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April 29, 2014


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

For Immediate Release

Kathleen Tesnakis, 518-867-1864

Buddhist Teaching World Tour Comes to Troy May 2 – 4

Erik Drew Jung to Teach Happiness Through the Buddhist Path

TROY, N.Y. – The 2014 Dzogchen Buddha Path Teaching Tour stops in Troy this weekend.

Sustainable clothing designer Kathleen Tesnakis, of ‘e ko logic, is hosting Buddhist Monk Erik Drew Jung for a three-day teaching retreat starting this Friday May 2.

The events around downtown Troy are open to the public by donation. Reservations are encouraged.

Buddhist Monk Erik Drew Jung wears 'e ko logic hatJung, of Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland, Ore., will lead sessions teaching Buddhist tools for successful meditation, reducing stress, improving heath and vitality. He returns to Troy for the second year in a row, after a world-teaching tour through the United States, Russia, Finland and Estonia.

“It’s really amazing to have a full-on Buddhist retreat right here in our community, and to offer it by donation-only,” Tesnakis said. “Erik fell in love with our city and community during his last visit. He can tell we have incredible vibrancy. We come together and we grow good things.”


During his world travels to teach happiness through the Buddhist Path, Jung has brought a piece of Troy, N.Y. with him: a custom ‘e ko logic onion top hat, made with re-purposed saffron yellow and burgundy cashmere, with a skyblue accent and white yarns on top to signify eagle feathers traditionally worn by Buddhist monks.

“My design for the ‘e ko logic onion top hat was inspired by my childhood in the Himilayas,” Tesnakis said. “Buddhist monks wear traditional clothing and my hat was approved and blessed by Erik’s lama.”

Today, there are 27 other monks of Dzogchen Shri Singha who travel the world wearing the made-in-Troy hat by ‘e ko logic.


Introduction to Buddhist Fundamentals
With 30-min. Q&A

Friday, May 2
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Meet at Heart Space Yoga
10 2nd Street, Troy, NY

Tools for successful meditation: Learn how easy it is to meditate

Saturday, May 3
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location to be determined based on class size.

Buddhist principles of Dying, Death and Rebirth

Saturday, May 3
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location to be determined based on class size.

Morning Buddha Path Practice with Erik

Sunday, May 4
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Meet at the ‘e ko logic studio
1 Fulton Street, Troy, NY
Bring pillow and a blanket for meditation

Tools for reducing stress and increasing health and vitality

Sunday, May 4
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
& 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Meet at Heart Space Yoga
10 2nd Street



Erik Jung is a monk and authorized Dharma Teacher of The Buddha Path under the guidance of H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche. A lifelong Buddhist practitioner, Erik has spent more than nine years studying closely with Khen Rinpoche. He is a passionate and inspiring teacher in the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig Lineage of Mahayana Buddhism and has taught extensively throughout the United States and Europe.


Buddhist Monk Erik Drew Jung wears 'e ko logic hat


Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland is a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread authentic Buddhist teachings and to support the enlightened Dharma activity of Great Perfection of Wisdom lineage holder Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Rinpoche was born in the holy Dzogchen region of Tibet, where he began training in Buddhism at the Dzogchen Monastery at the age of five.



‘e ko logic is a designer of “green” clothing worn around the world. Established in Portland, Ore. in 1996, ‘e ko logic uses recycled cashmere and post-consumer fabric to create one-of-a-kind hats, scarves and sweaters for men and women. They also make cashmere dresses and skirts.

Since 2003, ‘e ko logic has been based in Troy, N.Y. This October, the husband-and-wife owned company opened a retail shop and atelier in the historic Frear Bazaar building at 1 Fulton Street in Troy.



For photos of Erik Jung wearing his ‘e ko logic onion top hat and traditional monk’s attire, click: here and here.


For media, contact: Kathleen Tesnakis at 518-867-1864 (mobile)


April 24, 2014


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 9:39 am

For Immediate Release

Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430

“The Tavern Restaurant” to Re-Open in Troy After 20-year Hiatus

Seeking Memories of Storied Troy Dining Spot, 1933 – 1993

TROY, N.Y. (4/24/14) — “The Tavern Restaurant” was a popular mainstay for 60 years at 211 Broadway, from 1933 to 1993. Now, the legendary downtown dining spot is re-opening and co-owners Vic Christopher, 38, and Heather LaVine, 36, are asking anyone with memories or memorabilia to share them as they re-envision the space.

Historic Tavern Restaurant Postcard“When Troy was doing good, this was the place to go. Then things fell apart, and so did The Tavern,” said Christopher. “We’re bringing it back.”

This week, Quality Glass of Troy installed windows in the recently restored cast iron tavernfront. The windows include a series of customized bifold glass doors that can remain in the open position to allow for open air alfresco dining in warm weather. This installation was the first of its kind for Quality Glass, a three-generation family business established in Troy in 1940. The cost for the materials and installation was $12,500.

Following many months of structural work in the 1,500 square-foot tavern space, Christopher and his Confectionery Construction, LLC have started the detail phase of the project.

Some original elements are still intact, including a section of the floor with a tile mosaic spelling out “THE TAVERN.” Wall tiles from the former kitchen and other traces will be preserved and enhanced. The team is utilizing structural steel to support a marble bar top, which was reclaimed from an old Troy soda fountain.

“This building was full of debris and crazy stuff and we’re re-purposing everything we can,” said Christopher, who describes his construction process as freestyle reclamation. “We even reused the plywood that boarded up the windows for the last 20 years.”

Christopher and LaVine are aiming to open The Tavern Restaurant before the end of the year.

“We are developing a menu that will be unique to the region,” said LaVine.

The husband and wife team are currently inviting anyone who experienced The Tavern Restaurant in any of its incarnations to share memories and historical descriptions of the establishment and its various layouts. They have already acquired some memorabilia, including a Tavern Restaurant matchbook and postcard, which can be viewed online at:

Kathryn Sheehan, Rensselaer County historian, remembers joining her grandfather for lunch at the Tavern Restaurant as a young girl.

“The Tavern was the first place I had a club sandwich, and a Shirley Temple. It made me feel very adult like,” Sheehan said. “Gramma was a teetotaler and Grandpa had a great sense of humor, so after lunch he would always give us a wink and tell us not to tell Gramma where we ate lunch. She would not have approved.”


The Tavern Restaurant is located on the street-level of “The Clark House,” a four-story, 10,900 square-foot building at 207-217 Broadway that was constructed in 1876. It was once home to a boarding house and hotel, as well as many industrial, manufacturing and retail tenants through the years. By 2013, the sole remaining tenant was Broadway News, which opened in 1934 and continues to operate today.

Christopher and LaVine purchased the building for $80,000 in March, 2013. At the time, the historic structure was considered one of the most endangered buildings in downtown Troy. This October, after stabilization and restoration, the couple opened “The Grocery” in the center storefront. Once “The Tavern Restaurant” opens, the building’s first floor will be fully re-activated.

In November 2012, Christopher and LaVine opened Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second Street. That business is connected to The Grocery and The Tavern Restaurant by a rear enclosed garden patio with a retractable glass roof.


For images and information about the Tavern Restaurant, past and present, visit:

See also:

Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430


April 22, 2014


Filed under: Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 8:57 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434

Neighbors Re-Tree Troy Street For Arbor Day, April 25

Friends of Washington Park, Students to Plant Trees on Adams Street

TROY, N.Y. (04/22/14) — This Friday on Arbor Day, Troy neighbors and students will join together to plant trees along Adams Street, on a section between First and Second streets that is nearly bereft of trees.

Rendering: Adams Street After Tree Planting (North Side)At 2 p.m., April 25, more than 40 seventh grade honor students from Troy Middle School will join Friends of Washington Park in Troy to plant trees on the north side of Adams Street, one block from the park. Urban Forestry education will be an important component of this tree-planting project.

“City trees have a long list of benefits, from aesthetics to cooling effects to increased property values,” said Lynn Kopka, president of the Washington Park Association. “Right now, Adams Street is a heat island where the sun glares off brick and concrete. We want to teach the participating students that trees are just as important in the city as they are in the forest.”

Friends of Washington Park obtained $1,000 from National Grid to fund the planting. Located between Troy’s historic downtown and the South Troy neighborhood, Washington Park is distinguished by the presence of stately Maple and Cottonwood, as well as smaller specimens like Flowering Cherry and Eastern Redbud.

The trees to be planted Friday are Serviceberry, a native, small, flowering tree that develops berries favored by birds. The tree species was selected for its size, beauty and wildlife value following National Grid’s guidelines for planting the “right tree for the right place.” National Grid’s publication, “How to Avoid Tree & Utility Conflicts When Selecting and Planting Trees,” provides guidance on balancing the benefits and beauty of trees with reliable electric service.

“Maintaining the environment is an important part of National Grid’s stewardship and commitment to the communities that we serve,” said National Grid Manager of Community & Customer Management Michael DiAcetis. “National Grid is proud to support the Friends of Washington Park and their efforts to plant trees for this Arbor Day celebration. The students will learn a hands-on lesson on the importance of planting and maintaining trees in urban settings and the trees will help combat the effects of carbon emissions and enhance the beauty and significance of this neighborhood for generations.”

Troy Councilman Gary Galuski secured assistance from the city’s Department of Public Utilities for the event. Students will accompanied by their science teachers Celine Boule and Paul Dunleavy.

“The tree is a symbol of life,” said Boule. “By inviting our students to see and participate in the planting of trees along our city streets, we are giving them the opportunity to be a part of the revitalization of our community while learning about the role that nature plays in it.”


The following are some statistics, provided by the Arbor Day Foundation, on just how important trees are in a community setting.

“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” –U.S. Department of Agriculture

“A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” — Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers

“In one study, 83 percent of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98 percent.” — Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests

“Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent” and “There are about 60 million to 200 million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.” — National Wildlife Federation

“Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 percent in energy used for heating.” — USDA Forest Service

“Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” — The Arbor Day Foundation

“Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.” — USDA Forest Service

“The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.” — USDA Forest Service

“In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” — Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University

“Nationally, the 60 million street trees have an average value of $525 per tree.” — Management Information Services


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. Washington Park and Gramercy Park are the only two privately owned and maintained parks of their kind in the state.


For renderings of where the trees will be planted on Adams Street, visit:

For information, contact: Lynn Kopka at 518-274-6434 or