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.

Posted by: David Giacalone | November 15, 2021

our fundraiser for Veterans Miracle Center continues

It’s mid-November and you can still help our photo-card fundraiser for VMC and the veterans it serves. Click on VETERANS for views of each card and information about the unique Veterans Miracle Center in Albany NY.

washcucseasonscardfThroughout November 2021, “Suns Along the Mohawk” is offering you the opportunity to help VMC by purchasing Stockade and Mohawk River photo-cards by the proprietor of this website, David Giacalone, with all proceeds to go to VMC. The 7″ x  5″ photo-cards are two-sided (with envelopes, on 100 weight card stock; no fold). There are 25 different cards with topics such as Mohawk River sunsets, Schenectady cherry blossoms, ice floes and jams along the Mohawk, flooding after Hurricane Irene, and more, including collages with photos of Lawrence the Indian, the venerable slide at Riverside Park’s playlot, and the seasons at the corner of Washington Avenue and Cucumber Alley [at the Right].

ONLY a DOLLAR. To entice your donation, we are asking for a minimum donation of $1 per card. A great deal for a great cause.


. . VMCfundraiser4

Posted by: David Giacalone | November 14, 2021

Stockade-athon 2021 on my corner


. . Sathon2021-CaraSherman

. .  Above: Cara Sherman, 1st in Woman Div. [I did not see Cara in the crowd in time for a front view]; and [Top] Louis Serafini, 1st Overall (pretty easy to spot!) . . 

MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 2021 was a welcome sight rushing down Washington Avenue this morning. As happens most years, the eventual winners in both the male and female divisions were the first of their genders entering the Stockade and making the turn east onto Front Street. [see images above] Similarly, after overall winner Louis Serafini, the second group of male runners included those who finished at the top of the rankings (see below with names and placements noted):


  • Sathon2021-AwardsList
  • And, you can click to see the Awards List and the total Results compiled by ARE EVENT PRODUCTIONS (at

Sathon2021 - OfcRPassonno  When I bounded off my front porch at Cucumber Alley and Washington Avenue about 8:30 this morning, the first vision from the Race that I saw was Officer R. Passonno and his shiny black jeep. (image at left) I watched and photographed the 2021 Stockade-athon cohort from that location, Washington Avenue at Front Street, and its extension, Cucumber Alley.

In “the good old days”, when Lawrence Circle was the halfway point of the race, it took almost an hour for the all the runners in the Stockade-athon Race to pass through the center of its namesake Stockade district, giving me the chance to move up and down several blocks, and offering many perspectives for shooting runners I’d see coming west down Front Street or south up Washington Avenue. [If interested in past versions of the Race, there are links in our Stockade-athon Category to every Race since 2009.] With the race starting downtown at Veterans Park, the turn into the Stockade is only half a mile from the start, with the vast mass of runners still in a rushing clump of pumping legs, arms and hearts. As a result, the last straggler (who started late and came after the last escort vehicle) passed me by and turned up Front Street only 09:59 after Lou Serafini led the pack into the turn.


IMG_3960 (1)In the Slideshow and invidual images presented below, there are about 50 photographs of bodies and faces racing pass me on the corner of Washington Avenue at Front Street.  The Slideshow images are presented in the order I took the photographs, as the runners came down Washington Avenue. I always especially enjoy the faces and hope you will, too. [see some of the faces in the mosaic tile display near the bottom of this posting]

  • USE of IMAGES. As always, runners and groups may use any image from the Race without seeking permission. Others may use a Race image for non-commercial purposes. For use in a commercial context, please contact David Giacalone directly or by leaving a comment.
  • For a LARGER VERSION of a SLIDESHOW image, pause and rightclick on the image and choose Show Image in New Tab.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sathon2021-Last-LateStart.  .  a late-starting runner is the last competitor past our corner . .  

Click on a square tile for a larger, full-image version of some of the Faces of the 2021 Stockade-athon:




IMG_4007 . . .

. . a friendly bellringer and vocal race fan joined me behind a wooden horse. .  

Posted by: David Giacalone | October 15, 2021

new fence at Lawrence Circle





Lawrence Circle and its treasured occupant had not been protected by a fence since its very damaged wrought iron structure was removed on December 27, 2020. (See bottom of this posting for a few images telling the story.) Fortunately, on October 16, 2021, a crew from Armando & Sons Ironworks and I happened to pass by with a camera.  Above and below are a few of the images of the almost-completed wrought iron fence. (Click on a photo for a full, larger version.)



The new fence is very similar in appearance to the prior one: simple, clean lines, and I like it. Here are two shots of the prior fence in wintry scenes.

Lawrence-Tree-snow10Dec14 2014 . . 2015 Lawrence-snow2015

Why did Lawrence need a new fence?

See photos below, Left to Right: Lots of snow at the end of December 2020, led to sufficient destruction of the fence on Dec. 25-26, 2020 (Gazette photo) to require its removal on December 27, 2020; and then an attempt to keep plows from pushing more snow against Lawrence while unprotected by his fence.

Posted by: David Giacalone | September 11, 2021

2021 Stockade Outdoor Art Show glows

. . there are over 170 photos from the Outdoor Art Show below: art, artists and more


The 70th Annual Stockade Villagers’ Outdoor Art Show once again offered a wide variety of art and artists, nestled in a special streetscape of old homes, with welcoming neighbors and friendly art-browsers and buyers. Add in perfect weather (marred only by a batch of mosquitos early in the day), and the event was once again enjoyable and inspiring. With many returning artists, along with talented newcomers [like Xiaoping (Sherry) Xu, whose painting is shown on the left].

SOAS2021-WinnersThis posting was completed on September 13, 2021, and has over 170 images from the Art Show. To the right is the official list of winners. Click on the thumbnail for a full view. Unlike Sunday morning when this post first went up, there are now plenty of photos of the exhibits, art, and people, who made the Show a success.

As always, my thanks go to the Committee that organized and executed the show, and to artists, neighbors and visitors to the Stockade show today. 

  • Click on a photo for a larger version. Practice by clicking Oakley . . OakleySOAS 
  • Share this post with this shorter URL:

Here are the “big” winners in the 70th Annual Show; first the art, then a Slideshow with the winning artists:

IMG_3869 . . 1st Prize, by Craig Petreikis . . 

. . 2nd Prize, by Robin Rosenthal . . IMG_3863 (1)

IMG_3846 . . 3rd Prize, by Richard Sacchetti . . 


. . First Time Exhibitor Award to Julie Durgee:



Best Depiction of the Stockade to Christine Carle:




. . Best depiction of the Human Form to Jesse Meenaghan. .


Oakroom Artists Award (for body of work) to Michael Lattanzio:


Here are the artists who won the above top-tier awards; scroll over a photo for the artist’s name; click on it for a larger, full version:

    • Jesse Meenaghan was not available for a photo at the Winners’ Circle

. . People’s Choice Award: won by Val Robert:

 IMG_3750 (1)

  • IMG_3875 Thanks for your patience. Honorable Mention and Young Artist Award art and artists will be added early Sunday morning, with much more thereafter from the many exhibitions and street scenes.. [on the Right is a piece by Paul Sacchetti]

HONORABLE MENTION status was given to works by Kathy Klompas, Michael Lattanzio, Barbara Lennox, Maryanne Rappaport, Val Robert, and Paul Sacchetti. 

IMG_3851 . . Kathy Klompas . . IMG_3851 (1)


IMG_3842 (1) . . Michael Lattanzio . . IMG_3842


 IMG_3848 . . Barbara Lennox . . IMG_3849


IMG_3844 . . Maryanne Rappaport . . IMG_3845


ValRobert2021SOAS . . Val Robert . . ValRobert-HonMen


IMG_3875 . . IMG_3873 . . Paul Sacchetti 


Winners of the YOUNG ARTIST AWARDS were:

IMG_3833  . . 1st Place 

. . Madison Dominguez Norris . . IMG_3867

      • Madison2020DetailBTW: I was surprised when Madison told me she also exhibited in the 2020 Outdoor Art Show. Looking at last year’s posting, I discovered a very good reason Madison did not look familiar. See image at the right, which hopefully could only have happened in the pandemic year of 2020. Click on it to see the full photo and caption. 

YA2ndAmeliaM . . 2nd Place . . Amelia MacNeil (photo by Linda Goodman)

YA2ndAmeliaM (1)


TaylorCross. . 3rd Place: Taylor Cross . . IMG_3832 

. . 

. . Stockade stalwarts Zoe Oxley [R] and Colleen Macaulay (along with Lawrence the Indian) honored the Winners with aplomb .. 


IMG_3888As I said above, it was a beautiful day that gave us many experiences and images worth sharing. I hope these photographs capture some of the beauty and joy. I’ll be adding to this posting throughout the day, working around other commitments. Scores of images will soon appear.  To the right is Sadie, eleven weeks old, and a charmer.


SOAS2021-1stShot Entering the Art Show at Front Street and North Church, I immediately brightened at re-acquainting myself with Robert [L] and Madison and their exhibits:

IMG_3607  . .  IMG_3606

IMG_3609 The sight/site of Stockade perennial Bob Laper [L] and his expansive collection [below] naturally made me smile: 

IMG_3887 . . IMG_3617

Ditto when seeing Holly Van Voast arranging her exhibit again in front of 29 Front Street, with Olivia and Emmanuel as her hosts:

IMG_3611 (1)



  IMG_3666   . .  IMG_3886

. . [above Left] I found Rev. Matt feeling very much at home at the Heroux exhibit with its black and white theme. And, [R] I also found Erik Rutnik once again working on a painting while he tended to his exhibit. . 

This slideshow has about four dozen images from my first stroll up Front Street Saturday morning. (I will get back to it soon to identify many of the exhibits.) To see a larger version of a photo in the Slideshow, pause the Show on the photo and right-click, then choose Open Image in New Tab. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


IMG_3629 (1) . . is that you playing with light and shadow, David Lira?

. . Kim Leahey presented a new style:  IMG_3701 (1)

At North Ferry and Front Street, I was pleased to see that Scott Friello was back:


And wondered out-loud why Peg Watrous waited so long to share her painting with the public:

IMG_3714 (1)   . . IMG_3712

A few yards east up Front St., I saw the deep colors of Alex DeJohn:


And, then met Julia Durgee, who won the Best 1st Time Exhibitor award. Her Denver rock-climbing piece is shown above with the Winners. Here are a few more samples:

IMG_3717 (1) . .


IMG_3727 (1) Seeing Ritvik Sharma’s watercolors again, at N. Ferry and Green Street, was also a big treat for me, and I wish I had more time to linger at the exhibit to chat with the artist and enjoy his art:

IMG_3727 . . IMG_3726  

red-checkWe’re not finished yet presenting scenes from the 2021 Stockade Outdoor Art Shows. There should be another 2 or 3 dozen photos, mostly taken on North Ferry, south of Lawrence. I’m aiming to complete the first version late Monday morning, September 13. 

Monday Morning Session

Green Street offered a wide variety of styles.

Click on a tile for a full, larger version.



IMG_3766 . . IMG_3759 (1)

IMG_3760 (1)As I came back to North Ferry from Green Street, heading south, I was happy to see that the renovated Arthur’s Market 1795 is a bustling part of our neighborhood after years without an Arthur’s. The new pickup window has become a favorite place to meet well-loved doggies (above left). And, I perked up literally bumping into Robin Rosenthal, one of my favorite returning artists — for both art appreciation and schmoozing. (above right) Later, she had good reason for that big grin seen to the right, as her lemons earned the Show’s 2nd prize.


IMG_3763 Next to Robin, I encountered an exhibit with a wide variety of engrossing images (above). They caught the eye of Craig Petreikis, too (left).

IMG_3781. . . . . 

The St. George’s cookout was again quite popular.

IMG_3780 .

Have I mentioned that the blue sky, clouds, and sunshine greatly enhanced my enjoyment as a photographer and browser?  Add the St. George’s steeple (e.g., see photo at top of this posting) and the warm welcome and vibrant colors of returning artist Mark Miletta, and I could scarcely ask for more. (see painting to the left and the scene below)


Across from Mark, another familiar face had her canopy, Jennifer Politano. Here’s a small sampler of her work:

IMG_3783 . . IMG_3784 (1)


Below: [R] the exhibit tent of Anping Liu and Xiaoping Xu and [L] the heavenly scene above it. 

IMG_3791 . . .

Despite the distraction in the sky, I was struck by a painting alongside the Liu-Xu tent, which can be seen at the top of this posting. Ms. Xu told me the face-painted piece was her only contribution to the exhibit, with everything else done by Mr. Liu.  Inside, I saw many examples of one of my favorite artistic genres: one-brush Chinese ink painting. I definitely am not an expert, but they looked great to me. Here are examples:


IMG_3789 . . . . IMG_3787

I hope we will see them again next September.


designed by Melody Often for Bear and Bird

After leaving the ink brush paintings, I saw quite a few pieces of art and chatted with several artists I’d like to share with you before I close this laborious labor of love. One artist was Melody Often, who told me while holding her sleepy son that I was standing in her exhibit, not one sponsored by Bear and Bird (where she happens to work). The bear seen in their shop windows and ads, known as Flat Barry, was designed by Melody. Pretty cool.  Below, I am inserting a Slideshow of sharable images that i took my last half hour at the Show. I hope you enjoy them. (later this evening, I will add captions to the photos)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, I’m closing Edition One of my 2021 Schenectady Villages Outdoor Art Show. If I have made mistakes, please let me know, and help out with art or artists I could not identify.  Enjoy, and see you the Saturday after Labor Day 2022.

  • For more coverage of prior Stockade Outdoor Art Shows, go to our related Category Page, with links to postings every year since 2009. 

OakleySOAS. . don’t miss the Adventures of Oakley Nicholas on Instagram. I am a Star. 

Posted by: David Giacalone | August 26, 2021

remembering Irene and Lee flooding

. . a quick decade later


. . river end of Washington Avenue, August 29, 2011 . . 

. . you can find scores of photos of flooding along the Stockade and Scotia riverbanks of the Mohawk River in the five postings below from this website. Many were taken from the Western Gateway Bridge, with others close-up to flooded streets and yards. 


. . Playlot slide at Riverside Park on September 8 . . 

Posted by: David Giacalone | August 19, 2021

gems from July 2021

Although we had no postings here at Suns along the Mohawk during July 2021, I took photos throughout the month that I’d like to share. As you can see on the left, in a photo taken July 1st at 207 Union Street, the month started with the promise of sunflowers.

  By the end of the month (see photo at right), Gloria’s colorful flowers and Bob’s Little Book Nook brought many pedestrians to a stop for a lingering look.

  • Click on a photo for a larger version!

Scenes in the Stockade, including Riverside Park along the Mohawk River, captured my interest all month long, as you can see below.

But first, east of Nott Street:

OakleyNiskyLove While most of us spent Independence Weekend in leisurely pursuits, former Stockade good doggie, and Instagram Star, Oakley Nicholas was working hard at his Niskayuna Love in Action Food Drive. [poster on left by S. Lauren] When I arrived in the early evening of July 4 to drop off non-perishables, Oakley was fairly worn out from being a celebrity fundraiser all day.  Lucky for him, Oakley is always in the good hands of his mommy Stacey Lauren, who also spent many years living in the Stockade:

          • Oakley hopes to soon have a Stockade Love Adventure, and I will keep the community apprised. 

July 4th also brought a sight like I had never seen before, as I was heading home from visiting Oakley. It got me to pull over and pull out my pocket camera: The ugly utility wires on Union Street that I so often malign were caught in the golden glow of early sunset. Maybe others who live along Union and parallel streets see this happening often, but for me it was a uniquely gilded scene that I needed to capture. It happened on several blocks west of Brandywine Street, before Union Avenue. [click on a photo for a larger image]

 . . 


After following Union Street, I arrived back at Cucumber Alley, and was greeted by, and treated to, an inspiring Independence Day sunset along the Mohawk at the Isle of the Cayugas, featuring a swath of colorful clouds above and upon the Mohawk:

.. we’ve seen a lot of special sunsets from Riverside Park this year.

Here are some of the other July images that caught my fancy:

 . . on Green Street, another promise of sunflowers to come

. . Also, at the newly restored gardens on the west end of Riverside Park (thank you James!):

 . .

. . and, while at the Park, wondering what was causing the eerie bright light coming from inside the Isle of the Cayugas:

. .

  • As seems to happen every year, I relearned the name “hydrangea”, and applied it to several lovely July arrays:

    . . – such as one [to the left] that I enjoy every year across from St. George’s front door, at 29 N. Ferry; and, another [immediately below] at the western entry to Riverside Park:

. . at the Washington Ave. dead-end

. . In addition, there was noteworthy new (to me) display adorning the front of my former home on Union Street (where I usually planted large wood chips):



Across from the hydrangeas at 214 Union Street stands Bob Lemmerman’s much-admired Little Lending Library (blue Book Nook), standing stoically while steadily encroached upon by Gloria’s colorful blooms:

Naturally, I checked regularly for sunflower progress at the annually-abundant display along the white picket fence at 29 Front Street. [e.g., this image from July 2020] They looked good mid-July (and the tall, filled-in plants are definitely worth a visit now in mid-August):

. .

On North Ferry Street, north of Lawrence, window boxes caught my eye mid-block; this is one:



 . . and, a flower box of potted impatiens near the corner of Cucumber and Washington Avenue were remarkable for having survived and thrived for two weeks after I put them there.

Finally, the mosaic squares below have images taken at the SOS Save Our Services rally on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at Veteran’s Park (my entry to the Park shown to the left), where speakers explained why we need to be concerned about the impending (actually, slowly occurring) merger of Ellis Hospital with Trinity Health, the parent of St. Peter’s Hospital. The issues are well worth considering, but I am displaying the photos here because I like the looks of them. 



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