Posted by: David Giacalone | September 7, 2019

another artful outing in the Stockade


My expectations are always high as I head out the door for the annual outdoor art show on the blocks surrounding Lawrence Circle in Schenectady’s Stockade. With comfortable temperatures, art by new and returning artists displayed under sunny blue skies, and exhibitors, neighbors and visitors in good spirits, the 68th Annual Stockade Villagers’ Outdoor Art Show did not disappoint. During over five hours of shooting and schmoozing, I totally enjoyed myself and the 2019 Outdoor Art Show, from my first photo [above, R, entering at N. Church and Front Streets, about 9:40 AM] to the last [below, a portrait of Lawrence painted during the Show by Erik Rutnik].


. . find more information at

Later tonight and on Sunday morning, I will be adding over a hundred photos taken while strolling along the blocks of the art show, with images of exhibits, individual works, and individuals. [7 PM, Sunday: Done!]

  • Images may be used by the artist for any purpose without further permission from David Giacalone, who holds the copyright. Others may use images for non-commercial purposes. Please attribute the photographs to “suns along the Mohawk” and David Giacalone.

At this time, I would like to celebrate the “winners” of the prizes and awards granted by the organizers of the Show.


, , Zoe Oxley setting up the Winners Circle around Lawrence the Indian

 1st PlaceMABEL LEON   1st-MabelLeon




 . .  IMG_2364


3rd-SaraLuAnnPerkings . . IMG_2326


Best First-Time ExhibitorIVY YUAN



Best Stockade Depiction (Cohen Award)

BestStockadeDepiction-KevinKhune – KEVIN KUHNE . .


Oakroom Artists Gillilan AwardBRETT SCOTT



People’s Choice – ALEC ACEVEDO . . 2019PeoplesChoice-AlecAcevedo 


 Best Depiction of Human Form – MARY ELLEN REILL




1st PLACE . . MIA ETKIN . . Student1st-MiaEtkin

Student-2nd-EmilyFredericks 2nd Place – EMILY FREDERICKS . .

Student-3rd-JakeMatusic . . 3rd Place – JAKE MATUSIC





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. . above: artwork by [L to R] J. Matusic, M. Etkin & M. Hardin . .

Tim Pendergast’s  . . IMG_2353

Emily Frederick’s origami cranes:  IMG_2153-003

RickSacchetti2018. . If you liked this year’s Art Show. please enjoy our coverage of prior Stockade Outdoor Art Shows, such as the 2018 Show.

. . click on an image for a larger version! . . 


We’re slowly adding images throughout the morning, including slideshows. So, please stop by often. [7 PM Sunday: Only a little fine-tuning left to do; take a stroll around our Stockade’s venerable Outdoor Art Show. Please let me know if I’ve misidentified an artist or misspelled a name.]

. . Perennial Pleasers: Cute Kids and Pets!

IMG_2184 . . img_2204.jpg

and, Good Neighbors with good art, like Mabel Leon and Robert Laper:

IMG_2130 . . IMG_2307

. . artists: both new (to me), e. g. :

IMG_2126. . Philip Parker . . IMG_2316-001

Carolyn Scheicher. .  CarolynScheicher

. . and returning favorite artists:

IMG_2137-001 . . img_2134.jpg

. . above: Peter Watrous; below: Val Robert



SLIDE SHOW ONE: Green Street Scenes

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




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Christine brought a helper .IMG_2197

IMG_2206 . . Thanks, Lawrence, as always.

. . painted on site, by Erik Rutnik . . IMG_2288-001





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. . above: our first Stacey sighting in years . . 



. . above: Mark Miletta and St. George go well together .. 

 . .





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IMG_2365-001 . . thanks again, to all Art Show

volunteers & organizers . . fIMG_2170


and, here’s a bonus:

IVY YUAN TILED MOSAIC: Click on any image for a larger version from the diverse selection of art in and on the tent of first-time exhibitor Ivy Yuan. You’ll find a few more in Slideshow Three.





ArtByYTYShare A big follow-up Thank You, to Ivy Yuan, who shared this webpost at her Artbyyty Facebook page Sunday evening (Sept. 8). That’s great enough, but it also triggered a lot of visitors, many of whom have the very good taste of liking Ivy’s art a lot, and are curious enough to check out other artists and webposts, too.  As cosmopolitan as she seems to be, Ivy probably knows more Italian than I do, but I just have to say “grazie i prego!

Posted by: David Giacalone | August 14, 2019

an August assortment

29 Front sunflowers

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

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

Posted by: David Giacalone | July 27, 2019

Stockade tree trimming workshop

Clarence Fountain talks trees

IMG_1817 . . [L] Arborist Clarence Fountain of CF Tree Care had a lot of useful information and tips;

 [R] so did arborist Jeff Kehoe. . IMG_1825


The Stockade Association’s infrastructure and tree-scape mavens invited two certified arborists, Jeff Kehoe and Clarence Fountain, to present a workshop on proper trimming of street trees this morning, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Starting at St. George’s Church, the group visited trees and learned lessons on North Ferry Street, and spilled around the corner at both Green Street and Union Street. I got to hand around and tag along to snap some photos. Since I was not taking notes, I hope the Association will post a summary of the useful information we were given. Many thanks to Clarence and Jeff for sharing their Saturday morning with us.

  • As a long-time believer that “Schenectady needs a Tree Preservation Policy”, and the Stockade needs it even more urgently, I am pleased that the Stockade Association supports efforts to assure that our older and newer trees are properly maintained, so that they may thrive and last as long as possible.

Read More…

Posted by: David Giacalone | July 14, 2019

another colorful Summer Night

SummerNight2019Logo The weather was perfect for the 2019 version of Schenectady County Summer Night (July 12). And, I continued my custom of taking an early stroll-and-shoot on the Jay Street Pedestrian Mall and the Proctors block of State Street. Like last year, the blue skies and soft sun created beautiful colors, and the growing crowd held many smiles. Read about the attractions and sponsors at the Summer Night Facebook Page.



. . lots of fun at a very popular bubble machine . .


Toy Story sand sculpture by Phil Singer

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Click on any of the square images in the columns below to see a full, larger version of the photograph. Many have captions you can see by scrolling over the image.


Posted by: David Giacalone | June 29, 2019

surreally good fireworks on the Mohawk



“JJ” Fireworks

Yesterday’s 2019 version of the Jumpin’ Jack’s pre-Independence Day Fireworks proved again that photo-realistic images of fireworks are not my forté. Rather than bemoan that fact, I am going to celebrate the fun and often lovely designs that I inadvertently created again last night from the Stockade riverbank near Cucumber Alley. For example, see the image to the right, which seems to prove that my shorthand name of “JJFireworks” for these annual photoshoots at the end of Cucumber Alley and across from the Isle of the Cayugas is spot on.

This photo, taken about 9 PM, shows the canvas for last night’s accidental pyrotechnic creativity:


You should recognize the scene here:


. . and, here (click on a photo for a larger image):


. . and, it is only a little more obscure in next couple of shots:

IMG_1420 . .


But, there are large and small details from that “canvas” that may be a little harder to place:




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A favorite benefit for me of the shooting from the river-end of Cucumber Alley has always been capturing the exploding fireworks and its reflection in the Mohawk River, in the south channel between the Isle of the Cayugas and the Stockade shoreline. Last night, however, the vegetation at the end of Cucumber Alley had grown too tall from Spring rains to allow me to see the reflections from ground-level. So, I moved next door to the rear yard of 10-16 Washington Avenue, where lost trees and bushes left an open view of the River. This mosaic shows several more images featuring river reflections. Click on a tile to see a larger version:



IMG_7836  . . Note: On July 6, 2018, I posted my first batch of “artsy fireworks mistakes,” after shooting at the Rivers Casino fireworks from Riverside Park. They are rather dramatic and are still my favorites. Please take a look. (example to the right)

This slideshow features other surreal images from last night’s Jumpin’ Jack’s show on June 28, 2019 that were colorful, lively surprises I did not want to die on the virtual cutting floor.

  • As with our other slideshows, you can see a larger version of one of the images by pausing on the image; right-clicking on the photo, and then choosing Show Image in a New Tab. 


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Our traditional, sincere thanks to all the folks at Jumpin’ Jack’s for giving us this fine event again this year.

. . Western Gateway Bridge:





Posted by: David Giacalone | June 22, 2019

summer solstice at the Rose Garden

. .

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

 . .

It was a little too breezy yesterday at Schenectady’s Central Park Rose Garden for a quick photoshoot. You had to wait for the rose bushes to calm down. And, that was good: The required patience meant enjoying the flowers and the entire scene more thoroughly than I could do just looking through a camera lens and shooting. And, did I mention there was a lovely blue sky and puffy white clouds that were just about perfect for the first day of Sumer?

Scotia magnolia . . IMG_0833

There were quite a few lovers of summer beauty of all ages enjoying the award-winning Rose Garden.

  • The Rose Garden is located at the Park’s main entrance, Wright Avenue and Central Parkway. Learn more about its history and projects at the Rose Garden’s Website and see featured flowers plus current events on its Facebook Page.

 . .

 . .


Click on any of the tiles in this mosaic for a full, larger version. And, don’t forget to head over to the real thing for a little bit of true Renaissance in Schenectady.



followup: the Rose Garden was even more lush on July 8, 2019 . . click on collage:


Posted by: David Giacalone | June 2, 2019

Rainbow Pride blooms at Liberty’s Plaza



I‘ve been curious to see how the Schenectady Pride Art Project at Gateway-Liberty Plaza would turn out, ever since I first learned about it last November. (spoiler alert: I like it a lot more than I had anticipated). At the time, frankly, I was concerned that “rushing it through with no chance for meaningful public input on its basic design, size, materials, or location within the Plaza, undermines the public consensus for celebrating the important civil rights victories.” And, I opined that “Schenectady PRIDE and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising deserve a much better design.”

 DSCF4698  . . IMG_0607 . .

. . above: Work in Progress: May 29, 2019 [R]; May 31, 2019 [L] . .


almost ready

So, I’ve been watching the proposal’s “doorway/arches” being erected and painted this past week (see images immediately above; and collage to left), and saw the finished Project for the first time this morning (June 2, 2019), camera in hand. [And, as you will see below, I brought my “friend” Silhouette Lady Liberty to see the display of equality and Enlightenment at the place long known as Liberty Park, and the home of a replica Statue of Liberty since 1950.]

IMG_0652Below are a handful of additional photos of the Rainbow Pride Art Project taken several hours before the exhibit would be “revealed” and dedication this afternoon (June 2, 2019). Each arch has a Milestone title in wooden letters on its crossbeam, as well as a placard that describes the Milestone and its history. Two of the Milestones are stated as acronyms for legislation protecting LGBT rights. Scroll down this post to find thumbnail images of each placard; click on the image for a larger, readable version. After the placards, I’ve included several images of Silhouette Lady, who feels very much at home at the Pride installation, and hopes Schenectady Pride will reciprocate and help Lady Liberty back to her Liberty Park home.



IMG_0649  . . IMG_0646

 IMG_0642 . . buses often block the view from State St..




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INFORMATIVE PLACARDS: The PRIDE ART Display includes informative statements explaining the Six “Doorway” Topics. To read the text of each placard, click on its thumbnail below, and then click again on the jpg. file for an image large enough to read.

IMG_0641 . . IMG_0640 . . IMG_0639

IMG_0637. . IMG_0635 . .  IMG_0634

WANTED: MORE LIBERTY at the PLAZA. Some vital liberties have taken far too long to be achieved, protected, and accepted in the United State of America. When created, the original Statue of Liberty was titled “Liberty Enlightens the World” and specifically celebrated the emancipation of America’s slaves. While She holds high her light, Lady Liberty is also shown breaking shackles and stepping forward. The rights that were fought for at and since Stonewall make us all more free.

ll-locationcompareIn her Implementation Plan for Gateway Plaza, designer Mary Wallinger stated that the Plaza was meant to “celebrate our past, present, and future.” There is no single symbol in Schenectady that fills that role better than our Replica Statue of Liberty. Nonetheless Lady Liberty has been “exiled” by Mayor McCarthy and Ms. Wallinger for failing to be “contemporary” enough. Silhouette Lady disagrees strongly, and made the point this morning while visiting the Schenectady Rainbow Pride Art installation. As you can see in this collage:



. . for more information about the Liberty Exile Controversy, see . .



 p.s. First Afterthoughts. The Rainbow Pride Project turned out better than I had expected, and is a plus for our City. Congratulations to Schenectady Pride and designer Mary Wallinger, with special thanks to The Schenectady Foundation and its Thriving Neighborhood Challenge for funding the project. However, public input and more brainstorming within the Pride organization about locating the project in the Plaza would have been beneficial.  If the public had been able to make recommendations last autumn about the design and location within the Plaza, there might have been many suggestions worth consideration.

IMG_9225 We were told at the Council meeting last November that alternative spots within the Park for the project would be considered. An alternative spot could have avoided the traffic issues caused by passing vehicles slowing down to see and photograph the Installation at the busy traffic location, especially when CDTA buses are actually blocking the view.

An internal spot within the Plaza would have made it more likely that visitors wanting to enjoy the Pride Art would park and walk to it. A better location inside the Park, farther from State Street traffic, would also have avoided the glare that sunlight can cause for drivers’ eyes, reflected off the glossy finish of the Pride Art arches. The collage immediately below, with photos taken in the hour before sunset on June 11, 2019, gives an idea that — although pretty — shiny art projects are better placed away from traffic.


Posted by: David Giacalone | May 17, 2019

Tubman-Seward Sculpture unveiled at Central Library




A brass statue of Harriet Tubman and William Seward, by sculptor Dexter Benedict, was dedicated and unveiled today at the Schenectady County Central Library, 99 Clinton Street. It stands along Clinton Street, between the Library parking lot and Liberty Street.

IMG_0589 Union College Professor Emeritus Frank Wicks, who was inspired by the social activism of Tubman and Seward, spearheaded the project. Prof. Wicks was supported in this endeavor by Professor Emeritus Twitty Styles and Professor Emeritus Carl George, also of Union College, where Seward received a degree in 1820.  According to the Underground Railroad History Project, they were “Desirous of commemorating the historic impact of these two individuals . . and reminding the community of their empowering stories that can be models for us today.” For more, see . And, Stephen Williams’ article at the Gazette.


. . Click on any image in this tiled mosaic for a larger version. . 



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