Italian ice, school shopping, & summer fun on Labor Day

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This stretch of hot summer weather comes after a pretty rainy season. For places like Penny Lane Premium Ices, this is the weather they like.

Penny Lane, off Western Avenue behind the Side Door Cafe and across from Crossgates, opened in June. Then came a pretty rainy summer. Ice lovers will show up, whatever the weather, but these hot summer-like days are certainly welcome.

“Our Italian ice is kind of unique,” said owner Paul Mahan. “We’re trying to bring a little piece of New York City to the capital region. Our Italian ice comes straight from Queens, New York. A friend of mine owns a shop down there, and the shop’s been there for over 100 years.”

The shop is open every night. They’re dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, but full of choices.

“If you’re coming in, I would suggest try the rainbow, which is red white and blue, tastes like a bomb pop,” said Mahan. “Lemon and red raspberry is my favorite, and definitely try the passion fruit with mango.”

On a day like this, it’s hard to believe that the September start of school is just a few days away. That means back-to-school shopping.

Student Styles in Latham is busy, as families pick out uniforms, and other school clothing and accessories.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Alex Smith of Student Styles. “This time of year we get very busy. Last Saturday was our busiest day of the year and then today we’re open just until two for the holiday. It’s a big pickup day, so anybody with orders comes today before their barbecues to pick up their uniforms.”

Things were jumping at the Colonie town pool, where the hot weather made the cool water even more inviting.

We asked Ollie and Theo Malkiewicz of Latham what they thought about it being the last day of the pool: “It should go on for longer, in my opinion!” They said they’ve been going to the pool a lot this summer.

Kids are good at stretching out holiday fun.

“Going in the water and swimming in the shallow pool,” said 5-year-old Julian Wormuth about his favorite part of the pool.

It feels like the middle of summer. On this last Colonie pool day, kids are making the most of it.