Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Barn in Holland Patent

I hope you have enjoyed following my blog this year. I try to focus more on some of the "good" things we enjoy here in the Mohawk Valley. Please pass along any ideas or suggestions you might have for 2010. Have a wonderful Christmas season and a happy, healthy and prospeous 2010!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A city of contrasts on Thanksgiving Day... A Sleepy Downtown Utica Skyline...Parkway alive and vibrant

Thanksgiving Day is a quiet day in downtown Utica, in contrast I took these images after the "Turkey Trot" at the Parkway which was alive and vibrant with hundreds of runners who chose to get up and out, and to help feed the needy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Stroll In New Hartford Friday, 11/20 5-9pm

Photos from last years stroll

While you're out and about next Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to check out all the holiday cheer at theNew Hartford Holiday Stroll. Santa arrives at 7:00pm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Open Up" Downtown

A Beautiful Evening Walking North on Genesee Street

Genesee Street with it's many historic and beautiful buildings clearly hold the key to the resurgence of Utica and the surrounding areas. Something that needs to be seriously looked into is the removal of the the bridge that creates a four corner divide not only with the downtown area, but also a divide between the North Genesee Street area and downtown. Every year tens of thousands of visitors get off the thruway and stop at hotels, restaurants and gas stations. When they look south all they see is that big "hump" of a bridge. The remedy would be to look into the feasibility of tearing down this bridge and utilizing the little used entrance to Genesee Street that exits to the right before the bridge heading south. Tearing down this bridge would unite all four sections of downtown including Union Station and the Baggs Tavern historic area, and create a more scenic and appealing entrance into Utica. This would really benefit any consideration of developing the Harbor Point area and to stimulate growth on the vacant lot areas next to the Auditorium.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Proud Past...A Past We Need To Build On...

Every year that which gives Utica it's character and uniqueness crumbles away or torn down and disappears forever, except in our memories or the images we might have captured. You are in denial if you believe that there is any good in this. Utica has nothing without it's past, and any future prosperity will be built on what's left of the solid foundation of Utica's uniqueness and it's history. The old buildings that have survived and served, and been a part of generations of Uticans lives, should be kept alive as a testament and a reminder of a once strong and vibrant Utica. To tear down any more of our past, is only a sad but unfortunate reaffirmation by so many people, that newer and younger is better. There is too much of that going on in our suburbs, where much of the community is void of any character. You move through these communities and they look much like a thousand other communities throughout the US. Through the last few years I have attempted to capture much of the beauty and uniqueness that is the Utica area. I hope by highlighting the jewels of the Mohawk Valley, you've also been inspired to find a way to bring attention to, to protect, and most importantly to appreciate all we have to build on here. If not,
much of it will be gone soon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Check Out This Painting at the NH Library

If you enjoy local historical artwork you might enjoy checking out this charming painting of the Village of New Hartford from 1791-1984. It was commissioned by Savings Bank of Utica and hung for many years in the lobby of SBU and it's subsequent buyers including M&T Bank who donated the painting to the New Hartford Library. The painting done by Clinton, NY native Alba Scott in 1984, includes several well-known landmarks such as the Presbyterian Church, Sherrill Brook Bandstand, Butler Hall and the Point School. You can view this work at it's new home in the New Hartford Public Library.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taking In A Classic Movie at The Stanley Theatre....

The last few weeks the Stanley has featured "classic" movies on Tuesday nights.
Last week it was "Ben Hur", this week it was "Pillow Talk". I was a little skeptical when my wife first suggested going, but I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie. Plus enjoying an outing into downtown Utica on a balmy summer evening, along with the ambience of the beautiful Stanley Theatre, and you have a winner for an inexpensive and fun outing.
Give it a try...there are 2 more movies coming up. 7Pm on Tuesdays. Cost $5 and the Stanley
is air conditioned and they sell popcorn and drinks which you can take to your seat.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Take a Walk Around New Hartford...

View of the Presbyterian Church from behind Butler Hall

Butler Hall from Presbyterian Church Parking Lot

NH Veterans Park-Utica National In Background

Veterans Park, New Hartford

A beautiful summer morning, and what better way to spend it then walking around in the Village of New Hartford. If you have time, get a window seat and a coffee at Casab's and watch as the world goes by. Then start your walk around the village by crossing Genesee Street and make your way up Oxford Road past the high school, and then enjoy a walk though the shady tree neighborhoods, and enjoy the many beautiful gardens, historic homes and churches along the way. If you're a real glutton for punishment, push your way up Paris Road to enjoy the lovely old homes and gardens. Save a few minutes and stop by to see and to pay tribute to New Hartford Veterans, at the Veteran's Park and the new reflecting pond across from Utica National. The village walk seems to be like stepping back in time, and the Veterans Memorial helps us to reflect on those who helped to make our way of life possible. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boilermaker 09-Utica Shines!

Me at Last years 08 Boilermaker

Start line 08 Boilermaker
by Finish Line Photos

Just relaxing now and savoring the memories of the 2009 Utica Boilermaker 15K Road Race. This event showcases much of what is so great about living in the Mohawk Valley. Over 14,500 runners registered to run in todays 15k and 5k races today. I would guess conservatively there were well over 20,000 people cheering on and supporting the runners on a beautiful summer day in Upstate New York. Runners who did the 15k, enjoyed running though several different multi-ethnic neighborhoods in East Utica, all while enjoying the beauty and scenery of the Mohawk Valley. They experienced the "International Mile" with it's belly dancers, Polish and Irish dancers, and other ethnic music groups and dancers. They had to run up the grueling Valley View golf course hill amidst the beauty of the Valley View Golf Course and the sight of the other side of the rolling hills of the Mohawk Valley as they begin the downhill out of the golf course. As the runners descended into South Utica, they were greeted by various Utica Zoo animals and their caretakers, thousands of spectators cheered them on as they ran through South Utica. Running past hundreds more in Uptown and Murnane Baseball Field, they begin another of the Boilermakers infamous challenges, Burrstone Road. Today was unusually cool and breezy, most times it is sweltering and hot as you run uphill into the hot, humid, July morning sun. It has been the nemesis of many a good runner. Clear Burrstone and make the turn onto Champlin Ave., and you were greeted by many hundreds of spectators crowding the corner, there to cheer on the runners after the grinding climb. All along the race course there were more music groups, dj's and individuals, all playing music to keep the spirit of the runners and the crowd up. Running down hill now past hundreds more runners passed by Utica College and St.Lukes Hospital. Just a little further down Champlin, runners are encouraged by the children and staff of the House of Good Shepherd, and the 10foot tall Uncle Sam giving "high fives". Many hundreds more spectators are crowded along Champlin. The crowd swells by hundreds more along the corner as you make the final turn onto Whitesboro Street, heading towards the finish a little more than a mile away. The music is blaring out "YMCA" there, and several runners form out the "Y" "M""C""A" with their arms, and some even eeek out a little dance step or two. As you work your way down Whitesboro Street many runners are winded and tired and just when you don't think you have anything left the crowd grows by the hundreds and maybe thousands, as you approach the finish line. They all encourage you to finish, along with the leprechaun who wishes you; "Luck of the Irish", and the Scottish Bagpipe band, (my favorite for reviving my spirits) as you make the final downhill charge for the finish line.
more to come...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Utica Skyline...

It's great inspiration to walk around downtown and take unique photos of Utica and the Utica Skyline. Often I'll use the photo for an acrylic painting or a digital media piece.
im fixin to move to utica/rome area... nice to see your photos and good comments... forum wasnt many negative people...
i have a 5 yr old with Down syndrome..and was looking for that ole home feel. as i grew up in burbia chicago
im in asheville nc..and while is beautiful here.. i just am wanting to move...
you'd love it here to take pics etc. Vanderbilt mansiobn is here.. aka Biltmore Estates
anyway.. thanks for the blog
d. taylor

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Enjoying Spring in the Adirondacks

No one home.
Panther Mountain, Adirondack Mountains

Ike's Isle, Adirondacks, NY
Last weekend did some kayaking and took some photos. The air was crisp and cool, the scenery was pristine. Even saw a loon and a couple of eagles. The black flies were horrendous when the wind died down. Sounds like the makings for a haiku.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oneida County Soldiers At Gettysburg

I wanted to share these photos with you because they mark the place many of "our boys" from Oneida County died. The battlefield of Gettysburg is only about 5 hours from here and is the site of the costliest battle ever fought on American shores. All told over 50,000 men gave their lives at this incredible battle, including many men of the 97th NYVI "Conkling Rifles" and the 146th NYVI Zouaves. The 97th marker is placed on the lines of the first day of battle, and the 146th marker is placed high on the hill called "Little Round Top". If you haven't been to Gettysburg, please go and pay tribute to all of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice to reshape the United States into a more perfect Union. And be sure to find the monuments that mark the spots where many from the Mohawk Valley fell, and never saw their beloveds and homes again. The fighting did not end there for many. In the ensuing 2 more years of war hundreds more Oneida County men would perish in the war.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Early Spring In The Valley...

Take a seat and enjoy the view!

It's amazing that from one vantage point you can see much of what makes the Mohawk Valley
such a lovely place. Beautiful-historic buildings, sweeping hilly vistas, a ski hill and facility right in the city, farms and farmland, and lots of space.
You can see several churches from this view, and can see barns and farm-land right across the valley in Marcy and Deerfield.

As you can tell if you follow my posts, I especially love the tranquility and beauty of Roscoe Conkling Park. I took a walk on the 2nd day of spring and thought I would share a few special photos. There were no other people, just dozens of crows there at sunset, so these photos are one-of a kinds!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Like a beautiful dream I stand in the waning electric blue light of a fading sunset,
I breathe deeply and stretch my arms as if soaring like an eagle far above the city below.
The wind blows over the edge of the valley with a roar,
masking and obscuring the sounds and sights of the city.
The wind dusts the ground with blowing snow, hiding the blemishes,
pushes into the valley and then is gone.
The wind is gentle and whispering in my ears now,
as the city lights turn on, one by one.
Lights with bright colors that twinkle, pulse, and move in the chilled air.
Lights that are arranged in orderly patterns, or scattered about like the stars above.
The lights suggest a vibrancy and life that is an illusion,
for the mind knows what the eyes cannot see.
But hope, faith and determination are omnipotent in nature,
one is renewed in the beauty and serenity nature affords,
if one has the eyes to see.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On this Wintery Day....

TAKE PHOTOS $0 (unless you don't have a camera already, or want to get prints)

GO X-Country AT PARKWAY COST $0 ( We have our own skiis)

JUST GO OUT AND GO FOR A WALK-Again, Bring the Camera! COST $0



In January most of us have become a little frustrated with mother nature and the long cold winter we've had thus far. Our faces have gotten pelted by sleet and freezing rain as we scrape the windows and extricate our cars to maintain our connections with the outside world...We curse the snowplow who dumps a pile of sludge and wet snow at the foot of the driveway just after you've shoveled.... We hold our breaths as we open our National Grid bills...We slip and slide on icy and unshoveled sidewalks...

To maintain your sanity, especially if you can't get away to Florida for a month or two is to learn to work with Mother Nature instead of against Mother Nature. ABOVE are just a few ways my family and I have learned to get through the long arduous upstate winters at relatively little if at no cost at all! Happy Winter all!!!