Condolence, Compassion, Community

On the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001, the people of the City of Amsterdam, New York came together.  Politics, animosity, religious and cultural differences were set aside so our community could remember family members, first responders and volunteers who were injured or tragically and needlessly lost their lives in that horrific event. The ceremony was also a source of consolation for friends and family members of the victims who carry that grief to this day.

A piece of the fallen World Trade Center was erected as a remembrance in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park. It was a solemn occasion consisting of familiar rituals, song and music designed to console those who are still suffering.

A second Soul Relieving Ceremony was held the next day by the Buddhist World Peace and Health and Guang Huan Mi Zong organizations utilizing the cultural and religious rituals familiar to the Chinese group. They prayed for the injured, lost and those who suffered on 9/11/2001.

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

What I did Last Summer

Can’t believe it is Labor Day weekend already; the summer just flew by! I recently reviewed the images I took this summer for another project and thought I would post my favorites from summer 2015 here.

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

The Carnival is in Town!

“There has not been a carnival in the Town of Amsterdam in over 43 years!” exclaimed one local resident as he walked through the gate of the Carnival at Polar Plaza sponsored by the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm.  “It is larger than it looks from the road!’ was also heard among the many people in attendance. The professional midway put on by Gillette Shows is clean, safe and every child receives a prize on the many games of chance. The rides are amazing and fun. The carnival also sells pizza, hot dogs, fried dough, cotton candy as well as the decadent deep fried oreo cookies!

A portion of the proceeds from the carnival rides benefit the not-for-profit local organization Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. It is a fun event so please come, have a good time while helping the FSSF restore a national monument to local thoroughbred racing history. FSSF has an information table at the carnival entrance where they are selling raffle tickets to win a $1,000 cash prize and tickets for a takeout chicken dinner held in September.  Stop by and say hello!

The carnival is open Saturday August 15th from 1pm to 10pm and Sunday August 16th from 1pm to 6pm!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Family, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , ,

Roosevelt Dime at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park

On Saturday, August 8, 2015, the Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series presented Roosevelt Dime.

Brooklyn-based Roosevelt Dime takes listeners on a journey through the whole of American roots music…from Americana and Memphis soul to “Mardi-Gras”—a bedrock of New Orleans rhythms that brings driving, melodic banjo, fat-back blues guitar, pure honky-tonk harmonies, and deliciously dirty vocals along for the ride. It makes for a groove so inspired The New York Times has called Roosevelt Dime “a perpetual crowd pleaser.”

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Amsterdam’s Farmers’ Markets

The Farmers’ Markets in Amsterdam New York offer a variety of unique, quality products. Located both on Main and Church Streets, these markets supply fresh locally grown produce as well as handcrafted items.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Business, Outdoors | Tags: , ,

Triskele at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park

Triskele, an all female Celtic band from Albany NY. They are known for their stunning harmonies, singing the Gaelic language and for their Irish wit. These ladies perform traditional, original and some modern Celtic/Irish music. Triskele not only revitalizes the Gaelic language, but weaves history and traditions about growing up in Ireland lending a deeper appreciation of aural history. Most importantly, they’re fun!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

Thoroughbred Racing at Saratoga

One of the best places to visit in New York State during the summer is the Saratoga Race Course. It is a time honored tradition for many and recently for me through photography and the not-for-profit organization, the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. FSSF was established to preserve the thoroughbred racing legacy of the Sanford family, whose local Amsterdam farm Hurricana, bred, trained and raced thoroughbred horses for competition at Saratoga. Although most of the original farm is now commercial space, the group would like to save the remaining buildings to create a park where tourists could stop and learn about our rich history in thoroughbred racing.

I first photographed the Saratoga Race Course in the ’80s and several times last season, including the newly established Sanford Exhibit at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Breakfast at the track is a great way to see the thoroughbreds warm up without the crowds and the cost of admission. Trackside parking for breakfast opens at 6:45am and although you pay the parking fee ($12 weekdays, $15 weekends), the money is refunded if you exit the parking area by 10am.

The following photos were taken Saturday, July 25, 2015, at the 101st running of the Sanford Stakes. The trophy was presented by Landine (Sanford) Manigault and her son Pierre to horse #11 Uncle Vinny, trainer T. Pletcher, jockey J. Velasquez .

The #4 horse, Magna Light actually came in 1st place was was knocked down to 3rd after a formal complaint and controversial technical disqualification. Sanford descendant Landine Manigault felt badly for the owners and trainers of the disqualified Magna Light and asked me to take a photo with one of Magna Light’s owners to signify their win anyway.






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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, historic preservation, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

DATMOD Dress Rehearsal

On Tuesday I wrote about the Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama that will take place the first two weekends in August at Gelston Castle Estate in upstate New York. Last evening I was invited by Producer Kyle Jenks to photograph a few of the actors in costume. The rehearsals take place at the United Methodist Church on Golf Course Road in Amsterdam. Pastor Carl Chamberlin has graciously opened the doors of his church to the cast as well as other community groups interested in the Arts.

The costumes really brought the drama to life and the grounds of the United Methodist Church are very similar to those of the Gelston Castle Estate where the drama will be performed in August. As the actors put on their costumes, they immediately became the characters from the novel.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , ,

Drums Along the Mohawk

The City of Amsterdam, New York is rich with history and wouldn’t exist if it were not for the life sustaining waters of the Mohawk River that flows through it.  The history of the Mohawk Valley is the basis of many Revolutionary War stories. One of the best is Drums Along the Mohawk written by Walter D. Edmonds in 1936. The story describes the journey of a young couple, Gilbert and Lana Martin, trying to exist and raise a family in the Mohawk Valley among the horrific battles between the British soldiers, American soldiers and the Seneca Indians.

Local Director Kyle Jenks has taken this story and produced an adaptation featuring local actors in the beautiful outdoor setting of Gelston Castle Estate, 980 Robinson Road, Mohawk, New York. The period piece will take place the first two weekends in August with a performance both on Saturday and Sunday starting at 5pm. Each two act performance is two hours long with a brief intermission between each act. Details about tickets and directions can be found on the production’s website. You can also find them on Facebook.

Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama

As a precursor to the full production, there will be a portrayal of the wedding of lead characters Gilbert and Lana Martin (played by Dave De Fazio and Ness Stark) on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Palatine Church in Palatine Bridge, NY, followed by a reception at the Nellis Tavern in St Johnsville, NY.

Although the story is fiction, it is based on actual events that took place in our area. This event should please both our local history buffs and lovers of theater. Combined with the beauty of the Mohawk Valley, this outdoor drama has all the elements to make for an enjoyable event.

Producer/Director Kyle Jenks describes the outdoor drama on WCSS this morning.

Producer/Director Kyle Jenks describes the outdoor drama on WCSS this morning with Dan Weaver.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio rehearse a romantic scene as Lana and Gilbert Martin.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio rehearse a romantic scene as Lana and Gilbert Martin.

John Reheuser goes over his lines as Colonel Cox.

John Reheuser goes over his lines as Colonel Cox.

Kyle Jenks , Jon Fremante, Lisa Kruger and John Reheuser.

Kyle Jenks , Jon Fremante, Lisa Kruger and John Reheuser.

Asst Director/Stage Manager Melody Kruger, Jon Fremante, John Reheuser.

Asst Director/Stage Manager Melody Kruger, Jon Fremante, John Reheuser.

Setting the scene.

Setting the scene.

Jon Fremante and David De Fazio rehearse a fight scene.

Jon Fremante and David De Fazio rehearse a fight scene.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio.

Kyle Jenks

Kyle Jenks

Motivational group hug.

Motivational group hug.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Jenks and used with permission of the Copyright holder.

Actors in period costume. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Jenks and used with permission of the Copyright holder.)

Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tony’s Polka Band

Back for a return engagement at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park is local favorite, Tony’s Polka Band.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , ,

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