Before the Fire: Living On Jay Street

March 24th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
A bicycle race in front of 100-106 Jay Street

A bicycle race in front of 100-106 Jay Street, circa 1990

Story and photographs by Stanley A. Johnson

Demolition on the buildings at 100-104 Jay Street in Schenectady continues this week following the fire earlier this month which killed at least four, injured several more and left dozens looking for new homes.

I did not know Harry Simpson, Robert Thomas, Berenices Suarez nor Jermaine Allen, who all died in the blaze. I did recognize James & Kristie Lynch, who lived at 100 Jay Street. They were volunteer security at almost every Alive at 5 concert for the last decade. James is always the first to tell you to get down if you attempt to get upon someone’s shoulders to see better.

The couple has had a particularly hard time settling down in the past year, winding up on Jay Street after being forced out of one of the two Colonie motels that are also currently being demolished, those for code violations.

Those two tall Jay Street buildings across from Schenectady City Hall have been home to hundreds, perhaps thousands of short and long-term residents over the years. The Gleason Building, 104 on the left, had an elaborate front full of faces and scrollwork.

Read the rest of this entry »


Real Good for Free: Jazz On Jay, Schenectady

April 27th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg

Jazz On JayThe Jazz on Jay concert series returns to downtown Schenectady for its 17th season, presenting free outdoor jazz concerts by many of Nippertown’s finest musicians.

The concerts take place on Jay Street in Schenectady from 12noon-1:30pm on Thursdays throughout the summer months of June, July and August. In case of inclement weather, the rain location for the concerts is Robb Alley at Proctors.

Here’s the schedule of performances for summer 2011:

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Firsts: David Gleason of Sensemaya, etc.

August 4th, 2010, 2:01 pm by Greg

David Gleason (photo by Niki Rossi)

(photo by Niki Rossi)

NAME: David Gleason
BAND AFFILIATION: Sensemaya, Soul Session, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Hmm… I don’t think I can remember the first cassette tape I ever bought. I do remember the first CD I ever bought was “Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits.” I listened to it a bunch, and I had the piano/vocal book that went along with it. I learned a lot about harmony by comparing the chord symbols with the written music and the album.

Read the rest of this entry »

Real Good for Free: Jazz on Jay

May 29th, 2009, 9:11 am by Greg

There isn’t much jazz to be found on most of the free summertime concert schedules around Nippertown, which is the big reason that we’re thankful for the Jazz on Jay series which takes place at lunchtime at the Circle at the corner of Jay & State streets in Schenectady.

The free weekly performances run from 12 noon-1:30pm Thursdays, and the rain location is across the street at the Muddy Cup, located next to Proctor’s Box Office.

Here’s the line-up:

June 4: Colleen Pratt & Friends

June 11: Al Haugen

June 18: Yuko Kishimoto

June 25: Dino Cimino

July 2: Linda Brown

July 9: Patti Melita & Hip Houligans

July 16: Keith Pray Group

July 23: Azzaam Hameed w/Annette Harris & Ron Mayfield

July 30: Troika

August 6: Paul Mastrianni

August 13: Terry Gordon Quartet

August 20: Tim Coakley

August 27: Tim Olsen

Real Good For Free: Cook Park, Colonie
Real Good For Free: Lake George
Real Good for Free: Schodack
Real Good For Free: Art on Lark
Real Good For Free: River Street Festival
Real Good For Free: Canajoharie
Real Good For Free: Guilderland
Real Good for Free: Alive @ 5
Real Good for Free: Powers Park

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital District Habitat For HumanityG.C. Haymes