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APOMH_Airplane3.jpgFollowing Confetti Stage's previous production of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" comes the incredible performance "A Piece of My Heart," a true an example of a story that needs to be told. Based on the book by the same name, the play represents true accounts of Red Cross nurses, Army nurses, USO volunteers and intelligence officers during the Vietnam war.

 

The cast of eight, six women and  two men, shift between roles effortlessly leaving no emotions under expressed. They transform a seemingly empty theatre space into the hospital wards of Vietnam, Army offices, barracks and airplanes with only a few wooden chairs, duffle bags and incredible lighting and audio. Still, at the base of it all, underneath the fantastic acting and incredible staging is the touching story of these brave women - how they ended up in the war, their experiences there and how their lives changed forever afterwards.

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From the very beginning you connect with the characters, each from a different background with a variety of aspirations and expectations for the future. And just as the actual lives of these women played out the show has highs and lows: filing the room with laughter one minute - and without missing a beat shifting the audience to sadness. By the end of the night, you know them and their story. You feel for them. 

 

With only a few performances left in the run, even if it takes a little schedule rearranging, find a way to go see this unique play. Remaining shows are Friday, April 4 & Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are just $15 ($2 discount with ID for veterans and those who serve veterans) and $1 of each ticket is donated to STRIDE/Wounded Warrior Project. Find more information about "A Piece of My Heart" and other entertainment options at downtownalbany.org.

 

Of course the show pairs perfectly with a night in Downtown and perhaps a Restaurant Week meal - check out the 10 day celebration schedule at bit.ly/DARWtodoThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

*Photo Credit: Sean Schowalter

As you file out of Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP) after seeing Gypsy: A Musical Fable two things are going to happen. One, you may just forget where you are and two, you will have at least on GypsyPrePub37P.jpgtune stuck in your head. The exquisite (and changing) sets, spot-on costumes and a remarkable cast make you feel as though you couldn't possibly be in your own backyard - a perfect reminder of what a professional theatre produces and how lucky we are to have theREP in Downtown.  

 

Broadway's Mary Callanan certainly plays a role in elevating the classic musical but everyone in the 23 person cast from fellow Broadway veterans Bob Walton and George Franklin to local WNYT anchor Benita Zahn and the remarkable set of young stars contribute to the show's success and 'wow' factor. From the voices to the choreography prepare to be impressed.

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Despite the score of the same name, the show is certainly not a story of everything coming up roses. There is enough needed fun and laughs to keep your spirits up but even as cast aside sister Louise finally finds her strength whether or not it's a victory remains foggy.  

 

Thumbnail image for GypsyPrePub_1199P.jpgIf you know the story, you've seen the play, or both, I promise that you'll find magic in theREP's rendition and that you won't want to miss the chance to see a first-class show right in the heart of Downtown. But tickets are going fast, really fast - so get yours today. Regular performances continue nightly (dark Mondays) through Sunday, April 13, 2014 overlapping with Downtown Albany Restaurant Week April 2 - 11, 2014. Find more information on the show, Downtown events and the fabulous 3-course menus online at downtownalbany.org.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

PS - Looking to score a set of tickets to Gypsy for free? Become a Links e-newsletter subscriber at bit.ly/downtownlinks and keep an eye out for Tuesday's contest.  

 

Photo Credit: Joe Schuyler

With snow on the ground, yet again, all we can do is keep our eye on the prize - SPRING. And there's no better way to REmenue14.jpgcelebrate the new season than to embrace spring's tastiest ingredients, many of which you can find in this year's Downtown Albany Restaurant Week meals. And while we think there's no better deal around you don't have to take our word for it.

 

Every year we ask diners to fill out survey cards and give feedback on their Restaurant Week experience, as an extra incentive we select 7 winners to receive between $50 - $200 in Downtown dining gift certificates. Here's what some of last year's diners had to say:

 

Top Notch!”      - Lori | Taste      

Great dinner, love Restaurant Week!” -– Trina | Albany Pump Station   

Awesome service. Great food. Thank you for an awesome night.” - Mike | The Hollow Bar + Kitchen

We have eaten in many 5 star restaurants and this stuff rates among the best.” – - Dana | Café Capriccio   

Amazing food, incredible service. Inventive menu.” -– Lisa | La Serre               

Great food, service and atmosphere.” – - Paul | Olde English Pub & Pantry

A lovely evening, great food, fantastic waitress” – - Richard | Charter    

Service was awesome!” – - Katie | Franklin's Tower

 

So ring in the (hopefully) warm weather with great selections from this year's menus and be sure to let us know how it is! You can learn more about everything happening Downtown during Restaurant Week and every week at downtownalbany.org

 

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

The traditional gift for a 10th Wedding Anniversary is tin (ten, tin - get it?). This year downtown Albany is celebrating the "marriage" of Downtown restaurants that over the years have come together to welcome visitors and residents Thumbnail image for RwFLAT14.jpgalike for a highly anticipated and delicious event. 2014 marks the 10th Anniversary of Downtown Albany Restaurant Week, the first Restaurant Week in the Capital Region, and while we won't be handing out any tin, we'll certainly be celebrating.

 

This year's event will run from April 2 - 11, 2014, ten days for ten years, with 16 participating restaurants offering 3-course meals for $20.14. In addition to regular specialty programming like Student Night and Capital Ticket Nights (a chance for parties of 4 or more to win a $200 gift certificate) this year diners can also enjoy 10th Anniversary Drink specials, music in the park and more. And just like a true anniversary, Downtown Albany Restaurant Week will happen only once this year.

 

So mark your calendar, browse the menus and help us celebrate. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpgLearn more at bit.ly/2014DARW

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

 

P.S. Don't worry about getting us a gift, a card will do - preferably survey cards, available at each restaurant for your comments and feedback.

You probably know that Valentine's Day is this Friday, February 14, 2014 and you know that Downtown Albany has the perfect way for you and your special someone to spend it. What you may not know is that this year, the night of Valentine's Day is also a Full Moon. JazzFestCompetition_People-59.jpg

 

Fear not. There's no need to worry about werewolves, in fact this cosmic pairing can work in your favor. Superstition holds that during a full moon is the best time to write a love letter. And society suggests that Valentine's Day is a great time to give someone a love letter. So get your blue pen (yes, another love letter superstition) ready and put your feelings on paper.

 

If you're looking to pair the letter with a delicious dinner, a bouquet of flowers, an exciting show or a romantic stroll down State Street, Downtown is your destination. But don't leave you plans up to the stars, check out our Valentine's Day guide at bit.ly/downtownvday Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

*Photo (c) 2012 Julia Zave

The coming year in Downtown includes over $200 million in development projects including the construction of the new convention center, the creation of over 130 additional residential units, 600+ permanent jobs and exciting experiences. You'll want to know as news breaks on these projects, updated renderings become available, and additional figures are shared –and we can help.

 

links_logo.jpgEach week just under 10,000 engaged subscribers receive our free Downtown Links e-newsletter full of the latest news, promotions, discounts, events and more happening in downtown Albany. Today, we sent out the very first edition of a special NEWS issue that will go out once a month featuring the top headlines of the past thirty days, complete with follow-up stories, additional links, and coverage videos. Check out the January 2014 issue and subscribe today at bit.ly/downtownnews

 

stayconnectedFBcover.jpgTo stay-in the know up to the minute be sure to follow us @albanybid or like us on Facebook.com/downtownalbany.

 

Our inaugural NEWS issue even features a headline-worthy contest with your chance to win two (2) tickets to see Kanye West at the Times Union Center on February 19, 2014. Whether DAY Life of NIGHT Life, Downtown Albany is theThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg GOOD Life.

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

When we take a step back to look at our progress, as a country, a society or even as individuals, it's difficult to avoid being stuck in a tug-of-war between basking in how far we've come and fearing how far we still have to go.

 

mountiantop3.jpgCapital Repertory Theatre's newest production, The Mountaintop, tells a story of what the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life may have looked  like - and it does so beautifully. The imaginative telling by playwright Katori Hall explores Martin Luther King Jr., the hero, as Michael - the man and forces you to realize he had fears and doubts and most importantly faults.

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On the brink of his mortal end Martin Luther King Jr. yearns to know what all of us hope to know: that our work will be carried on and our goals will be reached, even after we're gone. He's granted a glimpse. And while he sees Civil Rights succeed and changes he fought for made, he also must cope with more tragedy and death and struggles than he could have never imagined before finally seeing the world he ultimately dreamed of. Its startling to realize his dream is still in the future, and burdening to imagine how far away The Mountaintop might be. But progress is a tricky thing.

 

In downtown Albany we stand in a similar place. We can't forget how far we've come or lose sight of where we're heading. And even with big and exciting future plans, we have to look even further to reach the top. Come see the show and let it ignite the fire in you (or rekindle what's already burning) and inspire your work and life. Daily performances run now through February 9, 2014 (dark on Mondays). Visit downtownalbany.org for more information, the latest news, dining options and more. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD  

 

*Photo Courtesy of theREP

Photo5.jpgConfetti Stage Inc. presents a new play in downtown Albany. First up - it is a fun (and racy) play by Paul Rudnick - playwright of other great entertainment such as “I Hate Hamlet” and a screenwriting doctor on scripts such as “The Addams Family” and “The First Wives Club.” Simply, he is funny.

What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be in love? What does it mean to be “fabulous”? Come and learn from the world's first couple, Adam and Steve, that it's never too late to teach an Old Testament new tricks in this hilarious and heartwarming romp through the Bible. Thumbnail image for Photo6.jpg"The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" does more than attempt to be entertaining as it walks through different perspectives of religion.

Directed by Neilson R. Jones with assistance from Jackie Lorenz, Confetti Stage will hold their final four performances this weekend. Mature audiences please.

January 16-18 at 7:30 PM

January 19 at 2:00 PM

Performances are hosted at the historic Albany Masonic Hall, 67 Corning Place, Albany, NY 12207 (across Lodge Street from the Hotel Albany). If you’'ve never been inside the Masonic Lodge, don'’t miss the opportunity to do so. That in itself would be another reason to attend. While your exploring new things why not try a new dinner spot or do a little Downtown shopping. Visit downtownalbany.org for the complete business directory. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

See you Downtown.

 - MR

*Photo Credit: Sean Schowalter

Everybody loves an insider tip. Whether it's the best kept hair secrets from your stylist, the must-see show from the entertainment buff or a scrumptious recipe from one of your favorite local chefs. This week we're vlcsnap-2013-11-19-12h11m13s88headshot.pnggiving you the chance to bring some Downtown decadence to your kitchen with a special recipe from the New Executive Chef at Taste, Mark D. Graham.  

 

A founding Signature Chef of the Albany Wine & Dine for the Arts event and 2013 Albany Hop Chef Winner, Mark made his debut at Taste in October 2013 during Restaurant Week and has since been producing exciting and fresh menus. The new winter menu launches on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 and inspired by it, Mark shared with us a Watercress Salad with goat cheese dressing for four - sure to impress.

 

Salad Ingredients:

1 roasted/peeled large dice beet (red or gold)

2 Honey Crisp (or your favorite) apples diced large

½ cup dried blueberries (or craisins)

½ cup quartered red radishes

3 heads Frisse

½ cup cooked/cooled wheat berries (or farro)

2 bunches watercress

 

Goat Cheese Dressing:

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

 

Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Separate the dressed watercress, place even portions of the other dressed ingredients on four plates and top with the watercress.

 

If the fresh crunch of Watercress leaves you wanting more, be sure to try Taste's all new Winter Menu and the exciting cooking style of Mark D. Graham or visit downtownalbany.org/dining for a full list of Downtown's award-winning chefs and world-class dining options. Whether DAY Life or NIGHT Life Downtown Albany is the GOOD LIFE. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

 

The 2013 word of the year (if you hadn't heard) according to Oxford dictionaries is Selfie. Now whether you love them or hate them selfies are everywhere on social media and it seems no one escapes the trend. And if you can't beat 'em, join us!

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In Downtown we like to think we really put the ELF in sELFie, especially during the Jingle Elf Quest. We reward dedicated Questers for posting their sELFies to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with Elf Points and daily prizes like Downtown gift certificates and event tickets. Of course creativity always helps and nothing gets you "likes" like silly faces and holiday props.

 

Visit downtownalbany.org for a complete list of participating locations Thumbnail image for jingleelffamily.jpgand rules. Find Jingle Elves, snap a picture of yourself with one and post it with the tag #jingleelf. The more you find, the more points you earn. The Quester to earn the most points first takes home the Grand Prize - a $500 gift certificate to the Downtown business of their choice (located within the BID).

 

So go on, get down with your Jingle sELF. And don't miss all the other holiday fun happening this month. Check out the Downtown Albany Holiday Guide available here >> bit.ly/downtownholidayguideThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DABID_Tags_RGB_Horz.jpg

 

 

See you Downtown.

 

JD

The Albany Buzz Bloggers:

Downtown Albany Business Improvement District

Exciting Entertainment. World-Class Dining. Exquisite Art and Culture. Luxury Residential Opportunities. Since 1996, the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) has worked in Albany's central business district making a direct impact through three core initiatives: business development, marketing and quality of life. From assisting developers to realize unique residential spaces to working one-on-one with business owners on their marketing plans, the BID is on the street day-in and day-out, ensuring that downtown Albany is the premier Capital Region destination for businesses, employees, residents, and visitors. Learn more about the BID at downtownalbany.org or .


Lark Street Business Improvement District

Cark Street is the vibrant heart of Albany, and known as "the village in the city" offering a one-of-a-kind experience for residents and visitors alike. From shopping to dining to nightlife to the arts, Lark Street has it all for a Live-Work-Play lifestyle. The cobblestone streets and beautiful brownstones evoke the feel of neighborhoods in New York City and the many events such as Art on Lark and LarkFEST draw thousands of visitors to this unique community and keep them coming back.


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