What caught our eye - 5/4/19

May 4, 2019



It used to be warm and sunny during the spring in Upstate New York.
Just ask The Simpsons.

HOMER’S UPSTATE ODYSSEY: Upstate New York has been in high dudgeon all week. Not since “Escape at Dannemora” have we looked at ourselves on TV — and recoiled in such denial. Thanks to The Simpsons for giving us the opportunity to summon a healthy dose of outrage about the truly inconsequential. Elected officials rushed out the usual how-dare-they condemnations and blame-somebody-else broadsides. Even the State Fair got in on the act. The State Fair! (Yes, we still have one!)  http://bit.ly/HomerOdyssey  http://bit.ly/TheHomerResponse

HOLLYWOOD IN THE HUDSON VALLEY: When the characters went to battle in Avengers: Endgame, the actors were in Atlanta, but some of the battlefield scenes were pure Hudson Valley.  http://bit.ly/AvengersHudsonValley

CREATIVE INVESTORS: A local college investment club competed against teams from 27 other colleges across the Northeast. They took a fictional $1 million investment and posted the top return,  a stunning 48.75 percent. Which local college? http://bit.ly/NoStudentDebtHere

WILD THINGS: More than 120 million Monarch Butterflies are on their way from Mexico to New York State, the highest number in a decade or more. They’re coming to feast on our milkweed and other plants between mid-May and late June. http://bit.ly/MillionsofMonarchs

The buzz is that it’s going to be a bad season for black flies in the Adirondacks.    http://bit.ly/BlackFlyBuzz

Great Whites have taken up residence off Cape Cod.  http://bit.ly/CapeFearsSharks

And a bear was spotted running down Nott Street in Schenectady.  http://bit.ly/NottBear

NO SMALL SOUND: Glens Falls is the smallest city in America to support a fully professional symphony. It’s been so for 30 years. Drawing musicians from the Capital Region, New York, Boston, Rochester and New Jersey, the GFSO – under the direction since 2000 of Charles Peltz – has beautifully redefined what a community-based orchestra can aspire to be. On Sunday, catch its season finale, Bernstein and Beethoven: The Great Legacy. http://bit.ly/BigSoundSmallCity

FARM LIVIN’: The fabulous Beekman Boys are famous for fleeing the city, buying a Sharon Springs farm and leaving it all behind to make goat’s milk soap and star in a reality TV show.  This weekend they’re giving up green acres to come to the city — Schenectady ­— to sell their popular Beekman 1802 beauty and home products and artisan foods (even the popular Goat Poop chocolates) at 75 percent off.   http://bit.ly/BeekmansInSchenectady

Queensbury Hotel.jpg

The iconic Queensbury Hotel has retained its historic class
while renovating and updating its guest rooms.

Q THE CROWDS: Three years and $3 million later, Ed Moore and his team have put the hot in Hotel. The Albany Business Review takes an appreciative look at the Queen of Downtown Glens Falls, a gem restored. http://bit.ly/RestoredQ

BOB’S MELODIES – If you’ve ever enjoyed the Melodies of Christmas, broadcast each holiday season on CBS6, you have Bob English to thank. A Capital Region tradition of nearly 40 years, Melodies is staged at Proctors and is a fundraiser for the Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. Bob had a long career in local television news and then moved to producing special programs for television stations and videos for other clients. Simply Saratoga asked the master storyteller about his own story. http://bit.ly/BobsMelodies

HURRICANE FORCE: Hurricane Mountain, between Keene and Elizabethtown, has been named “Best Hike in New York” in a national survey by Outside Magazine. http://bit.ly/HikeTheHurricane

NOW THIS IS TRAIL MIX: The Adirondack region is increasingly positioning itself as a culinary destination, with its unique flavors and cooking traditions supported by local farms and food and beverage purveyors. They are all being spotlighted in a new Adirondack Lakes Cuisine Trail. http://bit.ly/CuisineTrail

NO STROLL: Here’s a chance to hit the ropes, scale walls, three-step the stairs, navigate a slip-’n-slide and maybe even do a few squat thrusts as you run 3.5 miles through Downtown Glens Falls. The Glens Falls Urban Assault will take place Saturday, May 25, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Crandall Park Beautification Committee and the Adirondack Vet House. http://bit.ly/GFUrbanAssault

SONNY, MOVE OUT TO THE COUNTRY: Ah, the challenges of a wealthy Long Island enclave. The community is debating whether to ban personal helipads. If only Billy Joel could take the Hudson River line or afford a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac-ac. http://bit.ly/Helicopter_Neighbors

CALL ME INTERESTED – The Albany of yore is “not down on any map; true places never are,” but it’s the home of Herman Melville, who turns 200 this year. Rising to the occasion, The Moby-Dick Book Club has formed, a collaboration among the New York State Writers InstituteHistoric Albany Foundation and Discover Albany. It’s a fun, casual gathering of people who want to talk Melville and Moby-Dick over pints of the Albany Pump Station’s specially brewed Melville’s White Ale. The next gathering is Wednesday, May 8. Author and Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl and Mary Valentis, a UAlbany English faculty member and Melville scholar, will speak. The events will culminate with a gathering at the Writers Institute’s 2nd annual Albany Book Festival at UAlbany on September 14. http://bit.ly/SeekingTheWhiteAle

MORE FIRST FAMILIES: Last week we began a list of multiple-generation, family-owned businesses that have survived, succeeded and improved the communities of Upstate New York. We knew our list was not complete and asked readers chime in. We now add our friends at the Nigro Companies, 50 years in commercial real estate development throughout Upstate New York and Massachusetts; the Pompas of Pompa Brothers Stone, serving the community since 1947, now with the third generation on board; and six-generation Curtis Lumber, coming up on its 130th year in business. Please keep sending us names and we’ll keep spotlighting other multi-generational, family-owned enterprises.

HOW AMUSING: Last week we noted the Great Escape turns 65 this summer and, in our exuberance, called it the first theme park in the country. Fun-loving readers set us straight. Another Adirondack attraction, North Pole Village (aka Santa’s Workshop) in Wilmington, actually preceded Storytown by five years (opening in 1949) and Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., opened even earlier — in 1946. Santa was always ahead of the curve.

DELAYED GRATIFICATION: A Maryland woman bought a family piano for $25 at an estate sale in 1992, but when a friend came over to look at a stuck pedal, they discovered a trove of hidden baseball cards. She finally got around to selling one — for more than $130,000. http://bit.ly/BabeInThePiano

BIG-LEAGUE SHADE: Apparently the Lehigh IronPigs are a bit tired of questions about Tim Tebow. But did they really have to diss all Triple-A players in the process? http://bit.ly/NotTimTebow


DERBY DAY: The most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby, steps off at 6:50 p.m. today, with a wide-open field. It’s the 145th Run for the Roses, and NBC has it. The favorite, Omaha Beach, scratched a few days ago. Keep your eye on trainer Bob Baffert’s always strong barn, which has three colts in the lineup: Game Winner, Improbable and Roadster. The Preakness Stakes will be held May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the Belmont Stakes June 8 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and, of course, The Travers August 24 at Saratoga.

Our picks:
Mark Behan: Game Winner
John Brodt: War of Will
Bill Richmond: Spinoff
Bill Callen: Improbable
Colleen Potter: Cutting Humor
Lisa Fenwick: Country House
Tina Suhocki: Tax


"If something rude of any kind was said, let the winds take it."
— Homer, "The Odyssey"

PLEASE SHARE: Feel free to pass this along to your friends and colleagues.

THANK YOU to our content contributors John Brodt, Bill Callen, Lisa Fenwick, Colleen Potter, Tina Suhocki and Bill Richmond.

FACING OUT: FACING OUT is what we do. We help companies, organizations and individuals work effectively with their most important external audiences – their customers, their shareholders, their communities, the government and the news media.  www.behancommunications.com

Facing Out features news and other nuggets that caught our eye, and that we thought might be of value to you, our friends and business associates. Some items are good news about our clients and friends, others are stories that we hope will leave you a bit more informed or entertained than you were five minutes ago. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. 

Let’s make it a conversationmark.behan@behancom.com



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