Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
COPY OF E-Mail
Thank you for your nice comments regarding my blog.
If you come back in summer (best time to sightsee) I'll point you to some of the well kept secrets you can only see on foot or bicycle. I have a great bicycling map of historic sights/attractions in Utica if you would like a copy all I ask is you send a check for $2, or $2 worth of postage stamps for postage and handling to me at 4340 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413 -no calls please. I also have mapped out trails of R. Conkling and New Hartford Town Park, Whitestown Town Park if anyone is interested...once again all I ask is the $2ea for the maps. Also, please allow several weeks to get any maps to you as this is not a business for me, just a love and a hobby.
1) Munson Williams Museum-Designed by Philip Johnson
2) Fountain Elms (right next door to Munson Williams) A late 1800's period home w/walking tours and decorated seasonally.
3) Take the brewery tour on Varick Street in Utica.
4) Have lunch at Fianchetto's (Italian) Varick Street or Gabriels Trattoria in New Hartford or Ancorra on Genesee St., Utica... Utica has some of the best Italian Restaurants, Pizzerias in the country.Grab a cannoli on Bleecker Street in Utica at Caruso's. Don't like Italian? let me know and I'll send you some other restaurant ideas- we have some very good small Viet, Thai, Polish, Bosnian and Japaneserestaurants.
6) Take a drive down Genesee Street until you hit New Hartford if you want to see a lot of interesting architecture without getting out of the car. When you hit Uptown (Uptown Theatre area) grab a cup of joe or tea at Cafe Domenico or drive 5 minutes further to New Hartford and get your brew at Angelica's Cup in downtown New Hartford. Get your GPS out if you want to see some of the more historic buildings like "Old Main" in West Utica, Union Station in Utica, the Stanley in Utica, St Johns Church in Utica, Presbyterian Church in Utica, Rutger Street historic mansions. Blink and you might drive by most of these.
7) Head out to the village of Clinton (10 minutes) and enjoy the charm of Christmas in a village where things look like they did 50 years ago and do some shopping in the little shops and boutiques there.If you have some daylight, drive up to Hamilton College (2 minutes from Village) and check out this historic and architecturally interesting ivy league campus.
8) If you want to explore some local history and have some extra time left, go to the Ft Stanwix Museum in Rome (20 minutes from Utica) there is a period fort w/ actors in period dress. Check the schedule for events through the holiday. There is an indoor museum that covers a lot of the Revolutionary War History of this area and the part it's people (including native Americans) played.
9) If you are in Rome go to the Savoy Restaurant for dinner.
10) Feel like a kid again...go sledding at the Parkway and bring the camera!!!
Final hint...if it's real cold when you come here, wear lots of layers-peel off as necessary
Have a great stay-tell your friends-come back again!
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 3:34 PM Subject: Utica, NY
I found your blog just by doing a search on the internet.I'm going to Utica, NY for just a day over Xmas break to see a relative.I love your blog! If in Utica for only a day (one full day) what would you suggest doing? From the blog, the city looks so beautiful and totally my style. I'm going with my father and sister and my Dad is very into architecture and old industrial things. I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have.
Thank you for your time!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
My favorite photo shoots and places to visit of the valley, are in Roscoe Conkling Park in Utica. The proximity of the city, the park and the clear view it affords, expansive open green areas, and the closeness of the northern and southern rims of the valley make for most exceptional views. Having traveled around much of the US, I can say with much enthusiasm that this is truly a gem and a blessing to those fortunate enough to live here and enjoy its beauty.
Monday, December 01, 2008
It was 23 degrees out but "partly cloudy" as I looked at the thermometer in my kitchen window early on Thanksgiving morning. There was still time to settle in with a nice hot cup of coffee and the OD, and talk myself out of gearing up and running in the ice cold annual "Turkey Trot", at the Parkway in Utica. I needed an emotional push if I was going to go, so I needed to find a running partner. My wife had just arose, and when I asked her she said matter of factly; "no way". My daughter still in bed just groaned and pulled the covers over her head when I asked her. As I considered whether to even ask my 11 year old son Nolan, I quietly tapped on his bedroom door. I was quickly and pleasantly shocked and jolted into running mode, when my son still half asleep in bed, answered my plea to go by jumping out of bed saying nothing but "sure!".
Nolan and I check-in at the Parkway chalet where they cheerfully accept our canned food donation, and then moved on to register and donate our $10 for the run for hunger. It's nice to see many friendly and familiar faces as we head out to the starting line on the Parkway. Some are runners you see in the Development Runs (another great event in the MV), some are business associates, neighbors, or people I have seen in passing through the years. As tough as times are lately it's exciting to see hundreds of people including my own son come out willing to help those in need. Thats what makes this area so special. People willing to come out to help those who are less fortunate early on a chilly holiday morning. The "Turkey Trot' is one of the less publicized examples of how giving this community is.
It turns out to be a tough first "turkey trot" run for Nolan, but Dad gets the opportunity to enjoy the comraderie with my son and other runners, the scenery, and even take a few pictures. All along the way many runners and volunteers urge us on and tell us what a great job we were doing! This seems to help chill Nolan out a little, as he gets a little grumpy and tired as we make the final ascent to the midway point (the Eagle). After making the loop at the Eagle, the course is all downhill and the run becomes a little easier for Nolan. As we move down the hill, Nolan moves at a steady pace and even saves a little for the last 20-30 yards and makes a fast dash to beat Dad.
Thanksgiving morning it was a pleasure to share the road with not only my son Nolan, but hundreds of fellow runners who got up early to run and share a cold Thanksgiving morning, and better yet, donated canned food and $5 each to the hungry and needy of the Mohawk Valley. If our leaders could learn to tap our most valuable resource (our people) our problems would be fewer I'm sure.
Friday, November 21, 2008
November is always a tough dreary month for Upstaters to get through. The first snows, the dead leaves and browning grasses, daylight savings time, brown and gray, anticipation of the holidays and on and on....that's why in November there is no better time to reflect on and relive those special moments and places we savor and enjoyed as residents of the Mohawk Valley in Upstate NY. That is most likely why the Thanksgiving holiday takes place when it does. So this Thanksgiving holiday reflect and be grateful for all that makes our home in the Mohawk Valley so special and good, and be thankful that God gives us this moment every year when we can take time to savor all of the bounty we have enjoyed. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
It is mid morning in Utica as I drive down Main Street past Union Station and the Children's Museum. I park my car in front of the wrought iron fence and gate that leads to Baggs Tavern.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
I know they're not in the good ol Mohawk Valley, but if you take in the games at the dome, it sure makes living here special. On a good day or night I can usually make it to the dome in less than an hour and see a great basketball, or a so-so football game. If you've never gone, try it! Bring some friends and family along and make it a real special outing.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Photo was taken just after a wicked thunderstorm, and then the skies cleared just in time for a gorgeous sunset over the Presbyterian Church in Utica. The streetlights came on which added to the illusion of Faxton Street looking like a river or canal.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
quite different from the above photo I took a few years ago before the rennovations began.
We are indeed fortunate to have such dedicated people in this community who realized the value of this landmark building and lovingly restored not only the inside but the outside as well.
Most recently they finally installed a massive chandelier made by Utica company Meyda, and expanded the stage area to accomodate the full sets of Broadway shows. Although I am sentimental about the way the Stanley used to look, I am quite pleased with the work done
on this wonderful facility. Take a look next time, or better yet catch a show!
If you have an appetite after a show, there's not too much open after 7 or 8 in downtown Utica. If you head north on Genesee street you will probably find Babe's Macaroni Grill and Delmonico's Steakhouse open and serving pretty good fare. The 258 Steak house is supposed to reopen soon
which is right next door to the Stanley. I've only had lunch at the Hotel Utica and it was good but seemed a little pricey.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Walking around the Uptown area recently, I couldn't help but notice the way new businesses like Price Chopper and the hodgepodge of drug/convenience stores have "shoe horned" themselves into their locations. Little thought is placed on trying to retain the character and quaintness of the community, unless the community has the foresight and stringent controls to maintain them. We moved to Emerson Ave when I was a kid in the the 70's , and remember many of the small businesses that were local institutions then. Few of these businesses survive today. This seems all too typical in not just Utica but surrounding communities as well. Local government seems to sell out and give in all too quickly to attract a tax paying business without concern for maintaining the character, history and charm of an area. Planning is an afterthought.
The things that make an area special are often the first things given up when things get tough and the lure of immediate tax revenue outweighs long term planning and development.
Although Uptown South Utica will probably never be remembered for its landmark historic buildings, it nevertheless is remembered for the businesses that shaped this area for many years, and became landmarks for area residents as Utica annexed this area from New Hartford and grew in the early 1900's. Businesses like Dan Dee Donuts, Hemstoughts, Dave Hayes, Brian Barr, Uptown Theatre, Jean's Beans, Uptown Grill, White Tower, Last Unicorn and so many more, are names that most Uticans over 30 easily remember and can recount their own favorable experiences there. I doubt that many people years from now will reminisce about going to the Chopper or Rite Aid. My own great grand father even had a butcher business in between where the China Wok and Uptown Liquors is now sometime around the 1920-30's (if any body has anything they can share w/me about him..would appreciate it) .
I walk past a quaint aromatic coffee shop with tables in front of it. This is where the Village Toy Shop used to be I think to myself as I look across Genesee Street and see that the Uptown Theatre across the street seems to be holding it's own. I jump into my car and as I drive off, I look at a couple sitting at one of the tables in front of the coffee shop, and I think that this is what Utica needs to plan around, and encourage more of.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
careful and quiet you'll enjoy seeing lots of interesting (mostly ducks, birds) wildlife.
This blue heron was doing some early morning fishing as I hid nearby. To get there
turn off Oriskany Blvd onto Barnes Ave and go all the way to the end down a little hill to the right. After be sure to stop-by Holland farms to get the best jelly buns in town and a pretty good cup of coffee too. After you'll definitely have to do some more exploring to work off the calories!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If you get bored with the Mohawk Valley, one of the great things about living here is our proximity to the Adirondack Park. It's a well kept secret it seems as on most of my hikes or canoe trips, I rarely see anyone else. This view on the top of the south side or the overlook( accessible on Piseco Lake Road off rt8) of Panther Mountain is stunning and worth the hike. Although logging cleared out most of the old growth forest here, you can still find a remnants of ancient hemlocks tucked away in some hard to get to areas. On one trip up, there were many trout in the stream, and overhead a couple of turkey vultures flew overhead.
Friday, April 04, 2008
can enjoy this view. Plant tulips on the ski hill too to create a showy burst of color in the spring. And reopen the back entrance to the zoo so they could stop in if they wanted at the same time. Connect some running trails from the "Switchback" and you would see a whole
lot of good things start happening up there! Take this one step further and put concessions and small boutique type businesses in the chalet area. Really a lot of possibilities with this great asset!!! If nothing less show your stamina and hike up the hill ( take the 1st hill to the left-facing up as it is a less strenuous climb) the shorter hill to the right is climable if you are in good shape and the ground is dry. Enjoy the view!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Driving by on my bike at 15 to 20 mph, much of what I see is a fragment and a blur. An abstraction of all my senses. As an outsider I can never know the intimacy of this special place
that was East Utica in 1975. Many of the special people, places and things that made Utica special then are gone, however the solidarity and sense of community that made Utica strong and
vibrant, lingers now through the families that lived and loved that intimacy, and still reside here or hope to return.
Monday, March 17, 2008
We often take for granted all that was done by those before us, and especially those 800 men who took up arms, left their families and livelihoods to battle invaders and neighbors, to what end? The patriot force would suffer 450 casualties including the loss of General Herkimer, making it one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution. There were few families in the Mohawk Valley who had not lost a relative or two or three in this bloody civil battle (loyalist against patriots). It was an overwhelming loss for the small community of settlers in the Mohawk Valley.
As I was traveling to Rome one Saturday morning last autumn to make a delivery, I realized I was near the Oriskany Battlefield Monument and decided to take a moment to stop and maybe take a photo. The gate was closed, but I stepped onto the green as the sun was rising over the
eastern edge of the Mohawk Valley. The fall foliage was a magnificent backdrop to the monument which pays tribute to General Herkimer and the milita and Oneida Indians who answered the call of freedom. This is definitely one of those "jewels" of not only the Mohawk Valley, but the whole United States. One that more people in the Mohawk Valley need to know more about. Excuse me... all Americans should know about.
Sorry for the lapse in this blog, I've been kind of focusing on my graphics blog lately and
haven't done too many of my newsletters which are the basis of my blog posts for "Still Alive"