Blogs > Millennial Traveler

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last Weekend of Twin Bridges Closures

The DOT said this should be the last weekend of construction at the Twin Bridges, according to the TU.
Work this weekend will begin tonight and end Sunday afternoon.
The construction will basically halt for the winter and then work will begin in the spring on the southbound bridge.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cold Water Plunging in Irish Waters

This article made me feel a bit less crazy for doing the Lake George Polar Plunge on New Year's Day seven years in a row. I've missed the past couple years but still have the T-shirts which I wear with pride - while in my nice warm pjs, under my electric blanket, with the heat blasting - at home.

Nearly anyone can do something this extreme once. It takes a little extra eccentricity to do it multile times. I guess that personality trait might be found in the Irish.

The BBC article talks about coastal Irish swims near Dublin for recreation, for privacy, or just for getting rid of a hangover.

Just like anywhere, there are fair weather and not-so-fair weather times of year in Ireland. I'm thinking the locals probably take their own plunge in nicer weather (it's said to rain a bit less in May or September for example) but - with a rewards system with hot whiskey waiting - who knows.

And, locally, if you need a slightly more philanthropic reason to take the plunge - Special Olympics NY has statewide events of dipping in frigid waters for charity, including in Lake George.

(as described in the caption to my former Facebook profile pic:
"12-degree air temperature, 33-degree water, snow/ice on the ground:
 that, my friends, is the look of pain from feeling your whole body tingle yet be numb at the same time.....")

Monday, October 22, 2012

Free Parking Now Available for Palace Theatre

An agreement has been reached between The Palace Theatre and the Albany Parking Authority so that theatre-goers will now have a free and easily-accessible place to park. No parallel parking required. The parking location is the Quackenbush Garage.
The garage has 900 spots and the venue has a capacity of 2,844 people.
I actually experienced this parking issue myself last Friday night only the issue I had was finding parking in that area of Albany since The Palace Fiona Apple concert folks had taken nearly all the street parking. So, it was a reverse problem but still one that should be remedied by this announcement made today.
If only this happened a bit sooner - maybe I wouldn't have had to walk in the rain from/to the bar for about 20 minutes....oh well, next time :)
                                                          (from Palace Facebook site)
Here's the release:

The Palace Theatre is pleased to announce an agreement with the Albany Parking Authority (APA) that now offers free parking for all Palace Theatre events effective immediately. Located a short distance from the Palace Theatre, the APA’s Quackenbush Garage provides 900 convenient, secure and well lit spaces for Palace patrons.
“We are excited to partner with the Palace Theatre, making parking more convenient than ever for such a great entertainment venue,” said Michael Klein, Executive Director of the Albany Parking Authority. “The Quackenbush Garage is a short walk from the Palace, and conveniently located near the downtown Albany entertainment district.”
Palace patrons can present their show ticket at the Quackenbush Garage at 25 Orange Street. The Albany Parking Authority will open the garage for ticket holders two hours before the event starts. The garage will also stay open two hours after the event ends, providing plenty of time to enjoy the downtown Albany Entertainment District before and after the event.
“This wonderful arrangement will make free, secure parking available for patrons of every Palace Theatre event, including our films and Albany Symphony Orchestra concerts. The extended garage hours will also give our patrons an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful downtown before and after the show. We are grateful to the APA for recognizing the importance of this effort and for their partnership”, said Holly Brown, Interim Executive Director of the Palace Theatre.
The Albany Parking Authority’s mission is to provide secure, convenient and affordable parking in support of economic development in the City of Albany. The Albany Parking Authority manages more than 5,000 parking spaces to serve those that live, work or visit New York’s Capital. The Authority was established in 1983 and is authorized to construct, operate and maintain city public parking facilities. The Authority receives no tax support or Federal, State, City or private grants.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vermont Ski Resort Uses Cow Manure to Power Gondola

The Examiner reported today: "Killington in central Vermont, one of the largest ski resorts in New England, has announced that it will use 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity made from cow manure to power its K-1 Express Gondola this winter. The lift carries skiers to the top of the 4,241-foot peak using a unique form of renewable energy."

They aren't the first ski resort to use a "unique" form of renewable energy. Jiminy Peak has their wind turbine that provides approximately 33% of the electrical demands of the site annually. And, speaking of Jiminy Peak, their 13 Nights Halloween attraction sounds kinda cool too.

If you like supporting green-focused businesses, season passes are available for both sites.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art Museum Heist in The Netherland's Rotterdam

So, just for you Capital District residents out there, this happened in Rotterdam in Europe not in Schenectady County.
It would be kinda cool to have a museum with Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, etc's work (oh wait, we do at the Clark Museum) but in this case you see what can happen when you have valuable works of art in one place.
According to the New York Times, art by Picasso and a few impressionist painters were stolen on Tuesday.
Possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in art could have been pilfered. Kinda similar to when The Scream was stolen in Oslo.
(One of the pieces stolen on Tuesday in Rotterdam - Henri Matisse's "Reading Girl in White and Yellow")

Monday, October 15, 2012

US Airways Shows Good On-Time Arrival Rates

US Airways had the fourth-best on-time arrival rate among the 15 largest domestic airlines in August, The Business Journals reports.
More info on this can be found here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Lines' 14-night Cruise Advertised for $600

Since I'm probably not going to be able to take advantage of this pretty darn good deal, I figured I would share. (aren't I nice?)
Not too much notice - the cruise is Oct. 21 and is 14 nights - but if you have flexible work hours or if you're retired you could make out paying just about $50/night for a Caribbean cruise. Not bad.
It starts in NYC - great for NY state residents like moi - and goes to St.Thomas, Barbados, St. John's, Cozumel, and ends in New Orleans. So, you could make it an even more extended vacation with a visit in N'awlins.
One thing I have noticed in my (limited) experience with cruise sites is that the advertised price and the actual price are usually very different animals. And usually, but not always, it might be cheaper to just buy direct from the cruise line instead of using or But, cruisecheap, in cases like this 14-nighter, doesn't seem to be too bad or vary too differently from buying direct from Norwegian.
Though, instead of paying $600 - after taxes and fees - it'll probably be more like $800.'re getting a 14-night vacation, with meals and entertainment on board, for $800. That's a good deal.
If you live in NY, PA, CT, or MA, make sure you say so on the site to qualify for a resident discount to encourage travel from NYC and Boston.
Also, don't forget your passport.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two Nights of Luxury in Lake Placid for $269

Figured I'd share this deal I got via email this week (More info here):

$269 - Lake Placid: Luxe 2-Night Escape w/$100 in Dining
By Candace Hilbert  |  Source: High Peaks Resort
Set on upstate New York's Mirror Lake, praised by Fodor's as being "one of the most beautiful of the Adirondack Lakes," a waterfront resort offers an exclusive two-night escape to Travelzoo readers for $269. Less than a three-hour road trip from Albany, this special for two from the High Peaks Resort includes a $50 dining credit and daily breakfast at a savings of 55% on regular pricing.
Why we love this deal
  • This deal for two guests offers a long travel window -- daily through Dec. 25 and March 17 - June 16, including weekends -- allowing for plenty of time to plan a trip in various seasons
  • In addition to daily breakfast, guests will receive $50 to spend at the lobby bar or the hotel's restaurant, which serves classic American fare with outdoor seating and mountain views
  • Along with quick access to all the outdoor activities Lake Placid has to offer, the resort features a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and complimentary paddleboats, kayaks and rowboats
  • Make it a truly decadent retreat and spend two nights in a romantic suite with separate sitting area and whirlpool tub for $369 (reg. $678)

Cape Cod Haunted Hotel

The Red Jacket Resorts, which I've found to be a pleasant place to stay in the past, is offering a Haunted Hotel experience for $99/night Oct. 26-28.
" The story of the clipper ship Red Jacket and the Haunted Hotel begins on the foggy shores of Yarmouth, Cape Cod. Born in 1809 to a family of Yarmouth seamen, Asa Eldridge, the ship’s first captain, was one of the most respected captains to sail the seas. Captain Eldridge continued his prestigious sailing career until 1856, when his ship and all those aboard mysteriously disappeared during a winter crossing of the Atlantic..."
And if you stay two nights at $99/night you get complimentary Halloween bash tickets.
More information can be found here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yankee Tickets from Yankee Trails

The NHL may still not be selling tickets (grrr) but you do have a chance to see the Yankees and Yankee Trails wants to assist.

(From a release this week)
Rensselaer, NY – Start spreading the news!  Yankee Trails World Travel is pleased to announce that tickets for the New York Yankees postseason, including the World Series, are on sale now! Ticket packages through Yankees Trails include a game ticket and round trip transportation.  ALDS packages are $99, ALCS packages are $159 and World Series packages are $259.  Yankee Trails World Travel has packages for ALDS Home Games 1 and 2, ALCS Home Games 1 and 2, and World Series Homes Games 1, 2 and 3.

“Yankee Trails had the opportunity to purchase New York Yankees playoff and World Series tickets and we are proud to share in the playoff excitement with local Pinstripe fans,” said Stephen Tobin, President of Yankee Trails World Travel.  “By traveling with Yankee Trails, fans can avoid the headaches of driving and parking and instead focus on cheering for the Yankees as they play for their record 28thchampionship.”
Tickets are selling fast and we encourage those interested to reserve their seat today.
To reserve a ticket, please visit or call (518) 286-2400.
Yankee Trails World Travel is a full service travel agency and one of the largest tour and charter motor carriers in the northeast.  They have become the leader in sports travel packages in the Capital District, providing tickets and round-trip transportation to NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR and college events.

Albany Distillery is Open, Sold Out for Weekend

Apparently post-Prohibition business is good for the new distillery, near Quackenbush Square at 78 Montgomery St., in Albany. So good, in fact, that they've sold out until early next week, according to one of the public relations folks for the new business.

If you're interested in visiting the place - maybe when they have products again - here's a bit more about them:

Today, the Albany Distilling Company (“ADC”), Albany’s first licensed distillery since the beginning of Prohibition, officially opened its Downtown Albany facility with the debut of its first product, the Coal Yard Distillers’ Series New Make Whiskey. 
 Co-founders John Curtin and Matthew Jager were joined by Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings, Deputy County Executive Christine Quinn, State Senator Neil D. Breslin, Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce Loan Portfolio Manager , and Kinderhook Bank Vice President Ann Finnegan, in addition to friends and fans of craft distilling.

ADC’s first product will have a unique flavor that displays the grains and raw elements of the whiskey rather than the typical barrel taste. The Coal Yard Distillers’ Series New Make Whiskey (“Coal Yard”) is a whiskey distilled from bourbon mash. The name comes from the actual coal yard that existed in the space where ADC’s main production facility is currently located. It is distinct in color from traditional, mainstream whiskey – whereas most whiskey is known to have an amber color, Coal Yard is clear.

“It's not what people expect. But we're capitalizing on the idea that people will want to taste the grains and the ingredients going into them. We're hoping they'll enjoy the spirit that made whiskey famous for hundreds of years,” said John Curtin, co-founder and co-owner.

With a 600-liter still from German manufacturer Kothe, most of the ingredients used will be sourced locally in the New York State.

Coal Yard will be available in select locations in Albany starting Friday, Oct. 5. 

“We are using local New York State grains not available to the huge scale industries. We're getting an heirloom variety of open pollinated, organic corn from a distillery out in the Finger Lakes and I've been talking with farmers in the Helderbergs about growing some ingredients for us,” said Matthew Jager, co-founder and co-owner.

The company was co-founded by Curtin, a former English teacher, and Jager, a business professor at the College of Saint Rose. Due to the passage of the New York State Farm Distillery Law in 2007, Curtin and Jager jointly applied for a state license for distilling, allowing them to form ADC. After a lengthy location search, Jager and Curtin were able to find a suitable location in their home city - Albany.

ADC’s main production facility, located at 78 Montgomery Street adjacent to Albany’s Quackenbush Square, started construction last year.

“We’re proud to bring distilling back to Albany. It was a tradition here for centuries, and ended nearly 100 years ago, and we’re excited to be part of restoring that heritage back to this area,” Curtin said.

Financing for the Albany Distilling Company was provided by Kinderhook Bank of Kinderhook, N.Y.. Design work for all artwork was completed by id29 of Troy, N.Y.

Additional company and product information can be found online at, on Facebook (, and on Twitter under hashtag @AlbDistCo.

Tour Information
Tours and tastings at the facility will be on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 a.m., and by appointment. Tour attendees will receive, with a $10 admission, a guided tour by one of the co-founders. Tours will begin on Tues.,

Products sold at ADC
Coal Yard Distillers’ Series New Make Whiskey
750ml Bottle with 9 oz. Whiskey Glass - $31

Albany Distilling Company t-shirt
All sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) - $15

9 oz. Whiskey Glass with Albany Distilling Company logo
Glass - $5

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Travel Advisory for I-95

From an e-mail today:

Thursday, Oct. 4, 10:30 p.m. -- Midland Avenue to I-95 Northbound On
Ramp to Close

Motorists Should Follow Alternate Route

WESTCHESTER COUNTY -- Motorists are advised that the northbound I-95
on ramp from Midland Avenue will be closed temporarily for required
maintenance work, the New York State Thruway Authority announced.

The closure will take place between 10:30 p.m. Thursday, October 4,
and 5:30 a.m. Friday, October 5, weather permitting.

Electronic signboards and the Highway Advisory Radio (530 AM) will
update motorists about expected delays and alternate routes.

The Thruway Authority appreciates motorists’ patience during this
scheduled work.

To receive TRANSalerts, emails that provide real-time information on
Thruway traffic conditions, go to: .

To see a map of webcam views of the Thruway, go to:

World's Largest Ferris Wheel in New York City

Because NYC needed another attraction, the largest ferris wheel - competing with wheels like the London Eye - will be built in the Big Apple.

I first saw this in the Knickerbocker Ledger which appears to have cut/pasted an AP story. The article states the $230 million (that's a lot of money) 625-foot wheel will overlook the Statue of Liberty and construction should start in 2014.

Last Cohoes Farmers Market of the Season Oct. 5

 The Farmers' Market in Cohoes, along Remsen Street, was very good to me this year with allowing me to do a couple fundraisers for Make A Wish. It's sad to see another season come to an end.

From a release:
The Cohoes Farmers’ Market will hold its last market of the season on Friday, October 5 in conjunction with the Annual Pumpkin Festival. Stop by the market for fall food and beverages including cider donuts and apple cider as well as pumpkins and hay rides for the kids. Hay rides will run continuously until 7:00 p.m. when the market closes.

The Pumpkin Festival is sponsored by the Cohoes Youth Advisory Board, CMS PASS, Kiwanis Club, Cohoes Farmers’ Market and the City of Cohoes.

For those who start to go through farmers market withdraw, there is the Troy Farmers Market in Monument Square Saturdays and a Schenectady market at Proctors on Sundays.