Posted by: David Giacalone | August 3, 2022

Kith and Kin celebrate Jennifer A. Schmidt


The Schmidt Family (of Front Street in the Stockade) brought together scores of the kith and kin of Jennifer A. Schmidt, on Saturday July 30, 2022, to celebrate her life with affection and gratitude. The event was held on the rear lawn of the Schenectady County Historical Society headquarters, followed by a reception at The Stockade Inn.  Jennifer and her husband Larry (Lawrence R. Schmidt) raised their daughters Madeleine Stapel and Meredith Hudak in the grand house many of us believe has the best front porch in town. 

JAScelebrationSculpturePosterPlaque The ceremony included the dedication of a sculpture chosen by the family to symbolize Jennifer’s commitment to education, literacy, and preservation of the Stockade district. To the left is an image of the dedication plaque and below is a poster showing the sculpture. Arrival of the sculpture has been delayed by supply chain problems. Click on an image for a larger version.

 . . JAScelebrationSculpturePosterPlaque

SchmidtSCHSbenchTwo handsome, sturdy benches were also donated by the family. This editor/photographer loves the soft pre-sunset light on the foliage and lawn behind SCHS, and the new benches provide a perfect perch to enjoy serenity and beauty, as the sculpture garden grows.


Jennifer is loved and missed by family, friends and neighbors. And, the columns below show the people who came to celebrate her life last Saturday.  Click on a tile for a full, larger version.


. . . JAScelebration11 . . Meredith shares memories of her Mother

. . neighbors came to honor Jennifer . . JAScelebration17

JAScelebration1. . Larry [R foreground] sees that his plans came together very well. .

  • Jennifer-Bob2010OAS5x7 Editor’s Note: The only photo I had of Jennifer does not have perfect light balance, but seems quite appropriate for Jennifer: She is smiling while volunteering at the 2010 Stockade Outdoor Art Show, with Bob Briber, another beloved and departed Stockade neighbor, looking on.
Posted by: David Giacalone | July 25, 2022

hi, Evelyn!

Thanks for stopping by and bringing smiles.

It takes only one sunflower to brighten a Stockade Stroll.


Posted by: David Giacalone | July 2, 2022

Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks return


It felt normal and nostalgic last night, as we viewed the Jumpin’ Jack’s Independence fireworks celebration from across the Mohawk River along the rear of Washington Ave. and Cucumber Alley. The two-year Pandemic Pause was a mere memory. As has become my tradition over the years, I’m embracing the results of shaky hands and premature shutter clicking for the beautiful, surprising serenpidity of colors and shapes they produced, in the sky and reflected on the River.

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Click on any tile below for a larger version of the image. And, let’s all thank the folks at Jumpin’ Jack’s for throwing the lightshow we enjoy virtually every year on the Friday night before the 4th.



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Posted by: David Giacalone | June 13, 2022

two new Downtown murals worth a visit

On Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, June 10 & 11, I enjoyed lovely strolling weather and sights in Downtown Schenectady. I was pleased to see in person that there are two new “public art” murals near Jay St. at Franklin St. and the Jay St. Pedestrian Walkway that could put a smile on my face. 


First (above), as part of this year’s Schenectady Kids Art Festival, Oscar Bogran designed the Butterfly Mural on the side wall of Pizza King at Franklin and Jay Streets. On June 4th, most of the mural was painted, with the help of kids who were guided by Bogran’s plastic stencils.  Oscar put finishing touches on Friday, including cleaning the sidewalk, and the mural was “unveiled” over the weekend at the closing of Schenectady Arts Week.

ButterflyMural10Jun2022 . . Oscar Bogran hopes folks who want wings will be photographed or make selfies in front of the Butterfly. For more details, see this June 1st Gazette article.



On Friday evening, I was surpised to see an artist painting along the alley-way off Jay St. that leads to the Clinton St. Parking Lot. A colorful, playful Monopoly Board Mural was nearing completion. It was created by the artist Elona Mitchell-Strong, who also hosted a community mural-painting day on the Jay Street pedestrian mall Saturday, June 11. Dowtown Schenectady (DSIC) and the Capital Region Arts Center sponsored Elona’s mural.

Click on any of the square tiles below for a larger image of the Monopoly Board mural.

Better yet, plan on coming to Jay Street to enjoy each of the new murals in person.

update (June 29, 2022): Walking by along Jay Street on June 26, 2022, I had to snap a few more pictures of the two new murals, with different light and angles. They still looked pretty good. Click on a tile for a larger version.


Happy Follow-up (July 27, 2022): Artist Elona Mitchell-Strong announced Monday July 25 she had “finally finished” her first mural. Not aware it was finished, as I strolled down Jay Street the next day, I was pleased and surprised to see the final touches Elona had added to her ms.terpiece. Here are a few snaps from my smartphone, including the character Elona calls her first logo, designed by Nate Peltier of Schenectady.

Posted by: David Giacalone | May 19, 2022

flowerbed beauty at Riverside Park

KODAK Digital Still Camera




James Addison, Washington Avenue neighbor and Stockade Association board member, has avidly taken up the Riverside Park “floral director” mantle previously worn by the beloved Jennifer Wells. I want to thank him (and all who have helped) for both the hard work and the lovely results at the west entry to the Park. This posting features flowerbeds on the riverside of the pedestrian path; but you can see equally inspiring plantings on the other side of the path and entry.


Click on the individual photos above and the images in the square tile columns below for larger versions.

. .

Posted by: David Giacalone | May 2, 2022

April blossoms were lean but lovely in 2022

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

. . magnolia trees bloomed more fully than our cherry trees; above at St. George’s Cemetery . . 

IMG_4535 (1).  . IMG_4545


[above] view of cherry trees, north (R) and south (L) from corner of Washington Ave. and Cucumber Alley

[L] 15 Washington Ave. (at Front St.)


IMG_4603 . . this guy followed me constantly on sunny days of blossom peeking. .

mag-StGeoCem24Ap22a . . mag-StGeoLawn24Ap22

. . above: the south lawn at St. George’s Church (with 1st Pres. steeple) . .

StGeo-mag20ApD A few other magnolia trees caught my eye (click on mosaic tile for larger version, scroll over it for caption):

IMG_4560   . . 32 Washington Ave.  IMG_4558   . .

. .  below: at 1st Reformed Church:

IMG_4589 . . IMG_4442

IMG_4595  . . IMG_4600

Of course, Cherry Blossoms attracted my attention, too, as I hoped/waited for more of them.

 On Union Street:

. . N. Ferry St., near Union St.

cbNFerry24Ap22. . . IMG_4609

N. Church St. at Front St. . .

 . .   IMG_4445

on Front Street bloom patrol:

31Front-weepcb24AP22 . . LawrenceCirclePearTree28Ap22 . . a weeping cherry (31 Front St. rear) and a tall pear tree (Lawrence Circle) . . 

26Frontredbud24Ap22 . .

. . above: a favorite redbud seems budless (26 Front). 


. . IMG_4451

. . above: just east of Lawrence Circle . .


IMG_4576  . . and, back on Washington Avenue . .

Click on a square for larger versions of Wash. Ave. blossoms:


notchedcherrytree2020  . . IMG_4568  . . more cherry blossom trees amputated inartfully for the sake of utility wires.

AtDoor16Wash24Ap  . . out my front door, April 24 . .

. . and, looking toward the River . . 13-15WashAv27Ap22

Finally, the morning of April 19, 2022, cherry blossoms and trees had a snowy frosting:

. . and Steve Caporizzo featured the event at Channel 10:


BONUS: Stockade Cemeteries, April 20, 2022:

. . . . Click on the Cherry Blossoms Category in the Sidebar for links to a dozen years of our “coverage.”

. . . . And, don’t miss this years heavenly crop of weeping cherry blossoms at CGOH.



. . Lawrence Circle, April 27, 2022 . . 

20NBroadway28Ap22a     . . and, on April 28, lovely white blossoms were brightening the lot between the 20 North Broadway Tavern and the Swift Building, which developer John Samatulski is helping to bloom again. 

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: . . 

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