Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The city of Albany, New York    is not only the state capital of New York State; it is also the home of the last RCA Nipper!  Nipper (1884-1895) was born in Bristol, England and he was the very handsome model for Francis Barraud's painting "His Master's Voice."

And Nipper and his famous painting eventually became branding for RCA Victor.
So, if Nipper is a little mixed breed dog who lived in Bristol, England in the very late 1800s; how can Albany be his home, you ask?  Well, Albany is the home to the very last 4 ton Nipper that is sitting high on top a warehouse on Broadway that was once an RTA(RCA Distributor.)  There are two much smaller statues, one in Baltimore, Maryland and one in Bristol, England.  But our Nipper is really the last.  Everyone in the Capital Region loves that pup, and we protect him with all our strength.  When the building was sold to Arnoff Moving and Storage the greater Capital Region as a whole were determined "no one was going to take down our dog!"  But Arnoff never imagined taking Nipper off his perch.  Arnoff NEVER imagined removing that beautiful dog, and they have been excellent guardians since they purchased the building.
Nipper in Albany
A smaller Nipper in Bristol, England
Well to show our love and devotion for our beloved dog; the city of Albany decided to use Nipper for the next "pop-up" street art subject.  Albany is 'Paw'some
was born.  20 small likenesses of Nipper were cast and the call went out to artists in the community to submit applications to adorn our dog.  The little Nippers will stay out for a year and then will be auctioned off for charity.  We set out on a recent Sunday afternoon to seek out Nipper and pick our favorite one.
This is my favorite.
But, they are all wonderful.  This pays homage to Albany's Dutch heritage. 
This little guy is to represent the Capital Region Food Pantry, see his little bone.  And yes, our food pantries and meals on wheels partner with the local shelters to make sure those in need can also get food for their pets, so no one goes hungry.  And people don't have to make the awful choice to give up their fur people.
This 'snazzy' guy is outside Capital Repertory Theater.
A little decoupage, covered in photos of dogs.
Just hanging out in the shade of a tree in Tri-Centennial Park.
And this guy has some sweet flowers in his hair. 
Stained Glass
Keeping time on Pearl Street.
This guy is sporting some fancy duds!  He's also got some bling.
Pretty flowers outside the City Center.
The installation was premiered by a Garden Party in Tri-Centennial Park with proceeds to benefit the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. 
This little dog that now takes center stage in Albany was once a stray mutt who found a loving home with a theater set dresser in Bristol, England in the late 1800s and now he is a star.  Possibly the best 'rags-to-riches' story I have ever heard!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


I am always looking to find different ways to celebrate holidays, milestones and events; and thanks to
the Albany Symphony   and the New York State Canal System   I found it!

The Albany Symphony presents Water Music a celebration of the 200th birthday of the great Erie Canal.  ASO Grammy Award Winning Music Director David Alan Miller  always tries to come up with new and exciting ways to present music.  He teamed up with other local cultural and educational institutions to create this amazing week long event.  We attended the performances at Jennings Landing at Corning Preserve in Albany;    on Sunday night.  And, at Schenectady County Historical Society at the Mabee Farm    on Monday night.
Each night consisted on selections from Handel's Water Music,   selections composed by young, up and coming composers; written to celebrate the birthday of the Erie Canal and performances by local cultural and educational groups; then some modern master and "Spirit of America" selections.  At the end of each night a spectacular fire works display.
Sunday night at Jennings Landing
crossing the pedestrian bridge to the Corning Preserve and Jennings Landing along the beautiful Hudson River.
And the stage is set
The ASO and David have taken the stage and the show begins with a half hour of the best moments in Handel's Water Music.

The contemporary part of the evening with works from modern composer Daniel Schlosberg with help from Skidmore College Storytellers institute and the Jazz Ensemble from the Empire State Youth Orchestra. 
The ASO capped off the evening with selections from American Masters like composer Aaron Copland and John Williams. 
And of course the amazing fireworks!
The long 4th of July weekend celebration continued to Monday night at the Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction.  The evening followed a similar program, Handel's Water Music, a theatrical presentation by Capital Repertory Theater,   with new works by modern composer Annika Socolofsky; then to crowd favorites again by Aaron Copland and John Williams and ending again with some amazing fireworks.  But this setting was a bit different and now we are on the banks of the beautiful Mohawk River.
I had the amazing opportunity to take a cruise on a bateau  with a couple of musicians from the ASO.  We watched the re enactors go through their paces and the fired off the canons to announce the evenings festivities.  Then we got our chance.  But, it was not a leisurely cruise, we were required to do some work too.
And here we go.
The stage is set up in front of the beautiful 1700's Dutch Farm House in this lovely riverside rural community (but just minutes outside the City of Schenectady.)
David and the ASO
Help from Cap. Rep.
And the night of music winds down just before the fireworks.
Two amazing nights of music, song and the spoken word.  But of course there is still time for hot dogs, hamburgers and other yummy Summertime foods on Tuesday the 4th of July.  But, I spent that day relaxing and watch the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy Channel! 
Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, April 8, 2017


March 24 to 26 was the first full weekend of Spring and also the weekend of The Capital Region Garden and Flower Show.   We normally head out on Friday afternoon to catch the show, but the weather chose not to cooperate; so we chose Saturday night instead.  I think we found a NEW tradition; because about two hours before closing; the 'place' was dead!  And for the first time we were able to walk around the exhibits and the market place and see everything and really enjoy it. 
It really is a great event and great fun and I would have hated to miss it this year,

It is in it's 30th year!  Hard to believe.

We always head into the garden exhibit first and we were greeted by "The Black Pearl" designed and built by WM Designscapes, INC from Malta.
And what Pirate Ship would be complete with out the booty?
complete with a sword.
her anchor....
and the tavern to wet your whistle.
Weathered Wood of Troy offered up "Enchanted"
with these beautiful old Troy bricks
The sand sculpture is by Phil Singer Art,
and it looks just like Johnny Depp!
Seagroatt Riccardi of Latham
"Garden Party" featuring tablescapes by several local florist.
My favorite!
Without the crowds we could actually enjoy the relaxing sound of the waterfall.
A stroll through woods by Wildthings Nursery of Valley Falls.
Next we moved on to the arrangement competition, which included 14 classes.  My favorites were "Pirates Booty;" and these were my three favorite arrangements.
The show stopper was "Walking Dead Down the Aisle."  I could never pick a favorite here, I LOVED them all (of course, I mean.............?)  How can I resist floral arrangements with skulls, bloody eyeballs and hands?
"Game of Thorns" 
"Man's Best Friend"
"A Formal Affair"
"Fit for a Queen"
Last we headed into the market place and left with some goodies. 
Before heading home we stopped at Blaze Pizza  for salad and pizza.
And thank you all, my little internet experiment just hit 5000 views.