Mid-Summer Check In

If you consider “summer” to be essentially the months of July and August, I regret to inform you that we’re now officially in the second half of the season.

If you’re like me, you had a list – mental or otherwise – of all the things you wanted to do during these summer months. Well people, it’s time to take a hard look at that list and consider what you’ve done and what you still hope to do before Pumpkin Spice Season starts and al fresco entertainment ceases.

July was a great month filled with memory-making experiences. In addition to spending two weeks in Greece, I caught a couple of shows, visited the refreshing Victorian Pool, and attended a few events – including both a swanky night out and a rock-n-roll party with many of my oldest friends.

As a teacher, August is the month when I most feel the presence of conflicting impulses – do I start getting prepared for a new school year or just throw caution to the wind and grab every available moment for adventure? As per my usual, I’ll try to satisfy both urges with a couple of professional development dates on the current page of my calendar, along with my annual trek to Wellfleet, MA.

Between those events, I’ll be doing my best to squeeze in a few more activities and nights out. Below are some ideas for fun that I’m hoping to work in before the official end of summer, Labor Day weekend. Some are seasonal, while others remain an option even when classes begin and the nights get cool again.

Why not check a couple out yourself?

Let’s begin with last night’s Alive at Five show at Albany’s Jennings Landing. The headliner was Marco Benevento, who sounded pretty cool when I looked him up, and the price was certainly right – free. This was the last show in the series, so if you hadn’t yet attended one of them, I hope you took advantage of the perfect weather last night to do so.

Tonight is First Friday in Albany and it looks like another stellar night, weather wise. Check out some galleries, have a drink or two and enjoy a walk around Albany’s Lark Street area. The free trolley makes getting around a snap for those who aren’t in a walking mood.

Pro tip – park somewhere on the trolley route with less density than Center Square, kick back and enjoy the view as you ride in style to Lark Street.

Oh, heck! While you’re at it, why not spend the night somewhere local so you can have yourself a staycation and get to Saturday’s debut of the Washington Park Farmer’s Market? Earn your breakfast, be it from somewhere local or from the bounty of an upstate August market, with a class offered by Lark Street yoga, also – conveniently – in Washington Park.

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of driving recently, but I still wouldn’t mind a road trip over to Cooperstown.

I’m a diehard Yankees fan, but I’ll skip the Hall of Fame this time around and opt instead for a visit to the Fenimore Art Museum to catch the Herb Ritts’ photography exhibit. I love me some high quality celebrity photography!

Monday Night Jazz at Troy’s Lucas Confectionery is the perfect place to satisfy my hunger for both culture and the arts. This gathering of both local and out-of-the-area jazz musicians goes on all year, and can consistently be relied on to provide a quality night out.

Music starts at 7 p.m. and continues until about 9:30 p.m. Grab a bite to eat or a delicious bottle of something and settle in. The crowd is diverse and you never know who or what you might see.

Slough off the slothfulness of a night spent sipping cool drinks listening to hot music with an evening at June Farms. Tuesday nights come with the option of either Goat Yoga or a 3-ish mile trail run. Follow your workout with tacos and beer and then settle in and let the fireflies entertain you. It’s just a few short miles away from the city, but you’ll feel like you’re really in the heartland!

Reward yourself for making it to the midweek point and indulge in burger night at Innovo Kitchen. Wednesdays will never be the same for me after experiencing a terrific meal at the bar there recently. Burgers are $5-7 with Happy Hour drink specials between $3-5.

My burger was dynamite – rare as requested and accompanied with piping hot crinkled wedges of potato. Yum. Look for me at the bar or on the patio.

Although Alive at Five, as mentioned above, is over for the season, there are still plenty of reasons to be downtown in the evening. Here are some other options for next Thursday, (Aug. 8).

The free exercise classes at the Empire State Plaza, courtesy of Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, continue through the month of August and some sunshine flow yoga would be the perfect transition between your work day and an evening of music.

Walk down to The City Beer Hall for the last of their Patio Series shows and listen to the Beau Sasser Trio while enjoying gastropub fare and a fantastic skyline view.

Or, hop in a car and head to Cohoes for their last Rock the Block show which features The Rocketman Experience, an Elton John tribute band. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m.

Summer is a fast season in our area, but before you get busy soaking in the last few weeks of it, feel free to share YOUR tips with a comment. See you around!

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