New Political Opportunity
Joe Bruno’s Retirement
It must be the fact his name is on so much of it, but in Rensselaer
County, Sen. Joe Bruno has carried a near-mythic import. Not anymore.
His retirement is only days away, and the Republican machine he
spent so much taxpayer money building will be losing its head. Couple
that with the fact that, for the first time ever, the county Democrats
are boasting higher registration numbers than Republicans, and we
see the perfect chance for some people to be served their comeuppance,
and for others a chance to grab the reigns of power.
Joe Bruno’s Future
How is the powerful senator going to go out? With a federal indictment,
a plush gig at a lobbying firm, or a cowed agreement to spend his
last years poking around on his beloved farm?
Gov. Eliot Spitzer
Preemptive Political Strategy
my marriage isn’t perfect. I cheated on my wife. She cheated on
me. I used to party, even bumped the yayo. Whatever. At least I’m
not a hypocrite with an $80,000 hooker habit. Next!”
Nefarious Political Comeback
Only a hatchet man with the smug visage of the great political weasel
Richard Nixon tattooed on his back could have made a career comeback
out of the downfall of Client #9.
Reason For Yet Another chief of Police
Police Chief James Tuffey
Yes, stability in leadership would be a good thing for the Albany
Police Department. It is something the department has lacked for
quite some time. However, the problem with Tuffey is that a lot
of the officers he is in charge of really, well, loathe him. On
top of that, Tuffey has dismantled community policing based around
neighborhood beat cops, closed down the Arbor Hill police station,
and loudly declared that he knows best—while ignoring the opinions
of the people who live in Albany’s most troubled communities.
What do you do after you’re caught embezzling and robbing the poor,
and accused of corruption and causing financial havoc for the citizens
of the city you pretended to help? Do more of it! Over and over
again. And get your girlfriend involved. Stay classy Dare, stay
classy. We hear that karma thing is a bitch.
Corporation Counsel David Mitchell
anyone knows where this man hosts his summer backyard barbecues,
give us a call.
Attorney Richard McNally
first six months haven’t been wine and roses for the new Rensselaer
district attorney, but we need to cut the man some slack. He adopted
an office left in shambles after a decade of mismanagement and a
backlog of many misdirected cases. Now, after long days of hard
work and a few embarrassing losses, McNally appears to have his
house in order. Watch out, bad guys!
political irritant: charlie (cb) smith.
drives CB Smith to work so hard at being so loathed by so many of
his political rivals? It’s simple: He believes in what he says,
and he believes in saying it. Whether he is right or wrong, tactful
or not, that’s for you to decide. But we think the guy is tops.
We only wish more of you were as feisty as him.
Reason to Lock up Your Daughters
County Legislator Brian Scavo
It’s not just that Scavo offers to take any female Metroland
staffer who interviews him on a date. It’s that he likes to ask
out women of all ages while he’s out on the campaign trial . . .
and when he’s doing just about anything else. He also spends evenings
in Borders in Crossgates Mall, looking to be a knight in shining
armor for any poor stranded young lady who might find herself stuck
without a ride home. Not to worry ’bout that stalking case brought
against Scavo. We’re sure it’s just a simple misunderstanding .
. . 40 to 90 incidents of misunderstanding, according to the accuser.
Who voted for this guy, seriously? Anyone want to cop to this? Didn’t
Common Councilman Corey Ellis
Thanks to his outspokenness and firm commitment to researching and
proposing solutions to the problems that plague his ward, Ellis
has become a shinning example of how an outsider politician can
still make a difference in Albany. Ellis’ grassroots work with Save
Our Neighborhoods has given frustrated community members an outlet,
while his work at the Albany Obama headquarters has helped give
West Hill something to be proud of. And while Ellis already has
made substantial changes in his community, he hopes to one day change
the structure by which the game of politics in Albany is played.
Green is no stranger to controversy, but her much-needed outcry
against the complacency of the Albany Citizen’s Police Review Board,
and of alleged rights abuses by the APD, has garnered her new attackers.
But Green has been paying attention to these issues for far longer
than flash-in-the-pan conservative-talk-radio hosts, or skeptical
pundits—and her wisdom on the subjects is brilliantly clear.
Corruption-Fighting Alligator Man
José Lopez is constantly scouring Albany for signs of corruption,
and when he ferrets it out, the gloves come off. He has officially
called for the resignation of nearly all of the capital city’s chief
politicos, and is a perpetual candidate for public office, running
on his singular anti-corruption, pro-crocodilian platform. Lopez,
self-dubbed “The Alligator Man,” is the proud owner of (at last
count) three caimans and one alligator, and (when he’s not busy
sticking it to corruption) he teaches regular seminars on his favorite
endangered reptiles at the Albany Public Library. He is, to our
best knowledge, the only candidate ever to bring an alligator to
a political debate. And rumor has it he has his eye on a Senate
Place to Get Seasick on Land
Roundabouts in New Scotland and Bethlehem
OK, sure roundabouts are nice and quaint . . . in places they actually
help alleviate a traffic problem. But on the stretch of Route 85
in Bethlehem and New Scotland, the series of 5 or 6 (seriously?)
roundabouts simply make us sick. Seriously. Like we barf out the
window while we take the third loop and then we barf again when
we are nearly killed by that old lady in the Cadillac who needs
three or four tries to find her way out of the roundabout. Whoever
designed these things, a letter explaining yourselves.
Rivers Environmental Education Center
Game Farm Road, Delmar
enough to escape to for an hour, but far enough off the beaten path
to offer reprieve from the hustle-bustle of everyday business, Five
Rivers Environmental Education Center is a haven for wildlife and
humans alike. Miles of gentle trails wend through 446 acres of deep
woods and vast fields, past ponds and rivers. The education center
and self-guided trails offer hands-on learning for curious kids
willing to keep their eyes peeled for wild turkeys, beavers and
bullfrogs, and the place is a birdwatcher’s delight. One Metrolander
claims to have seen an albino deer in the back fields (though the
claim resulted in relentless mocking), and during firefly season,
the wheelchair-accessible Woodlot trail transforms into one of the
most magical places on Earth. But let’s keep that our little secret.
Shaker Road, Colonie
gorgeous piece of tranquility nestled behind Wolf Road and off Albany
Shaker Road in Colonie is an oasis for all to enjoy. Have kids and
want to wear them out? Let them swing and jump over the massive
jungle gym that always seems to be packed with kids, all looking
to be the next Olympian. If running, biking or rollerblading is
your thing, welcome to six-plus miles of paved trails that take
one past a farm and its herd of cows, beautiful manmade lakes and
great views of the Heldeberg Mountains. Planning a family picnic,
wedding or a benefit walk? No problem. The Crossings can accommodate
you with their great facilities. And this year they added a farmers
market, which seems to be growing every week.
park (best-kept-secret): peebles island state park.
Island State Park
off Ontario Street, Cohoes
between Waterford and Cohoes, at the confluence of the Hudson and
Mohawk Rivers, all 138 of Peebles Island’s acres are State parkland.
Trials wind through hills and deep woods, past tranquil and rapid
river views. It’s an ideal place for hiking, picnics, fishing, cross-country
skiing, or walk with your leashed pet. The park is also steeped
in history, and you’ll find it everywhere—even underfoot. Part of
the rolling landscape is manmade: an untouched earthworks defense
system build in 1777 (by none other than unpronounceable engineer
and bridge namesake Thaddeus Kosciuszko) to protect colonial troops
from British attack. This park is also the headquarters of the Bureau
of Historic Sites and Bureau of Historic Preservation Field Services,
and a museum, situated in the old Cluett Peabody and Company collar
factory, also serves as a visitors center.
Farm Dog Park
city of Albany oversees four municipal fenced dog parks, but this
one takes the cake—or the biscuit if you will. Tucked at the bottom
of a hill beside the Normanskill, the tumbled foundations and remaining
buildings of the historic Normanskill farm are flanked by rolling
hills. An idyllic walk along the river, past beekeepers’ boxes,
grazing police horses and community gardens leads to the fenced
park, complete with a picnic table for the humans. There’s a beach
for water-loving canines; the barns offer top-quality sniffing,
and the fenced area provides a place for the pups to run and wrestle.
Be sure to bring water!
bike trail: saratoga national battlefield.
love the Hudson and Mohawk bike paths, but if you really want to
be a part of something special, get out to Stillwater and ride one
on the most sacred and underappreciated pieces of property in our
country. The Historic Battlefield is not only a spectacular bike
ride with an overabundance of natural beauty and wildlife, but also
one so packed with historical significance that you’d think you’re
a part of a History Channel special. Ride the full 12 miles of road
trail (and many more off-roads), if you want to really want to explore.
Features include a museum and gift shop, as well as a series of
talking history markers along the way. Take a side trip down to
the Hudson River and jump in for a refreshing skinny dip if you
are so inclined.
Boyd Thacher State Park
Cave Road, Voorheesville
just doesn’t get much more stunningly panoramic than at Thacher
Park. The park’s trails run along six miles of the Helderberg escarpment’s
limestone cliff-face, rocky slopes, waterfalls, fields and forests.
The famed Indian Ladder Trail hits all those highlights in one gorgeous
swoop, and the park’s quieter trails are equally spectacular, with
picnic stops and beautiful views of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys
and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. And be sure to keep an eye
out for fossils in the cliffs!
Spa State Park
repeat winner. The more family-oriented of Saratoga Spa State park’s
two pools, this one has two giant corkscrew slides, a kiddie pool,
and a main pool that is both huge and kid-friendly: One entire end
is a gentle slope so you can wade in with your toddler.
344, Copake Falls
in the middle of August, the waters here is always cool, cuz it’s
deep. There are lifeguards and bathrooms, and it’s all free.
The newly upgraded kids’ pond can’t be beat. Nor can its location:
within the Taconic State Park, at the head of the Harlem Valley
Rail and just down the road from Bash Bish Falls.
Best Snowshoeing and cross country skiing
Hills at Albany
O’Neil Road, Albany
you are one of the determined champions who musters the motivation
to explore outdoor activities in winter, the golf course of Capital
Hills at Albany is the spot for you. Whether snowshoeing or cross-country
skiing, either sport is an enjoyable challenge in this picturesque
setting. Watch the kids sleigh ride before you dip into Martel’s
Restaurant for a bite to recharge and a drink to warm-up.
Outdoor Ice Skating
a free skate with the most dramatic backdrop around, head to the
Empire State Plaza from December through March. The state not only
supplies the ice—on certain nights, they invite bundled up rock
or blues bands to play alongside the rink, a welcome addition to
the ongoing piped-in classics. Locker rooms and skate rentals are
available underground. Yes, it may be the windiest spot in the region,
but bring a scarf and you’ll be fine.
Union St., schenectady
Mohawk Country Club, the greens are kept in pristine shape, with
real sand filling the bunkers. Most important, the course is interesting
and challenging. And the newly renovated Clubhouse offers great
food, and a relaxing and classic bar.
Lagoon at Funplex Funpark
Columbia Turnpike (Rts. 9&20), East Greenbush
is a summer staple around here, and Funplex Funpark is the putt-putt
haven we keep going back to. Their “Mystic Lagoon” is an 18-hole
course filled with old shipwrecks, alligators and seashore obstacles.
It’s always clean, the clubs in great shape, and a night game of
golf under the lights is verging on romantic. Best of all, it’s
cheap, so the loser can afford to buy the ice cream at Lickety Split,
just 10 steps away.
Ontario St., Albany
not to love about $2 bowling night?! Nothing goes together like
cheap bowling, booze and greasy food. And there is no better place
to go bowling while catching a buzz and eating delicious cheese
fries. If you are really ambitious, you can do your laundry next
River St., Troy
after opening its doors, Chris Ryan’s classy, sharp tavern took
hold as the place to drink for trendy Trojans—and for good reason.
Ryan runs a tight ship, with top-notch service and great beers on
tap. The tin ceiling and fine woodwork can go overlooked on packed
weekend nights, but the ambiance is fantastic, and it owes so much
to Ryan’s discerning taste. And the deck, overlooking the Hudson
River, is one of the chillest places in the Capital Region.
Central Ave., albany
has been flying its flag in Albany for 25 years now, which makes
this local pub and dance club the oldest gay- oriented community
bar in Albany. In the pub, play some pool or darts, grab a booth
and watch the projection TV, or play just about any song you could
ever want to hear on the online jukebox. Upstairs, the Waterworks
Club offers a second bar, and a booming club atmosphere with a 10,000-watt
sound system and a laser-light system. So, no matter what team you
play for, even if it’s the bowling league of Water Works’ new Wii,
there’s something to offer (almost) everyone.
Best Hook-Up Bar District
Pearl Street, Albany
Pure, Pearl, Blue 82, The Bayou Cafe, Jillian’s, and Envy. . . .
This is Albany’s go-to district for the young and restless, and
if you can’t find a “new friend” there, then your game needs some
Central Ave., Albany
mother of all local strip clubs, DiCarlo’s is still the standard
by which others are judged. Hot girls, great pub food, great music,
and great people watching—all in a great location. It’s is the strip
club everyone talks about. Now if only Mike Tyson would start hanging
out there again.
looks just like an all-growed-up Harry Potter in a Hawaiian shirt.
His laugh is so infectious he could get a condemned man to chuckle.
Those perfect margaritas are an easy pour, but he is always up for
a challenge. Ask for a Moscow mule or a woo-woo. He’ll happily make
a drink he’s never heard of before—and he’ll make it tasty. There
are so many reasons to dig this guy that we’re confident you’ll
dig him, too.