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September 24, 2014


Filed under: Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:57 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909

Troy Transit Activists Offer Slate of Bicycle & Kayak Events

Sept. 26 & 27 Collar City “Pre-Ramble,” Bike to Work for City Bike Racks

TROY, NY (09/23/14) — A group of transit activists are hosting a weekend long slate of bicycle and kayak related events in Troy.

Collar City Pre-Ramble“The PreRamble is a celebration of human-powered transportation in Troy,” said organizer Jim Lewis. “Everyone should have access to the streets, not just those who drive but also those who can’t — or chose not to — drive. Troy could be a lot more friendly to people who walk or cycle. We all love Troy, so of course we want it to be better.”

The events kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 during Troy Night Out when organizers will work with volunteers to help chalk artwork in a downtown intersection and lay out ten blocks of temporary lane markings for bicycles. Those lanes will show cyclists what the soon-to-be-constructed Riverfront Trail will look like as they tour through streets and alleys on Saturday.

Lindsey Zefting, a traffic engineer working for Alta Planning+Design, will lead a group of volunteers to do these markings, which are intended to illustrate potential bike lanes and routes through Troy. Zefting is an RPI graduate who lives in Troy.

During Troy Night Out, city planning board chair Barb Nelson and the Alley Action Project will lead a volunteer team to create intersection art where two alleys meet First Street.

“These chalk murals will show how it is possible to mark where a bike path crosses a street,” Lewis said. “Putting a trail through the alley is one good way to keep bicycles away from traffic. Placing artwork on the street where the alley crosses the street, is one way to alert motorists to the crossing. It’s important to remember: the lanes are pretty safe, but accidents happen where you cross traffic.”

The Saturday-long awareness campaign and event will also feature: museum tours, walking tours of historic sites and parks, a storytelling festival, concert, community meal and kayak rentals at the Ingalls Ave boat launch provided by Upstate Kayak Rentals. (See below for a full schedule of events.) By signing up for the Ramble Challenge, a bike-to-work event to earn bike racks for Troy, participants get a chance to win a free kayak paddle.

Last year over 400 people participated in the first Pre-Ramble, with approximately 60 people on the bike tour Organizers expect a much greater turnout this year.

“The Ramble Challenge”

An anonymous donor has promised $1,000 to pay for bike racks in Troy if 50 people bike to work during the week of Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. Participants can sign a pledge form at the Transport Troy booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Sept. 7, or they can pledge via email by contacting Andrea Daley at:


On Thursday, October 2 at Noon, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia will lead a free 45 minute bicycle tour around the city, leaving from Monument Square.


Volunteers for all aspects of the Pre-Ramble are sought. To volunteer, contact Jim Lewis at Jim Lewis 518-429-3909 or report to the Transport Troy booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market.


The Collar City Ramble is the name of a proposed network of trails — for bicycles, skateboards, hikers and those in wheelchairs or scooters — connecting the Menands Bridge in South Troy to the Uncle Sam Bicycle trail in Lansingburgh. The proposed network of trails and paths also connects several historic, natural and business attractions throughout the city.

For information, visit:


Transport Troy is a group of community stakeholders with an interest in alternative transportation that formed during the winter of 2013. From that group, the mayor appointed a committee of eight people, the Transport Troy Citizens Working Group, charged with producing a report on alternative transportation for the city of Troy. Earlier this year, the committee submitted a 45-page report which included a Complete Streets Ordinance that was unanimously adopted by city council.

The committee also succeeded in getting a $1.4 million bond passed to fund the local map for a bicycle trail connecting existing trails in North and South Troy. The proposed route would begin initially with lane markings on existing streets, with off-street trails added in the future.


Jon Flanders ( ) has made available, for media use, a selection of professional quality, high resolution photos from last
year’s “Pre-Ramble.” To view and download those images, click here

Collar City Pre-Ramble

(Events free unless cost is listed)

Troy Night Out, 6 p.m.
Friday Sept. 26

Traffic engineers lead volunteers to help chalk downtown intersection
art and lane markings for bicycles.

Farmers’ Market, 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
Saturday, Sept 27
(Centered at First and River)

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Bike safety course from the Troy Police Department
Free bike helmets for kids who need them, while they last

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Complete Streets Tours leaving from First & River.
Borrow a bike if you need one.

10 a.m. to Noon
Bicycle tune up station by Troy Bike Rescue

10:30 a.m.
Walking tour “State and Second” by the Rensselaer County Historical
Society leaving from the Transit Troy Farmers’ Market Information Booth.
Led by Stacy Pomeroy Draper. Cost: $5

Walking tour of Washington Park by the Washington Park Association
leaves from the Transport Troy Booth at First and River. Led by Lynn
Kopka. Free.

Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Self guided tours of the Burden Iron Works Museum, foot of Polk Street.
Get maps at the Transport Troy Booth at First and River

1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Kayak rides at the Ingalls Ave. Boat Launch by Upstate Kayak Rentals.
$10/hr. Maps available at the Transport Troy Booth, First and River.

1 p.m.
Call for kayaks and canoes: meet on the water at the Ingalls Ave. Boat
Launch. Paddle Troy, help the newbies, make human-powered boating a
presence in Troy

3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Story Harvest: Free concert by Nation Beat & Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra, Freedom Square (101st & 6th Ave.) Stone Soup: Community Meal prepared by the Chef’s Consortium. All free. Maps available at the Transport Troy booth, First & River


General: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909

Traffic Engineer: Lindsay Zefting, (518) 584-6634


September 18, 2014


Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:02 pm

For Immediate Release


Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274 2723

Mayor Proclaims: Troy NY is “Ginger City, USA” Oct. 1

League of Extraordinary Red Heads Summons All Carrot Tops to Upstate City

TROY, N.Y. (Sept. 18, 2014) — A small upstate city will have a new moniker this fall, by mayoral proclamation: on Oct. 1, Troy, NY shall be known as “Ginger City, USA.”

Night of the Walking Red 2 PosterThe date marks the second annual “Night of the Walking Red” event at Brown’s Brewing Co. designed by The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, a highly visible collective of red-haired denizens headquartered in the small Hudson River city.

“The City of Troy embraces its diverse population and fun-loving characters,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “We do seem to have an unusually high number of red heads in our midst here, and they certainly brighten up the place.”

The fiery festivities of Oct. 1 feature an autumnal rite at Brown’s Brewing Company, known as the “Toast of Coppertops,” during which members of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads raise glasses of locally crafted Pumpkin Ale from the first batch of the season. As is their custom, the League will also discuss the items on their concise meeting agenda: “1) Us. 2) Them.”

Though the highly visible group assembles suddenly in public spaces, not much is known of the inner workings or its true purpose. It purports to be “a social get-together for those with reddish hair” and those who love them, but some suspect it may be a secret society with plans for world domination. These conspiracy theories are bolstered by the fact that red heads comprise only 2 percent of the human population, and yet — for scientifically unexplained reasons — their ranks include a disproportionally high number of prominent figures, including world leaders, famous authors and celebrity actors.

“Because we always stand out, red heads can never hide in a crowd or at the back of the classroom,” said Duncan Crary, founder of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads. “So we learn to have fun under scrutiny. Some people call that being ‘fiery,’ and we do tend to be an excitable bunch. That may be the reason why so many prominent figures in history have had crimson locks.”

The League of Extraordinary Red Heads formed in a flash in Troy on Jan. 30, 2013 and quickly earned the rank of No. 7 in the world for “Best Redheaded Gatherings of 2013″ according to social media website, BuzzFeed. Crary said each of the League’s previous three gatherings attracted more than 120 red-haired participants. Gatherings are always social, though one featured Scotland-based filmmaker Scott Harris for a screening of his smash hit documentary film “Being Ginger” in April, 2014.


Night of the Walking Red 2013This Oct. 1, The League hopes to attract the largest attendance yet.

“If a thousand gingers descend upon dear old Troy, we’ll be ready for them in ‘Ginger City, USA,’” Crary said.

One downtown hotel, Franklin Square Inn and Suites, is even offering a special $99 room rate for redheaded travelers on Oct. 1. (Ask for the Red Head Rate.) And participating local businesses will be offering “Ginger Discounts” for those brandishing League of Extraordinary Red Heads “Member” cards (which are distributed free during events). Brown’s Brewing Co. will be serving “Wholly Moses Pumpkin Ale” brewed locally with pumpkins from the Moses Farm (as in the family of the late American painter “Grandma Moses”) of Eagle Bridge, N.Y. There will be a special ginger and pumpkin themed menu. Other features will be added and announced on the fly.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to “join” the facebook event so organizers can better prepare for the expected crowd.


The League of Extraordinary Red Heads Presents:
“Night of the Walking Red” & “Toast of the Coppertops”
An Autumnal Rite with “Wholly Moses Pumpkin Ale”
Oct. 1, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. Start | Free Admission
Brown’s Brewing Co. 417 River Street, Troy NY


High resolution photo graphs, logos and League related publicity images can be downloaded here:



Proclamation Ginger City

WHEREAS The City of Troy embraces its diverse population, and the contributions of its characters; and

WHEREAS the City equally, and without grudging hesitation, embraces its red head denizens as among some of the most colorful characters in our midst — both in the hue of their fiery follicles as well as in their soulful personalities; and

WHEREAS, red hair can be found sprouting from the scalps and chins of folks around the globe, regardless of race, nationality or creed; and

WHEREAS only a mere 2 percent of the human population is naturally red haired, yet their gloriously blazing ranks include some of the greatest leaders in our history such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Kris Kringle, Lucy Ricardo (née Lucille Esmeralda McGillicuddy), Carol Burnett, Agent Dana Scully, Bozo the Clown, and, of course, Helen of Troy; and

WHEREAS, with their skin so fair and easily pinked by the sun, red heads have been fallaciously believed to be on the verge of extinction; though we all joyously know the contrary; and

WHEREAS the City of Troy is home to the esteemed international headquarters of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, whose highly visible gatherings brighten our streets, public houses and retinas; and whose annual autumnal rites include a public Toast of Pumpkin Ale, locally crafted by Brown’s Brewing Company; and

WHEREAS said League embraces the terms “Ginger,” “Coppertop” and “Daywalker” with glowing pride and cites them as affectionate and favorable monikers befitting their illuminating personas;

Now, therefore, I, Lou Rosamilia, Mayor of the City of Troy, do hereby proclaim that, on Oct. 1, 2014, our fair city shall also be known on this day as GINGER CITY, USA, a Shangri-La or Brigadoon for red heads around the world to visit and “kick back in,” not be kicked.

Signed: Louis A Rosamilia
Date: Oct. 1, 2014

[ To view a scan of the original, visit: ]

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723


September 17, 2014


Filed under: Author,Events,Features — duncan @ 2:48 am

For Immediate Release


Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274 2723

Author Tells “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe”

Damon Stewart Writes Short Stories of Ordinary Lives Gone Awry

ALBANY, N.Y. (09/17/14) — A local author explores the experiences of those who surrender to their character flaws in a new collection of short stories.

Damon Stewart: Interesting Tales of Other People's WoeDamon Stewart’s “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” (162 pages) presents 12 stories written over the span of 15 years, some previously published in various literary magazines.

The stories in “Woe” provide a glimpse into lives that have gone off in unpredictable directions, both bad and good.

“Not all the tales are truly about ‘woe’ — some characters find hope, even contentment, in this collection,” said Stewart. “But we can relate to all of them, or at least get a sense of our neighbor’s fear or wonder. Sometimes it’s not about where you end up, but how you got there.”

In “Deja Vu, You Too, Champ,” the author explores the concept of reincarnation and what would happen if one remembers all one’s past lives.

In “Fall Harvest,” Stewart makes the case that those awkward reencounters with long lost friends just don’t have to be that awkward. In other stories, we see the consequences of decisions we might have made but (fortunately) didn’t— e.g. what if you did run off with the that person you were infatuated with, leaving spouse, children and all trappings of your former life behind? What if your rage at a betrayal was given full rein? What if you did have that one-more-for-the road, after you’ve had one for the road?

“Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” is about roads to “getting there”, both the paved and the rough path. Seven of the stories first appeared in the following literary journals: Word Riot, Salvage, Big Toe Press, Hobart, Amoskeag, Full Circle, and The Morpo Review.

“Woe” is available through Amazon in paperback and ebook editions. For information, and to read a sample story, visit:


The author will host a book publication party for “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes” this Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen at 79 North Pearl St., in downtown Albany. The party is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The author will also lead a “Toast To Bad Decisions” (yours and others’). Improv performers from the Mop & Bucket Co. will riff on passages from the book. There will be drink specials inspired by the seedy characters who haunt Damon’s sordid imagination, as well as free finger foods. The band Hard Soul will perform a tribute song to the author and play a set during the after party.


Damon Stewart: Author

Damon Stewart lives in New York’s Capital Region. He has published short stories in several literary journals as well as travel and outdoor articles for national and regional magazines and newspapers. He is the author of “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe,” a short story collection published in 2014.

In 2007, he wrote and co-produced a pilot for a reality series, “The List.” In 2009, he wrote, produced and starred in a short film called “Shot Through The Heart.” His screenplay, “Termini Station,” was a finalist in the Fall 2011 Buffalo-Niagara Screenplay Competition.

He is seeking publication for a recently completed novel.

His website is


For high resolution author photos and publicity images, visit:


To request a review copy of “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” or to schedule an interview with Damon Stewart, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or


September 4, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:40 pm

For Immediate Release


Michael Burns, (518) 248-7430

Night of Improv at Lucas Confectionery Sept. 10

Grilled Cheese, Beer and Laughs at Troy Wine Bar

TROY, N.Y. (9/4/14) — A Troy wine bar will host an evening of improvisational laughs, grilled cheese and beer next Wednesday.

MopCo at Lucas ConfectioneryThe Mop & Bucket Company (MopCo) is the Capital Region’s premiere improv comedy group. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the group will play at two-act show in the garden patio of Lucas Confectionery.

Audiences can expect an evening of short form improv games and scenes and music based off of suggestions they write down or call out. They will also be able to create Play-Doh figures for a Play-Doh theater segment that works like shadow puppets on a screen. Michael Burns, artistic director of The Mop & Bucket Company describes the skit as “television you won’t get on your cable box.”

Improv has gained mainstream popularity with shows like “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” but the performance art form is also the most accessible and communal theater, according to Burns.

“We’re co-creating an evening of laughter with our audience,” said Burns. “We’re saying ‘Yes’ to their ideas, and delighting with them with the results of our collaboration.”

MopCo will perform two sets on the garden patio at Lucas Confectionery, on September 10 at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Both unique shows are free, and patrons are welcome to attend one or both sets, but seating is limited and on a first come, first seated basis. The indoor/outdoor space has a retractable glass roof, and connects to the Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second St. and The Grocery at 207 Broadway. Patrons will be able to order wine, beer and food from either business but are encouraged to arrive early for “Grilled Cheese and Beer Night” at The Grocery, starting at 5 p.m.


Vic Christopher, co-owner of the Lucas Confectionery, The Grocery and the in-progress Tavern Restaurant, said the improv performance is a good fit for the venue, which is constructed using reclaimed materials in an improvisational style.

“Spiritually, improv is a good fit for our space because it’s all about working with what you’ve got and making it up on the fly. That’s pretty much our construction style through the use of reclaimed materials,” said Christopher.

Christopher and his wife Heather LaVine opened Lucas Confectionery at 12 Second St. in November 2012 as 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. In November 2013, the couple opened The Grocery, in an adjacent building at 207 Broadway. The Grocery is a micro neighborhood grocery shop featuring artisanal cheeses, meats, fresh local produce and draft beer. Wednesday nights at The Grocery feature grilled cheese and beer specials.


In the tradition of Second City, the skilled improvisers of The Mop & Bucket Company create stories, scenes and songs based on audience suggestions. Think “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Because the ideas come from the audience, each show is totally fresh.

MopCo delights audiences every Friday night at the Underground at Proctors in Schenectady. The company also teaches classes on improv for performance, business, writers and educators and for creativity in everyday life.

[Note: This Sept. 18 through Oct. 9, The Mop & Bucket Company will be teaching Improv basics in a weekly Thursday night class at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. ]

What people are saying about MopCo:

“If you’ve never seen a mop & bucket performance, be assured they’re laugh-to-you-cry funny.” — Kristi L. Gustafson, Times Union

“From its humble beginnings, this troupe has morphed and grown into a top-notch unit capable of all kinds of theatrical gamesmanship, much of their own invention.” — Michael Eck, Albany Times Union

“I have seen improv before and I’m sure you have too, but these actors are ready for prime-time. Have you ever watched a performance so brave that you wanted to shake the performer’s hand or kiss her cheek after the show? That’s how i felt…” — Susan Arbetter, WCNY radio

For information about The Mop & Bucket Company, visit

For information about Lucas Confectionery & The Grocery, visit:


To download high resolution publicity images, visit:


Michael Burns, (518)248-7430,