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Find Out What's Happening Locally In Our Albany NY News Roundup

From new business openings, to exciting updates about events, to major community announcements, our Albany NY news roundup has you covered. Check out what's going on in the city and Capital Region!

Crossgates Mall Donates Land to Albany Pine Bush Preserve for Conservation Efforts

colorful map of albany pine bush preserve including a legend key

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve just got a little bigger! Crossgates Mall has finalized the donation of 6.9 acres of land adjacent to the shopping center. This critical area is part of the Full Protection Area 62, known for its rare pine barrens habitat.

This land addition is a boon for conservation efforts. The newly acquired property supports endangered species like the Karner Blue Butterfly and the Frosted Elfin Butterfly. With this expansion, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve can continue its mission of protecting these vital ecosystems.

But the partnership between Crossgates and the Preserve goes beyond land. They're also working together on educational initiatives. Shoppers can soon expect to see Albany Pine Bush exhibits displayed inside the mall, along with an updated mural near Macy's.

Additionally, an outdoor sign recognizing the preserve and the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly will be installed near the new Rapp Road pedestrian walkway.

large grass field with trees lining the background with albany pine bush preserve sign to the left
Photo Credit: Alan Nudi

Stephen J. Congel, Chief Executive Officer of the Pyramid Management Group, proudly announced the donation of this land to the Pine Bush Preserve Commission. “We are proud to donate this land to the Pine Bush Preserve Commission and support their efforts to protect these communities for the long-term survival of pine barrens species.”

This collaboration between Crossgates and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve demonstrates a commitment to protecting our natural heritage while educating the public about its importance.

Sources: Crossgates Mall & News10

Discover Milas Restaurant & Bar in Schenectady

two bartenders making drinks
Photo Credit: Superfecta Management

Milas Restaurant & Bar, the latest culinary venture from Devin and Kaytrin Ziemann, opened its doors on June 28 in Schenectady.

Located in the historic former Bank of America building at 500 State Street, this Mediterranean-inspired eatery brings a fresh dining experience to the area. It is steps away from Ziemann's other popular spot, The Nest.

Milas features a diverse menu filled with Mediterranean flavors, including dips, pide (Turkish flatbread), seafood cocktail, salads, lobster pasta, lamb burgers, beef short ribs, and an assortment of small plates like olives, scallop crudo, smoked eggplant, and lamb ribs. To explore their full range of offerings, check out the Milas website (https://www.milas-518.com/).

This new addition to the Schenectady dining scene is already making waves. Although Milas was fully booked for its opening weekend, reservations for future dates can be easily made through the Resy website.

The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday from 4:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 4:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Make sure to experience this exciting new hotspot and indulge in its Mediterranean delights!

Source: News10.com

Baskin-Robbins in Guilderland Provides a New Stop for Summer Sweet Treats

group of people at a baskin-robbins ribbon cutting

Baskin-Robbins, the renowned ice cream and specialty cake shop, has opened a new location in Guilderland.

Located in Hamilton Square at 2080 Western Ave, this ice cream shop offers a perfect retreat from the summer heat. The new spot features a modern design aimed at enhancing the overall customer experience.

This is the Capital Region's first opportunity to try some of the Baskin-Robbins specialties, such as the Polar Pizza ice cream treat, a hybrid of ice cream and cookie cake, or their new beach day ice cream.

Open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., this Baskin-Robbins fulfills a dream for franchisee Taslim Yousaf, bringing a beloved ice cream destination to Guilderland and the local community.

Source: CBS 6 Albany

Apple Barrel Home + Pantré Opens in Stuyvesant Plaza

Close up of cookbook on blue and white striped table cloth with lemons next to it

Apple Barrel Home + Pantré, your go-to spot for home accessories, is now open in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany.

The new store offers signature pantry provisions, home decor, and kitchen and dining accessories. It also features Apple Barrel Cafe to go, which has a selection of items from the renowned cafe, including pre-made meals, soups, and sauces.

Whether you are looking for a specific accessory or want to browse potential new decor for your home, Apple Barrel Home + Pantré has everything you need, including a nice meal.

They are currently open on Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 8PM, and Sunday, 12PM - 5PM. Plan your visit to the Apple Barrel Home + Pantré today!

Tri-City ValleyCats Partner with Tunnel to Towers Foundation for Special Game Day Event

event description text

The Tri-City ValleyCats are excited to partner with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation for a special Game Day event on Tuesday, August 6th, 2024. This event aims to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation’s mission to combat veteran homelessness, support families of fallen first responders, and ensure the memory of 9/11 is never forgotten.

The day’s activities will include the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, open from 2 to 8 PM. It features interactive Police, Fire, and Military displays suitable for all ages. A large Tunnel to Towers fundraiser raffle will occur before and after the game.

The evening will begin with an Opening Ceremony at 6 PM, honoring 9/11 First Responders and Military personnel. The Tri-City ValleyCats will then face off against the Trois-Rivières Aigles at 6:30 PM.

Make sure to arrive early, as the first 1,000 attendees will receive an Andy Pettitte bobblehead, sponsored by Saratoga Water, supporting the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

view of baseball field during a game

Pettitte, who played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees in 1993, is celebrated for his illustrious MLB career, including a 256-153 record, a 3.85 ERA over 3,316 innings, and a record 19 postseason victories. He is a five-time World Series champion and a Yankees Hall of Fame member.

In honor of Pettitte, the ValleyCats will donate $2,500 to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Fans can purchase ticket packages that include a donation to the Foundation.

As the ValleyCats’ 22nd season continues, single-game tickets, ticket plans, and group outings are available. For more information and to join the excitement, visit tcvalleycats.com or call 518-629-CATS (2287).

Source: Tri-City Valleycats Press Release

Filming for "The Gilded Age" Comes to Schenectady

Front entrance of a gray brick church
Photo from Schenectady County Historical Society 

The popular HBO Series "The Gilded Age" is scouting locations in the historic Stockade neighborhood of Schenectady for its next filming location.

This historical drama series explores the class conflict of the 1880s and has been nominated for several Emmy Awards, even winning one in 2022. The Capital Region is no stranger to the show, as the crew filmed much of it in Troy, but Schenectady will join the list of other local filming locations.

HBO has not revealed the exact filming locations; however, the show's production crews have been scouting St. George's Episcopal Church as a potential spot. The production crew will be in town the week of August 12, so watch for a behind-the-scenes look at the show!

Source: The Daily Gazette

The Albany Nature Bus Makes Its Return in 2024

Beautiful view at Thacher Park

This summer, connect with nature and utilize the CDTA and MHLC sponsored Albany Nature Bus! The bus provides local communities with transportation to some of the most well known nature spots in the area, and rides will take place on 20 Saturdays from May 25 to October 5.

Participating locations include:

  • Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm, Albany
  • Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, Slingerlands
  • DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar
  • John Boyd Thacher State Park, Voorheesville
  • Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s ADA Accessible Fisher Trail in partnership with DEC’s Five Rivers Education Center, Slingerlands

The newer Schenectady Nature Bus will run on 10 Saturdays from July 6 to September 7. Service will expand to a regular route called the Butterfly Line and include stops like Schenectady's Central Park and the Reist Sanctuary and Kelly Adirondack Center.

Get excited for the 2024 season of the Nature Bus!

Source: CDTA

Blackbirds Bike Cafe Now Open in Voorheesville

outside of blackbirds bike cafe facing windows and logo

Blackbirds Bike Cafe, the latest project from Business for Good (BFG), has landed at 43 South Main Street in Voorheesville.

This exciting new cafe caters to those exploring the scenic Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, just a short pedal away. Open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays), Blackbirds offers the perfect pitstop to fuel your adventures with coffee, pastries, and healthy grab-and-go options.

While the full menu is still under wraps, BFG promises a tempting selection to satisfy every craving, perfect for pre-ride pick-me-ups or post-adventure treats.

Blackbirds is part of BFG's commitment to giving back. All profits from the cafe, along with its soon-to-be-opened sister establishment, Blackbirds Tavern, will be channeled back into Voorheesville through grants and programs.

Blackbirds Bike Cafe's arrival marks a delicious transformation for Voorheesville's culinary scene. Grab your bike or your appetite, and come explore and enjoy Voorheesville's growing list of delicious discoveries!

Source: TimesUnion

Mohawk Harbor Event Center Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony

rendering of the large event center building

On Monday, May 13, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new 50 million dollar event center at Mohawk Harbor took place. This project is the latest major investment in the Schenectady area, and it will eventually provide the community with a 2,200-seat ice hockey rink with a capacity expanding to 3,600 for trade shows, special events, and conventions.

Union College in Schenectady has Division I ice hockey programs for men and women, however they do not have skating facilities year-round. The college has negotiated a lease with the developer to be the main tenant for the new center, which will host their hockey programs starting with the 2025-26 season.

This event center holds the future for community engagement and special events in Schenectady, and many of us are looking forward to the end product.

Source: CBS6 Albany

Voorheesville Gets a Scoop (and a Spike) with Boozy Moo's Opening

red and pink boozy moo ice cream truck with menu and FAQ's on the side of it

Attention all grown-up ice cream enthusiasts! Voorheesville has a new sweet spot to satisfy your cravings, and it comes with a boozy twist. Boozy Moo, a creamery specializing in handcrafted, small-batch, alcohol-infused ice cream, officially opened its doors on New Salem Road with a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 6th.

Boozy Moo caters to adults seeking a unique and flavorful adventure. Their menu boasts intriguing concoctions that blend classic ice cream flavors with your favorite liquors and spirits.

Here's a sneak peek of what awaits you: 

  • Mud Slidin' Dirty: This decadent concoction blends the classic flavors of a mudslide – vodka, Irish cream, and Kahlua – into a creamy ice cream base topped with rich brownie chunks. 
  • Girls Gone Wild: A creamy Samoa cookie ice cream infused with caramel vodka, chocolate liqueur, and coconut cream liqueur, scattered with delightful Girl Scout cookie chunks.
  • Dublin Double Chocolate: Rich chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate chunks gets a boozy boost from Guinness stout and Jameson whiskey, creating a truly Irish experience.

Boozy Moo promises a fun and flavorful adventure for adults seeking a unique dessert option. So grab your friends, designate a driver, and head to Voorheesville for a scoop (and a spike) at Boozy Moo!

Source: News Channel 13

MINISO to Open in Crossgates Later This Summer

colorful care bears backpacks
MINISO

Are you a fan of affordable and adorable products? Get ready for a delightful shopping experience as Crossgates Mall welcomes the first MINISO store in the Capital Region later this summer.

MINISO is known for its wide range of charming and budget-friendly items, from cuddly stuffed animals and quirky keychains to trendy stationery and more. Shoppers will also find beloved brands like We Bare Bears, Sanrio, Care Bears, Disney, Pixar, Barbie, and Peanuts featured on the shelves.

“We can’t wait to see how much fun guests will have shopping at MINISO," said Jen Smith, Crossgates Marketing Director, in a press release. "We’re excited to add this international brand to our already diverse mix of retailers that visitors coming from the Capital Region & beyond love to shop at!”

MINISO's arrival at Crossgates Mall promises to be a fantastic addition to the current lineup of retail stores. Make sure to visit when they open their doors in the lower level of the shopping center.

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