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Art Beat

CURE YOUR CABIN FEVER Wow, isn’t it a great day! Yesterday, Punxsutawney Phil declared winter officially over! The snow finally stopped! The streets are safe for traffic and it’s time to step out of your hovel and have fun! And this being the first weekend of the month, why not come out tomorrow evening (uh, Friday) for Albany’s 1st Friday celebration.

There will be two “trolleys” running from 5-9 PM. There will be a special 1st Friday Bicycle Art Ride (meetup at the Soldier’s Memorial in Washington Park at 6 PM), so dig out that Schwinn. Many galleries and museums use this opportunity to open new shows; for example, you can check out a “sneak preview” of the Albany Institute of History & Art’s Graphic Design—Get the Message! show (125 Washington Ave., Albany). Many exhibits that already opened will have the spotlight shown on them with special receptions. The Opalka Gallery (Sage College of Albany, 140 New Scotland Ave.) will host a reception from 5 to 9 PM for Willie Marlowe: A Survey. Marlowe is a professor emerita at Sage; the gallery notes that “her work is informed by travel, going to museums and archaeological sites in Europe, the Yucatan and Russia.” Pictured is Marlowe’s Collage Diptych #2.

Finally, an event of epic literary dimensions will make its debut this 1st Friday: the 1st Annual Doctor Zhivago Slog. If you’ve read Pasternak’s book, you’re probably in the minority compared to the number of folks who’ve seen David Lean’s film. So, for the latter, imagine poor Omar Sharif trudging through waist-high snow to his childhood home, only to find it abandoned. (I’d rather imagine Sharif’s costar Julie Christie doing anything, but that’s just me; I lack a poet’s soul.) Folks—and this could include you—will gather at the northwest corner of Washington Park at 5:30 PM; those judged to be properly attired will join novelist Douglas Rothschild for the slog. As he writes: “We will slog our way diagonally to the corner of Madison Avenue and Willett Street, where we will proceed to the empty shell of the Lark Tavern, where we will look in and be reminded of happier times.” Then it’s across the street to Scratch Bakery Café for cocoa, coffee and thawing. Fun for the sturdy of body and soul, right?

Editor’s note: This was being written on Tuesday evening (Feb. 1), so the intro to this blurb is purely speculative fiction. If the sun hasn’t come back yet, and Phil the groundhog stayed in his luxury hole and the snowpocalypse continues, then, well, sorry. (And even if the weather’s peachy, good luck with that bike ride.) In any event, you should still go to 1st Friday and enjoy yourself. For a complete list of venues and events, visit 1stfridayalbany.org

—Shawn Stone

sstone@metroland.net

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