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September 27, 2013


Filed under: Author,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:52 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jack Casey 518-274-4830 (office) 441-8685 (mobile)

Troy Author Hosts Open House Feat. New Murals, Horse Stables, Album Release

Jack Casey Displays Hudson River Art, Restores Rare Building Features 47 Second St.

TROY, N.Y. (09/27/13) — Troy novelist Jack Casey opens his home for Troy Night Out this Sept. 27 to display a series of Hudson River murals commissioned for an office in his downtown row house.

North River Mural by Paul BoucheyThe public will also have the opportunity to tour a rare example of an ornate, second story urban horse stables undergoing restoration in Casey’s rear carriage house. The Open House will occur from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 47 Second St. in downtown Troy.

“The Hudson River is a great unspoken force that flows through all our lives,” Casey said. “It was sacred to the Native Americans who called it ‘the river that flows both ways’ because of the tide. It brought the Europeans here, engendered the Industrial Revolution and served as America’s first information highway with the opening of the Erie Canal. I have converted this back office into my study and in celebrating the river’s profound influence in our states history, hopefully I’ll draw influence for new work.”

The murals were painted by Troy artist Paul Bouchey. In Bouchey’s depiction, the river flows above the room’s chair rail and features depictions of Olana, the Clermont mansion, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside and the bustling Troy river front in the heyday of steam power.

Bouchey earned a BFA from Pratt Institute, NYC, and has spent 25 years as a specialized decorative painter and designer. He has assisted in the restoration of two historic theaters, Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, N.Y. and Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vt.

“I’ve now visited the Hudson River three times as a mural subject,” Bouchey said. “The river is an endless source of fascination and inspiration.”

Laura Madia designed and hung the swags and draperies in the room with an early-American theme.

“I wanted to enhance and frame Paul’s beautiful work,” she said. “I accentuated the rich earthy tones of the reds and ochres with a bit of gold trim. The faded stars on the swags blend a feeling of the starry night sky above the sunny day in the rest of the room as the river flows through time and space.”

Madia is a free-lance artisan based in Troy, specializing in window treatments and slip covers.

Casey will also perform music from his new album, “Ya Don’t Know Jack!” Visitors will receive a free CD. For information and to listen online, visit:

Horse Stables 47 Second St


For high resolution photographs of Jack Casey’s Hudson River murals, the urban horse stables, an album cover and an author photo, visit:


Jack Casey is the author of “Kateri – Lily of the Mohawks,” “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and “A Land Beyond the River,” historical novels about the Hudson-Mohawk corridor with themes of politics and social change. He also recently authored “A Parliament of Fowls,” a political satire loosely based upon his days as Parliamentarian to the New York State Senate when the Republicans staged a “coup” to seize back power after the first Obama landslide.

For information, visit:


September 25, 2013


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 3:39 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434
Victor Sosnowski 518-469-4852

Historic Troy Row House is Reborn as Luxury Apts. – $600,000 Rebuild

8 Washington Place Ribbon Cutting Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.

TROY, N.Y. (09/25/13) — An historic row house on Troy’s Washington Park has been fully rebuilt after the interior completely collapsed 13 years ago.

8 Washington Place Backhoe“You could stand in the basement of this shell of a building and look up to the sky,” said Lynn Kopka, president of the Washington Park Association. “We had a backhoe drive inside the house to clear the debris.”

The neighborhood association has worked for more than a decade to raise more than $90,000 in funds from private citizens, local foundations, and the city to stabilize No. 8 and prevent further deterioration.

Finally, in Dec. 2011, brothers Victor and Jon Sosnowski bought 8 Washington Place for $25,000 with the goal of completely rebuilding the interior.

“That was too much, incidentally,” Victor Sosnowski said of the initial purchase price. “There wasn’t even a shell. There were collapsing walls.”

The Sosnowskis own two Mayfair Jewelers stores. This was the first full building restoration project of their Ballston Spa based Spartan Woodworking contracting company. In total they spent about $600,000 to build a brand new home behind the 19th century façade that spans nine other row houses on the block between 2nd and 3rd streets.

Although the three-story building includes entirely new floors, walls, windows, counters, and appliances, the brothers were able to maintain a lot of the original trim on the front wall and then replicate the molding, crowns and trim throughout the rest of the building to keep with its original character. The floors are made of bamboo, the kitchens include granite counter tops, and the entire space includes central air.

“We did everything as nice as we could do it and still maintain the character of an old building,” Victor Sosnowski said. “It combines the best of an old house and a brand new one.”

Currently the 1,100-square-foot third floor is already rented for $1,350 a month. The 1,500-square-foot second floor unit is available for $1,750 per month. The largest unit which totals 3,000 square feet and includes the garden level and first floor, is available for $2,400.

There are six off-street parking spots. Prospective tenants can call Victor Sosnowski at 518-469-4852.

“I think Troy got a bad rep. People need to invest in it,” said Victor Sosnowski of why he got involved in this project, which far exceeded his projected investment. “Troy is up and coming.”


The Washington Park neighborhood is modeled after the private residential green squares of 19th Century London. It is often compared to New York City’s famous Gramercy Park; the two are the only privately owned and maintained parks of their kind in the state.


Washington Place is a 310-foot-long street that borders the southern end of Troy’s Washington Park. It is a rare example of an intact 19th century Belgian block paved street, which was fully restored in 2010.

The street is lined with 10 Greek Revival row houses, built between 1838-1842, that is spanned by a common façade, giving the block the appearance of being a monumental urban palace. The row of buildings made the 2003 “Seven to Save” list of the Preservation League New York State.

Because the houses are all connected, the walls of numbers 7 and 9 were in danger of collapse after the floors and roof of No. 8 collapsed about 13 years ago.

“Now this entire row will stand for another 100 years,” Kopka said. “This was a huge effort to save our architectural heritage in Troy.”


There will be a ribbon cutting and open house with refreshments at 2 p.m. on Sept. 26.


For before an after publicity photographs for reprint, visit:

8 Washington Place Backhoe


For information about Spartan Woodworking, visit:

For information about Washington Park, visit:


Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434
Victor Sosnowski 518-469-4852


September 11, 2013


Filed under: Business,Features,News — duncan @ 1:39 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309

Lucas Confectionery Wine Bar Hires Full-Time Pastry Chef

Pine Flavored Macarons, S’mores & “Pop-Tarts” All Made In-House

TROY, N.Y. (09/11/13) — The Lucas Confectionery has hired a full-time pastry chef to offer a slate of adventurous plated desserts and confections.

Rachel “Starla” Bradshaw, 35, started her new position in August after serving two years as pastry chef for Daniel Darves-Bornoz’s restaurants Milano, Provence and Milano North (located in Loudonville, Guilderland and Lake Placid, N.Y. respectively).

Four Elements Flight of French Macarons“I’m used to making desserts by the thousands,” Bradshaw said. “Now, at Lucas Confectionery, I’m able to focus my efforts on small batches of intensely flavored treats.”

Bradshaw specializes in unusual flavor profile combinations to provide patrons with a true confectionery adventure. Last week she created a “Four Elements” flight of French macarons featuring the following unusual flavors: Pine (ground pine needles and sugar), representing “Earth;” Bee Pollen, representing “Air;” Charcoal & Smoked Vanilla Bean, representing “Fire;” and Spirulina — a form of blue-green algae — for “Water.”

The other three items on her plated dessert menu include: handmade Strawberry toaster pastries (a.k.a. “Pop-Tarts”); a blackberry bottomed key lime & Mascarpone cheese cake; and a chocolate, tequila & cayenne Diablo bombe (cake).

Coming soon will be “S’mores” with house-made graham crackers and marsh mallows.

Bradshaw never buys from suppliers what she can make herself. She makes all her corn syrup, graham crackers, sprinkles, vanilla extract and marsh mallows in-house. She also uses a fraction of the amount of sugar that typically goes into factory-baked goods.

“I tend not to make super sweet stuff because I want people to taste what’s actually in what I make, not just a mouth full of sugar,” she said.

Though the offerings will change regularly, the plated dessert menu will feature only four items at a time. In the near future, patrons can expect exotic gelato and sorbet flavors, like White Chocolate/ Blood Orange, and Beet.

In addition to plated desserts, Bradshaw will bake scones, biscotti, cookies and oatmeal pies. Previously those items at Lucas Confectionery were supplied by local bakers, including: X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery and Placid Baker, both in Troy, and Bake For You and Crisan Bakery, both of Albany.

The Confectionery will continue to carry truffles from Sweet Sue’s of Troy.

Confectionery Co-owners Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine said they are very grateful to all of their previous suppliers of local baked goods and confections, but they are also thrilled to be producing those items on-site.

“Charles F. Lucas started a confectionery in this building 150 years ago, in 1863,” said Christopher. “Now that we’re producing confections here, we’ve come full circle. Now we’re really a confectionery.”


Born in California, Rachel “Starla” Bradshaw, 35, moved to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska at age 12. In 1996, she earned a Culinary Arts Certificate from the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward, Alaska. Before heading to the East Coast to bake, Bradshaw worked as a line cook and sous chef throughout Alaska and Hawaii. She also spent seven years homesteading in Alaska without running water. (She had to fill up and carry jugs of water for cooking, coffee and drinking.)

Troy is the first city she’s lived in. And though she had one serious encounter with a grizzly bear in Alaska, she was more afraid of living in a city when she first moved to Troy three years ago. Now she says she’s fallen in love with the downtown Troy buildings and passionate people who live here. She first moved to the Capital Region in 2011 to work as a pastry chef at Yono’s /DP Brasserie in downtown Albany.


The Lucas Confectionery is a community gathering space featuring rare and unique wines by the glass and bottle; along with craft beer, artisan coffee, cheeses, small plates, confections and desserts. Located at 12 Second St., just off of downtown Troy’s magnificent Monument Square, the Confectionery is open Monday through Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. till midnight, Saturday from noon till midnight, and Sunday, from noon till 9 p.m.

In 2012, Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine purchased and rehabbed 12 Second St. in Troy, where they opened the Lucas Confectionery in November. In the spring of 2013, the husband-and-wife team purchased and stabilized 207 Broadway, “The Clark House,” which was at the time one of the most endangered buildings in downtown Troy. By summer, they transformed the adjoining property and connecting outbuilding into a party space and outdoor patio. Work is already underway to open a micro grocery store on the first-floor of The Clark House.

For information, visit: or


For publicity images, of Bradshaw’s Pastries and other treats, visit:

For information, contact:

Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309