Byron Nilsson, who reviews restaurants and writes about music and theater for the Albany alt-weekly, will premiere Mr. Sensitivity during the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival opening this weekend. Nilsson tells The Ridgefield Press that the play, which is a comedy about a man who gives his wife an hour with a porn star for her birthday, "combines the antic humor of a Neil Simon play with potty-mouthed drollery too crude even for David Mamet."

Continue ReadingMetroland Contributor’s Play Hits NY Fringe Festival

A controversial executive training program known as NXIVM filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against the paper one day before the statute of limitations would have expired in April, but Metroland wasn't served papers until this month. The paper reports that the crux of NXIVM's suit stems from one line that was attributed to a source. Editor and publisher Stephen Leon says Metroland is consulting an attorney and hopes to have the suit quickly tossed. "The complaint is baseless, and 97 percent of it has nothing to do with Metroland," he says, adding that the passage cited "isn't even remotely defamatory."

Continue ReadingMetroland Finally Gets Served in Suit Filed in April

The Lark Street Business Improvement District's annual Champagne on the Park ball honored the Albany alt-weekly -- along with Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood -- because their "contributions to the neighborhood have been critical to the growth of the district," the Albany Times-Union reports. Metroland is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Continue ReadingMetroland Honored by Local Biz Group

A controversial executive training program known as NXIVM filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against the paper earlier this week, but the Albany alt-weekly has not yet been served with the suit. Turns out it was filed one day before the statute of limitations would have expired. NXIVM president Nancy Salzman tells Metroland that, indeed, they filed the suit "because of statutory considerations." The paper has not sought legal counsel in response to the lawsuit. "As far as we're concerned right now, it's almost as if there's not a lawsuit because it has not been served to us," editor and publisher Stephen Leon says. "They may never serve the lawsuit for all we know."

Continue ReadingSuit Filed Against Metroland Remains Unserved

The controversial executive training program known as NXIVM has filed a lawsuit against the Albany alt-weekly for allegedly conspiring with one of NXIVM's critics to publish false information about the organization in a story published last year. The suit seeks $65 million in damages. Metroland editor and publisher Stephen Leon says NXIVM does not have a strong case and that the paper hasn't been served with the lawsuit yet.

Continue ReadingMetroland Gets Sued for $65 Million

This week, the Albany alt-weekly begins a yearlong celebration of its 30th birthday, but as the Albany Times-Union notes, it is actually the paper's 31st, since it launched in mid-1978. Editor and publisher Stephen Leon says he wanted to peg the celebration to 1979, which was when Metroland switched from a "disco monthly" to a weekly. "The legend was I started the magazine to meet girls," founder Peter Iselin says. "And that was pretty much the case. What can I say? I was 23 years old." The Times-Union reports that Iselin got serious after the paper was denied AAN membership in 1986. He hired Leon to help build the paper's journalistic credibility, and Metroland was admitted to AAN the following year.

Continue ReadingMetroland Celebrates 30th — or 31st? — Birthday

The Albany alt-weekly's Halloween cover depicts Barack Obama as a vampire, holding a scantily clad and prostrate Sarah Palin, who has a spike through her heart. It caught the attention of the conservative website World Net Daily. "Can you imagine conservatives trying to do anything like this?" asks Albany resident Bill Dudek. Metroland art director John Bracchi tells World Net Daily that he was "just trying to combine Halloween with politics." The public response has been mixed, according to Bracchi, with people either loving or hating the image. He says negative emails had a common theme: "If you think this is funny, you have a warped mind, you're racist and sexist."

Continue ReadingMetroland Cover Draws Criticism from Conservatives

AAN members were well-represented when the winners of the association's 2007 Better Newspaper Contest were announced this weekend. Syracuse New Times took home a total of nine awards, including first-place finishes in Best Advertising Campaign, Best House Ad/Ad Campaign, Graphic Illustration, Sports Feature, and Sports Feature Photo. Metroland won a total of seven awards, and staff writer David King was named 2007 Writer of the Year. Judges called King "a powerful writer, a master storyteller, and a thorough researcher whose convincing style grabs the reader and holds on tight -- navigating difficult subject matter, taking us to places we've never been, enabling us to understand things we never could." The New York Press came away with six awards, including first-place finishes in Best Front Page and Feature Story. The Ithaca Times took home four awards.

Continue ReadingFour Alt-Weeklies Nab New York Press Association Awards

Mae Banner died on Friday after a long illness. She was 73 years old. "I was always impressed by how open-minded she was," says Peter Lesser, executive director of the Albany's Egg Center for the Performing Arts. "She appreciated all different types of dance from kids performances to avant garde and modern." In addition to her work at Metroland, Banner wrote for the Saratogian and Glens Falls Chronicle newspapers and taught sociology at the University of Tennessee, SUNY-Cortland and Skidmore College.

Continue ReadingMetroland Dance Critic Dies