About Duncan

References & Testimonials

July 8, 2014


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:52 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Annmarie Lanesey,

“Rebate Hero” Website Helps Shoppers Track and Redeem $ Billions

Software Co. Brings Rebates into the Internet Age with New Web-Based Platform

TROY, N.Y. (07/8/14) — Rebates offer deep discounts to shoppers, but $500 million rebate dollars go unredeemed annually., Troy, NY software, the first website of its kind, helps consumers take full advantage of the billions in rebates offered by retailers and manufacturers each year. The site allows visitors to search the largest collection of rebate forms on the web in seconds and can even help shoppers save money after they’ve already made a purchase.

“Rebates usually offer much bigger savings than coupons, but it’s more difficult to redeem those savings because they require more steps. A lot of people forget to send in the paperwork,” said Annmarie Lanesey, founder of “We’re making rebates almost as easy as coupons.”

The online rebate clearinghouse features a powerful search function that allows shoppers to search for everyday and big-ticket, brand name items from a broad range of retailers and manufacturers. It includes convenient tracking tools that send email reminders for rebate deadlines, to make sure consumers never forget to submit their rebate and remember to include all the required documentation.

Where possible, consolidates the necessary paperwork or points the user to an online submission process (when available) to minimize the effort needed to redeem the rebate. can be accessed from desktop, tablet, or mobile devices, and will be releasing a native iOS and Android app very soon.

“People are already used to searching online for coupons,” said Lanesey. “But until, rebates hadn’t caught up with the Internet age. We’re doing for rebates what the web did for coupons.”

The company also uses Twitter, facebook and email to alert users of special rebate deals, sometimes “free-with-rebate” items. currently has more than 10,000 rebates in their system.

Retailers and manufacturers can sign on as partners with to feed their rebates to users.


For more statistics on rebates, see:

How Mail-In Rebates Rip You Off
By Bobbi Dempsey, Investopedia

Rebate Madness – How to Avoid the Rebate Trap
By Stephanie Moore, Consumer Affairs

ABOUT REBATE HERO is a product of Turbo Penny, LLC, based in Troy, N.Y. The web-based platform was designed for by Greane Tree Technology, also based in Troy, N.Y.

Lanesey is both co-founder and president of Greane Tree Technology and Turbo Penny, LLC. When Greane Tree hired new software developers requiring training, Lanesey said it made sense to hire them to work on the project.

Lanesey said she got the idea to create an online rebate tool during the recession in 2008 as a public service for those struggling to make ends meet financially. But her work at Greane Tree took priority and so the project remained on the backburner.

When Greane Tree hired new software developers who required training, she realized it would be an ideal project to train them to code in Ruby on Rails. So she hired her own company to build the project.

“I needed to train my new staff members at Greane Tree on a real project, and I always wanted to complete,” Lanesey said. “I always hire the best software developers to work at Greane Tree, so it made sense to hire Greane Tree to develop”


To download high resolution images of the logo, a screenshot and other related images, visit:

Contact: Annmarie Lanesey,


July 7, 2014


Filed under: Business,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:09 pm

For Immediate Release


Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Daisy Baker’s Will Not Re-Open in Former Troy Location

A Message from Former Restaurant Management

TROY, N.Y. (07/07/14) — The management of Daisy Baker’s said Monday the beloved downtown Troy restaurant will not be reopening to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. As of Friday, the business has moved out of its 33 Second Street building.

Daisy Baker's, Troy“We regretfully announce that we will not be reopening,” said Jared Horton, managing partner of Daisy Baker’s, in a prepared statement. “We have been unable to reach an agreement with the building’s new owner, Bonacio Construction.”

In the early morning hours of Dec. 19, 2013, Daisy Baker’s was forced to close after a broken pipe above the kitchen caused a devastating loss. Horton had hoped to reopen quickly, but the building was in foreclosure at the time, as its then-owner Sandy Horowitz was undergoing a prolonged bankruptcy. Credit union SEFCU then purchased the four-story Romanesque building at 33 Second St. at auction with intent to find a developer capable of preserve its historic value.

In May, Sonny Bonacio was the winning bidder for the building.

Horton, who does not wish to be interviewed by the media, prepared the following statement for the press:


“More than six months after a burst water pipe caused significant damage to our kitchen, and after watching the building change ownership twice, we regretfully announce that we will not be reopening Daisy Baker’s at its historic home at 33 Second Street, in downtown Troy.

“My business partner and I have been unable to reach an agreement with the building’s new owner, Bonacio Construction. There were some restrictions in the proposed lease that we felt would not be sustainable for our business over the long term.

“While Bonacio proposed helping us with the kitchen repairs, the rent increase combined with restrictions to our hours of operation were too much to overcome. The Bonacio team tried their best to help us reopen, but we simply could not offer them the type of establishment that they are looking for.

“I know better than anyone what this business is capable of, and it would not be prudent of me to put this business, my partner, and our employees in a position where I had doubts of the long term success.

“I thank all of our loyal patrons, for their continued support, and our employees, for all of the hard work that gave us over the years. I also thank our insurance agent, company, and adjuster, for their help through this difficult time.

“Ultimately, it was the lack of action by building ownership/management at the time of the Dec. 19 2013 flood that put us in this position, not the current building ownership. It’s a shame that Daisy’s won’t be open for it’s 40 year anniversary this year. Daisy Baker’s opened in 1974 and we had a quite a celebration planned.”

Jared Horton, Managing Partner
Daisy Baker’s
July 7, 2014

Horton’s business partner, Bruce Fleshman added the following remarks:

“It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that lead to Daisy’s closing,” Fleshman said. “Business was good. It was the building’s legal woes that put us in this position. We had nobody to turn to when our flood occurred. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this for the past three years, and am grateful to all of the patrons who supported us.”


On Monday Dec. 23, 2013, the Troy community rallied at a fundraiser to support the Daisy Baker’s staff left out-of-work by the forced closure of the restaurant.

Troy booster Duncan Crary helped publicize the shoulder-to-shoulder event held at Bacchus Wood Fired, a restaurant located beneath Daisy Baker’s at 33 Second Street.

“We have a lot of wonderful gathering spots in this city, but Daisy Baker’s was the queen of ‘Third Places’ in Troy,” said Crary. “It was a true ‘living room,’ where Trojans of all walks would gather to interchange their news of the day. And I know I’m not alone when I say, I will miss that camaraderie most of all.”

For a press release, issued by Crary, regarding the December fundraiser for the staff of Daisy Baker’s, click here.


Daisy Baker’s, is located on the first floor of 33 Second Street. It was in operation from 1974 until 1988. In 1999, Jim Scully purchased 33 Second Street and reopened a fully restored and improved Daisy Baker’s in 2000. Jared Horton, tended bar at Daisy’s for nine years before taking over operations from Scully as Managing Partner.

The New York Times praised the grand old barroom at Daisy Baker’s in a 2008 Day Trip Piece titled “Where the Finest Antiques Can’t be Bought.”


Horton says he purchased the rights to the name “Daisy Baker’s,” the restaurant phone number and website from Scully.

Though he has no immediate plans, Horton said he would consider the possibility of re-opening Daisy Baker’s elsewhere if a space suitable to the restaurant’s brand, style and needs became available.

For information, visit: or


Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723,


June 26, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 10:01 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeffrey Buell, 518-944-8674 (cell)


Sequence Development to Announce Restaurant Tenant, Holds Open House

TROY, N.Y. (6/26/14) — Sequence Development is holding an open house this Friday at 4 p.m. at 9 First Street as the project is nearing completion. As part of the celebration it will announce its first floor tenant — a nationally acclaimed outfit opening its first restaurant in an historic rehabbed building in downtown Troy.

9 First Street, Sequence DevelopmentSequence will host a brief ceremony to announce the first floor restaurant tenant for its historic renovation. It will also provide tours of the reconstruction efforts on the upper floors that began last fall. The future restaurant tenant will be present for the ceremony and will serve food during Troy Night Out.

“This redevelopment has been a labor of love for all of us involved,” said Jeffrey Buell, 34, founder of Sequence Development. “There is no finality associated with a building like this, our completion is just the next chapter. It has stood proud for 150 years, and we are thrilled to be opening the doors Friday night to an important piece of Troy’s history.”

Following a brief ceremony, all four floors of 9 First Street will be open for a “sneak peak” viewing and walkthrough.


Built in 1864 as Wm. Young’s bookstore and bindery, the four-story, 6,100 square-foot brownstone and cast iron front building is located immediately south of the Rice Building. It has been vacant since 1996 when Code Enforcement shuttered it due to unsafe conditions.

Last year Sequence Development agreed to purchase it for $10,000 from the Troy Local Development Corporation (TLDC), a community improvement nonprofit that provides financial assistance for construction, acquisition and rehabilitation projects in the city. Sequence has become the first company to complete a project with the LDC using a License to Develop Agreement where the building is not sold until proof of financing.

“Everyone that looked at this building prior to our purchase deemed it too far gone or not worth the effort,” said Buell. “We rejected that concept and want to challenge people to think differently. The urban cores of our cities are what grew this country. It is history that cannot be replaced. Just because a building is covered in dust, falling apart at the seams, and collapsed upon itself doesn’t mean it can’t be saved. It just requires hard work, creative thinking, and a willingness to go the extra mile.”

GSD Contracting, the construction arm of Sequence Development, is responsible for the reconstruction efforts. The restaurant space, which features exposed brick walls, wooden beams and an original 39-foot structural steel arch that was uncovered by work crews while gutting the building.

The third and fourth floors include a pair of 1350 square-foot, two story duplex apartments featuring: exposed brick and beams; quartz countertops; recessed lighting; washer and dryer; energy efficient forced hot air with central air cooling; and impressive views looking east and west. Both apartments are pre-leased with one tenant moving in next week and the other in August. Rent is $1750 per month. The second floor is a loft-style flex space that is also pre-leased and expected to be occupied by August.

The upper floors feature 18 custom-built, eight-foot-tall wooden windows, exposed brick and ductwork, tin ceilings, and custom trim.

“These are not cookie cutter spaces, we really paid attention to every detail and worked to enhance the historic features we uncovered,” said Elizabeth Young Jojo, Chief Operating Officer of Sequence Development. “These are larger units than what’s typically being built in Troy.”


Fit-up costs for the restaurant will be $250,000. When completed, Sequence will have invested more than $600,000 total in construction and rehab.

“The addition of 9 First Street to a growing list of successfully rehabilitated buildings in the heart of downtown is wonderful news for the City of Troy,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “Not only is the project helping the City to meet the demands for new retail and residential units, but it is doing so in a manner that preserves Troy’s historic charm and encourages even more redevelopment in the area.”

Sequence Development is also in the process of rehabbing a block of three buildings across from 9 First Street on the corner of First and State streets (16 First Street). Those units are available for pre-lease now and can be viewed during Friday’s open house and will be available for rent this fall. The total project cost is $2.4 million.

Other Sequence Development projects include: 1 Monument Square (construction of two new mixed-use buildings); new student housing developments for Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, and the redevelopment of 160,000 square feet of space for Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. The company expects to announce two other efforts in the coming weeks.

“We are positioning ourselves as a young development company that takes on historic rehabs, mixed use developments,” said Young. “We love small cities.”


Sequence Development was formed in 2012 as a commercial real estate development firm with an atypical perspective. Sequence approaches each project it undertakes with a focus that is not on the single building, but on its place in the larger community. With a primary emphasis on historic rehabilitations and mixed-use residential buildings, Sequence understands the importance of even a small project in positive place making and its potential impact on larger economic development initiatives.

Sequence Development is headed by Jeff Buell, CEO, and Elizabeth Young Jojo, who joined the company in May as chief operating officer.

For information, call 518-336-0145 or visit:


Photographers may make arrangements to photograph 9 First Street in advance of Friday’s Sneak Preview Open House and Ceremony.

To download historic images of 9 First Street, visit:


Contact: Jeffrey Buell, 518-944-8674 (cell)


June 19, 2014


Filed under: Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 3:57 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Ciaravella 518-217-8282


Package Deal: Summer Shakespeare in a Very Urban Park, Splatter Song Show Oct.

TROY, N.Y. (6/19/14) — Troy Civic Theatre Co. will round out its 2014 season with Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” premiering in Barker Park this July 11, and the regional premiere of “Evil Dead, The Musical” this October.

Evil Dead, The MusicalWhile free performances of “Shakespeare in the Park” are a longstanding tradition in cities around the globe, the Troy company’s choice to play “Much Ado…” in a pocket park at the intersection of two busy streets — Third and State — is a bold one. Though it is surrounded on three sides by churches and fronted by a high-end apartment building, the park has been the subject of controversy in recent years, with city officials removing the benches to discourage problem behavior.

“Bringing culture right into this otherwise overlooked little park, right in the middle of a very urban setting fits with our purpose,” said Troy Civic Theatre President Joel Lord. “Last year, we had a rehearsal in that park and all sorts of people from all walks of life stopped by asking what we were doing.”

The one-night only Barker Park performance will occur this Friday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is made free with support from Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

“Much Ado…” will then play July 12, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and July 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the Italian Community Center, located 1450 5th Ave, in Troy, N.Y. Tickets are $15 General Admission and $13 for Students and Seniors.


Troy Civic Theatre is offering a 10 percent discount for those who purchase tickets now for “Much Ado…” and the October/November performances of “Evil Dead, The Musical.”

Based on the 1983 cult classic horror movie and its sequels, starring Bruce Campbell, “Evil Dead, The Musical” has been called “The Next Rocky Horror show” by critics. True to the movies, the horror-comedy includes geysers of stage blood.

“It’s campy and gory, so the first few rows get hit with flying gore,” said Lord. “The original movies were coming out when I was in college, so I have a soft spot in my heart for this, even though I don’t really like zombies.”

The Troy theater company secured the regional premiere for this production, which first appeared in Toronto. The group expects to attract fans – including “Zombie Squad” groups and college students — from as far away as Syracuse, New York City and Boston.

“Cult musicals have cult followings,” Lord said. “So it’s worth purchasing these tickets now before we sell out.”

The show was chosen by Troy Civic Theatre after director Erin Giacomino submitted it for consideration. Though the shift from Shakespeare to a horror-comedy musical may seem incongruous at first, Lord says that theater companies like to mix up their offerings with classics, pop culture hits and experimental works.

“I think everybody in theater wants to do something different, that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” Lord said.

Performance dates for “Evil Dead, the Musical” are scheduled for Oct. 24, 25, 31, Nov. 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9.


Tickets are available for purchase the night of performances and in advance online here:

Tickets for the discount package are available for purchase here:


The Troy Civic Theatre Co. officially formed in October 2011. In March this year, the organization received its official 501(c)3 status as a public charity. All donations are tax-deductible.

Troy Civic’s budget is about $25,000 per year. The organization aims to own its own theater space somewhere in the next five to ten years.

According to research by Lord, Troy Civic is one among 72 community theater groups in the great Capital Region — excluding college theater — from Hudson to Glens Falls and from to Utica, to Pittsfield.


For publicity images pertaining to Troy Civic Theatre’s productions, visit:

For information about Troy Civic Theatre, visit:

For information about “Evil Dead, The Musical,” visit:

Contact: Michael Ciaravella 518-217-8282


June 18, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News — duncan @ 10:42 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Mary Darcy

July Tourism Adventure Recreates Hudson River Steamboat Travel

Tickets on Sale: Albany to Hudson NY by Train and Riverboat

ALBANY, N.Y. (6/19/14) — This summer, an online magazine is bringing back the experience of traveling between the cities of Albany and Hudson by train and riverboat.

Rail, River, Hudson - AOA Summer Tour 2014Tickets are now on sale for “Rail, River, Hudson!” a special one-day, car-free tourism adventure on Saturday, July 12, that will bring more than 100 passengers from Albany to Hudson, N.Y. by Amtrak® with a return trip up the Hudson River on the Dutch Apple II riverboat.

All Over Albany is hosting the event.

“Hudson is fun. Trains and boats are fun. Leaving your car behind to explore a new city up close is fun,” said Mary Darcy, co-publisher of All Over Albany. “We want people to have a good time, but we also want to shift the paradigm a bit, to show people what types of local travel and tourism are possible without a car. Until the 1940s, the Hudson River was bustling with ‘high speed’ passenger steamboats. We’re hoping to show people in our region what that was like.”

Once in Hudson, the group will be free to explore Hudson on foot, to shop, browse, take in the architecture, and have lunch before catching the boat for a return trip. Trip goers will receive a “Hudson Passport” filled with discounts at shops and restaurants throughout downtown. The passport will be valid from July 12 through Aug. 12, to encourage return trips to Hudson to claim discounts.


Rail, River, Hudson!
AOA Summer Tour
Saturday, July 12, 2014
10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Cost: $60

10:30 a.m. – Meet in Downtown Albany on Broadway at the footbridge to the Corning Preserve/Jennings Landing (parking is available in the city garage and costs $5 all-day, not included in ticket price)

10:35 a.m. – CDTA Shuttle to Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station

11:00 a.m. – Amtrak® train to Hudson.

Noon – Arrive in Hudson, receive “Hudson Passport”

4: 00 p.m. – Gather at Etsy’s awesome building just off Warren Street (a former cannonball factory) for drinks, snacks, and a craft. (Trip goers receive a “swag bag” full of goodies).

6: 00 p.m. – Meet at the Hudson riverfront for a tasting of Nine Pin Cider.

6:30 p.m. – Board the Dutch Apple II for a sunset cruise home to Albany, includes light dinner.

10:30 p.m. – Arrive in downtown Albany by riverboat and de-board at pedestrian bridge to the parking garage.

+ More swag and surprises to be announced.

Cost: Tickets are $60 per person and include all travel costs, a light dinner on the boat, a complimentary Nine Pin Cider sample, the party at Etsy and a “Hudson Passport” book of discounts for food and shopping in Hudson. Passengers can pack lunch or use the passport for a discount at a variety of Hudson eateries. Parking is available through the City of Albany for an additional $5.

Purchase tickets online here:

Tickets went on sale Thursday, June 12. As of Wednesday, more than 60 out of 100 tickets have sold. For information, contact: Mary Darcy

Note: This is a rain or shine event. Tickets are non-refundable. Passengers are strongly encouraged to wear walking shoes. Most of the shopping and restaurants are about a mile from the train station and it’s all walking. The return cruise is about 3 hours long, depending on wind and tide.


Steamboats provided regular passenger service to and from Albany starting with Robert Fulton’s first steamboat voyage in 1807 and lasting until 1948. Some area residents still remember riding the Albany steamboats in their youth.

Rail, River, Hudson - AOA Summer Tour 2014Though the Dutch Apple is not powered by steam, this event will recreate the 19th and early 20th century experience of the “Hudson River Day Line” steamboat travel. And while Amtrak® provides regular service between Albany and New York City, making stops along the way, many Capital Region residents don’t often consider travel by rail when visiting neighboring river communities, said author Duncan Crary who is helping All Over Albany coordinate the event.

“My whole life, I’ve heard people express their wish to restore passenger rail and riverboat travel to the Capital Region,” said Crary, 35. “This event is a ‘proof of concept’ that it can be done, even now without high speed water taxis and light rail in place.”

In 2009, Crary organized a similarly themed event that brought commuters to and from work, between Albany and Troy, also on the Dutch Apple II riverboat.

“Sure, it’s convenient to zip around inside a car. But it’s also liberating to leave the car behind,” Crary said. “There’s nothing, to me, quite as special as traveling from city to city by riverboat or train. Our world seems larger, and yet more connected that way. And you realize that the journey from Point A to Point B can — and should — be rewarding.”

For a detailed account by Donald Eberle, vice chair of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Steamship Historical Society of America, of the sights and stops encountered along the historic “Hudson River Day Line,” visit:


Sponsors for “Rail, River, Hudson!” include: Dutch Apple Cruise lines; Amtrak®; CDTA: The Capital District Transportation Authority; Nine Pin Cider Works; The Lofts at Harmony Mills (Cohoes); and The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District and Helsinki Hudson.


Etsy, Harvest Spirits, Honest Weight Co-op


Merchants participating in the Hudson Passport include:

Red Dot, Cafe Le Perche, Le Gamin, Truck Pizza, Taste of India, Tortillaville, Olde Hudson Grocery, Hudson Wine Merchants, Verdigris Tea/The Chocolate Bar, Vasilow Chocolate, The Spotty Dog Books and Ale and John Doe Records

Note: Merchants interested in participating in the Hudson Passport can contact:


All Over Albany (AOA) is an online cultural magazine covering New York’s Greater Capital Region. It was founded in 2008 by journalists Mary Darcy and Greg Dahlmann.

For the past three summers, AOA has hosted sell-out “quirky culture” tours, including the 2012 “The Troy > Albany AOA Aqua Duck tour” and the 2013 “Bad Boys, Broads and Bootleggers Tour.”

For information, visit:


Members of the media who wish to cover the July 12 “Rail, River, Hudson!” can reserve space on the train and riverboat by contacting Mary Darcy. Note: These additional, complimentary tickets are reserved for working media only and are not available to the general public. Publicity images for advance coverage are also available upon request.


For publicity images, visit:


Mary Darcy


June 3, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 10:03 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gladys Hirsch (518) 461-6813

Troy’s Enchanté Exhibits Paintings by French Lovers

Opening Friday, June 13 at 6 p.m., Artists Travel From France to Troy

TROY, N.Y. (6/3/14) — A Troy tea house and gallery will exhibit a series of enchanting paintings by French lovers this June.

L'Un n' empêche pas l'Autre“L’Un n’ empêche pas l’Autre” (One does not exclude the Other) runs from June 13 through Aug. 31 at the Way Back Gallery in Enchanté Tea House, located at 169 River Street in downtown Troy. The exhibit features the collaborative paintings of Delphine Cossais and Mika, two very different professional painters in love. The couple will travel from their home in Nantes, France to attend the opening in Troy this June 13 at 6 p.m.

A native of France herself, gallery owner and curator Gladys Hirsch has been collecting works by Cossais, her friend, for many years.

“First, when she told me she was painting with her boyfriend I thought ‘How is this going to work?’ Because they have such different styles,” Hirsch said. “She’s very feminine, classic beauty. He’s very primitive — bright colors, thick features. He has an almost a tribal style.”

But the couple was committed to painting together, in spite of their seemingly incongruous artistic sensibilities. So they they put their canvases back to back, and set parameters to work within: a limited palate of colors, words and objects. The resulting paintings complimented each other so well, they evolved to painting together on the same canvas. Though they set out with an agreed upon theme in mind, such as a song lyric, each artist would contribute their own interpretation to that theme with feelings, sounds and colors. And the results are stunning: colorful, playful, intriguing.

“This show is so unique — if you talk to any artists working together it’s so hard because you come from such a different place and in your head you have so many ideas, but there’s the other you have to make room for,” Hirsch said. “There’s a certain artistic ego. You have to compromise and it’s hard to compromise in art and still get your artistic vision across.”

Somehow Cossais and Mika manage to make room for each other artistically, in a true celebration of their love story, Hirsch said.


Delphine Cossais, 42, was born in Paris, France. The world she creates through painting is extremely feminine and full of intricate patterns, rich texture, subtle hues and dreamy girls in poetic settings. Her imaginary characters have captivating expressions, intense glances, yet always soft and tender, reflecting the soft-hearted painter that she is. Her website is:

Mika, 40, was born in Pas-de-Calais, France. He first trained himself drawing landscapes and portraits. The world he creates through his art is inspired by both punk music and French poetry. His work is spontaneous and naive. In the course of his experimentations, as a self-taught artist, Mika confirms his style playing with shapes to build his characters and combining vivid colors to give them cheerfulness and spirit to his everyday life scene. He relishes mixing colors and shapes in a fantastically unbridled production full of energy.


The Way Back Gallery and Enchanté Tea House are located at 169 River Street, a rehabbed 19th century historic warehouse in downtown Troy. Hours are: Friday nights 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and by appointment or chance.

The gallery is dedicated to one artist at a time, with rotating exhibitions every two months. The front of the house is a boutique, featuring more artworks and tea. Enchante offers its own line of 12 blends of tea, crafted exclusively by a tea master in Massachusetts.

“This is an art gallery where you can drink tea,” said Hirsch. “I have 12 blends of tea and that is the height of my ambition. I don’t want to try to compete with any restaurant or tea place in Troy. But if you want to have a cup of tea with me and talk about art, OK I’m here.”

Hirsch said she usually only books artists she knows and has a relationship with, because that allows her to speak knowledgeably about their art when they’re not present.

“People are very interested in the narrative behind the artwork, anecdotes. They feel more connected to the piece that way,” Hirsch said. “I don’t think I can sell art if I don’t know the artist. So if you’d like to show your work in this space, come here, hang out with me and we can become friends. Then I can sell you.”

Enchanté and the Way Back Gallery are also host to the monthly “Between The Lines” open mic poetry night on the second Friday of each month (except for gallery openings).

Though the charming gallery and tea house have been open for several years, Hirsch said it’s remained one of the best kept secrets in downtown Troy because of its limited hours and location. But that’s all about to change.

“I used to say I’m the last post on the street, because most people just didn’t seem to walk past State Street,” Hirsch said. “But it’s very exciting to have all this business opening across the street at River Street Lofts.”


Hirsch owns 169 River Street with her husband Robert Hirsch. The 10,000 square-foot building is for sale for and includes a street level storefront space, two basement spaces, a 2,000 square foot loft and a duplex, all overlooking the Hudson River. For the listing and images, visit:

“As much as I enjoy doing this, the building is for sale,” Hirsch said. “I can always find another space in this city to run the gallery.”

Hirsch lives with her husband and two children, age 5 and 7, on First Street. They moved to Troy in 2004 and are self-described “Troy lovers.”


For high resolution images of artwork by Delphine Coassis and Mika, the Enchante/Way Back Gallery and of 169 River Street, visit:


For information about Enchante and the Way Back Gallery, visit: or

Contact: Gladys Hirsch (518) 461-6813


June 2, 2014


Filed under: Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:00 am

For Immediate Release

Contact Jesse James Synder, (518) 331-1742

Troy, NY: New Orleans Jazz Giant Glen David Andrews, June 9

Concert Feat. Songs from New Album “Redemption” @ Bootlegger’s

TROY, N.Y. (6/2/14) — New Orleans musical giant Glen David Andrews will bring an authentic slice of the Crescent City to the Collar City next week.

Glen David AndrewsAndrews, who has appeared on the HBO series “Treme,” will play songs from his new album “Redemption” at Bootlegger’s on Broadway, located at 200 Broadway in downtown Troy, this Monday, June 9. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 at the door only.

“Glen David Andrews exemplifies what New Orleans is in such an energetic way you can’t help get caught up in it,” said Jesse James Snyder, who booked the act through personal connections for the Troy venue. “He’s got such a great appreciation for such a wide variety of music that he mixes it up with funk, jazz, blues, gospel, soul and Dixie in a way that’s uniquely New Orleans. Plus, he’s got a voice like Louis Armstrong.”

With Redemption (Louisiana Red Hot, April 2014), singer/songwriter/trombonist Andrews stands up for cultural preservation and his own salvation at a time when indigenous traditions in New Orleans are being threatened. The centerpiece of the new album is “Surrender,” a deeply personal song about acceptance which he wrote in rehab.

“Redemption is about my journey back from the living dead,” Andrews said. “I woke up from a nightmare, in a cold sweat. I realized that I had been given an opportunity to change my whole outlook on living.”

The 10-track album features Andrews’s core band and a few chosen friends who’ve played a part in his spiritual recovery. Ivan Neville lays down gritty grooves on a humming Hammond organ and a badass clavinet, the history of modern funk percolating in his fingertips. Jamison Ross, winner of the prestigious 2012 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition, brings his own brand of bonhomie, singing, arranging and playing various instruments. Guitar god Anders Osborne contributes two searing solos. The album also features a surprise — a sample of the radiant voice of the Queen Mother of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson — on a rousing version of her joyous hymn, “Didn’t It Rain.”

Snyder, 39 of Albany, booked the act for Troy after getting to know several musicians on the New Orleans scene while living there. He still keeps a room in that city and returns about 5 times a year.

“Glen David Andrews really knows how to get the crowd into the show, but he also challenges them in a fun way,” Synder said. “The callbacks aren’t always simple or straightforward.”

For those who want to come ready to party, Snyder encourages show goers to check out Andrews online beforehand.


Andrews was born in the historic Tremé neighborhood, which many consider to be the oldest black community in the United States.

The New Orleans neighborhood is an important center of the modern brass band tradition and is the setting for HBO’s series “Treme.” A September 2012 episode of “Treme” titled “Knock With Me, Rock With Me,” featured Glen David Andrews and the Lil’ Rascals Brass Band performing their song of the same name.

“Jesus was born in a manger,” Andrews said. “I was born in a second line.”

Transfixed by the magic and mystery of the city’s second-line parades, Andrews and his older brother, Derrick Tabb of the Rebirth Brass Band, along with their younger cousin Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, soaked up life’s musical lessons by learning the history of the brass band tradition from iconic figures like Tuba Fats.

Andrew’s showmanship has long endeared him to audiences on New Orleans’ fabled Frenchman Street.

“Glen is one of the giant talents of New Orleans music,” said Quint Davis, fest producer for the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Larry Blumenfeld stated: “Onstage and off, electrifying club audiences and street scenes, speaking his mind at civic rallies, Glen David Andrews perhaps best embodies what David Simon, creator of the HBO series Treme meant when he said, ‘Culture is what brought New Orleans back.’”

“Life is hard,” Andrews said. “After Katrina, my Tremé will never be the same. But New Orleans culture is a permanent part of me. The gift of my sobriety is in my music now. I want to share my Tremé — my New Orleans — with the world.”


For information, high resolution publicity photos and an album cover, visit:

Contact Jesse James Synder, (518) 331-1742


May 14, 2014


Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 12:59 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Terry O’Brien, 518-874-1734

Everyone to “Eat Crow” at Trojan Hotel Opening Party, May 20

Internet Restaurant Doubter Foots Bill for O’Briens Public House Celebration

TROY, N.Y. (5/14/14) — The new owners of a historic downtown hotel will serve up a special treat this May 20: crow.

Technically, a crow-shaped cake. The special confection is a playful wink and nod to those who doubted they would succeed in their restoration efforts. The party is being paid for by one of their harshest online critics.

Local Facebook Loudmouth“It’s been a lot of work, but it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears to get this beautiful old building back open,” said Terry O’Brien, who purchased the 19,269 square-foot building last fall with her husband, Donald O’Brien.

“Some people didn’t believe we’d be able to do it. The Internet comments got pretty nasty for a while, but those only motivated us even more to see this through.”

The family team did much of the restoration work themselves on the 19th century building and its circa 1901 hotel addition.

This March, they opened a first-floor barroom and dining area called O’Briens Public House at the Historic Trojan Hotel. In April, they began kitchen service, and work is already underway to restore and re-open the spacious ballroom in the hotel’s rear annex.

Complimentary Drink to the First 40 Party Patrons

Although the Trojan Hotel is one among many historic building rehabilitations underway in the celebrated revival of downtown Troy, this restoration effort was not without its doubters along the way.

But one of the harshest online critics of the effort has kept good on his public offers to buy a round of drinks for the house if the family succeeded in opening. The skeptic, who wishes to be identified as a “local facebook loudmouth,” has paid the bar $200 to help provide one complimentary drink (beer, wine or regular drink) to the first 40 people who attend the Tuesday, May 20 opening party, starting at 5 p.m.

So, in the spirit of fun and redemption, the O’Briens will serve up slices from a lifelike crow-shaped cake, made by Troy confectionery artist Susan Dunkel of Sweet Sue’s, 203 River St.


“Eat Crow” is an American idiom that gained wide-usage after it appeared in an 1850 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The story, which is set in the Hudson Valley, ends with a farmer reluctantly eating a cooked crow after boasting that he “kin eat anything.” The flesh of crow is considered to be foul tasting, hence “eating crow” is used figuratively when one is proved wrong after taking a strong position (because admitting being wrong is equally as “hard to swallow”).

“Everyone can relate to having to put their foot in their mouth or ‘eat crow’ at some point in their life,” said Donald O’Brien. “This isn’t about sticking it to those who didn’t believe in us — it’s all in good fun after a lot of hard work.”

The O’Briens say they are grateful to all those who helped and supported them during their restoration work, including city officials, their construction crew and personal friends.

The drink specials during the evening will also include a “Humble Pie” cocktail special, which is another British idiom of similar meaning.


Trojan Hotel (early)O’Briens Public House is open seven days a week, during the following hours:

Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. till close (kitchen 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.); Thursday through Saturday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 9 p.m.); Sunday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 8 p.m.).

The menu features pub fare and entrees, ranging from $8 to $16, including: Shepherd’s Pie; Crab Cakes; burger; Reuben; spinach dip; potato cakes with smoked salmon; and salads.

Revolving specials include: Corned Beef and Cabbage; Sausage and Mash; Smothered Pork Chop; and Rasher, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches — an Irish “BLT” (price). All items are made from scratch.

For weekly menus, visit: or


The O’Brien family — Donald, Terry, Ali and DJ — ran O’Briens Public House for 20 months at 443 Fifth Ave. in Lansingburgh until closing last June. The family now works together to operate their newest business, O’Briens Public House at the Historic Trojan Hotel, at 43 Third St. in downtown Troy.


This summer, the O’Briens plan to re-open the first floor ballroom, which is located in the hotel annex and is accessible from the first floor bar area. The 1,200 square-foot ballroom will be used as a dining room and multipurpose events space for music, theater, lectures, movie screenings private parties, weddings and showers. It features a stage area, an original maple floor, the original molding, wainscoting, and lathe and plaster walls. It will also feature a display of historic memorabilia from the various businesses to occupy the building — some of which was discovered during the restoration and some of it donated by Troy residents.

After that, the O’Briens will begin work to reopen the Trojan Taproom, a rathskeller in the building’s lower level that was once popular among city leaders.

They also intend to restore the upper floors of the front building as a private residence.


Built in the 19th century, the building originally served as a bar, ballroom and residence. In the late 1800s, it was opened as a hotel. The name was changed to the Trojan Hotel in the early 20th century, when a 5-story addition was built in the rear, facing Franklin Alley. The building and popular taproom have changed hands several times throughout its history.

The DeGiorgio family ran the taproom from 1969 until 2003, when the city foreclosed on the building. They had stopped renting rooms several years earlier.

In 2004, Anthony Prezio, a relative of the DeGiorgios, wrote and performed and recorded an original musical, “An Evening at the Trojan Hotel.”


For a screenshot of the online comments that inspired the “Eat Crow” party and historic photos of the Trojan Hotel and what it looked like before rehab, visit:

For information, call the restaurant at 518-874-1734 or visit: or


May 5, 2014


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

For Immediate Release

Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Troy Puts on the Red Light – May 5

“Cinco de Mame” is tongue-in-cheek tribute to Troy Madam

TROY, N.Y. (5/5/14) – May 5 is best known as Cinco de Mayo. But tonight’s festivities in Troy will have an added local twist: a tribute to Collar City Madam Mame Faye, who died on May 5, 1943.

Newspaper Ad for Troy's Red Light DistrictSeveral “watering holes” in that city will be giving a nod to its seedier past tonight by turning on red lights. Until the 1940s, Troy’s “Famous Red Light District” was known far and wide for its look-the-other way attitude towards the “oldest profession.”

Though brothels were technically illegal, there were once five “houses of ill repute” on 6th Ave. in Troy along the train tracks. Several police officers from the nearby police station are said to have worked there as bouncers when off duty. And a newspaper advertisement from the 1930s advertised:

Red Light District
Known Coast to Coast Satisfaction Guaranteed – $2.00

Catering to Your Every Whim
Do it or Have it Done
Pitch ‘Til You Win for a Duce

Special Attention Given to High School Boys and Traveling Salesmen


1721 – 6th Ave. — FRANKIE MASON’S 3 Ring Circus
1723 – 6th Ave. – MADAM LOUISE’S Crab Orchard
1725 – 6th Ave. – MAME FAY’S Notchery
1733 – 6th Ave. – LOTTIE DENVER’S Cupcake Revue
1737 – 6th Ave. – MIDRED HAMILTON’S Sandwich Shoppe

(Note: Mame Faye’s name was often spelled with variations.)

For one night only, the following Troy bars will be displaying red lights and serving up naughty-named cocktails in memory of Faye:

Lucas Confectionery,* 12 Second Street
Bootlegger’s on Broadway, 200 Broadway
Finnbar’s Irish Pub, 452 Broadway
Ryan’s Wake Public House, 403 River Street
Brown’s Brewing Co., 417 River Street
The Ruck, 104 3rd Street

O’Briens at The Trojan Hotel and Trojan Taproom will be closed tonight but will display two red light bulbs as part of the tribute.

* Lucas Confectionery will offer half-price bottles of Red Wine during “Cino de Wino” and will screen the documentary film about Faye, “Sittin’ on a Million,” by Penny Lane and Annmarie Lanesey in the rear patio area.

Local author and history buff Duncan Crary arranged the low-key tribute after other residents of Troy expressed interest.

“We’re not advocating for illicit activities tonight,” Crary said. “The infamous red light districts in Troy, Albany and Saratoga were shut down long ago, and probably for good reason. But they are a real chapter in our history. And it’s interesting to remember the shadier episodes and figures from our past.”

Like other figures of questionable character in this region — i.e. Jack “Legs” Diamond, Bartholomew “Bat” Shea, John “Old Smoke” Morrissey — Faye had some redeeming qualities, Crary said, noting her reputation for donating some of her ill-gotten funds to charity.

“Lots of Trojans still have stories to share about Faye, either from direct experience or through their parents or relatives,” Crary said. “Be sure to ask around about her.”

Mame Faye is buried at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in South Troy (her tombstone reads: Mary A. Fahey Bonter “Mame Fay” 1866 – 1943). An operating Troy-based tugboat is named in Mame Faye’s honor.

For information about Faye, visit:


* Best interview opportunities with locals will be at Ryan’s Wake Pub at 5:30 p.m. Best bet for photo ops will be outside Bootlegger’s on Broadway or in the rear patio of Lucas Confectionery. Finnbar’s Pub is located the closest to the former Red Light District.

CONTACT: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

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)