Posted by: David Giacalone | March 18, 2017

our 2017 mid-March snow storm


. . 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).


. . 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.


. . 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]



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.


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).

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  • 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:


img_3363-002 . . . img_3358-001


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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img_3393 . . img_3411



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:



img_3261 . . . img_3263

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


* 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.


Posted by: David Giacalone | December 22, 2016

one-page 2017 Stockade calendars (with our thanks)


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.


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.


. . 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.

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 5, 2016

2016 Stockade Tree Lighting

dscf2236-001  . . img_3189-001

. . the 2016 Stockade Holiday Tree . . 

img_3174-003 There is a tree involved, but there’s no controversy over this Stockade tradition: Our Holiday Tree-Lighting ceremony and Afterglow Party is an enjoyable, community-nurturing event well-worth preserving. Even burdened with the need to snap a lot of photos, I had a very good time, saw some of my favorite faces (and people), met a handful of new ones, and escaped well within my calorie quota. Festive thanks go to the Stockade Association for sponsoring the event, especially to the event chairs, Colleen Macauley and Kevin Grace; and to Susannah Hand, who arranged for donation of the lovely tree by her employer, Saratoga Tree Nursery (NYS DEC).


img_3222-002 The collage above features some of the captured faces (click on it for a larger version). The slideshow below, offers a glimpse of festivities at Lawrence Circle and inside the Great Hall of St. George’s Church. [As always, for a larger version of an image in the slideshow, pause it, right-click on the image, and choose Open Image in New Tab.]


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Posted by: David Giacalone | November 20, 2016

images of the 2016 Holiday Parade


 The 49th Annual Daily Gazette Holiday Parade took place yesterday evening, November 19, 2016, along State Street in downtown Schenectady. See “Thousands line State Street for annual Holiday Parade” (Sunday Gazette, by Daniel Fitzsimmons, November 20, 2016) The theme was The Movies. For the first time, the event was live-streamed at the Chamber of Schenectady County’s Facebook page.


. . . finally, Santa Claus

Take a seat, and see the Parade in our slideshow, with 60 photos. (for a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause the slideshow, right-click and choose Show Image in New Tab)

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Proctor’s float – Metropolis

Posted by: David Giacalone | November 13, 2016

eponymously viewing Stockade-athon 2016


. . . Washington Avenue, Schenectady Stockade, 12Nov2016

In this webpost, you will find a celebration of Stockade-athon 2016 as it passes through Schenectady’s Stockade Historic District, its namesake neighborhood. The Stockade is the first designated historic district in New York State. The Stockade-athon, first held in 1976, “is popularly recognized as the oldest ‘major’ 15K road race in the USA.” Click for the 2016 Stockade-athon Elite Runners Roster (with BIB numbers); and for the Street Closing and Spectator Guide. You’ll find links to our previous coverage on our Stockade-athon Category portal page.  And, Schenectady Gazette reportage here.

Stockade-athon photos may be used for any non-commercial purpose without further permission from the editor of this website, David Giacalone, the photographer. If posted online, please credit “suns along the Mohawk” and David Giacalone, with a link to this posting.

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10:20 Teaser:

While I sort through over a hundred photos, I hope the images of the first men and first women runners in the Stockade will whet your appetite for more:



. . above: leaders on Washington Ave.: Louis Serafini [BIB 5]; John Raneri [BIB 2]; Dan Lennon [BIB 4]; Omar Boulama [BIB 6]. update: The top two event winners were Louis Serafini and John Ranieri, with Jake Sienko in 3rd, Dan Lennon in 4th, and John Busque in 5th.


img_2383-001 . . first Women’s seed, Hannah Davidson [BIB 1, last year’s winner], was the first woman into the Stockade; she won her division in 52:24.

img_2387-002 . . . img_2388-001 . . [R] Katie O’Regan [in pink, BIB 22, finished 4th in the Division, in 57:03] was apparently too fast for my lens! (Sorry, Katie. I definitely shouldn’t wave while taking a photograph); [L] late entrant Brittany Winslow [BIB 1468, finished 2nd, in 56:39]; 

img_2392-001 . . . img_2396-002

. . [L] Katie Messina [BIB 25, finished 5th]; [R] Mollie Turner [BIB 24, finished 3rd]; Susan Hay [BIB 43, 1979 Winner]; Erin Corcoran [BIB 34]

RESULTS : The Albany Running Exchange reports that the Top Five Men’s Division winners are: First Place – Louis Serafini [BIB 5, Brighton MA, in 45:23]; 2nd Place – John Ranieri [BIB 2, New Fairfield, CN, in 45:30]; 3rd Place – Jake Sienko [BIB 3, Woonsocket, RI]; 4th Place – Daniel Lennon [BIB 4, Morrisonville, NY]; 5th Place – John Busque [BIB 50, Manchester, CN]

In the Women’s Division, Hannah Davidson finished in First Place, and Brittany Winslow in 2nd. Mollie Turner was 3rd; Katie O’Regan was 4th; and Katie Messina 5th.

The best place to get and search for race results, by place, age, name, gender, division, home city, etc., is still The Albany Running Exchange.

The Main Event

The following Slideshow has about 75 photos in random order, which were taken in the Stockade as the 2016 Stockade-athon runners streamed past me coming down Washington Avenue and entering Riverside Park, along the Mohawk River. Thanks to all the runners — whether elite or “pedestrian” — for keeping us inspired.

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

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  • Note: Below, I have singled out some of my favorite images from the Slideshow. Unfortunately, while I was in the Park taking photos, my stationery camera at Cucumber Alley stopped its video movie after only 43 seconds (all before the lead car even arrived), so I cannot grab frames from it to create my planned second slideshow.









two latecomers persevere long after other runners left the Stockade



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