Category Archives: Albany

No, really, why does everyone hate Price Chopper?

This post started life as a comment on All Over Albany back in 2013. I pasted into a blog post, then abandoned it in my drafts for five years.

The thing is, it’s all still true. Though I don’t go to Price Chopper as much as I used to, I still go there. People still complain about it. Why?

Here’s what I wrote:

I am completely baffled as to why everyone on this site hates Price Chopper so much. Maybe it’s because I’m from Syracuse, where out of multiple options, the Chopper has the best prices. You know, where the regular people who can’t afford to shop at Wegmans every week go.

Maybe it’s because in my Capital Region moves, I keep ending up near the nicer stores: from the Guilderland one near Crossgates, then Westgate, and now I live near Slingerlands, which was pretty terrible during renovations.

I mean, I do a little shopping everywhere. I get my quinoa at Trader Joe’s unless it’s on sale at Honest Weight, where I’m a member. I stock up on sodium-laden frozen dinners at Walmart and buy three pounds of butter at a time at BJ’s. I go to Fresh Market… well, pretty much only for the peanut butter malt balls if I’m already in that area of town, and that’s about it.

And yet I still — STILL! — will turn to the Chopper if I have a pantry to restock. The things that I buy are consistently cheaper there, especially if I play sale schedule games and pack some coupons. Is it because I don’t buy meat? Am I just dazzled by discount games? What am I missing?

I’ll be turning in my AOA bylines, commenter account, and spot at the next birthday party now.


My former colleagues over at the TU had the least fun kind of animal visitor today.

Nobody cares about your blog

Nobody cares about my blog. That’s okay. I like it that way.

If you want to have a personal blog and have anyone actually read it, it needs to be a food blog. No one gives a flying fennel about your life unless you’re famous, but they care very much about what you’re eating, especially if you’re giving out free recipes. Here in the greater Capital Region, the only local blogs anyone seems to care about (and that get press releases. Press releases!) are the ones about food. Restaurants. Cooking.  I mean, not that I have any shortage of press releases in my life.

Blogs that are successful in traffic and/or cash money really only live in the niches. I could write about dystopian fiction or the Tridentine Mass or quinoa recipes or diabetic hamsters or any of my other interests, but I don’t.

Besides…. this site is pretty much just about dogs anyway.


This is diplomacy

In many places, you can buy a large cookie with half chocolate icing, half vanilla on top. This cookie goes by two names, at least here in New York. Downstate, it is called the black and white cookie. The base is white. Upstate, and notably at Hemstrought’s in Utica, it is called the half moon cookie and the base is chocolate.

I acknowledge the merits of both versions of this treat. I appreciate both, but prefer the proper half moon. I do not appreciate when someone (looking at you, the late P&C Markets) tries to pass off a black-and-white as a half moon.

Here in Albany, we live at the intersection of these two traditions. That’s why the bottom shelf of the case at Bella Napoli in Latham amused me last week when I noticed it.

Yes, a sheet of each type of cookie, coexisting in harmony, but with a respectful distance between them.

I bought a half moon. It was much too cake-like and crumbly, but I enjoyed it anyway.