Total Pageviews

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Another New House is Under Construction in Jerry's Neighborhood

There is a handful of undeveloped lots in Jerry's neighborhood.  Last year I watched a new house go up on Caroline Avenue.

Just a few blocks from the
new house on Caroline
Avenue, I found another
house under construction
on Marengo Street.

The basement has been finished,

The walls are up & covered with
moisture repellent Tyvek.

There's a crane on
site today.

Just a few days later, I watch
the house being shingled.

Yesterday I saw the new
front door & the heating
& cooling truck.

I've seen houses under construction all over the Capital District.  Since retirement, I've had the time to study the process of home construction.  I like watching a house grow from the ground up and become someone's home.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Return Visit to Rotterdam Square Mall at 9:40 am

While visiting last fall, I realized that Rotterdam Square Mall had some issues.  I was noticing more and more storefronts were vacant.   National Grid was ready to shut off the power to the mall in November, just before Thanksgiving.  Local politicians interceded.  The owner, Mike Kohan, made a payment of $100,000.00 and the mall remained in operation.

Eric and I left on December 1, 2014 and headed south for the winter.  Rotterdam Square Mall made the newspapers over the winter -  In January 2015, it was reported that six stores were closing.  Radio Shack is in bankruptcy and closing stores, for good.  The other stores, Macy's, Aeropostale, Deb, The Gap and  Olympia Sports are leaving.

lost some stores earlier
this year.

I parked near the Big K &
99 Restaurant & Pub.

K-Mart is the only at
open at at 9:40 am,

Other than K-Mart employees and customers, it's mall walkers and me at the Rotterdam Square Mall this morning.

I notice wood carvings
in the window of this
empty store.

The Mall is looking for artists
to exhibit their works in a
Co-Op Art Gallery.

Empty stores adjacent to
the recently vacated Macy's.

I counted 51 stores that are occupied and over 30 stores are currently vacant.  Here's the link to Rotterdam Square Mall's Store Directory.

At 9:40 am, occupied stores
are dark.

This early morning walk isn't showing the Mall at its best.

Visitors walk past empty stores on their way to Sears.
The store with the double doors is a space for parties.

Then, in February, 2015, the mall went dark.  National Grid turned off the electricity.
Mr. Kohan's company wasn't paying .the power bill.

Some of these papered over
store windows used to
display GAP clothing.

The GAP moved to Mohawk Commons.

Reflections of open stores
in a vacant storefront.

I checked the local newspapers and apparently, Mike Kohan is attempting to sell Rotterdam Square Mall.  I will be watching for news of  the sale of this  mall.struggling mall.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Part of My History Went Up in Smoke on April 23, 2015

My mother-in-law, Jerry, told Eric and me about a house that burned early Thursday morning on Sixth Avenue in the Mont Pleasant section of Schenectady.  She asked what our address was when we lived on that street 35 years ago.... We lived in the upper flat of a two apartment home at 1343 Sixth Ave.

I never took a picture of our
home in Mont Pleasant.

Pic from

Pic from

Jerry thinks the house that burned was 1341/1343.  Eric and I were out with her this afternoon and went to Mont Pleasant to see the house that burned.

Photo from the
Daily Gazette
April 23, 2015

As Eric drove down Sixth Avenue, toward Congress Street, we saw the cordoned off area.
The house that burned is the one Eric and I lived in from 1979 to 1982.

This is all that's left of
our former home.

This part of my life history has gone up in smoke.

April 29, 2015:  Eric and I saw our former downstairs neighbor, Raylene.  We reminisced about our time as neighbors and agreed that it's a shame that the house was destroyed.

On April 30, 2015, there was a third fire in Mont Pleasant.  It and the two houses that burned on April 23 are considered to be of suspicious origins.  

Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Eric's great-niece, Chloe, just turned seven.  It's time to celebrate!

The party is at Rollarama 
Skating Center in Rotterdam.

Chloe's birthday cake
is beautiful!

Tinayla, Chloe & Grandpa B.

Daddy & Mommy

Uncle Eric, Aunt Doreen,
Great Grandma, Grandma
& Grandpa L

Birthday greetings to
Keara & Chloe 

It's cake time!

Ali & Chloe

Happy Birthday to You!

Chloe makes her wish as
Daddy looks on....
Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Former President Jimmy Carter Lived in Rotterdam, New York

The road to the White House is different for each of our country's leaders.  Some have served in elected office.  Some have not.  Some have served in the military, like Jimmy Carter, our 39th President.

Jimmy Carter attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and graduated in 1946. Ensign Carter served aboard submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets and was promoted to lieutenant.

Admiral Hyman Rickover chose Lieutenant Carter for the nuclear submarine program.  He was sent to Union College to take graduate courses in reactor technology.  Lieutenant Carter, Rosalynn and their sons lived in military housing at 325 Duanesburg Road in Rotterdam,
New York.

The former US Army
Rotterdam Housing
Area is now
Maple-Pine Manor.

It is a five minute
walk from my
Jerry's house.

It's a small world..... I am amazed that I can stroll over to a former President's home.

I walked to Maple-Pine
Manor, hoping to find
a marker stating that
President Carter had
lived there.

Home of Jimmy Carter
October 1952 - October 1953

James Earl Carter, Jr.,
President of the United States
1977 - 1981 & his wife, Rosalynn
lived in Quarters Number 7 when
he attended Union College as a
Lieutenant Commander

Eric and I visited Plains, Georgia in February.  We toured the town, visited the school President Carter attended, his boyhood home and went to Maranatha Baptist Church.  Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School there several times a year.  After class and Sunday Service, we met President Carter and Rosalynn and had our picture taken with them.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The House on Caroline Avenue in Rotterdam, New York

During our visit to Rotterdam last fall, I watched the construction of a ranch style home on Caroline Avenue.  Every time I walked past this house, there was something new to see.

One day, in early October, the house was being framed.   The next time I walked past the house, the walls were enclosed.  Then, the house was enclosed in a Tyvek "wrapper."  The roof was put on. Doors and windows were installed.  The concrete floor of the garage was poured and the driveway paved.  Heating and electric contractors worked inside the house. It was sided.  Eric and I left on December 1, 2014, just after the garage door was installed.

On my first full day back in Rotterdam, I walked to Caroline Street to see what's going on at the new house.

The front & garage doors has been painted.
People are living here now.

I hope they enjoy their new home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Homeward Bound! North, to Rotterdam, New York

Another day of driving

North toward Harrisburg

A hillside of blooming

A road crew is patching
pot holes.

An old water tower
dominates the

A few miles up the road,
 a new water tower is
 under construction.

Eric gets a pic of me

We return to New York.

Following detour
signs through

There's been a lot of progress made on this multi-year road project since last fall.  The detours used to go through the streets of the city.

Eric continues our drive
toward home.

Passing one of
many farms.

Ice from the harsh winter still
 clings to rocky hillsides.

We start to pass a wide load
truck & tractor trailer
with its tail car.

There's plenty of room
for the wide load rig
& us.

A patchwork of
farm fields

Sections of the road have
been dug up.

Then filled with

We turn onto
 U.S. Route 7 East.

Welcome to Rotterdam.

We are home!