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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Besties 2016: All the People and Places Winners

The best of the best of the Capital Region.

*Bold denotes winner
*Italics denotes Runner-up


EVENING ANCHOR (Tie) Lydia Kulbida and John Gray www.news10.com
Two experienced newscasters from WTEN tied in our readers’ poll—Lydia Kulbida and John Gray. Both have been honored with broadcasting awards. Our readers appreciate them on-air as anchors and for their work on stories impacting and involving the Capital Region. Both are dedicated volunteers with area community organizations. Lydia is described as a working mom, grad school student, dancer and foodie, in addition to her news roles. John is celebrating 25 years of television and is a columnist in area publications also, chosen by our readers as this years “bestie” in the journalist category.

MORNING ANCHOR Phil Bayly, Subrina Dhammi and Paul Caiano – WNYT www.wnyt.com
We’re not surprised that WNYT morning anchor team Phil Bayly, Subrina Dhammi and Paul Caiano repeated their win in this category. In addition to great presentation of the latest news and weather and their combined experience, they have super synergy—and that’s a fine way for Capital Region viewers to start the day.

METEOROLOGIST Steve Caporizzo – WTEN www.news10.com
Steve Caporizzo, who has been WTEN’s Chief Meteorologist since 1989, has seen and analyzed a lot of Capital Region weather. And our readers have confidence in his forecasts. They also appreciate his collaborations with the community, visiting numerous schools to educate young people about meteorology and his work with shelters and his Pet Connections segments to aid homeless animals.

MUSIC RADIO WGNA 107.7 www.wgna.com
Who isn’t into country music nowadays? Just about everywhere you turn you hear it and everywhere you look you see stars that are as popular as those in pop. WGNA heads the list this year with outstanding radio personalities, contests and, of course, the wildly popular Countryfest held each year with some of the biggest and the best of country music.

NEWS RADIO WAMC FM 90.3 www.wamc.com
The moniker of WAMC is your news, your radio. How true that is! Northeast broadcast radio serves parts of seven different states in the Northeast. My personal favorite broadcast, and I’m sure one many who voted for WAMC loves as well, is The Roundtable. It airs every weekday between 9 and 11 with great interviews and very insightful information. I have to say I would never read as many interesting titles if not for the Roundtable. Nerdy? No. Intelligent and interesting? Yes.

RADIO PERSONALITY Paul Vandenburgh Talk 1300 AM
Paul, like many radio personalities popular throughout our country, is often controversial but never ever boring. Paul loves this area and his loyal listeners and it is apparent. He brings the latest troubles to the light and offers opinions that you will either love or not. His interviews are always insightful from wherever you stand on local issues.

A perennial favorite of our readers and why not. He writes our “last page” column each month to the delight of many. I love to watch people read Capital Region Living magazine. It is often read from back to front. Why? John Gray’s column! We love your work, John, both on and off the air.

SPORTSCASTER Rodger Wyland NewsChannel 13
Another perennial winner in our readers’ poll. His knowledge and genuine enthusiasm are unmatched to date. I propose a new on-air game—“Pick a sport and try to stump Rodger game.” It could be good but, trust me, I doubt anyone would ever beat Rodger.


Mirror Lake Inn 77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid www.mirrorlakeinn.com
Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast, National Geographic Traveler and Capital Region Living magazines all agree: If you’re heading to Lake Placid and you want understated luxury, a world class spa and fantastic food, there really is only one place to go—Mirror Lake Inn. The Weinbrecht family has been showing the way to Adirondack bliss for many years. Obviously, we are following their path to the door of the Mirror Lake Inn.
Friends Lake Inn 963 Friends Lake Road, Chestertown www.friendslake.com
The Sagamore 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing www.thesagamore.com

B & B (within 3 hours of the Region)
Mirror Lake Inn 77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid www.mirrorlakeinn.com
Our readers are consistent folks, for sure. Once again, their votes for the best in the B & B category is the gorgeous Mirror Lake Inn. Relaxing, breathtaking scenery awaits your visit there.
Mariaville Lake B & B Mariaville Road and Lake Road, Mariaville Lake www.mariavillelakebb.com
Tied with:
Friends Lake Inn 963 Friends Lake Road, Chestertown www.friendslake.com
The English Garden Bed & Breakfast At The Ellice Sanders Home 205 Union Street, Schenectady www.englishgardenbandb.com

Mohawk-Hudson Bike/Hike Trail www.mhbht.org
A trip, short or long, on the Mohawk Hudson Bike Trail provides a combination of every-changing scenery riverside with a sense of history following the Erie Canal towpath and former railroad grades of the area’s first transportation routes. Starting in Pattersonville, going through the Stockade in Schenectady and to Albany’s Riverfront Park, the trail is one of the longest paved rail-trails in the United States. It’s part of the statewide Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany.

Cooperstown www.cooperstowngetaway.org
Explore the history and arts of this great town that sits majestically on Otsego Lake. “America’s Most Perfect Village” has it all—The Farmers Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, The Baseball Hall of Fame, world class golfing and a wonderful opera season at Glimmerglass. Why go anywhere else, our readers ask!
Lake Placid www.lakeplacid.com Lake George www.lakegeorge.com

Saratoga National Golf Club 458 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.golfsaratoga.com
Saratoga National is a beautiful award-winning public course with amenities and a top-notch course to play that most private courses would love to own. Our readers feel that the ambiance is unparalleled. They also took note of the food options and setting as the very best in the area.
Capital Hills at Albany 65 O’Neil Road, Albany www.caphills.com
Tied with: Van Patten Golf Club 924 Main Street, Clifton Park www.vanpattengolf.com
Schenectady Municipal Golf Course 400 Oregon Avenue, Schenectady www.schdymuni.com

Albany Country Club 300 Wormer Road, Voorheesville www.albanycc.com
Traditional and full family oriented activities at the same time. A beautiful setting greets the lucky members of this wonderful club. The club has a long history of gracious hospitality.
Schuyler Meadows Club 17 Schuyler Meadows Club Road, Loudonville www.schuylermeadows.com
Wolferts Roost Country Club 120 Van Rensselaer Boulevard, Albany www.wolfertsroost.com

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar www.friendsoffiverivers.org
“Explore the path to outdoor learning,” Five Rivers invites us. Our readers have taken up that invitation and tell us how glad they are that they hiked the Center’s more than 10 miles trails set in fields and forests, and along wetlands. Nature abounds and visitors come away fit and refreshed with a sense of tranquility and knowledge from exploring the sights and sounds of this year-round living museum.

Renaissance 144 State Street, Albany www.renaissance-hotels.marriott.com
Cozy yet upscale and modern while embracing Albany history; attentive staff, awesome rooms and great bar area. That’s what’s being said about the Albany Renaissance, opened in 2015 downtown on the site of the old DeWitt Clinton Hotel. The Hotel combines old world charm, handsome dark wood paneling and marble floors, with modern touches of convenience and flare. A recipient of 2015 New York State Historic Preservation Award. Our readers say tops in the Capital Region hotel category.
The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany www.desmondhotelsalbany.com
Gideon Putnam 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs www.gideonputnam.com

Mohonk Mountain House 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz www.mohonk.com
Unique in every detail, this historic American resort hotel located on the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County has something for the entire family to enjoy. The Mohonk Mountain House is still family owned and operated today. Whether it is a romantic weekend or a family vacation, our readers think that you just can’t go wrong here.
Buttermilk Falls Inn 220 North Road, Milton www.buttermilkfallsinn.com

Camp Chingachgook 1872 Pilot Knob Road, Kattskill Bay www.lakegeorgecamp.org
Camp Chingachgook’s summer programs offer lots of options, from camper experiences to relationship-building skills. The campers form friendships that often last well beyond the summer and gain the lasting self-confidence that comes with their newly found interpersonal skills.
JMU 4 Kids www.jmu4kids.com
YMCA Adventure Camp 5928 State Farm Road, Guilderland www.cdymca.org

Brookview Station 1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton www.brookviewstationwinery.com
Is there any reason to doubt Brookview Station’s status as a “Bestie” in our readers’ poll? Not with wines like Whistle-Stop White, a Semi-dry Apple Wine that was awarded The Cornell Cup in 2007 Best Wine of the Hudson River Region competition, as well as a Gold Medal in NY Wine & Food Classic of the 2008 Gold Medal Int’l Eastern Wine Competition, plus Sunset Charlie, a blended Rose that won a silver Medal in September 2011 HVWGA Competition.
Hudson-Chatham Winery 1900 State Route 66, Ghent www.hudson-chathamwinery.com
Columbia County’s first winery certainly has been winning praise and awards from the beginning. History is very important to this husband and wife team—history of the region and the land, from the history of the valley to the history of their farmstead, to the history of the individual vines they grow.
Saratoga Winery 462 Route 29 Saratoga Springs www.thesaratogawinery.com
Altamont Vineyard & Winery 3001 Furbeck Road, Altamont www.altamontwinery.com

The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom Route 9, Lake George www.sixflags.com/greatescape
This is one category that we apparently let the kids vote for as the resounding answer would always be the same—The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom. It has been a long time since this area’s gem was Storytown but the allure for families is still astounding.
Saratoga State Park 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs www.nysparks.com/parks/saratogaspa
Bethlehem Town Pool 261 Elm Avenue, Delmar www.townofbethlehem.org

Washington Park Borders Madison Avenue, Albany www.washingtonparkconservancy.org
Washington Park in Albany is the city’s premier park and the site of many festivals and gatherings. As public property, it dates back to the city charter in 1686. Strolling, laying the sun or enjoying some festival music, this is our readers’ fav!

John Boyd Thatcher Park 1 Hales Cave Road, Voorheesville www.nysparks.com/parks
Thacher State Park is located 15 miles southwest of Albany near Voorheesville on State Route 157. Mostly atop the Helderberg Escarpment, the park has several hiking trails and many picnic spots that offer panoramic views of the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Taconic Mountains. Tell me, where else offers so much beauty for a picnic spot?

Skyzone 50 Simmons Lane, Albany www.skyzone.com
Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park. On a rainy day, your kids obviously love “fun fitness.” There are trampolines as far as the eye can see and kids jumping for joy to be there (pardon the pun).

Old Daley on Crooked Lake 2339 NY Route 43, Averill Park www.olddaley.com
The very historic Crooked Lake House offers the charming setting of a lakeside estate, yet preserves the glamorous feel and comfortable indulgences of what the owners refer to as the “Rat Pack” era. A reception here would, of course, come with the wonderful food known to be the staple of Old Daley Catering. Charm, elegance, history and outstanding food!
Appel Inn 590 NY Route 146, Altamont www.appelinn.com
Saratoga National Golf Club 458 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.saratoganationalevents.com

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa 77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid www.mirrorlakeinn.com
To escape with your loved one to a truly romantic experience is what this category is all about. At the MLI you can enjoy accommodations in one of many stunning rooms or suites with four-poster king-sized beds, areas to enjoy a nice bottle of wine and a world class spa. All this with Mirror Lake and the Adirondack high peaks as the backdrop.
Longfellows Hotel & Conference Center 500 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.longfellows.com
The Inn at Stockbridge 30 East Street, Stockbridge www.stockbridgeinn.com

Gore Mountain 793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek www.goremountain.com
Gore has 109 trails, boasts 2,537 vertical feet, and is home to the most skiable acreage in New York for good reason—it has all of that and more. Families flock on weekends to enjoy skiing at all levels of this vast terrain.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort 37 Corey Road, Hancock, MA www.jiminypeak.com
Whiteface Mountain 5021 NYS Route 86, Wilmington www.whiteface.com

Longfellows Hotel and Conference Center 500 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.longfellows.com
Minutes from the excitement of Saratoga Springs yet tucked away in a private setting is Longfellows’ very spacious guest rooms, luxurious lofts and expansive suites. An award-winning wine list and fantastic food also are available at the property’s restaurant. This is a great pick by our readers anytime of the year, not just during the Saratoga racing season.
The Gideon Putnam 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs www.gideonputnam.com
The Inn at Saratoga 231 Broadway, Saratoga Springs www.theinnatsaratoga.com

The Dorset Inn 8 Church St, Dorset, VT www.dorsetinn.com
The Dorset Inn has been around for 219 years! While the historical beauty cannot go unobserved, it is the hospitality, fabulous rooms and the award-winning food and wine that played a huge part in why our readers feel the Dorset is the best. Experience neighboring Vermont this way and you just may move!
The Woodstock Inn and Resort 14 The Green, Woodstock VT www.woodstockinn.com
A truly New England experience in the heart of possibly the most charming city on earth. Many of the rooms have fireplaces, sitting areas and large comfy beds. Winner of many hospitality awards, this Inn/Resort is a must-do!


Saratoga County Fair 162 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa www.saratogacountyfair.org
Readers are already anticipating the sights and sounds of the 2016 fair July 19-24 – the 175th. Remembering summertime fun in past years has become a summer tradition for generations. This classic fair offers a mix of grandstand and live music entertainment, rodeo and other competitions, midway rides, pageants, animal displays, games, educational presentations and “guilty pleasure” food—something for all ages.
Altamont County Fair 129 Grand, Altamont www.altamontfair.com
Schaghticoke Fair 69 Stillwater Bridge Road, Schaghticoke www.schaghticokefair.com

miSci 15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady www.misci.org
MiSci (Museum of Innovation & Science) says all of its exhibits, programs, and events are designed with its mission in mind: to inspire people to celebrate and explore science and technology, past, present, and future. And our readers tell us there is always something cool to learn and explore for all ages and families at this museum, whether it be star gazing at the planetarium, joining the crew of scientists and engineers in a simulated space mission at the Challenger Learning Center, or visiting the many exhibits.
Children’s Museum of Science and Technology 250 Jordan Road, Troy www.cmost.org
Saratoga Children’s Museum 69 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs www.cmssny.org

NY State Museum Cultural Education Center, 260 Madison Avenue, Albany www.nysm.nysed.gov
The State Museum is one of the places that you visit time and again, – and you introduce new generations to the fun and discoveries. Step into the Adirondack wilderness, go back to Harlem of the 1920s, learn about stoneware, experience earthquakes, count all the bird species in New York, examine fire equipment over the years, and more, as well as programs and activities, such as CANstruction, where teams build creative sculpture from cans. And yes, for those who visited the museum on school trips over the years and became a fan of the Cohoes mastodon, excavated in 1866, he’s still there to greet you.
Albany Institute of History & Art 125 Washington Avenue, Albany www.albanyinstitute.org
miSci 15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady www.misci.org

Concert hall
Troy Savings Bank Museum Hall 30 Second Street, Troy www.troymusichall.org
Capital Region residents are glad that, back in 1870, Troy Savings Bank decided to build a stunning music hall on the second floor of its new facilities. And we continue to enjoy the fantastic and world renowned acoustics of this hall, which is in use 150 days in a year, staging orchestral and chamber music, as well as jazz, folk, blues, and more.

Fund-raising event
Whiskers Animal Benevolent League Albany www.ewhiskers.com
Whiskers is a volunteer-run animal shelter that pledges that they will be there for every cat and kitten taken in for their entire lives if need be. In our poll, readers tell us that the Whiskers’ fund raiser supporting its free-roaming shelter and foster program is, well, simply p-u-r-r-fect. With event themes like Kitty Glitter and, Purresidential Silent Auction where you vote for your favorite shelter cat-tidate, you’re smiling before you even enter the door.
Taste of Albany Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless 176 Sheridan Avenue, Albany www.atasteofalbany.com
Friehofer Run for Women www.freihofersrun.com

Live music venue
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall 30 Second Street, Troy www.troymusichall.org
Capital Region readers shout “bravo” again to Troy Music Hall as a live music venue to enjoy a variety of genres (and great acoustics of the hall).
Saratoga Performing Arts Center 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs www.spac.org
Tanglewood 297 West Street, Lenox www.bso.org/brands/tanglewood

Movie theatre
Spectrum 8 (a Landmark Theatre) 290 Delaware Avenue, Albany www.landmarktheatres.com
There’s something personal about seeing a movie at the Spectrum, operated by Landmark Theatres since November 2015. A Capital Region fixture since opening in 1983, this is the place to see top Hollywood movies, first-run independent and foreign language features, and attend special events such as showings accompanied by conversations with filmmakers. Even the snacks, like hot cocoa and cake, say film as an art form.

Outdoor summer venue
Saratoga Race Track 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.nyra.com/saratoga
There’s nothing like a visit to the Saratoga Race Track – horse-watching, people-watching, the atmosphere, being part of a tradition and, our readers tell us, the go-to outdoor summer venue, whether you pack a picnic and find your favorite table under the trees, cheer from the grand stands or dine at a linen-covered table. Stroll the grounds, meet a jockey, pat a horse, visit booths, have a snack or more, and start the day with breakfast at the track. Attendance topped 1 million last year.
Tanglewood 297 West Street, Lenox www.bso.org/brands/tanglewood
Saratoga Performing Arts Center 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs www.spac.org

Seasonal event
Saratoga Thoroughbred Season Saratoga Race Track 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.nyra.com/saratoga
Before we know, we will hear that familiar phrase, “And they’re off.” The 148th meet starts July 22. Our readers, who also named the Race Course as the top summer outdoor venue, are counting the days.
Capital Lights in the Park Washington Park www.albanycapitalholidaylights.com
NY in Bloom NY State Museum Cultural Education Center, 260 Madison Avenue, Albany www.nysm.nysed.gov

Albany Symphony 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany www.albanysymphony.com
Our readers knew that the Albany Symphony is a gem, long before the orchestra won a Grammy in 2014 and was nominated again this year. The ASO brings the audience great classics, features legendary soloists, introduces new artists and new compositions, presents wonderfully innovative children’s concerts that create new generations of listeners, and takes its talent into the schools. The symphony has just introduced its new season, which includes Yo-Yo-Ma and world premieres.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs www.spac.org

Theatre plays/musicals
Proctors 432 State Street, Schenectady www.proctors.org
Proctors and plays/musicals; Of course, our readers say. It’s like that old Sinatra song that observes, “Go together like a horse and carriage.” That includes titles that have become classics, as well as those that have been on Broadway just moments ago. From the huge productions to the more intimate, we get to enjoy all this in a gorgeous historic theatre. How great is that!
Park Play House 895 Broadway, Albany www.parkplayhouse.com
Capital Repertory Theatre 111 N. Pearl Street, Albany www.capitalrep.org


Antiques (Tie)
Coxsackie Antique Center 12400 Route 9W, West Coxsackie www.coxsackie.com
Expect to find this great antique center holding JUST what you were looking for. It never fails when I am there. It is like antique Disneyland; just keep walking and enjoying.
Hudson Antiques Dealers Warren Street, Hudson www.hudsonantiques.net
A real gem for those downstate to spend a great weekend shopping and toting their finds back to the big city. Why does it need to be just for them? Our readers scream that they, too, love this antique mecca.
Dennis Holzman, 111 Remsen Street, Cohoes www.holzmanantiques.com
Stone Soup Antique Gallery   19 Low Street, Ballston Spa www.stonesoupantiquesgallery.com

Apple orchard (tie)
Bowman’s Orchard 141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford www.bowmanorchards.com
Indian Ladder Farm 342 Altamont Road, Altamont www.indianladderfarms.com
When the first snap of cool air hits our region, it is off to the orchard for the finest in NYS apples and other produce. The favorite spots in the Region that won this year have for many years grown and harvested the finest apples and provide a fun day for the whole family. There is pick-your-own if you choose and many scheduled activities.
Goold Orchard,  1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton www.goold.com
Riverview Orchards, 660 Riverview Road, Rexford; Like us on Facebook

Car/Auto dealer
Lia Auto Group Various locations www.liacars.com
Our readers chose Lia Auto Group as the best auto dealer in a very competitive field. Lia rose to the top based upon its service, selection and perhaps community involvement, which is extensive. With over 20 locations in the Capital Region, Massachusetts and Connecticut, there is a location near you. Honda, Hyundai, Scion, Nissan, Volkswagen, Infiniti and Toyota are the brands featured. For a complete list of locations, go to: www.liacars.com/locations/index.htm.
Keeler Motor Car Company, 1111 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham www.keeler.com
Mangino Buick-GMC, 1484 Saratoga Road, Ballston Spa www.manginobuickgmc.com

Bargain Shopping
Finders Keepers Consignments 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park www.finderskeepersconsignments.com
If you go to Yelp, you will find people commenting, “Finally – a decent consignment shop in Clifton Park … awesome place …” and more. Built on a foundation of providing a diversified product line and innovative services and listening to their customers, they have obviously developed a loyal following of customers with upscale merchandise at affordable prices.
Something Olde Something New, 1969 New Scotland Road # 4, Slingerlands www.somethingoldenew.com

Bike shop
Steiner’s Sports, Ski, Bike & Kayak 301 Warren Street, Hudson 329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont 3455 Route 9, Valatie www.steinersskibike.com
A three-time winner, Steiner’s is the go-to place for quality bicycles and other sporting goods for every season. They feature leading brands in each category and are known for their selection of bicycles for every level of rider, from beginner to hard-core racer. Their staff is knowledgeable and can help you select the best product for your needs and their trained service professionals are there for tuning and repairs, with three locations to serve you.
Ck Cycles, LLC. 1370 Central Avenue, Albany, Like us on Facebook
Mad Dog Bicycles, 561 Delaware Avenue, Delmar www.maddogbicycles.com

Northshire Bookstore 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 424 Broadway, Saratoga Spring www.northshire.com
Here is something you don’t see much these days and it is so refreshing. Northshire is still family-owned and independent bookstore. They offer children’s reading programs, special events and the hallmark of their store, a trained, knowledgeable staff, many who have been there for years. Worth a visit for sure!
The Bookhouse 1475 Western Avenue, Albany www.bhny.com
Tied with: Market Block Books 290 River Street, Troy
The Open Door Bookstore, 128 Jay Street, Schenectady www.opendoor-bookstore.com

Bridal shop
Bridal Gallery by Yvonne 895 New Loudon Road, Latham www.bridalgallerybyyvonne.com
For that special day, there is the place to go based on our readers’ choice and that is Bridal Gallery by Yvonne. Here, it is all about weddings and making this special day perfect. The gallery is beautiful with a huge selection and, of course, custom ordering and design from the finest labels available. Appointments are suggested but not always required. Leave it to the specialists here to make your wedding a day to cherish.
Angela’s Bridal, 126 State Street, Albany www.angelasbridal.net
DeAnna’s, 3991 NY-43, West Sand Lake www.deannasgiftsandclothing.com

Clothing boutique
Truly Rhe 1 Broadway Troy, NY 12180 www.trulyrhe.com
Truly Rhe is the premier women’s boutique in Troy, also serving customers throughout the area who come to this boutique for the selection, service and quality. Rhe prides herself on constantly changing her selection and keeping inventory in stock. She has an eye for fashion and trends and this is reflected in her store. A trip to Troy would be unfulfilled without a stop by Truly Rhe. (PS: You can shop online, too!)
Fancy Schmancy,   641 Loudon Road, Latham www.fancyschmancycouture.com
DeAnna’s, 3991 NY-43, West Sand Lake www.deannasgiftsandclothing.com

Consignment shop
Finders Keepers Consignments 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park www.finderskeepersconsignments.com
Finders Keepers was named by our readers not only as the place for bargain shopping but also the go-to consignment shop.
A New Beginning Consignment/Resale Shop, 476 N Greenbush Road, Rensselaer Like us on Facebook
H & I Upscale Resale, 180 Delaware Avenue, Delmar www.handiupscaleresale.com

CSA/community co-op
Honest Weight Food Co-op 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany www.honestweight.coop
For over 35 years, Honest Weight Food Co-op has served New York’s Capital Region as a cooperatively owned and operated natural foods grocery store, always open to the public. The Co-op is owned by members who are deeply committed to providing high quality, affordable natural foods and other product for healthy living. Having outgrown the previous two buildings, the Co-op is now are located in a beautiful environmentally sustaining location. Visit soon!
Niskayuna Co-op, Inc , 2227 Nott Street, Schenectady www.niskayunaco-op.com
Roxbury Farm, 2501 NY-9H, Kinderhook www.roxburyfarm.com

Farmers market
Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, www.troymarket.org
Featuring over 70 vendors bringing locally produced goods direct to the public, the Troy Farmers Market makes downtown Troy bustle with activity in the summer months and also in the winter, in the Atrium, which is its winter home. Selections change by season but you can be assured–if you buy it there, it was harvested just a few days prior–now that is fresh!
Schenectady Greenmarket, 105 Jay Street, Schenectady www.schenectadygreenmarket.org
Saratoga Farmer’s Market, High Rock Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.saratogafarmersmarket.org

Garden nursery
Hewitt’s Various locations www.hewitts.com
When planting time comes, you have a choice – go to one of the chains or go to Hewitt’s, locally owned and operated in the Capital region and also the fifth largest independent retail garden center in the country. As the seasons change, so do the products and they are open year round. Not only will you find the best selection, but also a very knowledgeable staff with a combined over 250 years experience! For over 50 years, Hewitt’s has been proud to offer the finest quality and service. There are eight locations in the region. Visit their web site for the one closest to you.
Faddegon’s Nursery, Inc., 1140 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham www.faddegons.com
Becker’s Farm,  420 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer www.beckersfarm.com

Gift shop
The Cross Eyed Owl 3143 US Highway 9, Suite 8, Valatie www.crosseyedowl.com
Looking for a unique gift? Need that just something for a special occasion? Something for you or your home? This shop is known as one of the best places to go when someone wants something special. They feature items for the home and garden for each season, toys and many other products sure to grab your attention as it does those of our readers who love The Cross Eyed Owl.
Wit’s End Giftique, 1762 U.S. 9, Clifton Park www.witsendgiftique.com
Maggie’s Gift Shop, 521 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham www.shopmaggies.com

Hardware store
Phillips Hardware Various locations www.shopphillips.com
Since 1886, Phillips Hardware has been serving Capital Region customers from seven locations. Old-fashioned service, selection and a knowledgeable staff. That’s what we all want when we visit a hardware store (especially with a problem) and that’s what makes Phillips the go-to place for many. If you like to roam hardware stores (like this writer), you will love Phillips hardware. Visit the web site for locations and hours.
Pfeil Hardware & Paint, 63 3rd Street, Troy www.pfeilhardware.com
Mario’s Home Center, 1057 Kinderhook Street, Valatie www.mariostruevalue.com

Precious at Normanside Veterinary Clinic 700 Delaware Avenue, Albany www.normansideveterinaryclinic.com
This furry feline has won the votes of our readers this year. Precious is just that and hands out tender loving to all who enter for healing.
Hunter at Enchanted Gardens 243 Delaware Avenue, Delmar www.enchantedgardens.com
Huey at Bensons Pet Centers Various locations www.bensonspet.com

Frank Adams Jewelers 1475 Western Avenue, Albany www.frankadams.com
It all started as a watch repair business in Albany in 1922 and has become the region’s premier jewelry retailer, designer and place for timepiece brands. Still family owned and operated, this business is focused on family–their family and yours. They feature so many selections from the world’s leading designers that no matter what your desire, you will find it here with the guidance of a professional staff to help you with your selection.
Hannoush Jewelers, Albany, Clifton Park www.hannoush.com
Glennpeter Jewelers, Various locations www.glennpeterjewelers.com

Liquor/wine Store
Empire Wine & Spirits 1440 Central Avenue, Albany www.empirewine.com
When you first walk into this store, you are taken by the huge inventory and selection. It can be daunting, until you meet one of the many professionals who know every inch of the store, the brands stocked and more. They are more than willing to provide a recommendation to you for that special wine or other spirit. For those in a hurry, you can order on line and pick up at the store. It is fun to just roam!
All Star Wine and Spirits, 579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham www.allstarwine.com
Exit 9 Wine and Liquor, 9 Halfmoon Crossing, Clifton Park www.exit9wineandliquor.com

Menswear store
Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel 5 Metro Park Road, Albany www.markthomasmensapparel.com
There are apparel stores–and then there is Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel. Nowhere else will that discriminating gentleman find the finest in quality, expertly matched with a staff who understand fashion. A repeat winner from our readers’ votes, this store is very popular for men of all ages. The lines carried represent the best of the world and you would have to travel far and wide to find a better selection and service by a staff of professionals.
Amore Clothing, 123 State Street, Albany; 595 Loudon Road, Latham www.amoreclothing.com

Music store
Musica 17 N. Fourth Street, Hudson www.musicahudson.com
Started in 1997 when Hudson was just getting “back on the map,” this center for all things musical has flourished. The staff and owners are compulsively dedicated to expanding music on many horizons and giving anything one will need to start playing music–no matter what style. Musica features repairs as well as lessons. It is hard to describe–you must visit to experience this for yourself.
Parkway Music, 1777 Rt 9, Clifton Park www parkwaymusic.com

Natural food store
Honest Weight Food Co-op 100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany www.honestweight.coop
Honest Weight is named by our readers as a winner in two categories— best co-op and best natural food store. Naturally, natural food is one of the specialties of the Co-op.
Green Grocer, 1505 U.S. 9 #8, Clifton Park www.thegreengrocer.com
Delmar Health Hut, Inc., 282 Delaware Avenue #5, Delmar Like us on Facebook

Shopping Center/Mall
Crossgates 1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany www.shopcrossgates.com
What more can you say about Crossgates Mall? One of the largest in the nation, it has become the area’s premier shopping, entertainment and dining locations. It is hard to think of a store that doesn’t have a location in this mall, which features plenty of parking, helpful staff to direct you, free Wi-Fi and more. You can shop, dine, be entertained and have fun – and never step outside!
Colonie Center, 131 Colonie Center, Albany www.shopatcoloniecenter.com
Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany www.stuyvesantplaza.com

Sporting goods
Goldstock’s Sporting Goods 98 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia www.goldstockssportinggoods.com
Goldstock’s was established in Schenectady in 1896 and you probably didn’t know that Goldstock’s is the oldest ski shop in the nation! The store has products for every sport and every season and its focus changes seasonally. In this 5,000-plus-square-foot store, the business has the leading brands for viewing and selection. The staff members are sports enthusiasts, as well, and know the lines they carry. Goldstock’s motto is “Where people just know about sports.” So true.
Plaine and Son, 1816 State Street, Schenectady www.plaineandson.com
Steiners Ski and Bike, Various locations www.steinersskibike.come

Hannaford Various locations www.hannaford.com
The grocery wars are so competitive and this year’s winner (and before as well) is Hannaford. With 14 area locations, our readers felt that this market ranked higher than all the others. The stores are not all the same; there are features in some that are unique, which make the market special. Hannaford is dedicated to the community, as well, and goes out of its way to help local organizations raise funds and provide community support. The commitment of Hannaford: “The right way, every day.” Visit the web site for store locations and hours.
Price Chopper Supermarkets, Various locations www.pricechopper.com
Honest Weight Food Co-op www.honestweight.coop.com

Travel agency/Tour Company
AAA –  (Hudson Valley) www..aaa.com
There when you need it for emergency roadside assistance, AAA is also known for travel services. AAA can help you plan and book a trip to anywhere in the world. Many count on its ratings of hotels, motels and other travel venues. AAA has relationships with leaders in the travel industry and can provide better pricing and availability due to its size and industry connections. Planning a trip can be stressful and confusing; the professionals at AAA can take that off your shoulders! For a listing of offices, contacts and hours, go to the web site.
Celtic Tours, 1860 Western Avenue, Albany www.celtictours.com
Yankee Trails World Travel, 569 3rd Avenue Extension, Rensselaer www.yankeetrails.com


Animal hospital
Latham Animal Hospital – Capital Vets 326 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham www.capitalvets.net
Our readers give thumbs up and their pets raise their paws to the Latham Animal Hospital. They like the knowledgeable and caring staff, services, and the efforts they go to be partners in our pets’ health.
Guilderland Veterinary Hospital 4963 Western Turnpike, Altamont www.gahvets.com
Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital 145 Goode Street, Burnt Hills www.burnthillsvethosp.com

Appliance store
Marcella’s Appliance Center 560 Broadway, Schenectady www.marcellasappliance.com
Consistently named best of, this family-owned business has been open for almost 70 years but keeps current while providing the constant of customer service by knowledgeable staff. Its state-of-the-art showroom has over 17,000-square feet of the latest appliances and displays. Whether aiding individuals, families, builders or large commercial operations, Marcella is ready to help customers generate and bring ideas to actuality.
Earl B. Feiden Appliances 785 New Loudon Road, Latham www.earlbfeiden.com
Adirondack Appliance 67 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs www.adkappliance.com

Auto service
Gochee’s Garage 329 Delaware Avenue, Delmar www.gocheecars.com
As Gochee’s notes – and our readers agree – “the cars we work on may have changed over the years, but our attention to detail and focus on doing great work have remained the same.” This family owned and operated business, which provides repairs and inspections and also sells tires and used vehicles, has been in operation since 1929. The technicians are National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence—certified. Customers regularly refer Gochee’s to their family members and friends.
Gil’s Garage Burnt Hills and Clifton Park www.gilsgarage.com
New Scotland Auto 1958 New Scotland Road Slingerlands www.newscotlandauto.com

Kinderhook Bank Various locations www.yourkindofbank.com
A community-owned bank since 1853, Kinderhook Bank provides a relaxed atmosphere where the staff builds one-on-one relationships with customers, whether personal, business, or lending products and conveniences services. And our readers give thumbs up to that customer attention and service.
Pioneer Bank Various locations www.pioneerbanking.com
Berkshire Bank Various locations www.berkshirebank.com

Elegant Touch Catering and Special Events 6787 Route 158, Altamont www.theeleganttouch.com
Elegant Touch received our readers’ applause for innovative and delicious food, attention to detail and personal involvement. The caterer brings more than 30 years of experience in culinary creation and event planning to bring concept to reality at its facility or elsewhere. They also have collaborations with local farmers/businesses for farm-to-table cuisine and prepare homemade selections, such as salsa and spice blends.
Old Daley Catering 2 Northern Drive, Troy www.olddaley.com
2 Shea Catering Glenmont and Loudonville www.2SheaCatering.com

Credit union
SEFCU Various locations www.sefcu.com
SEFCU is among the 50 largest federal credit unions in the United States and its members are shareholders as well as customers. Tops with our readers. SECFU offers an array of checking, savings, mortgage loan and other services available for their financial needs, with in-person, on line/phone options, and a member solutions center. SEFCU also is an active community citizen, assisting area service organizations.
CAP COM Federal Credit Union Various locations www.capcomfcu.org
Hudson River Community Credit Union Various locations www.hrccu.org

Customer service
CAP COM Federal Credit Union Various locations www.capcomfcu.org
In our poll, CAP COM or Capital Communications Federal Credit Union was named as tops in customer service. CAP COM’s stated purpose is “to benefit every member, every time, every day.” The focus on superior service, convenient products, financial services and competitive rates, our readers say, does make life just a little easier. And they applaud CAP COM’s community service.
American Home & Bath Center 51 Broad Street, Waterford www.americanhomebath.com
SEFCU Various locations www.sefcu.com

Cutting edge (Original business)
Speakeasy 518 42 Howard Street, Albany www.speakeasy518.com
“Tell ‘em, Joe sent you.” That’s always the advice when people in the movies are going to a speakeasy. Our readers enjoy that atmosphere recreated today by Speakeasy 518, located below City Beer Hall on the Lodge Street side. Look for the red light over the entrance way; ring the doorbell; hear the conversation and jazz as the door is unlocked and opens. Step back to another era. No cell phones and photos inside.
Cider Belly Donuts 25 N Pearl Street, Albany www.ciderbelly.com
Troy Cloth & Paper 291 River Street, Troy www.troyclothandpaper.com

Day spa
Kimberley’s: A Day Spa 982 New Loudon Road, Latham www.kimberleysadayspa.com
Our readers tell us that they know where to go when the pace of life takes them out of balance or to avoid getting out of sync—Kimberley’s, offering body treatments and massages, hydrotherapy, dry float, and other services. With spa packages such as Stress Away, Rest and Renew, and Heaven on Earth, Kimberley’s is all about transporting and transforming.
Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness Albany and Saratoga www.complexions.com
Saratoga Botanicals Organic Spa 80 Henry Street, Saratoga Springs www.saratogabotanicals.com

Dry cleaner
Silvestri Dry Cleaners and Shirt Service 69 Fuller Road, Albany 145 Vly Road, Schenectady www.silvestridrycleaners.com
Attention to detail and excellent service are among reasons Silvestri is tops in dry cleaning for our readers. For more than half a century, this family owned business has provided dry cleaning, shirt service, and stain removal, including specialty items, such as UGG boots, purses, wedding gowns, drapes, tablecloths.
Rainbow Cleaners 10 Ford Avenue, Troy www.troyrainbowcleaners.com
Best Cleaners Various locations www.bestcleaners.com

Facial Complexions
Spa for Beauty & Wellness 221 Wolf Road, Albany 268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs www.complexions.com
Readers say Complexions Spa is their place to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Serving men and women, the spa offers body massage, skin care, hair design, including use of sauna, steam room, deluge cold plunge, relaxation lounges, and organic tea bar. With more than 25 years in operation, Complexions combines a focus on beauty and health with a medical perspective, working with dermatologists in skin care for age management, acne care and more. The Albany location has a gold-certified rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for new construction.
Breathe Massage Therapy 48 Hudson Avenue, Delmar www.breathemassagedelmar.com
Spa Broadway at White Sands 453 Broadway, Troy www.thewhitesandsmassage.com

Fitness Center
Delmar Health & Fitness 28 Hudson Avenue, Delmar www.delmarhealthandfitness.com
“Welcoming.” “Individualized attention.” “The latest equipment.” “Comfortable feeling in working out.” “Knowledgeable staff.” That’s some of the praise given by those exercising at Delmar Health & Fitness. And that’s the blend of program and service that owner Mike Mashuta had in mind for this 11,000-square-foot club, based on his 30 years of experience in creating a practical, effective and easy-to-access fitness programs.
YMCA Guilderland 250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland www.cdymca.org/locations/guilderland-ymca
Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center 30 Aviation Road, Colonie www.ciccotticenter.org

Florist (Tie)
Enchanted Garden 243 Delaware Avenue. Delmar www.enchantedgardendelmar.com
“She loved it,” an Enchanted Garden customer says simply. Other customers add their praise, describing how the shop goes above and beyond to ensure that the customer is more than satisfied. Another sums up: “Really nice people. Great customer service. Beautiful arrangements.” Owner and designer Clorece Weir knows how to say it with flowers.
Fleurtacious Designs 492 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham www.fleurtaciousdesigns.com
Whether you are stopping by or planning for that very special occasion, Fleurtacious is there for you, our readers have found. They exclaim about the beautiful shop, great selection and excellent service, wedding floral designs like a fairy tale come true, and how owner and head designer, Kris Ann Elario and the Fleurts team work with customers to create just the right floral piece.
Surroundings Floral Studio 145 Vly Road #3, Niskayuna www.softsurroundings.com
Worthington Flowers & Greenhouse 125 W. Sand Lake Road www.worthingtonflowers.com

Furniture store
Mooradians Furniture 800 Central Avenue, Albany 1758A Route 9, Clifton Park www.mooradians.com
Founder Mihran Mooradian told his sons that if you work hard to provide the best value and treat people fairly, your customers will reward you with their patronage. Our readers say yes to Mooradians. The business offers the finest quality furniture in a wide variety of styles and prices at its two locations. The large inventory on site allows customers to see the furniture directly, with knowledgeable staff on hand to discuss options.
Old Brick Furniture Co. 2 River Street, Troy www.oldbrickfurniture.com
The Furniture House Saratoga Springs and Queensbury www.thefurniturehouseny.com

Hair salon
Christopher Brian Salon 90 Fourth Street, Suite 100, Troy www.christopherbriansalon.com
A repeat winner, Christopher Brian Salon is ready to create your look, whether it’s a high-fashion runway style, something special for a wedding or other occasion or a more personalized design. Owner Christopher Feml has worked backstage for New York Fashion Week; he’s also a certified Framesi master colorist and S.O.CAP hair extension artist. You’re in good hands with the Christopher and his colleagues at the salon.
Jean Paul Salons and Spa Guilderland and Latham www.jeanpaulspa.com
High Maintenance Hair Salon 1700 Central Avenue, Colonie www.highmaintenancehairstudio.com

St. Peter’s Hospital 315 S. Manning Boulevard, Albany www.sphcs.org
St. Peter’s Hospital, part of St. Peters Health Partners, has grown its hospital facilities, medical services and community programs, screenings, and convenience of accessing the services, and our readers applaud. There’s another element that gets a resounding “yes”: Plans for the construction expansion were shown to staff and patients who shared suggestions on what would be helpful, such as more digital access, placement of certain equipment, waiting room set up, and more.
Albany Medical Center 43 New Scotland Avenue, Albany www.amc.edu
Ellis Medicine 1101 Nott Street, Schenectady www.ellismedicine.org

Kimberley’s: A Day Spa 982 New Loudon Road, Latham www.kimberleysadayspa.com
Our readers honored Kimberley’s for day spa, too. And on a visit, they say, make sure that you include a mani/pedi, among services. Treatments for hands and feet are available for men and women, offering something for everyone.
Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness Albany and Saratoga www.complexions.com

Massage (TIE)
Laberge Massage Therapy 204 Delaware Avenue, Delmar www.labergemassagetherapy.com
Laberge is the place for therapeutic massage, our readers tell us. Owner Lauren M. Laberge, a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist, serves those seeking relaxation as well as persons with injury or pain, using the appropriate techniques. Her background in special education provides help for adults and children with autism spectrum disorders. In addition to knowledge of therapies, patients appreciate Laberge’s practice of taking the time to listen and providing instruction on home care between appointments.
Breathe Massage Therapy 48 Hudson Avenue, Delmar www.breathemassagedelmar.com
Massage reduces stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins (the feel-good hormones) and seratonin (the calming hormones), as well as increasing your blood circulation and lowering your blood pressure. These four things combined only add to the numerous other benefits massage can have on your life and Breathe does it VERY well in the eyes of our readers.
Spa Broadway at White Sands 453 Broadway, Troy www.thewhitesandsmassage.com
Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness Albany and Saratoga www.complexions.com

Pilates studio
Pilates Principle 578 New Loudon Road, Latham www.lathampilates.com
Knowledgeable instructors who give lots of attention and care about their students and make them feel comfortable. Those are some of the plaudits given to Pilates Principle, our readers’ choice for pilates studio. Owner Nuhar Jaleel is a licensed physical therapist, and Pilates and Gyrotonic® exercise instructor. Staff members are educated in anatomy and biomechanics and know how to modify classical exercises to meet the students’ needs or conditions.
Free Movement Pilates 50 Kenwood Avenue www.freemovementpilates.com
Firedance Fitness Route 50 , Glenville www.firedancefitness.com

Real estate company
Hunt Real Estate Various locations www.huntrealestate.com
Selling or buying a home is a major life event for most people. Knowledgeable and experienced real estate guidance is critical to make this a smooth and positive milestone. Our readers point the way to Hunt Real Estate. Hunt offers integrated home ownership services, including the multiple parts of a sales transaction but also aiding with relocation, financing, gaining insurance and maintaining your home. Hunt’s experienced agents and this one-stop service resulted in top honors in our “best of” survey.

Yoga studio
Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts (Troy location) 10 Second Street, Troy www.heartspacealbany.com
Set stress aside; concentrate on your health. Our readers embrace this community-oriented studio that is geared to teaching and guiding a range of traditions in a safe, supportive and tranquil setting. The studio serves beginners and the advanced and offers classes, workshops, private lessons, and daily drop-in yoga including family, baby and me, for better sleep, meditation, community classes, and more.
Ah-h-h. Hot Yoga Spot Various locations www.thehotyogaspot.com
Poise Studios 5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands www.poisestudios.com

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