Posted by: David Giacalone | September 26, 2016

“Yuan” is back at the Rose Garden


n August 21st, we wrote of changes at the Central Park Rose Garden, in preparation for construction of a pergola in the Garden this Fall. A major change was removal of Robert Blood’s sculpture Variations on the Chinese Character “Yuan”, to make room for the pergola, with a promise that The Yuan would return. I am pleased to say that Yuan Is Back, reinstalled in a far front corner, close to the Crime Victims section, near the roundabout at Iroquois Way and Monument Hill, and across from the Dog Park.




This posting has images of the re-installed sculpture, from various perspectives. Although it is currently standing on a bare patch of crushed stone, it will again be surrounded by bushes and plantings either before winter or in the Spring. Click on the inividual photos for a larger version.

The Slideshow below has about a dozen photos. To see a larger version of a photo in the Slideshow, pause the Slideshow and right-click on the image, you can see a larger version, then choose Show Image in Separate Window.


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Here’s my favorite photo of the Yuan in its original location. It’s impressionist feel says “unfocused” to some viewers, but now it whispers “hazy memory” to me.


Posted by: David Giacalone | September 12, 2016

breezy 2016 outdoor art show a lovely treat

2016stockade-art-show-posterBelow are three slideshows featuring the enjoyable, if breezy, 65th Stockade Villagers Outdoor Art Show. The First Slideshow depicts the Awards Ceremony; the Second Slideshow has random photos taken while I strolled quickly around the Show, radiating from Lawrence Circle; and a Third Slideshow contains two dozen shots, mostly details or re-cropping of photos from the first two slideshows.  At the very bottom of this posting is a collage showing each of the pieces that were presented at the awards ceremony, at Lawrence’s Winner Circle, in the Schenectady NY Stockade Historic District.

Note: I took far fewer shots than other years, because I was holding my very first photo and photobook exhibit, inside Arthur’s Market, and needed to tend my tables. (For even more Outdoor Art Show, click here for links to prior webposts in our Outdoor Art Show Category.) I apologize if I missed your exhibit and note-worthy work.


LIST of WINNERS, from the Stockade Villagers Outdoor Art Show Facebook Page: Click on an image for a larger version.

First Place (sponsored by the Daily Gazette):

                                 Peter Watrous img_2193watrousgrandprize

breadbasketrev-raineydewey2d  Second Place: Lorraine “Rainey” Dewey (website)
 Third Place Justin Janik (websiteimg_2187justinjanik3d

The Nicholas Colangelo Award [First-Time Exhibitor]: Eileen Sammons

img_2173jared-schafer-cohenstockade The Ernest Cohen Award [Stockade Depiction]: Jared Schafer

The James Gilliland/George Weinheimer Oakroom Artists Award: Debra Dixon. This award is given by the Oakroom Artists for the body of work shown in the display.

Honorable Mention: Don Cooper, Lucy Shure, Fredda Merzon, Debra Dixon, Lynn Marie Vokatis and Fred Neudoerffer.

The People’s Choice Award went to Mary Occhiogrosso

img_2150ewilsonya1 Receiving Young Artist Awards (age 8 -18) were, Ethan Wilson (First), Mia Etkin (Second) and Sarah Grossman (Third.)

  • Judges were Charles Steckler and Sandy Wimer with Steve Kowalski judging the 8 – 18 year olds.

img_2061 The Weather was Interesting on Sunday, September 11th. It was actually the Rain Date for the Show, due to forecasts Friday evening that made rain appear very likely during the day on Saturday. Saturday turned out to be dry. Instead, Sunday started with thunderstorms, which moved out, bringing lower temperatures and a clearing sky, but also troublesome winds. Prior to calming down to a fairly calm breeze, the wind scared away some artists, menaced others, called for ingenuity (and ballast), often caused chasing after skittering pieces (see photo to the right), and did some unfortunate damage (including to the frame of one of my favorites from last year, by Linda Biggers).

 Thank you to all the artists who braved the weather and the “guests” who came to view the show. And. of course, thanks to the Outdoor Art Show committee for putting the 65th Annual Stockade Villagers Outdoor Art Show together and making it work.

Note: To see a larger version of an image in a slideshow, pause the slideshow on that image, and right click over it; then choose Open Image in New Tab (or New Window).

Slideshow One: The awards ceremony:

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img_2201susannahhandarm Please let me know if I have mislabelled an artist or work, or mis-spelled a name; and, also leave a comment or send an email with the necessary information, if yours is one of the many exhibits I could not identify. Finally, many thanks to Susannah for her help at my exhibit table. 


.. 1st Prize winner Peter Watrous’ exhibit; Peter won the Grand Prize in 2013, too . . 

Slideshow Two: Strolling the 2016 Outdoor Art Show

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afterthought: The Kids. I missed seeing some of my favorite Stockade art show kids this year, but was pleased to have many more enjoying the show (even if a little crabby at times) with their parents.









Here’s the Young Artists’ winners board from Sunday’s Show (you can see each artist and winning piece in the First Slideshow, above):



Supplement, added Wednesday, September 13, 2016:

Slideshow Three: Another Crop (two dozen added images, most of which are details or re-cropping of photos from the second slideshow)

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p.s. If I had walked all the way down to Bob Laper’s exhibit on Front St. near Church Street, I would have looked for some of these, and this little family, and smiled. Next year, for sure (if they aren’t all sold).

. . finally: below is a collage with each of the winning pieces mounted at Lawrence’ Circle . .


  • for a larger version of the above collage, click on it!
Posted by: David Giacalone | August 21, 2016

changes and perennial beauty at the Rose Garden


. . Central Park Rose Garden, 19Aug2016


Saturday’s Schenectady Gazette featured photos of “a relaxing day in the park” (August 20, 2016, C2), with a full gallery online of shots by Erica Miller, from Congress Park in Saratoga Springs. But, I am pleased to say, after three visits this week to Schenectady’s Central Park, that I only had to drive a couple miles from my Stockade home to find relaxation and beauty in a park, while avoiding racetrack traffic and parking problems. As usual, there were abundant, full arrays of roses in scores of beds, plus appreciative visitors, in the famed Central Park Rose Garden, as well as a refreshing waterfall and a charming stone bridge.

img_1996 Nonetheless, I was a bit disappointed at first on arriving at our prize-winning Rose Garden last Sunday, as I had come specifically to capture a special image or two of the Garden’s central fountain and of the Robert Blood “Yuan” sculpture. As the image to the right suggests, that goal was somewhat frustrated by an unexplained “improvement project.”


YuanGoing14Aug2016 . . YuanGone19Aug2016

. . above: [L] Yuan sculpture at construction site Aug. 14., [R] gone Aug. 19 . . 

Indeed, I learned later in the week that my visit coincided with the last day the Yuan sculpture could be found at its original location. Although the roses were again more than beautiful enough to make each trip worthwhile, I was curious about the construction and the fate of the Yuan sculpture (especially given the recent spate of sculpture thefts in the region). So, I left an inquiry at the Rose Garden’s website, which was quickly answered this morning by Sharon Gade of the Rose Garden Restoration Committee: They are building a pergola (“an archway in a garden or park consisting of a framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants”), and will be relocating the Blood sculpture. Here are some details:

  • “The pergola will enhance an existing thoroughfare through the garden and create a much needed place to display climbing roses. Additionally the pergola will provide an elegant and aesthetic garden backdrop to the adjoining hillside and become another beautiful place for wedding ceremonies and photo opportunities for visitors and family gatherings.” And,
  • Schenectady Rose Garden 2009 Chinese Character "Yuan" (Garden) Once its new base is constructed, the sculpture “will be featured in the far front corner of the garden near the ‘crime victims’ area where we lost a large pine tree in the microburst that went through the park in late spring.”

PergolaRendering-001. . Left: artist’s rendering of the planned pergola. Click here for more information on the Rose Garden Pergola, and here for the “pergola pledge form” .


. . above: Central Fountain, still lovely without Yuan or the pergola . .

The following Slideshow features more than a dozen images taken August 14 and 19, 2016.

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My photo shooting this week was concentrated on broader displays, rather than individual flowers or plants. But, you can see plenty of those by going to our postings memorializing a few prior visits:


Robert Blood's sculpture of "yuan" - Chinese symbol for "garden" . . sculpture of Chinese symbol "Yuan" (garden) at Schenectady Central Park Rose Garden - 31July2010

. . above and below: Robert Blood’s Variations on the Chinese Character “Yuan” [garden] at its original location . . 




Posted by: David Giacalone | July 31, 2016

Stockade Picnic: a very favorable impression


It’s a pity that the 2016 Stockade Neighborhood Picnic last Tuesday (July 25) wasn’t better advertised, because the weather, camaraderie, location, and sunlight were just about perfect. I got too caught up in just enjoying companions (and bocce competition) to take my usual plethora of pictures. But, a remarkable number of those I did take had the aura of impressionist paintings (such as Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boat Party), with the pre-sunset light making its magic.


. . click on the collage above for a larger version . . 

In addition to the image above (which also captured a picnic-crashing Pocket Monster), here’s a slideshow with a few examples:

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Posted by: David Giacalone | July 22, 2016

Jumpin’ Jack’s serves up a tardy fireworks treat

IMG_1617-001 Tonight’s postponed Jumpin’ Jack’s Fireworks were worth the wait.  The small audience at the end of Cucumber Alley enjoyed a view of the fireworks display from the Schenectady side of the Isle of the Cayugas, including the whimsical reflections they made in the Mohawk River. A gentle breeze tamed a hot and humid day, and the annual swarm of mosquitos must have headed for the larger crowd at Riverside Park.

IMG_1549 Our Slideshow offers a small taste of the sights on a pleasing Friday night along the Mohawk. For a larger image, pause the Slideshow at the desired photo, right-click on it, and choose Open Image  in New Tab.

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. . see our Jumpin’ Jack’s Fireworks category for more posts watching the show from the end of Cucumber Alley in the Schenectady Stockade




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 IMG_1705 . . IMG_1707 . . IMG_1714

.. above: fireworks seen through branches of trees at 16 Washington Ave.(click on image for a larger version) . . 


IMG_1296 p.s. If you missed last weekend’s 2016 Stockade Garden Tour, check out well over 100 photos in our posting “a garden tour for the ages.”

Posted by: David Giacalone | July 18, 2016

Garden Tour, Day Two, Part 2


“Family” by Robert Laper

  • update (July 22, 2016): The photos that had been originally found at this post have been added to “a garden tour for the ages“, in order to have our 2016 Garden Tour materials conveniently in one posting.

peace & whimsy at 142 Front Street


Posted by: David Giacalone | July 17, 2016

a Garden Tour for the ages


Jason Schultz’s “morning stretch”

 The gardens of the Stockade Association’s 2016 “Art & Nature” Garden Tour sparkled and delighted on Friday (July 15) and yesterday (July 16), enhanced by intriguing and inspiring art. Appreciative visitors came in what looked like record numbers. I want to thank the Garden Tour Committee for letting me serve as a roving photographer. I saw many lovely sites and people I would otherwise have missed this weekend.

2016-graden-tour-logoI hope the following Slideshows, and the random single photos, will capture some of the joy and beauty. Materials formerly found at “Garden Tour: Day 2, Part 2” and “2016 Garden Tour: a few stops on Day One”, have been consolidated into this posting for the viewers’ convenience.

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This first slideshow features the three gardens clustered at “Katy Lane”: Mabel Leon’s at 20 Front St., Donna Smith’s at 20 No. Church St, and Franca DiCrescenzo’s (Armida Rose) at 22 No. Church St., as well the garden of Katy Kindl (14 No. Church St.), and that of Werner Feibes (10 No. Ferry St.).

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. . .

IMG_1383-003 . . IMG_1369

. . coming soon: light & shadow on Union Street . .


The gardens of Sean and Dan Philpott-Jones (127 N. College St.) and Diane and Ron DeMeo (232 Union St.) are featured in this second slideshow.

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  • the following photos were inadvertently omitted from the above Slideshow’s display of the Philpott-Jones garden on No. College Street, which featured the art of Stockade resident Steve Kowalski:


. . click on the photos from a larger version . . 





peace & whimsy at 142 Front Street


The Third Slideshow below features images from the gardens of Donna & Chris Thomas (234 Union St.), Jorge Luis Alvarez (224 Union Street), Gloria Kishton and Bob Lemmerman (207 Union St.), and Jessica Johndrew and Charles Gelarden (112 Front Street).

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. . at 1st Reformed Church, by Phyllis Kulmatiski

 . .

img_12421 . .  . . IMG_1170

. . Steve Carberry’s “earthquake survivor” juxtaposed with a classic Bacchus-Dionysus in the Katy Kindl garden


 . . . [L] Mick Cipollo demonstrated his 3D digital scanning and sculpting in the garden at 234 Union Street. Many other forms of sculpting were on display at Garden Tour locations, such as Fredda Merzon’s botanically-inspired metalwork at the GeLarden garden, Jason Schultz’s work at “Katy Lane,” and Bob Laper’s pieces shown at the top of this posting. I’d like to thank each of the artists who gave time and talents to help make the Garden Tour a success, and my own viewing more enjoyable.


at 234 Union Street, Vintage Chic Inn


This 4th and last Slideshow features the garden at 142 Front Street, the home of Laurence James and Tina Caruso. The cliche disclaimer “last but not least” clearly applies.

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. . Tina loves pink (plastic) flamingos, too . . 


chenille-stem art by Ginger Ertz

. . above: chenille-stem (pipe cleaner) art by Ginger Ertz, at 207 Union Street.



IMG_1115 Friday afternoon, July 15, 2016, was hot and humid, with a gray overcast. Nonetheless, the streets of the Stockade were blooming with even more Garden Tour guests than Pokemon-Go players from 3 PM to 8 PM. Vowing to return Saturday [today], for the forecasted improved weather and sunshine, I visited only five of the dozen Gardens. You can see, however, from the following Slideshow images, that even under mostly overcast skies, the Tour gardens showed their uniqueness and beauty. Here are three or four photos of the five gardens I visited on Day One.

  • Want More Stockade Gardens? See our Garden Tour Preview, for a glimpse of the 2016 Stockade Gardens about a month prior to the actual Garden Tour.

200 Block of Union Street looking east

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Posted by: David Giacalone | July 15, 2016

Pokemon at the gates


On February 8, 1690, during a major blizzard, a band of 114 French soldiers and 96 Sault and Algonquin Indians entered the stockade gates surrounding the tiny village of Schenectady, burned down the village, and massacred, kidnapped, or scared away its residents. The Massacre of 1690 yielded Schenectady’s Tale of the Snowmen at the Gates.



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This past week, like innumerable cities and towns throughout the nation, the Stockade was invaded by heat and humidity, and hundreds of hunters of Pokemon Go pocket monsters. They came with GPS technology and a brand new app, taking their Pokemon skills and obsessions out into the world, staring at smartphone screens, in search of Shops, Gyms, 151 pocket monsters, and adventure. For local news coverage of this international phenomenon, see the Albany Times Union article, “Making connections amid Pokemon Go craze”. Update (Aug. 4, 2016): See “History and Pokemon Intersect in the Stockade” (Schenectady Gazette, by Brett Samuels). 

IMG_1088 The following Slideshow presents a tiny slice of the Pokemon action taking place all day and long into the night, on the streets of the Stockade Historic District (especially near Lawrence Circle and Arthur’s Market and the Historical Society), where pedestrians other than dog-walkers are usually a scarce commodity. No one knows how long the Pokemon Go fad will last. Most of us were pleased to see friendly, well-mannered hoards of youth swarming our streets, even if we scratched our heads over just what was happening and why Pokemon fever became an instant international epidemic.

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  • above: Felicia takes a PokemonGo break from her duties at Arthur’s Market

This weekend, the Pokemon armies will be vying with Garden Tour guests and Erie Canalway bicyclists for space on our streets. A bit of patience, good manners, and good attitudes should add up to an especially interesting and enjoyable summer weekend in the Stockade.


  • IMG_1047 p.s. Despite staring at their screens, and not watching their steps, I saw no bloody knees, or even errant stumbling. I guess youth has better balance than their elders traversing our historic sidewalks.


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