Dear diary, my short summer staycation

Albany Institute of History & Art
Albany Institute of History & Art
I’ve come to the conclusion that people dis blogging, even when they don’t read blogs, because they believe it’s just a bunch of personal entries, as though it were some sort of public diary. While, I’ve usually attempted to give you a much more diverse and eclectic record, every once in a while, I need a journal entry, if only for ME to keep track of my activities six or sixteen months from now.

July 23: After work, I met The Wife and The Daughter at Albany’s Washington Park at for a free Park Playhouse presentation of the musical Singin’ in the Rain. The family didn’t get there until close to 6 p.m. for a 7:30 performance Continue reading “Dear diary, my short summer staycation”

98 Acres in Albany

State Street, at South Hawk, 1963.
State Street, at South Hawk, 1963.
David Hochfelder, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of History at UAlbany, is working on a research project titled “98 Acres in Albany”. Your help is requested.

The research team would appreciate any help you could give in connecting with people whose lives were affected by the demolition of the area and subsequent construction of the South Mall.

The goal of this project is to build a website that will reproduce the lost streetscape based on photos held at the Albany Institute of History and Art and the NYS Archives that document almost all of the 1,200 buildings demolished as well as map the demographic and public health trends in the 98-acre area and surrounding neighborhoods. Continue reading “98 Acres in Albany”

K is for Killing

The current debate over gun violence likely will not be ended so easily.

My church, First Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY, is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. The church donated some artifacts to the Albany Institute of History & Art, itself founded in 1791. The Institute has an exhibit, ongoing through April 17, showing some of the church history over the years.

Some of the church members included John Jay, eventually the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury; and Aaron Burr, third Vice-President of United States, and the first NOT to go on to become President.

After Burr killed Hamilton in a duel in 1804, Continue reading “K is for Killing”

R is for Real Rodin?

Meanwhile, the booklet and the film of his life that was shown, not to mention the irrefutable Rodin pieces that were shown, still made the visit worthwhile.

Back in the fall of 2005 at the Albany [NY] Institute of History and Art, my wife and I saw this lovely exhibit of the works of Auguste Rodin called Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, which was billed as “a complete retrospective…

“The exhibition spans the length of Rodin’s career from his earliest bust of his father, Jean Baptiste Rodin, to his later studies of dancing figures. In addition to the bronzes, there are works on paper, photographs, portraits of the artist, and an educational model that demonstrates the complexities of the lost-wax casting process, Rodin’s favored method of sculptural reproduction.”

I remember seeing a version of piece called The Thinker. I’d viewed pictures of it many times, and it looked nice. But seeing it in person, I thought it was one of the most sensual items I had ever seen in my life!

As it turns out, though, there was some controversy Continue reading “R is for Real Rodin?”