As October shrouds trees in red leaves to mark Italian Heritage month, the NY Sash–hosted A Taste of Italy food festival draws lovers of mozzarella and marinara to browse booths of cuisine and wine before attending a cooking extravaganza from the Singing Chef. In the afternoon, vendors open booths to the public, showcasing desserts, ambrosias, and wares as local dance instructors Gina and Luca Esposito team up with a hologram of Marie Taglioni to demonstrate classical moves. At night, the audience takes its seat in the historic Stanley Theater for a cooking performance from the Singing Chef Andy LoRusso. Recording albums since age 22, the chef decided to prepare his suppers with a side of operetta, a tasty twosome that turned him into a bestselling author and cameo star more seasoned than Alfred Hitchcock covered in peppercorns.
Nestled behind the Stanley Theatre, Thornberry's Backstage concocts delectable cuisine that sates theatergoers chowing down before or after a show. Originally called Thornberry's upon its 1995 opening, father-and-son team Robert Sullivan, Sr. and Rob Sullivan, Jr. dispensed lunch and dinnertime cuisine until 2010. After a one-year hiatus, the restaurant reopened in November 2011 with an updated name, refurbished décor, brand-new toilet paper, and a revamped menu. Doors open to welcome feasters at 5 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as the aroma of homemade desserts wafts through the dining quarters. Thornberry's Backstage also cooks up grub on holidays such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day as well as any night that the Stanley Theatre hosts an event, which has included performances from Beatlemania and Lord of the Dance.
Harlem Globetrotters Playing Three-on-Five
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating [roster](http://gr.pn/PHdb6w) of Globetrotter favorites?including three female players?takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard [TNT](http://gr.pn/rOe0P4) sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker [Quake](http://gr.pn/QTIGVh), whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 [Too Tall](http://gr.pn/PHdmPh) and 7-foot-4 [Stretch](http://gr.pn/1dYrbUt), the team?s tallest member. During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters? extensive travels haven?t gone unnoticed: they?re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
With a stay at Hotel Utica, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, you'll be centrally located in Utica, steps from National Distance Running Hall of Fame and minutes from Utica Memorial Auditorium. This hotel is within close proximity of Stanley Theater and Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute.
Make yourself at home in one of the 112 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators. Pay movies and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Conveniences include coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards, as well as phones with voice mail.
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Hotel Utica, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Free parking is available onsite.
When Utica Zoo opened its gates 98 years ago, three fallow deer comprised its entire animal population. Today, visitors can traipse the zoo's walking trails to view more than 200 animals, including alligators, bald eagles, zebras, and an African lion. The zoo also provides a safe haven for threatened species such as snowy owls and mexican spider monkeys. Staff members guide tours and conduct presentations, allowing visitors to get a close look at animals.
The locomotives were just becoming commonplace in the early 19th century, when the New York Central and Hudson River railroads were completed. A member of the legendary Vanderbilt family, Dr. William Webb capitalized on unfolding innovations by privately financing a railroad to his hunting preserve in the Adirondack Mountains. The route wound through treacherous terrain via 17 bridges and numerous service buildings, some of which still are still used to trick time-travelers into thinking they're finally home. Despite these complications, the tracks materialized within just 18 months and were soon whisking the Vanderbilts and other wealthy families to their opulent wilderness estates.
After several decades in disrepair, the tracks were rehabilitated by the railroad enthusiasts of Adirondack Scenic Railroad, who resurrected an initial four-mile stretch in 1992. Since having the railroad officially declared a Historic Place, they continue to unveil new sections, eventually securing routes from Utica to Carter Station, and between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Today, retro locomotives, some built as early as the 1940s, chug through the rippling rivers and wildlife-rich forests of 600-million-acre Adirondack Park, letting passengers drink in the view. Though the railcars boast vintage touches, such as mahogany paneling haunted by the ghosts of Franklin Pierce, they are equipped with modern touches including air conditioning and fully loaded kitchens.
Many Adirondack Scenic Railroad rides provide other entertainments to supplement scenery. In the Doo Wop Train, waitresses from ?50s-themed The Soda Fountain in Remsen pump up patrons for a mid-century feast at the eatery while en route to Remsen Station. Other themed excursions ooze with intrigue, including murder mysteries and train robberies, while some more laid-back jaunts simply convey riders to historically-rich towns such as Old Forge.