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 –


Posted by: David Giacalone | January 31, 2022

tardy new year calendar



8x10CliffordSnowEYou know, I’ve been thinking that I forgot to do something important as 2021 was coming to its end. Luckily, just before January was over, I realized that I never posted a Suns Along the Mohawk one-page calendar for 2022.  This year’s calendar has the theme of “feeling nostalgic for Riverside Park,” where many Stockaders for decades have enjoyed sunsets, strolling (and dog-walking), fanciful-but-evicted playlot fixtures, (like Clifford), the shade and serentiy of great old trees, lazy bench sitting, and bocce, picnics or sunning on the lovely West Lawn.

  • feel free to download and use the calendar for any noncommerical purpose; it is formatted at 8″ by 10″.
  • ´  Click here, if you would prefer a calendar with a black background

Have a wonderful year. Stay optimisitic and safe.

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 6, 2021

2021 tree lighting gets four stars

IMG_4079  The 2021 Stockade Christmas Tree Lighting celebration got rave reviews all around Lawrence Circle. Impressively tall and wide tree; comfortable winter weather (not windy, no precipitation, tolerable temperature); warm welcome with cookies and apple cidar at Arthur’s 1795; and a crowd large enough to be festive, with many new and old faces. Plus, songs by Justin Friello. If I had gotten a few more winning photographs, it would have been a five star evening for me. 



. . IMG_4057JustinFriello


Posted by: David Giacalone | December 4, 2021

Downtown holiday double take

ITakeTwo2cf you want a quick jolt of Holiday Color & Energy, I suggest starting at Jay and State Streets and let yours eyes and feet wander. For example, just past the Schenectady Downtown Tree and Johnny’s on State Street, across from Proctors, you will find a special holiday visual treat (for young and old). There is a span of storefront windows that start at Chelsea Heilmann’s Take Two Cafe, a vegan experience at 433 State Street. The display stretches far enough to brighten NBT’s sidewalk. 

Below, and to the right, are images from that display. When I find out the name of the artisit, I will include it here. 









TakeTwo4c1 . . 

. .  TakeTwo3c

  • From time to time over December, I will add other images of holiday colors in Downtown Schenectady.

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