It may not be sound business practice to sing the praises of a competitor, but it is otherwise neighborly — if not polite — to express gratitude when one finds themselves on the receiving end of a good deed.
Did you check out the latest edition of Capital Region Living this month? Push aside the pages featuring its annual Besties selections, there is a colorful piece showcasing several businesses here in our hometown. Natalie Moore, the magazine’s managing editor, encapsulates the Old Delmar experience in a suggested “weekend getaway” piece for her readers.
Her fantasy weekend in the 12054 starts with a stop at Shogun Sushi and Saki Bar. Though not necessarily a Bethlehem exclusive, with its sister dining room residing down the road in Albany, it’s been a favorite. Nothing beats a conversation over a roll of spicy maki on its front porch on a breezy summer evening. And, like a local, she closes the evening out with a night at Del Lanes.
Technically, it’s Elsmere. Some of us old timers would be quick to point out the discrepancy. Nonetheless, we would also be just as quick to agree with her. Just as much as going across the way to Jim’s Tastee Freez — which she reserves for Saturday.
The establishments featured in Saratoga Living’s sister magazine are no secret to our readers. These are the jewels we cherish as we speak of why we choose to live here. Residents fortunate enough, can walk out their front door and scratch the itch of any one of their fancies, be it a breakfast sandwhich at McCarroll’s, a latte at Perfect Blend, or a new hardcover at I Love Books.
Over the years, Delmar has redefined itself. It has long been an attractive place to live for young professionals working in downtown Albany or growing families looking for an exceptional education. But, there’s an energy surrounding the Four Corners that wasn’t there years ago. Walk the sidewalks on a summer evening and listen to the live music lingering on the night air from Swifty’s, Twisted Vine and The Real McCoy. You may not have thought of it, but Delmar is a tourist attraction.
Consider the improvements made to the Delaware Avenue corridor a few years ago. Between state and federal grants and town funds, more than $3 million was spent on fixing up Delmar’s Main Street. Sidewalks were reconstructed, parking places recut, vintage-looking light posts and 100 trees were planted along the roadside. These are the window dressings that give visitors a warm welcoming to our town.
Since the Delaware Avenue corridor project five years ago, we’ve also witnessed the emergence of the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail as a viable commercial force. The railroad brought commerce into this town a century before, and provided a means of transport into the city. Now, the rail bed provides the footpath that draws customers right into the heart of town. The Capital District Transportation Committee estimates that more than 160,000 people use the rail trail, both locals and visitors walking and biking, alike. We’d guess more.
We ran a story not too long ago, detailing an ideal itinerary for visitors to walk the trail and visit the many establishments that run along it. So, no. There are no secrets here. Maybe the recognition pulls us out of the doldrums that lull us into taking this place for granted. There is, however, a sense of affirmation when we see an outsider appreciating the magic we’ve cultivated in this backyard of ours.
So, in addition to your faithful readership to this local weekly newspaper, pick up that magazine that knows a thing or two about Delmar — this month, anyway.