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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where the boys are: Albany's Fort Orange Club

Had a meeting last week at the Fort Orange Club. It's wedged in downtown Albany amid the imposing structures of state government, near the edifice of an Education Department building and just behind the Alfred E. Smith building (which growing up reminded me of the headquarters of the Daily Planet).

Inside, it's hush-hush, stately yet understated, with chairs and books bound in leather, dark-wood paneling, and the requisite antlered deer's head, evoking images of overweight, cigar-chomping white guys gathering to eat, drink and ponder their plunder.

To be fair, the room was comfortable, the service friendly, the Cobb salad loaded with fresh chicken breast and bacon, and the oversize macaroon lived up to its reputation as a dessert worth saving room for, or making room for. Members needn't worry about indulging in dessert, as the club touts a new health facility for both men and women who can drop in to work out, wash up, and get back to business.

We wondered why the working fireplace was flanked by a real ax rather than the usual tongs and a poker, but didn't ask. Mary Miller of the New York News Publishers Association and I figured it was a macho thing.



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