Posted by: David Giacalone | April 1, 2023

Moon & River has our 1st Exhibit (updated)

M&Rexh1 (1) .

PhotoExhibitNoticeSpyApr23 I‘m very pleased that Richard Genest is presenting an exhibit of Giacalone photo-canvases at his iconic Moon & River Cafe, 115 So. Ferry Street, in the Schenectady Stockade neighborhood. [Directions] It’s the first art exhibit of my work. Click on the image to the left from the April Stockade Spy for more detail..

Richard calls the show “Beauty Along the Mohawk: Scenes of Schenectady through an artful photographer’s lens.” There are 25 photo-canvases, many of which can be seen in this posting. Click on an image for a larger version. [Note: more photos were added below on Sunday, April 10, 2023.]




Please come to Moon & River Cafe to see them in person. I hope I’ll have the chance to see you at the Reception, April 11, 2023, 6-8pm, or without the crowd, any day in April. Our Photo-Canvases Page has more than forty canvases, including those featured in the M&R show.

Follow-up: (April 9, 2023) MANY THANKS to INDIANA NASH and the Daily Gazette for a fine article about the exhibit.


Update: Early Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. As promised above, I took a better camera and my monopod to Moon & River Cafe Saturday afternoon. Below are images from the Exhibit. 



. . above: Proctors marquee (2015); View toward Scotia from Riverside Park (2008)



. . above: Schenectady City Hall (2013); below: a sunny Sunday morning on Jay St. (2018)




. . M&Rlamparray

above: clockwise from top left: Valentine flamingos at Lawrence Circle, glad to see the new Arthur’s 1795 (2020); Schmidt family sculpture on rear lawn of S.C. Historic Society (2023); collage with four seasons viewed from Cucumber Alley at Washington Ave. (various years); Terrace of Johnny’s restaurant at Center City (2020); and Schenectady Train Station (2019)



. Above: 1st Presbyterian Steeple behind St. George’s, seen from N. Ferry St (2022); Ice sheets on the Mohawk seen from Riverside Park Overlook (2022); and, Tots enjoying a morning along the Mohawk. 



above: Blue Heron floating on a branch in the Mohawk near the Stockade (2009); and, Big Red Dog Clifford frolicing in Riverside Playlot (2011, but removed in 2015)


M&RValFlam1stRefTulips. . 

above: Elegant plastic flamingos at Lawrence Circle (Feb. 14, 2014); and, 1st Reformed Church with tulips (2012)


above: Mohawk R. Flooding along Riverside Park playlot (April 2022); and, Santa after Stockade Tree Lighting, Lawrence Circle (2022)



above: Riverside Park Playlot after a flash-freeze at sunrise (2018); and, view north on Washington Ave., from County Historical Society, with cherry blossoms (2014). 


above: Schenectady Cherry Blossoms Collage: Top L: Washington Ave.; Top R: weeping blossoms at Congregation Gates of Heaven; Bottom L: last year of cherry blossoms (2018) at City Hall; and, at Central Park Rose Garden



above: tulips in Riverside Park on riverbank near west entrance (2018)



above: outside the refurbished Arthur’s 1795 Market during 2020 Outoor Art Showr

Not on Canvas: Main Dining Area of the Moon & River Cafe (April 2023):

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Posted by: David Giacalone | March 3, 2023

we did have Stockade Flamingos in 2023

2023FlamingosSHand3 . . 2023 photos by Susannah Hand

2023FlamingosSHand2I was disappointed on February 14 this year, as I was not able to make my customary visit to Lawrence Circle to see the pink, daytripping flamingos. Nor could I post any Valentine images here at Suns Along the Mohawk. Happily, good neighbor and kind friend Susannah Hand stopped at the Circle late on February 13 and captured on her cellphone the recently arriving flamboyance settling in for the night with Lawrence.

Susannah shared a few photos so I would not break my streak of Valentine postings. Susannah’s images give us a little taste of the 2023 Stockade Valentine Flamingo Visitation.  The link in the prior sentence will take you to a dozen   prior postings celebrating the joyous, graceful Valentine treat.

Here’s one more by Susannah:


2014flamingosp.s. This year, I celebrated our Valentine flamingos by putting two of my favorite Lawrence Circle flamingo images (both from 2014) on canvas. You can see them full-sized at the bottom of our Photos On Canvas Page.

Posted by: David Giacalone | January 10, 2023

Jennifer’s sculpture has arrived

SchmidtSculpturePlaqueLast August, Larry Schmidt and daughters Madeleine Stapel and Meredith Hudak were disappointed that their dedication ceremony for a sculpture to honor Jennifer A. Schmidt had to take place without the sculpture. The delay was blamed on Supply Chain problems from across the Pacific, but there was hope it would arrive by October.

Unfortunarely, Schmidt Family disappointment continued for months, and grew when the wrong piece was sent and had to be returned. The chosen sculpture finally arrived and was installed last week, the first week of January 2023. The dedication plaque had already been installed nearby. [The photos below were all taken on January 8, 2023. Clique on an image for a larger version.]


JSchmidtSculpture1Seeing the real thing (above) made me appreciate why Larry was disappointed with the first sculpture

. Two sculpted children on the bench read a book together, in a scene that would surely have made Jennifer Schimdt smile. Their bench completes a scene started last summer with the installation of two handsome benches for visitors, also donated by the Schmidt family.


They are situated on the terraced lawn behind 32 Washington Avenue, the home of the Schenectady County Historical Society, in the Schenectady Stockade. It has long been one of my favorite spots to view and photograph in the soft light before sunset. With waterside reeds (phragmites) in the background, along the Binnekill (Creek), the young readers beckon neighbors and visitors to stop by.


Jennifer’s contagious smile, and her long dedication to literature, education, and her Stockade neighborhood (where she lived for almost half a century, and raised her children), can be felt on the Society’s lawn. Many thanks to the Schmidt family, Jennifer’s inspiration, Mary Zawicki and the SCHS, for making the scene possible. I hope you will stop by soon to feel the serenity.


Posted by: David Giacalone | December 4, 2022

2022 Stockade tree and community shine



. . songster Justin Friello, MC Colleen Macaulay, and Santa join Lawrence and the newly-lighted Stockade Tree


Tree22-Justin-Colleen An ample and amiable crowd of neighbors and City luminaries enjoyed some real, but not mean, winter weather under clear skies this evening, at Lawrence Circle, for the annual Stockade (Christmas) Tree-lighting ceremony. Justin Friello entertained and invoked the spirit with his selection of holiday songs and Stockade Association Vice President presided in the Circle (photo to left); Rev. Peter Carman gave an inspiring Blessing; Samta helped some cute neighborhood children light the tree; and a major portion of the celebrants continued the warm feelings in the After-Glow party in the Great Hall of St. George’s Church, where treats and good conversation awaited them. 


Here are a few images from the Ceremony (click on a mosaic square for a full, larger version of the photo; scroll over an image for a caption):


Tree2-FamilyPhoto The low light was a problem, but here are a few scenes from the crowd; click on a circle for a larger, full image:

Frankly, I was enjoying schmoozing and catching-up with neighbors too much to take many photos inside the Great Hall, where there was a satisfying after-glow. Here are a few of the faces I was happy to see:

. . not pictured, but appreciated:  Omar McGill, Gary McCarthy, Sylvie Briber. 


A sparkling almost-full moon was also in attendance:


  • Thanks Santa, we’re glad you came.


Many thanks to all who volunteered and came to celebrate. 


Posted by: David Giacalone | November 13, 2022

Stockade-athon 2022 races by

LeadRunnersEnterStockadeIt only took about eleven minutes for the entire complement of runners from the 2022 Stockade-athon to run pass me on Washington Avenue in the Stockade and turn onto Front Street. As they swarmed by, I frantically tried to snap useful photographs.

Once the first burst of lead runners passed me, I had almost no control over who or what I captured digitally with my Canon SX60. Afterwards, I learned I was taking about 14 shots a minute, almost at random, hoping to make a few winners for this website. To the right is my first photo of the Lead Escort Car and lead runners on Washington Avenue, near Union Street. (Lou Serafini, BIB #1 was in the lead) Immediately below is the smiling last Washington Avenue runner, Meleah Wright (BIB 1107), making the turn onto Front Street, at about 8:50 AM. [Meleah passed more than 200 runners before she finished the Race.]

  MeleahWright . .

The race is “about” the speed and fitness of the leaders, and the perseverance of each runner; they come in every age, size and gender category, and the “noncontenders” get most of the focus here. I apologize to all the racers who I missed or whose images were too unfocused (my fault, of course) to be used. Thanks for your patience, and thank you to the runners and organizers of the 2022 Stockade-athon, which was sponsored by MVP Health Care, FleetFeet, and the Capital Region YMCA. They will have the official Results later today. Their Runner Look-Up lets you easily find the results for an individual runner by last name or BIB number. [And, see the 30-photos taken by the Gazette’s Ken Hudy along the entire race course.]

  • If you are anxious to see more Stockade-athon runners in the eponymous Stockade neighborhood, we’ve been covering the Stockade-athon here at Suns Along the Mohawk since 2009, and you can find links to each year’s posting on our Stockade-athon Category Page.

FOLLOW-UP: TOP THREE WINNERS in the Male and Female Divisions (click here for complete results list for 1009 runners who finished the Race):

MALE DIVISION: First, Louis Serafinia; Second, Sam Morse; Third, Scott Mindel [three familiar Stockade-athon names]

FEMALE DIVISION: First, Karen Bertasso Hughes; Second, Rachel Peterson; Third, Diane Ryan



Like last year, Niskayuna grad Lou Serafini was in the lead as the Race entered the Stockade on Washington Avenue  Lou kept his lead and was the overall winner in 2021. He has a nice lead below, as he ran past Union St.


. . followup: LOUIS SERAFINI eventually reached the finish line first, as he did last year. .

  • Apology to some fast runners and to readers: Rushing to get out of the way and to find a better location for shooting the flood of runners about to stream by me, I missed capturing a quality shot of the next group of leading runners, especially the half dozen “non-Serafini Leaders”.

NextLeadersMonday Follow-up: This image was taken 17 seconds after Lou Serafini’s photo, as they were passing the same tree. It isn’t crisp or worthy, but I’m posting it, because the runners deserve to be acknowledged, even if you need to squint. Click on it for a larger version:

  The BIB numers are barely legible, but [Left to Right] BIB 20 is Aidean Canavan, who finished 9th; BIB 319 is Ben Fazio (7th); BIB 4 is Charles Ragone (4th); BIB 14 is Steve Soprano (6th); and BIB 13 is Mark Mindel (r4d)

What follows are images shown in about the order they were taken; the first image was taken about 25 seconds after the Serafini shot above. CLICK on an image for the larger, full version.

This next group included the first female runner in the Stockade, KAREN BERTASSO HUGHES (BIB 5).

IMG_5182 (1) . . IMG_5182

                          . . followup: Karen was first to the finish line in the Women’s Division . .

IMG_5183 . . IMG_5184

IMG_5186 . .




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This mosaic tile display shows runners making the turn from Washington Avenue to Front Street. [click on an image for a larger version.]


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IMG_5190 (2)

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  IMG_5196. . IMG_5195

Here’s a Slideshow of two dozen images I hope you’ll linger over (and maybe see yourself or a loved one). I’ve included some photos that would normally hit the editing floor as not focused enough (viz., a bit blurry), because I enjoyed seeing the runners in a picture, and unfocused is better than no picture.

  • For a larger version of an image in the Slideshow, pause the image, right-click on it, and choose Open Image in New Tab”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



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. . . IMG_5262




IMG_5260 . . IMG_5268


IMG_5273 (1) . . IMG_5275

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The last segment of runners showed many emotions.


BIB587RaymondLeeJr . . [L] 80-year-old Raymond Lee, Jr, looked ready for the challenge, with many kilometers ahead of him.

. FinalSmile&Guidance. . And, our corner Officer gave one last smile while pointing up Front Street for me. I then headed inside (I live at that corner) for coffee and a long day and night selecting and editing photographs.

If, like me, you prefer Stockade-athons (and photo shoots) with lots of sunshine and bright colors, check out our coverage of the 2017 Stockade-athon, which included a golden glow for the lead runners and everyone behind them.


Posted by: David Giacalone | October 23, 2022

past-peak, gray sky, lovely


Autumn foliage always makes the Union College campus even lovelier. Although disappointed this past week that I got there when the colors were past-peak, and the sky was neither sunny nor blue, I quickly realized that the campus and Jackson’s Garden were nonethless a photographic treat and treasure. The photos in this posting were all taken on October 19, 2022, with most shot in a small part of Jackson’s Garden. [to the left, the gazebo in Jackson’s Garden]


IMG_5109 Before entering Jackson’s Garden, I viewed it from the inviting patio behind the Henle Dance Pavillion [at left], where the Red Dancer [above Right] has a wonderful view:





. . My visit had to be brief, and I stayed near the Garden’s raised flower beds behind the Reamer Campus Center and its spacious dining hall, which were looking good.

IMG_5119 . . IMG_5123






. . Chester Arthur’s Statue is just outside the Garden’s Kappa Alpha Gate:

UnionCollege-Arthur19Oct22 . . back on the campus grounds,

. . Nott Memorial was stately as ever. . IMG_5104

And, many scenes caught my eye:

IMG_5106 . . UnionCollageClock10Oct22





Click on a mosaic tile for a full, larger version of an image.


IMG_5094 (1)

. . down Library Lane to Union Street . . IMG_5089

Posted by: David Giacalone | October 16, 2022

pretty, windy, not too spooky



SpookyPhotos2 The blue skies made it difficult for the 2022 Fall Spooktacular to feel very spooky, but it was definitely a treat, with a lot of smiling little and big faces, and scarcely a discouraging word. Even a brisk, canopy-lifting wind couldn’t chase exhibitors, spooks and spook-lovers away. 

As often happens lately, I enjoyed schmoozing with exhibitors and revelers more than snapping photographs. But, I came home with a few I hope are worth sharing for posterity.

BTW: Not arriving until 3 PM, I apparently missed the campaigning politicians who normally flock to autumn events. Not that I’m complaining, but I had hoped to see and photograph a few in seasonal costumes. [Follow-up: Wait, I see Angelo was there, but sans costume.]

Here are images that should jog my memory if anyone asks what I did at the big 2022 Fall Spooktacular, “around City Hall and down Jay Street” in Downtown Schenectady. Presented by DSIC.


SpookyPhotos2. . mom gets another cute picture . . 

PumpkinBouncy . . definitely a great day for a pumpkin bouncy-bounce.


SpookMVP . . SpookNorthernRivers2

. . I enjoyed learning about the Northern Rivers child-caring conglomerate [R] and MVP accessible insurance plans . .


SpookyMichelleModernistic  . . 


. . above: Michelle Traver brought a coven or two of her Modernistic Tradition handcrafted flying witches, and her three daughters, too . . 


SpookAllButteredUp . . and, a few steps away, was a table showing the All Buttered Up tattoo designs of Hannah Butterfield, plus a double-buggy with charming 3-month-old twins.

Here are square tiles showing other scenes from the Stooktacular event. I wish I had arrived sooner, so that I could visit more exhibits and activities.

Click on an image for a full, larger version. Scroll over an image for a description


I had a good time, and hope the weather and activities are as enjoyable next year, when I will arrive a lot earlier.

Posted by: David Giacalone | October 15, 2022

remember September



above: Schenectady City Hall (September 26, 2022); lovely on the outside . . 

It seems like September is long gone, but here are a few images since the Stockade Outdoor Art Show that I just don’t want to forget.

. . for instance, a handful of photos taken during the Stockade 2022 Walkabout (click on a tile for a full, larger version):


. . a shade tree gives 25 Washington Ave. a dappled look . .





 . . 17 No. Ferry drew a crowd all day. . 

. . 205 Union St. (work in progress) 2022Walka-205Union



. . Mexican Radio Restaurant in light and shadow before sunset (Sept. 26, 2022)



. . large new mural by Serrano and Bogrån (Sept 26, 2022) at Broadway and Liberty St. . 


. . and, an auspicious sunset start to October from my backyard:


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