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CAPITAL REGION LIVING @crlmagazine | crlmag.com
THE HEART OF THE EMPIRE STATE
M AY 2020
g n o r t S n o i g e R l #Capita & Albany E
NONPROFITS THAT NEED YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW
CREATE YOUR OWN BACKYARD SANCTUARY
3 WAYS LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE GIVING BACK
E AT • S L E
NATIONAL NURSES WEEK MAY 6 â€“ 12
To all our Capital Region nurses, our staff and sponsors would like to say thank you for putting patients first.
NATIONAL NURSES WEEK MAY 6 â€“ 12
+ THANK YOU
inside MAY 2020
NURTU RI NG T HE CAPITAL REGI O N BY NATALIE MOORE, WILL LEVITH AND JEFF DINGLER
CIT Y S POTLI GHT: ALBANY BY JEFF DINGLER
B AC K YARD LI VI NG BY NATALIE MOORE
DESTINAT I O N D I SHES
BY VIKKI MORAN The Grateful Traveler
9 UP FRO NT: 5 NO NP RO FI TS T HAT NE E D YO UR HE LP 36 C R L’ S G U I D E T O S O C I A L D I S T A N C I N G 44
H E A LT H : D R . C A R O LY N D R I S C O L L , D C SOUL: SANDY MENZER FINANCE: MICHAEL O’CONNOR 16
47 PLAY: CROSSWORD BY NATALIE MOORE
48 BEFORE YOU GO: CALMING THE SEAS BY JOHN GRAY ADVERTISING SECTIONS
20 WEDDINGS 42 50+ LIVING
ON THE COVER
Dr. Elizabeth Sandel, DO of Lettrick Family Medicine
Jacqualin Ross, Director of Strategic Partnerships, MV Hospice
Sara McFadden, Recreation Therapist, Kingsway Community
Stacy Cruz, Recreation Aide, Kingsway Community
Rachel Gugemelli, Manager, Dunkin’
Stephen Gomula, Emergency Department Unit Clerk, St. Mary’s Hospital
Jan Hagen, Respiratory Therapist, St. Mary’s Hospital
Todd Krajewski, Owner, Goodfellas Pizzeria
AJ Fiorillo, K9 Officer, Amsterdam Police Department
Matthew, Bob and Robert Perry from High Tower Farms in Broadalbin are three more Capital Region essential workers.
Karen Vincent, RN, Albany Medical Center
FIFTH ROW, FROM LEFT
Tricia Alteri, Administrator, The Sentinel of Amsterdam
Shauna Jubrey, Recreation Coordinator, Kingsway Community
Kelsey Whalen, Owner, Whole Harvest Company
Jay Wilson, Sergeant, 109th Airlift Wing, US Air Force Logistics Joseph Alindato, Production, Death Wish Coffee
THIRD ROW, FROM LEFT
Mike Cyrus, HVAC Technician, Crisafulli Bros.
Nate Gaetano, Shipping and Receiving, Death Wish Coffee
Jaci Venditti, RN, Albany Medical Center
Lisa DiAntonio, Research Scientist, NY State Department of Health
Brittani Depalma, Home Health Aide, The Sentinel of Amsterdam
ON THE COVER:
Briana Christmas, LPN, Community Care Physicians, PC
Uilliam Murray, Production, Death Wish Coffee
FIRST ROW, FROM LEFT
Jeffery Urbancykz, Lieutenant, Amsterdam Fire Department
Carol Lasky, RN, Albany Medical Center
Blair Meeson, Recreation Coordinator, Kingsway Community
Cory Terry, Personal Care Aide, The Sentinel of Amsterdam
Maddy Halverson, Events and Sales Manager, BARE Blends
Angela Burns, RN, BSN, Albany Medical Center Neonatal ICU
Marianne Krupa, RN Case Manager, Ellis Hospital
Annie Berdar, Co-owner, BARE Blends
Katrina Heyer, CNA, St. Mary’s Hospital
SIXTH ROW, FROM LEFT
Brie Novack, District Secretary, Fairview Fire District
Xiomara Diaz, Chaplin, 109th Airlift Wing, US Air Force
Jessica Fuller, Co-owner, BARE Blends
Brittany Tatlock, RN, St. Mary’s Hospital
Nicole Dingman, RN, St. Mary’s Hospital
Morgan Esperti, Pharmacist, CVS
Carrie Schneider, RN, Albany Medical Center Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
Angela O’Keefe, RN, Albany Medical Center
Catherine Hover, Owner, Palette Cafe
FOURTH ROW, FROM LEFT
Charlie Muller, Pastor, Victory Christian Church
Chris Kuehnle, Respiratory Therapist, St. Mary’s Hospital
Mike Fitts, Project Engineer, Kenneth A. Kesselring Site
Heidi Bendick, RN, Albany Medical Center
Chris Spoonogle, Construction Laborer, WM Schultz Construction
Bill Gallagher, Warehouse Associate, Price Chopper
Kimberly Christmas, RN, Upstate Hematology Oncology
Sarah Smith, RN, The Sentinel of Amsterdam
Will Pouch, Owner, Esperanto
SECOND ROW, FROM LEFT
Seana Mosher, RPA-C, Saratoga Hospital
Chris Hess, Radiologic Technologist, Ellis Hospital
Derek Grout, Owner, Harvest Spirit
Scott Buttons, Sergeant, US Air Force
Ian Flacke, Pile Installer, Excellent Exteriors
M A Y 2 04/17/20 2 0 | C R L M12:44 A G . C O MPM |3
CAPITAL REGION CARES Show your support for local businesses by ordering takeout from one of these Capital Region restaurants remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis
Due to COVID-19, we are currently only open for takeout from both our Troy and Latham locations. Latham orders may be placed online or by calling 518.783.0196. Troy orders may be placed for takeout by calling 518.274.8277.
PLEASE STAY HEALTHY!
GOOD FOOD JUST GOT FASTER! ORDER ONLINE FOR DELIVERY.
to all essential health care, law enforcement and fire department employees.
Find us on Facebook for updated information and hours
Currently serving dinner 5pm-7pm Tuesday-Saturday for TAKEOUT ONLY Menu updated daily on website.
10 Walsh Lane • Averill Park 518.674.5413 • kayspizza.com
294 North Greenbush Road • Troy 518.286.2603 • alexisdiner.us
596 Columbia Tpke Hannaford Plaza • East Greenbush 518.479.4730 • chezmikerestaurant.com
TAKEOUT OR TAKE-OUT ORWINDOW WINDOW ORDERING ONLY
OPEN FOR TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY!
OPEN FOR TAKEOUT FOR OUR 62ND SEASON! We have a very limited menu & only accept credit cards over the phone at this time. Weekdays 4 pm - 7:30 pm Saturdays 2 pm - 8:00 pm Sundays 2 pm - 7:30 pm
Tuesday - Sunday 11:30 - 9PM Closed Monday When you’re ordering food, don’t forget to grab some sake and beer to go!
WE ARE OFFERING 50% OFF We appreciate all you are doing!
WE ARE OPEN FOR TAKEOUT! Call now and we’ll cook your dinner for you. Take out available 4-8pm. Leave your name, phone number, your order (how you would like your meat item cooked) and time of pick up.
212 25th Street • Watervliet HOURS: 10:30am – 10pm • CLOSED SUNDAY
611-B Troy Schenectady Road • Latham 518.785.7215 • sakealbany.com
646 Albany Turnpike • Old Chatham 518.794.7373 • jacksonsoldchathamhouse.com
WE ARE OPEN FOR YOUR TO-GO ORDERS!
Open Tuesday to Sunday 4-7 pm Accepting preorders after 11 am.
SPECIAL TEMPORARY HOURS
Please visit our Facebook page for our daily Take out specials! Monday - Saturday 6am to 7pm Sunday 6am to 1pm
Still honoring birthday deal 50% OFF BIRTHDAY ENTRÉE with additional order.
Takeout and Delivery Orders Only Some Menu Items May Have Limited Availability
890 Hoosick Road • Troy 518.279.9985 • duncansdairybar.com
480 Sand Creek Road, Albany • 518.869.2448 barnsiderrestaurant.com
722 New Loudon Road, Route 9 • Latham 518.785.3793 • latham76diner.com
10am - 8pm Daily
CAPITAL REGION LIVING THE HEART OF THE EMPIRE STATE
Abby Tegnelia CEO
Will Levith Steve Teabout MANAGING EDITOR Natalie Moore SENIOR WRITER Jeff Dingler ART DIRECTOR
Morgan Fechter, Matthew Harding Hannah Kotler, Connor McCann Hannah Sacks, Simone Teague CONTRIBUTORS
Jennifer Bannigan, Karen Bjornland Alexx Bradley, Mallory Bulman Diane Chappell, Francesco D’Amico Carolyn Driscoll, Diane Foster John Gray, Joey Greco Heather Jablonski, David Kubikian Patty McGee, Sandy Menzer, Vikki Moran Megan Mumford, Michael O’Connor Konrad Odihiambo, Barbara Pinckney Judi Stone Teresa Frazer
SUMMER NIGHTS ARE BETTER AT
CAMP FOWLER Spend a week of your summer in the Adirondacks. Learn more at campfowler.org
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Abby Tegnelia VICE PRESIDENT
Tina Galante CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
VOLUME 17, NO.5
422 Broadway, Suite 203 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 PHONE: 518.584.7500 FIND US ONLINE AT crlmag.com Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Many of the ads in this issue were created by Capital Region Living Magazine™ and cannot be reproduced without permission from the publisher. ESTABLISHED 2003.
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MAY 2020 | CRLMAG.COM | 5
Mint Julep Mocktails for May! Mint Julep Lemonade Mocktail SERVES 8 Ingredients: 1 cup
1 Tbsp. Nature’s Promise® Organic Honey 4
Lipton® Tea Bags
1/2 cup Fresh mint, chopped, plus 8 sprigs to garnish 2 liters Smartwater® Antioxidant, chilled Refreshing with a sweet-tart taste and only 35 calories per serving!
Nature’s Promise® Organic Lemonade
6 Tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice 2
Limes, sliced into wedges Ice, preferably crushed
The mint julep has a rich history with the Kentucky Derby, but the drink actually originates from a centuries-old Arabic drink that was thought to enhance quality of life. Stay hydrated with this refreshing mocktail made with electrolyte-enhanced water and natural sweeteners.
1. Bring water and honey to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until honey is dissolved evenly (about 5 minutes). Add tea bags and mint to saucepan and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain tea mixture into a pitcher and discard tea bags and mint. 2. Add chilled water, lemonade and lemon juice to the pitcher. 3. Divide lime wedges and ice between glasses. Pour mint julep lemonade over ice to chill. Add more fresh mint leaves to garnish.
from your Hannaford Dietitians Have questions about your health? Our team of registered dietitians offer free nutritional services online and in-store. Visit hannaford.com/dietitians to find out more.
Nutritional Information: Amount per serving: Calories 35; Total Fat 0 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrate 9 g; Protein 0 g; Sodium 5 mg; Fiber 1 g; Total Sugar 7 g
4/9/20 1:10 PM
From The Editors
t might seem like you read it a lifetime ago, but our last issue of CAPITAL REGION LIVING had the theme of “hope.” In its pages, we were trying to convey that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic confining many of us to our homes for the foreseeable future and sickening countless others, we saw a light at the end of the tunnel—a brighter day, someday soon, when all of us could return to normalcy. At some point, we’d be able to go back to our favorite parks, restaurants, bars, boutiques—even our offices. And, maybe, just maybe, never be required to wash our hands for 20 seconds ever again. While that hasn’t quite happened yet, there has been a ray of sunlight that’s cut through all the dark clouds. And it’s come in the form of an outpouring of support and love from our community. We’ve seen neighbors helping out perfect strangers, who may have lost their jobs or been in need of a hot meal; overwhelming support for our small businesses and restaurants, which have been struggling mightily; true bravery from our healthcare workers and first responders; and the might of our essential workers, who continue to keep the Capital Region ticking. Paradoxically, a virus that has literally driven us apart has brought our community closer together. And so, this issue is dedicated to all of those essential workers who are putting the needs of their patients, customers and the public ahead of their own (meet the ones featured on the cover of this magazine on page 3). But it’s also dedicated to all those people who are going out of their way to help their fellow man, whether it’s restaurant owners helping feed those in need (page 10); businesses manufacturing crucial medical supplies (page 12); or organizations offering free child care to essential workers (page 14). The Capital Region and its people are truly stronger together. —The Editors
MAY 2020 | CRLMAG.COM | 7
Let’s do Medicare together.
When you’re ready for Medicare, MVP Health Care® gives you more. Take advantage of $0 benefits, including primary care visits, preferred generic drugs, and fitness memberships. Support your well-being with a $100 reward card for completing health and wellness activities. Get dental and eyewear allowances. Visit doctors and hospitals throughout our vast network, or away from home. Plans start at $0 a month!
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MVP Health Plan, Inc. is an HMO‑POS/PPO/MSA organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in MVP Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Out‑of‑network/non‑contracted providers are under no obligation to treat MVP Health Plan members, except in emergency situations. Please call our customer service number or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost‑sharing that applies to out‑of‑network services. Y0051_4704_M
Capital Region Living 7.625 x 10.125 due April 14
5 Nonprofits That Need Your Support Right Now » Join the COVID-19 relief effort by donating to one of these Capital Region charities. «
The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York has seen a considerable uptick in food distribution since mid-March.
REGIONAL FOOD BANK OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK
The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York has seen a 40 percent increase in food distribution since mid-March. To cope with the increased need, the organization is looking for volunteers to help sort and pack food at its new temporary location on Northway Lane in Latham. For more information about volunteering or to make a donation, visit regionalfoodbank.net.
Vanderheyden, a child, adult and family services agency located in Wynantskill, is continuing to operate 24/7 throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In order to keep
providing services to people who have been abused or neglected or are influenced by emotional, behavioral or developmental disabilities, Vanderheyden needs emergency equipment, including latex powder-free gloves, paper towels, hand sanitizer, masks and basic hygiene supplies. The best way to help is through a monetary donation, which can be made at vanderheyden.org.
While Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stay-at-home order is beneficial to slowing the spread of COVID-19, it can also put victims of relationship and sexual abuse at greater risk. So, Saratoga-based nonprofit Wellspring is still
offering crucial services to the greater community. The organization’s 24/7 hotline, emergency domestic violence shelter and programs for accompanying women through court or police proceedings remain open, and other services are still being offered in a modified manner. Wellspring is still accepting donations of food, toiletries and cleaning supplies, as well as items on its Amazon Wish List and monetary donations. To donate and learn more about Wellspring’s work, visit wellspringcares.org.
INTERFAITH PARTNERSHIP FOR THE HOMELESS
Albany’s Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) is keeping its doors open throughout the COVID-19 crisis and continuing to offer uninterrupted service to our community’s most at-risk individuals. IPH is not accepting donations of clothing, toiletries or household items at this time, but those who want to help can do so by way of meal or monetary donations, or by participating in its first-ever Virtual A Taste of Albany culinary showcase fundraiser on May 7. For more info about IPH, visit
BY NATALIE MOORE interfaithpartnership.com and to learn more about the Virtual A Taste of Albany, visit atasteofalbany.com.
CAPITAL REGION COMMUNITY COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
Can’t decide which charity to give to? The Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund, a joint effort headed up by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, is providing resources for 501(c)(3) organizations that work with communities in the area that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To donate to the effort, or learn more about volunteering your time, visit unitedwaygcr.org/covid-19.
MAY 2020 | CRLMAG.COM | 9
Nurturing The Capital Region From feeding the needy and producing medical supplies to free childcare for essential workers, the Capital Region is taking care of its own.
Food By Natalie Moore
ell before the COVID-19 crisis shut down New York State, isolating us in our homes and closing our schools indefinitely, a group of Albany restaurant professionals was hard at work planning for the disaster that was about to unfold in the Capital Region. Calling itself Feed Albany and launching on March 16, the collective was cofounded by Dominick Purnomo with the mission to do just what its name implied. Since mid-March, Feed Albany has been cooking and delivering meals to groups of at-risk and in-need individuals throughout the Capital Region nearly every day. In the week leading up to Easter Sunday alone, Feed Albany delivered meals not only within the Capital City, but also to Southern Saratoga County, Rensselaer, Troy, Cohoes and Latham, serving unemployed restaurant workers, Albany’s Homeless Action Committee and the staff at Albany Medical Center. Over Easter weekend, it delivered Easter dinners and baskets to families all over Albany County. How was a previously nonexistent organization able to do so much so quickly? “We have about 6-10 cooks and chefs who are out of work and are volunteering their time to be here to support the effort,” says Purnomo. Local restaurants such as Savoy Taproom (whose owners, Jason and Kay Pierce, helped spearhead Feed Albany), The Point, Roux and Purnomo’s two restaurants, have donated kitchen space; and local farms, including Kilcoyne Farms, have donated food. Feed Albany also received a $5,000 grant from the City of
Albany, and at press time had raised more than $60,000 in donations on its GoFundMe page. Feed Albany is just one largescale example of how organizations in every corner of the Capital Region are working to make sure everyone stays fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s Isaan Thai Star, a Thai restaurant in Hudson that offered 100 free servings of Thai fried rice on a Tuesday afternoon in April. In the Spa City, Saratoga’s Broadway Deli for weeks offered free meals to anyone who needed them. There’s also Troy’s Berben & Wolff’s, which handed out free meals and produce through its “Take-In Troy” campaign. And Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, which, like Feed Albany, has been pumping out meals for the community throughout the crisis. “We have already partnered with many local organizations that we do food donations with or volunteer at,” says Rivers Casino’s Human Resources Manager Kate McMahon. “The additional piece was adding first responders and hospital workers to that mix. We wanted to holistically support the organizations that are supporting our community, our families and our neighbors.” The list of recipients of meals made by volunteers at Rivers (which has been forced to close due to the pandemic) now includes employees of Mohawk Ambulance, Ellis Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital, as well as charities such as Joseph’s House & Shelter, Bethesda House of Schenectady and the SEAT Center. “You never know when one of your team members is going to be a recipient of one of these meals, or one of their neighbors are, or one of their family members,” McMahon says. “So it’s very important that we’re very active in the community.” The caring souls behind Feed Albany even have a plan in place to keep the good-doing flowing long after the COVID-19 virus is eradicated. “We’ve applied for nonprofit status, and we’re putting together a board,” says Purnomo. “We hope that it’s something that can continue to fill the need as time goes by.” There will always be need. And, if this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that as long as there’s need, there’ll be good people to meet it.
Feed Albany Co-founder Dominick Purnomo unloading a box of food; (OPPOSITE) pre-made meals ready to be distributed by Rivers Casino. M A Y 2 0 2 0 | C R L M A G . C O M | 11
Supplies By Will Levith
oon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo made an appeal to Empire State manufacturers deemed “essential,” to begin mass-producing much-needed medical supplies—something that many of them had never done before. These included everything from bottles of hand sanitizer and disposable hospital gowns to medical face masks and even ventilators (the latter being among the scarcest devices right now in the world). The idea was that these products could be used immediately by doctors, nurses and medical staffs at offices and hospitals across the state or country, many of which were dealing with dwindling supplies. A number of Capital Region businesses stepped up to the plate. Below is a list of five, and the crucial products they’ve produced for the greater cause.
An example of the medical masks Comfortex is now mass-producing.
Comfortex Window Fashions Normally, Comfortex produces honeycomb-style window shades, made out of nonwoven fabrics, ones that are good insulators and when cut, don’t fray. But just a handful of months later, the Watervliet-based company is rolling medical masks and disposable gowns off of its production line at a lightning pace. “Right now, we’re producing 5,000 masks per day,” says Thomas Marusak, Comfortex’s founder and president, “and we’re gearing up to do about the same amount of disposable gowns.” While the intent was to ship the gear to local hospitals, Marusak says that it
all would’ve needed to be rated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which would’ve delayed production by months. So Comfortex once again pivoted, getting its supplies to places such as the Center for Disability Services, FedEx and local emergency medical services instead. Precision Valve & Automation (PVA) Cohoes-based Precision Valve & Automation (PVA) has been producing automated dispensing and coating systems for nearly three decades, and as Frank Hart, managing director of sales and marketing at the company, tells CAPITAL REGION LIVING, that’s put them right in the supply chain for ventilators. That sent the company headlong into the ventilator production business, and at press time, PVA had just become the first nonmedical manufacturer in the world to secure FDA approval for its groundbreaking design. PVA’s got its hands in sanitizer, test kit dispenser and face shield production, too. Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. For nearly 90 years, Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. has been producing paper out of its Cohoes factory. And when the COVID-19 crisis hit, the company’s access to a wall-thick type of paper called Xanita Board, which it imports from South Africa, and innovation met face to face. What Mohawk ended up producing—without even having to use its own machinery—was a concept for temporary, private hospital rooms, with their walls and beds fashioned completely out of the paper. The rooms require zero tools to construct and can be assembled in 30 minutes. The boards are also thick enough to be used multiple times and even wiped down, disinfected and stored for later use. “This whole process has been pretty fast and furious,” says Thomas O’Connor III, Mohawk’s vice president of channel management. “From idea to design to manufacture, it was really [done] within a week. We are currently going to market with it.” Saratoga Courage Distillery Located in Greenfield Center just outside of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Courage Distillery is best known for its Pick Six Vodka and moonshine. When the crisis hit, CEO Holly Shishik, who moonlights as a Rite Aid pharmacist, thought she could produce hand sanitizer. So, working off of the World Health Organization and FDA’s recipe, Shishik and her team got to work. The distillery ended up producing 130 one-gallon bottles of hand sanitizer, which it distributed to the Greenfield Fire Department; emergency squads in Corinth, Ballston Spa and Wilton; as well as the emergency room at Saratoga Hospital. GlobalFoundries GlobalFoundries, which has a location in Malta, produces semiconductors called “wafers,” which store thousands of microchips on them. While it was making them long before the company was deemed “essential,” the wafers have become an integral part in the frontline fight against COVID-19. One client, whom the company could not reveal, uses a wafer in a smartphonebased system that allows medical workers to do mobile ultrasounds on COVID-19 patients’ lungs. And the wafers have even found their way into cutting-edge research technology. Says Laurie Kelly, GlobalFoundries’ vice president of global communications, “Some of our chips are being used in IBM’s supercomputers, which are being used right now to do a lot of heavy analytics and understanding more about the COVID-19 virus.”
M A Y 2 0 2 0 | C R L M A G . C O M | 13
Childcare By Jeff Dingler
eing an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful enough. Now imagine piling on trying to find childcare in a time when all schools and daycares are closed. Thankfully, Capital Region essential workers have been getting a helping hand when it comes to childcare. Since the end of March, the Washington-SaratogaWarren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES, has been offering free childcare services to essential workers at its facilities in Hudson Falls, Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs. “We’ve received such positive responses from the families of the children,” says Denise Capece, executive principal at WSWHE BOCES. “One parent expressed that their child was upset when he had to stay home one day for a family matter.” The free childcare program runs from 7:30am–3:30pm during the week and includes breakfast, lunch and a daily snack. Each facility has two classrooms: one for children ages 3 to 5, the other for children 6 to 12. As for the obvious concern over potential COVID-19 contamination, Capece says that BOCES has taken extra precautions. Every morning, each child’s temperature is taken at a registration table, and those running a fever are sent home. Social distancing—only eight children and two adults are allowed per classroom—and handwashing are also strictly enforced throughout the day. The number of children attending the program fluctuates depending on the day, but Capece says that BOCES has 25-30 kids enrolled who come fairly regularly, with a current capacity of up to 48. “Really, we can expand as much as we need,” she says. “We’re currently using our employees as childcare workers, and we have plenty of classrooms.” Three local school districts—Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and Fort Edward Union Free School—are providing the children’s meals, and WSWHE pays for the snacks and protective equipment, such as gloves and masks. As for how long BOCES is prepared to offer free childcare to essential workers, Capece says: “We’ll keep it open for the duration of the COVID pandemic.”
Scenes from Washington-Saratoga-WarrenHamilton-Essex BOCES free childcare program.
PHOTOS BY SHAWN HUNZIKER
M A Y 2 0 2 0 | C R L M A G . C O M | 15
ital City The Cap ay in gets its d the sun.
BY JEFF DINGLER
16 | C A P I T A L R E G I O N L I V I N G | M A Y 2 0 2 0
y n a Alb TO
E AT • S L E
Throughout this year, CAPITAL REGION LIVING magazine will be focusing in on different cities in and around the Capital Region. We’ll take you on a tour of some of the top restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels in town, whether they’re open for business during COVID-19 or not—as well as introduce you to some of the city’s most memorable residents. This month, we’re taking a closer look at Albany— the Capital City.
STAY MORGAN STATE HOUSE INN Located in a 19th-century, New York City-style brownstone overlooking Washington Park, the Morgan State House Inn offers intimate and elegant accommodations for Capital City visitors. This quaint bed-and-breakfast has 17 individually decorated rooms, a secluded summer garden and an architecturalhistorical elegance not found in many boutique hotels in the capital. The inn is also particularly accommodating to business professionals: It features inroom copying, printing, faxing and even a boardroom that seats up to 12 people.
RENAISSANCE ALBANY HOTEL When it comes to spending a luxurious night in New York’s capital, the Renaissance Albany Hotel is just the place to do it. Built in 1927 as the DeWitt Clinton Hotel, the Renaissance Albany boasts a mix of classy Art Deco-style charm and contemporary style and amenities. Located just steps from the Times Union Center, the Albany Capital Center and the Empire State Plaza, the Renaissance is perfectly positioned for exploring some of downtown’s trendiest neighborhoods. Or, if you just want to stay in, you can enjoy the hotel’s own Wellington’s Restaurant, which offers gourmet, small-plate American fare, with spectacular views of the city’s skyline. (opposite, from top) Morgan State House Inn’s private English garden in the summer; City Beer Hall.
IRON GATE CAFE
THE HOLLOW KITCHEN + BAR
Right at the edge of Albany’s historic Center Square neighborhood, the Iron Gate Cafe has a wonderfully vintage vibe, featuring framed rock albums, funky portraits of Elvis Presley and a charming garden patio with, you guessed it, an iron gate standing at its entrance. Grab one of the cafe’s famous mimosas or bloody marys and be sure to try its Johnny Cakes (three blueberry cornbread pancakes with a choice of meat) or Elvis’ Memphis Scramble (scrambled eggs with bacon and maple sausage, topped with a pepper jack hollandaise).
Situated in the heart of Downtown Albany on North Pearl Street, The Hollow Kitchen + Bar offers a little bit…OK, a lot of everything. Known for its craft beer selection—it has more than 24 pours on tap—The Hollow also features a four-star restaurant led by Anna Weisheit, the 2016 Rising Star Chef Winner at the Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival. Did we mention that The Hollow also doubles as a venerable live music venue?
BERBEN & WOLFF’S Berben & Wolff’s isn’t your run-of-themill delicatessen. Opened in 2016 on Lark Street, this colorful takeout-or-dinein spot offers healthy vegan versions of sinfully delicious (and caloric) deli classics. In other words, get ready to have your deli sandwich and eat it, too. Order one of the restaurant’s signature Ruebens with house-made seitan pastrami, a Cubano panini with smoked faux ham and vegan Swiss cheese, or a popcorn mushroom po’ boy filled with cornmeal-encrusted oyster mushrooms and Cajun remoulade dressing. The vegan deli was so popular among local herbivores that its owners opened a second location in Troy in 2019.
YONO’S No culinary outing in Albany would be complete without a visit to Yono’s on Chapel Street. Recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator and The American Culinary Federation, Yono’s has been Albany’s go-to spot for intimate fine dining since the 15-table restaurant first opened in 1986. In addition to an 80-page (!) wine, beer and cocktail list, Chef Yono Purnomo’s iconic menu fuses traditional Indonesian ingredients and flavors with a contemporary American cuisine for an only-in-Albany, top-flight culinary experience.
CITY BEER HALL Those wanting a chill gastro-pub experience in New York’s capital should look no further than City Beer Hall. Housed inside Albany’s beautiful, historic telephone company building, City Beer Hall offers 18 rotating taps of tasty craft beers and ciders, plus a free personal pizza with every beverage or cocktail purchased. Speaking of the food, expect diverse pickings, from brew-pub staples such as big, juicy burgers and cheese boards to the more exotic, such as lechon kawali, a Filipino dish consisting of crispy pork belly, coconut vinegar sauce and a fermented collard relish.
SPEAKEASY 518 In true Prohibition-Era speakeasy fashion, you won’t find much information about Speakeasy 518 on the internet. This lavish cocktail lounge pays homage to the roaring twenties with a seriously killer craft cocktail and food menu, flapper-worthy live jazz performances and a strict no-smartphone policy while inside. Sorry, there was no texting in the Gilded Age!
GET TO KNOW…
Alejandro del Peral, Founder and Owner of Nine Pin Cider
Nine Pin Cider’s Alejandro del Peral knows his apples, and he should—he grew up surrounded by them. “My parents have nine acres in Columbia County where my dad was planting apple
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trees from seed,” says del Peral of his upbringing. “That’s quite unusual, because when you plant from seed, it doesn’t give you the same apple—a lot of them produced this fruit that was basically inedible, like crab apples.” Since then, del Peral’s interest in apples has flourished. In 2013, he founded Nine Pin Cider, an Albanybased cidery that produces delicious hard ciders from local apple providers. The following year, Nine Pin Cider became New York State’s first-ever certified farm cidery, which allowed the local business to open its own tasting room. “It’s given us an outlet to experiment, and it really is the source of all of our creativity,” says del Peral about Nine Pin’s unique array of flavors including Earl Grey, blueberry and “Hunny Pear.” “The tasting room allowed us to try flavors and find out if the consumer really liked them first.” Fast forward six years, and Nine Pin •P
E AT • S L E
will feature three new flavors. “We’re excited,” says del Peral. “And we’re staying true to our mission: local ciders from local farms.”
GET TO KNOW… Alejandro del Peral, Nine Pin Cider Cider is now available throughout New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. del Peral’s giving back, too—through his apples, of course. In 2018, Nine Pin Cider launched its Urban Orchard project, planting nine apple varieties in Albany’s Washington Park. “The Urban Orchard project is getting into the educational side of what we do,” he says. “We brought our cider-making right into the city center.” Nine Pin’s also currently working on a new series of lighter beverages called Lo-cal Ciders. Based on a lightly alcoholic, Colonial-era cider for children called “ciderkin,” these Lo-cal Ciders
Brad Rosenstein, CEO of Jack’s Oyster House
Founded in 1913, Jack’s Oyster House isn’t just one of the oldest restaurants in Albany, it’s also long been part of the cultural landscape here in New York’s capital. For decades, some of the Capital Region’s biggest politicos and movers and shakers have dined there. And equally impressive: The State Street staple has been family owned that entire time. “My grandfather, the original Jack, was a clam and oyster shucker in the kitchen, and he did salads and desserts too,” says Jack Rosenstein’s grandson and the restaurant’s current owner, Brad Rosenstein. Rosenstein, who earned a
TO ALL DOCTORS, NURSES AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS
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bachelor’s degree from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, may run the Oyster House now, but like his father and grandfather, he worked his way up in the restaurant. “I started out washing dishes, and I got to work with my grandfather in the kitchen, too,” he says. “When they felt I was ready to deal with people, they let me be a busboy.” Rosenstein has never forgotten his humble but crucial beginnings in the restaurant. He says that the oyster bar’s long-term success can be attributed not only to its world-class menu designed by master chefs, but also its good oldfashioned ability to people-please. “Our game plan has always been, ‘What’s in the best interest of our guests?’” says Rosenstein. “And when I was growing up, bringing people out to dinner in Downtown Albany was a real challenge. But we did it.” The Rosensteins certainly did do it. Over the decades, Jack’s has attracted an incredible ensemble of national figures and celebrities including
legendary singers Barbra Streisand and Robert Goulet; boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Albany-native William Kennedy; and Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer. In 2009, thenLate Night host Jimmy Fallon, who grew up in Saugerties, visited the Oyster House after receiving an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, The College of Saint Rose. “He said he’d always wanted to go to Jack’s,” says Rosenstein. “And I said, ‘Gee, Jimmy, we were never that expensive.’ And he said that back then, even McDonald’s was expensive for him.” Perhaps another secret to the restaurant’s success? It’s never closed. And that’s not an exaggeration. Throughout its 116-year history, the Oyster House has been closed only once–in 1987 when Jack passed away. Rosenstein says that his grandfather wouldn’t have been happy about that. “He didn’t like the idea of closing,” he says. “But my father and uncle felt it was
Brad Rosenstein, Jack’s Oyster House
important that the staff go to the funeral.” Since then, though, Jack’s hasn’t closed again. The restaurant’s kitchen has even remained open for takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding the restaurant’s post-COVID future, Rosenstein says, “We’ve got some big stuff planned. We’re just waiting for the go-ahead to open up again.”
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WEDDINGS Advertising Section Lucie Capek, MD Plastic Surgery
713 Troy Schenectady Rd. #308, Latham 518.786.1700; capekplasticsurgery.com Always be ready for life’s big moments. Dr. Capek and her team of licensed professionals will have you looking and feeling your best with a full range of cosmetic surgery and med spa services. Plan ahead and get that natural-looking surgical transformation. Even last-minute skincare appointments can make a big difference. Together with Dr. Capek, create an individualized plan for you to achieve your aesthetic goals which will have you glowing with confidence. From Signature HydraFacial and LASER packages to injectable treatments and CoolSculpting, the Capek team has you covered from head to toe. Treat yourself or someone special. Gift cards are also available.
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The Falls Venue
The Vista at Van Patten Golf Club
Wolferts Roost Country Club
The Falls Venue is perhaps the most elegant space of its kind in the Hudson Valley. Housed in a historic, 20th-century elementary school gymnasium, The Falls Venue has been completely refurbished with quality materials, beautiful craftsmanship and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and has managed to retain many industrial-age architectural details throughout. Perfect for elegant weddings, proms, corporate events, fundraisers and more, The Falls is conveniently located just minutes from the Downtown Hudson Amtrak station. Plus, it has room for all your guests: In addition to the banquet hall, The Falls has a back bar for cocktails, an outdoor space for ceremeonies and plenty of parking.
The Vista at Van Patten Golf Club, located in beautiful southern Saratoga County in the hamlet of Jonesville, has breathtaking views from the highest point in Clifton Park. The Grand Clubhouse is the perfect venue for either an intimate gathering of 25 guests or a fabulous wedding for 200. Let The Vista’s professional catering team guide you through the planning process for this memorable day. The caring staff is there to help you relax and enjoy your special day, and always offers the highest level of services, meeting and exceeding the expectations of even the most discerning guests. The Vista’s incredible view and culinary delights will make your day one to remember.
Wolferts Roost’s panoramic views of the Berkshire Mountains make it the perfect place to host your special event. Whether you are celebrating a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or your big day, the club has more than 5,000 square feet of banquet space, including a banquet hall and grand ballroom. Let the Wolferts Roost team make your day magical and leave you with fond memories that will last a lifetime. Host your wedding ceremony on the lush grounds of the golf course, and celebrate your reception in the grand ballroom. With the expertise of the culinary team, your wedding menu can be customized, and audio-visual equipment, specialty linens and décor can all be expertly coordinated by event specialists.
158 Union Tpke., Hudson 518.719.1600; jmscollective.com
924 Main St., Clifton Park 518.877.4979; vanpattengolf.com
120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Albany 518.449.3223; wolfertsroost.com
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WEDDINGS Advertising Section
802 Albany Shaker Rd., Loudonville 518.389.2889; 2sheacatering.com The 2Shea Catering business was founded to delight and inspire, and strives each day for a standard of excellence in both hospitality and cuisine. It provides all the catering services for Shaker Ridge Country Club, in addition to catering to other venues stretching from Lake Placid to Poughkeepsie. Menus range from traditional to the most current innovative fare. Whether it’s incorporating your favorite recipes into the menu or honoring a dietary or culturally-specific menu, 2Shea is happy to work with you to guarantee a memorable guest experience. The talented and professional staff will satisfy your personal requests, make suggestions and provide the best possible service.
The Inn at Erlowest
3178 Lake Shore Dr., Lake George 518.668.5928; theinnaterlowest.com Experience the wedding of your dreams on the shores of Lake George in a turn-of-the-century castle. The Inn at Erlowest is the premier event venue in the area, with breathtaking lake views. The Inn offers clients a boutique-style wedding experience that sets it apart from all the rest. The property only hosts one wedding per day, so this’ll be your day alone, with the Inn’s entire staff on hand to ensure that your wedding is absolutely perfect. Committed to providing the utmost in quality and service, The Inn at Erlowest will provide you with a signature wedding experience that’s unique and as special as each couple, customized to the client’s taste, style and distinct vision.
Andrew T. Frank DMD, PC
1816 Western Ave., Albany 518.456.3551 albanysmiles.com Dr. Andrew T. Frank maintains a very friendly and caring boutique dental practice that always provides the highest quality of dentistry—and is
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WEDDINGS Advertising Section completely available for pre-wedding needs. Although he continues to practice general dentistry, his passions have led him to the more complex and rewarding cosmetic and reconstructive cases. Changing people’s lives through dentistry with a complete smile makeover “never gets old,” according to Dr. Frank, who has worked with many brides and grooms before their big day. “Today, we have the ability to accomplish so much more than we had in the past. We actually have the ability to provide a completely toothless individual with a ‘third set of teeth’ through the use of implant dentistry. It is so exciting!”
456 North Pearl St., Albany 518.459.6123; premierelimo.com One of the key factors that makes Premiere Transportation stand out is its diverse fleet of vehicles. From luxury sedans and limousines to vans,
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mini-buses and executive coaches, Premiere is uniquely qualified to meet any transportation need for your special day. Visit the Pearl Street facility to preview the vehicles and discuss your special requests with a reservation consultant. On the day of your special event, Premiere Transportation promises to arrive on time in an immaculately clean vehicle driven by a professional chauffeur in a tuxedo. When the details really count, you can count on Premiere.
Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa
220 North Rd., Milton 845.795.1310; buttermilkfallsinn.com Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa’s 75acre Hudson River estate is private, exclusive and perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Enjoy the entire Inn and property while Buttermilk Falls staff attend to your every need. Catering services are provided through Henry’s at the
Farm, the premier onsite restaurant, where “local” is more than a trend; it’s the mantra. The Inn’s 10 guest rooms in the historic Anning Smith House offer gas-burning fireplaces, showers or whirlpool tubs and views of the gardens or the Hudson River. Throughout the property are eight charming carriage and guesthouses, including the Grand Laurel Wedding Suite. And Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa doesn’t have “spa” in its name for nothing: Wedding parties are welcome to relax and indulge in the onsite, ecofriendly spa, where makeup and hair stylists are there to help you prepare for your big day.
The Century House
997 New Loudon Rd., Latham 518.785.1857; thecenturyhouse.com Plan your dream wedding at The Century House! With the perfect balance of traditional elegance and modern rustic charm, The Century
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LIFE GIVES US THE TUNE...
When it’s time to dance, CALL PHIL: (518) 785-1857 Photo by Paul Saunders
RECEPTIONS GARDEN TENT ON-SITE HOTEL REHEARSAL DINNERS SHOWERS
WEDDINGS Advertising Section House provides an unforgettable backdrop for your special day. Whether you’re having a grand affair for 300 or an intimate celebration for 25, the ballrooms and event spaces are easily transformed to match your vision. The garden tent, located on a halfmile-long nature trail, is the perfect location for outdoor ceremonies or casual celebrations. Featuring unique menus, indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces and an onsite hotel, The Century House and its acclaimed staff will manage every detail of your day to ensure that your expectations are met and exceeded.
Old Daley on Crooked Lake FINALIST
997 New Loudon Rd (Rt 9), Latham | TheCenturyHouse.com
2339 NY 43, Averill Park 518.674.3132; olddaley.com
Daley’s on Yates
10 Yates St., Schenectady 518.901.0174; daleysonyates.com
Old Daley Custom Catering 2 Northern Dr., Troy 518.235.2656; olddaley.com
If you or someone you know is getting married, Daley Hospitality Group has a number of great locations and catering options to choose from. Voted “Best Wedding Venue” in CAPITAL REGION LIVING’s 2020 Bestie Awards, Old Daley on Crooked Lake, located just 30 minutes from Downtown Albany, is a one-ofa-kind craftsman-inspired lakehouse with multiple rooms, hardwood floors throughout and the ability to host both indoor and lakeside events. In nearby Schenectady, Daley’s on Yates is an award-winning mid-century modern restaurant that hosts “out of the box” Sunday weddings. The last catering option gives clients the opportunity to host their event at the venue of their choice, while still enjoying the delicious food and top-notch service Old Daley is known throughout Upstate New York for. Old Daley Custom Catering, another 2020 Bestie winner in the caterer category, offers a boutique experience at venues such as Saratoga’s Canfield Casino, Cropseyville’s Greywacke Meadows or a location of your choosing.
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Comfortable seating is a must for any outdoor space, says Redbud Development Co-owner Karen Redick.
Turn Your Outdoor Space Into A Social Distancing Sanctuary Tips and tricks for sprucing up your porch, patio or backyard this spring.
REDBUD DEVELOPMENT INC.
» BY NATALIE MOORE « icture this: It’s June 2020, the weather outside is beautiful, and you still have to practice social distancing, because the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. You’ve been cooped up in your home for three long months, and your only escape is your own backyard. Now, if this actually ends up happening—at press time, there was no way of knowing just how long we’d be on lockdown—it makes sense that you’d want your backyard to be a relaxing, cozy area with as many conveniences of indoor living as possible. In short, you’d want your own, personal social distancing sanctuary.
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Warm lighting makes this already cozy outdoor space even cozier.
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In recent years, “outdoor living”— extending your indoor living space onto your porch, patio or backyard— has become increasingly popular. Comfortable weather-proof furniture, outdoor dining sets and outdoor pizza ovens are popping up on porches and in yards across the country, and the markets reflect the trend: Just two years ago, the global outdoor furniture market was valued at more than $16 billion, per MarketWatch, and is expected to reach $23.6 billion by 2025. And now, given Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stay-at-home order, having your own outdoor space seems as necessary as ever. Karen Redick, who co-owns Wilton landscape design and construction firm Redbud Development with her husband, Geff, sees the importance of having a comfortable outdoor area ready for warmer climes—especially now. “We will better appreciate our outdoor spaces,” Redick says, “whether that is a front porch that enables us to chat
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping people cooped up in their homes, having an inviting outdoor space is more important than ever.
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with a neighbor, a rear patio to stargaze and enjoy a glass of wine or a spacious backyard where the kids and dogs are running around expending energy.” How exactly do we transform our backyard from a nice place for a cookout a few times a summer to our sole sanctuary during these unprecedented, stressful times? Greenery is one answer. Back in February, House Beautiful magazine identified 55 landscaping ideas for a magical outdoor space, many of which range from green to greener (think hydrangea walls, overgrown terraces, tree-shaded patios, pear tree trellises, ivy-covered walls, sculpted hedges, vine-draped gazebos and charming topiaries). Ryan Cullinan, owner of Hewitt’s Garden Centers, concurs. “The lawn makes up a large area of most people’s outdoor spaces, so a great thing to do to improve your outdoor areas at your home would be to green up and thicken up your grass,” he says. “Put flowering planters on a porch or patio. Another easy way to spruce an area up is growing vegetables in containers on a deck or near the grill.” Even for those who are lacking in the green thumb department, there are still ways to cozy-fy your outdoor space this spring. “My personal must-have items
This deck by Redbud Development comes equipped with a privacy wall— perfect for practicing social distancing. for spending a lot of time on your porch or patio would be comfortable seating (with a throw blanket, of course), access to music and some sort of lighting (candles, string lights or even a small fire pit will do),” says Redick. “If you are behind the game and just looking for a way to encourage more time spent in the fresh air and sunshine, don’t be afraid to get creative and improvise. Build a temporary seating area with old chairs, or go old-school with crates and a board. Add some colorful pillows and a side table. Even if it’s just a space to have a coffee break, it will give you respite from that feeling of cabin fever.” The moral of the story? Whatever you can do to “zhuzh” up your outdoor space will be worth it. “If your outdoor areas at your home or your apartment are more inviting, you tend to want to be out there more, and your time spent there is more enjoyable,” Cullinan says. “Whether you are out playing with your kids or the dog, or if you are just relaxing and reading a book, having pretty flowers, a nice lawn or even a cute statue in your garden that puts a smile on your face when you look at it can make a major difference.” And during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes a smile can be really helpful in getting you through the day.
OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11am – 10pm Friday and Saturday: 11am – 11pm Sunday: 12 – 10pm CLOSED TUESDAYS
1360 New Scotland Road • Slingerlands 518.439.6428 • goldcoinrestaurant.com
TEMPORARY TAKE-OUT HOURS! TAKE-OUT DINNERS Wednesday-Saturday 3:30-7:45PM; Sunday 2-7:30PM CATERING Wednesday thru Sunday- 12-4PM
126 Mariaville Road • Schenectady 518.355.5323 • canalisrestaurant.com M A Y 2 0 2 0 | C R L M A G . C O M | 33
Teach your children all about the big world out there, one recipe at a time.
» BY VI KK I M ORAN, TH E GRATEFU L TRAV EL ER «
Many of The Grateful Traveler’s favorite adventures have featured cooking classes, including one during which she made strudel in Vienna, Austria.
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n her entertaining memoir, Save Me the Plums, Ruth Reichl—revered chef, food writer, critic and final editor of Gourmet magazine— recalls that while accompanying her father to bookstores, she would leaf through vintage copies of Gourmet. She found tales of food in faraway places within its pages—and her interest was piqued. She credits this as her entrée to the food writing world. I’m not suggesting that every child who is excited by the contents
of a culinary magazine—or might help his or her parent out in the kitchen—will grow up to be a famous food editor. But an interest in food and far-flung cultures can result in a lifetime of curiosity about the world. While we’re all still isolated in our homes, hit the kitchen for educational and stimulating activities that can open up a wonderous new world through food preperation in the context of travel. As a travel writer, I have always extended my journeys by bringing home cooking techniques, flavors and recipes. Many of my favorite adventures have included cooking classes. I will always think tenderly back on making cold cherry soup in Budapest, Hungry; strudel in Vienna, Austria; and cooking with chestnuts in Orvieto, Italy. I always leave the destinations I travel to with a deeper sense of their culture. Here are a few subjects you can add to your homeschooling bag of tricks to help bring the outside world in for your children, without having to set foot outside your home.
Teach Kids Cultural (a.k.a. Human) Geography
Reference website thoughtco.com describes this concept as “the study of the many cultural aspects found throughout the world and how they relate to the spaces and places where they originate.” As you cook with your child, tell them about the place where the dish was created, not just the dish itself.
Get Kids Interested in Chemistry and Math
Kids can learn basic chemistry and math through the measurements and reactions that go into a good recipe.
How About Agritourism?
Studying agritourism can open up countless doors for children who are stuck at home. The concept is that farms, ranches and vineyards welcome tourists, who stay right on the property and learn all about the origins of their products. And agritourists can even pitch in and make some of the products. Sounds fun, right? Find a few online that your child wants to do when this is over and create an itinerary.
Or, Maybe, Anthropology? Say you decide to make a batch of gazpacho with the help of your child. Prepare a list of questions such as: Where’s its country of origin? Is it an ancient, modern or somewhere-inbetween type recipe? Has the dish popped up in other countries under a different name? All of these questions have answers!
And Of Course, History, History and More History! Dig deeper into a dish’s land of origin. Who first prepared it, and what was the world like when it first arrived on plates?
Class is in Session!
Now that we’ve tossed around some ideas, let’s begin by choosing a country to study and a dish to make from it. Pull together tools such as maps to help illustrate where the dish comes from. Create a wish list based on what has intrigued you about the country and why you’d someday desire to travel there. Research any Capital Region markets that may sell the harder-to-find ingredients in your dish. Investigate the type of cooking utensils and methods used in its preparation. Can you substitute any of its items? For example, a Moroccan tagine might not be among your collection of pots and pans. Try using a Dutch oven instead, or get the kids involved by fashioning a tagine-style lid out of a large funnel and tin foil. Use a heavy skillet as your base, and voila! Your kitchen will be laced with the scents and flavors of a Casablanca market in no time.
With or without the COVID-19 crisis isolating you at home, the Internet is your best resource on all things ethnic foods. YouTube, Pinterest and cooking blogs are jampacked with great advice about delicious dishes and have actual cooking demonstrations on them. One of my favorite local cooking demos is done by Tara Kitchen’s Aneesa Waheed. “Cook, Learn, Share” is the new “Eat, Pray, Love.” And who knows? You might even tempt your picky eaters with your new “travel dinners.”
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Events Calendar » Support local businesses while socially distancing. «
ALBANY COUNTY Albany Symphony Hour WMHT/Albany Symphony While all of the Albany Symphony’s concerts through May 30 have been rescheduled, there’s still a way you can get your classical music fix. Every Friday at 6pm, WMHT is broadcasting past Albany Symphony concerts, hand selected by David Alan Miller, the symphony’s Grammy Award-winning conductor, and Rob Brown, WMHT’s radio music director. Tune in to WMHT 89.1 or visit wmht.org to listen live online. For more information on the rescheduling of symphony performances, go to albanysymphony.com.
Quarantine Cuisine Downtown Albany Business Improvement District Starting to get low on food? Or just tired of your repertoire of trusty recipes after making three meals a day for weeks on end? Turn to Downtown Albany’s best chefs and restaurant owners. To enlist their help, share a photo of the ingredients you have in your kitchen on the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District’s Facebook page (@albanybid). Each week, one winning photo will be selected. Then, two chefs will create a recipe for you based on the pictured ingredients, and you’ll get a $50 gift certificate to the participating restaurant of your choice. Visit downtownalbany.org for more info.
BY NATALIE MOORE
THE BERKSHIRES PillowTalks Jacob’s Pillow Jacob’s Pillow, home of the longestrunning international dance festival, was forced to cancel its 2020 summer festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of live performances, the center is now hosting an online series of “PillowTalks” with dance experts curated by Director of Preservation Norton Owen, as well as publishing content drawn from the festival’s extensive dance archives to its website, jacobspillow.org. Visit Jacob’s Pillow on Facebook (@jacobspillowdance) to watch the PillowTalk series.
What’s in the Basement Podcast Berkshire Museum Explore the more than 40,000 pieces of art, historical artifacts and natural specimens in the basement of the Berkshire Museum by listening to the museum’s new podcast, What’s in the Basement. Recent episodes have covered a wide range of basement treasures, including a Civil War surgeon’s kit, a mummy, an aquaponic tank and a 1,200-pound stegosaurus named Wally. Visit berkshiremuseum.org for more information.
COLUMBIA COUNTY Social Distancing Community Art Project Roeliff Jansen Community Library
A sample image from the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District’s Quarantine Cuisine initiative.
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Hillsdale’s Roeliff Jansen Community Library wants to see what social distancing means to you. The library is inviting people of all ages to share artwork (photography, drawings and
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Events Calendar FULTON COUNTY Women’s Movement: Art By, About and For Women Virtual Tour Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts Go on a virtual art tour curated by Gloversville’s Paul Nigra Center for the Creative Arts. Women’s Movement: Art By, About and For Women is an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote, and features 89 pieces by 40 artists about women and the female identity. Visit Paul Nigra Center’s Facebook page (@PaulNigraCenter) to see the complete collection.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY Wally, a 1,200-pound Stegosaurus, is featured on the Berkshire Museum’s What’s in the Basement podcast.
more) that depicts what life is like during the COVID-19 quarantine. Submissions will be shared on the library’s social media pages and website, and a community art exhibition of the submissions is in the works for when the library reopens. To submit a piece of art, email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the library’s Facebook page (@roejanlibrary) for more info.
#Take5ForNY Various Locations Montgomery County has launched a countywide campaign that encourages residents to take five minutes each day to call a friend, loved one or acquaintance who may be alone or
feeling isolated during the COVID-19 crisis. Those who end up participating in “Take 5 for NY” can share that they did so on social media by using the hashtag, #Take5ForNY. Visit Montgomery County on Facebook (@MontgomeryCoNY) for more information.
OTSEGO COUNTY Safe At Home National Baseball Hall of Fame And Museum With Major League Baseball postponing its games for the foreseeable future, fans have been feeling pretty let down. So Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is attempting to reconnect fans with the magic of the game via its website’s “Safe At Home” page. Offerings include access to digital collections and exhibits, highlights of some of baseball’s greats, free lesson plans that use baseball to teach traditional school subjects and kids activity downloads. Visit baseballhall.org for more information.
Encore Performances Mac-Haydn Theatre In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, Chatham’s Mac-Haydn Theatre has asked artists who’ve played the venue in the past to record themselves performing the same songs they played at the theater from their homes. A collection of videos from artists including Emily Kron, Rachel RhodesDevey and George Dvorsky currently lives on Mac-Haydn Theatre’s website, machaydntheatre.org.
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Artist Laura Monroe Duprey’s “Among Friends,” featured in the Paul Nigra Center’s Women’s Movement: Art By, About and For Women Virtual Tour.
Events Calendar CONTINUED
One-time Mac-Haydn Theatre performer Elizabeth Ward Land singing in her living room in a YouTube video.
RENNSSELAER COUNTY Online Art Classes The Arts Center of the Capital Region While its physical River Street studios are closed, The Arts Center of the Capital Region is bringing its wide range of art classes online via Zoom. Choose from a variety of classes such as Intro to Knitting, The Art of Journaling, Intro to Decorative Lettering and Virtual Studio Sprouts (an art exploration and singalong for children ages 2 to 5). The Arts Center has also started a new Art is Everywhere Challenge, which encourages artists of all abilities to submit works each week that relate to a specific prompt—the first being to create a self portrait using food from your kitchen! Visit artscenteronline. org to register for a class or learn more about the Art is Everywhere Challenge.
Margarita and Taco To-Go Saturdays Slidin’ Dirty In honor of the weather getting warmer, Troy restaurant Slidin’ Dirty will be offering Margarita and Taco To-Go Saturdays every Saturday for the foreseeable future. (A spokesperson for the restaurant told CAPITAL REGION LIVING, “It’ll be going as long as we can, because tacos + margaritas = happiness.”) The offer will include Slidin’ Dirty’s regular-menu tacos—including buffalo chicken, chili lime shrimp and “dirty burger,” a beef or chicken burger in taco form—in addition, to some “surprise options.” Visit Slidin’ Dirty on Facebook (@SlidinDirtyFoodTruck) for more information.
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Events Calendar SARATOGA COUNTY True Crime Night Palette Cafe
project theme : beaut y Featuring artist Ebony G. Patterson from the exhibition Serious Sparkle
Social distancing hasn’t stopped the Palette Cafe, a coffee shop, cocktail bar, coworking space and community gathering place, from hosting its regularly scheduled True Crime Night, virtually, via Zoom. Meet up with other web sleuths to talk about everything from true crime podcasts and local cold cases to the Netflix documentary series Tiger King every Wednesday from 6-8pm. Visit Palette on Facebook (@palettecafeny) for more information on True Crime Night and the cafe’s other weekly programs.
Tang At Home The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery Skidmore College’s Tang Museum is continuing to bring art activities and education to the public, even with its doors closed. The museum has launched Tang at Home, a series of exhibitioninspired activities that encourage people to create, color and share their art on social media with the hashtag #TangAtHome. Visit tang.skidmore.edu to download the activities and learn about other initiatives the museum is taking on during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ebony G. Patterson, Untitled (Blingas 1), 2008, from the series Gangstas for Life, mixed media on hand-cut paper, 60 x 44 inches, courtesy of the Irurre Savic Collection, Korea and Switzerland, and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago
Ebony G. Patterson’s Untitled (Blingas 1) is the inspiration for one of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery’s Tang at Home projects.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY MiSci on the Move Museum of Innovation & Science Schenectady’s Museum of Innovation & Science (MiSci) is offering free access to online educational videos on its YouTube page for parents and educators. Videos cover a range of topics, from the constellation Orion to solar ovens and the science of bubbles. Visit youtube. com/schdyinventtech to watch all the MiSci on the Move videos.
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Show Me Schenectady Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation Every weekday at 4pm, the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) is going live on Facebook (@DowntownSchenectady ImprovementCorporation) with a different Schenectady business owner
or community leader to showcase the new and innovative ways they are doing business during the COVID-19 crisis as part of its Show Me Schenectady promotion. You can also check out past Show Me Schenectady videos, which feature businesses such as MopCo Improv Theater and Studio 4 Hot Yoga & Pilates, at downtownschenectady.org.
Events Calendar COLUMBIA COUNTY Art Omi Sculpture and Architecture Park
1 1. Zoid (2018) by LevenBetts 2. Aerial view of (L-R) Evitim (2018) and Primitive Hut (2017) by Caroline O’Donnell and Martin Miller 3. Prismatic (2018) by Hou de Sousa 4. Aerial view of (L-R) Eureka (2000) by Brian Tolle, Day Trip (2018) by Sarah Braman, and Arcs in Disorder: 4 Arcs x 5 (2000) by Bernar Venet
Need a break from the great indoors? Take a walk among jaw-dropping installations at Art Omi Sculpture and Architecture Park in Ghent, just a half hour’s drive south of Albany. Art Omi’s gallery is currently closed, but its 120acre campus, comprised of more than 60 sculptures and architectural works, is open to guests (to explore but not touch!). See works such as Caroline O’Donnell and Martin Miller’s Evitim, a twisting 24foot tower, and Hou de Sousa’s Prismatic, a colorful exhibit made of iridescent rope and rebar (a type of steel bar). The park is open from dawn to dusk, is dog friendly and free and open to the public. For more info, visit artomi.org. — Simone Teague
(1) ART OMI; (2, 3, 4) ALON KOPPEL, COURTESTY OF ART OMI
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50+ LIVING Advertising Section
Daughter of Sarah Senior Community 180 Washington Ave. Ext., Albany 518.456.7831; daughtersofsarah.org
The mission of Daughters of Sarah is to enhance the quality of life, assure the safety and dignity and foster the independence of those served by the senior community’s facilities and programs. One such facility is the award-winning Massry Residence, the premier independent living option in the Capital City. Massry Residence apartments are private, spacious and airy, and include a number of amenities, such as onsite wellness activities and delicious Kosher dining. From the Massry Residence, it’s also an easy transition to Daughters of Sarah’s Nursing Center, which boasts 210 private rooms and a home-like setting, should the needs of a resident change.
The Spinney at Van Dyke
6 Parker Mathusa Pl., Delmar 518.689.0162; thespinneyatvandyke.com Leaving your house does not mean you have to leave your privacy behind. The Spinney at Van Dyke is a new approach to living for the “55 and better” community, allowing residents to move away from the burdens of owning their home while allowing a sense of privacy in a community setting. Each cottage at The Spinney features private entryways, back and front porches, as well as direct-access attached garages. The Spinney lifestyle is the smoothest transition from owning a home to downsizing and renting. Go see why today!
retirement years. The Sentinel takes great pride in its dedicated, caring and professional staff. Each staff member is carefully chosen for his or her courtesy and commitment to The Sentinel’s residents.
your home during quarantine. Call or email to receive your free copy. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Nina Sher, Senior Real Estate Specialist
River Ridge Living Center, a 120-bed rehabilitation and skilled nursing center in the heart of Amsterdam, is family owned and operated. Renowned for its beauty and home-like atmosphere, patients and residents thrive in the friendly environment. River Ridge combines a comprehensive array of clinical services with an individualized rehabilitation approach. The 30acre, park-like property offers a full selection of activities for every activity level, while the kitchen produces culinary delights for three daily homestyle meals plus snacks.
The Sentinel of Amsterdam
Hunt Real Estate ERA 1365 New Scotland Rd., Slingerlands 518.368.5578; huntrealestate.com
The Sentinel was created with a vision centered on providing individualized care in a home-like setting for seniors. Family owned and operated, The Sentinel brings decades of experience in the provision of quality care to its residents. Its philosophy focuses on taking a positive approach to senior living, and its goals are to build an active and full life in a person’s
We have all been getting reacquainted with our homes in recent weeks! How does it feel? Does this reunion offer a warm sense of comfort, or confirm that it’s time to move? While we’ve had to temporarily change the way we handle real estate transactions, the market is still quietly humming along. If you’re thinking about moving, it is time to spruce up your home. To help you get started, Nina Sher created a “Local Resource List” to spruce up
10 Market St., Amsterdam 518.896.0010; sentinelalf.com
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River Ridge Living Center
100 Sandy Dr., Amsterdam 518.843.3503; riverridgelc.com
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Health // Soul // Finance
Experts How to Avoid Aches and Pains While Working Remotely D R . C A R O LY N D R I S C O L L , D C
orking from home has become the new norm, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Global Workplace Analytics, more than half of US employees (i.e. 75 million workers) may be working remotely before the crisis is over. While working in pajamas may be a small perk, the departure from your ergonomic office workstation to your relaxed, DIY home office desk could have a negative impact on your posture and overall health. Below are a few tips to maximize your new workspace to minimize your body’s aches and pains.
(1) Maintain Healthy Posture There’s an old rule of thumb that suggests that the correct sitting posture is composed of right angles at the knees, hips and elbows—the so-called “90-9090” rule. Modern studies suggest that there is no one single posture that is correct for a sustained period of time. In other words, to stay healthy, you need to shift positions often. Use the 90-90-90 rule to get in a starting position and then fan out from there: • When sitting in your office chair, position your knees at 90 degrees, directly over your ankles to keep your spine comfortably upright. • Your feet should be flat on the floor, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Supportive armrests should not cause you to shrug your shoulders. • Good lumbar support such as a pillow reduces strain to the lower back.
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(2) Alternate Between Sitting And Standing Keep in mind that sitting creates a load on the lower back that is 50 percent greater than standing, so it is beneficial to create an at-home standing desk if possible. Consider any excess furniture in your home as a potential standing desk and get creative.
(3) Take Frequent Breaks And Stay Active! Our bodies are built for movement. Getting up at least once an hour to physically remove yourself from the workspace reduces pressure on spinal disks and boosts circulation. Try using a free app on your laptop or phone to set a recurring reminder for yourself about when to get moving.
(4) Adjust Your Monitor or Laptop Your laptop screen should be positioned so that the very top of the monitor is at eye level. This height allows you to maintain a healthy, neutral spine. Use books or an upside-down laundry basket to raise your laptop to a higher level at home if need be.
(5) Give Your Shoulders a Little Love Sitting or standing at your desk for most of the day pulls your head forward and rounds your shoulders, resulting in achy, restricted shoulders. You can combat this with a simple wall stretch: Begin by standing tall with your right forearm against a wall and your elbow bent to
90 degrees. Gently turn your body away from the wall until you feel a mild to moderate stretch across your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times. Repeat with your left arm.
(6) Strengthen Your Core Weak core muscles contribute to slouching and accelerate wear and tear on the spine. Core exercises such as bird-dogs, planks and glute-bridges will give your body a strong foundation and it’ll keep you upright, balanced, pain-free and, most importantly, happy.
(7) Maintain Healthy Eating Habits Remember that what you eat will impact your overall health, mood and energy levels. Focus on protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables to fuel your body throughout the workday.
(8) Stay Hydrated Hydration is key to maintaining soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in joints. Our spinal disks are vulnerable to dehydration and can begin to lose height. As spinal disks begin to shrink, you become more susceptible to painful disk conditions.
Health // Soul // Finance
Resist The Darkness; Step Into The Light BY SANDY MENZER
ur world and economy have been shaken due to the COVID-19 pandemic—as have our foundation and feeling of security. This means that as a community, we’re all in need of transformation and change to rebuild our broken lives. We’ve been encouraged to take care of ourselves, our planet, loved ones and fellow human beings, so that we can gracefully age until it’s our time to leave the Earth in our physical form. With so many out there suffering, these challenging times can bring out both the best and worst in people. The worst is the chronic fear, anxiety and anger, as well as stress that makes us feel as though we’re “lacking.” Most of us are quarantined in our homes, and it’s tested our survival
Challenging times can create opportunities to bring out the good in us. instincts. But challenging times can create opportunities to bring out the good in us as well. With less income and freedom, we must find different means to use our time. Enjoy the simple things in life like reading a book. Take an online course: Knowledge is power. Cook more meals from scratch, so you can eat healthier and boost your immune system. (That might mean losing some of those extra pounds.) Exercise more and feel healthier. Spend more time in nature and take more time to smell the roses, which will help heal your psyche and
keep you more stable and grounded. Although we may not at first see it this way, globally, we are awakening to a higher level of consciousness and being pushed to become enlightened and more compassionate human beings. We need to share and give more love and provide assistance to those who are in need of help during this crisis. For years, many of us have been running on a hamster wheel and become so stressed out and busy that we no longer spend quality time with our family and friends. Many of us feel lonely and isolated even when surrounded by people. Out of the darkness we walk to the light! With more time to bond with loved ones, we can heal and repair our broken families. We can relearn how to have good, clean fun for a change instead of work, work, work until we are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Now is the time when we can awaken our inner child. Resist being on screens all of the time and take more time away from the Internet. Many of us have neglected our precious homes, because there hasn’t been enough time to organize or clean them. It is a perfect time to step up and “pay it forward.” Prepare and create healthy meals for families in need, and shop for those members of your family who are not able to go out and shop for themselves, so they can prepare their own healthy meals. Pick up a telephone and call an old friend, relative or lonely person who would be thrilled to hear your voice. If you’re self-employed, volunteer your services or share your products and abundance of resources with those who cannot pay or obtain help or services. Healers and teachers are volunteering their time and resources by educating and assisting the afflicted, so they can remain calm. We must stay positive and know that this difficult challenge will soon pass. I’m wishing that you all remain safe, healthy and calm, so that we can rebuild our lives and make this world a better place!
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Health // Soul // Finance
Experts How to Navigate Financial Uncertainty BY MICHAEL O’CONNOR
he COVID-19 pandemic has sent shock waves throughout Wall Street and Main Street. Though the uncertainty that the virus has caused is scary, I want to provide you with some universal financial advice for navigating these perilous times. First and foremost, don’t panic. Important financial decisions should not be driven by fear or emotions. Whether you’ve invested in the stock market or are living paycheck to paycheck, your top priority should be to stay calm and rational. There are several basic strategies you can use if you find that you’re struggling to pay the bills. The first step is to make a list of all your monthly expenses, such as rent, payment obligations, commuting expenses, leisure activities and grocery bills. Performing this simple exercise (even if you think you “know” how much you’re spending on what) will be more eye-opening than you think, and help you understand how you’re spending your hard-earned money. Then you can start making adjustments. Food and rent are a priority, but is cable TV or that gym membership? With unemployment beginning to skyrocket, make certain to communicate with any creditors that you’re struggling to pay. That’s right–pick up the phone and call, and don’t be shy. Direct communication (be pleasant but firm) is key. Oftentimes, especially now with recent government intervention, you’ll be able to obtain temporary relief in the form of reduced minimum payments or forbearance. The current concerns for individuals on firmer financial ground revolve less
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around near-term obligations and more around their investment exposure. Over the past several weeks, even the most passive investor couldn’t avoid noticing the historic financial market meltdown and subsequent daily volatility. The ferocity of wealth destruction was epic, shedding trillions of dollars in US markets alone, leaving many wondering what to do in response. For investors, the million-dollar question right now is, do I buy or sell? Basic investment advice always begins with assessing risk versus opportunity. First, you need to determine your risk tolerance, or more simply, what you are prepared to lose if you’re wrong. That answer is often related to your age and anticipated time horizon for realizing any reward. For instance, younger people
typically have longer time horizons for the assumed risk to pay off. Older people usually don’t have the luxury of waiting the same period of time and tend to be more risk averse as they age in order to preserve capital. In general, my view is that current economic uncertainty will persist—and we’ll likely see even more adverse effects to the market than anticipated. Since I’m older, I’m growing more cautious and looking to preserve existing capital, essentially seeking to reduce risk. For younger folks with some disposable income to risk, I’d still advise caution. But, if you’re younger, you might look to invest using a technique referred to as “dollar cost averaging.” Trying to pick a market bottom can quickly become a fool’s errand. When I become more optimistic about the economy and market recovering, I’ll probably consider investing in a specific sector Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to reduce my risk of picking the wrong company. Always remember the golden rule of any good investing approach is diversification. Wherever you are on the personal financial spectrum, make no mistake that what happens in the market affects your life whether you’re invested or not. Everything from the prices you pay as a consumer to the interest rates you pay on your debt are derived from the financial markets. In order to expertly navigate your particular financial landscape, start by evaluating your current circumstances and take a disciplined approach to making adjustments.
Play » RESCUE ME «
BY NATALIE MOORE
Note: Each asterisk corresponds to a clue, which when solved, will help reveal the theme of the crossword puzzle. ACROSS 1. Prefix in “prefix” 4. ___ Wednesday 7. Synonym for 4-Down 11. * 12. Scooby-___ 13. Org. concerned with workers’ wellbeing 14. Ruler of Asgard 16. COVID-19, for one 18. Adored 20. Vietnamese soup 21. Type of bread or whiskey 22. Form of do 24. Dine 26. Canoe necessity 29. Oscar winner Sorvino 31. Type of ’do 35. Rogers played by Hanks in 2019 37. * 38. Reared 39. Classic canine name 40. Genesis locale 42. Ending for lemon 43. List ender (abbr.) 45. Pat 47. ___-City ValleyCats 50. Verizon competitor 52. Get first, second or third 56. American humanitarian organization hinted at by this puzzle’s circled letters 59. What a blinker indicates 60. Thought 61. Truck maker 62. * 63. Whispered attention getter 64. 2020 and 1776 (abbr.) 65. Mag fillers DOWN 1. Poke’s partner 2. Try again 3. Change
4. Shakespeare’s Much ___ About Nothing 5. Minestrone, for one 6. Quick-tempered 7. A ___ effort 8. One of 2.5 billion, for Facebook 9. Country duo Dan + ___ 10. Japanese beverage 15. Simpsons neighbor Flanders 17. Animal that can reach 10 feet long 19. Lessen the intensity of, as light 23. Index of names or businesses 25. Indent key 26. Bug spray brand 27. NPR’s Shapiro 28. * 30. *
32. ___ diavolo sauce 33. * 34. “___ to Joy” 36. Bambi’s mom, for one 41. See 57-Down 44. Road sealant 46. Three-ingredient sandwich, for short 47. One is not recommended at this time 48. Cincinnati team 49. “Beware the ___ of March” 51. 19th century Russian ruler 53. Atmosphere 54. Believability, for short 55. Finishes 57. With 41-Down, a short sleep 58. Texting abbreviation Answers on crlmag.com. Search: crossword
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before you go...
CALMING THE SEAS BY JOHN GRAY
t would be easy to think that what we are living through right now—the isolation, economic uncertainty, disruption of all that is good in our world—is unique. Sadly, it is not. Spend a moment in the history section of your local bookstore (when the coast is clear, of course, to go back to said favorite bookstore), and you’ll soon see history has a cruel habit of repeating itself. Wars, famines and yes, pandemics have long come along and caused every human to stop and take a deep breath and think hard about what really matters in this world of ours: family, work, freedom, love, sitting on a park bench on a sunny day and not freaking out because someone just sat down next to you. Simple things that were treasures all along. As I write this short essay in the back of this fine magazine, the world is still a very uncertain place. The truth is it always has been, but we just haven’t been forced to think about it. Cars cross over the center line all the time, and lives end in a blink. We just convince ourselves that it could never happen to us and shop on Amazon assuming we’ll
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be here when the package arrives. But will we be? These recent weeks have given us all pause. Rather than be dour right now, I thought it might be productive to talk about the opportunity this one moment in time has brought us and our spouses and children. In the first few weeks of the quarantine, I watched teachers work hard to stay connected to their pupils— and parents lose their minds trying to juggle work, education and childcare, and pay bills without an income. None of that was easy. But I couldn’t help but think it was also a chance for all of us to think differently about education and the changes that should be made when the dust settles on this crisis. For one, I believe that every child in America should have a computer at home and high-speed Internet access to distance learn. It would eliminate the worry over snow days. Yes, kids would still get a day off from school, but they could now hop on a computer and see their classmates and still share in a lesson or two. If children got sick and couldn’t be around their peers for a few days, again, they could turn on their home computer,
switch on the camera and dial up their friends so they’d never feel alone. This quiet time at home has also opened a door for parents and grandparents to share a different kind of education, one equally important in life. Perhaps a father could show his daughter how to hammer a nail or hang a picture on the wall without slamming her thumb. Perhaps a grandmother could finally have the time to teach her grandchildren how to make a perfect spaghetti sauce—tiny life lessons that would be treasured long after the surgical masks are put away. This virus has been awful from top to bottom. But in an unexpected way it has forced all of us to hit the pause button on this running-downhill-with-scissors-inour-hands approach that most of us have been taking. Technology made our lives easier, but it has also isolated us (i.e. families sitting at tables in restaurants, none of them talking, all of them heads down looking at their smartphones). I swear, it is almost as if the planet itself said, “ENOUGH! Look at one another, talk to one another, or I’ll make it so you can’t.” So, now we appreciate life differently. In a world of bad, that is something good to take away from this moment. Hold on to that feeling and don’t let this hardlearned lesson fade from memory, once the world starts turning again. I said at the beginning that we are not the first to deal with the troubles of an unkind world, and we can learn from history, from those who came before us and faced their own storms. Some 1,900 years ago, a man named Marcus Aurelius wrote something that gives me comfort and light on the darkest days: “Be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continually pounds; it stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet. I hear you say, ‘How unlucky that this should happen to me.’ Not at all. Say instead, ‘How lucky that I am not broken by what has happened and am not afraid of what is about to happen. The same blow might have struck anyone, but not many would have absorbed it without capitulation or complaint.’” Stay strong, my friends; even these rough seas will relent.
WE’RE HERE FOR YOU In a world of sudden uncertainty, we’re here, just as we have been for more than 70 years in the Capital Region. The strength of the Shield protects you, our community, and those on the front lines providing care. When care means more than ever, we’re here for you.
Visit bsneny.com for more information and updates on COVID-19. Questions about coverage? Call 1-833-235-4054. BlueShield of Northeastern New York is a division of HealthNow NewYork Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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