This is based on a post I shared on Facebook in February.
For many years, I’ve posted photos of the beautiful roses my husband Eric Hoppel has sent me for Valentine's Day. This year, they shared space with get well bouquets at Albany Med!
A few observations:
As a solopreneur, I am vulnerable to this kind of unexpected development. Fellow consultants – what’s your backup plan? Is there some kind of "BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY" setup for client files, work product, login credentials??? Drop me a line, let's make #smalltalk!
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from December, 2019.
Stroopwafel and Boterkoek from Dutch Desserts in Kinderhook were among the examples of “Dutch Taste & Traditions” at the Albany Institute of History & Art on Sunday.
According to the Institute’s website:
This special day … features an educational program about Dutch traditions and how they influenced life in early New York, a Delft tile decorating art-making activity, and Dutch desserts in the Museum Café.
Despite dreary precipitation that went back and forth between rain and snow, the museum’s Key Cultural Center held a standing-room crowd for a presentation from Sam Huntington, Historic Site Assistant at Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer. His talk was titled Sinterklaas, Solemn Festivals, and Scandalous and Unseemly Celebrations: Dutch Holiday Traditions in Early Albany.
Huntington presented an overview of three holidays for which written records exist to prove they were celebrated in Dutch Albany – New Year’s Eve, Pinkster and Christmas.
The evidence for New Year’s Eve celebrations comes from court records, because alcohol and firearms were no better together in the 1600s than they are now. The Court of Fort Orange issued a prohibition in December, 1659, against “any of the burghers or inhabitants of the Village of Beverwijk from shooting on New Year’s Day, on account of the great damage and disorder which such firing causes.”
In 1654, Director-General of New Netherland had to put a stop to other year-end celebrations, in a proclamation that would foreshadow actions of Albany lawmakers in the early 19th century.
Peter Stuyvesant declared that no one in Fort Orange should “pull the goose or shoot the parrot, not matter what the pretext may be, for the reason that not only many improprieties thereby take place, but the farm hands and other servants not only cease from their service, but also engage in other insolent activities such as fighting, beating, cursing and swearing.”
Huntington supposed that some of the farm hands and servants mentioned by Stuyvesant may in fact have been enslaved people, as the first slave laborers arrived in New Netherland in the mid-1620s. Trading had long been the cornerstone of the Dutch economy, and as the population of enslaved people from different parts of Africa grew, their colonial Catholic and indigenous religious traditions began to change traditionally Dutch holidays.
The case in point is Pinkster Day. What began as the Dutch celebration of marking the Christian holy day of Pentecost had become a weeklong period for enslaved Africans to gather with friends and family. However, by the early 1800s, as New York State wrestled with the issue of manumission, concern grew that the celebration could spark an uprising.
The celebration of Pinkster Day was outlawed by Albany Common Council on April 28, 1811, with a resolution that read, “No person shall erect any tent, booth or stall within the limits of this city, for the purpose of vending any spirituous liquors, beer, mead or cider, or any kind of meat, fish cakes or fruit, on the days commonly called Pinxter; nor to collect in numbers for the purpose of gambling or dancing, or any other amusements, in any part of the city, or to march or parade, with or without any music under a penalty of ten dollars or confinement in jail.”
(Don’t worry, would-be Pinkster revelers, members of the University Club of Albany requested that the Common Council repeal the ban, and the prohibition was lifted after 200 years on May 16, 2011. Save the date – May 31, 2020.)
Sinterklass – a major inspiration for Santa Claus – was mentioned at least once in Dutch Albany, when Maria Van Rensselaer included the item “Sinterklass goodies” on a shopping list. She and her family would have celebrated St. Nicholas Day (December 6) when Sinterklass brought small treats to children, leaving them in their shoes – but only if they had been good all year!
This Dutch tradition was the also the inspiration for Clement Clark Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” first published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel on December 23, 1823. The authorship has been disputed, but whoever wrote it owes a tip of the hat to Washington Irving, who penned A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty in 1809 under the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker. It included this passage:
“And when St. Nicholas had smoked his pipe, he twisted it in his hatband, and laying his finger beside his nose, gave the astonished Van Kortlandt a very significant look; then, mounting his wagon, he returned over the tree-tops and disappeared.”
The Institute’s celebration of Dutch heritage and holidays was made possible with the support of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from September, 2019.
Architecture, landscape, music, history and shopping – in 2,000 steps. Many of the best aspects of urban life can be experienced on a 10-block walk on a September Thursday in Albany.
The Fallbany Art & Craft Market kicked off on Thursday, September 5 in Albany’s Tricentennial Park. Presented by the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, it’s touted as a “showcase for local art, music and culture … (with) regional mixed media artists and crafters, (and) a different live musical act providing the soundtrack each week.”
Walk along with me … Let’s start at the New York State Capitol.
If you’re setting out between noon and 1 p.m., listen for the sound of ringing bells. They’re not church bells, they’re the carillon in the tower at City Hall, just down the hill. Albany civil service reformer William Gorham Rice proposed a carillon for the city in 1918, as a tribute to soldiers who had given their lives in World War I. The 60-bell mechanism was installed in 1927 and restored in 1986, when 2 notes were added along with hour chimes.
Academy Park is a great place to listen to the bells. Bordered by Washington Avenue, Elk Street and Eagle Street, the landscape surrounds the former Albany Academy building, designed by Philip Hooker and currently occupied by the City School District of Albany.
Cross Eagle Street and walk down the pedestrian path between the NYS Court of Appeals and the Albany County Supreme Court buildings. Cross Lodge Street and walk alongside historic St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Steuben Street. Cross Chapel Street, where the road reverts to a Belgian block-paved pedestrian path, passing between recent (Steuben Place) and ongoing building renovations. Redburn Development is converting the former Steuben Club – and Albany’s first YMCA – into a mixed-use commercial and residential space.
Cross South Pearl Street and continue down a brick-paved block of Steuben Street, past the bustling outdoor patio of the Pearl Street Pub. Tricentennial Park is just ahead on your left.
Colorful tents and music from Honey Slider welcomed visitors to this one-block-square urban park. First proposed in 1914, it was built in 1986 to mark Albany's incorporation as a city 300 years prior. Vendors on September 5 included Bodhi Inspirit offering chair massage, and handmade art and jewelry from Kelli’s Creations; Ali Herrmann; Diana Spencer; and Peyster Street Handcrafted Jewelry.
Fallbany inspired Kimberly Manning of Lone Birch Creative to revisit her long-time side hustle, making art with multiple media - predominantly copper, wool and paper. “I’ve already gotten a commission,” she replied, when asked how the event was going.
According to Christine of Mosaics by Christine, this was the “best start” of similar popup craft fairs she had participated in. “This is a better spot,” she said of Tricentennial Park, comparing it to a previous event in DiNapoli Park at Maiden Lane. “People could walk right past that park, but you can’t miss Tricentennial Park.”
When you’ve had your fill of Fallbany, walk two blocks south along Broadway to SUNY Plaza to the Downtown Albany Farmer’s Market. Maple syrup, honey, baked goods, early apples and sweet corn were among the offerings on this day, but offerings vary from week to week based on what’s in season. The market is open Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and moves inside the SUNY Plaza arcade later in the fall.
Good things are happening in downtown Albany. Fallbany is just one of them. Get out on Thursday and get some fresh air – explore downtown and all it has to offer. You’ll be glad you did. The Fallbany Art & Craft Market happens for the next three Thursdays – September 12, 19 and 26 – from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from October, 2019.
History is in good hands – if the crowd at a recent event at the New York State Museum could be taken as any indication. The Office of Cultural Education (NYS Museum, Library and Archives) hosted an Erie Canal gallery tour and book talk, and more than 100 history-lovers took part.
The entire South Hall of the museum is given to the “Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal” exhibition. Mounted to commemorate the bicentennial of start of construction of the canal, the exhibition runs through October 25, 2020.
Brad Utter, Senior Historian/Curator, Science and Technological History for the museum, led the group through the exhibit, centered on an enormous windlass, described on the museum website as:
a pulley mechanism that easily lifted and lowered heavy cargo from both sides of a warehouse with only one or two men. From 1831 through 1866, this windlass operated in the H. G. Root and Company Warehouse in the Village of Mohawk on the Erie Canal.
While the canal was well known for enterprise, Utter focused on travel along the waterway. He noted that the canal provided opportunities for the middle class to travel for business or leisure – taking in the natural wonders of the Empire State.
Less likely to enjoy life along the canal were the mule drivers – some as young as 10 years old. Utter noted that school groups coming the study the canal as part of their 4th grade history classes were the same age as those young canalers. Many were orphans, and when the canal closed for the winter, some would resort to stealing so they would be jailed – getting “3 hots and a cot” each day until they could resume their trade in the spring.
After the tour, the group headed to the museum’s Huxley Theater for an illustrated lecture from Paul G. Schneider, Jr. author of “Everything Worthy of Observation: the 1826 New York State Travel Journal of Alexander Stewart Scott”. The book is based on a travel journal kept by a 21-year-old Canadian as he traveled south from Quebec and across New York State. The New York State Library acquired the journal from a Schenectady bookseller in 1954.
According to the SUNY Press website –
This firsthand account immerses the reader in the world of early-nineteenth-century life in both New York and Lower Canada. Whether enduring the choking dust raised by a stagecoach, the frustration and delays caused by bad roads, or the wonders and occasional dangers of packet boat travel on the newly completed Erie Canal, all are vividly brought to life by Scott’s pen.
In one of those weird twists that raise goosebumps on the arms of history nerds, in his journal, Scott notes that while in Albany, he visited the New York State Library and judged the collections to be small but “very choice.” And when did he visit the library? On September 25, 1826 – 193 years ago to the day of the talk. Schneider opined that the young traveler could never have dreamed that “the same journal in which he recorded his impressions would, 128 years in the future, become part of that library’s collections.”
Schneider praised the staff of the library for their assistance throughout the process and highlighted their stewardship of its collections. He closed his presentation by noting that all royalties from the sale of the book will be paid by SUNY Press to the Friends of the New York State Library.
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from November, 2019.
Driving on the Thruway along the Mohawk River on a drizzly November night, one can imagine how isolated and vulnerable early settlers in the area must have felt. Their fear was warranted. On November 11, 1778, British soldiers, loyalists, Senecas and Mohawks attacked the fort and village of Cherry Valley, under the command of Walter Butler.
Butler was born near Johnstown, studied law and became a lawyer in Albany. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Butler sided with the loyalists, and in late 1777, was captured while trying to recruit others to the Tory cause in German Flatts. He was sentenced to death for spying by up-and-coming Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett and imprisoned in Albany; but escaped and fled to Canada.
The next year, he returned to the Mohawk Valley, and with Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, began the series of raids that led to the Cherry Valley Massacre, and the deaths of dozens of women and children. Several years later, he would again meet Marinus Willett, but this time, only one would walk away.
Marinus Willett was born in Jamaica (Queens) in 1740. He served in the French and Indian War, fighting the French at Fort Ticonderoga under General James Abercrombie in 1758.
At the start of the Revolutionary War, he was living in New York City and became involved with the Sons of Liberty. In April 1775, when the group heard about the battles at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, they broke into the New York City arsenal and commandeered the weapons. In June, he joined the Continental Army as a captain in the 1st New York Regiment.
After several postings around New York, in August 1777, Willett fought at Oriskany, and after the American defeat,
“he and another officer slipped through British lines down the Mohawk to Fort Dayton (Herkimer) for help. They only took spontoons as weapons and whiskey, cheese, and crackers for food. At Fort Dayton he learned that Major General Schuyler had already dispatched a second relief force under the command of Benedict Arnold. Willett proceeded to Albany where he met with Arnold and then returned to Fort Dayton with Arnold’s army.”
The Mohawk Valley remained a battleground throughout the course of the war. According to Richard Berleth, author of Bloody Mohawk, “When the fighting was over, the valley lay in ruins and as much as two-thirds of its population lay dead or had been displaced.”
In fact, the war was already effectively over when Marinus Willett once more met up with Walter Butler. British General Cornwallis surrendered his troops at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 18, 1781, but as British soldiers and loyalist supporters beat the retreat to Canada, Willett and the Tryon County Militia and 2nd Albany County Militia Regiment continued to engage in skirmishes.
On October 25, 1781, a raiding party made up of British soldiers led by Major John Ross, loyalist militiamen led by Walter Butler, and Mohawk warriors traveled through the Mohawk Valley. Colonel Willett and his militiamen forced the Tories to hasten their march toward Oneida Lake. They caught up with the British forces near West Canada Creek, and Walter Butler was killed. That portion of the river was later named Butler's Ford.
Willett went on to live a long and prosperous life, serving in the New York State Assembly, as Sherriff of New York County and Mayor of New York City, and when he died in 1830, his funeral was attended by 10,000 mourners. Willett Street in Albany is named for him, and a large boulder in Washington Park at State and Willett Streets bears a plaque in his honor.
You can still find Butler’s Ford, and even the Butler’s ancestral home, known as Butlersbury, on a map of Fonda. But Walter Butler is still, for some, the bogeyman of the Mohawk Valley.
Locals at an event at the Fort Plain Museum, which hosted a talk that inspired this post, told the story of a family that purchased Butlersbury in recent years, and went to buy some building materials to make repairs. When they told the clerk about the house they were restoring, they were sent packing. More than two centuries later, the stain of the Cherry Valley Massacre is still attached to the name and memory of Walter Butler.
Thanks to the Fort Plain Museum for presenting “Marinus Willett, the Battle of Johnstown and the Death of Walter Butler” on 11/21/19 and to Terry McMaster, an independent researcher studying the settlement patterns, family connections and border warfare along colonial New York’s frontier in the 18th century.
Detail, Marinus Willett painted by Ralph Earl, oil on canvas, c. 1791. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from November, 2019.
Darkness creeps up on us in October. Between the first and the 31st, we lose 1 hour and 24 minutes of daylight. Then we “fall back” in the first weekend of November and BOOM, it’s dark at dinnertime.
But in Albany’s Washington Park, hundreds of lanterns warmed the early darkness on Sunday evening. The fourth Albany Lantern Parade welcomed hundreds of neighbors, students, and supporters of the host organization, the Washington Park Conservancy.
The parade itself was preceded by a dozen free lantern-making workshops across the city. At library branches, 3Fish Cafe, Honest Weight Food Co-op, Albany Art Room and Fort Orange General Store, people of all ages glued tissue paper to soda bottles and attached pipe cleaner handles. Battery-operated candles were provided at the event.
According to Sarah Read, the event organizer, “We’re walking with lanterns to share some light as the days become shorter. This is about our Albany community coming together for a simple, free event to celebrate art, community and warmth on an evening few people look forward to – the day we have to turn back the clocks. If you come to a workshop, you'll meet new people, and the night of the walk you'll recognize these new friends – that's the community-building we're going for."
Sunday evening was blustery and chilly, but the Washington Park Lakehouse was a hive of activity. Students and parents from Albany’s Free School played drums and sang, Washington Park Conservancy members wearing yellow vests greeted people and distributed candles, apples, cider and donuts, assisted by the Tulip Queen and her court.
As the sun set and the park darkened, Mayor Kathy Sheehan led the crowd in singing “This Little Light of Mine.” The marchers set out in a loop around Washington Park Lake, marked in advance by luminarias bearing the Washington Park Conservancy logo.
The first lantern-bearers were coming across the footbridge when a few drops of rain started to fall, but it quickly stopped. Twinkling lights were strung out all around the lake, bobbing as their bearers made their way. Walking home from the park, warm golden light beckoned from the historic homes of Center Square.
It may be getting dark earlier, but we should all strive to find ways to bring a little light into our lives. What are your seasonal or holiday traditions?
Drop me a line – let’s make #SmallTalk!
My favorite thing about this video clip - around the 14-second mark, a little voice says "THIS IS SO COOL!"
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from July, 2019.
Many people think of libraries with a sense of nostalgia. They’re the ultimate in old school – dusty stacks of books and shushing librarians – right? But you’d be making a mistake if you thought of Albany Public Library that way.
According to their website, Albany Public Library has all the traditional library resources you need – books and movies, computers and WiFi, databases and research, storytime and tutoring. But they also offer services that educate, entertain and empower our community – like a maker space, museum passes, fitness classes, and meeting rooms.
Albany Made Creative Lab
This maker space at the Washington Avenue Branch gives adults access to creative arts materials and digital technology. They offer classes and programs using the resources of the Albany Made creative labs as well as hosting open lab times where patrons can come in to tinker on their own.
This is a great place to explore a side hustle – or transform a hobby into a career! The Albany Made Creative Lab boasts: 3D printers and scanner; sewing machines; fiber arts materials; screen printing press; hand tools like a rotary tool, power drill, and soldering iron; bike repair station; graphics and video editing software; color printer; digital cameras and Adobe Creative Cloud software for PC and Mac.
Museum and Historic Site Passes
Did you know your library card was also a key to free admission to 26 cultural attractions in the greater Capital Region? From The Wild Center in Tupper Lake and The Clark art museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts – to treasures in our own backyard like the USS Slater and the Albany Institute of History and Art.
You can even borrow an Empire Pass, providing unlimited day-use vehicle entry to most facilities operated by New York State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Locally, that includes Grafton Lakes State Park, Thompson’s Lake Campground, Peebles Island State Park and Saratoga Spa State Park.
Summer Reading Challenge
Kids do better in school when they read over the summer – even if it’s for just 10 minutes a day!
To combat the “summer slide,” Albany Public Library is hosting dozens of programs, activities, and events during the Summer Reading Challenge, which runs through Saturday, August 31.
Kids and teens can:
It’s all free!
Not only are the programs above free, but as of January 1, 2019, Albany Public Library is a fine free library. The library’s staff and board chose to go fine-free to decrease barriers to the collection and encourage people to come back to the library. Some people thought that having overdue fines meant they couldn’t use any of the library’s services or attend their programs – and they stopped coming to the library. By eliminating fines, the library hopes to make it easier for all people to visit, borrow materials, and access services.
Friends of Albany Public Library is a non-profit organization whose members are dedicated to supporting the library. The group presents a variety of programs that are free and open to the public. The Friends also raise money to help support library programs, like the Summer Reading Program above. They also host a weekly book talk on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m., posting their monthly schedule on Facebook. Here’s a preview of the August lineup:
Did you know you can use your library card to borrow free digital downloads of books through the Libby app? It’s the easiest way to get started with digital books, audiobooks, and magazines on your phone, tablet or desktop. If you prefer reading on your Kindle, Libby can even send your library books to it. Libby is available for Android, iOS, Windows 10, some Chromebooks, and in your browser at libbyapp.com.
As Carl T. Rowan said, “The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.” Visit your local branch today and love your library!
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from June, 2019.
The presence of art in the public eye changes the way one experiences a city. From bold, monumental murals to unexpected moments of whimsy, public art can enliven streetscapes and engage visitors and residents alike.
The Arts Center of the Capital Region (ACCR) has been working with stakeholders from the City of Troy and beyond for years, and in ways large and small, their vision is now becoming reality. A key component of their Public Art Program is community engagement – so pick a project and get involved!
Breathing New Life into Franklin Alley
Today, Franklin Alley is an underutilized relic of the 19th century alleys that connected Troy’s bustling thoroughfares – Broadway and River Street. But soon, thanks to a major public art project, Franklin Alley will be a downtown destination.
The Franklin Alley Pedestrian Walkway Mural project will connect restaurants and cultural venues and transform a vacant alley into a new gathering space for residents and visitors alike.
“Urban alleyways tell stories,” said Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of ACCR. “They are living environments inhabited by old fire escapes, boarded windows and graffitied doors, all evoking the lives of those who passed through them. Franklin Alley will help tell Troy’s story – past, present and future.”
Internationally known mural artist Joe Iurato has been chosen for the Franklin Alley project. A multidisciplinary artist whose works are built on a foundation of stencils and aerosol, Iurato’s murals have enlivened neighborhoods along the east coast United States for years. More recently, he’s become known for the unique placement and photography of miniature painted wood cutouts in public spaces.
The ACCR and Iurato are working to ensure that the mural is informed by a wide variety of experiences and voices. The Franklin Alley team includes elected officials, City employees, building owners, historians, residents, artists and youth program participants. The Arts Center will host a public forum to discuss the project with the artist on Wednesday, June 26 at 265 River Street in Troy at 6:00 p.m.
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said, “Public art is more than paint on a wall or statue on a sidewalk – it’s a way to bring together neighbors, families, and community organizations to enhance the Collar City’s reputation as a cultural and creative hub in the Capital District. The City of Troy is pleased to partner with the Arts Center of the Capital Region to advance the Troy Master Plan for Public Art, an important effort which will enhance the vibrancy of our community.”
According to Reiss, “The Franklin Alley project as a demonstration of best practices for placemaking. Unfortunately, we’ve seen communities install murals without reference to their environment or their neighbors. The ACCR is working as a community for the community, and we hope this will serve as a model for other public art programs.”
Once the design is created, Iurato will install the artwork, working with his crew as well as artists and young people from the planning team. The mural will be unveiled in September to dovetail with the Downtown BID’s Restaurant and Craft Brew week and the launch of a marketing campaign by the Troy Cultural Alliance.
The Franklin Alley Pedestrian Walkway Mural project is just one component of ACCR’s comprehensive public art program. Additional efforts in the pipeline include:
Throughout Troy, public art will support efforts where planning and placemaking come together to create lively community spaces. “Through this public art program, the Arts Center itself has undergone an institutional transformation,” said Reiss. “Our Public Art Program is a manifestation of connecting community to the arts. We’re so grateful to our sponsors for their support of this project, including: NYSCA; the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation; the Troy Redevelopment Foundation; the Upstate Theater Coalition for a Fairgame and generous members of our community.”
According to the Troy Master Plan for Public Art’s vision statement:
Public art in Troy will not be seen as a simple amenity. Instead, it will be viewed as a vital platform for innovative experimentation and curious exploration that becomes a part of Troy’s creative and civic ecosystem – tapping into and uplifting the perception that Troy is the creative city in the Capital Region.
So, now’s your chance! Head over to Troy and take part in art!
The bad news is, I'm too busy working with my clients to create new content for this blog. The good news is, I have copies of a bunch of posts I created for a community blog that were lost from that site through a technology glitch. Here's an example from May, 2019.
Albany has a lot of plans. The Albany 2030 Plan, adopted in 2012, was the first Comprehensive Plan in the city’s 400-year history. There’s a plan for Complete Streets, a plan for Energy and a strategy called Impact Downtown.
This year, Albany is updating its Citywide Historic Preservation Plan, and opportunities for the public to chime in are part of the process.
The Lakota Group, based in Chicago, has been retained to produce the plan. The group has 25 years of experience in urban design, planning, landscape architecture and historic preservation. According to their website, their mission is “to create plans that build connections between people, their environments and their history.”
On May 21, representatives from the Hudson/Park, Center Square, Washington Park, Ten Broeck Triangle and Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Associations, as well as former members of the city’s Historic Resources Commission and Planning Department, took part in a stakeholder meeting with Lakota staff.
Issues varied widely – some neighbors expressed concern about multiple satellite television receivers on residential buildings while others were alarmed by the growing number of emergency demolitions.
From the former St. Joseph’s Church in Arbor Hill to the “red x” placards on vacant buildings, the invited stakeholders seemed to agree on one thing – there is plenty of room for improvement in the way Albany treats its historic built environment.
According to the request for proposals issued by the city in February, the Citywide Historic Preservation Plan will:
That last bullet is where the community planning process comes in.
The ambitious timeline calls for stakeholder interviews, focus groups and community open houses through June, with the delivery of the final plan in September 2019.
This is your chance to get involved! Visit AlbanyHistoricPreservationPlan.com and sign up for email updates. Attend a public meeting. Advocate for what matters most to you.
Albany is the oldest chartered city in the nation. It deserves strategic, thoughtful management of its built environment. Albany’s historic fabric is among the city’s most promising – and to date, largely untapped – economic development assets. You can help make sure we get the Historic Preservation Plan right.
The holiday weekend is fast approaching, and I've been getting vacation responders for the past week. Seems like a lot the people who worked straight through the pandemic are finally taking a breather.
I'm going to take a page out of that playbook, and rather than creating new content for a blog post, share a lengthy email that I sent recently to some 80+ Community Development Financial Institutions in New York State. I serve as consulting executive director of the NYS CDFI Coalition, and one of the projects we've been working on is securing additional sources of funding for CDFIs, which played an important role as financial first responders over the past 18 months! I hope you learn something about CDFIs and that if you have any questions, you'll drop me a line - let's make #SmallTalk!
Dear NYS CDFI Coalition member -
We're excited to present our second NYS CDFI Quarterly Investor Club event with our partner, Impact Finance Center, on Friday, July 2. This event differs from our monthly informational webinars in that we feature an investor panel, a CDFI panel, AND a series of quick pitches from NYS CDFIs.
This is a great opportunity to highlight the work you're doing in front of an audience of prospective investors - those who watch in real time, as well as those who participate in Impact Finance Center's Impact Investing Institute. The non-profit Institute identifies, trains, and activates individuals and organizations to become impact investors, helping them better align their assets with their values. They are working to move more money to social ventures by creating the infrastructure for a Nationwide Impact Investing Marketplace by 2030 - and NYS CDFI Coalition members are on the list!
Your support of the NYS CDFI Coalition helps us explore new ways of attracting capital to our members, and we're excited about some early interest from investors. We hope you can join us!
Link to "Financial Storytelling for NYS CDFIs" - Andrea's example of a 2-minute pitch is between 15:30 - 17:25.
PRO TIPS from the video - For your 2-minute pitch - pick one STORY that investors will remember and lead with it.
NOT: X Bank has a small loan program and we help homeowners.
BUT: We got a call from someone whose parents' home had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy and they urgently needed $$$$$ to make repairs.
NOT: We helped a church with TA and a loan because they didn't have solid bookkeeping practices and didn't look good on paper for lending.
BUT: Imagine having 2 houses deeded to you, and homeless veterans needing a place to live, but you don't have money to fix them up. That's what happened to XXX Church.
NOT: During the pandemic we facilitated $XXX million in loans, helping XXX businesses.
BUT: A year ago, she was in danger of losing her business. Last month, she was on the cover of Financial Times, thanks to a CDFI.
Colleen M. Ryan is an