Posted by: David Giacalone | January 26, 2020

puddles of fun at the 2020 Soup Stroll

2020SoupStrollLogo . . IMG_0898-001

The 5th Annual Schenectady Soup Stroll glowed bright, despite gray skies and rain in Downtown Schenectady. Like other years, there were smiling faces and upbeat reviews wherever I brought my camera. Read about the Winning Soups as rated by popular vote and several food experts.

IMG_0892 . . IMG_0869

. . Above: Rick & Bonnie of Mangino’s Gourmet Bistro, came a few blocks downtown from 764.5 Eastern Ave. to the Clinton Street Mercantile [L]; while Aneesa and Muntasim at Tara’s Kitchen had a stream of happy Strollers visiting at 431 Liberty Street . . 

. . 2020Downtown-AmbitionYou can remember Downtown Schenectady all year long with a (free) one-page calendar featuring some of my favorite locations. .


IMG_0847. . outside the Van Dyck/Mad Jack’s on Union Street in the Stockade

Click on any of the Mosaic Tiles below for a larger version, and scroll many of the tiles for a brief caption. I’m sorry my late start today meant missing quite a few blocks and locations, and will start out earlier for sure in 2021. Next year, I need to put my camera down and enjoy a slew of soups.


Posted by: David Giacalone | December 27, 2019

the East Front Street trestle mural

4 Wash Av rear

This posting is for people who’ve been wondering what the mural welcoming folks to the East Front Street Neighborhood looks like and who want a little background. The mural is being paid for with grant money from the Schenectady Foundation, through the city’s Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge.  The first half of the project is painted on the north-side underpass wall of the Front Street C&P train trestle, and celebrates the immigrants who came to Schenectady to build great locomotives at the American Locomotive Company [ALCO].

  • EastFrontGoogleMapSat FYI: The East Front Street Neighborhood is located along a stretch of Schenectady’s Front Street just east of the Stockade district and the Front Street railroad trestle, and west of Mohawk Harbor, and includes the six adjoining streets [John St., River St., Madison St. Monroe St., and Jefferson St. and Mohawk Avenue], between Erie Boulevard and the Mohawk River.

Last month, a Gazette article told the story of the mural. “Big changes take place in tiny neighborhood: New mural and paving buoy neighborhood” (Daily Gazette, by Pete DeMola, Nov. 19, 2019). The article explains:

The completed portion depicts a locomotive and commemorates the neighborhood as a magnet for immigrants from Italy and Poland.

“A neighborhood established in the 1800s by immigrants who came to build the railroad,” reads the text.

The second phase will pay homage to the community’s home as a boxing hotbed and home to local legends like Tony Barone and Joe “Pep” Casillo, who mentored and trained generations of athletes.

. . . Additional neighborhood fixtures will be painted by the artist, who prefers to remain anonymous, including the former Mastrianni’s Bakery on Mohawk Avenue and Perreca’s, which was previously located on John Street before relocating to its present location on North Jay Street.

The mural artist is Donna Wojcik, of Schenectady. Because her name has been hard to keep secret, she has kindly allowed me to give her credit for the project, despite originally hoping for anonymity.

The photos in the following mosaic were taken yesterday, December 26, 2019. Click on an image for a full and larger version of it.


An earlier Gazette webpost, “East Front Street Neighborhood has new logo” (ELECTRIC CITY ARCHIVES, by Bill Buell, May 31, 2019), explained that:

EastFrontLogoMary Ann Ruscitto, who has lived her entire life in the neighborhood, said the project will get started as soon as some construction work in the area is complete. She has created a new logo for the East Front Street Neighborhood, which features the image of a streaming locomotive.

“We are going to use the logo on our welcome to the East Front St. banners, and we’re going to use it on our new trash cans,” said Ruscitto, who has spearheaded the project named Reawakening East Front Street.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the muralist presents key elements of the East Front Street Neighborhood and its history for the second half of this project.

. . here is an East Front Street version of my 2020 Downtown Calendar . . 


. . formatted for a 10″ by 8″ print; click on Calendar to download the full file . .

DSCF5444P.S. My photoshoot on December 26 was momentarily stymied when I came upon this frozen reminder of the infamous December 1, 2019 Not-So-Smart-City snowstorm (photo on the right), and its aftermath and uproar, with its unplowed streets, plow-created obstacles, and un-shoveled sidewalks. This particular sidewalk runs along City property (the Front Street Pool lot). I ended up crossing the street and shooting from the opposite side of the underpass. Today, Dec. 27, I sent a photo and a plea for help to Paul Lafond, General Services Commissioner. Twelve minutes later, Mr. Lafond wrote back that he sent out a crew to handle the problem. I appreciate the quick reply, of course, but do not believe residents should have to report problems that City workers and City Smart Cameras must have seen for three weeks.

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 15, 2019

celebrating our 2019 Stockade Tree


IMG_0731-003 We got an early start today celebrating this year’s Stockade Christmas Tree. It arrived on Wednesday, December 11, as we reported here. Delayed by the big snow storm earlier this month, it was worth the wait.

Today, the traditional After-glow Party at St. George’s Great Hall, morphed into a daylight, pre-lighting party, focused on activities for young children. The kids were all delightful [as one observer put if, “well-behaved and cute”; e.g.,  Xav, photo on the right]. And, there were lots of cookies and sweet things to eat and adults brimming with good cheer. Santa was also in a fine mood and stood out in red among the new white tables and chairs.

Thanks again this year to St. George’s hosting Stromberg Family; and to Tree Maven Colleen Macaulay and the Stockade Association. And, thanks to all the neighbors who contributed snacks and weathered strong winds to celebrate the 2019 Stockade Tree and Holiday Season.

  • The Slideshow is presented in the order the photos were taken. Sadly, a number of really cute or colorful photos were a bit too blurry to use (blame the photographer, not the subjects). For a larger version of an image in the Slideshow, pause on the photos, right-click, and choose Open Image in New Tab.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


IMG_0777. . IMG_0789

. . who needs focus, when you’ve got Christmas cheer? . . 

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 14, 2019

celebrate Downtown Schenectady with a free 2020 Calendar

bollards - Druthers The vision last week of the Train Station highlighted in green and red, plus a desire to highlight some of the good things about Downtown Schenectady, inspired me to put together a one-page 2020 calendar with holiday greetings from Downtown Schenectady. In addition, as presented below, I modified a few to focus on places in Downtown Schenectady that I particularly appreciate.

  • The calendars may be used for any noncommercial purpose. Click on them for the full jpg. file. They are formatted in the aspect ratio 8 by 10.


. . Thanks go to for supplying the Calendar Date section.

  • The featured businesses below may use the calendars to display or as handouts, but not sell them.

2020Downtown-Tara . . 2020Downtown-Ambition

. . Above: Tara Kitchen [L] and Ambition calendars. Below: Schenectady Trading Company [L] & Open Door calendars [click on them for the larger version] . .

2020DowntownSchdyTrading  . . 2020Downtown-OpenDoor

plus, the Whitney Book Corner . . 2020Downtown-Whitney

 . . and, one for Mangino’s Gourmet Bistro . . 2020Downtown-ManginosE





Posted by: David Giacalone | December 11, 2019

2019 Stockade Holiday Tree Arrives

IMG_0708  . .


The 2019 Stockade Tree was installed today at Lawrence Circle, and its lights strung, thanks to traditional help from a City Parks Work Crew. As you can see above, the tree towers over Lawrence and will apparently unfold into a lovely shape. Its erection was delayed due to snow-removal activities, but we still have plenty of time to appreciate this special neighborhood tradition. Thanks go to the Stockade Association, and its “Holiday Tree committee”, especially Colleen Macaulay and Susannah Hand for arrangements and vigilance.


TREE LIGHTING NEWS: As headlined in the December Spy, the Ceremony and Celebration have been “shaken up”, with a new schedule. Here’s the announcement at the Stockade Association website for the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Stockade Tree Lighting Ceremonies – Sunday, December 15th 3:00 PM

At 3:00 activities for children, and refreshments at St. George’s Hall. At 4:30 tree lighting at Lawrence Circle.


At the St. George’s Hall, there will be refreshments (as always, your donations are very welcome), activities for kids (of all ages), a visit with Santa Claus, and caroling. Shortly before 4:30, there will be a procession to Lawrence Circle for the dedication and lighting of the Tree. You can refresh your memory about last year’s festivities here.

Click on any of the tiles below for a glimpse of the Tree from various angles around the Circle. I hope to enjoy the Lighting events with many of my neighbors.

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 8, 2019

some Downtown holiday hues


Don’t let our Wild Political Turkeys get you down. Enjoy the good things about our Schenectady Downtown and Season of Good Will.

Posted by: David Giacalone | November 22, 2019

2020 Calendars celebrating the Stockade

As we’ve done the past few years, “Suns Along the Mohawk” has again created printable, one-page calendars to celebrate the Stockade neighborhood, thank our visitors, and wish you all a festive Holiday Season and Historic New Year. [For prior versions, see our Calendar Category.] All photographs were taken in the Stockade during 2019.


Below is our 2020 Calendar celebrating the Stockade-athon, in a variety of color themes.

. .    . .








Posted by: David Giacalone | November 10, 2019

a Stockade view of Stockade-athon 2019


. . Above: the leading men approaching Front Street: BIB 4 is Daniel Lennon, who finished 3rd. BIB 9 is Sean O’Connor, who came in 1st. BIB 5 is Jacob Andrews, who placed 4th. BIB 1401 is Ryan Udvadia, who placed 5th.

. . Below: the leading women on Washington Avenue approaching Front Street:


. . above: Karen Hughes (BIB 3), finished 3rd; Daniele Winslow (BIB 2, finished 5th; 2nd last year); Christine Myers (BIB 6, finished 2nd); Cara Sherman (in blue, Bib 1272) finished first. . . below: leading women seen in sketch mode.

1-IMG_0073sketch2 . . 1-IMG_0076sketch

 This post has about 150 photos from the Stockade leg of the 2019 Stockade-athon, shot in the ten minutes it took for the entire roster of 1400+ runners to race past me and my camera. For more on the Race and its Stockade segment, see our Stockade-athon preview, with links to prior coverage of this venerable road race here at suns along the Mohawk. And, see Mike MacAdams pre-race report at the Sunday Gazette.

. . share this post with this short URL:


RESULTS: From HMRRC and Are Event Productions

. NOTE: The Results are searchable by name and BIB number, and more.


Sean O’Connor [BIB 9, age 22] 1st place (46:01)

John Busque [BIB 7, age 27] 2nd place (46:11)

Daniel Lennon [BIB 4, age 25] 3rd place (46:39]

4th place Jacob Andrews BIB 5

5th place, Ryan Udvadia BIB 1401



Cara Sherman [BIB 1272, age 22] 1st place (54:24)

Christine Myers  [BIB 6, age 21] 2nd place (55:50)

Karen Hughes [BIB 3, age 35] 3rd place ( 56:01)

4th place Dana Bush BIB 1547, age 41

5th place Danielle Winslow BIB 2

10:30 AM teaser: I will be adding many more photographs, along with identifications, when feasible. SLIDESHOW 1: This first Slideshow depicts the Road Race as it begins the Stockade portion of the course. It shows the lead runners in both the Male and Female categories passing the County Historical Society and Campbell Row, then approaching and entering Front Street from Washington Avenue.

  • For a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the image, Right-Click and choose Open Image In New Tab. Or, scroll to the bottom of this posting to find a Thumbnail Grid with each picture.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


IMG_0148 . . . . Sorry for the delay, but the Photographer has to meet a Runner (and old college friend) for lunch. There will be many more photos by the end of the evening.

SQUARE TILE MOSAIC – 4 PM offering — click on any of the 27 square tiles for a full version. 





This Slideshow has about 80 photos from the “middle” of the racing cohort, racing for the run not the glory, and savoring the accomplishment and camaraderie.

  • For a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the image, Right-Click and choose Open Image In New Tab. OR, scroll to the bottom of this posting to find a Thumbnail Grid with each picture.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


8 PM – Finale: Last But Not Least

At the corner of Governor’s Lane and Front Street, I had the pleasure of meeting Little Liv and watching the venerable Anny Stockman [BIB 1341] run past. Anny came in 1st in her Division, Female 80-99.

LittleLiv . . AnnyStockman


This Slideshow celebrates the perseverance and pluck of the last runners passing by me on Front Street in the Stockade, heading for Lawrence Circle, and eventually the triumphant of will and stamina to finish the Road Race.

  • As said above, for a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the image, Right-Click and choose Open Image In New Tab. Or, scroll to the bottom of this posting to find a Thumbnail Grid with each picture.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IMG_0006 . . . IMG_0003

. . 6:30 AM, sunrise over the Stockade . . 


finally, a shy smile from Liv

 Below are Thumbnail Image grids with photos from all three of the Slideshows. 

Read More…

Older Posts »