|who doesn't love a luminaria?|
For the second year in a row, I volunteered to pour wine last night at the Historic Albany Foundation's annual event, Built. This silent auction and art exhibit highlights the use of vacant buildings in Albany and is a wonderful fundraiser, as well as being a really fun night. Mark Brogna, from Capital Wine and Spirits who donates the evening's wine offerings, originally roped me in last year and I enjoyed myself so much that I asked him this year if I could participate again. The attendees are seriously the nicest group of people I've ever taken care of - "What, no more Pinot Noir? Ok, I'll have Merlot!" I'm talking mellow and happy and appreciative. And, did I mention artfully dressed?
This year's festivities were held at the Cathedral of All Saints. Despite my having spent my first 2 years living in Albany less than a block from this magnificent edifice (if I gush a little it's just to make up for neglecting to give this building its due respect previously), I am sheepishly confessing to never having been inside it prior to last night. The cathedral is absolutely stunning and I think it is the ideal location for this event - can't wait til next year! My awesome neighbors, Lori Hansen and Ken Ragsdale were honored (along with Mark Brogna and John McLennan) for their contributions to Built over the last 10 years, which made the night that much more special. Way to represent the DelSo! The food, rumored to have been catered by the Lily and the Rose (confirmation, anyone?) looked terrific and the brownie I indulged in met my criteria, which is - it must be able to be stuck back together in chocolate gooeyness.
A highlight for me, in addition to having some fun taking these pictures for the Times Union's SEEN gallery and the generous number of compliments I received on my vintage dress, was finding myself within a circle (natch) of women described by Lori Hansen as being "powerful women." A year ago, I felt very much like an awed witness to the contributions made by fantastic local women like Lori, Laura and Elissa, among countless others. I am kind of amazed that a year later, I have been included in the same sentence as these ladies. Built? Yeah, I'd say I'm very much enjoying this life under construction.