The Albany Times Union’s Annual Best-of Poll came out this week. My extremely long-winded take on the things I care about:
1. Habana is the best cigar shop, because once, when we needed herbal cigarettes for a play, I had to call a bunch of smoke shops for them. And the first three I called pretty much accused me of trying to buy weed (because the smart way to buy an illegal substance is to call places and hint you want it? I don’t know.) I’d say, “I’m doing props for a play, we need to smoke onstage, but tobacco onstage is illegal, so we need herbal cigarettes, do you carry those?” and they’d sputter and titter say something like “Um, NOOOOO, hey, Julie, get this, this chick wants ‘herbal cigarettes’” and they’d both bust a gut. Habana not only didn’t laugh at me, they had them in stock. So thank you, Habana. Also, it smells like a distinguished gentleman’s club in there and I felt like maybe some serious decisions were being made over fancy cigars.
2. Colonie Center is better than Crossgates, yes. However, since they renovated, the parking sucks at Colonie Center, so now I avoid both as if they were infested with zombies. Why is the Colonie Center parking like a maze? You go down one way, oh, no! Blocked! Back up! Try again – BLOCKED! Wrong turn! Try again!
3. Latham ‘76 Diner – yay. Delicious, inexpensive, and the placemats have funny facts on them about the states. Also, the ambience is pure ‘70’s roadtrip. Love.
4. A couple of years ago, some people told me about the Kristi Gustafson hatred running rampant in the area. I was confused. I still am. I like her; I like her journalistic voice, I like how media-savvy she is, I like how personable she is, I love her blog posts and her commenters and how they make me laugh. I am all for the Kristi love in these results. She has worked hard to get where she is, and her personality helped, too, so congrats, Kristi.
5. Very happy with the best local bloggers. There are other amazing local bloggers, too, and I wish there could have been more than three winners for this one. We do not lack in the blogger pool here.
6. Best local tweeter – eh, ok, I guess, but again, there need to be more than 3 spots, because we have quite a few funny, intelligent people here.
1. Benson’s and The Book House > PetSmart and Barnes & Noble.
2. Come ON, people. The Saratoga Racetrack is FAR superior to the Racino. There are LIVE HORSES at the Racetrack. You can bet on ponies. You feel like you’re in “Guys & Dolls”. It is awesome. Last year I won $170 in a DAY. Also, a couple of years ago, a horse threw his rider, then ran the race ALONE, and ran past us in the stands, then BACK past us, kind of winking, like “Hey! Hey, look at me! All on my own! I am the most awesome pony EVER!” And of course, I had a lot of money on that horse, which was then forfeit. But I didn’t care, because that horse had chutzpah.
3. My vet clinic came in second, which is kind of impressive, and I know the first place clinic is good because I had a friend that exclusively went there, but listen. My clinic? Has the hottest vets in town. Well, male vets. I don’t know about the female vets. They’re probably lovely, too. But two years in a row, I’ve had two different vets who are male-model worthy doing my cats’ annual exams. This year? He was Scottish. Or maybe Irish. Could have been British. I am not the best at accents. Whatever it was, I thought I was being punk’d with the hotness. So sure, if you want the best for your PET, by all means, Shaker Vet. If you want EYE CANDY and also a good vet, Latham Animal Hospital.
4. Gershon’s is the best thing ever and I don’t even like sandwiches that much. Subway? Really? That’s embarrassing. Also, Pizza Hut (which, shh, I love, everyone does, but you DON’T ADMIT IT!) being third in the pizza question is also embarrassing.
5. I hate the Dave Matthews Band. Also, that was over a year ago. Should have been knocked out of the running.
6. The Lion King was a lovely and impressive spectacle – but I wish, like the other questions, it had been LOCAL shows. The Lion King didn’t have the budgetary constraints we did when putting on the community theater shows we did this season, so why judge ours alongside theirs? Also, two categories – musicals and straight shows – would be appreciated for those of us that know our theater. That being said, my top three LOCAL straight shows this season, in this order, were Proof at Albany Civic Theater, Dog Sees God at Confetti Stage, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Schenectady Civic Theater. Yes, I was affiliated with one of these; however, not closely enough that I can’t make a vote in a blog post that doesn’t matter to anyone but me, anyway.
7. I do not understand albanyweatheronline.com being voted as anything. Seriously? What the hell? There are other local blogs that are awesome, informative, funny, and NOT JUST THE WEATHER. If I want the weather, I go to a weather site. There’s a site that’s just Albany weather? Wow. That must take…no work at all? Wouldn’t you just go to the weather channel online, take the Albany info, and re-post it?
8. I’m putting this here because the outcome is not so pleasing – Kegs & Eggs Riot. Yes, that was the right answer on the poll – but ugh, the fact that we’re known for it is embarrassing.
1. Am I the only person in the area who hasn’t eaten those teeny hot dogs at Gus’s yet? I want to try them but find the one-way streets in Watervliet daunting. And I live in Watervliet. I know. Leave me alone.
2. Why can’t people follow directions? Is it that they can’t read, or don’t bother to? Why would the TU be asking for your favorite singer/songwriter OF ALL TIME in a LOCAL POLL? Of course they want to know your favorite LOCAL singer/songwriter. Good God.
3. New category – best COMMUNITY theater in the area, please. There are excellent theater groups getting overlooked on a yearly basis.
4. I was surprised to see YNN not included. Apparently, I am the only one obsessed with this channel. The woman on Capital Tonight makes me laugh and laugh. I don’t think she’s attempting to do so, but she’s very interrupty. It’s funny.