It’s the place you drive through on your way to somewhere supposedly better, bigger or more exciting – Montreal, Boston, the Berkshires, New York City.

Or it’s the place best known as home to the corruption-plagued state Capitol.

Sure, there are a few nationally known highlights worth making a special trip to see, like, say, the Saratoga Racetrack. But, generally speaking, it’s not high on the average person’s Top 10 list of cool places to live.

Well, we know better, don’t we?

We who have chosen to make this place home for whatever reason – work, love, family connections, convenience, even inertia – we know that it is something special. It is charming and quirky and beguiling and fun, and yes, sometimes even maddening.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We know this place is full of so much history, so many things to see and do, and, perhaps most importantly, so many interesting people.

Creative people. Civic-minded people. And, dare we say it, cutting-edge people who are thinking big thoughts and care about their communities.

Things are happening here, things you need to know about, things your neighbors need to know about. Heck, even things the WORLD needs to know about.

We’re talking about the monthly party where everyone brings a different exotic dish to share.

The nuclear engineer moonlighting as a DJ.

The stay-at-home mom who is also a burgeoning artist.

The dentist who raises goats and makes raw milk cheese in his garage.

The unassuming storefront café that serves the world’s best authentic Mexican, or Peruvian, or Chinese or you-name-it food.

The high school student by day, tech guru by night.

There are thousands of stories in this region just begging to be told, hundreds of places dying to be discovered and shared.

That’s where CivMix comes in.

First, the backstory.

After the sad demise of a trio of alternative publications, the last being the much-loved All Over Albany website, a few of us contacted one another and said, “What can we do to fill this space?” Because this region not only needs news about local happenings, the arts, government and community events, it deserves to have that information delivered in the most thoughtful, engaging way possible.

We all agreed on the premise, but struggled to come up with a name. What one word or phrase could possibly encapsulate the complex combination of everything we hoped to provide?

It turned out to be more straightforward that we feared. We wanted something that spoke to the amazing blend that makes up our rich community. The phrase “community blend,” translated to Latin, is “civitas mixtio,” or CivMix, for short.

CivMix. It’s where it’s at.

We hope this site will be not only a source of information, but also a forum for a respectful exchange of ideas, and an incubator that helps bring our community closer together. Because in these over-wrought and even scary times, we need our communities to be strong and vibrant more than ever.

Welcome to CivMix. We hope you like it. We hope you join us.