Local People & Media
WNYT News Channel 13
At the end of the day when we want to know what’s going on in the world, readers choose the evening team of Jim Kambrich, Benita Zahn, Elaine Houston, Bob Kovachick, and Rodger Wyland as their favorite newscast. The combination of unwavering professionalism and formidable experience (often sprinkled with a good dose of humor) makes them the most trusted among the area’s nightly broadcasters. When the Capital Region needs to receive our news, good or bad, we want to hear it from them.
Steve Caporizzo, WTEN News 10
Steve Caporizzo has been interested in the weather ever since he was a kid. It is that passion that led him to eventually become WTEN’s Chief Meteorologist in 1989 and it is the same passion that resonates with viewers every day. “Cap” (as he is affectionately nicknamed) seems to have the unique ability to communicate his ample expertise to viewers in a friendly, laid-back manner. But the weather isn’t his only passion. One can’t help but also think of his award-winning “Pet Connection” segments (highlighting pet adoption) when thinking of him. His overall commitment to the Capital Region community has made quite a connection with our readers.
Morning Anchor & Team
Phil Bayly, Subrina Dhammi & Paul Caiano, WNYT News Channel 13
Our readers have chosen WNYT to help them get their day started. They are the folks we trust to give them the most accurate local, national and world news in the most professional manner so they can make their way out the door armed with the most updated information. Years of experience and sincere delivery have earned them the respect of viewers throughout the Capital Region. Phil, Sabrina and Paul prove it’s worth tuning into first thing in the morning…even before that first cup of coffee!
Liz Bishop, WRGB Channel 6
You can’t think of local news in the Capital Region without thinking of Liz Bishop. Beginning her reporting career in the 1970s, Liz paved the way for many women in news who have followed suit in the business. Her credibility and tenacity for getting the full story have earned her a loyal following over the years and she has also garnered a myriad of awards for reporting and broadcasting, as well as accolades for professional excellence. Whether she’s covering a complex news story or hosting the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, nobody knows the Capital Region like Liz.
Lydia Kulbida, WTEN News 10
When residents of the Capital Region come home from their workday, many turn to Lydia Kulbida on WTEN to fill them in on the news of the day. Whether it’s local, national or world news, Lydia delivers it all with skill, professionalism and grace that have earned her a strong connection with her audience. Her broadcasting experience in the Capital Region has spanned nearly a decade-and-a-half, covering everything from national political conventions to presidential visits. She is also involved in several local charities such as the March of Dimes, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Zorepad Ukrainian Folk Dancers, to name a few. Be sure to catch Lydia with Elisa Streeter at 4pm and John Gray at 6pm.
Rodger Wyland, WNYT News Channel 13
There are sports reporters, and then there is Rodger Wyland. This local broadcaster seems to eat, sleep and breathe sports. As Sports Director for WNYT, Rodger anchors the desk at 6pm and 11pm. In addition, he hosts the weekday radio show “Big Board Sports” on Fox Sports 980 WOFX-AM and is also the play-by-play announcer for the UAlbany football and basketball teams. After nearly 27 years with Channel 13, Rodger has become the Capital Region’s resident expert on all things sports. Whether he’s reporting, blogging, highlighting a local high school Player of the Week, or answering a viewer’s question from Rodger’s Mailbag, Rodger Wyland has certainly scored a home run with our readers!
WAMC/Northeast Public Radio 90.3
What began as a radio station for Albany Medical Center and Albany Medical College in 1958 has grown into a network of 22 facilities covering NY’s Capital Region and other outlying areas in the northeast. More than just “talk radio”, WAMC is a charitable, educational, non-commercial broadcasting station under the direction of President & CEO Dr. Alan Chartock. The station has a variety of offerings on topics including local news, NPR news, weather, arts & culture and science & technology. However, what listeners really tune in for is the commentary and opinions expressed by a wide variety of interesting people, as well as in-depth interviews with newsmakers of all kinds.
Walk into just about any random local eatery or store and chances are you’ll probably hear country music playing overhead from WGNA. Since its launch in 1973, the station has had the distinction of having the longest running unchanged format in the Capital Region. And with the popularity of country music exploding nationwide over recent years, it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s also no surprise that Capital Region listeners have embraced the genre and anxiously await WGNA’s annual CountryFest (which boasts close to 30,000 music fans) every summer, this year to be held at Schaghticoke Fairgrounds. Here in Albany, country ROCKS!
Sean McMaster & Richie Phillips, WGNA 107.7
When your morning radio show’s stated mission is to “get you through your morning one laugh at a time”, it’s no wonder that the “Sean & Richie Show” on WGNA was voted #1 by our readers again this year. After over 14 years of co-hosting together, these guys have it down to a science…or an art form, depending on how you look at it. How can you not have a great start to your day with their effusive personalities and often downright hysterical antics? Goodness knows we ALL could use a laugh at 5:30am!
John Gray, WTEN News 10
Most folks in the area know John Gray from his 25 years on local television as a news broadcaster, but his true passion is writing. For almost two decades he has penned weekly columns for The Troy Record and The Saratogian newspapers, winning a “Best Columnist” in New York State award from the Associated Press last year. He also contributes a monthly column to the fine publication you currently hold in your hands, Capital Region Living Magazine. A Troy native, John follows the often-quoted writer’s mantra of “write what you know.” His essays draw from a myriad of life experiences, both personal and professional, serious and silly. No matter what the subject matter, he always writes with sensitivity, candor, and – above all else – humor. His readers can usually find some part of themselves in his stories…and they like what they see.
On The Edge, Kristi Gustafson Barlette
Looking to put your finger on the pulse of the Capital Region? Kristi Gustafson Barlette’s “On the Edge” blog is a good place to start. Why? Described as the cyberplace “where fashion, trends, and relationships meet,” Kristi’s followers log on to read her viewpoints and share their own feedback on any number of local, national and world issues – from hard-hitting news items to relationship dynamics to area nightlife hotspots to fashion & style trends. Not only is Kristi the area’s most popular blogger, she is also a Times Union staff writer, radio & TV contributor, and social media strategist. This is a woman who makes it her business to know what’s going on around town and makes sure you do, too.
Capital Region native William Kennedy is a local literary gem to our readers. Born and raised in Albany, Kennedy graduated from Siena College and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984 and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award in 2001. Readers greatly admire his ability to synthesize personal experience and factual history to bring Albany to life in his fiction novels (widely known as his “Albany Cycle”), which include Legs, Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game and Ironweed (developed into the film version of the same name in 1987). In addition to penning these and several other fiction novels, non-fiction works, plays, screenplays, and even children’s books, Kennedy now also shares his talents by teaching at UAlbany as a professor in the English department. It is the culmination of these many accomplishments that have led his fans and our readers alike to believe that Kennedy truly has written the book on Albany – literally.
A vibrant artistic community is imperative to the cultural health of any metropolitan area. Thus the Capital Region is fortunate to have a major contributor to that end in artist Tony Iadicicco. When taking in his abstract paintings, one cannot help but be mesmerized by his magnificent use of color, be it subtle or vibrant, warm or cool. Although one knows it is a two-dimensional display of paint upon canvas, his works seem to shimmer…or glow…or melt…or flow… right before one’s eyes. “I paint,” he says, “to create beauty, working with colors to display movement, emotion, and balance.” In addition to creating art, Tony serves as Executive Director of Albany Center Gallery and as an active board member of Albany Barn. He also enjoys spending his time volunteering in our local community, ensuring that many have access to art and promoting creative development throughout the region.
La Moda Lisa, 160 Saratoga Road, Glenville
Specializing in antiques, clothing, furniture, artwork and collectibles, this isn’t your typical antique shop. An eclectic blend of treasures (from over 1,350 consigners) are priced just right to find themselves a new home with some lucky shopper. Owner Lisa Durand prides herself on honesty, integrity and doing the right thing for her customers.
2. Gristmill Antique Center, 2250 State Route 7, Troy
3. Dennis Holzman Antiques, 111 Remsen Street, Cohoes
Indian Ladder Farms,
342 Altamont Voorheesville Road, Altamont
The fertile land at the base of the Helderbergs has yielded four generations of bountiful crops, including apples, berries, pumpkins and tomatoes. Pick your own or shop their lovely country store, then sit a spell and enjoy a treat at their Yellow Rock Café and Bakery. The farm also hosts school trips and party rentals for larger groups to enjoy. No one can resist a perfect summer or fall day spent at Indian Ladder!
2. Golden Harvest Farms, 3074 US Route 9, Valatie
3. Bowman Orchards, 141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford
Finders Keepers Consignments, 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
Co-owned by mother-daughter team Shirley and Christine, this four-year-old shop prides itself on bringing its customers upscale merchandise at affordable prices with top-notch customer service. They carry a selective offering of women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and handbags from over 1,300 consigners. As the owners themselves proclaim: “We love it when the store has lots of laughter and buzzes with good energy.” Sounds like an ideal place to shop to us!
2. Lake George Plaza Outlet Center, State Route 9, Lake George
3. Clothes Mentor, 818 Central Avenue, Albany
and 2330 Watt Street, Schenectady
Mad Dog Bicycles, 561 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Starting with the refurbishment of a single Schwinn Collegiate 5-speed back in 1991, this local bike shop has grown into an authorized dealer of Jamis and Hampton Cruiser bicycles and has added Surly, We The People and Redline BMX to its line-up. They also offer general repair services and tune-ups, and stock a variety of bike parts and accessories. If you need a new bike or if your own two wheels need attention, let the Mad Dog take care of you.
2. Freemans Bridge Sports, 38 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia
3. The Downtube Bicycle Works, 466 Madison Avenue, Albany
The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza,
1475 Western Avenue, Albany
Wandering through the multitude of stacks at a national chain bookstore can be overwhelming, especially if you’re an avid reader who’s not quite sure what should be next on your reading list. Have no fear – the friendly, knowledgeable staff at this cozy independent shop will surely point you in the right direction. And often that direction isn’t far from home, as local titles and authors comprise the core of this home for “bookaholics”. For suggestions on the latest books, check out CRL’s book review each month, written by Susan Taylor of the Book House.
2. Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Troy
3. I Love Books, 380 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Tattered Pages Used Books, 365 Fuera Bush Road, Glenmont
If books truly are the gifts that keep on giving, this is the place to find the perfect present for yourself or someone else. With so many titles to choose from (over 18,000), and at such great prices (20-60% off original), you’ll have no problem “re-gifting” these next-to-new treasures. And, in the spirit of giving, this year Tattered Pages will donate more than $3,000 worth of books to organizations throughout the community.
2. Book Barn, 200 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
3. Dove & Hudson Old Books, 296 Hudson Avenue, Albany
Bridal Gallery by Yvonne, 895 New Loudon Road, Latham
This full-service bridal salon takes your special day seriously. From the private bridal suites to the exclusive designers to the custom gowns, they’ll make shopping for your wedding dress the sublime experience it should be. Let their experienced staff take care of all the women in your bridal party. You’re in good hands with Yvonne.
2. Angela’s Bridal, 1811 Western Avenue, Albany
3. Something Bleu Bridal, 75 Woodlawn Avenue, Saratoga
Northway Toyota, 727 New Loudon Road, Latham
You know they’re conveniently located. You know they sell great cars. You know they offer a full menu of sales and service provisions. But did you also know that they were rated an overall 4.9 out of 5 on DealerRater.com by over 130 of their very own patrons? When it comes to customer service, quality of work, friendliness, pricing and overall customer experience, it’s no wonder our readers chose them as #1 in this category!
2. Keeler Motor Car Company, 1111 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
3. Rensselaer Honda, 770 Hoosick Road, Troy
Chocolate Shop/Candy Store
Uncle Sam’s Candy, 2571 Albany Street, Schenectady
To paraphrase a popular movie line: They have you at “hello.” That’s when you open the door, step inside, are greeted by their friendly staff and then…inhale, and smell all that chocolatey fabulousness. To call their homemade concoctions “addictive” isn’t an exaggeration. The hard part is choosing from their massive selection which is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Said the taste buds to Sam’s infamous butter crunch, “You complete me.”
2. Krause’s Homemade Candy, 1609 Central Avenue, Albany
3. (tie) Sticky Fingers Gourmet Apples, 190 Remsen Street, Cohoes
and Saratoga Sweets, 1618 Route 9, Halfmoon
Fancy Schmancy, 1800 Western Avenue, Albany
A woman’s boutique that lives up to its name, Fancy Schmancy offers a unique array of evening/formal wear, casual clothing, jewelry and accessories. Fashion-savvy owner Susanne Dura, armed with a degree from FIT and over 10 years of retail experience, has devoted herself to bringing NYC couture style upstate. So, go ahead and get Fancy-full!
2. Circles, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
3. Truly Rhe, 1 Broadway, Troy
Consignment Shop/Thrift Shop
Finders Keepers Consignments, 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
For the second year in a row, Finders Keepers is a double winner on our list, as it garnered the “Best Bargain Shopping” award as well. Spend some time taking in all the great deals and merchandise they have to offer. When you do find that must-have item, but would rather not pay the entire purchase price at once, take advantage of their Layaway program. Put 10% down and pay the balance off in 60 days. Need a gift for the gal who has everything? Why not choose a Finders Keepers gift certificate? For every $50 you spend on a gift certificate, they will add $5 towards it for free!
2. La Moda Lisa, 160 Saratoga Road, Glenville
3. Hocus Pocus Children’s Consignment, 7 Broad Street, Glens Falls
The Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market, Riverfront Park, Troy (summer) and Uncle Sam Atrium, 3rd & Fulton Streets, Troy (winter)
Buying local never tasted so good! Spend a Saturday with over 50 farmers, bakers, chefs and artisans offering the best in fresh produce, meat, poultry, dairy and baked goods. Treat yourself to homemade condiments, sweets and preserves, and spruce up your home with a gorgeous array of flowers and plants. The artisan wares make great gifts and you’re sure to enjoy the shopping along with live music and family activities for everyone.
2. Schenectady Greenmarket, City Hall, 105 Jay Street, Schenectady (summer) and Proctors Theatre, 432 State Street, Schenectady (winter)
3. Saratoga Farmer’s Market, High Rock Park, Saratoga (summer) and Division Street School, 220 Division Street, Saratoga (winter)
Hewitt’s Garden Center, various locations
Nothing heralds the arrival of spring like that first trip of the season to Hewitt’s! And why not go there when they’re backed by over 250 years of lawn & garden experience (and that’s just the management)! The staff at their eight locations offer expertise and a wide range of products year round. And after nearly 50 years of doing business in the Capital Region, we tend to agree with their motto: “If we can’t answer your gardening questions, nobody can.”
2. Faddegon’s Nursery, 1140 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
3. Gade Farm, 2479 Western Avenue, Guilderland
Cross Eyed Owl, 3143 Route 9, Valatie
The third time’s definitely a charm for this locally-owned gem that’s been voted “Best Gift Shop” three years running! Speaking of charms, those are just some of the myriad of things the Owl carries that’ll make your day. You’ll also find hand-crafted jewelry, candles, soaps & lotions, home appointments, collectibles, and children’s items, just to name a few. The Owl is definitely a wise choice for your gift-giving needs!
2. Wit’s End Giftique, 1762 Route 9, Clifton Park
3. Artique, 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park
and Colonie Center, 131 Colonie Center, Albany
Phillips Hardware, various locations
Phillips has been family-owned and operated since 1886 and currently has seven local stores. Their longevity and success is predicated on their dedication to customer service and an acute understanding of their customers’ hardware needs. In addition to their considerable inventory, they also offer small engine repair, window & screen repair, key cutting and carry-out service. Whatever you need for your project, Phillips has the solution.
2. Country True Value Hardware & Home Center, 2 Troy Road, East Greenbush
3. Mario’s True Value, 1057 Albany Avenue, Valatie
Health Food Store
Honest Weight Food Co-Op Inc., 484 Central Avenue, Albany
For nearly 37 years Honest Weight has strived to provide its community with high-quality natural foods at affordable prices. Their offerings include organic meats & fish, organic produce, specialty cheeses, health, vegan and gluten-free food. In addition, you’ll also find household goods, toys, gifts, natural cosmetics, fair trade items and many other products to help sustain a healthier you.
2. Moorfield’s Green Grocer, 1509 Route 9, Clifton Park
Hannoush Jewelers, various locations
“Integrity in business, respect for individuals, professional conduct in words and actions, and a commitment to understand each customer’s needs.” These values have set Hannoush apart from their competitors since 1980. They are trusted purveyors of some of the finest jewelry in the area at remarkably affordable prices. And it is that quality, value and service that makes them gems in their own right throughout the Capital Region.
2. Northeastern Fine Jewelry, various locations
3. Mayfair Jewelers, 7 Glenridge Road, Glenville
and 549 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
Wine & Liquor Store
Empire Wine, 1440 Central Avenue, Albany
Whether it’s a big holiday meal, a cozy dinner party with friends, a special celebration, a neighborhood block party or a girls’ night in, Empire Wine has got you covered. With its extensive inventory, knowledgeable staff and lowest prices around, you’ll leave their store with (and in) great spirits! Need to do some quick or higher volume shopping? Check out their online selections for fast, easy ordering.
2. All Star Wine & Spirits, 579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham Farms, Latham
3. Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse, 9 Halfmoon Crossing Boulevard, Halfmoon
Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel, 5 Metro Drive, Albany
As the song suggests, who isn’t crazy ‘bout a sharp-dressed man? That said, your first stop should be to Mark Thomas, an upscale men’s clothier who will outfit you to a T. Emphasizing personalized service, quality garments and expert tailoring (all at an affordable price), it’s the place to go when you want to look your best.
2. Spector’s Men & Women’s Clothing, 131 Colonie Center, Albany
3. Amore Clothing, 123 State Street, Albany
Parkway Music, 1777 Route 9, Clifton Park
Whether you’re a professional musician or casual player, Parkway has everything you need to help you sound your best. From standard guitars, amps, drums and keyboards to accessories, effects and pro audio equipment, they’ve got it. And once you’ve found your instrument of choice, why not sign up for some lessons with their music professionals to let your song take flight?
2. Last Vestige Music Shop, 173 Quail Street, Albany
Sporting Goods Store
Goldstock’s Sporting Goods, 98 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia
One of the oldest family-owned businesses in the area, this sporting goods authority was founded in 1896 in Schenectady. The key to its longevity lies not only in their extensive gear inventory, but primarily in the customer relationships they’ve cultivated over the years. They have a staff of sports enthusiasts who are passionately committed to providing the best sports equipment at the most reasonable prices. There’s a reason they’ve been around for over 115 years!
2. Fleet Feet, 155 Wolf Road, Albany
3. Steiner’s Sports, various locations
Shopping Center/Mall (tie)
Clifton Park Center Mall, 22 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park and Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany
Our readers were split on the best shopping center in the area, so perhaps it just depends on one’s mood or one’s location on the Northway. Clifton Park Center boasts over 70 shops, from big names like Boscov’s and J.C. Penney to boutiques like Bella Rouge and Karalina’s. They also feature unique eateries like Angelo’s Prime Bar & Grill and Mocha Lisa’s, as well as a couple of favorite chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Olive Garden. Stuyvesant Plaza offers several great dining options like Creo, Provence, and Bountiful Bread as well as a myriad of shops, including the Silver Parrot, Ten Thousand Villages and Circles. We say: Shop them both! You won’t be disappointed.
2. Colonie Center, 131 Colonie Center, Albany
3. Crossgates Mall, 1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany
Price Chopper, various locations
Founded in Schenectady in 1932 by Ben & Bill Golub, the Price Chopper supermarkets have been fixtures in the Capital Region for decades. At its core, Price Chopper “exists to help people feed and care for themselves and their families.” And they do it so very well. Readers appreciate their expansive selection of products, innovative merchandising and friendly, courteous staff. Price Chopper also strives to offer their customers a variety of opportunities for savings, like the AdvantEdge Card, Fuel AdvantEdge program and Baby Club Sign Up. But what truly sets this company apart from the others is its capacity to give back, particularly through the Golub Foundation. Price Chopper supports the very communities it serves with countless sponsorships, scholarships and donations to organizations and individuals throughout the area. That’s no surprise, since you’ll find a Price Chopper in just about every neighborhood in the Capital Region!
2. ShopRite, various locations
3. Hannaford, various locations
County Fair (tie)
The Altamont Fair, 129 Grand Street, Altamont
Saratoga County Fair, 162 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa
Whether you love taking a spin on the ferris wheel, trying your luck at a carnival game, or can’t help but drool thinking about all the delicious food, going to the fair is one thing we all get excited for. This summer, bring your family to the Saratoga County Fair in July, and then follow it up with the Altamont Fair in August. There is something for everyone to enjoy!
2. Columbia County Fair, 32 Church Street, Chatham
3. Schaghticoke Fair, 69 Stillwater Bridge Road, Schaghticoke
miSci; Museum of Innovation and Science,
15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady
Last year, the Schenectady Museum transformed into a regional science center, and with the transformation came a new name and new mission to spark innovation. Their exhibits are sure to inspire curiosity and interest in children of all ages.
2. Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST), 250 Jordan Road (Rensselaer Technology Park), Troy
3. The Children’s Museum at Saratoga, 69 Caroline Street, Saratoga
New York State Museum, 260 Madison Avenue, Albany
Founded in 1836 and still going strong, the New York State Museum is a constant favorite on our survey. You can spend hours roaming the halls, learning about important events in New York’s history, wildlife, minerals and more.
2. Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany
3. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute,
225 South Street, Williamstown, MA
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd Street, Troy
An historic landmark right in our own backyard, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has some of the best acoustics around. With hardly a bad seat in the house, you’ll be amazed how clear you can hear the performers; that is, if you aren’t too busy being amazed by the beauty of the building.
2. The Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany
3. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State Street, Schenectady
SPAC Ballet Gala, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs
Often referred to as the “event of the year” in Saratoga, proceeds from the annual Ballet Gala at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center helps support the summer residency of the New York City Ballet. This year’s gala will be held on July 13 and will feature a performance by the ballet, fireworks, a post-performance lawn party and more.
2. Wine and Dine for the Arts, Hotel Albany, 40 Lodge Street, Albany
3. Dancing in the Woods, Albany Medical Center, 628 Madison Avenue, Albany
Live Music Venue
Saratoga Performing Arts Center,
108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs
Thousands of music lovers flock to SPAC each summer for the best live music experience around. Fun fact: the largest crowd they’ve ever hosted was in 1985 for a Grateful Dead show, with 40,231 concert goers filling the seats and lawn space.
2. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd Street, Troy
3. The Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany