Posted by: David Giacalone | April 23, 2017

the at-risk west lawn of Riverside Park

. . for discussion of reasons to oppose a Pump Station project in Riverside Park, please see “Not In Our Park!“, at “snowmen at the gates” . .

Have we been taking the quiet beauty of the great West Lawn of Riverside Park for granted? I’ve recently heard it said that “no one uses that part of the Park” — the section between the old Pump House and Governor’s Lane. The statement was apparently being used to justify usurping most of the space, viewshed, and charm of the West Lawn for a giant new sewage pump station, modern and industrial in style, that would spread from near the old pump house to Governor’s Lane, as seen in the following rendering, which was part of a 25-page Presentation to the Stockade Association Board of a proposed North Ferry Pump Station Project, given on March 1, 2017 by architect Frank Gilmore and CHA’s lead engineer Mike Miller:

. . click on rendering for larger image . .

Not used? Not appreciated and valued?

To the contrary, we stroll by the West Lawn of Riverside Park on the Park’s one footpath when entering or leaving the Park from Washington Avenue or Governor’s Lane, and enjoy both its calmness when unoccupied and its activity when in use. We play bocce and frisbee on it, and run with our dogs and children. We sit on its benches to read, watch sunsets and crew sculls, tugboats and party boats on the Mohawk, and also heron on the Isle of the Cayugas or Scotia shore. We have picnics there, or quiet dates on a blanket. We occasionally see wedding parties and fashion models being photographed in front of Governor Yates’ brick wall, and the unique ornamental wall at the foot of what is now St. George’s parsonage.  We also very much enjoy a rare view of Stockade “backyards” — long, rolling or terraced yards of homes along Front Street.

. . above: view on Sunday, April 23, 2017 . .

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. . above: two renderings of the proposed pump station . .

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I hope there will soon be a full, objective discussion of the Proposed Plan and alternatives to it (e.g. reuse the old pump house and its present lot, or a different location outside of the Park, perhaps out of the floodplain), and I hope it will be led by the Stockade Association. To the right is a thumbnail image of a collage with salient portions of the March 1, 2017 presentation; click on it for a larger version, and feel free to download it or the Project pdf. file for distribution.

This slide show has photos of the West Lawn, with views of it and from it, as well as people enjoying it.

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. . share this post with the short URL: http://tinyurl.com/WLawn

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WestLawnfromscotiaOct2013

. . a view from Scotia of the west end of Riverside Park (17Oct2013) . . 

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above: [L] Loraine and Devin make his first snowman just outside the fence of 29 1/2 Front Street, in 2009; [R] Devin’s snowman is a lone sentinel outside the fence of 29 1/2 Front Street, echoing the famous, feckless snowmen at the gates of the Stockade the night of the 1690 Massacre.

Posted by: David Giacalone | April 6, 2017

March 2017 miscellanea

 . . Mohawk R. at Washington Ave. (March 29) DSCF2663-001

Before March 2017 is merely a vague memory, I thought I’d share a couple dozen images taken during the month. Fog, snow, and blue sky evenings predominate. I hope you’ll enjoy the Slideshow. (And, don’t forget out “mid-March snowstorm” coverage, too.)

 . . looking west from the east end of Riverside Park on a foggy evening (March 28, 2017).

For a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause the on the photo, right-click and choose Show Image in Separate Tab.

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. . view up N. Ferry Street from the Esplanade of Riverside Park . .

 . . rear of 16 Washington Ave. . . 

 

Posted by: David Giacalone | April 5, 2017

watching the Mohawk


 T
he Mohawk River is fairly high this week, including along its Schenectady bank, due to snow melt and rains, and there is a Flood Watch in effect the next few days along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers and their tributaries. Currently, despite heavy rains expected tomorrow, Thursday April 6, the expectation seems to be for minor flooding at most. Check out the Mohawk River – Schenectady hydrograph of the National Weather Service for updates. The hydrograph screenshot below to the right was taken a little before 2 PM today, Wednesday, April 5.  (Click on it for a larger version.)

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I will be posting photos in this webpost from Riverside Park, along the Mohawk, including the water gauge at the Park’s esplanade (near N. Ferry Street and the Pump House) and, if appropriate, from Cucumber Alley. The River photograph above is a shot of the esplanade and water gauge at noon today (Wednesday). It is at the 221′ level, three feet higher than at 6 PM yesterday evening. The water is not yet over the banks at the Park. The Weather Service shows the water levels for Schenectady, which are actually measured at Freeman’s Bridge, at around 218 feet this afternoon, and expecting to decline the rest of the day, before inching  up a bit due to heavy rains tomorrow.

. . above: looking west from the Esplanade, noon, Wednesday . .

This 39-second video clip give you an idea of how fast the water is flowing in the Mohawk. There have been many large tree branches in the River the past few days.

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 This photo was taken looking east from the Esplanade toward the CSX train trestle, at about noon, Wednesday, April 5.

  • more photos will be posted here over the next couple of days, as we continue to watch the Mohawk.

9 PM update (Wednesday, April 5): The water at Riverside Park had receded more than a foot between noon and 8 PM, when I took this photo, with the water just below 220′ on the gauge:

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. . SCaporizzoTwitter5Apr2017 and, thank you, Steve Caporizzo, for using my noon photo at the Esplanade on the Channel 10, WTEN, 5 PM newscast, and also tweeting it

 

DSCF2705-6Apr2pm . . update (Thursday, April 6, 2017): The water continues to come down (gauge shows the level just above 217 ‘), but heavy rains will surely mean an uptick tonight.

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bench near west entrance of Park

 update (Friday mid-afternoon): The heavy rains Thursday night did bring the water levels back up along Riverside Park:

. . IMG_3476-001

. . Friday, April 7, 2017, 2:30 pm: Above: gauge just under 221′ at Esplanade,. Below: [R] Gateway Landing at Binnekill Creek; [L] west end of Riverside Park

IMG_3475-001 . . . IMG_3468-001

HighWaterScreenShot

 It is a bit confusing that the Weather Service measures Schenectady Mohawk River levels at Freeman’s Bridge. Those levels tend to be 3 to 4 inches lower than along Riverside Park at the Stockade. The graph to the left, created at 2:45 pm, Friday, shows water levels at over 217 feet and falling since about 11 AM, with the trend consistently downward for the next few days. Water levels have probably also been declining at Riverside Park all afternoon. There is no reason to believe they will rise again significantly. And, so, this is my last Mohawk Watch Report for this high water episode.

Here are a few more photos taken around 2:30 pm, Friday, April 7, 2017, at Schenectady’s Riverside Park, along the Mohawk River. (click on each for a larger version)

IMG_3469-001 [L] Isle of the Cayugas seen from Washington Ave. deadMyend.  

. . IMG_3481-001 . . above: view west from Esplanade . . 

 . . IMG_3480-001 .IMG_3478-001 . IMG_3471-001

Posted by: David Giacalone | March 18, 2017

our 2017 mid-March snow storm

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. . the view from my porch, March 16, 2017, Washington Ave. looking toward the River

March has had quite a few personalities in 2017, and we’re only half way through it. Many of us will remember March 14, 2017 as bringing the East Coast a major snow storm/blizzard, and leaving almost 20 inches at Schenectady. We got through it fairly well, with a “Casino Halo” bringing snow clearing crews to the Stockade sooner than in the traditional course of events. The US Postal Service cancelled mail delivery on the day of the storm in several zip codes, such as 12305, which includes the Stockade.

Esplanade-Riverside Park 14Mar2017

By Thursday March 16, we had beautiful blues skies, which continued on the 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and into today, Saturday the 18th. The wind-chills on March 14 and 15 prevented me from staying out snapping photos for very long, and the blowing snow made visibility quite poor on the 14th, leaving the photo to the right as the only image worth sharing from the actual day of the storm. By the next day, enough vehicles and streets were cleared of snow, that the Great March Snow Storm of 2017 looked rather tame, as do the resulting photographs. The blue skies, sunlight and shadows on Thursday and Friday made for lovelier images of the Stockade in winter, and I hope you will enjoy the several dozen photos in the Slideshow below.

Before the Slideshow, however, I want to urge all those who have been a bit grumpy about the return of frigid weather and snow in mid-March, to play and frolic vicariously with Laura Harrison, our former Yogini in the Park. Laura made a 19-second video during the blizzard on Tuesday, captioned “You are NEVER too old to play!“, and posted it at her Facebook page, Laura Inspires

Besides being a yoga therapist and instructor in Schenectady, Laura is a social-emotional health educator. This little video clip is a great advertisement for her important notion that attitude matters, and can turn a blizzard into fun (even if you are no longer a kid).

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. . you can see a larger version of any image in the Slideshow, by pausing it on the desired photo, right-clicking, and choosing Open Image in New Tab.

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. . Above: 1st Union College Dormitory, No. College St.; Below: Schenectady’s reputed “oldest house,”  at 109 Union Street (March 17, 2017)

. . Want more Stockade snow? Check out the gorgeous scenes from February 3, 2015.

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. . Cucumber Alley 16Mar2017

Posted by: David Giacalone | February 14, 2017

flamingos bypass Casino and visit Lawrence again

img_3352 . .  img_3404

. . above: [L] 10:30 pm with moon; [R] 3:30 pm]

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Flamingo, Las Vegas

 Maybe they’re jaded by visits to their namesake in Las Vegas [image to the right]. Or, they just couldn’t find Rivers Casino without an 80′ pylon sign to guide their landing. We’d like to think they simply love the romance and mystery of their annual visit to the Schenectady Stockade. For whatever reason, Valentine’s Day has again drawn a large flock of pink plastic flamingos to Lawrence Circle in the Schenectady Stockade.  The birds arrived about 10 P.M. last night, February 13.

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img_3353-001 Once we have some Valentine Day daylight, and maybe even a bit of blue sky, our editor will get his old Canon back to Lawrence Circle, and post a flock of photos. If you need a Flamingo Fix before then, see the links on our Valentine Flamingo Category page, or view the 20-page photobook “Valentine Flamingos in the Schenectady Stockade: whimsy and mystery at Lawrence Circle” (3rd Edition, 2016; contact us to obtain a copy for our price to print it).

. . share this posting with the short URLhttps://tinyurl.com/2017Flamingos

  • please come back for daylight photos of our 2017 Valentine Flamingos

update (2:30 pm): Here’s a daytime sample, with more to come after I return in search of blue sky to the Circle:

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img_3363-002 . . . img_3358-001

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update (5 PM):  This slideshow has about twenty images taken under blue skies mid-afternoon today. Flamingos and Lawrence Circle from lots of angles. Don’t forget, you can see (and download, if you’d like) a larger version of any photo by pausing the slideshow on the photo, right-clicking, and choosing “open image in a new tab/window”.

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Posted by: David Giacalone | January 8, 2017

only a month away from February 8


feb8infamy5x7 O
ne month from today, we will be observing a day that I’ve recently dubbed Schenectady’s Date of Infamy, at my other website, “snowmen at the gates”. On February 8, 1690, the Schenectady Massacre occurred. On February 8, 2017, the Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor will have its opening in Schenectady. I’m writing here to suggest that you read about the coincidence and its unavoidable ironies. Please feel free to click on the Date of Infamy image at the right of this paragraph, which is formatted to be printed in 5″ x 7″ size, or the two other sizes found at snowmen at the gates. You are invited to download, display or distribute (free of charge, please) the Infamy Image, if you agree with the sentiment. Thank you.

Posted by: David Giacalone | January 1, 2017

ending the year with Lawrence

lawrence31dec2016a In a changing and somewhat scary world, it is always comforting to know that Lawrence is steadfastly on guard at his Circle.* And, this time of year, he is accompanied by a brightly-lighted evergreen tree. So, I ended 2016 by stopping off for one more round of Lawrence-with-the-Tree photos. So far this winter, I’ve been unable to catch the tree frosted with snow, but it has nonetheless been a lovely addition to the Stockade street scene, and I have especially enjoyed seeing it from down the block when walking or driving east on Front Street toward Lawrence after sunset.

The following collage contains a few images snapped at Lawrence Circle on December 31, 2016, at a little past 4:30 in the afternoon. Click on the collage for a much larger version:

lawrencenewyearseve2016

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img_3261 . . . img_3263

. . [L] looking south up No. Ferry toward Union St.; [R] looking toward Green St.

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* Lawrence’s diligence is celebrated in the very first edition of Explore Schenectady County, the magazine of Visit Schenectady, the Schenectady County Convention and Visitors and Bureau. The magazine’s City of Schenectady section, telling The Story behind the Electric City, recounts Lawrence’s role encouraging the Dutch to rebuild after the 1690 Massacre, with a photo of Lawrence captioned: “‘Lawrence the Indian’ continues to watch over the Stockade.” See the screenshot below. If the photo of Lawrence looks familiar, that’s because it was first seen here at “suns along the Mohawk,” and a detail from the photograph graces our masthead.

exploreschdy1sted

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 22, 2016

one-page 2017 Stockade calendars (with our thanks)

2017calendarjjf5x7b

Whether or not we have a white Christmas this year in the Stockade, I hope the one-page 2017 calendars I’ve uploaded for this posting will help spread the Yule holiday spirit in our neighborhood.  They are a small thank-you to all those who have come to “suns along the Mohawk” this year for a taste of Stockade beauty and events. Each of the calendars is ready to print, email to family or friends, or leave on your digital device for reference in 2017.

  • The two calendars with a white background are formatted to be printed at 5″ x 7″; the two with green backgrounds are formatted to be printed at 4″ x 6″. The jpg. files are the original image files, for high resolution.
  • One version has a photo of the leading Stockade-athon runners on Washington Avenue in November 2015; the other shows the 2016 Jumpin’ Jack’s Fireworks as seen from the Mohawk River Bank, along the rear of Cucumber Alley.
  • An image with Lawrence Circle reflected in a Stockade Christmas tree ornament appears on each calendar. If you squint, you can see the photographer in front of Lawrence snapping the photo.
  • Click on each of the images for access to the full jpg. file, or right-click on it to save or copy it.

newyearfootprint4x6 As a bonus, I’m including a Yule greeting card, formatted at 4″ x 6″, which is seen on the left. In addition, for those celebrating the Last Stockade Christmas without a Casino nearby, my reminder that opening day, February 8, is also the date of the Schenectady Massacre of 1690, can be seen below. It is also formatted for a 4″x 6″ print.

snowmenatcasino4x6a

See the posting “our infamous February 8th“, at our sister weblog, “snowmen at the gates,” for ironic similarities between the two events.

Here are the remaining calendars:

2017calendarwashav4x6 4×6

5×7 2017calendarwashav5x7

4×6 2017calendarjjf4x6

  • Whichever Holiday you celebrate, may it be joyous, and may the New Year bring a few good surprises along with good health and prosperity. 
  • And, may we all work together to protect and preserve the residential nature and beauty of our lovely Stockade Historic District.

treelighting2016hodgkins

. . happy faces at the 2016 Stockade Holiday Tree Lighting

p.s. Stockade & Schenectady postcards available at The Open Door make great stocking stuffers (and postcards), and are for a good cause. See out postcard page.

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