December 09, 2010

Please help us give our feathered friend a name!

We are holding a contest that will run from now until January 1st, 2011 to name our mascot.  This bird has helped us promote our events and has promised us success throughout the year and surely deserves a name for the many more years to come.  You can participate in our contest by emailing your best birdie name to:, where the top names will be voted upon.  Please help us give our loyal friend the best present of all this holiday season!

More photos of our mascot can be viewed on our website and on our Facebook page.

December 03, 2010

Pottery Smashing Fun!

Sometimes breaking things is fun but unfortunately most of us are not able to smash stuff just for the heck of it. Typically, when something gets broken it is not on purpose and there is not a happy feeling afterward. But all that can change!

At Winter WonderLARK this year we will be hosting an event with El Loco Mexican Cafe that comes from a Mexican Christmas tradition. Each year at Christmas in Oaxaca, Mexico street vendors sell hot chocolate and a sweet fried dough dessert called "buñuelos." The buñuelos are served on ceramic dishes, which after the treat has been eaten, is thrown behind the head and onto the ground. The yearly ritual is done to bring luck to the person throwing the pottery. It is said that the more pieces that the dish breaks into the more luck the person will have. You can see a video of the Mexican tradition here.

So if you have a hankering to drink some hot chocolate, eat some Mexican fried dough, and smash some pottery come join us on December 11th from 12pm-4pm in the parking lot between El Loco and the Albany Art Room!

Thanks to the Albany Art Room and The Pottery Place in Stuyvesant Plaza for their support of this family-friendly event! 

December 02, 2010

Big Belly Solar Trash Compactors Installed!

Have you seen the new additions to the Lark Street neighborhood? In November thirteen BigBelly Solar Compactors and Recycling units were installed throughout the area. An Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the United States Department of Energy provided funding for 93 BigBelly Solar litter baskets and 20 recycling units to be installed throughout Albany. Out of these 93 units, 13 BigBelly Solar Compactors and Recycling units were placed in the Lark Street Business Improvement District.

These new additions to the neighborhood are from BigBelly Solar, which markets and sells the world's first trash compactor powered by solar power. In addition to each trash compactor being solar powered, they also have a computer chip installed in them which includes network management software. This allows the compactors to send a message when they are full alerting that a pick up is needed.

The compactors will  promote dramatic cost savings, reduce overflowing, prevent illegal trash littering, decrease the number of collection trips, and cut related fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.  In addition, the technological compactors will lower public health concerns by providing a cleaner environment, leaving the Lark Street area looking great!

November 04, 2010

Check out what is new on Lark Street!!!

We are excited to inform you about some new additions to Lark Street. 
Be sure to check them out. 

Pastime Legends
Pastime Legends Video Games is an upstate New York used game shop located in Scotia and now Lark Street! Their stores cater to next-gen gamers as well as classic gamers. Shelves are stocked with used retro games along with games for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. Included in their selection of used games, they also have an incredible selection of DVDs, Blu-ray, along with new and used gaming accessories.

Pastime Legends           Tues-Sat 12-9 Sun 1-6
292 Lark Street

Jewel of India
According to restaurant review site, the public is raving about the Jewel of India. Located at 187 Lark St, Albany, NY, Jewel of India provides a traditional setting for top-notch and outrageously good Indian cuisine. College students & the Military receive a 10% discount with a valid ID when dining in.

Jewel of India        11am-11pm 7 days a week  Lunch buffet 11am-3pm
187 Lark Street

SJR Couture
"Where Fabulocity Begins." SJR Couture is now on Lark Street to bring you cutting edge fashion at the most affordable prices. They offer trendy chic pieces for your everyday needs. All of their pieces are hand selected by owner Sharie Reid, who is from New York City "the fashion capital," combining her expert styling skills to bring you fabulous apparel and accessories for every occasion.

SJR Couture
227 Lark Street

Caffe Vero Coffee Roasters
Just opened is Caffe Vero Coffee Roasters. Located between Bombers & the Lark Street Flower Market, this upscale Italian espresso bar is serving a variety of custom blended coffees, baked goods, teas including chai, smoothies, and hot chocolate. After a year of extensive renovations the shop has a warm & inviting interior with delicious drinks that are going to make this space a new Lark Street Favorite. Be sure to check out the top of your drink before you sip--- you do not want to miss the latte art!

260 Lark Street

October 21, 2010

El Loco "Day of the Dead" Fundraiser & Celebration

Join El Loco Mexican Cafe on Monday, November 1 from 4:30-9:30pm to celebrate the new bar area and help support the AIDS Council of NENY and Invisible Children. The event will take place on the Mexican holiday, El Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead, as it is commonly known. The event will coincide with El Loco’s 5th Annual  “Day of the Dead” Altar with dozens of colorful sugar skulls, flowers, memorabilia, and photos to celebrate those passed.

In keeping with the Mexican traditions for the Day of the Dead, El Loco yearly erects an altar honoring the deceased, using colorfully decorated sugar skulls, flowers, candles, and pictures and momentos of the departed, with some of their favorite foods and beverages.  Guests can bring photos or other objects meant to honor their deceased loved ones, and we encourage lively discussion and honoring of that person.   It is a fun holiday, in no way macabre.  We also honor many of those in the public eye who have passed away in the last year.  There is ample precedent for revering passed pets also. 

El Loco is an Albany institution and landmark in the Lark St neighborhood. It is the longest continuously run restaurant (opened in October 1983) in the Lark St. area and just celebrated it’s 27 year anniversary.
El Loco has been known for it’s margarita’s for years, and is proud to announce the expansion of the café to include a new bar area, opening on October 27, 2010. The bar has an exquisite patina copper top, and will feature an extensive tequila selection, a full compliment of liquors, and a wide selection of Mexican Beers. 

One hundred percent of profits from the buffet served during the festivities will be donated to the AIDS Council of NENY and Invisible Children, a charity helping to rebuild the lives of, and seeking an end of the use of abducted children as soldiers in East African conflict.

Monday November 1, 2010 from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A tequila tasting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30pm featuring the award winning Tequila Espolon, made of 100 % blue agave, with Skeleton-themed labels.

Information Regarding Mexican Holiday “Days of the Dead”:
The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Saints-All Souls' Day) is a holiday in Mexico (the first and second of November) that belongs to the dead.  According to traditional belief, the deceased have divine permission to visit friends and relatives on earth, and to share in the pleasures of the living.  The Day of the Dead is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans happily and lovingly remember their loved ones and relatives that have died.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.  Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. The death of the individual is seen as a journey, for which numerous offerings are needed.  Life is looked at as a fleeting moment – a dream - from which death awakens us.   Instead of fearing death, they embrace it.
In rural Mexico, people visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. They decorate gravesites with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to adults. They sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite food of their loved ones.

October 12, 2010

Mayor's Fall Drop Off

In conjunction with Mayor Jerry Jennings, the Lark Street BID will be participating in the annual "Mayor's Fall Drop Off" program.

The program is designed to reach out to the community and collect new winter clothing for school-aged children (pre-k through 5th grade) living in the Albany area. A one-day event will be held on October 23rd from 10am to 1pm at the Armory Garage, 926 Central Avenue (across from the Westgate Plaza).

In addition to being able to drop off donations of new winter items, enjoy refreshments, and participate in childrens' activities, visitors have the chance to win prizes when a donation of $20 or more is made.

If you are unable to participate on the 23rd, you can still donate to the Mayor's Fall Drop Off. On Lark Street Cafe 217, eba, Inc, Ben and Jerry's, and Seasons Skate Shop each have a bin to collect new winter items. Additionally, Lodge's Department Store in Downtown Albany is offering discounted winter items for purchase for the program. Support your local retailers and help keep a child warm this winter!

October 06, 2010

Upcoming Events

LarkFEST may have come & gone but we had so much fun we want the party to continue! We hope that you will join us for these upcoming events!

Lark Street Pub Crawl: Join us October 23 from 7pm-Midnight for a pub crawl down Lark Street. There will be drink specials & food and over $1,000 in prizes! Stops will be made at Elda's on Lark, Bombers, Legends, Justin's, Cafe Hollywood, and the Lionheart. Pre-register here for $20 or register the night of the event at the Lionheart from 6:30-7:30pm for $25. Proceeds from the pub crawl are going to the support Lark Street maintenance, services, and events.

Halloween Party at the Washington Park Lakehouse: This will be the third annual Halloween Party thrown by Matt Baumgartner of Bombers Burrito Bar and Chris Pratt of the Pearl Street Pub for the Lark Street BID. This party has become The place to be on Halloween night! The Halloween Party features an open bar, great music to dance to & amazing decorations. Costumes are mandatory for this 21 and over party and the costumes don't disappoint! Tickets can be purchased online for $30 or at the door for $40.

We hope you will join us for these great events!

September 15, 2010

2010 Scion x-CHANGE Tour Stop, benefiting Albany Barn, Inc.

The Scion x-CHANGE Tour will make its first-ever Albany stop with a two-day promotional event at Season’s Skate Shop. The event will feature artwork by Scion x-CHANGE National Program Artist Damon Soule, an interactive digital display where participants can create their own artwork, giveaways, and new Scion vehicles to test drive including the 2011 Scion tC. Local artist Jessyka Nietzel will display and create art live as well.

As part of the event, Scion will give a $5 gift card to Season’s Skate shop to every person who participates in a test drive and fills out a short survey. Each participant will then have the option to donate the full value of that card to Raise The Barn

More info on the Scion x- CHANGE Facebook page. The Scion x-CHANGE Tour 

August 31, 2010

Orange Street Cats

Every once in a while you hear about something that touches you personally & while it may not be related to the work your organization does you still want to help. The Orange Street Cats are exactly that kind of story.

In July of this year around 90 cats were rescued from a condemned house. The cats were rescued by volunteers & are now looking for new homes & loving families to care for them. Supplies, donations, and foster families for the rescued cats are also needed.

Click here to find out more about the Orange Street Cats & how you can help them.

August 25, 2010

LarkFEST Silent Disco

Have you heard about the new addition to  LarkFEST? This year the block of Hudson Avenue between Lark Street & Willett Street will feature a Silent Disco!

The LarkFEST Silent Disco will run from 12pm - 5pm & will feature 2 DJs competing for listeners who are wearing headsets. The headsets are wireless & have a switch that allows the listener to chose between the 2 DJs. Without a headset the music cannot be heard. Multiple DJs will play throughout the day.

Silent Discos are fast becoming popular at music festivals around the world & we are excited to present the first ever Silent Disco at LarkFEST!

The Silent Disco is sponsored by the Lark Street BID, Bombers Burrito Bar, Gravity Entertainment, Dreamy Productions, & SINsation Sound.

August 24, 2010

LarkFEST Local Band Line Up

The line up of bands that will be rocking out at this year's LarkFest has been revealed.

This year a contest was held to select 4 local bands to play at LarkFEST. Over 80 local bands submitted applications with hopes of grabbing 1 of  the 4 spots. Our selection committee of local celebrities listened hard to the songs submitted by the bands, and truth be told it was not an easy decision because all the bands were absolutely awesome. Four bands did stand out. With that said, it is our pleasure to introduce the 4 local bands performing at LarkFEST to you.

Rich Ortiz

The Ill Funk Ensemble 


Tom McWatters and the Philo Beddoe Band


Click on the Links above and embrace yourself for some mind blowing music!

You won't want to miss it!! 


July 29, 2010

Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2010

It's that time of year again when Metroland announces all of the local favorites. Listing services, people & places, shops, restaurants & bars, and the arts the Best Of issue is one not to miss!

As usual a number of Lark Street merchants made the list....

Best Wine Bar: The Wine Bar & Bistro
Best Cheap Eats: Bombers Burrito Bar
Best Restaurant Transition: Debbie's Kitchen
Best Deserts: Crisan
Best Jewelry (Artisan): Elissa Halloran Designs
Best Bike Shop: Downtube Cycle Shop
Best Gay Bar: Oh Bar
Best Venue, with Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow: Tess' Lark Tavern

Congratulations to all of the Lark Street Best of Winners!

Congrats also to Matt Baumgartner & his blog for winning Best Puppy Blog & WEXT 97.7 for winning Best Independent Radio Station (Public)!

July 14, 2010

Want to play LarkFEST?

Have you ever wanted to play at LarkFEST but weren't sure how to get on the bill? Well this year you could have your chance!

The Lark Street BID, WEXT, & the Albany Barn are working together to give Capital Region bands a chance to play at New York's largest one day festival!

Submissions by Capital Region bands will be juried by a celebrity panel of judges & the top four bands will be awarded time slots on one of the 2 main stages at LarkFEST.

Completed applications along with a CD of 2 original songs that are most representative of the band, a promotional photo & a nonrefundable $15 application fee needs to be returned to Albany Barn, Inc no later than August 13th.

Questions can be directed to the Albany Barn at 518.935.4858 or  

Albany Barn is a private local nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization developing a permanent creative arts incubator, performance space and community art center in Albany, NY called THE BARN.  Albany Barn evolved from Rock2Rebuild™, a grassroots production group established to create events benefiting important causes while raising the profile of local creative talent.

97.7 WEXT is a special listener-supported music service from WMHT Educational Telecommunications.
Our goal is to provide you a unique listening experience with music that knows no boundary of genre. The focus is on emerging artists, classic songs that regular radio has forgotten, and especially music from the region (the Local 518).

The Lark Street Neighborhood District Management Association, more commonly known as the Lark Street Business Improvement District, is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to build, sustain, and enhance a unique and prosperous living and business community for the residents, visitors, and merchants of the Lark Street Neighborhood of Albany, NY.    
For more information about LarkFEST call 518.434.3861 or go to

July 07, 2010

Art Alley on Hudson

New for LarkFEST this year will be the "Art Alley on Hudson." Located on Hudson Avenue between Lark Street and Willett Street 40 fine arts vendors will set up shop to tempt LarkFEST attendees. Artists will have the opportunity to apply to participate in the Art Alley from now until August 13th. After the deadline, the submissions will go through a jurying process to select the top 40 entries.

Artists interested in participating in the Art Alley can download an application & submit payment online. The deadline for submitting an application is August 13, 2010. All of the submissions will be juried and the forty top submissions will be chosen to participate in the Art Alley.

July 01, 2010


LarkFEST is New York's largest one-day street festival celebrating the Heart of Albany. The event hosts hundreds of vendors, 2 stages of music and entertainment, the Family Zone for kids of all ages, and national headlining music acts. With an estimated 70,000 people descending upon Lark Street, this is the event to not miss.

LarkFEST 2010 
September 25th
10:00am - 5:30pm

Applications are now available at

June 21, 2010

Lark-ternative Hair Competition Judges

The Judges for the Lark-ternative Hair Competion this weekend at Art on Lark are Richard Lovrich, Elda Abate, Penny Larceny and Genn Shaughnessy.

Richard Lovrich is currently the Art Director of Proctors in Schenectady.  Lovrich previously held the same position at the Albany Times Union.  As Art Director, he oversees the design and production of print, display and digital media. Lovrich is also the team leader for Art Night at Proctors. He is proud to be able to showcase the work of the Capital Region's best established and up and coming artists and musicians. Formerly a New York City resident, Lovrich has worked as a photographer and designer for clients in the banking, pharmaceutical and fashion industries.

Elda Abate is currently manager at Elda's on Lark and is attending The Orlo School of Hair and Cosmetology. Abate has lived in New York City and West Hollywood, California. She has been a hair model for many color and extension lines.  Abate is very fashion forward and appreciates innovation along with artistry in every artistic form. She has attended hair shows and is knowledgeable about cutting edge and avant-garde hairstyles.

Penny Larceny is an international superstar. She has been preforming from the young age of ten years old. Since then, she has preformed all over from Maryland to Provincetown. Most recently, Miss Larceny preformed at the Capital Pride celebration in Albany and the Hudson Pride celebration in Hudson. Larceny is currently working on her first Dance Music Single. She would like to thank the Lark Street BID for inviting her to spread her light and laughter to the people of the Capital District.

Genn Shaughnessy is the owner and operator of her successful consulting business, Dark Shadows Media. Her company provides makeup and styling services to the production, special events and salon industries. Shaughnessy also has numerous national credits including People Magazine, American idols Live and Trading Spaces. She has worked with celebrities such as Carrie Underwood, NY Giant's Brandon Jacobs and former New York State Governor, Elliot Spitzer.  Shaughnessy's affinity to produce various types of makeup for print, video and stage work demonstrates her amazing eye for detail and her unique ability to think outside the lines of conventional thinking.

Thanks to all of our great judges!

Five days until Art on Lark!

June 19, 2010

Tek- Nik

Tek-Nik's collection for the Lark-ternative Hair Competition is titled "My Paper Dolls." Tek-Nik will be drawing inspiration from being a child who imagined being different types of people in different places.  She wants her collection to inspire people to "outwardly be who they dream they could be."

Tek-Nik is currently a stylist at Jonathan's of Atlanta in Albany. Her qualifications include being a Paul Mitchell certified colorist, an instructor at a beauty school and being certified in four states (NY, NC, GA, FL).  Tek-Nik has also worked on the set of Wicked, Hair Spray, and The Color Purple.

For more information about Tek-Nik, email her at

June 18, 2010

Jennifer Casale

For the Lark-ternative Hair Competition at Art on Lark,  Jennifer Casale will be working with makeup artist, Sabeem, and fashion stylist, Jonathan Santana.

Although she has not decided on a theme for her collection, Casale says she thinks in avante-garde and likes to create looks based on inventive and out of the ordinary things. Creating an innovative collection will not be a challenge for this stylist!

Jennifer Casale currently works at Aveda Classical Concepts in Crossgates Mall and will be representing Aveda at this year's Fashion Week in New York City.

For more information about the salon, go to

June 17, 2010

Ecco Salon

Jodi Polsinelli, Danie Tomasone, Lyndsay Grimes, Heather McFadden and Audrey Grimes will be representing Ecco Salon in the Lark-ternative Hair Competition at Art on Lark.

The Ecco Team will be creating looks that fit "The Everyday Living Doll" theme they created. The team described their inspiration as entwining "classic, everyday hairstyles with the beauty and purity of our childhood playmates; the doll."

Here are a couple of the photos that the Ecco Team submitted that gained them entrance to the competition...

Ecco Salon is located in downtown Schenectady.

For more information about the salon, go to

June 16, 2010

Lark-ternative Hair Competition

This year's Art on Lark will host the first ever Lark-ternative Hair Competition.  With the growing popularity in the artistry of hair design and shows such as "Shear Genius," "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" and "Blow Out," the time is ripe to showcase the passion, talent and vision of the local stylist community.

The competition will feature four of the most innovative and talented hair designers in the Capital Region.  Each of the four contestants will have the opportunity to show five different avant-garde or alternative hairstyles as a complete head-to-toe look with make up, clothing and accessories. The stylists will also get the opportunity to explain the vision and inspiration behind their collections.

A panel of hair industry professionals and local celebrities will judge the contestants on:

- Overall appearance and consistency with the alternative/ avant-garde objective
- Inspiration behind the look
- Originality of style
- Execution

Over the next few days, we will be featuring each of the four stylists participating in the competition.
Check back every day for more information.

See you on the 26th!

June 11, 2010

Art on Lark is Two Weeks Away

 Albany’s Premier Arts Festival is almost here! On June 26th, Lark Street will host hundreds of artists, musicians, dance and theatre performances, one-day installations, and many more special events that will showcase Lark Street as Albany's Arts District. Drawing over 25,000 attendees in 2009 and named “Best Arts Event” in the  Times Union Readers Poll, Art on Lark is a fun day for all age groups.

This year's line up: 

Madison Ave Stage
WEXT 97.7 Presents a local music showcase featuring:
Ashley Pond
John Scarpulla
We are Jeneric
Super 400

Washington Ave Stage
Musicians of Ma'alawyk
Albany Poets
Matthew Carefully 
Lark Divas Drag Show
Ethan and Atlas Breakdancing 
Lark-Ternative Hair Competition (new this year!) 

For more information go to

May 11, 2010

Tess' Lark Tavern Benefit & Donation Information

If you are looking to help support Tess, the staff, and the rebuilding of the Lark Tavern there are multiple ways to help! has a PayPal donation link set up to help raise funds for the Tavern.  So far, close to $21,000  has been raised! See the original Friday Puppy blog post here.

Rockin' to Rebuild is a benefit concert to be held at the Washington Park Lakehouse on May 22nd from 3-8pm.  The $25 cover charge includes beer.

If you want to wear your support Tess' Lark Tavern t-shirts should be available soon.

There will also be an event at The Marketplace Gallery, 40 Broadway, on May 22 after the event at the Lakehouse.

"Laughs for Lark Tavern," a comedy show hosted by Greg Aidala will be taking place at The Linda, WAMC's performing arts center.  The show will be on June 2nd from 7-10pm. The Linda is located at 339 Central Ave., Albany.

The Orlo School is holding a Cut-a-Thon for the Lark Tavern:
When: Sun, May 23, 2010 | 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Where: 232 N. Allen St. Albany, NY 12206 - The Orlo School of Hair Design
Cost: $20 Man/Woman
Get a cut from one of many Capital Region Stylists for $20, every penny to benefit Tess & crew!! Also, all hair cut will be donated to to help clean up the oil spill! Call Megan at 518.542.9293 to be a volunteer stylist, or to set up an appointment for a cut!
For More Information Call: 518-542-9293

May 10, 2010

Champagne on the Park

Champagne on the Park was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who was involved in donating, sponsoring, volunteering, or just coming to the event!  Here are some of our favorite pictures from the evening...
Our lovely volunteers
Assemblyman Jack McEneny, Mayor Jennings, Senator Neil Breslin

Honorees Chris Pratt & Matthew Baumgartner with their awards
Honorees Chris & Betsy Mercogliano on behalf of the Y Task Force

Sara-Becca & Mary

April 27, 2010

Albany Legends Basketball

If you haven't heard the news Albany has a new basketball team playing at the Armory.  The Albany Legends, began playing at the Washington Avenue Armory at the beginning of April. This weekend the Legends will play the Tacoma Tide on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Washington Avenue Armory.  Tickets start at $7.

April 19, 2010

Great Danes Give Back Volunteer Day

This past Saturday six students from UAlbany's Circle K volunteered their time to help the BID clean up Lower Lark Street. While the weather was a little iffy, the students were cheerful and happy to get to work sweeping, raking, and weeding. The students, along with the BID filled 20 organic waste bags, 13 garbage bags, and we picked up 18 tires! During the clean up Mayor Jennings stopped by and greeted the students and expressed his appreciation for their hard work.

It was a really great day & we appreciate the students giving up their Saturday to help us with the project! Also, a great big thank you to Bombers for donating burritos to feed the students & to DGS for lending us the tools for the project & picking up all of the waste we collected!!!!!

April 13, 2010

Complete Streets Week

Albany has the third highest pedestrian fatality rate in the country for people over the ages of 65. AARP is working to make the streets safer for pedestrians of all ages.
During the week of April 19th, AARP’s Create The Good is calling on all of our partners, members, and volunteers across the state to join us to survey key intersections in your communities and evaluate their safety for walkers.  This massive, statewide effort is called “Complete Streets Week:  Making New York Walkable for All Generations.”

 We would like to invite you to join us on Thursday April 22, 2010 when we will be surveying several intersections in the City of Albany. We will kick off our survey activities at the intersection of Madison Ave and Lark Street at 10am.

Our goal is to survey thousands of intersections and streets and use our findings to demonstrate to state policymakers the need for Complete Streets legislation that would create an approach to road design that balances the needs of all people including pedestrians. We need your help to make Complete Streets Week a success; join us at


“Make Art 4 Art”

Over the past two years the Albany Art Room has benefited greatly from its community. Now owner Karen Schupack is looking to give back by donating all her profits from April 20-26 to the City School District of Albany in her “Make Art 4 Art” fundraiser.

These donations will help support the donation of digital cameras to Albany High School’s photography program and art supplies to the elementary schools.“Make Art 4 Art” will support not only public-school arts, but also Albany Art Room’s mission to encourage artistic expression in artists of all ages and experience levels.

“The name Albany Art Room comes from the idea of an art classroom.  I feel a connection to the school classrooms in the area; it is where my inspiration for the studio came from,” Karen explained.  “In this political climate, where funding of art programs to public schools is threatened, I want to do whatever I can to help.”

 The donation will be presented to the District of Albany at the Albany Art Room, 457 Madison Avenue, Friday May 7 at 6 pm.

Albany Art Room offers painting, drawing, beading, and many more projects and programs for adults and children. Classes are offered in all mediums to suit various ages and experience levels.  One of the most popular features at the Albany Art Room is the new pottery studio.

The Albany Art Room is open every day except Mondays. The Albany Art Room has space available for special gatherings, such as birthday parties and baby showers.  An art supply market and gallery is also housed at the Albany Art Room. For information on classes, pricing, and hours, please visit

March 30, 2010

New Competition at Art on Lark

For the past couple of years local fashion designers have had a chance to show their skills during the Project LARKWAY fashion show competition at Art on Lark. This year we decided to change things up a little bit.  We are very excited and proud to introduce a new competition; one that this area has not seen before.

The LARK-ternative Hair Show and Competition will take place on June 26th at Art on Lark and will feature five stylists (either individually or in teams) showing their most creative, alternative or avant garde hairstyles on five models. Competing stylists will have the chance to win fantastic prizes like salon education classes, product, and tools of the trade.

Stylists can enter the competition, either individually or in teams of up to five, by submitting the LARK-ternative entry form, three pictures of their alternative or avant garde hairstyles, and a $25 entry fee.  Submissions will be accepted from April 1-30.  After the submission period a panel of hair industry professionals will choose the top ten entrants.  These stylists will be featured right here on the Lark Street Blog and the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorites.  The public's votes will determine four of the five final stylists for the competition.  The fifth stylist will be a wild card contestant determined by the panel of hair industry professionals.

More information about the competition can be found on our website including the entry materials.  We are excited about this new competition and can't wait to see the talent and passion of the stylists in the Capital District!

March 25, 2010

Networking Event

Join the Lark Street BID, Lark Computers, and Legends at our networking event Tuesday, April 13 from 7-9 pm. The event will be held at Legends (286 Lark Street). Along with the opportunity to network with professionals from the area there will also be door prizes, a cash bar, and appetizers. Please RSVP to the BID at or call 434.3861. We hope to see you there!

March 04, 2010

Lark Streets Winners for Readers' Picks 2010!!

It’s that time again…the votes have been counted and the results are out for the Readers’ Picks 2010. Just as we had hoped, many of our local Lark Street businesses have ranked in the top 3 of the selected categories! Whether you are looking for a specific type of shopping, artwork, food, dessert and especially drinks, Lark Street has got it all! Some of our restaurants are listed multiple times throughout these categories because they are just that GOOD! Let’s recap and give mention to our winners!

Start off your day right with Dunkin Donuts coming in at #1 and The Daily Grind as #3 for BEST COFFEE!

Hungry for brunch, sandwiches or subs?
Check out Justin’s which came in as number 2 for the BEST BRUNCH around!
Also don’t forget to stop in at Debbie’s Kitchen who was ranked second for their best and unique sandwich creations!

If you want to get more specific and fill your craving, stop by at
-The #1 spot for the BEST GREEK food at Lark Street’s own A Taste of Greece!
-Ranking in 2nd for BEST Mexican and Southwestern is El Loco!
-And come in just a few steps behind is Bomber’s!

With Bombers we can always expect more than one award to follow!
Ranking #1 in cheap eats and coming in a first place tie with Wings over Albany for the BEST WINGS!!
-Also at Bombers if you’re looking for some cheap drinks to go along with your cheap eats, hang around at Bombers being that they were ranked #3 for the BEST HAPPY HOUR!

Speaking of happy hours Lionheart was ranked 2nd for their great specials!...and also make sure to visit the #1 BEST spot for happy hour at Tess’ Lark Tavern! Lark Tavern seemed to sweep a ton of categories!
Also ranking in at #1 for:
-BEST SERVERS #1 Sarah Stevens and ranked 3rd Nicole!
To make sure all those happy hour drinks get served how you would like, make sure you see the ranked number 2 BEST BARTENDER Karen Caraner! Congrats Ladies!

Looking for some more number 1 spots to check out…Make sure to stop by Oh! Bar for the top ranked BEST KARAOKE and BEST GAY BAR!

And of course one of our newest editions to Lark Street, The Wine & Bar Bistro who came in on top in 3 categories! BEST WINE LIST, BEST RESTAURANT TO TAKE A DATE, and BEST WINE BAR!! Make sure you don’t forget flowers for your date, pick them up at the Lark Street Florist who came in at #3!

At the end of the day get a delicious ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry’s who came in at #2 for BEST ICE CREAM!

Lark Street is well known for its restaurants and bars, but that’s not all we have to offer!
Deciding on a tattoo parlor can be very tough; the readers pick helps you make your decision that much easier…Get your tattoo done at Lark Tattoo who was voted #1 for BEST TATTOOS!

When it comes to art, we have got some of the best!

Congrats to the Albany Institute of History & Art for being ranked #2 for the BEST MUSEUM and coming out on top as #1 for the BEST ART GALLERY and to the Upstate Artist’s Guild who came in at the respectable #2 spot.

And of course this list wouldn’t be possible without the Metroland who ranked in at the top quite a bit themselves!

We want to wish each of these businesses our congratulations and thanks for helping make Lark Street the great place that it is today!

February 19, 2010

Vegan Lark Street

While there might not be a strictly vegan restaurant in the Lark Street District any longer there are so many vegan options here that is sure to make dining out or grabbing a snack easy! Both of us here at the BID are vegan/vegetarian so we know! The best thing about all the Lark Street options is that you can tell them you are vegan and they get it!

Here's a quick run down of what is available:

-Scratch Bakery Cafe always has lots of delicious options in terms of soups & desserts. Not to mention their sandwiches, wraps, & salads. If you haven't tried the vegan spice cookies I think it is time you head over there to get one. They have a great soft texture and a perfectly spiced flavor.

-Debbie's Kitchen has veggie sandwiches too which are as inventive as the others and delicious to boot.

-El Loco has the words vegetarian & vegan all over their menu. Even their mole is vegan! They make it so easy to eat out that El Loco is sure to become a fast favorite.

-The Good Leaf Gourmet Tea Company always has soymilk so if you like your tea a little creamy or if you are in the mood for one of the delicious Tea Lattes you are in luck. The most exciting news though is that the Good Leaf can make VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE!!! Creamy & frothy, it is the perfect cuppa for a gray winter's day.

-Bomber's is another place that is super veg-friendly...vegan chicken nuggets, bbq tofu, veggie chili. The vegan tofu fries are sure to satisfy your bad but good craving. And now you can get vegan baked goodies for dessert!

-Cafe 217 is a great little place to get some food after a late night or to get your day started. Breakfast can be difficult for vegans but Susie's has some options that are sure to keep you going.

-Ben & Jerry's even has vegan options! The sorbets are vegan and are a refreshing way to satisfy that sweet tooth.

-Al Baraki has lots of veg-options and makes a mean falafel. The garlic paste is amazing!

-A Taste of Greece has two vegetarian sections on their menu so knowing your options is easy, choosing isn't.

February 11, 2010

We've been busy!

We've been busy here at the BID! We have been making all sorts of updates and changes so that we can stay in better touch with all of you! We are trying to make sure that we are able to connect in all of the ways that you want to.

Obviously, there is the website. We have been updating it so that you can get the best most up to date information on the BID, our events, and community events all in one place!

Would you rather the information come to you? Then subscribe to our newsletter. We email it out and include information about what we are up to and how you can get involved. This is a great way for event vendors and merchants to get the latest news about event registration and dates!

Last but not least be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter! We would love to hear from you!

January 27, 2010

Albany 2030

If you haven't heard Albany wants to know where you would like to see the city in 2030.

Albany is in the process of putting together a comprehensive plan for the future called Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future and they are asking for residents to be a part of the process. What makes it even better is that they are making it really easy for everyone to be involved.

Like going to meetings? There are 3 coming up with childcare available.
Like small house gatherings? They are setting up those too.
Social Media? They have that too!

So what are you waiting for? Get involved it's your city!

January 22, 2010

Benefit for Haiti

Wine & Dine for the Arts and Albany Area Chefs have announced that they will host "A Taste of Haiti" on Thursday, January 28 at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Albany to benefit Haitian earthquake relief efforts through the American Red Cross.

"A Taste of Haiti" will begin with a cocktail reception from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m., featuring Haitian cocktails, wine, soft drinks and hors d'ouevres. From 6:30 p.m. 'til 9:00 p.m., guests will enjoy a menu of sumptuous traditional Haitian dishes created by top chefs Michael St. John of The Desmond, Brian Molino of Marché at 74 State, Jaime Ortiz of Angelo's 677 Prime, Yono Purnomo of Yono's, Kevin Roberts of the Crowne Plaza, Chef Luc Pasquier of Jack's Oyster House, John Marizilli of Salty's Pub & Bistro, and Rachel Mabb of the Hilton Garden Inn Troy. Desserts will be provided by Gio Culinary Studio. Please note: list of chefs is current as of 11:00 a.m. on January 21. More chefs may be added before the event--check for updated listings.

100% of proceeds will benefit American Red Cross disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Advance registrations are strongly encouraged, although walk-in registrations will be available. Reservations for the cocktail reception are $25 per person; reservations for the cocktail reception and dinner are $50 per person. Free parking will be available at the Crowne Plaza Albany Hotel(on State and Lodge Streets in Albany), with valet parking services available for an additional $10 donation to the American Red Cross.

Guests can make reservations by calling the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York at (518) 458-8111 or online at For multiple or group reservations, guests must call (518) 458-8111.

In addition to delicious food and drink, "A Taste of Haiti" will feature live music, a 50-50 raffle to benefit the American Red Cross, and remarks by American Red Cross leaders and local dignitaries.

January 15, 2010

2010 Event Dates!!!!!!

We have gotten so many requests about our 2010 events dates so here they are! The dates aren't yet updated on the website but don't worry we are getting to it :)

Champagne on the Park- Thursday, May 6, 2010

Art On Lark- Saturday, June 26, 2010

LarkFEST- Saturday, September 25, 2010

January 14, 2010

We've Joined Local First!

Well we did it. We have joined Local First! Here at the BID we know the importance of supporting locally owned businesses- its what we do. By joining Local First we are now supporting the greater community. And how do you know when you are supporting a local business? Check for the window decal!

Local businesses are essential for building a strong community. To check out all the reasons to buy local check out Local First, a non-profit organization serving the Capital District with the mission of promoting and improving the conditions of the locally owned and independent business community.

To see who else is a member of Local First or to become a member yourself visit them at!