Albany, New York
Guide to Albany: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. Highlights of Albany: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, signature entertainment and shopping.
It is natural to assume that the capital of the state of New York will be the city of the same name. But it’s not. The main city of the state is a hundred-thousander Albany; Yes, and this definition is purely administrative. Albany is firmly fused with neighboring Schenectady and Saratoga Springs, and their joint agglomeration has long been considered something of a single entity. Albany itself is one of the oldest cities built by Europeans on the former lands of thirteen colonies. There are few towns in the whole country that have been permanently inhabited since they were founded, and Albany is one of them. Moreover, a significant part of the population today is made up of violent Irish heads.
Albany is not such a baby as it might seem in the shadow of its eminent New York neighbor. But at the same time, it is only a few steps away from the central highways – and you are already in a provincial town with a characteristic silence and a half-dead atmosphere.
How to get to Albany
According to toppharmacyschools, Albany International Airport is located about 10 km from the city center and receives flights from a number of major cities in the country: Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta. Albany can be reached by train from New York, Chicago, Boston. But it is most convenient to go here by high-speed bus from New York (traffic interval – once every half hour to an hour, travel time – about 3 hours). Or by car along a straight highway: if you’re lucky with the road, you can meet it in 2.5 hours.
A bit of history
Albany was founded at first as a small fortified wooden fort by the French and solely for trading purposes. In the middle of the 16th century, French entrepreneurs needed a base on the Hudson, which became the future Albany. The fort stood for a very short time, then it was washed away and only at the beginning of the 17th century was restored by the Dutch. Later, the territory was captured by the British, who named the city by its present name. It didn’t take long for Albany to become a major transportation hub: by the early 19th century, it was the region’s central transit point. At this time, river steamboats began to sail here to New York, and later to the Great American Lakes. During these times, the city was one of the 10 largest in the country, but later this status was lost forever.
Albany received its second round of development under E. Corning, the second, his most popular mayor, who took the reins of government in 1941. Until his death (that is, 42 years old), Corning ruled the city; and at this time Albany, without experiencing sharp changes or impressive leaps, quietly and peacefully grew. Corning was opposed to radical change and bold moves. On the one hand, this caused a certain stagnation in urban life, and so far Albany cannot be called either a highly developed or an advanced city. On the other hand, it was Corning’s policy that made it possible to preserve the ancient architecture in the historic center and leave the city’s appearance as it was centuries ago.
Every year in the first half of May, the city hosts the Tulip Festival, which is reminiscent of Albany’s Dutch past. Visiting it is free and open to the public. The culmination of the festival is the coronation of the Queen of Tulips, as well as the awarding of the “Mother of the Year” award.
Other events in Albany are also enough for the whole year. First of all, this is the January global festival of haute cuisine and wine. It lasts three days, and at this time a lot of restaurants and cafes hold tastings and master classes. In June, Albany hosts the Lark Street Arts Festival, which is considered the best art event in the entire region. It includes concerts by contemporary performers and exhibitions, as well as installations, contemporary cuisine tastings, dances, theatrical performances, etc. In September, a jazz festival and an art fair are held, as well as the second part of the Lark Fest. Finally, in November, guests can admire various striking examples of urban illumination at the Lights in the Park Festival (Washington Park).