Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, January 30, 2012

City official and businessman looking for memories of Lucas Confectionary

Vic Christopher, former Tri-City Valley Cats frontman and current Troy official, is also opening a business in downtown Troy. He's looking for memories and even objects/photos related to the business which was once at 12 Second St. in Troy. Can you help?
His full press release:
Looking for Sweet Memories of Troy
Information sought for Lucas Confectionery, operating in Troy from 1863-1951
TROY, NY – The development team renovating a long-vacant storefront at Nº 12 Second Street in Troy is asking the public for assistance in gathering information about a former business located at the address.
One of Troy’s oldest surviving downtown buildings, Nº 12 Second Street was once home to Lucas Confectionery, a sweets shop which operated for 88 years. Until 1951, Lucas Confectionery produced homemade ice cream, cakes, and elaborate sugar castles, one of which is currently on display at the Rensselaer County Historical Society.
Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher’s unnamed wine bar plans to pay tribute to the spirit of Lucas Confectionery, both in menu and design. In an effort to achieve authenticity, the couple would like to hear from anyone willing to share information, artifacts, or stories regarding Lucas Confectionery.
Anyone wishing to assist should stop by, or drop a note to Nº 12 Second Street, Troy New York 12180.
For regular updates regarding the project, please visit

Open Casting for Albany County Commercial

According to a press release today:
Albany County is working with the production agency Social Interactive to produce a series of three commercials to educate and motivate residents to prepare for emergencies and is looking for local talent to audition.
An open casting call will be held on Monday, February 13th and Tuesday, February 14th from 11am to 7pm at the Hotel Albany (formerly the Crowne Plaza) at the corner of Lodge and State Streets in downtown Albany.
Social Interactive will be casting an:·
African American grandmother, mom and child (girl or boy, age 6-12)·
Latino mom, dad and child (girl or boy, age 6-12); and·
Caucasian mom, dad and child (girl or boy, age 6-12).
The commercials will help increase residents’ awareness of the importance of preparing for emergencies and will encourage residents to develop an emergency plan and make an emergency supply kit.
“Hurricane Irene caught many residents off guard, but taught us that disasters can happen anywhere and at any time and we all have to be prepared for the unexpected,” said County Executive Dan McCoy. “We hope these commercials will motivate residents to learn how to prepare for any emergencies. This casting call is a great opportunity for members of our local community to participate in our campaign and help us get out these critical messages.”
Albany County worked with Siena College Research Institute (SRI) in 2010 to conduct a survey to assess how prepared Albany County residents are in the event of an emergency. The survey found that only 17 percent of residents are highly prepared for an emergency.
Albany County is working with L&P Media and Social Interactive to produce the commercials. The project is being funded through the New York State Homeland Security Grant program.
Those interested in auditioning, should bring three copies of a headshot and resume, if they have one, or a photograph of everyone who is auditioning. Acting experience is preferred. Actors must be available to film on location in Albany on or around March 13, 14, 15, 2012. All actors will be compensated by Social Interactive.
For questions about the casting call,
To request information about how to prepare for emergencies, contact the Albany County Department of Health or 447-2057.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Daughtry Donates $1 of Ticket Sales to Fight Malaria

So, music group Daughtry is expected to play the Palace Theatre on April 29 at 8 p.m., the theatre annouced today.
The first leg of the group's tour will be in support of "Malaria No More" with $1 of sales going to that cause.
From a press release today:
Singer Chris Daughtry, guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, bassist Josh Paul and drummer Robin Diaz are excited to bring their bigger than life show into theaters across the country to provide an intimate experience for fans.Daughtry is pleased to welcome special guest Nashville-based pop rock group SafetySuit whose new album These Times. debuted No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
Opening the show is singer-songwriter Mike Sanchez.Daughtry is also dedicated to using its position to raise awareness about a number of charitable causes.
For the "Break The Spell 2012 Tour," the band will help combat Africa's battle against malaria by donating $1 from every ticket sold to Malaria No More, a leading humanitarian organization determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.
The upcoming first leg of the tour will give fans a chance to experience a number of new tracks from Break The Spell, like the chart-climbing hits “Crawling Back To You” <> and “Renegade <> .” Singer Chris Daughtry says: “We recorded a hard-hitting rock album that is primed to blow the doors off these great theaters. Fans who come out are going to get an incredible show every night.”

Wing Wars this Weekend

It's World War Wings this weekend at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom on Campbell Avenue in Troy.
There are 17 local restaurants donating their wings and looking for bragging rights for the best chicken wing, including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. More than 600 patrons are expected at the 8th annual event. Attendees vote for their favorites.
Some figure this will be a good time to taste test wings to then buy for the upcoming SuperBowl the following weekend.
The event, which apparently usually sells out, is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 28).
Proceeds benefit St. Jude the Apostle School in Wynantskill. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling the school at 283-0333 or in advance at Carol’s Place for Pizza & Subs, The Towne Tavern, The Sports Grill, Wynantskill Beverage Mart, The Park Pub and Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill.
The Watervliet Civic Center annual Wing Wars event is also coming up, fyi.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

O'Brien's Public House Grand Opening Friday

What's one thing the Capital District needs more of? Irish pubs.
You think I'm being sarcastic but I'm serious. Come St. Patty's Day the lonely few Irish bars are packed (think McGeary's in Albany on St. Patrick's....eeee). It'd be nice to have some variety and choice.
For that - and other reasons - I think it's grand that O'Brien's Public House has opened in Lansingburgh and that they are having their grand opening on Jan. 20.
The event is from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. with bagpipers expected at the start along with Guiness Girls with giveaways and Miller DJ Service from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The address may sound familiar - 443 5th Ave. in Troy. That was the location of the former Bad Ass Burrito - great name, apparently not very amazing results. Though I always enjoyed the ambiance there.
And apparently we can still enjoy the ambiance there. Well, a slightly different ambiance. Instead of Mexican, this is a mainly Celtic theme. (Now, I'm starting to think of Irish-Mexican Jose Malone's.) Anyway...
I had wanted to do a larger piece on this but a fire in the 'burgh and a murder trial are keeping me busy today so I'd love to hear some feedback on this place from readers.
Just a suggestion, but maybe a collection for the affected family in fire today at the grand opening would be a nice neighborly gesture too.

443 5th ave
Terry Bulmer O’Brien
O’Brien’s Public House

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Milk

So, this has absolutively posilutely nothing to do with travel but I really wanted to share.
Mixing strawberry syrup with chocolate syrup in milk is actually amazingly good. To me, it really did taste like a chocolate strawberry....but with milk.
I found this out recently since we had both syrups in the fridge, my sister's boyfriend stocked up on them, and I always like experimenting with food. You never know when you might find the next odd but yummy match. (Like mozzerella sticks and rasperry sauce....who would have thought that'd be good? But it is.)
And this is definitely a hit in my book.
Apparently I'm not the first to discover this. A friend of mine also recently mentioned it. But, given this concoction's awesomeness I'm surprised it isn't more mainstream. Like they'd look at me funny if I went to a diner and asked for this, I'm pretty sure. Or maybe not? Depending on the diner.
But, in any case, I wanted to do my part to spread the good word....chocolate strawberry milk. It does the body good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

EZPass: I've been vindicated but why aren't I happier about it?

So, you are probably sick of reading about my EZPass misadventures. Well, I'm sick of writing about it. And I think we are both finally going to get what we want - this should be my last blog about it because I've been told my violation case has been closed.

Though, I've been led to believe something along these lines before...and all that ended in my case, four months later, being sent to NCO, a collections firm. But I think I believe it this time because it didn't come from a bottom of the totem pole customer service person at EZPass, it came from an "operations agent" which sounds way more important.

What bothers me about this conclusion, though I'm really glad this all is concluding, is that as a last resort I had to use a connection I knew of at the state who I thought might be able to either give me some advice or pass my issue on to someone more compentent than people I'd been dealing with.

So, I sent my friend a letter via email that I sent to NCO which gave a short and long version of my situation when I appealed it at NCO in December (short version basically: I screwed up, went through the EZPass without a EZPass thingie - mind, that it was downpouring and I had just lost a windshield wiper, and was unfamiliar with the area - and then paid the toll - with the waived admin fee at the time - to the wrong violation account since EZPass sent me the wrong account number. All I wanted was my $5.25 to be transfered to my account.)

I sent that to my friend on Tuesday and I got a call from operations on Wednesday. It was that easy.

But there are so many people out there who don't know the same people I do and can't use this as a tactic. Some of them somehow get through the ridiculous red tape but some don't. I've come across both through my social networking on the topic.

The whole thing really does make me wonder how much EZPass makes from all these people who make mistakes, and how many appeal, and how many appeals are actually granted.

Since most of the saga has taken place through mail (I have a fun little pile I've kept), part of me wants to call EZpass operations and tell them to send me a letter basically saying this is over - and maybe even saying "Sorry, we screwed up."

But, I don't think I'll call them. I think this time I'll take them for their word. I mean, it worked out really well for me before....right?

Changes Coming in Future for Niagara Falls Airport

The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, operator of three bridges between the U.S. and Canada, recently announced a $100,000 grant to help achieve a master plan for the Niagara Falls International Airport.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates the airport, received $970,000 for the master plan last year. The plan would begin this year and the NFBC would cover about 10 percent of the study's cost.

"An updated master plan is needed to accomodate this exciting aviation activity and coordinate millions of dollars in future capital projects," NFTA executive director Kimberly Minkel wrote in December to NFBC general manager Lew Holloway.

A passenger terminal was opened at the airport in 2009. In 2011, from Jan. thru Nov., 87,942 outbound passengers took flights out of Niagara Falls airport. The Buffalo International Airport, also operated by NFTA, reported 2.4 million outbound passengers in the same time frame.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pokemon Tournament in Watervliet Saturday

So, blogging about Pokemon - especially a Pokemon tournament - is veeerrry new to me. But, I thought it was newsworthy and I thought maybe, possibly, some folks around here might be as nerdy as some of my friends and also go to these tournaments.

Along with good friends who - even in their 30s - continue to play the game, I also grew up with my little brother who knew all 200 some odd Pokemon before he knew his times tables.

For the record, I don't hate the players or the game...I just think it's stupid. And the cartoon was stupid too though had a really catchy theme song.

But....just in case you don't think it's stupid, in case you thing it's really cool actually, there is the Play!Pokemon City Championships Saturday, Jan. 7 at Science and Hobby. There will be one on one battles for the Pokemon City Champion title, and championship points.

The battles will be divided into different age brackets with a junior (born 2001 or later), senior (born 2000-1997) and masters division (1996 or earlier).

More information can be found here.

Gotta catch 'em all.....right?