Best of 2007
By John Gray
I love the annual Best Of issue because it signifies that spring has sprung and summer is just a stone’s throw away. It’s also my chance to spout off about all the stuff I have noticed growing up in our great Capital Region that gives me reason to shout for joy… or just plain shout. I offer these up with no rhyme or reason.
Best place to sit in traffic and curse to yourself – The Northway any day there is a single flake of snow or raindrop on the pavement.
Best place to go 85 miles per hour and weave in an out of traffic like you’re Jeff Gordon while singing AC/DC at the top of your lungs – The Northway on a sunny day.
Best place to spend $6 on a small box of Junior Mints – The snack bar at the movie theater at Crossgates Mall.
Best place to spend $1 on the same exact box of mints – The CVS 100 feet down from the movie theater. Just wear a baggy shirt so you can smuggle them into the theater like you are bringing illegal contraband across the border.
Best gift to give a woman – Anything in that baby blue Tiffany box. I don’t care if it’s a key chain, she’ll love it.
Best gift to give a guy – Anything that tastes good dipped in blue cheese dressing.
Best pick up line for a girl – “Can you watch my drink for a second? I have to call the editor of Maxim magazine back. Something about my photo shoot.”
Best pick up line for a guy – “Why can’t I find a nice girl I can spoil, marry and make babies with. Why?” Then pound the table and look away into space. If she’s not watching splash some water on your face to give the illusion of crying.
Best thing to say to your wife or girlfriend if she can’t cook – “Honey, I know when you were a little girl you wanted to grow up and cook in the worst way. I’m here to tell you – mission accomplished.”
Best thing to tell your man when he’s gained a hundred pounds and his old suit won’t fit – “I saw something on the news about those chemicals from the dry cleaner’s shrinking stuff. You look great sweetie.”
Best place for a woman to run into her old flame when she looks her absolute worst – Price Chopper on Saturday morning. The hotter the guy the less make-up she’s wearing and the more likely she has a baseball cap on her head or two chop sticks holding her hair up in a bun.
Best place for a guy to run into his old flame when she looks absolutely amazing – At the clubhouse at the track on Travers day. You’re standing there with mustard stains on your shirt while she’s sitting in a box with Saratoga’s version of Donald Trump.
Best insult the same woman can give the guy when they run into each other 10 minutes later by the pretzel stand: “Gosh Tom you look… the same.”
Best way to get a girl to dump you on the first date – While looking at your menu start singing to yourself the lyrics to the song “Fergilicious” while bouncing back and forth in your seat. Trust me, she’s not ordering dessert.
Best way to get a guy to dump you on the first date – While looking at your menu start singing the lyrics to, “She’s having my baby”. Trust me, when he excuses himself to use the restroom he’s not coming back.
Best place to lose your mind when you are really in a hurry – In the drive-thru line at any fast food restaurant when, after taking five minutes to reach the window they ask you to “pull ahead” and wait for your fries.
Best way to lose weight – Stop eating at fast food restaurants. Anything that costs 99 cents can’t be good for you. Unless you count an apple.
Best place to grab a drink after the track – Wine Bar.
Best place to grab a drink strictly for the ambiance – Chianti.
Best place to have a drink and run into a celebrity – Brindisi’s. I’ve seen Anthony Michael Hall, a cast member from the Soprano’s and several actors from the Young & Restless there in August.
Best way to insult a cast member from the Young & the Restless – Ask him. “So how are things going in Port Charles?” It’s Genoa City you moron!
Best place to walk a dog, play with a child or fall off a swing– The Crossings in Colonie. The entire play area is made of a material softer than marshmallows. No kidding.
Best place to see parents and kids who are not from Colonie – The Crossings. It’s that nice, people drive there.
Best place to take a girl on a first date – Justin’s in Albany. That back room is quaint and private and the food is delish. If someone’s performing jazz, bonus!
Best place to take a girl if you think you may want to marry her – 677 Prime. She’ll know you’re not kidding around.
Best place to take a girl if you are definitely going to marry her – 43 Phila
Best place for a girl to take a guy if you want him to think you’re cool – Graney’s Sports Bar in Albany any Sunday during the NFL season. Wear a Giants Jersey with Shockey on the back, smear black grease marks under your eyes and he’ll be shopping for an engagement ring by Wednesday.
Best place to take anyone if you like standing in line and waiting for a table – The Cheesecake Factory.
Best place to kill an hour while you wait for that table – Colonie Center. If you haven’t been there in awhile you need to stop by. It’s gorgeous.
Best place to get your watch fixed – Time and Time Again in Colonie Center. The owner Mike Laiacona is a great guy and a genius when it comes to timepieces.
Best romantic movie you’ve never seen – “Somewhere In Time” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Warning – you’ll need tissues for the end.
Best song by Cyndi Lauper – Time after Time.
Best magazine to have on your coffee table to impress your guests – Time of course. Come on, you had to see that one coming.
Best place to take your parents or grandparents on a special day – Jack’s Oyster House in Albany. It has history and style you can’t find in the cookie cutter restaurants of today and the wait staff knows how to make everyone feel special. Anyone who greets you at the door with a “Good afternoon Mr. Gray, can I take your coat?” is A-ok in my book.
Best line from a movie if you want a girl in a bar to throw a drink in your face – “I don’t normally do this, but I feel compelled to tell you that you have an absolutely breath-taking heiney. I mean that thing’s good. I want to make friends with it”. If she’s seen the movie “Anchorman” she may laugh. If not, duck! Here comes the vodka tonic with a twist of lime.
Best line to steal from a movie if you are in love and don’t know how to say it – “You are everything I never knew I needed”. It’s from “Fools Rush In.”
Best line from a movie if you are divorced and never want to marry again, yet someone asks you anyway – “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes”- Jack Nicholson, “Terms of Endearment.”
Best thing about Albany – Summertime. From Tulipfest to Larkfest to Alive at 5, it is a great place to pop a top and hear a favorite band.
Best thing about Troy – The people. I’m from Troy so I can tell you it is a city full of colorful characters. Anyone who puts a kitchen chair out in front of the house to save a parking space is, if nothing else, interesting. The architecture in Troy is also amazing.
Best thing about Schenectady – Proctor’s Theater and all those neat little restaurants only the locals know about. If you can’t find a good Italian meal in Schenectady you’re not trying hard enough.
Best thing about Saratoga – No, I’m not going to say the track or the bar scene late at night. For me it’s Broadway at 7am when the city is just waking up. Workers watering flowers, the smell of fresh scones drifting from Uncommon Grounds. Give me a table for two on the patio, the Sunday paper and a large java. Heaven.
Best way to start your day – Tell someone you love that you love them.
Best way to get into heaven – Tell someone you hate that you forgive them.
Best way to get into hell – Care more about money than people.
Best way to get into a restaurant that’s booked – Tell them you are my brother/sister and that I’ll write something great about them in Capital Region Living Magazine.
Best thing to do with this magazine once you are finished with it – Give it to a friend and tell them they have a breathtaking heiney.
Best thing about the Capital Region – You. Thanks for sharing a smile with me today.
John Gray is a Fox23 News anchor and contributing writing at the Troy Record. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org