January 7, 2014


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:12 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Victoria Harris, (518) 213-1009

First Columbia Brings 500-Plus Jobs to Downtown Troy

Hedley Park Place Reports Strong Leasing Results in 2013

TROY, N.Y. (01/08/14) — A year after the state’s re-stacking initiative removed more than 600 Department of Health jobs from the Hedley Building, First Columbia has moved in new businesses representing more than 500 new jobs to the Riverfront Complex.

Hedley Park Place, Troy“When the state left we were down to 32 percent occupancy in a very bad commercial office market,” said Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell, long time partner of First Columbia. “We decided to make a bold move and upgrade the building to Tier II quality, based on the lower vacancy rates of higher quality properties such as First Columbia’s Century Hill Plaza in Latham. We’ve invested $7 million into the building adding a significant amount of parking and amenities and are very happy to see the market react so positively and so quickly.”

2013 leasing results show eight new leases consisting of 116,000 square feet and 45,540 square feet of renewals bring the building occupancy to more than 75 percent leased with rates increasing by 13.6 percent year over year.

The following tenants relocated to Hedley Park Place in 2013: MacSource Communications, a business communications subsidiary of Meridian Group International; KW Mission Critical, International Data Center Engineers, Guth DeConzo Consulting Engineers; LinguaLinx Solutions, a multilingual marketing and technology services company; Capital Region Economic Opportunity Center (EOC); Stockton Barker & Mead LLP, and Workforce Development Institute.

Express Scripts, a tenant of 20 years, recently renewed and expanded its lease at Hedley, growing into a total of 45,530 square feet of office space. First Columbia Construction Services is renovating the space for the prescription benefit management company.

EOC recently relocated from the area that will be developed into the next phase of the City Station Campus in South Troy. EOC will be hosting a ribbon cutting this Friday at 1 p.m., with a grand opening scheduled for March.


“We’re fueling the economy of Troy by bringing new companies and a fresh workforce to downtown. These are high quality tenants,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “The young educated workforce really want to be in the city, where they can walk to shops and restaurants and enjoy the riverfront amenities.”

Jeremy McDonald, 47, principal of Guth DeConzo Consulting Engineers said he encouraged his firm to make the move from the Albany Pine Bush to Troy.

“My feelings about Troy changed for the better 10 years ago, when I started to visit Brown’s Brewing Co. and the farmers’ market,” said McDonald, who earned a bachelors degree from RPI in 1989 and his masters in 1992. “There are a lot of positive things going on. There’s a good trend here.”

According to McDonald, he and his other 10 co-workers are making the most of their new downtown digs by walking to lunch at the nearby restaurants and sticking around in town after work hours to socialize.

“Where we used to be located, we called it ‘The Bubble’ because we had to drive everywhere,” he said of the firm’s former suburban setting. “Now, sometimes I’ll ride my bike to work from Cohoes.”

Harris said McDonald and his firm are just one of many examples of how First Columbia’s efforts are working to help make Troy a place to live, work and play.

Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling listing broker Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell at (518) 213-1088.

“The current administration in Troy has been a tremendous help in achieving our recent success,” said First Columbia President Kevin Bette. “Mayor Lou Rosamilia, Monica Kurzejeski and the City of Troy as a whole are really implementing policies and changes that will to do some great things.”


In 2006, First Columbia commissioned a master plan to redevelop roughly 25 city blocks surrounding its Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square properties. Plans for “The Hedley District” include dozens of new office and condominium buildings, a seven-story hotel and a riverside promenade.

“Our goal is to help make Troy a place where you can truly live, work and play,” Harris said.

For information about the Hedley District, visit: http://hedleydistrict.com


First Columbia is a diversified real estate/investment organization committed to planning, developing, and operating high quality facilities. Its projects include corporate buildings, office campuses, medical complexes, senior housing, hospitality, and high-tech facilities.

For high-resolution photography, architectural renderings and design plans, visit: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/FirstColumbia.

For information, contact: Victoria Harris, marketing director First Columbia at (518) 213-1009 or vharris@firstcolumbia.com


December 23, 2013


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 12:50 am

For Immediate Release


Jim Scully, jscully1@nycap.rr.com
Jared Horton, daisys-mail@daisybakers.com

Tonight: Fundraiser for Daisy Baker’s Staff After Devastating Damage

Monday Dec 23, 5 p.m. till @ Bacchus, Donations also accepted online

TROY, N.Y. (12/23/13) — A Troy restaurant is hosting a fundraiser tonight to benefit the staff members of another city restaurant who could be out of work for months after a burst pipe destroyed their kitchen.

Daisy Baker's, TroyStarting at 5 p.m. tonight, Monday Dec. 23, the kitchen and wait staff of Daisy Baker’s will “take over” Bacchus Wood Fired Pizza at 33 Second Street, offering the signature fine dining normally served in their landmark restaurant located upstairs in the same building. Proceeds from the evening’s sales will benefit the Daisy’s staff, who would otherwise be out of work during the busiest time of year.

“We’re doing this so they can have their Christmas,” said Jim Scully owner of Bacchus. “This is just how it’s done in Troy, we look out for each other.”

Bacchus is normally closed Monday nights, so offering his restaurant for the fundraiser was a “no brainer,” Scully said.


On Wednesday night, Daisy Baker’s suffered a devastating loss in its kitchen due to a flood from a broken pipe above. It’s estimated that the restaurant will be closed for months. While insurance covers the contents of the kitchen, it does not cover the 10 staff members’ lost income, who rely on gratuities to make a living.


For those who would like to contribute to the staff of Daisy Baker’s but who cannot attend this Monday’s fundraiser at Bacchus, donations in any amount can be made online by credit card or PayPal account:


Donations will be divided among the staff, with Daisy Baker’s matching 100 percent of the money raised.

“The damage to our kitchen is unbelievable and it’s devastating to think our staff could be out of work for months,” said Jared Horton Daisy Baker’s managing partner. “We’re like a family here, and like a family we will pull through this.”

Horton says he will do everything he can to re-open his restaurant.

“Daisy Baker’s is a Troy gem,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “The city encourages you to lend a helping hand to the hard working staff in their time of need.”


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 building is currently owned by developer Sanford “Sandy” Horowitz, who has been trying to sell his properties as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. SEFCU, which provided loans to Horowitz, had been also planning to foreclose on the property.

While Bacchus Wood Fired Pizza sustained some damage after the pipe burst, that restaurant was re-opened for business Thursday night. It is unclear when Daisy Baker’s will re-open or how much repair work will be covered by that restaurant’s insurance, said Horton.

“We have to do everything we can as a community to help Daisy’s re-open as soon as possible,” Scully said. “Daisy’s is the pre-eminent fine dining destination in downtown. It’s an institution. Everyone from all walks of life rubs elbows at the bar in Daisy’s.”

For information, visit: http://www.daisybakers.com or https://www.facebook.com/DaisyBakers


Jim Scully, jscully1@nycap.rr.com
Jared Horton, daisys-mail@daisybakers.com


December 10, 2013


Filed under: Author,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:34 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Court Trial Will Determine True “Night Before Christmas” Author

“Livingston v. Moore” Gets Real Life “Miracle on 34th Street” Treatment in Troy NY, featuring Star Attorney E. Stewart Jones Jr. & others.

TROY, N.Y. (Dec. 10, 2013) — A juried courtroom trial aims to solve a centuries-old controversy over who really wrote one of the most beloved holiday poems in the world.

Livingston v. Moore“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.

Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy biblical scholar of Manhattan, later claimed authorship and has been officially credited ever since. But Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman farmer of the Hudson Valley, may have been the true, unrecognized author, according to his descendants. 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 served as inspiration for the upcoming courtroom showdown.

“We’re giving this literary whodunit a full-blown mock trial that’s a bit like a real life ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’” said event host Duncan Crary, an author and public relations consultant in Troy. “Even the court officers will be on duty to complete the authentic trial experience.”

Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m., two noted Troy attorneys will square off before a judge, jury and spectators at the Rensselear County Courthouse, at 80 Second St. in downtown Troy, to determine the literal truth.


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. Both sides have a tenured history of law practice in the city.

A third-generation lawyer, Jones heads the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm. The prestigious Troy firm was established in 1898 by his grandfather, Abbott Jones, who famously defended Prohibition gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond in an infamous Dec. 17, 1931 trial in the same courtroom where “Livingston v. Moore” will be tried.

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 Bernard J. Malone will hear the trial to settle the contested authorship.

Real court officers, providing security, 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 is expected to entertain the audience during a brief jury deliberation.


Casey is taking seriously his chance to defeat his formidable opponent in court. “We’re representing the underdog, Henry Livingston,” Casey said. “But Troy folks like the underdog.”

Jones said he plans to play for laughs. “This is the most frivolous litigation ever brought before a judge in this illustrious courthouse,” Jones joked. “I will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in court that Moore was the author.”

Actors playing the spirits of Livingston and Moore will take the stand under the direction of David Baecker, an assistant professor of Theatre at Russell Sage College.

Rensselear County Historian Kathryn Sheehan will give 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.”

Troy Sentinel Building Gramercy Communications

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 post-trial party at the nearby Rensselaer County Historical Society, with a $5 suggested donation to benefit that organization. For information about this event, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or visit: DuncanCrary.com

Sponsoring the event is Gramercy Communications, a public relations firm 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, crediting Moore as the author.

“The jury might order us to include an asterisk with that plaque,” said Tom Nardacci, founder and president of Gramercy Communications. Nardacci paid to have the Sentinel newspaper’s archives digitized, including the edition featuring the poem, and donated them to the Troy Public Library.

“Regardless of this trial’s outcome, Troy, New York will remain the undisputed place that first shared this holiday treasure with the world,” said Crary, 35, who promotes the city’s history and culture as an author and public relations consultant. “‘A Visit From Saint Nicholas’ first introduced the classic imagery we now associate with Santa Claus. This little city gave America two endearing symbols of our nation’s ideals: Uncle Sam, our nation’s personification based on a Troy meatpacker Samuel Wilson, and that jolly old elf, Santa Claus.”

Crary plans to release a video podcast of the trial on his Troy based program, “A Small American City,” at: http://asmallamericancity.com


For high resolution publicity images of attorneys, courthouse and scan of Troy Sentinel featuring the poem, visit: http://duncancrary.com/St_Nick/images.html

For information, visit: DuncanCrary.com or facebook.com/NightBeforeChristmasTroy

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com


October 22, 2013


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:40 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kathleen Tesnakis, 518-274-0813 info@ekologic.com

Stylish Eco-Fashion Designer Opens Store in Troy

‘e ko logic makes ‘green’ apparel in Troy NY, worn around the world

TROY, N.Y. (Oct. 22, 2013) — Since 1996, ‘e ko logic has made high fashion “recycled” apparel worn around the world, from New York to Japan.

Cashmere Sweater MensThis Wednesday, the Troy-based eco-friendly clothing maker will open its first ever retail store, located in the landmark Troy Frear’s Cash Bazaar building at 1 Fulton St. in downtown Troy. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the store at 2 p.m., Oct. 23 followed by a Grand Opening this Friday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during Troy Night Out.

“We’re really excited to bring our work directly to the community,” said Owner/Designer Kathleen Tesnakis. “Our clothes have always sold nationally and internationally, but I wanted to focus on selling to the local community because I feel that local is where the future is.”

The company, which currently has three part-time and three full-time employees (including Kathleen’s husband Charlie Tesnakis), relocated from Portland, Ore. to Troy, N.Y. in 2003.

Until this month, the ‘e ko logic studio was housed in the Marvin Neitzel Building at 444 River St. in Troy. But when new owners, the Vecino Group, announced plans to convert the building into apartments, Tesnakis decided to open a new studio with with retail space in the heart of downtown. She calls the new 2,600 square-foot, street-level shop an “atelier,” a French term for artist’s workshop.


Starting Oct. 29:

Tue-Wed: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Th. – Fri: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sun -Mon: Closed


“Most people don’t know where their clothing was manufactured,” Tesnakis said. “Buying directly from the designer is a meaningful way to shop for clothes. And I’m so inspired, as a woman, to provide that experience here in Troy, where women and textiles are such an important part of our history.”

Tesnakis notes that Troy is nicknamed the “Collar City” because a woman, Hannah Montague, invented the detachable collar here in 1827. Later, in 1864, Kate Mullany started the all-women Collar Laundry Union in Troy, one of the first women’s labor unions in history.


‘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.

Every item made by ‘e ko logic is unique because of the way Tesnakis gathers and assembles her materials. After hunting down discarded cashmere sweaters and other fabric treasures, she dismantles each article of clothing while taking the time to recognize its individual character and beauty. Finally, she transforms the material by joining it with other pieces to give an old garment a new life and purpose.

“There’s a little magic and a lot of love in each piece we construct,” Tesnakis said. “We can’t request our palette. We use what we find.”

‘e ko logic clothing is sought-after by the environmentally conscious and fashion conscious alike. Even a few celebrities, like Lee Ranaldo, of the iconic rock band Sonic Youth, are sporting ‘e ko logic apparel.

Accessories by ‘e ko logic cost between $72 to $120, while clothing prices range from $242 to $570.

Most of ‘e ko logic’s business comes from New York City, which is where Tesnakis will be during November for a Holiday Craft Fair in Grand Central Station. She is one of 76 juried vendors selected to be in the fair. Items are also available for purchase online at http://www.ekologic.com .


“It was a big deal when Kathleen came to town,” said City Council President Lynn Kopka, who helped her find her first location on River Street. “Now, that ‘Handmade in Troy’ label on their clothing is another thing that boosts the reputation of Troy.”

‘e ko logic has been profiled in many national publications, and was most recently featured in a New York Daily News article about the revitalization of Troy (Oct. 4).


Two other women-owned businesses are joining ‘e ko logic in opening adjacent retail stores in the Troy Frear’s Cash Bazaar building.

Trojan Horse Antiques, owned by Astri Bryce, will join ‘e ko logic in a joint ribbon cutting this Wednesday and grand opening this Friday. The store specializes in quality antiques, with an emphasis on locally made and acquired pieces.

Modern on the Hudson, a store owned by Judy Engel that will sell authentic mid-century furniture, will open in the Frear building later in November. http://www.modernonthehudson.com

Troy native David Bryce, husband of Astri Bryce, purchased the Frear and attached Uncle Sam Atrium buildings in 1999. David Bryce, who is 50, said the famous 19th century shopping space was closed by the time he was growing up in Troy, but he always wanted to see retail back in it.

“The building wants to have people in it,” he said. “It’s a magnificent space.”

When the Department of Health moved its offices out of Frear Building this August, David Bryce started working find retailers to repopulate the space. Though a few potential tenants are seriously considering filling the vacancy, he said there is currently 16,000 square feet of available space in the building that he’s happy to show to interested parties.

For information, visit: http://www.ekologic.com .

For images and an ‘e ko logic logo, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/ekologic.html

Contact Kathleen Tesnakis at 518-867-1864 (mobile) info@ekologic.com


September 27, 2013


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

For Immediate Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horse Stables 47 Second St


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



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

For information, visit: http://JackCasey.com


September 25, 2013


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

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434 lkopka@earthlink.net
Victor Sosnowski 518-469-4852

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


For before an after publicity photographs for reprint, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/8washington_place.html

8 Washington Place Backhoe


For information about Spartan Woodworking, visit: http://www.spartanwoodworking.com

For information about Washington Park, visit: http://wpa-troy.org


Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434 lkopka@earthlink.net
Victor Sosnowski 518-469-4852


September 11, 2013


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

For Immediate Release

Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430 vicchristopher@me.com
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309 lavineheather@gmail.com

Lucas Confectionery Wine Bar Hires Full-Time Pastry Chef

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

For information, visit: http://lucasconfectionery.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/Lucas.Confectionery


For publicity images, of Bradshaw’s Pastries and other treats, visit: http://www.duncancrary.com/clients/troywinebar.html

For information, contact:

Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430 vicchristopher@me.com
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309 lavineheather@gmail.com


August 29, 2013


Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 10:20 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary 274-2723

Tugboat Hauls Wisconsin Cheese to Troy N.Y. Wine Bar

Cheddar Travels 1,100 Miles via Water to Lucas Confectionery

TROY, N.Y. (08/29/13) — This Friday, a Troy wine bar will serve cheddar cheese that was literally shipped by water from Kewaunee, Wisc. to the small Hudson River city.

Tugboat Margot, photo by Neil Grabowsky“A lot of cheese used to move by barge on the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Troy, but that was a long time ago. And I don’t know if Wisconsin cheese has ever been shipped to Troy by tugboat,” said Troy-based author Duncan Crary. “We may have made history here.”

For one night only, Lucas Confectionery will serve a “Margot Flight” of the 2-year, 6-year and 10-year Wisconsin cheddar cheese. The “vertical flight” of cheese is named after the Tugboat Margot that transported this edible cargo from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River (the name is also a nod to the “Waterford Flight” of locks on the Erie Canal, which connects the Hudson River to the Great Lakes).

The Margot, a 90 ft. “super canaller,” is one in a fleet of four tug boats that belong to the New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., a commercial shipping outfit based in Troy, N.Y.

When Crary first learned that that the Troy tugboat would be sailing to Wisconsin, he convinced the owners of Lucas Confectionery and Marine Highway to ship back some of the cheese that the state is known for.

As an author, Crary is profiling Marine Highway for a book about the present and future of canal shipping. He also works as a media consultant for Lucas Confectionery.

“This was a fun way to team up two Troy-based businesses to show what we can accomplish in our spunky little Hudson River city,” Crary said of shipping the cheese to his hometown. “I hope this historic food adventure will inspire people to learn more about the potential for inland water shipping in New York State.”

The Margot made the approx. 2,200-mile roundtrip journey to transport a barge carrying 880 tons of concrete castings to Kewaunee. Tugboats and barges specialize in moving this type of industrial cargo, called “heavy lift,” because it weighs too much and is often too large to transport by tractor-trailer or train.

Though the small shipment of cheese on the return trip was a fun favor among local businesses, Marine Highway does ship large quantities of food by canal. The company frequently tugs barges of corn and soy from the Toronto area across Lake Ontario to Oswego. Later this season, the company may transport barges of Canadian wheat from Ontario to the Hudson Valley.

This Friday, schedule permitting, the Margot will be moored along the seawall at Monument Square, just a half block from Lucas Confectionery. Members of the Marine Highway team plan to be at Lucas Confectionery to sample the Wisconsin cheddar and speak with interested patrons about how they brought it here.

“We had really good lake weather,” said Tim Dufel, who served as engineer on the Margot during its trip to Wisconsin. “There were a couple half days with three to five footers” (i.e. waves).

Dufel is co-owner of Marine Highway and plans to be at the Confectionery this Friday during Troy Night Out. But in tug boating, the schedule is always subject to change, he said.

Tugboat Cheddar Night concludes a weeklong celebration of Made-in-the U.S.A. cheese at Lucas Confectionery. Also on the menu are locally made artisanal cow, goat and sheep cheeses from neighboring Washington County and Vermont farms.

“Some of the best cheese in the world is made in America,” said Confectionery Co-owner Vic Christopher. “This is our tribute to all the hard working cheese makers in our country.”


Who: Troy Tugboaters & Author Duncan Crary
What: “Margot Flight,” special menu item feat. Wisconsin cheese
Where: Lucas Confectionery, 12 Second St., Troy, N.Y.
When: 5 p.m. till 8 p.m., Friday Aug. 30
Why: Kick off Labor Day Weekend with tribute to American sailors and cheesemakers.


The Tugboat Margot sailed the following route from Troy, N.Y. to Kewaunee, Wisc.:

(click to enlarge)

Hudson River to Erie Canal to Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario to Welland Canal to
Lake Erie to Detroit River to Lake St. Clair to St. Clair River to Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

The entire roundtrip took 13 days. A crew of five-sailors worked around the clock in six-hour shifts. The average speed was eight miles per hour. Top speed was 14 miles per hour.


For photos of the Margot’s voyage to Wisconsin, and a map of the route, visit: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/tugboatcheese.html


New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co.:

Lucas Confectionery:

Crary’s multimedia canal project:

**Extra Notes**

The 2013 Waterford Tugboat Roundup is Sept. 6, 7, 8

The Vermont Sail Freight Project plans to transport Vermont foodstuffs to Troy, N.Y. and the Hudson Valley via Champlain Canal this September. http://vermontsailfreightproject.org


Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723, for additional information and to schedule interviews.


July 24, 2013


Filed under: Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:56 pm

For Immediate Release

New Paintings & Drawings by Troy Artist Angela Kanaan @ Broken Mold Studio

“Painting #10″ Opening July 26 Troy Night Out, 5 p.m. till 9 p.m.

TROY, N.Y. (7/24/13) — New artwork by Angela Kanaan of Troy will be on display at the Broken Mold Studio from July 25 till Aug. 25. Opening night will be this Friday, Troy Night Out, from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m.

The exhibit, titled “Painting #10,” showcases two dozen paintings, drawings and watercolors, all created specifically for this show over the past three months. The show is named after the title piece, which was intended to be the tenth and final painting in the series, “But I kept painting,” Kanaan said.

'Untitled,' acrylic on canvas by Angela Kanaan

A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Kanaan, 44, has been painting since age 7. In 1993, she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Saint Rose, in Albany, N.Y. She has taught art classes at the Albany Academy, the Broken Mold Studio and the Arts Center for the Capital Region. She has lived in Troy for more than 15 years.

“Most of my paintings in this show look like the background of ‘The Scream,’” Kanaan said, in reference to the iconic modern painting by Edvard Munch. “That’s pretty much what it looks like inside my head these days,” she joked.

American expressionist painter Georgia O’Keeffe is also a major artistic influence, though Kanaan describes O’Keefe’s style as more realist than her own.

“My brush strokes are influenced by whimsical things like the motion of trees swinging in the breeze, or waves in the ocean,” Kanaan said. “The lines are very interactive with each other.”

The pieces in “Painting #10″ range in price from $175 to $450.

Kanaan is dedicating this exhibit in honor of her late aunt Linda Chaffee.


  • Who: Artist Angela Kanaan
  • What: “Painting #10″
    Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings
  • When: July 25 to Aug. 25, 2013
    Opening Night: Friday, July 26 – Troy Night Out
  • Where: The Broken Mold Studio
    284 River Street, Troy


To download publicity images of Kanaan’s artwork, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/kanaan.html


July 12, 2013


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 12:00 am

For Immediate Release


Terry O’Brien, 518-285-9802

Historic Trojan Hotel to Reopen as Restaurant

Lansingburgh Family Relocating O’Brien’s Public House to Third Street Landmark

TROY, N.Y. — A Lansingburgh family aims to re-open the historic Trojan Hotel by this fall.

“Once the Trojan Hotel is back, then Troy is back,” said Donald O’Brien. “It’s one of the last landmark downtown buildings that needs fixing up.”

Trojan Hotel (early)On Monday, Terry and Donald O’Brien, both 43, purchased the 19,269 square-foot building at 43 Third St. from Scott Sacci. They plan to re-establish O’Briens Public House this fall on the first floor of the hotel, which includes a ballroom in the rear. Next they plan to re-open the historic Trojan Taproom, a once popular rathskeller among city leaders, by December.

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 this June, when they announced plans to relocate the business and their residence downtown. Their Lansingburgh house burned to the ground in September. They plan to live above their new restaurant in the second and third floors of the original 19th century building.

The O’Briens are working with Jeff Buell, of Sequence Development, to explore the option of turning the upper levels of the 70-room circa 1915 hotel addition into storage units to serve the downtown community. Buell has been recently involved in the rehab of 9 First Street (“The Bindery”) and 207 Broadway (“The Clark House”).

“We know we have some big shoes to fill with this property. The DeGiorgio family, who ran the Taproom for many years, were legends,” Terry O’Brien said. “We have generational ties to this building, too, and we’re happy to bring it back into the family.”

Donald O’Brien’s godparents, the Toligians, owned the Trojan in the 1960′s. His parents first met at the hotel, then had their wedding reception and their 25th anniversary there.


For those wishing to contribute, the O’Briens have set up a restoration fund for the Trojan Hotel. Donors will receive different levels of recognition based on contribution.

“Troy is a tight-knit community of people who really care about our landmark buildings,” Terry O’Brien said. “People want to help, to contribute, and the restoration fund is our way for the community to feel a sense of ownership for this place.”

To learn more about the Trojan Hotel Restoration Fund, visit www.thetrojanhotelandtaproom.com or contact Terry O’Brien at 518-285-9802.

The couple also welcomes donations of any Trojan Hotel and Trojan Taproom memorabilia or photographs that people may have accumulated over the years.


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 high-resolution past and present images of the Trojan Hotel exterior and interior and mp3 recordings of Prezio’s music, visit:


For information, visit: http://thetrojanhotelandtaproom.com or https://www.facebook.com/thetrojanhotelandtaproom