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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

New & Now: Spring Has Sprung

The Capital Region is in a frenzy of new beginnings, from our region’s first pickleball facility and a pair of new cafés—to the premiere of a an HBO show that was filmed right here in Albany.

Scandal and Intrigue

Albany was abuzz with celeb-spotting during the summer of 2021, when A-listers Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux filmed HBO’s White House Plumbers near the State Capitol—turning back the town’s clock via vintage cars and extras wearing retro ‘70s attire. And now Capital Regionites can at last tune in to see the final product: The limited series premieres on HBO this March (strangely, at press time no specific date has been released). The heavily stylized five episodes (also featured: Kathleen Turner and Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey) cover our country’s most famous journalistic story of all time, Watergate. The catch? Forget Woodward and Bernstein; here, E. Howard Hunt (Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Theroux) take center stage as the political masterminds who take down the presidency they were supposed to protect.

Nothing Bundt Cookies
Nothing Bundt Cakes—which has locations in Albany and Clifton Park—has sweetened the deal when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth this spring. Available only until April 2, a new Cookies & Cream flavor features Oreo cookie pieces baked into a classic white cake and topped with the bakery’s signature cream cheese frosting. This limited edition flavor, available in all sizes of the coveted Bundt cakes, is available only while supplies last, so cookie monsters shouldn’t wait for the perfect occasion—“just because” just might have to do.

Court Date
When pickleball fever first swept the country, there was no time to build new courts, leaving many players forced to play on tennis courts by lowering the net and taping off a smaller playing area. But now that indignity is no longer necessary—at least in the Capital Region. True Pickleball Club is set for an April opening, filling a 20,000-square-foot portion of what used to be the Latham K-Mart. The facility, which is the first one in the region dedicated to pickleball, features a pro shop and lounge in addition to the indoor courts, and is the brainchild of Jon Foshee of Concord Pools & Spas and Mike Bibbo of The Bibbo Group.

Books and Bites
A new coffee bar and café, scheduled for an early March opening, is helping to make sure Schenectady stays caffeinated. And it’s throwing in curated floor-to-ceiling, café-length shelving loaded with books to sweeten the deal—because who doesn’t love to read? From the owner of Puzzles Cafe, Novel Biblio Brew has re-imagined the space into a cafe serving a menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, flatbreads and baked goods. The newly-renovated spot now has a liquor license, too, in anticipation of adding local craft beer, cider, wine and specialty cocktail service. Novel will be open four days a week and even has a kids’ corner to keep the littles occupied while you wait for the caffeine to kick in and do its job.

One of Upstate New York’s most luxe lakeside resorts just leveled up. Fans of The Cove at Sylvan Beach, an amenities-packed rental community that opened on Oneida Lake last year, can now stay in The Admiral’s Suite, a grand four-bedroom penthouse that boasts a restaurant-worthy kitchen, a 1,800-square-foot deck, floor-to-ceiling windows, a private gym and its own pontoon boat. From there, enjoy The Cove’s heated pool, playground with a zip line, and access to water bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and fishing gear. When it’s time to relax, head to the resort’s candy wall that’s made of 2,000 pounds of candy. After taking some snaps for the ’gram, dig into an enormous ice cream sundae or classic milkshake. 

March is Music in our Schools Month, and the Park Theater Foundation is launching a new Music & Technology Program this year in celebration. The initiative is the theater’s first education and community outreach program, focusing on middle and high school students in the Glens Falls Central School District. The music, band and orchestra students enrolled in the program will get to perform and attend workshops in collaboration with the guest jazz artists who are regularly featured in the Foundation’s “Third Thursday Jazz” series, as well as an audio-visual engineer and local artists. “This program,” says the foundation’s executive director, Chris Ristau, “is only the beginning.”

In a flash, the owner of the popular Birch Bark Eatery—which closed its doors in Glens Falls earlier this year—has opened a new vegan spot, this time on Lark Street in Albany. Named Bitchin’ Donuts, the bakery is first focusing on coffee and (yup) donuts, with plans to eventually expand the menu to include some of the breakfast items from the former Birch Bark. Owner Tania Sharlow moved fast, with her recent pre-spring opening promised just two weeks after her announcement. She knew her fans were hungry to try her newest vegan treats.          

Abby Tegnelia
Abby Tegnelia
Abby Tegnelia is the chief executive officer of Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living. She previously worked at New York magazine, Glamour and Us Weekly, and has contributed to Marie Claire, Women's Wear Daily and Maxim.

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