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Sidewalk primed for shoppers

Union Street businesses reach out to customers

Shoppers recently didn't have to even walk into stores to get a taste of what Upper Union Street in Schenectady offered.

Racks of cloths, pet supplies, comic books, antiques, flowers and more were on display at storefronts for Upper Union Street Business Improvement District's Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, Aug. 21. Around 25 businesses participated along Union Street in Schenectady from Garner Avenue to the Niskayuna town line at Van Antwerp Road.

The regular Saturday Farmers Market in the public parking lot off Woodlake happed alongside the Sidewalk Sale and offered $1 off every $10 spent. There was also a Gourmet Market setup on the lawn of Trustco Bank.

Leslie Maiello was a vendor in the Gourmet Market offering a unique pesto with a history behind the flavor. Maiello said his father had a huge garden and they would make green sauce from all of the ingredients grown in the garden.

Once a year Maiello's family would stay home and make the green sauce by hand, but it wasn't until years later when she saw pesto in the store and at restaurants that she realized it was what her family was making all along.

"No one makes pesto like my father it must be some sort of old world recipe," said Maiello.

She was also eager to give anyone a free sample of her green sauce on piece of bread as they walked by.

Further up Union Street Aaron Dula, from Scotia, was returning to Simon's Men's Wear to get his suit fitted for a friend's wedding.

After searching all over the Capital District for a suit, Dula said he decided to go with Simon's after following through on a neighbor's recommendation. Dula said he tries to support local business.

Michael Bernstein, owner of Simon's, said he likes upper Union Street because it is more family-orientated than some areas and has a well-rounded selection of stores. He also noted a lot of people live nearby, and the area is quiet and safe.

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