The Watered the ground, and a Walgreens popped up.

So The Walgreens construction is going very quickly on Holland Ave. I was against it going up from a stand that it did not fit in well with the community architecture. Now that I can see the construction, location, et. al. I will give my analysis

Pros:

  • Location is much needed in area not so much to say as a pharmacy as there are a couple in the area,  but as a 24 hour convience location. Many a time I have needed something at Midnight or so, and I was forced to go to the ghetto chopper on Delaware.
  • Although the location is placed very close to the road, which is a problem I believe, There is one element that is very good. The way the land was developed, the store is about 3 feet lower than the road, so it provides a bit of a natural wall to the store.
  • There are worse locations, it is next to the McDonalds, but it borders the historic part of Holland with the Tudor houses (Does anybody know the story with those?)

Cons:

  • The placement on the land is way too close to the road. Thats what makes the neighborhood great, is the mix of development, but all of these places are off the road, to keep the natural, look to the neighborhood. This walgreens does not fit within the rest of the buildings.
  • Not a separate entrance? It appears as though the only way to enter is through the McDonalds Parking lot that Hackett runs into. There should also be an entrance off Holland as well.

Overall, I am amending my previous hesitations to the Walgreens, and I hope it will make a good addition to the neighborhood.

September 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm 1 comment

Things I like: Tess’ Lark Tavern

Today’s edition will not be a rant, but a praise.

I thoroughly enjoy the Lark Tavern for many reasons.

  1. Tess-An Albany Legend. Tess the owner of the Lark Tavern previously managed Justins, and Bombers. She has a great knack for this business. She remembers everyone, even how they kept their hair the last time they were in. She is always willing to accommodate, and does it always with a smile.
  2. The Food-Arguably the best food, and most diverse of any of the bars on Lark Street. From hamburgers, to Garbage Plates, to pasta that changes daily and home made meatballs, Lark Tavern is much more than a gin mill.
  3. The Clientele-Last night I was in there, and Barack Obama was giving his acceptance speech at the DNC. Not only was it on all the channels, the sound was on, and everyone was paying attention to the speech. This type of people that would stop what they are doing for politics are a rare group of people you will find out at bars at 11 pm on a thursday…certainly not at other Albany establishments.
  4. Service-The service here is second to none, I have never had more receptive, quick, efficient, and all allround excellence in a bar.

Kudos to everyone at the Tavern for making it such a great place to hang out!

August 29, 2008 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

Today’s Rant: District Attorneys

Today’s Rant is on District Attorneys…

So I was inspired by this post by reading about Bob Morgenthau at, Manhattan DA for the last 35 years, and is going to be running for re-election next year at 90. This made me think, how did Morgenthau get the support of New Yorkers that love you win you win, and hate you when you lose.

Morgenthau in his tenure can be repeatedly attributed with reducing crime in New York City, and prosecuting white collar crime. He is a legend in the Justice system, so much that a TV show was created about his office, and a character with a lot of his personalities and styles as much a part of the show as well.

Now lets look at this locally. (more…)

July 31, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Why I lose hope in people

This is an interesting article that was in the Hartford Courant today:

Rattled Americans Try Their Lottery Luck In Hard Times

The article discusses how people are playing the lottery in tough economic times so that they can “get ahead”

Seriously?

All lottery programs are are a regressive tax on the poor and stupid. My favorite line from the article is “But if I spend $10 on the lottery, at least I have a chance of making $5,000, and then I could take a real trip. … Times are tough and my only choice is to take a chance.”

Lets do some simple economics.

This guy spends $1000 a year on the lottery. According to the CT Lottery Website, the odds of winning are 1-5. lets say he does a little bit better, and cashes a few more tickets and wins $250 dollars instead of $200. That would leave him with $750 a year, to spend as he wishes, he  could take a real trip with that, and what he would spend on a “fake trip” maybe its not to cabo, but is a “vacation” none the less.

What aggrevates me here is the same with many of these other economic issues. These are the same people that are begging the government for subsidies and handouts to help with their mortgage they got into, the credit cards they maxed up, and the cars they didn’t need that they bought.

In full disclosure, I gamble. In fact I spent a couple days this week at the track. I play with money I can afford to lose. I don’t play with the mortgage, or the kids tuition.

For further reading:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1126.html

July 27, 2008 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

Bus info on Google Maps!

From our friends over at AOA:

google maps screengrab

The intersection of State and Pearl in downtown Albany.

Check it out: Google Maps now offers transit info on its maps for the Capital Region. (Zoom in to the third closest level to see it.)

Bus stops are marked with an icon. Click on them and info about all the routes that connect at that stop pops up. Click on one of the numbers and a schedule will pop up. Pretty cool.

July 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Latest Rant-Public Transportation

So today’s rant is on public transportation. I shall start in Albany and then move to the greater Capital District.

Public Transportation in Albany is abysmal at best. And it has become a endless loop of mismanagement, idiocracy, and just plain stupidity. The lack of planning that has progressed over the many years has only created a endless domino effect of encouraging people not to use public transportation.

Who is to blame? The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) is the obvious answer, but this is not solely and absolutely the problem. If we take Albany for instance, the PUblic Transportation is VERY INCONVENIENT to take in most instances. As long as you don’t need to transfer buses, and as long as you live near a route, and as long as you want to take CDTA between the hours or 8-5:30, its not horrible. But any other time or place, god help you.

By no means am I asking for the CDTA to be like the MTA, or DC Metro, as that would be obviously unobtainable. But, simple things that CDTA could do to increase rider ship would be to have some bus lines that run through the inner core of the city to run past 10:00 which many of them stop at.

This makes me every day to figure out what I have to do throughout the day, and if there is any possibility that I would stay downtown later then just for work, as in many instances this would cause me to resort to using my car. I’m not asking for 24 hour service, and all routes, but having them run so I don’t have to worry about this would be great.

For instance, this morning I was going to New York for work. As the good environmentally conscious person I am, I chose to take Amtrak instead of driving down to New York. But, as I researched the possibility of taking the CDTA from my apartment to the Train Station in Rennselear, I found that not only could I not take the bus going, I also could not get it coming back. Honestly? The best part of they story is that CDTA owns the train station, so you would think they would want to encourage people to ride CDTA to the train station then the 3 routes that go there now. On the way over I can partially understand as I am taking an early train, but I am coming back at 10:30-11ish…Not that late. Why can’t CDTA run a shuttle across the Dunn Memorial Bridge from the Empire State Plaza to the train station starting an hour before the 1st train out, and an hour after the last train arriving? If they could make it more affordable than the gouging prices of Metroland Taxi, everyone would win. In fact, I have a great idea, build a automatic shuttle that goes across the partially built “Bridge to nowhere” portion of the Dunn Memorial Bridge, that goes back and forth between the Train Station, and the Capitol, Empire State Plaza, and Downtown. Now I am no city planner, so I can’t tell you the cost of this exactly, but according to my engineering friends, this would be about the cost, or less than a convention center. I think my plan is better than the Tan Man. What do you think?

This is only the first rant on Public Transportation. Don’t fret, there are more to come.

June 16, 2008 at 6:27 am Leave a comment

Chang’s?

Anybody know what the deal is here? I went in there to pick up food a week ago or so, and the place was deserted, but the food wasnt bad. The other day I went in for dinner, and they said the cook would be back in 15 minutes, and today my friend was going to go in for lunch, and they were closed, despite saying they were open. Anybody know what’s going on? Has it always been this way? Is it worth the wait/hassle?

June 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

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