A cantankerous and opinionated look at New York's State Capitol

by Lo Faber last updated 12-12-2004

A 17th century Dutch trading post; a powerful government center of the early Republic; a nexus of trade and manufacturing in both the Canal and Railroad eras; a case study in 20th century urban decline. Albany, New York has been all these things. This city of 100,000 inhabitants, with big-city architecture but a small-town feel, has a rich and varied history with politics and government always at the core. Like many American cities Albany faces serious and ongoing difficulties--but also possesses unique attributes that give it character, resiliency, and soul.

This site is far from a comprehensive look at Albany. Though I try to provide some useful general information, and links to much more, my main goal here is to focus on a few aspects of the city I find intriguing, inspiring, or revolting.

Those looking for boosterism or a bland travelogue should go elsewhere. This is an urban environment with grave problems--some common to many Northeastern cities, and perhaps inevitable, and others uniquely local which the city has brought on itself. To focus on Albany's strengths only would be to deny such problems existed--which in turn would deny them any chance of a solution. The facts on this site are drawn from a wide range of sources and are accurate to the best of my knowledge; the opinions expressed are, of course, my own responsibility, as are any mistakes.

General Info>

Resources and various knowledge I've culled and stolen from numerous sources. Great for impressing your fellow geeks at cocktail parties, or getting that last minute high school paper together.

How Albanians have seen their own history. We look through the lens of the Bicentennial celebration of 1886.

Albany's main business, both state and local. Here's the story of the famous Albany Democratic Machine.

Population, economics, ethnicities, and more. Overall picture for Albany: it's been better.

The capitol Region and the Upper Hudson: towns, topography, and climate.

Neighborhoods>

Brief glances at some of the areas that comprise Albany, little communities with a city.

Essays>

Subjective views on this little urban habitat along the Hudson. With a special emphasis on 'Rockefeller's Erection', the enormous and offensive atrocity that rent a hole in the city's belly back in 1974. Warning: some language may not be suitable for small children.

How Nelson Rockefeller decided that the needs of his own ego were more important than the needs of the city of Albany.

A combined photo essay and rant about the alien monstrosity that landed in our city's center.

How the automobile comes up lacking as a technology around which to build a city (or a society).

H.H. Richardson, the Art Nouveau style, and the saga of the State Capitol.

Culture-Art-Music>

From the dive bars to the marble museums, Albany continues to manage (against all odds) to be a vibrant cultural center. Here's some of the ways we pull it off....

Sources And Links>

Just so you know I ain't makin' the whole thing up.

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created by Lo Faber, November & December 2004
All About Albany is not affiliated with the City Of Albany
This site is a project for Skidmore College's University Without Walls