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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Goodbye Fixins bar

Goodbye Fixins' Bar: Thank God the Thurway Authority finally decided to upgrade the food at the rest stops. Having gone to college in central New York and having taken numerous trips to Yankee Stadium every summer for most of my life, I'm definitely no stranger to the issue of what the hell kind of time warp has the Thruway food services been stuck in? Once upon a time, I simply thougth that all rest stops in the whole world were stocked with terrible food. Then I took I drive to Florida one year and it dawned on me that New York's are simply among the worst.

Here's the understatement of the week:
"The improvements we were looking for were updated offerings -- things that our customers have been asking for," said Bill Rinaldi, acting director of operations for the state Thruway Authority.
Indeed. My dad has been hot about this topic since the Carter administration. I mean, did you ever go to the old Pattersonville stop, prior to the remodeling? I can remember stopping at a truck stop in the middle of the night in Alabama in college, surveying the place, and thinking to myself, "Well, it's definitely nicer than the old Pattersonville stop on the Thruway."

It must have been about 10 years ago that they upgraded the physical infastructure - the bathrooms, the exterior, etc. - at most of the rest stops, and that was great. Before that, you didn't even want to walk in those places. So it's not like we're talking about the old, decrepid rest stops. It's just that they never did a similar upgrade to the food vendors at a lot of the stops. The article mentions some of the new food choices that are coming in but it fails to mention the current choices, which are clearly the crux of the contemporary complaints, best put by reader B. Wolf in an email I received this morning:
You mean I don't have to eat at the Roy Roger's "Fixin's Bar" next time I drive out to Rochester? Or a Bob's Big Boy that looks like it hasn't been cleaned since the 70's?"
So true. Everyone eats at Bob's exactly once in their life. Then they're done with it. Two other points relating to rest stops:

1) There is one diamond in the rough on the Thruway - the Sloatsburg/Ramapo stop down between exit 15 and 16 on I-87 N/S. That place is simply amazing, at least in comparison to the other stops. It's like a mall. And there's covered parking. Plus, when you're coming home from a yankee game, it's the point on the trip when you know you are no longer in danger of downstate traffic, which is nice.

2) No matter what they do, the eastern part of the Mass pike is still king - not only are they the cleanest rest stops I've ever seen, but the food selection is great: Boston Market, Fresh City, Auntie Ann's, and Ben and Jerry's - all under one roof.
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At 9:08 PM , Blogger TheReverend said:

just taking a look in the blogosphere. You site came up    



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