Saturday, June 19, 2010

Central Park Rose Garden


June 17, 2010

This is the best time of the year for roses…and the best place to see the best roses is at at Schenectady’s Central Park Rose Garden.  The Rose Garden is open 365 days of the year and admission is free. The hours are from dawn to dusk.

Information for this blog was found at the website for the Rose Garden Restoration Committee.

The Rose Garden Restoration Committee is responsible for bringing the garden back from near ruin in the 1980s.

Established in 1959, 400 rose bushes were planted in April 1960 to start the garden.  The number of rose bushes soon grew to 4,000. The garden peaked in the 1970's with an estimated 7,500 bushes.  The garden was the first recipient of the American Rose Society’s award for Outstanding Public Garden on February 10,1970.

During the 1980's, the garden suffered a severe decline until it hit bottom in 1993.

In 1995, the Rose Garden Restoration Committee was formed. Over the next 5 years, over 3,000 new rose bushes were planted and the four cedar rose arbors, were added at the garden entrances.

Vote for the Schenectady Rosegarden

The garden blooms from mid-June to mid-October; its height of bloom is from mid-June to mid-July and again from mid-August to mid-September.

There are really beautiful pictures of the Rose Garden on their website, but below are a few of my own.DSC_0965


















Tour de Cure

June 6, 2010

As a part of our support for community, the SAA  hosted a rest stop for the Tour De Cure -  Bike Ride for Diabetes fund raiser.  Karmen did a great job as rest stop leader.  Especially when she had to run interference with the State Trooper, Fire Department and Fire Police….And it was a pleasure working with Lee, Mike, Tonya, Lori, Susie and Steve.DSC_0831

We enjoyed ourselves even though it was a miserable wet day.  Fortunately, we were under the tents most of the time.  I have to give a lot of credit to the riders.  Real troopers all of them!  And no one was complaining!  1600 people were registered to ride.  I suspect a few didn’t come because of the weather. 

There were 5 different mileage routes – 10, 25, 50, 62.5 and 100.  Our rest stop was on the route for all but the 10 mile riders.  So about an hour and a half into the ride, everyone came by our site.  Not everyone stopped, but a number of riders did.  I think at one point we had about 300 riders coming and going.

The big hit?   Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches –   we ran out!  The Muffins from the Four Corners Luncheonette in Delmar were appreciated as well.  Next year- we’ll make the sandwiches ahead and bag ‘em.  Then we just have to cut them up as we need them.  Did I say next year? Yeah – I’ll do this again….Rain and all.

The Rest Stop at Kilmer Lumber YardDSC_0806Karmen struggled with the first EZ up herself at 6:30 am – fortunately Lee showed up to help with the others.

DSC_0801The calm before the storm – literally.

DSC_0800Ready – Set – Waiting on riders – and waiting and waiting….

…and waiting and waitingDSC_0804

Here they come!DSC_0811

The sandwiches went fast….Muffins were popular too. DSC_0840

Mike looks like just another interested by-stander checking out the bikes and troubles…. DSC_0809

Nope- he gets right in there and spends the majority of his morning doing repairs. DSC_0824

DSC_0819This was a full service stop! – port-a-potties, bike repairs,
map assistance and….

DSC_0850…Bike holding!

Here are a few more of the crew doing some work….Why do you think I like to bring the camera?  (I did make a bunch of sandwiches and cut up a bunch of fruit before getting the camera out…really!)

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DSC_0835 DSC_0838

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Finger Lakes- Memorial Day Weekend 2010

May 27-31, 2010

OK - so the Finger Lakes are NOT in the Capital Region.... But they are only 3 hours away and it is beautiful there.  Plus, there are wineries and breweries and oulets.  What more could you want in a day trip?  But stay the night  and enjoy the area.  We camped at Keuka Lake State Park in Penn Yan.  It is one of my favorite places to stay. 
And of course we stopped at the Keuka Brewing Company for a taste of this and that (Briglin Road Red and their Porter are my favorites). Get a growler or two to take back to camp.  Join the "Growler Club" and get $2  off refills and free tastings....- I am a card carrying Growler Club Member!

You can't go to the Finger Lakes without going to a winery.  If you only have time for one, the place to go is Dr. Kostantin Frank's Wine Cellar.  They have THE BEST Champagne - Chateau Frank Blanc de Blanc or Chateau Frank Brut - both are fabulous.  And they have a really good Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
The new tasting room/deck is huge and has a great view of the lake.  If you haven't been to Dr Frank's in a while - you may remember a non-discript side entrance door that led to the tiny little room with the tasting bar and store.  They've upgraded - just a bit.

It was a very warm weekend.  Not the best time of day to take pictures.  You can see the haze in the air over the lake.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Vespers

May 23, 2010

Yesterday during a lull in the Niska-Day Parade, Doug Lohnas - world renowned Emcee Extraordinaire of Niska-Day Parades - made a shameless plug for the Organ  Concert at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady on Sunday at 5:00.  Since Doug is not a member of the First Reformed Church - you may wonder why the interest - well don't wonder long - the organist was none other than Susan Lohnas!
So of course we had to go- that and we do really like organ music!

It was a very enjoyable, relaxing hour- spent in a beautiful, historic church in the Stockade district of Schenectady.  According to the church website, "The First Reformed Church is Schenectady’s oldest congregation. Founded by Dutch settlers, Schenectady’s first colonists, the Church has long enjoyed an ethnically and ecumenically diverse membership". 
And it is a "Welcoming Congregation".  Nice!

The church is beautiful- inside and out. The woodwork amazing and the windows are gorgeous. I - of course - did not have my camera. Until I get some of my own pictures of this lovely church - I'll just have to show you a couple from their website.
The Organ Concert - really - Organ Vespers was quite enjoyable. 
Susan started with Fanfare and Processional -written by Douglas Wagner.  Interspersed with poems and conversation, she played for about an hour.  I think my favorite piece was Suspended Gardens -something she listed as a piece she - "cannot play at church" -  I think we all agreed that indeed it could be played in church - it was simply beautiful.

If you want to see the First Reformed Church of Schenectady's website and hear the concert: