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This is The End of Voting

April 22, 2011

The end has finally come. For some, it has not come soon enough. But for me, I do kind of wish there was more time. However, wishing doesn’t make it so.

Today, Friday April 22, is the last day to vote in the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region reader’s choice poll.
(It also happens to be the birthday of someone special. Happy birthday, little sister.)

If you haven’t done so, it’s not too late. Especially if you are voting for the FUSSYlittleBALLOT, yours will not just be one more vote cast into the wind. Your vote will be joined together with all of those who have chosen to put aside their own personal favorites so that smaller local businesses can finally have a chance to triumph over the chains.

In some cases there are indeed chains on the ballot. But these are only in the rare instances where chains represent an option that is better than what can currently be found locally. When a better local option arises, you can bet they will get the full support of the FUSSYlittleBALLOT.

But for those who are in a rush, or those who may not want to vote the full slate, here is my simplified list:

You need to fill out 20 categories for your ballot to count. The below list represents a cross section of categories that have in the past been won by significantly inferior businesses or big national chains. Fixing just these categories would go far to improve the reputation of Albany both in the region and beyond.

On the opening screen you will be asked your name, city/town, email address and phone number. Then there are two buttons. Make sure they both say, “No” and then click “Next” at the bottom of the page.

Then you’ll get a page with a lot of meaningless words. Click “Next” at the bottom of the page and be on your way.

Page 1
4. Best Bakery – Mrs. London’s
11. Best hardware store (single location) – Pfeil Hardware, 63 3rd Street, Troy
28. Best spa/salon – Write In: Townsend & Company Hair Salon and Spa

Page Two
1. Best restaurant to open in the past year – Garden Bistro 24
2. Best restaurant for kids – Chipotle
3. Best Hamburger – Swifty’s Deep Fried Buffalo Burger
4. Best pizza – Marino’s, Schenectady
5. Best sandwich shop – Andy & Sons Importing Co
6. Best Chinese/Japanese/Korean restaurant – Ala Shanghai
7. Best Indonesian/Thai/Vietnamese restaurant – Kinnaree
8. Best Indian/Pakistan restaurant – Write In: Parivar
9. Best Mexican/Central/South American – Mr. Pio Pio
10. Best Italian restaurant – Write In: Katrinella’s Bistro
11. Best ice cream – Crisan
12. Best hot dogs – Famous Lunch
13. Best sports bar – Graney’s Bar & Grill
14. Best coffee joint (single location) – Caffé Vero
15. Best diner – Dan’s Place Two

Page three you can skip entirely.

Page Four
9. Best movie theater – Jericho Drive In

Page Five
6. Best local Web site –
7. Best local blogger – Daniel B. at the (if you please)

Page six you can skip entirely.

Hit next, and that’s it. Technically, there are 21. But that last one is a bonus, because I would really like your vote. After all, if I inspired you to actually vote in what before you had considered to be a meaningless poll, that’s worth something, no?

At the end of the day, I’m not going to fall on my sword for Trader Joe’s, especially since Bruce Roter seems to be ignoring my request for solidarity. And I’m comfortable pushing a slate primarily of food businesses.

That said, I couldn’t let the big box hardware stores outshine the local gem that is Pfeil Hardware in Troy. Nor could I ignore the massive outcry of support from Yelp for Townsend & Company Hair Salon and Spa. Seriously. Finally, when it comes down to movie theaters, the region is very fortunate to still have a drive-in. If we don’t support it, ours will perish much like its kind has all over the rest of the country.

I don’t know if we’ll be able to get enough votes today to make a meaningful impact on the poll. Perhaps, like last year, the wake of the FLB will be felt around the edges. But this year’s ballot was viewed by a greater number of eyeballs than last year’s model. Which I hope is a trend that continues.

And every year I think I get smarter about how to make the FUSSYlittleBALLOT better. So please don’t give up. Get out and vote. Ask you friends to do the same. And we’ll keep our eyes open and fingers crossed for the results.

Should they not be what we hoped, we can at least say that we tried.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2011 10:16 am

    God speed, my friend. Vote in and tallied :)

  2. April 22, 2011 11:20 am

    I received an e-mail last week from Hudson Valley Magazine, which was soliciting votes for their annual “Best of the Hudson Valley” readers poll. I had not noticed this until you started your campaign: their ballot (at least their on line ballot) was restricted to local businesses. No national chains. Interesting, no? The magazines advertisers? 99.9% small local businesses. TU’s? Follow the money…….

  3. mirdreams permalink
    April 22, 2011 12:01 pm

    Prof, I have an idea. Maybe next year as a lead up to Fussyballot 3.0 you could do a survey of your readership to get our take on the ballot before it goes up. I myself would have rather seen The Standard as “Best Restaurant for Kids” and For Love of Wine for best wine store. I know other people have their own favorites they’d like to see make 3.0. If you did it as a preliminary round before the TU’s ballot came out it might make people feel more invested in voting. What do you think?

  4. April 23, 2011 8:04 pm

    I’ve never heard of Jericho Drive-In, but its existence means that we have at least TWO in the region. Here’s hoping they both stay popular.

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