto; Kelly Lynch; Lydia Kulbida; Matt McFarland; Melanie
Krahmer; Mike Keegan; Gavin Richard; Rich Libutti; Ryan West;
Sabrina Dhammi; David Soares; Steve Lapointe; the goth chick
who works at the comic book store; William Kennedy; your moms;
Andrew Cuomo; Ann Hughes; Christy Taylor; Dan Dinicola; DJ
Auren; DJ Dread; Jason Keller; Jeff Saperstone; Kevin McKrell;
Liz Bishop; Yolanda Vega; Marylou Whitney; Paul Harding; Ray
Blesser; Elaine Houston; Bob Kovachick; Sean Cranston; Anthony
Best-Kept Secret in the Capital Region
Cheesecake Machismo; At the Warehouse; A Cone of Our Own Gelateria
& Café; Black Cat Ale House; Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry; Cohoes
Falls; Crystal Cove; Dead-Lift; Ten Year Vamp; Envy Ink; Thacher
Park; the state museum and library; El Mariachi; Famous Lunch;
plaza ice skating; new roller coaster at Great Escape; Harmony
Marketplace; HVCC men’s basketball; the Linda; Saratoga National
Cemetery; the pine bush; Peebles Island; Schenectady Museum
& Planetarium; Revolution Hall; Albany community gardens;
the Crossing; Lark Street; Wine Bar; Capital District Gay
and Lesbian Community Council; Voorheesville; Upstate Artists
Guild; $40 massages at CNW massage school; Albany Symphony;
Albany Institute of History and Art; Barberville falls; Brown’s
Brewery’s petite nachos; the state budget; Capital District
Federation of Ideas; dog parks; Good Buy Books; the Schenectady
Museum Archives; Prospect Park in Troy; Mamoun’s; the Tang;
the Grafton Peace Pagoda; Yaddo; the cheese selection at Honest
Weight Co-op; Jericho Drive-In.
Best . . .
Albany Rural; Acoustic Duo: Tequila Mockingbirds; Cheesecake:
Cheesecake Machismo; Cross-country Skiing: Thacher
Park; Length for a Survey: shorter than this; Local
Comedian: Ethan Ullman Sean Cranston; Dog Pool:
Moses statue in Washington Park; Sledding: Frear Park;
Burrito: Bombers; Comic books: Aquilonia; Band
That John Brodeur is Not In: the Blisterz; Ass in a
Local Rock Band: Mark Rose from Ten Year Vamp; Best
Hair: Stan at the Lark Tavern; Magician: Melvin
the Magnificent; Annoying Celebrity: Billy Fucillo;
Place to Find a Pet: Mohawk Hudson River Humane Society;
Yarn Shop: BeauKnits; New Sports Team: Albany
All-Stars Roller Derby; Tea Shop: Good Leaf; Trivia
Host: Ryan West; Detector of Corruption: Jose Lopez.