suns along the Mohawk

for FCSS

 . . presenting two gift items to benefit Family and Child Service of Schenectady . . 



. a calendar 

 . and a photo-book



We’re celebrating the 2015 Holiday Season at suns along the Mohawk by using photographs of the Stockade and Riverside Park to create two fundraising gift items (shown above and described below) to benefit our friends at Family and Child Service of Schenectady. FCSS has been located in the Stockade for 70 years, at 246 Union Street (across from the Van Dyck Restaurant). Here’s how the 85-year-old non-profit organization summarizes the work it does to promote its mission of strengthening the integrity of family life:

“At any given time our services reflect current community demographics and priorities. Counseling, respite for tired caregivers, adaptive equipment for developmentally delayed children, support for the elderly to stay in their homes — these are just some of the ways your support makes a powerful impact on the lives of local people today.”

Today we serve more than 500 people a year with a total budget of about $1,500,000, 10% coming from donations and fundraising.


Price: $16.  The 2016 Play Lot desk calendar is 5.5 x 10.8 inches, and has a built-in easel for display.  Each month features one or more photos of the new and old versions of Schenectady’s Riverside Park playground area, along the Mohawk River. The Play Lot received a make-over in early November 2015, with only the Slide remaining from the “Old” configuration. The Play Lot Calendar is meant as a memento of the beloved Old Play Lot (see our “already nostalgic” posting), and a preview of the New. Its cover is shown in the image at the head of this paragraph (click on it for a larger version).

Here are sample images showing the October and December pages from the Play Lot Calendar:

 . .


 . . the regular price to purchase a single desk calendar from, including shipping and sales taxes would be $29.14. (click on shopping cart screenshot at left) We have used every available discount to reduce the cost.



Price: $20.  T
he 24-page photo-book “Haiga on the Mohawkhas scenes from the Mohawk River and Schenectady Stockade combined with short, haiku-like poems. The book was created in the Fall of 2015 to celebrate Haiku North America 2015, a Conference presented at Union College, from October 14-18.  HNA 2015 attracted about 130 of the very best English-language haiku poets, publishers and educators from over a dozen countries to Schenectady. The Conference was an opportunity for the proprietor of this website (David Giacalone) to introduce the attendees to the Stockade, the Mohawk River, and Riverside Park. The book is a relatively painless opportunity to introduce lovers of the Stockade and Riverside Park to modern English-language haiku poetry (see a definition at the foot of this page*) and “photo-haiga” (explained below).

– back cover

The hardcover book Haiga on the Mohawk is 8″ x 8″, and has 37 photo-haiga (explained below), with photos and haiku poems by David Giacalone, the photographer at suns along the Mohawk, whose haiku have been published in many of the best haiku journals. In addition, four of the poems in Haiga on the Mohawk were written by the distinguished members of the Route Nine Haiku Group.

 . . the regular price to purchase a single 24-page hardcover photo-book from, including shipping and sales taxes would be $46.86. (see shopping cart screenshot at left) As with the Play Lot Calendar, we have used all available discounts to keep the purchase price as low as possible for this fundraiser.


Please contact David Giacalone directly to arrange purchase and delivery of the 2016 Play Lot Calendar or Haiga on the Mohawk. If you leave a Comment to this webpage, David will respond with details. We’ll deliver free of charge if you are located in or near the Stockade, or you can pick up the item at David’s Stockade residence. There will be a charge for postage, if the item is mailed.

Note: We have only 20 copies of each item available.

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  . . In 2012, FCSS purchased the lovely building at 1007 Maryland Avenue [R], corner of Union Street, to house its growing programs and as a meeting place for the Agency and community



*what is haiku?

The haiku genre of poetry is often misunderstood. Despite what your grammar school teacher might have taught you, the consensus among English-language haiku poets, journals and associations is that haiku need not be written in three lines having 5, 7 and 5 syllables per line. Equally important, despite the so-called “haiku contests” you may see in the media or on the web, verse written in the form of three lines having 5, 7 and 5 syllables per line is not haiku unless it conforms to the basic characteristics of the genre. Definitions are tricky and evolving, but here is my attempt at quick definitions of haiku and the related form senryu, which are used in my photo-haiga. (for more, go here)

 Quick Definition of Haiku: English-language Haiku is a very short poem (no more than 17 syllables, but the best in English often have fewer), traditionally written on three lines, that relates nature to human nature and usually compares or contrasts a pair of sensory images, which are separated by a pause (pivot). At its best, haiku lets the reader share in the poet’s “haiku moment” — a moment of insight or awe.

 Quick Definition of SenryuSenryu is a short poem similar in structure to haiku but featuring observations on human nature (often ironic, humorous and/or coarse).