Winter-weary residents ditch coats, soak up sun
70-degree weather has people enjoying the outdoors again
CAPITAL REGION The Capital Region became an area for tackling trails by foot or by bike, rediscovering park playgrounds and enjoying local eateries outside as temperatures hovered around 70 degrees Saturday.
Today’s forecast calls for another mostly sunny day with a high of 70 degrees and a clear night sky with a low around 40 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Albany. Monday is also expected to have a high near 70.
Saturday was a day children raced each other on sidewalks and explored Hoffman’s Playland in Latham, which opened for the season.
It was also a day patrons at the Waters Edge Lighthouse in Glenville enjoyed the patio nearly a month ahead of schedule.
General manager Rit Ruzzo estimated business increased 35 percent this weekend, solely based on the warm weather boost.
“We saw a large increase in business because it was warm and it was windy. Because the weather was so beautiful we went ahead and opened up the patio instead of waiting at the end of April,” Ruzzo said.
The patio area overlooking the Mohawk River provides an additional 100 seats to the restaurant off Freemans Bridge Road.
“Good weather brings us additional table turns and people,” Ruzzo said.
Waters Edge will open up a new outdoor bar on the water shortly before Memorial Day.
In Scotia, a line of nearly 30 people curved around seasonal landmark Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In Saturday.
Many of the patrons, with ice cream cones in hand, crossed Schonowee Avenue over to Collins Park after getting a food fix that would not be available today. The eatery will be closed in observance of Easter.
At Schenectady’s Riverside Park in the Stockade Historic District, couples folded up blankets after a picnic on the grass or shared a park bench overlooking the Mohawk River.
Schenectady’s scene was mirrored at the Corning Preserve in Albany, where 61-year-old Don Chadwick was on his bike riding the 5-mile trail that connects the city with Troy.
The sounds of those inline skating, jogging, walking dogs or floating on boats were nearby along with chirping birds. The smell of smoked meat fresh from a grill filled the air.
“It’s beautiful out here,” said Chadwick, a resident of Green Island. He bikes in the summer months as often as he can, weather permitting, as part of a four-year habit he’s kept.
“I find it very relaxing,” he said.