Happy New Year! Here are a few thoughts to start the year right.
- What a great First Night Saratoga Springs hosted yet again. I ran the 5K (I was the chubby slow guy at the back of the pack) and caught a few performers at the City Center which even got me dancing with my wife Margarita (I was the chubby no-rhythm guy with the beautiful out-of-his-league wife on the corner of the dance floor). The band Funk Evolution initially looked like a bunch of dorky guys who were not the right group to cover the likes of Kool & the Gang, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, but they quickly won me over with their talent and mostly their energy and enthusiasm - they looked like they really had fun up there. They certainly delivered an eclectic mix of music too - they rounded out songs from the aforementioned African-American performers with the likes of songs from The Who, Chicago, Maroon 5, and even Stevie Ray Vaughn. Long story short - I'm a fan. Congratulations to all the First Night organizers and volunteers (especially the 5K volunteers who I really appreciated). And the weather and fireworks were great as well!
- What a shame to wake up on January 1st after such a great night with news of the stabbing at Metro Nightclub. The best way to address this is to control the bars - not with earlier closing times - that's a red herring - but with the Police Department and City Council working closely with the New York State Liquor Authority and putting pressure on these establishments to not attract the types of people who would carry and use a weapon in a bar. Hit 'em in the pocket book. This is an early challenge for new Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathieson. Here's my view as a resident and taxpayer: Not in my town! The city PD needs to make a quick arrest on this and then let Jim Murphy take it from there. The city must simultaneously work with the state to ensure the bars are complying with all applicable laws and hit them hard if they aren't.
- Back to the mundane, Sperry's has a new winter menu - which you can find more about on the Times Union's Table Hopping Blog here.
- Speaking of the T-U, I see they finally dumped the dormant Saratoga Springs residents blog that I ultimately was the only contributing blogger of. The T-U lost interest in supporting it over the past year or two, and, even when I recruited potential bloggers and passed their contact info along to the paper they wouldn't respond to them. After I realized they weren't going to support my recruiting efforts I stopped posting on there and focused more on this blog. I'm surprised it took this long to drop it, and presumably other ones on there.
- The PJ's Barbecue construction is picking up steam. The Saratogian wrote an article about it last week, which can be found here, and I took a quick picture below.
- I was walking through Congress Park this weekend noticed the nice brickwork the city did in front of the Canfield Casino over the summer. I took a quick picture of it below.
Well, that's about if for now. As I am finishing this up Sunday night I just noticed on the Saratogian's web site that there was a fatal pedestrian accident on Rt 9 just South of PJ's. I don't know the details, but I wrote back in 2010, after an elderly man was hit and killed on that same stretch of highway, that DOT was dropping the ball on the issue of ensuring a safe Route 9. I really feel they should lower the speed limit there to at least 45MPH because there have simply been too many pedestrian and bicycle accidents on that stretch of roadway over the years.