Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 Most Overrated Things About the Capital Region

There are a lot of great things about the Capital Region, great things to do, see, and eat, but there are also some things that are a bit overrated. This is my list of the things in NY’s Capital Region that are overrated.

10. Stuyvesant Plaza: It seems like some kind of hoity-toity place with all these specialty shops. I would never really go there, and the few times I have, it was not my scene. I don’t care about being uppity. Uppity doesn't work in Albany. If I want to shop, I go to Colonie Center. The end.

9. The Great Escape: This place used to be ah "great," but the infusion of Six Flags really sucked the charm and romanticism from the park. Now it’s all corporate and chainy feeling. Plus, I feel like the class of people that populate it on a daily basis has gone way down. It now feels like a lot of beer guts and denim-jean shorted guys crossing that walkway thing when I drive by.

8. Lodges: If you don't know what B. Lodge's is, it is an oddities store (men's/women's clothing, socks, underwear, bras, etc) and the oldest store in Albany. It is across from the Kenmore and the Blue 82 Bar on Pearl Street. I don't understand WHO goes to Lodge's. When the economy is seemingly crumbling around us everday, this old, musty store, filled with all these grandmaish clothes and oddities, still stands? Really? Who goes to Lodge's? Please, tell me who you are. I know, I know, when you needed a poncho on the spot, Lodge's saved the day. But how often does that happen? A business can't survive on that craziness, can it?

7. Lark Fest/Tulip Fest: I used to love going to these two events in Albany’s Washington Park. Now? I wouldn’t be caught dead. Same goes for Alive at 5 or Rocking on the River. Maybe I’ve aged out of this, I don’t know, but any event with FEST at the end doesn't appeal to me any longer.

6. Jumping Jack’s: Why is this little place in Schenectady so celebrated? I’ve been a few times. It’s OK. I don’t think the news needs to send a camera crew to cover its annual summer opening. But, hey, that’s just my opinion.

5. SPAC: This venue gets a lot of great acts, I’ll grant that much, but my God, the work that is involved with going to any event at that joint. First: the traffic. It’s always insane on the way up there. Then: getting inside. It takes an eternity. Get a beer: yeah right. Finally when the concert starts you get to watch on a hill crushed between a million people. At the end of the night: another two hours of traffic and your body feels like crap from standing at an angle for three hours. It’s just too much work.

4. Trader Joe’s: People, it’s not the crucifixion of Jesus. It’s Hannaford with a different colored sign. We went there, gave it a try. Everything we bought was pre-packaged junk. Well, savor the favor, Capital Region, because Trader Joe’s will be out of business in eight months. Ah, manias.

3. NY Giants Training Camp: As a diehard Big Blue Fan this is my saddest submission. But honestly, it’s not that much fun going to training camp. Of course I love watching Coughlin and Eli work, but you don’t get to be close to the action, and the team moves around the field a lot, from drill to drill, which means you have to move. The idea of training camp is exciting, and I always say I’m going to go, but when it comes down to it, I rather just watch the clips on Giants.com.

2. Latham: To be honest, Latham is kind of crappy. It’s crowded as heck, the roadways are a mess, it’s overpopulated with apartment complexes and a rotating battery of businesses. I hate the Latham Circle. And Latham Circle Mall, is there anything more depressing than that place? Don’t get me wrong, Loudonville is great, where I want to live, but Latham is kind of terrible. Plus, no good places to eat, none.

1. The Saratoga Track: This is probably the most overrated place in all of America. Again, I understand the "idea" of the Track is a great one, but actually doing it is such a pain in the butt. Plus, nobody (relatively) ever wins. I’m just not a Saratoga guy in any regard. I don’t know what to say. The Track is everything I hate about summer. When it’s Track Season, I get kind of depressed. Not a fan of the Track

Brian Huba