Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Albany, A View from a Window

We have gone on a journey this spring to numerous events, mostly medieval/renaissance ones; I now wanted to tell you about where I work, Albany, NY.  I am not from this area, but am from Adams, NY. Having a job with the State of New York, I had to move here during the week.

Since it is still spring, I thought I would talk about spring time in Albany, particularly those places I can go within a walking distance from where I work which is on North Pearl Street.

Before we get into modern Albany, let’s look at its past. Several tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy lived and visited this area, several had different names for it.  There may have been French traders into this area looking for fur, but the first major European influx was by the Dutch.
Hudson River

Albany is located near the Hudson River.  This is named after Henry Hudson, a Dutch explorer, who was the first to travel up the river to this point.  The Dutch then settled in this area, and because of it, their influence is throughout the area.  In the early days this area was named Beverwijk, which means Beaver District (because of the fur trade in the area); it may also have been named after the Dutch town of Beaverwijk.  The Dutch influence on the area is still prevalent; if you do visit you will notice many streams with the last name “Kill”, such as Normans Kill, the word comes from Middle Dutch kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel.  This also applies to certain locations in New York State such as Fishkill, or the Catskill Mountains.

Of course the British settled the area, as with most of the original 13 colonies. In 1664 the city was named Albany, in honor of King James 1, whose title before his coronation was Duke of Albany.
My office building in Albany
Hudson River Pedestrian Bridge

Now let’s come back to the present and to where I work, here you have access to many historical and interesting features of the city. From my office you can talk a pedestrian bridge over to the banks of the Hudson River.  Here, you will find a park including Jennings Landing.  Here in the summer there will be held “Alive at 5”, which are free concerts held every Thursday from June   to August.
One of the many parks in Albany.

The park is very nice to take a walk when the weather is appropriate. In the summer there is a barge where you can eat.  Geese, ducks and other aquatic creatures often inhabitant the area.  In fact, downtown Albany has numerous small parks, which give the city less of a metropolitan and more of a rural feel to it.

S.U.N.Y Headquarters

Another landmark which is located on Broadway is the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Company Building, which now houses the headquarters of the State University of New York.  It is replica of a 13th century Flemish Cloth Hall in Belgium.

View from my window of numerous historical buildings

(From my building you can see the Capitol Building, St. Peters Episcopal Church, Albany City Hall, Masonic Lodge and other historical buildings.)

The capitol building is also within walking distance.  The capitol building was built between 1867- 1899, and managed during construction by several people, most notably Thomas Fuller, who had designed the Canadian Parliament buildings of Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
USS Slater

A little more walking, near the Hudson River and you can visit the USS Slater (DE766). The history of this vessel is interesting, including appearing in the movie “Guns of Navarone (1961)”, you can read more about it on its website. In 1997 the USS Slater was sent to Albany, where is has undergone renovations.  It is the only destroyer of its type that is on display as a museum ship located in water.
Pearl St.

Downtown Historic District consists of over 160 buildings, it is located from State Route 5 to North and South Pearl St.  The area consists of both large commercial buildings and historic landmarks.  One of my favorite stores downtown is B.Lodge and Co. (commonly referred to as Lodges). This store was established in 1867.  I often frequent this store during my lunch hour, and it has the best prices in town.
Also while you are nearby, visit my friends at Pearl St. Diner. A wonderful restaurant where you can get an excellent meal, their specialty is Greek cuisine; but they will have something on their menu to meet the needs of anyone in your family. Visit all the other restaurants, stores, bars and theatres in the area.
Roads an highways through Albany

One thing about being near downtown is the traffic patterns and overpasses. There are numerous highways, roads coming downtown that form a pseudo cloverleaf pattern.  If you wish to see it, watch the early chase scene from Angela Jolie’s movie Salt, it was filmed there.
My favorite picture, it encompasses what Albany is about; old and new styles.

So now you have a sense about downtown Albany, NY.  In future posts, I will discuss more about the history of this city; including the destruction of a neighborhood.

Recently, this was the so called 16th anniversary of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Normally, I would write about what a disgrace this facility has become. You can read my several posts I have done over the years.  However, the PWHF is so discredited in my eyes, that it deserves no recognition from me anymore.

The only thing will be I reiterate that the former PWHF (when it was in Amsterdam, NY) was very concerned about showing advertising on its website.  Go to the new one's website, and it looks like a billboard for beer companies, cowboy hats, and Texas.  This place has lowered professional wrestling and its history.

W.A.Rusho is a historian, professional wrestler, and author. You can reach him by visiting his website, or via email.


  1. HI William. Thx for this introduction to Albany, NY. I've never read anything about Albany up until now, so I find it interesting. Love the view from your office window!

  2. The only place I've ever been in New York is NYC, but I'd love to be able to explore the state more one of these days.Thanks for sharing a bit about Albany.

  3. I've never been to Albany but it looks like a lovely place, especially for walking which I love to do. Thanks for the tour!

  4. Having that great downtown area to explore would be fun. I enjoy when the cities retain the old and mix in the new rather than tearing down buildings of character and putting up metal & glass boxes. Looks like Albany has a good mix. I look forward to reading about the demolished neighborhood. Sounds sad.

  5. Honestly had never even heard of Albany. Hope you are happy there the way it is and works today.

  6. I've never been to Albany, but it sure does look like a beautiful city, love your photos as usual!