Wading in with my new wellies

bought these last month in Ireland - hasn't rained since.
Bought these last month in Ireland – hasn’t rained since.

Let me open with a nod to Saratoga in August: I’ve got no horse in this race. I state this has an attempt to assure you that I have no investment in the current Capital District food blogging dust-up. But while I don’t really care either way about who is “right,” I’m not without some opinions. Which I’d like to share, naturally. Hell, everyone else has, so why not?

I’m not 100% clear on the exact chronology of things, but it seems that Daniel over at the Fussy Little Blog wrote something about the food culture of the Capital District. Now, Daniel isn’t a native, something he doesn’t attempt to hide, and he has a critical eye and high expectations. He often is disappointed, yet remains surprisingly optimistic about where things are going food-wise in the Albany area. We aren’t always in agreement – he will never understand my devotion to Cafe Capriccio, nor my fondness for Emperor’s Palace, and I’m ok with that. I suspect he is too, because he does give me a coveted link from is blog.

Michelle Hines Abrams of MHA Innovations, is someone I’m familiar with due to our sharing mutual friends. We often seen one another at events and our encounters are always pleasant. I could be wrong, but, from my observations of her social networking activities, I assume she is employed in some capacity as a public relations professional by various restaurants and other hospitality outfits. I’ve frequently wondered what her position is and how she was fortunate enough to have created a career in which she spends her time wining and dining. Sounds pretty satisfying to me. Lucky her!

Well, Michelle wrote a piece which kind of read, to me, as diatribe in defense of the Capital District restaurant scene. In all honesty, I didn’t read the complete post because it was too damn long. I think it would have been more effective broken up into smaller, more manageable bites, but, again that’s just me.

I don’t regularly read Michelle’s blog, but a lot of what she posts on Facebook seems to be links to published stories from other sources. Not so much innovative, more a regurgitation. I don’t intend that as a harsh criticism (who am I?), original writing isn’t always necessary in a blog, right? Many bloggers accumulate hits based upon give-aways and polls, promoting other people’s work is in a similar vein, I suppose. Whatever.

From what I understand, Daniel is an advertising guy – or was in a previous life, at least. If Michelle is indeed a professional hospitality industry booster, I would imagine they have more in common than either would ever admit. They both have experience with promotion, no?

The fact that they are in such disagreement over the state of the local food scene is a little amusing. More than that, though, it is proof that there is more of a local food scene than there ever has been before. Believe me, 25-years-ago there wouldn’t have been sufficient mud for either of them to lob at the other.

I think I’ll just keep my boots on and see what happens next. How about you?

2 thoughts on “Wading in with my new wellies

  1. You changed my mind about how to look at Cafe Capriccio, and that’s no small accomplishment. As far as the other one, I’m not sure if you are referring to Ocean Palace or Emperor’s. But I honestly had the worst meal of my life at Ocean Palace, although I think the timing of that was after Peter’s departure. Emperor’s had some redeeming qualities, but I believe it has diminished in recent years. Still, I wouldn’t mind popping in for a plate of chow fun.

    FWIW, I’ll readily admit that Michelle and I share many similarities. And we both claim to be working for the betterment of the region (although she would also appear to be working for a handful of restaurants too). We just have diametrically opposing viewpoints on how to make that happen.

    Frankly, I was surprised to see her cut me out of Facebook based on this recent disagreement. But I guess that’s the price one pays for rocking the boat.

    1. I was referring to Emperor’s Palace on Wolf Rd – the Chinese joint where each of my kids has a favorite dish. The truth about Emperor’s and Capriccio is this: they may not be the ultimate examples of their particular cuisines, but we are always fed and treated well when we find ourselves at their tables. Always.

      As I learned as an undergraduate, criticism isn’t always negative. A blogger who is unwilling to post comments loses a tremendous amount of integrity, IMHO.

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