Photography

Meet Laura Elmendorf


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The Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course has been local news for the past few months. A new Common Council with a supermajority vote and a Mayor used to getting her own way have stalled contracts for both the golf pro and the concessionaire at MUNI.

Laura Elmendorf is the concessionaire without a contract who has successfully run the restaurant and bar at the golf course.  Still negotiating her contract, Laura is busy planning for this year’s events.  Although the concession used to be open on weekends during the winter, this year it is closed because a contract was never negotiated or signed last year.

As a board member of the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation, this blogger had the opportunity to meet and talk with Laura while planning a fundraiser to be held at MUNI in June. Every year the Foundation is tasked with raising money, organizing and presenting Riverlink Concerts to the public free of charge. Laura is very pleasant, knowledgeable and personable. She seems much wiser than her years. My visit to MUNI was to get a better idea of the layout and space. The AWF fundraiser will be announced as soon as we have a firm commitment, that being easier said then done.  Laura was ready with menu choices, reasonable prices and suggestions. The venue was larger than I imagined and the views were gorgeous, even in the winter!

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I sincerely hope the responsible parties take care of these contracts soon before scheduling opportunities are lost.

Categories: Amsterdam, Business, Celebration, Entertainment, Outdoors, Photography, Politics, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , , , ,

MacEnvy


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Categories: Art, Photography, Technology | Tags: , ,

A Tale of 2 Candidates


Debra Baranello is a registered Democrat who is running for 3rd Ward Alderman in the City of Amsterdam, New York, while Diane Hatzenbuhler, a registered Republican, is running for 4th Ward Alderman. With all of the dysfunction in our federal government as a result of differences in political ideology, you may think these two candidates do not have much in common. Nothing could be further from the truth and that is a very refreshing fact.

This blogger had the privilege of photographing, designing palm cards and brochures for both well qualified candidates for office. The design process involved sitting with each candidate and coming up with a list of concerns they would address as Alderman. Both candidates gave me lists that were almost identical. They want to fight URBAN BLIGHT, decrease CRIME in our neighborhoods, increase COMMUNICATION between elected officials and our citizens and CUT SPENDING to keep property taxes at bay.

Both candidates want to fight urban blight by increasing code enforcement through inspection and prosecution. Diane Hatzenbuhler would like to see annual inspections of rental properties and a workable complaint procedure for tenants. Debra Baranello would like to increase the number of demolitions of condemned properties. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to fight crime by improving our Neighborhood Watch and increasing patrols in known high crime areas. Debra Baranello wants the Amsterdam Police Department to start neighborhood foot patrols as a deterrent and increase recreational activities for our young people. She is grateful for the work done by Amsterdam Recreation and Wishful Thinking at the Clara Bacon School. To improve communication Debra Baranello plans to listen to the concerns of the residents of the 3rd Ward and take positive action. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to improve the flow of communication by increasing transparency of all municipal transactions with an emphasis on finance. To help cut spending, Debra Baranello wants to increase our economic development by working with our elected officials to help revitalize an aging infrastructure to support new business ventures. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to cut all unnecessary spending and increase revenues by prosecuting code violators.

There are negative campaigns being run against both candidates for Alderman. Their opponents must have run out of solutions or viable candidates. Both of these women would make a great addition to the Amsterdam Common Council. With them we have the hope of a bipartisan solution that will bring us out of the standstill that we are stuck in. The Council has been spinning its wheels for much too long. There is power in unity and together the Common Council can move Amsterdam in a forward direction.

 

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Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Diane Hatzenbuhler, candidate for 4th Ward Alderman

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Division Street resident Ed Battistini and Debra Baranello in the 3rd Ward

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Debra Baranello at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam, NY

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NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Debra Baranello, Dan Peluso, NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk in Amsterdam’s 3rd Ward

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NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk and Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Elks Club, 4th Ward

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Holland Garden Apartments, 4th Ward

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Peddler’s Wagon at 5 Corners in the 4th Ward

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Polish National Alliance, 4th Ward

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Pulaski Bridge, 4th Ward

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The Rao Center, 4th Ward

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St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4th Ward

Categories: Amsterdam, Photography, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Greater Amsterdam Riverlink Park


A formal acknowledgement of accomplishment celebrating the conceptualization, design and implementation of Riverlink Park, is what the email invitation described. On Wednesday, August 20, 2013, at 11am, elected officials and representatives from local organizations celebrated the fruition of 30 years of planning and development resulting in Amsterdam, New York’s beautiful Riverlink Park.

Like proud parents seeing their child off to college, Congressman Paul Tonko and Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane were beaming with smiles as they talked about the hard work involved in turning a brownfield contamination into the Jewel of the Mohawk River. Phase one and two of the park development are complete and soon phase three construction will begin. The third phase is the much debated curved pedestrian walkway that will span the Mohawk River as a park lined with benches, plantings, trees and pictographs describing the history of Amsterdam.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Outdoors, Photography, Politics, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Springtime in Cooperstown


The weather provided perfect lighting for photography last weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Beautiful landscapes, flowers and Otsego Lake provide great subjects. This time of year the popular summer tourist attraction is relatively devoid of crowds. With just the small Canon EOS-M (mirror less) camera, I was able to enjoy the day without lugging around the usual 30 pounds of camera gear and still get some great shots.

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Categories: Outdoors, Photography, Technology, Travel | Tags: , , ,

Vertigo


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Feeling a bit embarrassed and sore today as I write this blog entry. With forced hot air heat and no humidifier, it tends to get a little dry in my bedroom on the second floor. About 4:30am I got out of bed to get a drink of water in the downstairs kitchen, the good filtered water from the refrigerator dispenser. Still half asleep, my disabled left arm reached for the handrail as my right foot missed the top step on the back staircase. The stairs are rather narrow, steep and (thankfully) carpeted. My arm never quite got a hold of the handrail as I began traveling down the fourteen steps laterally, bouncing my left buttock and right scapula alternately off each stair until I reached the bottom. My first planking experience was sort of surreal. My mind whirled as my naked body hurled towards the bottom of the staircase. Was this the end? What a dull way to go! I could have at least put some clothes on. I left my phone in the bedroom, how can I call for help? Then that 70′s commercial started playing in my mind, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Thankfully, the worry was for naught. A little soreness, some carpet burns and this blog entry are all that remain to remind me never to do that again!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Pets, Photography | Tags: , ,

Snowshoeing It


Three members of the Amsterdam Photography Club went on a snowshoeing photo adventure today in a gated land preserve near Johnstown, New York. The beautiful preserve provided many photo ops and the weather was perfect for our four-hour hike. My legs reminded me that I should be doing this kind of thing more often! Our gracious host provided the land and some pizzas and coconut water to recover from the strenuous hike. It was well worth the trip!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , ,

2012 in review


This year my blog went through some changes. The Grove Street Grumble became The Grove Street Photographer.  The Buddhists helped me discover that I had more to be thankful for than to grumble about. While the statistics showed people really liked my grumbling posts, there was also a number of people who did not. One reporter for the Gazette even described my writing style as acerbic. While I still have a few acerbic posts now and then, for the most part I have tried to focus on what I can do well, photography.

Sixty posts were added to the Grove Street Photographer blog in 2012. The blog had 33,000 views from 95 countries. May 29, 2012 saw the highest number of views in one day with 1,134 people viewing the post Celebrating Buddhas Birthday.

Other popular posts viewed in 2012 included two from 2011. In the number two spot  is A New York State of Death  followed by Photo Restoration in the third place. The fourth and fifth places go to my 2012 acerbic posts The Many Faces of Michael Chiara and Letter to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.

The 2012 post with the largest number of comments was another acerbic post Mayor Proposes Two Condoms for the City of Amsterdam.

What I took from these statistics was that people would rather look at my photos than read about my political views and I’m good with that. The local papers use talented journalists who are very good at covering local politics. When it comes to photography, I have the edge.

See you next year!

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, History, Media, Photography, Politics, WPHO | Tags: , , , ,

A Very Buddhist Christmas


The World Peace and Health Organization, led by Buddhist Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi and his Monks, put on a very elaborate Holiday celebration this evening at the Goddess of Mercy Temple on Grove Street. Accompanied by the most recent class of Buddhist students, the public received two solid hours of entertainment followed by refreshments. The celebration was a blend of eastern and western cultural traditions. There was a Chinese Dragon, Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer and Santa accompanied by an elf passing out candy. There was caroling and Chinese Opera, dance and Tai Chi. There was even an American Marine singing in Chinese! The event ended with the audience joining in on stage for a last dance Gangnam style. Words just cannot adequately express the cavalcade of entertainment, so here are the pictures.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Photography, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

12/12/12


Today is December 21, 2012, the day the world was to end but didn’t. I thought it would be right today to post photos from another significant date this month, the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the year two thousand twelve.

The Photo Center at 404 River Street in Troy, New York 12180, is sponsoring a juried photography show From January 18 to February 17, 2013. The show will feature a slice of life from submitted photographs taken on 12/12/12. The show is open to all photographers and digital submissions are due by 6PM on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. You may submit up to four photos along with a $30 fee payable to the Photo Center.

With that in mind and my new Canon EOS-M camera, I took some photos. The camera is smaller than my iPhone 4S in length and height but packs a powerful APS-C sensor. It is very good in low light and all the following photos were taken with existing light. My day took me from Church Street to Price Chopper, Schenectady library, Morette’s King Steak House and then to a meeting of the Schenectady Photographic Society. This group is one of the oldest continuously running camera clubs in the United States. It has been in existence for over eighty years!

The first photo taken at 12 midnight from my house on Grove is followed by the Church Street photos taken at noon.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, History, Photography, Schenectady Photographic Society | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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