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Sunday, September 19, 2021
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New and Now: Capital Region Goes Hollywood, Caterpillar Takeover and Uber Shortage

Everything that's topping the Capital Region's post-pandemic headlines.

In our latest edition of New and Now, Capital Region Living is again looking at the biggest (and weirdest) headlines to hit the region during the post-pandemic era. Feast your eyes on our latest stab below.

The Very Hungry Caterpillars
It’s poetic, almost, that just a month after beloved children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle, best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, passed away, the northeast—New York, Carle’s birth state, included—would see a severe outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars. Though darker and fuzzier than Carle’s famous green-and-red bug, these gypsy moth larvae are just as hungry, wreaking havoc on plants from Glenville and Queensbury to the Finger Lakes and Burlington, VT. The New York Department of Conservation says the critters will start to disappear by July, but as anyone who’s read Carle’s masterpiece knows, caterpillars don’t stay caterpillars forever. Stay tuned for the impending moth-pocalypse.

Plumb’s New Groove
During the pandemic, Plumb Oyster Bar owner Heidi Knoblauch decided to temporarily close down her Troy restaurant. As of June 17, though, Plumb is back in action with a brand-new concept: It’s hosting a new “Chef in Residence” series, which gives foodies the chance to try experimental cuisine from some of the Capital Region’s hottest chefs in an established…well, establishment. First up are chefs Alexander Goldman of Five Senses Private Catering and Quang Tran of Quang’s Vietnamese Bistro, whose pop-up restaurant concept, Clermont, will populate Plumb through mid-September.

An Uber (Big) Dilemma
Have you been having trouble booking rides on Uber and Lyft recently? Turns out, you’re not alone. Ride-sharers are getting the “no cars available” message all across the Capital Region, and even nationally. “In 2021, we’ve seen more riders requesting trips than there are drivers available to give them,” Uber spokeswoman Becky Katz Davis told USA Today in late May. She went on to say many drivers stopped working during the pandemic and haven’t returned to their jobs. Locally, cab companies are making a major comeback, taking advantage of the shortage by posting messages about their services to Capital Region Facebook groups.

Small Cities, Big Screens
In addition to the caterpillars, multiple Capital Region cities saw springtime swarms of another type—film crews!—descend upon them. First, they were filming Paint, an upcoming Owen Wilson comedy, outside of Spot Coffee and at Desperate Annie’s in Saratoga. Then, in May, production crews turned a major portion of Downtown Troy into 19th-century America to shoot HBO series The Gilded Age, which should feature some local extras. And finally, HBO limited series The White House Plumbers, which is about the Watergate break-in and stars Woody Harrelson, began filming in Downtown Albany in mid-June. And…scene!          

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is the director of content at Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living.

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