The Single Statement that Shows How Hopeless the City of Amsterdam Really Is

Police Chief Greg Culick on the brouhaha concerning the Farmer’s Market on Main Street: (the Recorder)

“The store that is complaining, there were cars parked right in front of her business,” he said. “I was able to come off the bridge, make a U-turn, and park where I wanted. Schenectady blocks off four streets all weekend for the farmers market. Troy does the same thing. I don’t think the street is the issue. It’s passable. I urge you to table it.”

Apparently every other city can figure out how to hold events and gatherings except Amsterdam.

Every other city can build a pleasant, stress-free environment for vendors to sell stuff except for Amsterdam.

Every other city can make the experience about giving the shopper convenience, choice and quality at a single point except for Amsterdam.

Every other city realizes that not everything needs to be political except for Amsterdam.

Every other city actually has more people working toward positive than negative except for Amsterdam.

Amsterdam — the exceptional city on the Mohawk– making what is possible everywhere else , all but impossible here.

City on Edge After Downtown Farmers Market Incident

Amsterdam, NY (Oct 5, 2015) — While details remain unclear, a verbal altercation between a Hispanic woman and some vendors took place on Saturday, October 3rd at the Amsterdam Downtown Farmers Market.  From several reports, the suspect was verbally abusive, removed some police barricades and failed to follow traffic regulations before speeding away. Police were called but no charges were issued.

The incident unsettled local political leaders who see this as a worrisome trend in the city. Local 6th Ward alderperson Lynne Bylynn echoed some of the sentiments of many city residents,”What is happening to this city is shameful with those people feeling they can do whatever they want and not respect their fellow citizens or the police. How does someone get to drive such a nice truck and buy vegetables when more likely than not, they are on welfare. I know it’s not politically correct but those people are ruining our city. Our seniors are truly scared.”

Similar sentiments were echoed on local radio by a long time caller, “Well, I was driving through the city looking at all that is wrong like I love to do on my weekends and glare at all those people who just sit on their porches. Now I didn’t see the incident take place but I am sure it happened because those people don’t have any respect, unlike our resident senior citizens who have the most exemplary manners and the utmost of civic mindedness. I feel sorry for our seniors who might have had to see this but it just goes to show everything wrong with social services. I’ll even bet this woman had a tattoo. Thank god I live in the town where we don’t have these people, or tattoos. I’m glad the 6th ward has the good sense to elect someone who’s not afraid to say what needs to be said.”

This story will be updated as more details emerge.

Amsterdam Rec Center: Dense City vs Hollow City

With the closing of the YMCA in Hagaman and recent talk of the siting for the proposed recreational center, it occurred to me that a long running pattern — a disastrous one– just might continue.

The YMCA was initially sited near downtown Amsterdam and as such provided some much needed density to the city. The reasons for moving it to Hagaman are unclear and unproven to me but suffice it to say, that the move vacated more of the already vacated core of the city. And it’s that vacating core that lies at the heart of the city’s problems. And what causes that cycle of the ever dwindling core is the lack of growth and lack of development paired with the belief that you fight blight by tearing things down, never building things up.

My concern with the Rec Center centers on the site selection process and its consideration for impact on building the city’s core versus hollowing it out. I’m not advocating for or against a specific site necessarily but it seems crucial to the rec center’s success and the city’s success that the site builds the city’s core versus not. For that reason, I think the site selection should be well considered and thought through as this potentially is a multi-million dollar development project and as such, it’s important to get the siting right — from the rec center perspective and from the city’s perspective.

I harp all the time on how the real problem in the city is not blight or high taxes or whatever is the lament du jour — it’s fundamentally the lack of investment and growth and belief and vision in the city– the rec center might be a way to signal a turn into a better direction toward building density and core in the city versus just another reason to hollow it out and sprawl.

Self-Hating Upstate City Looks to Attract Upscale Hotel

Amsterdam, NY (Sept 29, 2015) — With the former Best Western hotel, now abandoned and boarded, set for its third appearance at auction in two years, city leaders looked to attract a high end, upscale hotel in its place.

According to 6th Ward alderman, Cagney Tive Dissonance, “Well, we know no one wants to live in Amsterdam and certainly no one wants to visit here. But it is important that we find a buyer for the hotel so we build up our downtown. We know no one wants to go downtown so an upscale hotel is just what this city needs to assure that the people who will never visit here or ever visit downtown have a place to stay.”

Local resident Justa Somiserable agreed with Mr. Dissonance on the city’s need to attract investment such as a hotel by openly advocating all the downsides of this small city versus any of its upside qualities. “Well, let me be frank so excuse my French but this city is a merde-hole. Who would want to live here? That’s why we demand year after year that we spend more and more of the city’s money knocking down our old buildings. Now, some people have a fantasy that people would move here to live in lofts or walk on the bridge to nowhere or even walk around downtown. Or people would come here from out of town to visit. That’s just crazy. What’s not crazy would be a really nice hotel downtown. That would be terrific but I can’t understand why no one wants to build a hotel there. I think if we just advertised it better — run ads in the newspaper, we could get a really nice Hilton or something like that. It would be awesome to have a Hilton; it’s just what this merde-hole needs.”

Editor’s note: No amount of editing could preserve any sense of login in the reasoning above. We apologize for any confusion or similar cognitive impairments from reading this story.

Common Council Member Proposes Revoking Permit for Homecoming Parade

Concerned with the impact on the local economy and seniors, 6th Ward Alderman Noah Funforyu will be proposing a resolution to rescind the permit for the popular homecoming parade scheduled for this Saturday.

Noah Funforyu explained the intent of the resolution as, “We have some very concerned taxpayers and drivers with the closing down of several streets and the cost of police for public safety at the event. We simply can’t afford to pay police for such a frivolous event. Heavens, is Spring Fling not enough of a bother and distraction? And our taxpayers certainly can’t afford to drive, two, three, maybe even four blocks out of their way once the parade route gets blocked. Sure, gas prices are down but it’s a terrible economic toll on our drivers. And when did this turn into a whole day affair with a parade and events from 9AM to 4PM? That’s an outrage. I don’t care that people enjoy the event or the folks who talk about community building and community get togethers. This city doesn’t need kumbaya, it needs lower taxes.”

Local resident  Lola Toogrinchus voiced support for the alderman’s plan given the parade and attendant marching band.  “There’s one thing I hate! All the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing ’round on their wheels. They’ll dance with jingtinglers tied onto their heels. They’ll blow their floofloovers. They’ll bang their tartookas. They’ll blow their whohoopers. They’ll bang their gardookas!”
The resolution will be discussed at a special meeting of the Council Thursday 11:30PM to be held at the former Best Western hotel given its ample parking and lack of gardookas.


Endorsement for Gerard DeCusatis for City Court Judge

Tomorrow, Thursday September 10, 2015 is primary day.  

For City Court Judge, I am endorsing Gerard DeCusatis based upon his experience and his exemplary qualifications to be City Court Judge. In the spirit of disclosure, I am helping behind the scenes on his campaign.

As it’s a judicial race, I’ll say nothing more and just let the following make the case for why you should cast your vote on the Democratic or Green Party lines for him tomorrow:




Lessons From Troy, NY for Amsterdam, NY

I found this first-person account of moving to Troy compelling for its parallels to here (Troy’s Magnetic Appeal ):

On my first visit, I gaped in awe at the magnificent Victorian architecture along the Hudson River: triangle-shaped office buildings, marble banks, ornately adorned retail shops, old-world brownstones, tree lined streets and outdoor cafes. For three years, I stood on my soap box extolling the virtues of the Collar City to the locals only to be scoffed at as they recounted the horrors of drive-by shootings and arsons. Then, I walked my talk and moved there.

Today, my apartment along the Hudson has a waiting list. Developers have bought all but a few of the most magnificent Troy structures and are turning them into luxury lofts, unique offices for startups, fast-growth tech firms and supporting professions. Bars and restaurants are popping up and becoming the most talked about places to go. Am I a real estate psychic? Maybe.

And sorry but I do need to mention that this city rejected residential development along the Mohawk and continues to scoff at those who might envision otherwise.

Still, there is hope , I believe.