Albany Tulips

Well, it appears that my hopes to photograph the beautiful tulips in Albany isn’t going to work out. Yup, you guessed it, it started to rain. Oh well…I did get a few pictures before the storm.

The first picture, well, doesn’t have tulips but I really liked the blooms on the tree.


This set of tulips was on the corner by where I park for church. It is amazing how beautiful they are. I tried to make it over to the lake house but there was an event going on so it was mobbed. By the time I made it to Moses, it was raining…Oh well…


Albany River Rats

Yesterday was the last Albany River Rat’s night at the Times Union Center. I can’t believe in less than a month 24 years of AHL hockey in Albany will be over.

The River Rats were the franchise that was here originally, well before Hartford_Whalers_Logo.svgmy time. Orginally affiliated with the New Jersey Devils, they switched affiliations to the Carolina Hurricaines (which started life as the New England/Hartford Whalers – which has, I may add, had the coolest logo).  When they were sold to a group of investors to be closer to the home team the New Jersey Devils moved their franchise from Lowell Massachusetts to Albany (about 2 1/2 short hours from Newark) to be closer to their home turf.  This brought some upgrades to the Times Union Center including NHL quality locker rooms.

So, you may ask, what does this have to do with my becoming a NJ Devils fan.  Well, when I moved out here, my friend who grew up going to the Rats (and became a NJ Devils fan through those same Rats games) told me about hockey.  Not being from a town that appreciated hockey (well, at least Dollar Bill Wirtz didn’t appreciate hockey), I didn’t get to see many games – since they were not broadcast on television until Rockey Wirtz took over the team.  I’m a bit bitter about this, but that’s ok.

It was a good night. I, of course, wore my Martin Brodeur jersey.  And I ran into my friend and was able to hear some good news.

Beyond the Museums

As you already have read, I traveled out to Springfield this past weekend. While I love Doctor Seuss (he is from Springfield and was a Lutheran and it was his birthday), I just couldn’t pass the opportunity to visit a brewery I discovered in December.  So after leaving the museums, I embarked on a journey to find the famed and delicious Iron Duke Brewery.  Turns out Ludlow is just across the bridge from Indian Orchard and I am so dumb that I didn’t realize I was just a half mile from the brewery when I last was in Indian Orchard…oh well.

I did not take photos – why, well, I am not really sure.  It was cold, very cold.  And for someone who runs the heat at 65 degrees all day, that means something.  Iron Duke is currently in a dispute with their landlord, a division of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development group.  Apparently, the brewery is “very loud” and a distraction to the former Ludlow Mills complex which is being redeveloped soon into a diverse community.  Well, a community that would love and appreciate and patronize this wonderful establishement (plus it’ll be a ways from the said housing they are developing).  However, the landlords feel that this complex is TOO successful and wants to evict them rather than allow them to expand.  Ludlow is up in arms since they really rallied to bring this in to revitalize this old industrial complex, the owners have invested a TON of dough in building a successful business that has been exactly what they promised, and confused beer fans like me who are thinking what is wrong with you Massachusetts.

You may recall my previous post about Indian Orchard and the Brickhouse (which I went to just after the brewery) and the place is just about the same in terms of customers.  The folks at the bar (who were clearly regulars since they had their own beer mugs) immediately made me feel welcome as did Mike (who I think might be the head brewer) and his Mom.  Wow!  It definitely is a family affair.

I stole this picture of Mike from the since I thought it’d be creepy to take a picture of a random stranger.


And for the record, I did NOT pay with my NJ Devils credit card.

You can visit Iron Duke Brewing at

After this I stopped at The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside to “sober up” and got an awfully green St. Patty’s day hat before traveling to my intended destination of Abandoned Building Brewing.  However, they had a HUGE line as a tour bus had just stopped so I slid down the building to the New City Brewery.  They were very nice but their beer just didn’t do it for me.

As I swung back through Massachusetts to my destination of home, I took a quick stop in Deerfield at the Yankee Candle flagship store and drove through some awesome mountains and North Adams where MassMOCA is.  That is on my list, it seems to be a cool place.



Well, I haven’t used my camera all winter.  My plan was to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings with snow on the ground.  Unfortunately, there has been very little of the promised snow up here.    So, yesterday I went to Patsy’s Barber Shop in Albany at the suggestion of a friend.  You see, I haven’t had a decent haircut since I’ve been up here and I was lamenting of the same.  Well, Patsy’s is great – old school in a new way.  Reminded me of my barber back in Glen Ellyn at Punch.   Mom says it is too short on the sides, but I like it.

Well, driving all the way to civilization from the barren exurb I live in is a trip so I took my camera and shot some beautiful early morning photos of the New York State Capitol.  W


Looking toward Rensselaer from the Empire State Plaza

hen I got home, I went to upload them.  Seems, unfortunately, that the card was write protected so none of those images were saved.  Not a problem, it was in the 50’s today so I headed back out this afternoon.  Not as pretty (a little overcast) and the lighting was different.  I know I didn’t get some of the same shots – but I know I got others which were better.   Such is life.

I can’t wait until the tulips bloom and I can photograph Washington Park.  I hear it is beautiful.   And there are a lot of flower beds around the capitol.  Lots of beautiful buildings as well.