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Tag Archives: Utica NY

Facing the Music

A musical weekend awaits me.  Tomorrow, Steven and I will drive into Utica, NY (not a far drive) to the Stanley Theatre to see the band America (you don’t have to italicize band names, do you? I should know these things).  I have not been to the Stanley in over 20 years (yikes!  I just now figured that out).  It was beautiful then, and I believe they have made improvements since.

Just to give you an idea.

The event is a fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society, one of my favorite organizations.

Saturday our friend Tracy is coming to visit, and we are going to see a folk group, Jam Crackers in Holland Patent.  We have seen them before; they are wonderful.  Tracy may get here earlier in the day, so we can get in a Mohawk Valley adventure or two as well.

Tracy’s visit is one reason I have been so distracted from my blogging duties this week:  we have been frantically cleaning the house.  Tracy nicely said that as long as she had a path to get through she was fine, but, well, we had to excavate the path anyways.  I utilized my old favorite cleaning protocol: the stuff-and-cram method.  We’ll worry about organization at a later date.

So this is my Non-Sequitur Thursday post for the week.  Or I guess we could call it a Preview of Coming Attractions.  Discuss among yourselves.

 

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Mmm… Coffee

In lieu of a Mental Meanderings or Middle-aged Musings Monday, I thought I would give a belated shout-out to Utica Roasting Company, where Steven and I enjoyed breakfast during his Fabulous Four Day Birthday Weekend.  We had business in New Hartford, NY, and we just don’t like to do these things on an empty stomach.  After much debate, I suggested Utica Roasting Company as being right on our way, if we went that way (there are a few ways to get to where we wanted to go).

For the uninitiated, Utica is the city closest to Herkimer, and there are several surrounding communities that all run into each other.  I guess you would call it the Greater Utica Area, which I rather like the sound of.  I paused just now to Google (an even sillier verb that “blog”) “greater Utica area,” and I only got the magazine of that name, not a listing of the actual communities that comprise said area.  But I am no hand at computer searches.

Be that as it may, I drove, being more familiar with the area that Steven.  We went straight into Utica on 5S and with a little finagling, got to 92 Genesee St.  We easily found a parking space and walked right into the coffee shop.  I have been there a few times, and even wrote about it for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  I knew Steven would like it, although he may be a little too mellow for a place whose motto is, “Wake the Hell Up!”

We ordered coffee and everything bagels (regular readers may remember that is my favorite), and sat down.  There was a tall table I would have liked to sit at, but the stools did not have backs, which Steven really prefers.  We sat at a regular table, once again eschewing the comfy-looking couch, as we did at Moose River Coffee in Ilion (perhaps you read my blog post about that fine establishment).

The two coffee places have good coffee, comfy couches, and everything Bagels in common.  However, Utica Roasting has a much more urban feel.  The walls are unfinished, the tables are metal, and it altogether looks like a hip, happening joint.  Oh dear, those are old slang terms.  There is some retro decor:  an antique scale, an old street map of Utica, so maybe old slang is OK.

We enjoyed our breakfast there, and the coffee did help us wake the hell up.  For more information about Utica Coffee Roasting Company, you can visit their website at www.wakethehellup.com.  You can also Like them on Facebook.

 

Sweet Stop on Saturday

What could be more seasonal than candy, fudge and yummy stuff?  Oh, who am I kidding?  I eat sweets and fattening things all year long.  However, during the holidays, we can all pretend we have a good excuse, and I will thank you NOT to rain on the yummy stuff parade (you know who you are).  This by way of introduction to a well-deserved shout-out to the So Sweet Candy Cafe in Utica, NY.

I do not get to the So Sweet as often as I would like, because I do not get to Utica as often as I used to.  However, when Steven had last Saturday off and the So Sweet was having a Holiday Open House, we naturally seized the opportunity.  I remembered to bring my Tablet, so I could take a few pictures for the blog.

I love an old fashioned Santa even more than I love the old fashioned candy.

One reason for seasonal visits to the cafe is that they decorate accordingly.  Steven and I both admired the Santa, and made several slow trips around the display looking at the stocking stuffers.  Covered pretzel rods, candy canes, and old fashioned candies like Lemon Drops and Boston Baked Beans…

This is where the Skelleton sat in October.

Because it was the Open House, there were some free samples.  Naturally I tried a few.  Then, since we definitely wanted some fudge, we asked to sample that too.

Mmmmm…. fudge…

 

It was delicious fudge for a really quite reasonable price.  We got three different kinds, a quarter pound of each.

I should have gotten a couple of close-ups of some of the fancy shaped truffles.

We ended up not getting any of the fancy stuff from the truffle case, but I’m afraid I stared at it so long that the calories seeped in through my eyeballs.

It was a fun and delicious part of our Saturday morning adventures.  We still have not eaten all the fudge and candy we purchased.  That may not stop me from sneaking back again before Christmas.  I may need some truffles.  Or cookies.  Or biscotti.  Or….

The So Sweet Candy Cafe is located at 531 Varick St., Utica, phone number 315-765-6463.  They are open 8:o0 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 to 7 Friday, 8 to 4 Saturday, and 9 to 1 Sunday.

 

Plans for Sunday on Slacker Saturday

A delightful array.

I thought I’d lead with a nice Halloweeny photo.  This is another Slacker Saturday post.  I’m using stuff from my Media Library, but with perhaps a little more method to my madness than previous such posts (has there been more than one?  I’m too lazy to check).

I’m starting this on my Tablet,  because Steven is on the laptop. I just really really want to  get my blog post done and get on to the Halloween movie watching portion of the evening.  The photo above was taken at Pumpkin Junction in Sauquoit last year.  We have not made it back there this year.  However,  Steven is actually off work tomorrow.

Aaaahhh… back on the laptop, typing with all ten fingers, as God intended.  Now I can get this post done!  As I was saying, with Steven off work tomorrow, we actually have a whole day together!  Yay!  Naturally, we think to make some plans.  A visit to Pumpkin Junction, perhaps to purchase a pumpkin?  It’s not too late to make a Jack-o-Lantern for Halloween!  And roast the seeds, of course.  Yum!

I would naturally take another picture of two of Steven.

 

I wonder if these fellows will be there again?

But Pumpkin Junction is not our only possibility for tomorrow.  We could also visit the So Sweet Candy Cafe,  in Utica, which decorates delightfully for the season.

He’s a dapper fellow, is he not?

Full disclosure:  there is every chance that tomorrow we will merely get comfortable and watch Halloween movies.  Whatever we do, I will probably write a blog post about it.  As always, I hope you’ll tune in.

 

Wrist to Roger Corman to Tempest

Hello, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday, the day I just can’t get much done and write a foolish blog post so I can get back to not doing it.  I am looking at (I can’t say “watching,” but I am periodically glancing at the television screen) a Roger Corman movie.  I thought I had not seen It Conquered The World before but now I am remembering parts.  I really will have to watch it with some attention some day and write a blog post about it.  For now, however, I am still in All Tempest All The Time mode.

I draw your attention to the entry at the bottom of the sign.

Yes, we performed at the Utica Zoo yesterday.  It was a great deal of fun, and I think the audience enjoyed it, too.  I guess the zoo has a lot of stuff going on. I’ll have to check out a few other events when I get a chance.  That would no doubt be worth a blog post.

Next time I want to be the guy with his sword up in the air.

This is one of the cast photos taken after the performance.  We do one smiling nicely and one “in character.”  My character tends to smile nicely each time. An exception would be a picture taken in Little Falls, when the King’s drunken butler was next to me.  I shared that photo before, but for anybody who has forgotten:

Luckily he is not a “method” actor, or he may have drooled. Ew!

I have been thinking again today about what a great cast I have been working with this summer.  I will miss them when this is over.  Then again, there is always the next play.  That is a cheerful thought for Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

 

Return to the Tavern

I confess to knowing an impulse to make this blog All Monster Movies All The Time, but then I wouldn’t really be Mohawk Valley Girl, would I?  With that in mind, I give a shout-out to Gerber’s 1933 Tavern in Utica, NY, a really wonderful place for drinks, food and fun.

I first went to Gerber’s a few months ago, for a Prohibition Party (perhaps you read my blog post about it).   I had been wanting to take Steven there ever since.  When we met our friends Phyllis and Jim to celebrate their anniversary, we discovered they had never been there either.  We went and had a blast.

The tavern used to be a speakeasy during prohibition.  It still looks old-fashioned and cozy, with a tin ceiling and beautiful woodwork.  We found a table and perused the menus.

You can see the beautiful ceiling.

I had my Tablet with me so took a few pictures.

This is the happy couple.

Naturally I had to get one of the anniversary couple.  Phyllis and Jim are two of the all-time coolest people ever.  Jim has been in a number of theatrical endeavors with me and/or Steven.  In fact, we met them through Ilion Little Theatre.  Let’s hear it for community theatre!

Me and Phyllis, toasting friendship.

I had been looking at the red chairs while we ate, then asked Steven to take a picture of me and Phyllis in them.

Steven and Jim with our bartender, Larry.

Of course, I also wanted a picture of the guys.  I included our bartender, Larry, who I declared to be our New Best Friend.  Yes, I had consumed a couple of glasses if Pinot Grigio when I made the declaration.  Don’t judge me.  Incidentally, it was Thirsty Owl Pinot Grigio, a Finger Lakes wine.  I have to love a tavern that serves New York State wines.

Gerber’s 1933 Tavern is located at 16 Liberty St., Utica.  For more information you can visit their website at gerbers1933tavern.com.

 

Soggy Scattered Saturday

There really isn’t much to this week’s Scattered Saturday, but it is definitely soggy and, as regular readers know, I have to go for the alliteration.  I have been re-living through my Facebook On This Day my experiences of the flood of 2013.  My experiences were not as horrific as some, for which I am grateful.  No, I am not going to do a re-cap.  I’m not even going to link back to my blog posts of the time, because I don’t know that they’re all that great (I don’t know if any of my posts are all that great, but they’ll have to do).

So after a short(ish) run yesterday, I thought to do a long run today, with hills and everything.  Unfortunately, I paused for a cup of coffee and Facebook perusal before I left.  I hadn’t gone very far when it started to sprinkle.  I persevered until I heard thunder.  Even then I was inclined to keep going.  I kept thinking of Grandma in the pool.  You see, my grandmother loved to swim.  She had a four-foot above-ground pool which we went over and swam in all the time.  If there was thunder, Grandma would watch the lightning and count the seconds till the thunder and stay in the pool if it seemed the storm was far enough away.  I have since heard that this is not the right thing to do, because those thunder storms can move awfully fast.  Still, what was good enough for Grandma…  Additionally, once I’d started running, I felt I REALLY wanted to keep going for at least 15 minutes.

So it was a 15-minute run.  It soon stopped raining, but by then I had showered and felt too clean and sweet-smelling to get all sweaty again.  I thought I might run later, since it had stopped raining.  I wondered how many showers I could reasonably take in a day but was willing to at least go as high as three (if my second run got rained out as well).   However, it rained and thundered on and off, and I never got around to it.

And then Utica got flooded (for non-local readers, Utica is a half hour/45-minute drive away) (depending on if you consider the speed limit a mere suggestion).  I found this out because I was having a Putter-and-Post kind of day.  That is a day when I putter around the house, do something useful, then post about it on Facebook. Or post something else on Facebook or just read other people’s posts.  I am nothing if not flexible about these things.  I had not been inclined to go to Utica today, so that worked out for me.  For everybody in Utica, not so much.

I tried to download some pictures from Facebook to share but had no luck (some laptop issue I’ll have to figure out, I suppose).  So I thought I’d use my Tablet and take a couple of pictures of Herkimer (where I live).  When I had looked earlier out the road was not a river, as it had been in 2013, but the gutters were widening and looking brown.  By the time I took the pictures, it had stopped raining and the puddles had receded, but there was debris in the road.

The end of my driveway looks icky.

 

And this is the view to the right.

 

I went off the porch and walked a short way down the sidewalk to get this shot.

It seems to have stopped raining, but I hear there is flooding in many streets.  Travel is restricted, and many people are pumping out their basements.  Oh dear.  So far we only have a little water in our basement, so we are fortunate this time.  I can only hope it continues, or I will definitely have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday!  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.