Tag Archives: Albany

The SHH’s Recommendations for a Night on the Town in Albany, NY

27 Sep

The premise of this article: a friend from college reached out to me, an Albanian (the capital of New York, not south of Kosovo), for ideas/suggestions for plans if he was to meet a lady friend Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten and Conor Oberst at The Egg (7/25/12)

26 Jul

Shortly after 8 o’clock last night Sharon Van Etten took the stage accompanied by Heather Woods Broderick in the Swyer Theatre at The Egg.  She wore a simple but very flattering black dress and shyly said “Um, hello” into the microphone before slinging her bright red electric (yes, electric) guitar over her shoulder. Continue reading

Psychedelic Furs at The Egg (6/2/2012)

12 Jun

At 7:41AM on Thursday May 31st I received a text message from my father:

“I’m sure you read that the Psychedelic Furs are at The Egg Saturday at 8PM?”

I hadn’t heard.  And so, this article is going to prove two things: Continue reading

Trailer Park Boys at The Egg (5/3/2012)

7 May

When I heard that there was going to be a Trailer Park Boys live show locally at The Egg in Albany, I immediately bought a ticket.  Trailer Park Boys is a show that I have been drunkenly plowing through for the past three months.  I was unsure as to how Ricky, Julian and Bubbles would pull off a live performance, but I figured that they had a better shot than most television comedians because some of the funniest moments in the show are seemingly off-the-cuff exchanges between characters.  I could not have anticipated Continue reading

The City Beer Hall

22 Nov

42 Howard Street

Albany, NY 12207

I’m surprised that it’s taken me this long to write about The City Beer Hall.  A review is long overdue.  I figured with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I might as well give thanks for one of the things in my life that I take for granted.

Since opening earlier this year, The City Beer Hall has been my most visited bar.  One week over the summer, I was there eight times in five days.  There are valid reasons…at least I hope.

I heard some months back that a bar was opening up in the old Ballinger’s building.  Bars have had trouble staying open in that spot historically, but I’m rooting for The City Beer Hall.  Why?  Because, unlike the prior establishments, it doesn’t suck.  Oh, and it’s about an eight-minute walk from my apartment.

If you haven’t been to The City Beer Hall yet, you’ll hear two things: “free pizza” and “mechanical bull.”

Not unlike the Crocodile Lounge in the East Village, CBH gives you tickets with every beer for mini pizzas in their adjoined kitchen.  Sure, the beers are a little pricier on account of the pizzas, but I always seem to get my money’s worth.

The pizzas are actually extremely tasty!  The crust is thin and crispy.  It is my recommendation to get no less than two at a time and then sandwich them together: cheese to cheese (after a liberal parming).  It’s like a pizza quesadilla!  As an added bonus, you are usually afforded a colorful anecdote or a joke in the least by the pizza boys (who will remain nameless…you know who you are).  Make sure to tip!

The mechanical bull.  I rarely visit the upstairs anymore, but there absolutely is a mechanical bull up there.  Have I ridden it?  Yes.  What’s the price?  It’s free.  Rather, the price is your dignity.  I’ve been on the bull three times, in two separate nights, for a total of about four seconds.  I think it took me longer to sign the waiver…

The City Beer Hall has numerous other perks (not aforementioned) that keep me coming back.

1) The Staff:  I now know the majority of the bartenders on a first name basis.  At least at the downstairs bar.  And despite my antics, they are always friendly.  The best  bartenders even remember what I normally drink!  It’s like my Cheers.  “…sometimes you wanna go where [the majority of the staff] knows your name, and they’re always [glad/indifferent] you came!”  They’re kind, welcoming and don’t laugh at me when I tell them I think I left my credit card there and I find it in my refrigerator the next day.

2) The Drafts:  CBH has a wealth of beers on tap and they are constantly switching up their selection.  I love trying new things so it’s nice that I’m kept on my beer-swilling toes, though I do still miss my summer session beer, Sly Fox Pils.  Next summer…next summer.

3) The Patio:  Speaking of summer, unfortunately the Beer Hall will lose one of its biggest assets with the declining weather.  It’s massive, and if you’re with a group of people, it’s ideal.  Occupy a picnic table and look at the lights of the Times Union Center across the way.

4) The Menu:  This is admittedly a new development for me, but everything I’ve had at the CBH has been enjoyable.  It’s certainly a step up from bar food.  That is probably due to the fact that the chef from the defunct Wine N’ Diner is in charge.  The man has a good handle on what I call “white boy soul food.”

I recently cleaned my computer desk and lifted a piece of mail to find a Beer Hall pizza ticket depository.  I decided that tonight was going to be arts & crafts night.  I fashioned a CBH turkey out of some unused tickets.  And I cleaned up two weeks ago…Jesus.

Notice the attention to detail and cheap invisible tape.

The City Beer Hall is offering free pizza on Thanksgiving Eve for “Beergiving.”  I encourage you all to attend!  I’ll be there.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Go” by John Clellon Holmes

23 Oct

This morning I attended the 37th Annual Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair at the Armory in Albany.  I have been going to this fair for the past six years with my father.  To my dismay, there seemed to be fewer vendors than last year, and last year there were far fewer vendors than in years past.  I sincerely hope that they are able to keep it going.

I am a collector of modern fiction and poetry.  Unfortunately for me, Albany is a city steeped in history and so most of the vendors you find there cater to the local history buffs and ephemera geeks (as if I’m cooler). Continue reading

Sound Ordinance

31 Aug

According to an electronic sign on Lark Street, the City of Albany now has a sound ordinance for “loud, audible music” playing in cars.  Not five minutes after I saw that sign, flashing lights came up behind me on Madison Avenue while I was blaring Gary Numan.  I turned the music down at once and stopped at a red light with the officer behind me.  When the light turned green, I slowly pulled over to the right.  The officer passed by me and sped off down the hill.  My heart rate slowed back down and then I just felt like an asshole.  I couldn’t help thinking, however, how cool it would be to have a ticket for blasting “The Pleasure Principle.”