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General Category => Big Blue Gentleman Crew => Topic started by: RemembersHuff on July 16, 2007, 09:00:53 PM

Post by: RemembersHuff on July 16, 2007, 09:00:53 PM
As some of you know, I'm an Albany-area local, as is George (GiantsGuy).  Here's a list of some places to eat and things to do in town, and links for a lot more if you're inclined to go exploring the area on your own.  If you need any info not found here, you should feel free to send a PM to either of us, and we'd be more than happy to help you find what you're looking for!  Just please note that I'll be unavailable from 7/28 to 8/11, and during that time your inquiries should go to George.



Fan info line:  518-442-7369

Campus address (for mapping purposes)
1400 Washington Ave.  Albany, NY 12222



As I said in another thread, I won't make specific hotel recommendations unless someone contacts me via PM  looking for something specific; however, there are lots of hotels and motels close to camp on Washington and Western Avenues, and on Wolf Road.  I'd recommend sticking with those locations rather than rolling the dice on some of the Central Avenue locations. edit to add -- just realized Wolf Road is not labeled on this map. It's the surface road that runs parallel to I-87 just off Central. The large purple rectangle on it's eastern side where Central and Wolf meet is Colonie Center Mall.

If you're staying a couple of days, you might want to order an  Albany Entertainment Book (all now marked down from $37 to $10).  Coupons and card-bearer discounts for hotels, restaurants, entertainment and recreation venues, etc. 



Here are some nearby restaurant recommendations. I can vouch for these places as being at least decent. There are MANY other restaurants in this area, and between the streets that border campus and the Wolf Road area, there are perhaps 100 eateries or more comprising indepenents and chains offering a wide variety of cuisine and pricing. The places listed below are in Albany unless otherwise noted.  I did not search for web sites on these, though a number of them might have one.


Smokey Bones  (Western-style BBQ)
1557 Central Ave.

Delmonico's  (Italian Steak House)
1553 Central Ave.

Maggie's Cafe (Italian)
1186 Western Ave.

Barnsider Restaurant (Steaks & Chops)
480 Sand Creek Rd.

Sutter's Mill & Mining Co.
1200 Western Ave.

Across the Street Pub
1238 Western Ave.

Mangia (Specializes in Wood-fired Pizza)
1475 Western Ave.  (Stuyvesant Plaza @ Western Ave/Fuller Rd.)

TGI Fridays
1475 Western Ave.  (Stuyvesant Plaza @ Western Ave/Fuller Rd.)

Grandma's Restaurant  (casual dining, known for their pies)
1273 Central Ave.


16 Wolf Rd.

Bruegger's Bagels
1475 Western Ave.  (Stuyvesant Plaza @ Western Ave/Fuller Rd.)

Starbucks Coffee
1475 Western Ave.  (Stuyvesant Plaza @ Western Ave/Fuller Rd.).

Inge's Diner
39 Fuller Road

Grandma's Restaurant
1273 Central Ave.


Jack's Oyster House
42 State St.

Cafe Capriccio
49 Grand St.


Albany Institute of History & Art
125 Washington Ave.

NY State Museum @ Empire State Plaza

NYS Capital

Land/Water Tours of Albany

Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge/Riverfront Amphitheater
Broadway at Pine Street


Tri-city Valleycats
Joe Bruno Stadium @ Hudson Valley Community College
Troy, NY

Hoffman's Playland
Route 9, Latham, NY

Times Union Center
South Pearl St.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Springs, NY


Stuyvesant Plaze (outdoor, upscale)
Intersection Fuller Rd/Western Ave.

Crossgates Mall
entrances at Washington Ave. Extension or Western Ave.

Colonie Center
Intersection Central Ave/Wolf Rd.



I encourage past camp visitors to share their comments on hotels, restaurants, etc. in this thread! 

Post by: vette5573 on July 16, 2007, 09:54:24 PM
Thank you for the time and consideration, Kevin.

Post by: giantsguy on July 16, 2007, 10:57:51 PM
Kev, that's outstanding work buddy.  It's amazing what you can do with computers [and some savvy] these days.

Anyway, as Kevin said, I am a local.  Anyone who needs any particular information, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Email me and I will be happy to assist in any way I can, and I'll give you my cell number to contact me.

Post by: RemembersHuff on July 17, 2007, 02:51:04 PM
Thanks Ed and George, my pleasure. Any other tips or comments to add for people visiting camp? I just thought of one more --  re: Maggie's Cafe, if any of you attended the 'banquet' last year and were underwhelmed by the cuisine, I promise you the food on their regular menu is superior to the pre-made stuff we got as a group.  I don't think you'd be dissapointed.

Post by: MightyGiants on July 17, 2007, 03:01:51 PM

Thanks for posting this.  I also posted a link to this thread over at BBI, because I know many of their members visit as well.  Guys over their appreciate your efforts as well.

Link to the BBI on thread (http://www.bigblueinteractive.com/petescorner2/forum_display.cfm?F1_ID=241108)

Post by: giantsguy on July 17, 2007, 07:18:51 PM
I agree Kev.. Maggie's has a nice atmoshphere and even an outdoor area for dining..  it's also not far from camp.  Honestly, I didn't think the food last year was all that bad, not 5 star I'll grant you, but edible.  Good choice.

Post by: RemembersHuff on July 19, 2007, 07:08:19 PM
Thanks Rich.  I know this is a hot-button topic at the moment, but I'd have no objection to that thread being shared at BBWC.

Someone at BBI had a nice addition:

a couple to add to the list : fkap : 7/18/07 8:00 AM
    there's a chinese buffet just west of the hotel on Rt 20 (In the Price Chopper Plaza). Pretty good for a buffet.

    Ralph's tavern (1328 Central, near Fuller Rd) is a killer casual dining.

I can't vouch for the buffet, but Ralph's is terrific and close enough to camp for a non-local to find his way back and forth without a problem (which was one of my major criteria for restaurants on the list).

Post by: LennG on July 19, 2007, 11:25:36 PM

 I do object. Administrators see that forum.

Post by: spider68 on July 20, 2007, 09:43:07 PM
Thanks Kevin!

My favorite restaurants are the Barnsider, and Delmonico's. If you have time and a little money, it is worth going downtown to Jacks Oyster House.

We are going to try The Olde Shaker Inn this year - http://www.theoldeshakerinn.com/

You have also mentioned to me :

I would highly recommend The Arlington House in West
Sand Lake.  Not too hard to find, it's on a main road, and I'm sure
you'd enjoy it.   Here's their web site:


I have posted an on-the field primer, for the football part of the camp experience, over at BBWC for the uninitiated.

Title: Training Camp – an on the field primer
Post by: spider68 on July 21, 2007, 01:04:11 AM
Training Camp – an on the field primer

I have been going to Giants training camp every year since 2002. Not a real long timer, but I have vacationed up there for the last 3 years, so I have a lot of hours up at camp. I thought I would share some of thing basics I have learned that have helped me get the most out of the experience. One thing I will say, though, is that I never go for autographs – I feel that my time is better spent elsewhere – but then again I am single and do not have kids. 

First, print and bring a roster and a depth chart.  The staff will hand them out sometimes, by the fences.  Theirs are best – two sided – one side by position and one side by number – but it helps to have your own for before they come out, and in case you can’t get a team issued roster that day.  Familiarize yourself with it. When talking about the Gmen, even leading up to camp, refer to the charts and try to learn some of the numbers – especially the draftees. You learn a lot less at camp if you spend all day asking “Who’s 54” or “What number is Steve Smith wearing”. You want to be able to focus on guys like the new CB or whoever, so learn the numbers ahead of time.

Get there early. Not just to get a good seat, but to meet folks in the parking lot and in the seating areas. A lot of camp veterans hang out, and you learn a lot from them, and you familiarize yourself with what’s going on – who’s nicked up, who is moving up the depth chart, who got bawled out yesterday for not knowing where the seam is in the zone.

This year, the will do one practice in the Afternoon and on alternating days, one in the morning followed by one in the evening. A walkthrough only will be held the morning the day before a game, and there is one full day off a week. According to TC - We will be in pads the second practice and then the next afternoon. The morning will be in shells.”

Here is the schedule: http://www.albany.edu/sports/giants.html

Here is the layout of the campus and the practice areas: Giants Practice: http://www.albany.edu/main/features/2003/06-03/giants/nygiantsmap.html

University of Albany Maps  http://www.ualbanyits.org/maps/

Park where the practice map shows you. It is called the Dutch Gold parking lot, by the Dutch Quad. You get to the fields, past some tennis courts and a Football/Soccer/Field Hockey practice field,  via an elevated concourse running in between what is labeled the University Gym and the RACC on this map.

The Game field for the U of Albany team is on the other side of the Gym, and on the second Saturday, if they do some type of formal scrimmage, they play here and may charge 10 bucks.  They always allow you to use the indoor bathrooms in both buildings – so there is no Porta-Potty hell here. There is a big tent selling all the stuff you crave right here on the concourse. Then it’s down the stairs to the practice fields.

There are 4 practice fields at Albany. Every session, about an hour before, 2 cherry picker cranes, with camera stands will be positioned alongside and at the end zone of one practice field. That is where you want to set up camp, for the second hour.

The fields are laid out this way -three side by side, with a small hill lined by 6 tier aluminum stands to one end zone. You will see this straight off of the stairs down to the fields that come off of the concourse. There is another field running along the other end zones of these fields – parallel to Western Ave - all you can do is stand by the fence there. There are stands inside the fence on all fields, right next to the sidelines but that requires a Field Pass. (I am not an expert on how to get one.)  If you have to be at the Western Ave field, get a spot by the fence early – that does not have a stand for field pass holders in front of it.

Here is how a 2-hour session usually goes. First a warm up. Take note – players in the back row during stretches, (who are often not stretching much) or not present, may be hurt and not practicing. At some point early on after this, look to the south western most corner of the fields and you will see some players on several exercise bikes, unfortunately – those are also the walking wounded. Take note as a guy moving a squad up because of injury is only getting a look because of necessity – and at the same time has a chance to shine. But a guy playing for someone on the bikes does not constitute a change in the depth chart – this is camp and guys sit for minor stuff. Michael will be one a day this year for obvious reasons.

Offense wears red on white; Defense usually Big Blue, and QB’s wear Red. Feagles, I believe, wears support hose.  They practice in shorts and the upper part of the uniform, complete with shoulder pads, called Shorts and Shells, some days. Other sessions they dress in full pads. According to TC - We will be in pads the second practice and then the next afternoon. The morning will be in shells.

 There are two main parts to the two hours. In the first hour - individual unit drills, followed by separate Offense and Defense team drills. During the Unit drills you can start to get familiar with who is who. During the individual drills it may be a good time to walk around, and get up close to a unit if you can. There is a distinct sound (or lack thereof) that the ball makes going into the hands of a skilled receiver like Amani Toomer, and a different one it makes going into the hands of this (and every) years’ fourth string TE.  I also like to watch the CB drills to see who’s got the feet and hands. One of the little things you my see id TE coach Pope teaching the new TE the signals he will get from the tackle next to him. There is an interesting interplay there.

The full Offense and Defensive drills in the second half of the first hour are where they install the Offense and Defense. Watch for new formations on Defense, and new plays on Offense here, because you will see them again in the second hour.  Watch to see who is the nickel guy, who is the slot guy. I also use this time to see who is playing on what string, to get a sense if there has been movement up (which also entails down) the depth chart.

The second hour features 5 on 5, 7 on 7 and 11-11. full team drills.  Here is where they run the plays, try the situations – like back to the wall offense or Red Zone. This is all run on the field with the cameras. Hopefully, when it is on the fields facing the hill TC does not run the O to the opposite end zone. I hate when he does that because only folks with Field passes get a good view. There is always a play clock on the field, used during some situational stuff.

Special teams drill are sprinkled about the first hour, and at the end of the second.  Coughlin likes to start out with them, and sometimes finish with them. Most often the first drills of the day will give a good look at the prospective return men.   

When the ST are practicing Punt Returns, or Kickoffs, it is only one side of the ball that is the focus. The other side is made up of the fourth stringers and the like. They distinguish between the scrub unit and the real one by having the scrubs wear these funny bathing caps over the helmets. This is also done for the Offense and Defense during their first hour unit drills. Needless to say, guys who wear bathing caps a lot are not going to be seeing September.

One thing about numbers – there are not enough for everyone at the 80-man limit, so some Offensive and Defensive players will wear the same numbers. This math often leads to shower caps as well.

Well, I hope this helps, and I hope to see you there! I’ll be posting my daily reports as usual  - Go Giants!

Post by: LennG on July 21, 2007, 02:03:03 PM

  Great post Spider. Many will appreciate it.

Post by: RemembersHuff on July 22, 2007, 11:30:30 AM
Spider, excellent post! That's great info, especially for anyone attending camp for the first time.

Both the Olde Shaker Inn and Arlington House are a bit out of the way (Arlington House moreso, because it's far off I-90 over in the hinterlands of neighboring Rensselaer County) but both are worth a visit -- also, both offer tavern/lunchtime menus and main room 'fine dining'. Nora and I have dined at both these places numerous times in recent years and have not once been disappointed -- on the rare occasion there's been a problem with a dish (once, I think, at the Shaker on a night they were absolutely packed) it was remedied promptly. Service at both places typically runs very good to excellent.

Post by: MightyGiants on July 22, 2007, 11:33:21 AM
I would like to add, if you view this message board from the GiantsFan.net website, you have a link to the Giants training camp info, right on the top menu.  Just go to the Giantsinfo catagory and you will see the training camp info.  That takes you to the SUNY page that has their schedule and other information.

Post by: giantsguy on July 22, 2007, 09:21:31 PM
Guys, I would suggest discounting the Arlington House at this time.  There are some 'chef' issues at this time and the food may not be up to their usual standards.   For that kind of money, IMO, you want to make sure the food is prepared to it's utmost 'tastabilities.'  Just a suggestion.

Post by: RemembersHuff on July 23, 2007, 01:16:07 PM
Wow George, what disappointing news -- Arlington House was always one of my favorite local restaurants. I thought the chef was also one of the owners, any idea what's going on there?

Post by: MightyGiants on July 25, 2007, 07:58:56 PM
At John's (spider68) suggestion.  Here are the Jersey's you really should try and memorize.

2   Wright, Anthony    QB   6-1   211      9   South Carolina
8   Hasselbeck, Tim    QB   6-1   214   29   6   Boston College
10   Manning, Eli    QB   6-4   225   26   4   Mississippi
12   Smith, Steve    WR   5-11   197   22   R   USC
13   Lorenzen, Jared    QB   6-4   285   26   3   Kentucky
15   Jennings, Michael    WR   5-11   181   27   2   Florida State
17   Burress, Plaxico    WR   6-5   232   29   8   Michigan St
19   Mix, Anthony    WR   6-5   235   24   1   Auburn
22   Droughns, Reuben    RB            8   Oregon
23   Webster, Corey    CB   6-0   202   25   3   LSU
24   Douglas, Robert    RB   6-1   230   24   1   Memphis
25   McQuarters, R.W.    CB   5-10   194   30   10   Oklahoma State
27   Jacobs, Brandon    RB   6-4   264   25   3   Southern Illinois
28   Wilson, Gibril    S   6-0   209   25   4   Tennessee
29   Madison, Sam    CB   5-11   180   33   11   Louisville
31   Ross, Aaron    CB   6-0   193   24   R   Texas
34   Ward, Derrick    RB   5-11   228   26   4   Ottawa
35   Dockery, Kevin    CB   5-8   188   23   2   Mississippi State
37   Butler, James    S   6-3   215   24   3   Georgia Tech
38   McPhearson, Gerrick    CB   5-10   197   23   1   Maryland
39   Grant, Ryan    RB   6-1   218   24   1   Notre Dame
39   Dahl, Craig    CB   6-1   207   22   R   North Dakota State
41   Underwood, E.J.    CB   6-1   185   23   2   Pikeville
43   Johnson, Michael    S   6-2   211      R   Arizona
44   Bradshaw, Ahmad    RB   5-9   198      R   Marshall
47   Demps, Will    S   6-0   208   27   6   San Diego State
48   Smith, Tyson    LB   6-2   240   25   2   Iowa State
51   DeOssie, Zak    LB   6-4   250   23   R   Brown
53   Torbor, Reggie    LB   6-2   250   26   4   Auburn
55   Mitchell, Kawika    LB   6-1   253   27   5   South Florida
57   Blackburn, Chase    LB   6-3   247   24   3   Akron
58   Pierce, Antonio    LB   6-1   238   28   7   Arizona
59   Wilkinson, Gerris    LB   6-3   231   24   2   Georgia Tech
60   O'Hara, Shaun    C   6-3   303   30   8   Rutgers
61   Koets, Adam    T            R   Oregon State
63            Zach Piller                T
64   Lentz, Matt    G   6-6   320   24   2   Michigan
65   Ruegamer, Grey    G   6-4   299   31   9   Arizona State
66   Diehl, David    G   6-5   319   26   5   Illinois
67   McKenzie, Kareem    T   6-6   327   28   7   Penn State
68            Chris Patrick            T
69   Seubert, Rich    G   6-3   310   28   7   Western Illinois
71   Dunn, Jonathan    T   6-7   324   25   2   Virginia Tech
72   Umenyiora, Osi    DE   6-3   261   25   5   Troy State
73   Alford, Jay    DT   6-3   304   24   R   Penn State
75   Seawright, Jonas    DT   6-6   335   25   2   North Carolina
76   Snee, Chris    G   6-3   317   25   4   Boston College
79   Whimper, Guy    T   6-5   302   24   2   East Carolina
80   Shockey, Jeremy    TE   6-5   251   26   6   Miami (FL)
81   Toomer, Amani    WR   6-3   203   32   12   Michigan
82   London, Brandon    WR   6-4   210   22   R   Massachusetts
83   Moss, Sinorice    WR   5-8   185   23   2   Miami
84   Johnson, Darcy    TE   6-5   252   24   1   Central Florida
85   Tyree, David    WR   6-0   206   27   5   Syracuse
88   Matthews, Michael    TE   6-4   270   23   R   Georgia Tech
89   Boss, Kevin    TE            R   Western Oregon
91   Tuck, Justin    DE   6-5   274   24   3   Notre Dame
92   Strahan, Michael    DE   6-5   255   35   15   Texas Southern
94   Joseph, William    DT   6-5   308   27   5   Miami
95   Awasom, Adrian    DE   6-5   280   23   3   North Texas
96   Cofield, Barry    DT   6-4   306   23   2   Northwestern
97   Kiwanuka, Mathias    LB   6-5   265   24   2   Boston College
98   Robbins, Fred    DT   6-4   317   30   8   Wake Forest
99   Bell, Marcus    DT   6-2   325      7   

Post by: giantsguy on July 25, 2007, 09:51:48 PM
Kev, to my knowledge he still is, but, awhile back he hired a chef to pretty much take over the kitchen.  Well, apparently this guy was a bit of a 'jerk' and caused some problems with the staff.  The last time I talked to my source she said that he "might" be leaving and she couldn't wait.  This was a few months back.

Now, as I said, this was awhile back and things "may" be back to normal, but, for that kind of money and as far as some of the campers are traveling, they may just want to go to some of the other places that we know are still good.

Post by: giantsguy on July 25, 2007, 09:52:19 PM
Rich, thanks for the roster, nice job.

Post by: MightyGiants on July 26, 2007, 09:10:41 AM
It's actually been cut down.  It's not complete, but rather I have tried to limit it to players that will likely make the team (kickers were also excluded).  Trying to memorize that many numbers has been difficult (although not as hard as I thought it might be).  Last night I did the single digits up to the 40s)

Post by: ohgodherewegoagain on July 29, 2007, 11:57:08 AM
What is it actually like being at camp?  I should be coming up with my kids.  Is it crowded?  Are there stands that you sit in or do you push up against the ropes trying to get a view while a fat guy stands in front of your nine-year-old like at the Macy's parade.  Do they sell food and drinks?  Is the traffic in and out a pain?  Do you need to get there at 8 for an 840 practice?  These are all burning questions I have as my little guy has no idea what to expect.  Bathrooms?  Shade?  Thanks in advance.

Post by: spider68 on July 29, 2007, 12:29:58 PM
Camp can be crowded, but not so bad you cannot see. Better during the week. A big crowd is only a thousand or two. Many days it is a few hundred. It is not like a game crowd.

When they practice on one of the 3 northern fields, there are stands. When they practice on the southern field (along the Western Avenue side) you have to stand by a fence and the view can belimited. Same goes for the Eastern field.

There are never traffic issues.

It is wise to get to practice early. They do sell some limited bevages, but a cooler with some bottled water is a good idea.

There is plenty of shade. Plenty of real, clean, indoor bathrooms.

Post by: LennG on July 29, 2007, 03:48:06 PM

 As Spider has already stated, there is plenty of room to see. I just depends on what you want to see and where you want to see it. I the AM workouts, more people roam around the entire practice field where there is a small fence. If you want to watch a certain group, like the OL, WR's etc, just see where they are practicing and head over. It is pretty spread out. You don't have to get there 1/2 hour before practice to have a place to see. There is plenty of room. If you or your kids want autographs, there is a small fenced area where the players walk thru to get from the field to the locker room. There you might want to get to earlier, as the fans line up there 3-4 deep sometimes. They usually start to congregate by the fence maybe 20 minutes before practice ends.
There are several small places that sell drinks, and you can use the university for rest rooms. There is a hug tent set up that sells all types of Giants souvenirs, jerseys, year books and everything in between. They re usually pretty crowded.

 In the PM session, most fans head for the hill on one side of the field. there are bleacher type seating there and many people bring chairs or just sit on the side of the hill. there is some shade there, but those areas fill up first. Watch the camera tower and you will usually see which field they are using. They usually go towards that end, so more of the plays happen coming at you, then going the other way.
 After the PM session, the same autograph seekers line the path. More players stay out in the PM than the AM, but it just depends on the session, the heat, and what is happening later. Some players stay out until every single autograph is signed, but don't count on getting many of the players you desire.

 All in all, they make it a very fan friendly camp. You will enjoy yourself. the only negative is that there is about a 4 hour break between the AM and PM session, and there isn't 4 hours worth of things to do there. Most people leave, find a place for lunch, go to the mall, and head back right before the PM session begins. The PM session is usually more intense than the AM, with much more contact.

You and you kids will enjoy yourselves. Mention when you might be there and several of the Albany guys might be able to meet you there.

Post by: terrymeisner on July 29, 2007, 04:23:36 PM
og....it's still a good idea to bring binoculars with you ....i hope you and your kids have a wonderful time....the trip is well worth it....go Giants!!!!!

Post by: ohgodherewegoagain on July 29, 2007, 05:14:21 PM
Thanks guys, that is exactly the info I was looking for.  I'm never one to poke fun of someone else's typo, but Lenn I'm not sure if the "hug" tent is a good or a bad thing.  Talk about fan friendly.  If all goes well we'll be at the saturday am practice and maybe the Friday afternoon.  We'll track you down.

Post by: LennG on July 29, 2007, 08:31:19 PM
 Blame the 'spell chick'    =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =)) =))

Post by: spider68 on July 30, 2007, 07:32:49 AM
Ohmy, the best place to meet is in the dutch gold parking lot prior to going to the fields.

There is usually a group there. If not, then go to the field with the cherry picker cameras and ask around for BBWC and BBGC. It's not a big place, you'll find us.

Post by: ohgodherewegoagain on August 02, 2007, 06:23:04 PM
Saratoga Racetrack question.  If I go, (and that is now up in the air yet again as my little guy just broke his wrist-this is why I never commit to anything) we might try to sneak up to Saratoga on Sunday.  Can we find a place to sit and relax if we're not dressed like bums?  Should I buy tickets the day before?  Any Saratoga experts here?

Post by: MightyGiants on August 02, 2007, 10:32:59 PM
No need to buy tickets and there is plenty of place to sit, no matter how you are dressed.  It has a little something for everyone.  Many of the crew will be making the treck their this Sunday if you are going OG, let me know.  I'll give you my cell number.

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