Posted by: David Giacalone | December 30, 2018

Nearly New Year’s Eve


. . above & below: Light and Laser show caps the premiere Nearly New Year’s Eve event at Gateway-Liberty Plaza (Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018) . . 


. . share this post with this shorter URL:; for many daytime photos of Gateway-Liberty Plaza and background information, see .

IMG_9834-001 . . Right: Gateway Plaza designer (and Planning Commission Chair) Mary Moore Wallinger at the Nearly Event with her son; Below: Light-show screen viewed from behind the urban pillar art chosen by Ms. Wallinger for the Plaza . . 


According to this morning’s Sunday Gazette, “Despite frigid winds, the inaugural Nearly New Year’s Eve attracted approximately 200 people to Gateway Park Saturday night.” See “Kids, adults celebrate Nearly New Year in Schenectady: Live music and laser light show draws families and community” (Daily Gazette, by Jason Subik, Dec. 30, 2018). The article adds:

I did not arrive at the event until just before the light show, and so I did not see how busy the Schenectady County Ale Trail tents were. But, to mention a personal pet peeve, I saw no mention on their signs that customers should Drink Responsibly or appoint a Designated Driver.
Here are a few more images from the event. Click on an image in the mosaic for a larger version.
Posted by: David Giacalone | December 24, 2018

wishing peace, joy, tolerance

At home, around the neighborhood, and City (even City Hall), throughout the Nation, and the World: Let’s grant each-other the patience and tolerance that can bring us peace and joy yearlong.



Posted by: David Giacalone | December 16, 2018

one-page 2019 calendars celebrate Stockade & Schenectady


 The “team” here at suns along the Mohawk [image to the right] has again put together a collection of one-page calendars to thank our loyal audience and send Holiday Cheer and best New Year Wishes to our neighbors, kith and kin. Each of the calendar photos was taken in 2018 in the Stockade, Riverside Park or Downtown Schenectady.

8″ x 10″. Click on a picture in this array of thumbnail images to see the full calendar, formatted to be printed 8″ x 10. Then you may download/copy the original jpg. file.



7″ x 5″. Click on either of the two images directly below, or on an image in the tile mosaic below them to see a larger version of a calendar, formatted to be printed 5″ x 7″. Then download/copy the full jpg. file. And, enjoy.

2019Calendar-LADYe  .  .  2019CalendarsTrainFe

. . [L] Bring Home Lady Liberty calendar; [R] New Schenectady Train Station


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  • IMG_8389-001

    2018 outdoor art show

    Preparing to make our calendars was an enjoyable way to relive all the many colorful and neighborly events and moments here in the Stockade this year. Please scan the list of prior postings in our right margin and sample the many ways the Stockade is such a special place to live or visit.

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 2, 2018

a bright Holiday Tree Lighting

Here are images from this evening’s festive Lighting of the Stockade Holiday-Christmas Tree, and the now-traditional Afterglow get-together in the Great Hall of St. George’s Episcopal Church.

  • Warm thanks to the Stockade Association (especially Colleen, Susan, Susan, Susannah, Susie and Carol; plus Banjo Bob);
  • And to the New York State Tree Nursery at Saratoga, which again provided a fine tree. This year’s tree is tall and broad, and makes quite a statement next to the patient Lawrence the Indian.

 . . the Tree arrived from Saratoga on Wednesday, Nov. 28, with great promise, which was fulfilled this evening.

. . above: Bob Lemmerman (with banjo) led the caroling, accompanied by a stalwart guitarist Charlie Schneiderwind, and was joined too briefly by Hainuo [far right] and Concetta

. . see the 2017 Tree Lighting here . .

Afterglow in the Great Hall

. . above: The Strombergs were hosts (and liked my cupcakes!)

IMG_9791-001  . . IMG_9787

. . the Chilton Brothers provided music and song. . and Janice Thompson added her voice, along with Bob, Rev. Matt & Jamie

. . Susannah [L] and Mabel





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 . . 

. . above: David [L] and Colleen

. . Weiwei [L] and Concetta


Posted by: David Giacalone | November 26, 2018

looking good in blue (and green; and red)

IMG_9677-001 . . IMG_9028

In all stages of its construction, Schenectady’s new Amtrak Station looked especially good under blues skies. [see and provided links] But, I was truly surprised by how much a liked the building at night, bathed in blue light, when I first saw it earlier this month.


IMG_9674-002 In case you missed Marc Schulz’s front-page Gazette photo on November 23rd, or have not had a chance yet to drive past the New Amtrak Station when its nightlights are on, I’m posting a few images here of the Station with its blue lights on, taken at the end of the afternoon of November 24, 2018. And, see “Drawing rave reviews: New $23M rail station seen as a big plus for downtown” (Daily Gazette, by Bill Buell, Nov. 23, 2018).



follow-up (December 16, 2018): Walking home from seeing “North Pole NY“, the documentary about Santa’s Workshop, at Proctors yesterday evening (Saturday, December 15), the new Schenectady Train Station was looking awfully good in green, too. For example:

4 Wash Av rear

 . . and (Dec. 24, 2018): two days later, I saw:


and, see all three colorsStationHolidayColors-001

Posted by: David Giacalone | November 17, 2018

a few impressions of the 2018 Holiday Parade


t’s rare that I want my photographs to look like Impressionist paintings, but that is what happened (or worse) to many of them this evening. I just could not get my lenses to focus consistently in the available light. The relatively few images that seem worth sharing can be found in this posting.

Tonight’s 50th anniversary Fidelis Care Holiday Parade took place on Schenectady’s State Street, between Washington Avenue and Lafayette Street. Sesame Street’s Big Bird (see top photo) was the headliner float, and presented by Price Chopper/Market 32. [see Gazette article]

  • img_2816-001 I was much more successful photographically in 2016, and you can reminisce about that year’s Parade, with over 60 photos, here, and a sample to the right.
  • My perch was near S. Ferry Street, at the Barney Square complex, with good company provided by Julianna and Richard Gerrity.
  • If you are in the area, and in a holiday mood, you can stop at Freeway Insurance, which has a Toys for Tots station. Freeway is located at 225 State Street, Suite 114.



. . above: float by Schenectady’s Fire and Police Department; they brought Lady Liberty momentarily back to lower State Street.


IMG_9585-001 . . Mom urges patience from big brother while cradling a little one. 

IMG_9599 . . the new Schenectady City Barn joined the celebration 

Click on any of the Square tiles below to see a full, larger version. And, have a Happy Holiday Season!



Posted by: David Giacalone | November 11, 2018

Stockade-athon 2018 visits Front Street and Lawrence



IMG_9284 . . IMG_9360

2018-LeadEscortCar . . Over seventy photos from the Stockade leg of the [MVP Health Care] Stockade-athon 2018 have been posted here today. . . On Nov. 6, 2018, we wrote about the long-awaited (by the editor, at least) Course Change that brought the race back to Front Street and Lawrence Circle. The photo on the right shows the lead escort car turning onto Front St. from Washington Avenue at about 8:32 am.

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Stockade portion of Course

IMG_9280The next three photos were taken on Front Street near N. Church Street. They show the first five men on Front Street, who were also the first five runners to cross the Finish Line.

The front three men on Front Street finished one, two, and three, with two seconds between them. See the next blurb for their stats.





  • Top 3 Male Finishers: only Two Seconds separated the first three runners across the finish line with Francois Jarry [BIB 3] of Montreal 1st in 47:48; Ben Fazio [BIB 1513] of Troy 2nd in 47:49; and Ryan Udvadia [BIB 1329] of Albany 3rd in 47:50.
    • Alex Benway [Bib 4] and Scot Mindel [BIB 1] were fourth and fifth, respectively
  • Top 3 Female Finishers: Samantha Roecker [BIB 1523] was the first woman across the Finish Line, at 54:49; Danielle Winslow [BIB 1415] was 2nd at 55:59; and Katie Messina of Somerville MA [BIB 8] was 3rd at 56:47.
  • You can see streaming, searchable Race Results here.
  • Erica Miller has a large Gallery of photos at the Gazette; and Mike McAdam writes about the enjoyment the top male runners had with such a close race. See “Jarry, Roecker win Stockade-athon” (Gazette, Nov. 11, 2018). And, see a gallery at the Times Union by Gary McPherson.


. . above: Samantha Roecker [BIB 1523] and Katie Messina [BIB 8] cross N. Church St. on Front St.  Samantha finished 1st and Katie 3rd in the Women’s Division. (The woman in the pink jersey may be Danielle Winslow [BIB 1415], who finished 2nd in the Division.)


. . above: Katie was running a little too fast for me to catch all of her.


This set of square tiles were the first shots I took this morning, just before 8:30, showing Washington Avenue, and Front Street to Lawrence Circle, before the Road Race arrived.  Click on an image for a larger version and scroll them for captions.

. . Here are a few scenes at Lawrence Circle, with many more to come, including a Slideshow with many “faces of the Stockade-athon”, capturing folks who captured my attention in the editing room, and deserve applause no matter where they “placed”.





The determined Ed Salvo continues his legend.







. .

3 P.M. addition: This Slideshow has about five dozen more photos from the Stockade portion of today’s Stockade-athon.

  • For a larger version of a photo in the Slideshow, pause on the image, right-click, and choose Show Image in Separate Tab.
  • Runners may use any photo from this Stockade-athon posting for any purpose without further permission. Others may use the photos for any non-commercial purpose, with attribution to David Giacalone at “suns along the Mohawk.”


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Posted by: David Giacalone | November 6, 2018

Stockade-athon will again visit Lawrence


. . prior to 2014, Lawrence Circle was the halfway point of the Race, with runners coming from the east end of Front St.; above photo taken 2009 .. 

img_2379 . . 3img_0855 . .

. . Saturday update (Nov. 10, 2018, 4 PM): Lawrence waiting for the Race:

LawrenceCircle4PM10Nov2018  . . Lawrence-10Nov2018


2018 Course Change in the Stockade

StockadePortion2018-001  . .

This year’s Stockade-athon race course change is a goodie. Four years ago this week, I wrote a rather grumpy post at this weblog titled “Stockade-athon 2014 abandons Lawrence and trivializes the Stockade” (Nov. 8, 2014), because the course for the road race had been altered, with one change removing the Stockade portion of Front Street from the Stockade-athon. The half-way point of the 15K race had always been Lawrence Circle, with the entourage of runners entering from Nott Street and running west up Front Street past Lawrence to Washington Avenue. The race cohort was stretched out by then, so that the last stalwarts passed by Lawrence about 45-minutes after the front-runners.

2014-2017Course-StockadePortio The 2014 to 2017 course configuration (image at right) brought the Race to the Stockade only a half mile from the Start near Proctors, in a compacted mob entering Washington Avenue from State Street, going to and through Riverside Park, and then out Ingersoll Avenue. The front and rear escort cars were only 12 minutes or so apart.

In 2014, Race entrant Herb Terns gave the new race course, which put steep parts of the terrain earlier in the race, a grade of “B+ (more Stockade in the Stockade-athon would get it an A).”  See  “The ‘new’ Stockade-athon’ by letters” (Nov. 10, 2014), in the Times Union Outdoors Blog. Herb got nostalgic:

One thing I didn’t like about the Stockade section was that it gave short shrift to the actual Stockade. It was nice to run by the river but through the years I’ve felt the Stockade was well supported and the most fun part of the race with cheering crowds by the statue of Lawrence. It’s also one of the gems of our city and I was glad others got to experience it. 

The new 2018 configuration solves the problem of giving the Stockade short shrift geographically. The Race now covers the same ground as the pre-2014 race course, but in reverse. [See the map detail at the top of this posting.] It does not, of course, solve the problem as a spectator or photographer, of having the race “race” through the Stockade so quickly. As pointed out above, with the the Stockade being so close to the Starting line, the field is still compacted, making for less interesting viewing and photo-shooting. I’ve estimated that if you stand in one spot to watch the Race, the entire field will stream by you in about 7 or 8 minutes.

AtLawrence-img_1146 . .  Nonetheless, I bet the old tradition of a crowd gathering at Lawrence Circle will be resurrected, along with residents lining the course, with cheers and cowbells. At my grumpy 2014 post, there are dozens of photos from the good old days with Stockade-athon action approaching, passing through, and departing Lawrence Circle. And, clicking on our Stockade-athon Category will bring links to our annual coverage of the event since 2009.


In 2014, I voiced the hope that “the Stockade-athon Course Design Committee can find a way to revive this Stockade tradition in 2015.” It took a few extra years, but I am grateful for the reversion, even if it is being done for a different reason.  I look forward to seeing the runners, the volunteers, and the watchers this Sunday, November 11, between about 8:35 and 8:55 AM.

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