Monday, August 4, 2014

Ambling around Albany

Yeah, yeah I know...lame title.  You don't want to know how long I agonized over the title of this blog post and keep thinking that title is too lame and then I finally thought "sod it".  Who cares!!

Anyway.....when I found out Paul McCartney was going to do a concert in Albany, New York I knew I had to do it - Paul and a state capital - doesn't get much better than that for me.   In case you haven't heard... after walking in all the provincial and territorial capitals in Canada (of which I am very proud - in fact thinking of going back and doing it all over again!) I am now on a quest to walk all the state capitals.  It is a work in progress...nine years so far....31 state capitals and 34 states so I've got a few to go yet.  I am having lots of fun doing this though and who knows when it will get done but I will...even if I have to whiz around these cities in my battery operated wheelchair! I know I will only visit most of these places once so being a history buff I visit their state museums as well to learn more about the state and what makes it tick.  The standard walk length is 10 or 11 km but there are shorter ones as well.  If my time is limited I  do the shorter walk so I can visit the museums or other attractions as well - especially if it looks like I will be wandering around a residential area that is pretty well the same as everywhere else.  At the end of all of this I will get a certificate of some kind through the American Volkssport Association but to me it's all about the fun I am having doing this. Some of the places on my list such as Juneau and Honolulu I have visited BV - before Volkssport so darn it I have to do them again...such a hardship I know! As it turned out I had booked a cheap return fare to Albany on the Megabus when I was in New York in February however the weather was so cold and nasty I opted out of it.  So walking around Albany on a beautiful July day was meant to be! 

After a two night stay in Buffalo  (more on that in another post) with my friend Pat we drove on to Albany with our friend Vicky.  The concert was fabulous as per usual....#43 done...and many more to go I hope. 

.."The morning after" Pat and Vicky headed back to Buffalo and I stashed my luggage and set off on a 6 km walk.  I decided to forgo the longer walk as I wanted to visit the state museum and I had a 3:45 bus to catch. 

Albany was originally occupied by the Iroquois and Mohican tribes.  Henry Hudson claimed it for the Dutch in 1609 and it became a settlement in 1614.  In 1797 it became the capital of New York and is the longest continually chartered sitting in the United States. As you will see in the following photos its buildings are very European in design. 

So off we go for an "amble around Albany".

First place to admire - City Hall which was completed in 1883 and has been called one of the most beautiful buildings in America....the adjoining carillon was completed in 1927.

Next up was the fabulous State Capital building.  This beautiful building was completed in 1899 and was the most expensive building of its time.  It is definitely different from other state capitals with the absence of a dome - it was built in the Romanesque Revival Style.  It is a stunning building and one of my favourites.  Another reminder of Europe! Sadly I could not tour the building as it was closed on Sundays. 

Next stop was the Empire State Plaza which was really quite impressive.  Government buildings surround a long pool which features a very different looking arts centre called The Egg.  This complex was built between 1959 and 1976...apparently this was created from an idea by Governer Nelson Rockefeller who had been embarrassed when he took Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands around  this area to celebrate the citys' Dutch roots and he knew it wasn't quite what she had expected.  I really was impressed and enjoyed the State Museum that resided in this area as well. 

Firefighters Memorial

The Egg on the right side - would have loved to have attended an event there

Beautiful reflection of the state capital building

 From there I carried on for more exploration...As part of an art project there were various pianos scattered around the city for people to play...

 I really wanted to eat at this place being as it was at one time considered to be the oldest building in Albany but I discovered they served brunch food only on 1 p.m. I was not in the mood for breakfast food having had some at my hotel that morning...
Sculpture of former Mayor Thomas M  Whalen III and his dog Finn in Tricentennial park.  

I loved this sculpture - a salute to Albany's Dutch roots.  

As is this....    

One of the many downtown churches...this was the first church in Albany.
Okay please tell me what drive in worship is? 

Another beautiful church. downtown.

 I enjoyed my time in Albany as short as it was.  I don't think my travels will take me to Albany again but never say never - and I wouldn't mind if they did!


Renuka said...

Albany looks really lovely! I love places with sophisticated architecture. Ambling becomes a joy!

Laurie said...

Thanks for reading my blog Renuka. Yes Albany was certainly different than I expected - beautiful architecture.

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