Jeff Mann, Juliet Linderman and I are in a sports bar in downtown Albany, wondering where the hell everyone else is. The legislature reached a tentative budget agreement over the weekend, there was a press conference with the governor at 11 AM, and it looks like the legislators will hug it out over the next three months before the budget gets approved. That means, all the staffers and pols will want to hit the bars to celebrate, right? Nope. The scene here is as dead as Clarence Norman's career (We hear he's out of prison now. Anybody out there know how to get an invitation to the Norman post-prison afterparty?).
The rest of the day was fairly slow. We had a decent half hour meeting with Martin Dilan and Matt Trepasso and mostly talked about transportation. Dilan strongly opposes installing bridge tolls but thinks his transportation committee could push a revised plan with other provisions to make up the MTA's deficit. He also wants to take a ride on the G Train to see how the state could help with capital improvements in the future. Oh, and finding the full financing for the 2nd Avenue subway is about as likely as finding a clean glass at the 2nd Avenue Deli.
Other than that, we were very impressed with the New York State Museum, easily one of the best museums in the entire state. They had a very moving September 11 exhibit, which is hard to do with the political and media posturing that continues to surround the site. Also, the town has gorgeous Victorian architecture and the row of brownstones on State Street looks almost like Cobble Hill.
Big day tomorrow. Codes Committee hearings, then lunch with Joe Lentol, and hopefully we run into Vito and Dan Squadron at some point too.