- Author (19)
- Business (57)
- Events (53)
- Features (97)
- News (48)
- peak oil (9)
- Troy NY (72)
- #TroyCrazy (13)
- May 2016 (1)
- April 2015 (1)
- March 2015 (3)
- February 2015 (3)
- January 2015 (1)
- December 2014 (2)
- November 2014 (2)
- October 2014 (2)
- September 2014 (4)
- August 2014 (2)
- July 2014 (3)
- June 2014 (5)
- May 2014 (2)
- April 2014 (3)
- March 2014 (3)
- February 2014 (3)
- January 2014 (3)
- December 2013 (2)
- October 2013 (1)
- September 2013 (3)
- August 2013 (1)
- July 2013 (2)
- June 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (2)
- March 2013 (2)
- January 2013 (3)
- December 2012 (2)
- October 2012 (1)
- September 2012 (1)
- April 2012 (2)
- March 2012 (2)
- February 2012 (1)
- December 2011 (1)
- November 2011 (1)
- October 2011 (2)
- August 2011 (1)
- July 2011 (1)
- March 2011 (1)
- February 2011 (1)
- January 2011 (2)
- November 2010 (1)
- September 2010 (2)
- July 2010 (1)
- June 2010 (1)
- April 2010 (1)
- March 2010 (1)
- February 2010 (2)
- January 2010 (1)
- December 2009 (1)
- November 2009 (3)
- September 2009 (1)
- August 2009 (2)
- July 2009 (3)
- April 2009 (2)
- March 2009 (1)
- February 2009 (1)
References & Testimonials
December 9, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909
Dec. 11: Troy Open Studio Raises Icarus to the Pantheon
Furniture Maker Celebrates Name Change from “Icarus” to “Springwood” With Theatrical “Fractured Fairy Tale”
TROY, N.Y. (12/9/14) — An internationally acclaimed Troy furniture studio will celebrate its new name and ownership with a ceremony of mythological proportions.
Icarus Furniture is now Springwood Studios, an artisanal woodworking shop specializing in high quality hand-made furniture and wood sculpture. To mark the change in name and focus, owner Jim Lewis, 63, will be “Releasing Icarus to the Pantheon” in what he calls a theatrical “Fractured Fairy Tale” in the streets.
“It’s a Greek tradition that if you live in a place that is sacred to a mythological figure, you get to tell the story however you want,” said Lewis. “Our workshop in Troy, N.Y. was originally named in honor of Icarus, so we get to tell our own myth about him. In our version, he finally retires from Troy and reaches the Gods.”
On Thursday, Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m., Troy officials, neighbors and friends will congregate outside the studio at 154 Fourth St. Lewis will clip wings onto a toga-wearing Icarus idol (baby doll) and hoist it by pulley and line to the skies. A lightning bolt wielding Zeus (in the form of a Springwood intern) will receive Icarus at the top of his flight, and thus the boy who flew too close to the sun will finally enter the pantheon of Gods. If satisfied by the offerings presented to him, Zeus will then “magically” transform the studio sign from “Icarus Furniture” to “Springwood Studios.”
The ceremony is a playful nod to studio’s former name Icarus, inspired by the ancient mythological character. It is also the latest in a trend of increasingly theatrical alternative “ribbon cutting” ceremonies in Troy (including sausage links, quesadilla and board cuttings, as well as a miniature cannon blast ceremony).
An open studio at Springwood will follow, from 3:30 p.m. till 8 p.m. with catering by Carmen’s Cuban Cafe. The studio will showcase several pieces — some new, some old favorites — including a five-petal oak and wenge table in the form of a morning glory; a sculptural desk that looks decidedly like a jellyfish; and a model of Red Bud, a 12 foot-tall dome sculpture that was once in display in Albany’s Tricentenniel Park. Photos of Lewis’ architectural size plywood domes based on natural forms — seashells, mushrooms, fruit and flowers and even cabbages — will be on display during the open studio.
In 1977, Lewis co-founded Icarus Furniture in Troy. In 2010, he bought out his partner and officially changed the studio name. But a major five-year project to create furnishings and a carved mural for Sacred Heart Church in Edinburg, Texas took up most of his focus. After completing that commission, Lewis has been renovating his shop and working with Carmen Gonzalez on her restaurant, Carmen’s Cafe. Now, Lewis says, it’s time to formally “hang out a shingle” for Springwood Studios.
“One of the reasons for changing the studio name is that I’m slightly adjusting what I do,” Lewis said. “I still want to do liturgical and home furnishings, but my focus will be more on the sculptural. My work is furniture that shapes the space. I’m sort of straddling the line between furniture and sculpture, and sometimes touching on architecture.”
Lewis’ high quality, solid wood furniture has received multiple design awards from Modern Liturgy Magazine and praise from Architectural Digest. He has designed and built pieces for about 80 churches, chapels, synagogues and meditation spaces across the country — though many are located in the Capital Region.
Due to the large scope of his projects, most of his shows have been in his studio, where he exhibits projects before they are installed.
CHANNELING TROY’S PAST
A native of Lancaster County, Pa., Lewis grew up on Springwood Farm where his family raised sheep and ducks. He moved to Troy in 1971 and fell in love with the historic architecture.
“There seems something wonderfully classic historic about Troy — living history. You can feel that it was founded on neoclassical idealism,” Lewis said. “It’s not just the Victorian but the earlier federal stuff, which seems to refer to an era when you could stop a man on the street and discuss the classics with him.”
One Troy figure inspires Lewis in particular: a cabinet maker named Elijah Galusha, who was one of the pioneers of plywood and veneer construction, whose work rivaled the best of his contemporary craftsmen in New York City.
“I like to think I channel Elisha and keep up his tradition,” Lewis said, noting that Galusha lived in a house four blocks from Springwood Studios.
For photographs of Lewis’ work, visit:
For higher resolutions, contact Jim Lewis.
Contact: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909
November 26, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
Courtroom Retrial to Determine True “Night Before Christmas” Author
Seeking a Verdict After Last Year’s Hung Jury: Livingston v. Moore
Dec. 7 “Trial Before Christmas” is a Real Life “Miracle on 34th Street” in Troy, New York
Feat. Star Attorney E. Stewart Jones Jr., anti-smoking publisher Pamela McColl, famous Livingston Descendant
TROY, N.Y. (Nov. 26, 2014) — A juried re-trial in a real courtroom this Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. aims to solve a centuries-old controversy over who really wrote one of the most beloved holiday poems in the world: “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Last year, “The Trial Before Christmas” was a surprise holiday spectacle that gained national media attention and attracted more than 500 spectators to the Rensselaer County Courthouse – a standing-room-only crowd. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict, so the case will be heard again.
LIVINGSTON v. MOORE
“Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” a.k.a. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was published anonymously for the first time ever in Troy, N.Y. by the Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823. And for nearly as long, two New York families have argued over who the poem’s true author was.
Years after its publication, in 1837, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar named Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship and has been officially credited ever since. But descendants of Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman farmer of the Hudson Valley, claim he was the true, unrecognized author. Backing their assertions is Vassar College professor and literary forensics expert Don Foster, whose 2000 book “Author Unknown” presented a strong case for Livingston. On the other hand, Dr. Joe Nickell thoroughly refuted those claims in his book “Pen, Ink and Evidence,” also published in 2000. Both works and other research serve as inspiration for the upcoming courtroom showdown.
“There’s no question that Santa is real — because children believe in him!” said event creator Duncan Crary. “The question is: who wrote this magical poem that first sparked our belief in a distinctly American Santa known and loved around the world?”
AUTHENTIC COURTROOM EXPERIENCE WITH HOLIDAY CHEER
Representing Moore is Upstate New York’s preeminent litigator, E. Stewart Jones, Jr. On the side of Livingston will be Troy novelist and attorney Jack Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and his daughter, attorney Molly Casey of Albany law firm Thuillez, Ford, Gold, Butler & Monroe.
A third-generation lawyer, Jones heads the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm established in Troy in 1898 by his grandfather, Abbott Jones.
The trial’s ornate setting will be The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court, named for Jack Casey’s father who served there as State Supreme Court Justice.
Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Edward O. Spain will hear the trial to settle the contested authorship.
Real court officers, a court clerk and a court stenographer will give mock trial goers an authentic experience. But the spirit will be fun and lively, Crary said, noting that a saxophone playing Santa Claus, elf and special guest will entertain the audience during a brief jury deliberation.
HUNG JURY IN 2013 > LOOKING FOR A VERDICT IN 2014
Last year on Wed., December 18, the Jones and Casey legal teams argued passionately on behalf of their “clients,” descendants of Clement C. Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. But a jury of six with one alternate — selected from the audience — was unable to reach a verdict.
This year, the case will be re-tried with the original legal teams reprising their roles during Troy’s 32nd Annual Victorian Stroll, a city-wide holiday festival that attracts more than 20,000 visitors.
“This year we’re going to do what it takes to get a verdict,” said attorney Jack Casey. “I intend to set the historical record straight and give Henry Livingston Jr. his rightful due as the true author of this magical poem.”
Jones, however, remains confident the jury will agree with the long-accepted authorship credit to Clement Clarke Moore.
“This is the most frivolous litigation ever brought before a judge in this illustrious courthouse,” Jones said. “I will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in court that Moore was the author.”
Last year, Jones played up the case mostly for laughs. And laughs there were many. Casey, who also caused some riotous chuckles from the crowd, said he probably takes the arguments more seriously as he’s representing the underdog. “The people of Troy root for the underdog,” Casey said.
EXPERTS TO INCLUDE BEST SELLING AUTHOR PAMELA McCOLL
Famous Canadian anti-smoking advocate Pamela McColl will take the stand this year, to give expert testimony regarding the inclusion of a smoking Santa and how it reflects upon the views of the contesting authorship claims.
In 2012, McColl published a version of “Account of a Visit From Saint Nicholas” that removed all lines referring to the “jolly old elf” smoking. Her best-selling book, titled “Twas The Night Before Christmas, edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st century” (Grafton and Scratch Publishers), was the winner of four IBPA 2013 Benjamin Franklin Awards: including first place best cover, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2012; Gold Medal best holiday book; first place at the Global International Ebook Awards best Christian children’s title; and gold place for the Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013.
McColl’s smoke-free edits to the classic poem captured international media attention including the Associated Press, NBC Nightly News, The Colbert Report, The View, the BBC and National Public Radio.
“Clement Clarke Moore was himself against smoking,” McColl said. “He likened the lure of tobacco to ‘opium’s treach’rous aid.’ So it is curious why he would include a smoking elf in a poem that was ultimately intended for children.”
McColl will selling and signing books at The Book Outlet in downtown Troy’s Uncle Sam Atrium on Saturday, Dec. 6 (Saint Nicholas Day) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Troy Farmers Market. She will also sell and sign books at the post-trial reception at 4 p.m. in the Troy Public Library.
Rensselaer County Historian Kathryn Sheehan will give also expert testimony.
“I think the evidence on both sides is compelling,” said Sheehan, who assisted Foster with research for the chapter of his book dedicated to the poem’s authorship controversy. “I’ll leave it up to the jury as to who really wrote the poem.”
As with last year, a few ghosts from Christmases Past are also expected to take the stand.
Jurors will be selected at random from the audience. Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. There will be a live simulcast in the courthouse rotunda to accommodate overflow crowd. A post-trial party on the second floor of the neighboring Troy Public Library, with a $5 suggested donation to benefit that organization. For more information about this event, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or visit: http://DuncanCrary.com
David Baecker, associate professor of Theatre at Russell Sage College, serves as director of “The Trial Before Christmas.”
SPECIAL: LIVINGSTON DESCENDANT TO ATTEND
Mary Van Deusen, a descendant of Henry Livingston Jr., is slated to attend and sit with attorneys Jack Casey and Molly Casey during the trial. Van Deusen is responsible for bringing the authorship controversy to the world’s attention in 2000 by enlisting the help of literary forensics expert Don Foster. Her exhaustive family research is available online here:
In order to accommodate overflow crowds, there will be a live simulcast on a large movie screen in the Rensselaer County courthouse rotunda.
The Trial Before Christmas will be filmed by RPI TV. To watch the trial live online at 2 p.m., visit: http://rpitv.org/productions/876-the-trial-before-christmas
There will be a live simulcast on a big screen in the Rensselaer County Courthouse rotunda for overflow crowd.
The Trial Before Christmas has reached its $2000 minimum goal on Kickstarter, however donations are still encouraged and needed and will go directly to making this production as wonderful as possible.
Underwriting Sponsor of the event is Gramercy Communications, an independently-owned strategic communications agency headquartered in the historic Troy Sentinel building at 225 River Street. A bronze plaque commemorating the site where “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” was first published is affixed to the building’s exterior wall. It credits Moore as the author.
Gramercy Communications previously provided a grant to fund the digitization of the Troy Sentinel’s archives, including the edition featuring the historic poem, and donated the full archives to the Troy Public Library.
“Working in a building that was the former home a newspaper is not only appropriate for our firm, it’s inspiring. That inspiration is why we wanted to forever preserve the Troy Sentinel,” said Tom Nardacci, president and founder of Gramercy Communications. “And I’m excited to see if this year the jury will order us to add an asterisk to that plaque.”
TROY WINS NO MATTER
“I’d really love to see a verdict this year, after last year’s hung jury,” said Crary, 36, who promotes the city’s history and culture as an author and public relations consultant. “But either way, the City of Troy will remain the place that first shared this holiday gift with the world.”
For high resolution publicity images of the attorneys, courthouse, a scan of Troy Sentinel featuring the poem, visit: http://duncancrary.com/St_Nick/images.html
This year’s “Trial Before Christmas” poster features the hand-drawn illustrations of Ben Karis-Nix, of Troy Cloth and Paper. It is available for download at the link above.
Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com
November 12, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Pihlaja 518.779.3451
Downtown Troy, NY is a “Mall-Ternative”
Business District Back With a Boom (Literally)
Shopkeepers Turn on “The Green Light District”
TROY, NY (11/12/14) — Downtown Troy will kick off its “Mall-ternative” holiday shopping campaign tomorrow (Nov. 13) at noon with a ceremonial cannon blast* at Monument Square.
“If you look at all that’s going on downtown, why would you go to a shopping mall?” said Erin Pihlaja, executive director of the Downtown Troy Business District. “We’re not trying to emulate Crossgates. We are an alternative to the mall.”
The Mall-ternative campaign is an initiative of the Downtown Troy BID, with funding from I Love NY and support from Rensselaer County Tourism and the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market. Its advertisements feature a floor plan of the upper and lower levels of an “average local mall” superimposed over a map of downtown Troy. Visually, the graphic shows downtown Troy is roughly the same size, with equivalent parking and amenities.
The graphic also lists a number of upcoming downtown holiday events, including:
Nov. 13 – Start of Extended Holiday Hours Downtown
Nov. 15 – Mall-ternative Artisans Market in the Atrium
Nov. 27 – The Troy Turkey Trot
Nov. 28 – Troy Night Out “Green Light District
Nov. 29 – Small Business Saturday
Dec. 4 – 7 – 58th Annual Green Show
Dec 7 – Victorian Stroll
EXTENDED SHOP HOURS, THURS. – SUNDAY THRU HOLIDAYS
Historic Flag Hoist & Cannon Blast Ceremony, Noon Nov. 13
This Thursday, Nov. 13, will be the first night that many downtown stores will hold extended evening hours to accommodate holiday shoppers on Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as during the days on Saturday and Sunday.
A special 12 p.m. ceremony at Monument Square will kick off the new downtown store hours, and will feature a flagpole hoisting of an “OPEN” flag, a symbolic cannon “blast” and the ringing of an historic bell.
The noon gathering revives an old Troy custom, which was discovered by organizers researching primary source materials. In his personal writings of life in Troy during the 1800s, historical figure Nathan Dauchy recounts:
“Washington Park where the monument now stands the center of it was enclosed with an Iron Fence. Charles L. Richards had charge of it. When the First Steamboat in the spring came to dock, he hoisted the Flag and fired a cannon to let the people know the river was open.”
Note: Before erecting the monument, Monument Square was known as “Washington Square” and before that “Cannon Square.” The first building erected on the square is still known to this day as “Cannon Place.” Photo, showing the old cannon, from the collection of Tom Flynn.
* More specific details about the cannon blast ceremony will be announced via media advisory tomorrow morning (or later today). For questions concerning that aspect of this release, contact Duncan Crary 518-274-2723 DCC@DuncanCrary.com
STAYING OPEN AFTER THE HOLIDAYS?
Troy is Now a Destination
One local shopkeeper is leading the effort to make the extended holiday hours a permanent feature in downtown Troy.
“I get a lot of visitors at my store who travel specifically to Troy after reading about all the exciting things happening here. We are really becoming a destination,” said Debra Lockrow, owner of Artcentric Gallery at 266 River Street. “But they get here and tell me ‘Nothing’s open,’ because they’re arriving on weekends or after normal 9 to 5 work hours.”
Lockrow recently announced new 7-day per week store hours at her own Artcentric Gallery, including Thursday and Friday 12 p.m to 7 p.m. hours. She is asking others shopkeepers to join her in offering permanent hours that can better accommodate the needs of customers who typically work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I’m not asking stores to keep longer hours,” said Lockrow. “I’m asking them to keep smarter hours.”
In the past, efforts to keep downtown shops open later haven’t kept up the momentum after the busy holiday season, but Lockrow thinks this time will be different.
“The new shopkeepers get it: they need to be open when people get out of work and want to shop,” she said. “It’s a matter of getting everyone on board at the same time.”
Earlier this year, Lockrow already took the initiative to personally design, print and distribute a tri-fold “Enjoy Troy Sundays” brochure listing all the restaurants and shops that are already open on Sunday. She plans to reprint an expanded edition soon with more participating businesses and hours listings.
TROY’S FAMOUS GREEN LIGHT DISTRICT
TNO Launch Friday Nov. 28
The Mall-Ternative campaign is also calling for Troy shopkeepers to display green decorative light bulbs this Troy Night Out, Nov. 28, to signify they will be keeping later hours. Organizers call it “The Green Light District,” in another playful nod to Troy’s colorful history. (Troy’s “Famous Red Light District” was allegedly known “Coast to Coast” until it was shut down in the 1940s.)
“I think Troy’s Green Light District could be even more famous,” Pihlaja said. “But in order to be a shopping destination, people have to know we’ll be open for business when they arrive. Green means we’re ‘good to go.’”
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Those who purchase special reusable shopping tote bags, with the “enjoy troy.” symbol, will receive discounts at participating downtown retailers during the day. Details to be announced.
To download a copy of the Mall-Ternative graphics, photos of “enjoy troy.” tote bags, and an historic photo of the cannon in “Washington Square”, visit:
Erin Pihlaja 518.779.3451
Debra Lockrow 518-691-0007
This press release was prepared and issued for the Downtown Troy BID by Duncan Crary Communications.
October 31, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda Passaretti, 518-461-9159
Tom Reynolds, 518-669-9713
Enjoy Troy Co. Launches Internet Store in Time For Holidays
Homegrown “enjoy troy.” Symbol Promotes Laid Back Renaissance in Troy, New York
TROY, N.Y. (11/03/14) — If you’ve spent any time in Troy during the past decade, you’ve seen it all over town: a cheerful oval around the words “enjoy troy.”
The website, http://enjoytroy.us, features stickers, glasses, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hats, pins, patches and plaques sporting the now classic “enjoy troy.” symbol. It also includes a blog, a brief history of the symbol and information about the various retail locations in downtown Troy that carry an expanded line of merchandise.
“Enjoy Troy is sort of a counter culture response to branding,” said Linda Passaretti, who created the symbol in 2003. “It is a mandate. It’s an order: enjoy troy period.”
Though it is ubiquitous throughout Troy — on banners, brochures, business plaques and on storefront windows — few people actually know where the “enjoy troy.” symbol came from, or who created it.
“That’s about as grassroots as it gets,” Passaretti said, comparing her creation to a “meme,” which is a term coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” And like most memes, this one took off by surprise.
ENJOY TROY SYMBOL: THE ORIGINS
In 2003, Passaretti needed a theme for a small party in Troy’s Washington Park neighborhood. But she had no money for decorations. So she printed sheets of address labels with the statement “enjoy troy.” on them, then stuck them on plastic cups and other items around her house. It was a hit.
After that, she designed more professional-looking oval decals that she passed out around town to friends and business owners. Next, people started asking for hats and shirts with the symbol on them, so she had those made, too.
A few years later, Passaretti partnered with Tom Reynolds to establish The Enjoy Troy Company. A commercial lending officer, Reynolds is the craftsman behind the company’s handmade plaques, custom tables and other specialty items featuring the “enjoy troy.” symbol.
“As soon as I saw the sticker, I wanted to help spread this message,” said Reynolds. “Even the font that Linda chose is a happy font.”
But, while the “enjoy troy.” design is officially trademarked and the company’s array of merchandise is available through the website and at Artcentric Gallery at 266 River St, the partnership isn’t motivated by money.
“This has always been about making something to bind and build the community,” Passaretti says. “When all these people start to see this community as worthy, that is my payment.”
A SYMBOL OF REBIRTH
It’s impossible to know what effect “enjoy troy.” has had on the city’s rebirth, but perceptions of Troy have changed since Passaretti first arrived in 1980 as a freshman at Emma Willard School.
Now the city’s renaissance-in-progress is the talk of the region and was recently reported on by the New York Daily News in 2013.
“Ten years ago, Troy didn’t have the same offerings,” she said. “But in terms of the quality of the people who are trying to make the city go, it’s been here all along — people who’ve committed their lives to making the city work in a positive way.”
One of the top selling products of The Enjoy Troy Co. has an ironic twist: handmade wooden “Troylet” bathroom plaques. Starting in the 1960s, the expression “Troylet” (a combination of the words “Troy” and “toilet”) was a common put down for the city and people who lived there. But during the past two decades, as the downtown Troy resurgence is becoming a role model for urban revitalization, many residents repeat the pejorative today with tongue in cheek, and chuckle at those who didn’t see the charm that was there all along.
For high resolution publicity images of Linda Passaretti, Tom Reynolds and an extensive line of “enjoy troy.” merchandise, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/enjoytroy.html
For information, visit: http://enjoytroy.us
Linda Passaretti, 518-461-9159
Tom Reynolds, 518-669-9713
October 8, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Ciaravella 518-217-8282
Evil Dead, The Musical Plays in Troy, Oct. 24 – Nov. 9
Singing Zombies and Gore Overrun Uncle Sam Atrium in Troy
TROY, N.Y. (10/08/14) — Zombies will sing and gore will splatter this Oct. 24 as Troy Civic Theatre stages the regional premiere of “Evil Dead, The Musical” at The Uncle Sam Atrium.
Based on Sam Raimi’s 1983 cult classic horror movie and its sequels starring Bruce Campbell, “Evil Dead, The Musical” has been called “The Next Rocky Horror Picture Show” by critics. The musical tells the tale of five college kids who travel to a cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force. As his friends turn into Candarian Demons, one boy fights until dawn to survive. True to the movies, the horror-comedy includes geysers of stage blood and as musical mayhem descends upon this sleepover in the woods, “camp” takes on a whole new meaning.
“It’s campy and gory, so the first few rows have their own splatter zone. This is not your traditional musical,” said Michael Ciaravella, Managing Artistic Director, of Troy Civic Theatre. “We’re thrilled to stage this in an actual shopping mall building, which will no doubt remind people of another famous zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead.”
The Uncle Sam Atrium Building was built in 1979 as an indoor urban shopping mall with retail, restaurants and a movie theater. Though no longer a shopping mall, the building is still occupied and provides a home to several offices, businesses, as well as the Winter Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
Bringing culture into an non-traditional performance space in the heart of historic downtown Troy fits with the purpose of Troy Civic Theater, Ciaravella said. Earlier this year, the group staged a performance of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” in downtown Troy’s underutilized and somewhat troublesome Barker Park, at the intersection of two busy streets.
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,” Ciaravella said. “So we strongly recommend purchasing tickets now before we sell out.”
The show was chosen by Troy Civic Theatre from among more than 40 submissions after director Erin Giacomino submitted it for consideration. Though the shift from Shakespeare to a horror comedy musical may seem incongruous at first, Ciaravella 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,” Ciaravella said. “This might be a once-in-a-’lifetime’ experience.”
Ash – Conrad Browne Lorcher
Linda – Melinda Richner
Cheryl – Lauren Kerr
Scotty – Stephen McCauley Jr.
Shelly – Megan Morse
Annie – Krista David
Ed (Oct 24 & 25) – Brian McBride Land
Ed (Oct 31 – Nov 9) – Nick Casey
Jake – Ian M. Politis
Prof. Knowby/Ensemble – Scott Caldwell
Moose/Ensemble – Jack Shaefer
Ensemble – Megan Vallee
Performance dates for “Evil Dead, the Musical” are scheduled for Oct. 24, 25, 31, Nov. 1, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m; and on Nov. 2 & 9 at 2 p.m.
Location: The Uncle Sam Atrium, Troy NY 12180
Ticket Cost: $15 General Admission, $13 Student & Senior
TO PURCHASE TICKETS
Tickets are available for purchase the night of performances and in advance online here: https://www.troycivic.org/shows/evil-dead-the-musical/
For information about this performance or the Troy Civic Theatre, call 518-217-TCTC (8282) or visit: https://www.troycivic.org
ABOUT THE TROY CIVIC THEATRE COMPANY
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.
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 ARTWORK AND INFORMATION
For publicity images pertaining to Troy Civic Theatre’s productions, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/TroyCivic.html
For information about Troy Civic Theatre, visit: http://www.troycivic.org
For information about “Evil Dead, The Musical,” visit: http://www.evildeadthemusical.com
Contact: Michael Ciaravella 518-217-8282 email@example.com
September 24, 2014
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.
“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.
BIKE RACKS FOR TROY
“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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RIDE WITH THE MAYOR
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 email@example.com or report to the Transport Troy booth at the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market.
ABOUT THE COLLAR CITY RAMBLE
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: http://collarcityramble.com
ABOUT TRANSPORT TROY
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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) 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
PRE-RAMBLE FULL SCHEDULE
(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
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
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.
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 email@example.com
Traffic Engineer: Lindsay Zefting, (518) 584-6634
September 18, 2014
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.”
The 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.
LoERH: ONE THOUSAND GINGERS, BRING IT!
“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. https://www.facebook.com/LeagueOfExtraordinaryRedheads
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: http://duncancrary.com/RedHeads
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 DCC@DuncanCrary.com
September 17, 2014
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.
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: http://peopleswoe.com
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.
ABOUT THE 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 http://peopleswoe.com.
For high resolution author photos and publicity images, visit:
REVIEW COPIES, INTERVIEW REQUEST
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 DCC@DuncanCrary.com
September 4, 2014
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.
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.
IT’S ALL ABOUT IMPROV AT TROY WINE BAR & GROCERY
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.
ABOUT THE MOP & BUCKET COMPANY
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 http://Mopco.org
For information about Lucas Confectionery & The Grocery, visit: http://lucasconfectionery.wordpress.com
To download high resolution publicity images, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/mopco.html
Michael Burns, (518)248-7430, firstname.lastname@example.org
August 18, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Wolcott, 518-465-8930
Researcher Pinpoints Long Lost 1614 Albany Fort
Map Sleuth John Wolcott Reveals Exact Location of Fort Nassau
ALBANY, N.Y. (08/18/14) — A local historian released his findings today, pinpointing the exact location of a 1614 colonial fort in Albany.
“Fort Nassau” is North America’s oldest Dutch trading house, built in 1614 near the present-day Port of Albany. But the precise location of the ruined structure was forgotten over time as the natural and built environment changed during four centuries.
“Fort Nassau is very significant to American, Dutch and Indian history,” said John Wolcott, historic researcher and cartographic sleuth. “But its exact location had been lost over the years. Not only has the geography changed, but the latitude readings provided by early maps have to be adjusted for problems caused by being inland using instruments of the time.”
After pouring over maps and charts spanning the 17th to 21st centuries, Wolcott is confident he has rediscovered the spot where Fort Nassau once stood and that there may be “artifact laden strata and articulated features” left to uncover.
According to Wolcott, the fort was located in what is today the northern end of a side spur of the Kenwood Rail Yard (Port of Albany) close to the present day intersection of Church St. and Broadway. The site is across the road from a small riverfront park and a vacant grassy lot.
OIL PLANT CONTROVERSY
The property is owned by Global Companies, a unit of Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass. This January, the company announced plans to build a 2,600-square-foot facility at the port’s rail yard to heat and transfer crude oil arriving by train.
At the same time, Wolcott announced in a press release that he was working to pinpoint the exact location of the Fort Nassau site in the vicinity of the proposed oil boilers. That news was reported locally, nationally via the Associated Press, and internationally in major Dutch publications including the March 15, 2014 edition of Elsevier Magazine.
Since then, Global Companies has opted for another location for those facilities, Wolcott noted. This month, Wolcott completed his research.
CALL TO EXCAVATE
“If we can test the site, and if it’s proven that some serious history can be uncovered, then the property should be acquired by the public or an academic institution so that a careful archaeological excavation can be conducted without a construction deadline,” Wolcott said. “It could be an excellent site for further study as well as a tourist attraction of international multicultural significance.”
Based on a contemporary record when the fort structure had been constructed, Wolcott says the dimensions of Fort Nassau are 58 feet across the quadrangle, surrounded by an 18-foot moat. That poses higher probability of finding something, he said.
HISTORY OF FORT NASSAU
Fort Nassau was constructed in late winter or early spring 1614 during a trading expedition for the Amsterdam Van Tweenhysen Company, commanded by Captain Adriaen Block.
The fort was located on “Castle Island,” which has since gone by several other names (on the Hudson River, which was then called the “North River”), and was later buried under silt and earth. Fort Nassau became the focal point for the North American fur trade in the Northeast, where the Dutch and indigenous peoples traded goods for fur. It also became the staging point for expeditions to seek out mineral deposits and other natural resources for exploitation.
After several washouts by the Hudson River spring floods, and a final severe flood in 1617, the Dutch moved on to the mainland and built Fort Orange, which in 1970 was partially excavated before an exit from I-787 was placed on top of it.
“Fort Nassau didn’t turn out to be a permanent settlement, but it was the beginning of it all here in the Northeast,” Wolcott said. “Let’s finally save one of these amazing colonial sites.”
In 1969, Wolcott pinpointed the exact location of Fort Orange using an obscure manuscript map. A year later he was hired as a field worker for the State Historic Trust to help prove his findings were true. They were.
A map attributed to Johannes Vingboons, titled “Noort Rivier in Niew Neerlandt,” shows a reddish-orange smudge on the north tip of Castle Island. The Library of Congress dates the map as “1639?” but Wolcott believes the map was probably created in 1626 or 1627. In a more recent book, Shirley Dunn, former curator of Fort Crailo in Rensselaer, noted that the smudge represented the ruins of Fort Nassau.
In the early 17th century, Dutch historical and geographical writer Joannes de Laet provided a description of Fort Nassau’s location with latitude that Wolcott analyzed for problems caused by instruments of that time.
Wolcott next found an 1863 U.S. Coast Survey of the Hudson River that includes a square piece of land in Island Creek that conforms to the dimensions of the fort and to the reports of historic washouts.
Finally, he used a 1910 map with a street pattern to link the 1863 map to existing landmarks today and transferred the location of the fort to a modern satellite image of the site.
“I call that 1910 map my ‘Rosetta map,’” Wolcott said, in reference to the Rosetta Stone that helped scholars crack the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics. “I used the Albany and Greenbush ferry slips at the end of the streets as anchors for positioning.”
SEPT. 20 SYMPOSIUM: 1614
This Sept. 20, The New Netherland Institute will host its 37th New Netherland Seminar in the Huxley Theater of the Cultural Education Center in Albany, NY. The program will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the construction of Fort Nassau on Castle Island in the port of Albany. “1614” will feature five speakers who will offer arguments for its probable location on the island.
Wolcott is not among the invited speakers.
SUPPORT FROM HISTORIAN PEERS
Local historian and archaeologist Don Rittner supports Wolcott’s work.
“John Wolcott is very good at reading old maps, old measurements, old triangulations,” said Rittner. “If John tells you something’s in the ground, I’ll put money on it.”
Rittner believes there may have been three forts built on the same island before the Dutch abandoned the project to erect Fort Orange on the mainland in 1624. See: Preserve Fort Nassau, and Fort Nassau 2, and Fort Nassau 3, and………, Times Union blog, Aug. 15, 2014.
ESSAY FOR PUBLICATION
John Wolcott has written a 560 word essay regarding his research which may be quoted by reporters or reprinted in full by newspapers, magazines and blogs with attribution.
PINPOINTING FORT NASSAU 1614 (ALBANY)
By John Wolcott
Aug. 17, 2014
HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
For high resolution images of Wolcott’s cartographic findings and positioning of Fort Nassau, visit:
Note 1: Possible photo ops include Wolcott in his study with the original map documents, or traveling to the site of the Fort Nassau ruins.
Note 2: L.F. Tantillo created a speculative history painting of Fort Nassau, however his depiction probably does not reflect how the fort actually appeared. Only a full excavation could show for sure.
John Wolcott, 518-465-8930 Lbecker7@gmail.com
Don Rittner, 518-378-9256 email@example.com