Posted by: David Giacalone | June 13, 2022

two new Downtown murals worth a visit

On Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, June 10 & 11, I enjoyed lovely strolling weather and sights in Downtown Schenectady. I was pleased to see in person that there are two new “public art” murals near Jay St. at Franklin St. and the Jay St. Pedestrian Walkway that could put a smile on my face. 


First (above), as part of this year’s Schenectady Kids Art Festival, Oscar Bogran designed the Butterfly Mural on the side wall of Pizza King at Franklin and Jay Streets. On June 4th, most of the mural was painted, with the help of kids who were guided by Bogran’s plastic stencils.  Oscar put finishing touches on Friday, including cleaning the sidewalk, and the mural was “unveiled” over the weekend at the closing of Schenectady Arts Week.

ButterflyMural10Jun2022 . . Oscar Bogran hopes folks who want wings will be photographed or make selfies in front of the Butterfly. For more details, see this June 1st Gazette article.




On Friday evening, I was surpised to see an artist painting along the alley-way off Jay St. that leads to the Clinton St. Parking Lot. A colorful, playful Monopoly Board Mural was nearing completion. It was created by the artist Elona Mitchell-Strong, who also hosted a community mural-painting day on the Jay Street pedestrian mall Saturday, June 11. Dowtown Schenectady (DSIC) and the Capital Region Arts Center sponsored Elona’s mural.

Click on any of the square tiles below for a larger image of the Monopoly Board mural.

Better yet, plan on coming to Jay Street to enjoy each of the new murals in person.

update (June 29, 2022): Walking by along Jay Street on June 26, 2022, I had to snap a few more pictures of the two new murals, with different light and angles. They still looked pretty good. Click on a tile for a larger version.

Posted by: David Giacalone | May 19, 2022

flowerbed beauty at Riverside Park

KODAK Digital Still Camera




James Addison, Washington Avenue neighbor and Stockade Association board member, has avidly taken up the Riverside Park “floral director” mantle previously worn by the beloved Jennifer Wells. I want to thank him (and all who have helped) for both the hard work and the lovely results at the west entry to the Park. This posting features flowerbeds on the riverside of the pedestrian path; but you can see equally inspiring plantings on the other side of the path and entry.


Click on the individual photos above and the images in the square tile columns below for larger versions.

. .

Posted by: David Giacalone | May 2, 2022

April blossoms were lean but lovely in 2022

. . click on  a photo for a larger version . .

. . magnolia trees bloomed more fully than our cherry trees; above at St. George’s Cemetery . . 

IMG_4535 (1).  . IMG_4545


[above] view of cherry trees, north (R) and south (L) from corner of Washington Ave. and Cucumber Alley

[L] 15 Washington Ave. (at Front St.)


IMG_4603 . . this guy followed me constantly on sunny days of blossom peeking. .

mag-StGeoCem24Ap22a . . mag-StGeoLawn24Ap22

. . above: the south lawn at St. George’s Church (with 1st Pres. steeple) . .

StGeo-mag20ApD A few other magnolia trees caught my eye (click on mosaic tile for larger version, scroll over it for caption):

IMG_4560   . . 32 Washington Ave.  IMG_4558   . .

. .  below: at 1st Reformed Church:

IMG_4589 . . IMG_4442

IMG_4595  . . IMG_4600

Of course, Cherry Blossoms attracted my attention, too, as I hoped/waited for more of them.

 On Union Street:

. . N. Ferry St., near Union St.

cbNFerry24Ap22. . . IMG_4609

N. Church St. at Front St. . .

 . .   IMG_4445

on Front Street bloom patrol:

31Front-weepcb24AP22 . . LawrenceCirclePearTree28Ap22 . . a weeping cherry (31 Front St. rear) and a tall pear tree (Lawrence Circle) . . 

26Frontredbud24Ap22 . .

. . above: a favorite redbud seems budless (26 Front). 


. . IMG_4451

. . above: just east of Lawrence Circle . .


IMG_4576  . . and, back on Washington Avenue . .

Click on a square for larger versions of Wash. Ave. blossoms:


notchedcherrytree2020  . . IMG_4568  . . more cherry blossom trees amputated inartfully for the sake of utility wires.

AtDoor16Wash24Ap  . . out my front door, April 24 . .

. . and, looking toward the River . . 13-15WashAv27Ap22

Finally, the morning of April 19, 2022, cherry blossoms and trees had a snowy frosting:

. . and Steve Caporizzo featured the event at Channel 10:


BONUS: Stockade Cemeteries, April 20, 2022:

. . . . Click on the Cherry Blossoms Category in the Sidebar for links to a dozen years of our “coverage.”

. . . . And, don’t miss this years heavenly crop of weeping cherry blossoms at CGOH.



. . Lawrence Circle, April 27, 2022 . . 

20NBroadway28Ap22a     . . and, on April 28, lovely white blossoms were brightening the lot between the 20 North Broadway Tavern and the Swift Building, which developer John Samatulski is helping to bloom again. 

Posted by: David Giacalone | April 24, 2022

weeping beauty near Heaven



CGOH22Ap22S , , CGOH22Ap22V  

CGOHstsigns22Ap22 There is no surer joyous, jaw-drop scene in the City of Schenectady than the annual array of weeping cherry blossom trees on the lawn of Congregation Gates of Heaven, at Ashmore Avenue and Eastern Parkway, near the Niskayuna line. That is especially true under a bright sun, with clear blue sky and puffy white clouds, which was the scene when I arrived on Friday, April 22, 2022. 


Click on the above photos or any of the images in the following mosaic tile array for a larger picture.

. .  click on our Cherry Blossom Category for links to a dozen years of Schenectady blossoms . . 


Posted by: David Giacalone | April 8, 2022

April brings some flooding

IMG_4302 . .   IMG_4329             

. . Cucumber Alley [L] and Ingersoll Ave. are the first to flood . . 

The Mohawk River rose quite a bit this morning (Friday, April 8, 2022), while I wasn’t paying attention. When I got outside with my camera and monopod about 3 PM, I discovered that we did indeed have minor flooding here along the Mohawk in the Schenectady Stockade Historic District. 220.0 feet is considered the minor flooding level at our Schenectady riverbank, and the Mohawk reached 220.04′ about 9:15 AM today, and peaked at 220.95′ at 4 PM, before slowly starting to recede. [See image of the National Weather Service prediction chart to the left, showing today’s Mohawk River levels.]


. .  Above: west end of Park, with new pump station

This post has about twenty images of our flooding, from Cucumber Alley at the northwest corner of the Stockade to Ingersoll Avenue on the eastside, with Riverside Park in between. Click on square or mosaic tiles for a larger version.


. . above: Riverside Park Play Lot (end of North St.) . .

. . thank you, TU, for featuring above photo: TUBestShot13Apr2022  

IMG_4333  . . IMG_4330

. . above: [L] play lot bench; [R]view north from Skateboard (tennis) courts . .

. . 


. . view east in Park toward CSX trestle from near North St. 

. . and, view west from the same spot:


. . share this post with this shorter URL: . . 

Posted by: David Giacalone | April 8, 2022

fotos not fools on April 1


. . mural behind Schenectady Light Opera Company . .

On April 1st, I left home about 6 PM just planning to take my regular walk to Downtown from Cucumber Alley, via Ruverside Park.  But, the light was so inviting that I fished my Kodak pocket camera out of my jacket several times to take a photo.



I came home with images of the N. Ferry St. Pump Station, my first sighting of crocuses (along the south lawn fence at St. George’s Church), my discovery of an enjoyable mural behind Schenectady Light Opera Company (near its parking lot and Franklin St.; if you know its history and the artist, please let me know), and a view of City Hall and the new Urban Co-Works from the Jay Street Pedestrian Walkway. The half dozen shots are sprinkled above and below. 

At RIVERSIDE PARK near No. Ferry Street and the Overlook


. . . NewPumpStation01Ap2022

from the corner of JAY & FRANKLIN Streets



Posted by: David Giacalone | February 19, 2022

February floes on the Mohawk (Feb. 17 – 20, 2022)

. .  view west from Schenectady’s Riverside Park overlook (17Feb22)

[The original posting, covering Feb. 17 and 18, has been augmented with photos from Feb. 19 & 20, 2022.]

Ice floes and concern over possible jamming and flooding had me outside the past three days observing (quickly) and snapping pictures in a jumble of weather conditions, including unseasonably warm air,  blustery winds, and frigid air. The artic blast slowed snow-melting before we had ice jams or flooding along the Schenectady Stockade banks of the Mohawk River.

18Feb22-westfromoverllookIMG . . View west from near Park overlook (Feb. 18, 2022)

Here are some images from February 17 and 18, 2022, presented in a “mosaic tile” columns. Click on an image for a complete, larger version.


IMG_4195The Overlook gauge showed the river at its highest point, about four feet below flood stage, on Feb. 18 . .  

Below: Ice fisherman on the thicker ice along the north (Scotia) bank of the Mohawk River, on Febrary 17.

SATURDAY, February 19, 2022

19Feb-IMG_4209Highs winds and low temperatures greeted anyone heading to Riverfront Park on Saturday. The image on the left shows the Mohawk as seen from the deadend of Washington Avenue at about 11:43 AM. A half hour later, just as I was thinking the Region’s forecasted snow squalls were not going to hit Schenectady, a neighbor pointed behind me toward Scotia. This is what I saw at 12:13:

That ominous sight coming from Scotia, soon brought this scene at 12: 18 and 12:20 pm:


 . . I19Feb-MG_4233

 For a larger version of these images from Saturday Morning along the Stockade riverbank of the Mohawk River, click on them.

I was warmed at the end of a very cold photoshoot, when I discovered the Galligans (mother and son) frolicking, despite winds and snow squalls, on the ice floes that had landed on the Riverbank along Cucumber Alley and Washington Avenue.



20Feb-CayugaSunset3 The weekend ended with a lovely sunset along the Mohawk, Sunday, February 20, 2022. On the right, the Isle of the Cayugas with a pink and yellow glow in the sky and River, viewed from the west end of Riverside Park. A small family of mallards (I think) were seen relaxing in the same yellow glow, at the mouth of the Binnekill Creek, as it flows into the Mohawk:


Pulling back on the view of that stretch of the Mohawk, you could also see floes and glows looking west from the end of Washington Avenue toward the Great West Gateway Bridge.


And my oft-photographed island neighbor, the Isle of the Cayugas, also looked great when seen from the Park Overlook:


It looks like the use of the Tugboat Margot as an ice breaker on the Mohawk, broke up the ice that topped the River sufficiently to prevent floes climbing the Riverbank and any flooding. Last year was the first appearance of Margot along the Mohawk. She can seen in this photo from the Schenectady Gazette:


TUGBOAT MARGOT Follow-up (March 19, 2022): At their March 17 member meeting, the Stockade Association celebrated the people who made Margot’s tugboat ice-breaking role possible. See “Stockade Association honors ice-breaking effort” (WAMC, Lucas Willard, March 18, 2022). Along with tugboatCaptain Chris Deeley, Margot’s Engineer, a crew member, and  NYS Canal Corporation director Brian Stratton, the Association honored longtime Stockade resident and retired architect Jim Duggan, “who has long called for efforts to reduce seasonal flooding”.

Posted by: David Giacalone | February 13, 2022

Lawrence hosts Valentine Flamingos again

 . . 3 PM daylight update: share this post with the URL:

 IMG_4112 . . IMG_4129c

update (Feb. 14, 2022): As forecasted, there were blue skies with bright sunlight this afternoon, adding to the lovely charm of our 2022 Flamingo Flamboyance at Lawrence Circle. Here are more than a dozen images celebrating Valentine’s Day with Lawrence.







. . click on a thumbnail for a larger version . . IMG_4121

. . thank you for continuing are Stockade Valentine tradition. The Flock of Flamingos will be here until after dark tonight, February 14.

. shadows . IMG_4124

ORIGINAL POSTING, Sunday night, February 13, 2022.


This year’s flamboyance of Valentine flamingos arrived February 13 at Lawrence Circle early enough to catch the Super Bowl game. They found a quiet Circle under an almost-full waxing gibbous moon.* The flamingos will be visiting Lawrence here in the Schenectady Stockade until after dark on Valentine’s Day. It will be cold but sunny under blue skies for the brief flamingo visit on February 14, which should mean lovely selfies and other photographs for fans of romance and whimsy at Lawrence Circle.



Here are a few more photos taken at the Circle Sunday evening; click on a thumbnail for a larger verison.

Come back to this webpost during the afternoon on Valentine’s Day for daylight images of our mysterious Stockade tradition. [For coverage of prior Valentine flamingo events here in the Stockade, spanning over a decade, see our Valentine Flamingos category page.] Maybe meet a friend at Arthur’s 1795 to enjoy more of our Stockade traditions.

  • LawrenceCircleBlocksA little Stockade advocacy: You may have noticed that Lawrence Circle, with its new fence, is surrounded by unsightly protective blocks of cement apparently meant to fend off errant snowplows and other motorists. The blocks also obstruct the view of plantings and pink visitors in the Circle. Please let City Hall know if you agree they should be replaced ASAP by attractive, sturdy decorative bollards that would be far more appropriate in a treasured Historic District (example; and 2nd one; and 3rd). As the City Planning and Engineering Departments know, decorative bollards come in many designs and degrees of strength, including temporary styles that can be removed seasonally, if desired.

. . please come back for photos taken on Valentine’s Day. And cite this post with the shorter URL:

follow-up (February 15, 2022): Our good friend, meteorolgy maven Steve Caporizzo at NewsChannel10, featured our Stockade Valentine Flamingos again this year. See his Facebook Flamingo posting last night. Here is a link to the video segment –


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