Today I’m back in New York and dreaming of Hawaii as I sit out Hurricane Sandy. I’ve got the weather blues, and I’m dreaming of the final days of summer in Albany….
On my very last day in New York before leaving for Hawaii, I took a few hours off from packing and planning to attend Larkfest. This mid-September Saturday festival features hundreds of artists and food vendors stretched across Lark Street and capped on each end by a stage for local performers.
Lark Street is one of my favorite areas with its charming brownstone houses and quirky bars and restaurants. I love my hometown of Albany, and events like this really let it shine. I love to be reminded of the creative people and cool small business that exist up here in my neck of upstate New York.
One of my favorite discoveries of the day was Design It Together, a print studio located right over the bridge in Troy, New York. Their fun and light-hearted prints won me over and I ended up starting my Christmas shopping early! Another great find was Torch Song Metals, a small artisan jeweler located in Nyack, NY. If anyone else wants to start their Christmas shopping, Torch Song’s cupcake line is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Other local vendors I enjoyed meeting were Episodic Life, which makes local-pride t-shirts and Straight Crooked, a company that paints signs and makes t-shirts. My favorite local boutique for funky fun finds, Some Girls, also made a glamorous appearance. I love their new line of local-pride area code apparel.
Hanging around the Some Girls table were promoters for the Albany Allstars, Albany’s female roller derby team. I can’t tell you how sad I am that I’m going to be abroad for the entire season. You go girls!
But you know what the best part of any street festival is, right? It’s fair food! The discovery of Coast Tacos alone was enough for me to call the entire day a success. I look forward to years of stalking them across the Capital Region whenever I am home.
I was also tickled to come across Mercer’s Dairy, the sole US producer of wine flavored ice cream. I admit that I actually like ice cream better than I like wine, but it made the perfect gift for some local friends who have helped me out this summer with re-integration into polite society (an ongoing struggle, admittedly.)
Compared to other Albany events like Tulip Fest, Larkfest is pretty low-key. The focus is more on leisurely strolling and treat noshing than on keg stands and raging after parties. Considering I attended with my mother, I was just fine with that change of pace.
I am so, so glad that I got to spend so much time in Albany this summer. I truly love being a traveler in my hometown when the sun is shining and people are smiling!
Are you as sad as I am that summer in over? I think I have to accept that I’m a warm weather girl now!