Monday, December 15, 2008

On this "Spring-like" day...

Went hiking over the weekend thought I'd share some winter-"Christmasy" scenes I took...


Friday, December 12, 2008

On this Wintery Day...

Thought I'd share some summer with you on this blustery-wintery day! Enjoy!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Utica, NY Skyline Photos

Love to walk around downtown Utica. Taking photos is much easier (if you don't want a lot of cars or pedestrians) on Sat. or Sunday early AM. Utica is virtually a ghost town then so it is a great time to photograph, sketch or just study interesting architecture.

UC Hockey For A Change of Pace

The die hard hockey enthusiasts have followed and loyally supported the Utica College Hockey team the last few years, because they play hard and fast hockey, and do it pretty well. Unlike, their professional predecessors they play and love hockey for no pay, so it is easier to keep a college team on the ice in Utica then the high overhead professional teams that gave it a go in the past.
The team was "in pink" as a boost for National Breast Cancer Awareness. Another example of how supportive the community is as over 3,800 fans showed up to support Breast Cancer Awareness and to see this duel with 5th ranked Elmira. Go check out a game and support Coach Heenan and Utica College hockey. You'll have a great time too!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Seeing the Mohawk Valley in Less than 24 Hours

I've had several requests from people coming from out of town on my recommendations of things to do and see in the area-specifically Utica. Below I pasted a copy of my e-mail with my 10 recommendations if you have only a day to sightsee. This is a winter list. If it was summer the list would be very different and I would always recommend you come back in the summer when there is much more to do outdoors, which is this areas strongpoint. The road into Roscoe Conkling Park is a seasonal road so I suggested to Dylan M., that if he wanted to see the view from "The Eagle" that he be in fairly good shape, and dressed warmly to make the ascent preferably from Master Garden Road on Oneida Street in Utica. If you are a jogger or x-country skier the ascent should be a fair to moderate difficulty run or ski. If you are in good to excellent condition, you can make the ascent by parking at the chalet parking lot and hiking up the ski hill if they are not open yet, or park at the entrance on the Parkway about a 1/2 mile up and hike up from there.

Hi Lori,
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.
5) Siesta?
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!
Lori, California

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Our Beautiful Valley

Our valley covers 5,882 square miles and stretches along the Mohawk River for almost a hundred miles connecting Utica and Rome to the west, Schenectady and Rotterdam to the East. It is a beautiful valley carved out by a melting glacier as it headed down towards the ocean.

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.

If you've never been up there, go and go often, because it changes so dramatically from season to season, from morning to night. Sit on that strange chair next to the eagle some twilight and take a deep breath of crisp clean air and watch the sun come down. Be amazed at the colors and hues, be intrigued by the shadows and the lights of the city below turning on one by one. Check out the cars as they snake their way down the north side of the valley on Rt12, then walk out onto the open span of grass and watch as the stars and planets put on their own show. Cross country ski on freshly fallen snow, walk-bike or jog through the park and the new Switchback. Any time of the year, it's truly an amazing place!

Monday, December 01, 2008

TURKEY TROT...Another Example Of How Our People- Are Our Greatest Resource!

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.