Albany. Bananas.

It's been almost a month since the defection of two State Senate Democrats sent Albany into chaos, and all along, never-idle Capitol reporter Jimmy Vielkind has been making a photographic record of events. Or non-events. Or events that were supposed to be events but then weren't. Anyway, here's a few of those images, all of which have the distinction of being picked by Jimmy for this slideshow.

Jimmy Vielkind

In the office suite occupied by State Senate Democrats, a picture hangs showing the "theme of the week." The fortune-cookie-worthy tidbits are said to come from the mind of Malcolm Smith himself. (June 15)

Matt Gorton, of New York City's office of legislative affairs, passes the candy bowl around to lobbyists and reporters waiting for the results of a closed-door meeting. (June 15)


After Citizen Action and other groups brought in demonstrators to decry State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and Republicans for the "power grab," Espada trucked in his own counter-demonstrators. I asked this one to smile. (June 15)

The Senate's dysfunction was the perfect backdrop for an anti-government Tea Party–style rally. (June 16)

Various legal challenges stemming from the coup have now been heard by nine judges in four different courts. Here's a picture from one session. The Republican lawyers are on the right, the Democratic attorneys are on the left. We have no further comment. (June 16)


Here's State Senator Joe Addabbo, a Queens Democrat, explaining to visiting school children what's been going on in the Capitol. He said talking to them was a "welcome relief." (June 17)

Republicans started holding daily sessions—which were essentially press conferences—on the State Senate floor. Here's State Senator John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican, raging between empty chairs.

Kevin Sheekey, deputy mayor to Michael Bloomberg and non-presidential-campaign planner, never pauses long enough for me to take his picture. (June 22)


This is what Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, a Long Island Democrat, wore to the chamber's last day of session. Having done their jobs, Assembly members actually got to go home. (June 22)

Jimmy Vielkind

"Sometimes You should Just Ask." (June 23)

State Senator George Winner, an Elmira Republican, tried to preside over the first of many extraordinary sessions from the dais but was blocked by a staffer. (June 23)


State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was on the dais, with the biggest gavel. (June 23)

While the pro-pot prostesters were ever-present, the free marijuana they promised was nowhere to be found. (June 24)

But State Senator John Sampson, a Brooklyn Democrat, did not admit to being a clown. (June 24)


Steve Pigeon, still a registered lobbyist, sat on the State Senate floor behind his future employer, Pedro Espada. (June 26)

The contestants vying to be Miss New York paid a visit. (June 26)

Peter Kiernan, David Paterson's legal counsel, waits to see if a judge will order legislators to extraordinary session. (June 26)


The governor got his wish. This is State Senator Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican and the conference leader, working in his office before extraordinary session on Saturday. (June 27)

David Paterson sent a list of nominees whose appointments were not acted on, but who were still required to sit through the non-session. (June 27)

Democrats pow-wowed on the floor of the State Senate after spotting Senator Frank Padavan, a Queens Republican, walk across the floor. He was counted as the 32nd senator, enough for a quorum. The Democrats went on to pass over 100 bills that are now in dispute. (June 30)


Democrats said they would take a look at legislation relating to school governance in New York. The day after it expired. (June 30)

"Do what you have to do, but do it right." (July 1)

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