June 29 - July 1 2018
How I Got There
I was in New York City for work and came up to Albany for the weekend. I took a United flight from Newark to Albany. It may have been the shortest flight of my life. Wheels up to wheel down was roughly 30 minutes. It probably took longer to get from Penn Station to Newark Airport than it did to fly to Albany. I realized that there was fairly frequent train service from Grand Central Station to Albany. The entire trip is under three hours, and in hindsight I wish I would have experienced that train ride instead.
Where I Stayed
I stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany directly next to the State Capitol.
How I Got Around
Albany is a pretty small town. I mostly walked around and when I needed to get somewhere fast or far away I took Lyft.
What I Did
I arrived on Friday evening and had a nice chat with my Lyft driver who told me all of the places that I should go to before I leave. She was an Albany native and provided me with an informative history lesson on my way to the hotel.
On Saturday morning I woke up with a full agenda. I walked from my hotel to the Albany Institute of History and Art, on the way there I ran into a rally in front of the state capitol and stuck around for a half an hour to listen to the speeches. The Institute was only partially open, I got a chance to check out some local history and art before making my way over to the much larger New York State Museum. This museum is one of the best state museum's that I've been to. It is a massive building chock full of everything that you could ever want to know about New York state.
I got Lunch at a restaurant downtown before making my way over to the Park Playhouse to catch an outdoor presentation of Damn Yankees. I've seen this musical in the past but this rendition was truly marvelous. I was so impressed by the singing, dancing, and acting that took place outside in the nearly hundred degree heat. With such a close proximity to Broadway it seems that even "community" theatre is world class in Albany.
On Sunday morning I woke up to a sweltering 100 degree day. I got breakfast at the hotel, did a little bit of work and then made my way over to the airport for my long flight back to San Francisco.
What Was The Fuss
Albany reminded me a lot of Salem and Olympia which both live in the shadows of their much more popular neighbors. The pace of life is much slower in Albany, but there is so much to see and do. Dozens of local restaurants, a handful of world class museums, and a thriving local arts scene makes Albany seem like a really great place to settle down and raise a family while still having the option of taking a 30 minute plane ride to the cultural center of the world.
You can see all the photos that I took during this trip in the Albany New York Flickr album.