Posted by: David Giacalone | August 14, 2019

an August assortment

Two weeks into the month, I have an array of August images I hope you’ll enjoy. We’ve got splash-pads, sunsets, sunflowers, and Saratoga scenes, along with glimpses of a favorite new restaurant (Mangino’s on Eastern Avenue), and a fledgling new political campaign.



The Niskayuna Splash-pad at Blatnick Park opened last Saturday (August 10; photos above below). Thanks to news media coverage, I headed to the Park on Sunday (Aug. 11), and was surprised at how few people were using it on a truly lovely day. Click on an image in columns of square tiles for a full and large version.

IMG_1926-001 . . IMG_1930





Tribute Park Splash-Pad. On the way home from Jeff Blatnick Park, I stopped at Schenectady’s Tribute Park, a “pocket park” at 868 Eastern Avenue. This Slideshow offers a brief tour. [To see a larger version of a slideshow image, pause the slideshow on the image, right-click, and choose Open Image in New Tab.]



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. . above: photo from my first visit to Tribute Park, June 30, 2019. Designed by Mary Wallinger, Tribute Park got lampposts like those we had expected Mary would use at Gateway/Liberty Park.


IMG_1954Mangino’s. It was a very short drive from Tribute Park to my new favorite restaurant, MANGINO’s GOURMET MARKET (with bistro) , at 764.5 Eastern Avenue, Schenectady. The establishment is run by Rick Mangino, with a treasure of family ties to the restaurant business and Schenectady, who is the owner and Executive Chef; and Bonnie Goodwin, the landlady, who directs the front of the operation, adding energy and hospitality.

In addition to fine traditional and modernized versions of Italian cuisine, and desserts, the restaurant is beautiful, and family friendly, with a neighborhood-yet-special feel. My excuse for stopping was to sample their soft-swirl ice cream. But my real purpose was to snap some photos to share with my friends. The second floor houses the kitchen, and the third floor offers a quiet and comfortable set of spaces. It sports an array of artwork by Joey Matula. This slideshow can’t capture the atmosphere adequately. Nor, can I match the quality of the photography you can find on their Facebook pages and website (photos by Rick Mangino, I believe).



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 Riverside Park Sunset. The same evening that I spotted the sunflowers at 29 Front Street in the Stockade, August 10, I headed down N. Ferry Street to the Riverside Park Overlook, and I’m glad I did. By some lights, it was not a spectacular sunset. But, the Mohawk River showed once again that it doesn’t need “spectacular” to create quietly beautiful and a bit mysterious.






. . . By the Way: How did that branch/trunk get so well embedded in the riverbed that it has been there for over a year? Ideas?



. . collage with three of the above sunset photos . .


A Broadway Stroll in Saratoga Springs. 

saratoga-painted-horse.pngThe Saratoga Race Track was dark on Monday, August 13; humidity was tolerable; there was a gentle breeze; and the blue sky had just enough puffy white clouds. In other words, it was the perfect day to drive down Rt. 50 to the truly strollable Broadway retail district in downtown Saratoga.  The variety of shops, cafes, and fellow strollers was quite a treat, as was the shade of mature street trees, and lack of digital signs in front of businesses. (The only digital sign I saw on my Broadway walk was alongside a public Authority, Saratoga City Center.)




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Memo to Gary McCarthy and Ray Gillen: Check out Saratoga Springs, if you want a truly walkable-walkabout downtown, and one that can actually attract visitors regularly, and enhance the experience of those looking for a casino adventure.


Omar Launches His Campaign. Curiosity got me out to downtown Schenectady the evening of August 1st, to try to learn about Omar McGill, who was announcing his candidacy as Schenectady County Legislator for District 1 (in the City of Schenectady). The event was held at the Veeder Ave. doorway of the County Building. He was presented by Marion Porterfield, a member of the City Council.

Omar is running on the Working Families Party line, after being rejected by the Democrats, who nominated Peggy King, and appointed her to Karen Johnson’s former seat. There was a lot of energy out there that night, as you can see in the following Slideshow.




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Last Minute Bonus: Egrets Only. Walking to my car this morning (Aug. 14) off Cucumber Alley, I glanced at the Mohawk and saw a white figure on the shore of the Isle of the Cayugas. At first, I saw one white egret (see photo on right), but eventually another appeared on the water (below).

. .


.  . wishing you more sun and sunflowers as our summer moves toward my favorite month for Stockade photography, September.

sunflowers 29 Front

29 Front sunflowers

  .. above: sunny display at 29 Front Street ..

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