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April 9, 2010

I cannot believe it is Friday already.  It is amazing how quickly time flies when you are trying to convince people to line up behind a slate of amazing local businesses for the designation of “Best of the Capital Region”.

Granted, not all of the businesses are local.  And to be fair, there is still a chain or two on the list.  But they are all there for good reasons.

The executive summary is:
1) We want to have a Wegmans and a Trader Joe’s.
2) The Best in the Capital Region should be The Best, not necessarily the most popular.
3) Restaurants that bring us sustainable, humanely raised meat should be rewarded.

As I have said before, this list isn’t just my personal opinion of what is best in the region.  And I have made compromises, as I imagine will anyone who votes for the slate.  But if we each just vote for the small local businesses that are our own personal favorites, the chains will win.

Subway is not our best sandwich shop, despite what the 2009 Times Union poll suggests.

You are still reading this.  So hopefully you are at least partially convinced.  Even if all my readers voted the full slate, this blog doesn’t reach nearly enough people to effect this change.  Despite All Over Albany mentioning this effort earlier this week, and Albany Eats posting about the FUSSYlittleBALLOT in solidarity, this will fail without your involvement.

If you believe in what I am trying to accomplish, you need to help spread the word.  Here is what I would like you to do.  And it has nothing to do with Twitter or Facebook.

Please send an email to those people who you know who might possibly be interested in participating.

I know.  It feels a bit intrusive.  And it sounds like a lot of work.

But some things cannot be done in 140 characters.  And Facebook messages lack a certain gravitas.  To help, I have written the below template that you can cut and paste into an email.  Writing your own would also be wonderful, but I understand everyone is strapped for time.

Here it is.

Subject: The Best of Albany

This may or may not be something that you can get behind.  But in previous years I have found the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region results to be discouraging.  Despite what the poll has said, Subway does not make the best sandwiches in the region.

The 2010 poll is currently underway, and this year instead of complaining about the results I have decided to take action.

There is a ballot going around that I feel represents a good slate of businesses, and I would like to present it to you for your consideration.  It was assembled by a local food blogger and pulls from several sources, so it is not just one person’s opinion.

The ballot tries to accomplish a few things:
1) Getting the chains off “The Best of the Capital Region” list.
2) Sending a message to Wegmans and Trader Joe’s that they are wanted in the region.
3) Supporting sustainable and ethically raised products.

You can read more about it, and see the full slate here:

Please consider voting for the full slate of boldfaced items on the ballot, even if you may not entirely agree with each individual choice.  The reasons the chains and popular but mediocre restaurants continue to win in multiple categories is that they represent a significant voting block.  If enough people adopt this slate, we will have a voting block of our own.

Regardless of what you choose to do, I appreciate you taking the time to consider it.  But if you do plan to join me in voting for change, please send this along to some more people.  We need all the help we can get.

Your name here.

And if you want to give out my email address to your friends, should any of them have questions about the slate, it is

I have a funny feeling I am going to regret this.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:20 am

    Sorry, I filled out the T-U ballot way before you posted your scheme.

  2. Jill permalink
    April 10, 2010 1:22 pm

    Love the thought. Have to disagree with one of your choices. I think the Shaker Shed is a much better place to buy plants & seedlings than Hewitts (I plant ALOT of flowers). Also can pick up a great soup, sandwich, some veggies and a pie for later!

  3. Annie permalink
    April 14, 2010 4:33 pm

    Got my vote! (and tweet)

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