Albany, New York

Albany is one of those places which occupies a special place in people's hearts. For many, it's a beautiful city full of history and great architecture. For others, it's the capital of New York, even though Manhattan gets a lot more of the credit. For still many other people, it's a great place to find high paying work or a nice home in a great neighborhood. Just like with most cities, there are about as many different ways to interpret a place as there are different people doing the interpreting. There are a lot of reasons why Albany won the title of All-American City twice, after all.

For a very long time, Albany New York has been on the cusp of the some of the biggest trends on Earth. At one point it was one of the most populated cities in the entire country. Anything Albany gets will eventually trickle into the rest of the country. When someone in Albany gets an idea, they can often get it done because this is a town with a very creative atmosphere. While it may not be the best known city in New York State, its culture is vibrant and progressive.

Albany has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. The city also has a bustling nightlife, various places to eat, places to see and can also offer you a great shopping experience. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Albany History

The city of Albany New York has an interesting history. At the very beginning of its existence, the French built a simple fort on nearby Castle Island in 1540. Unfortunately, not long after it was built, the fort was destroyed by a flood. Later on, a man named Henry Hudson who was working for the Dutch East India Company claimed the area in 1609.

In 1614 the Dutch trading areas of Fort Orange and For Nassau brought in fur traders, who eventually surrendered the area to Britain. For a short while the entire area was called a Dutch word meaning "beaver district." In 1664, the town's name was changed to Albany, and it was named after the man who would go on to be king of both England and Scotland. James II of England, also known as Jame VII of Scotland, was at one point the Duke of Albany. With the Dongan Charter in 1686, which has been called the most long-running municipal government instrument in the Western world, the city was chartered officially.

At one point, Albany was nothing more than a European settlement established for trade and transportation of materials. However, during the 1754 bid for the colonies to unite -- later denied by the British Parliament -- Benjamin Franklin presented the Albany Plan of Union, which would later go on to inform the United States Constitution. In the first United States Census in 1790, Albany reported a population of 3,498 people. Seeing as Albany became the state's capital in 1797, it's the second oldest of all US state capitals, following Santa Fe, New Mexico.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Albany was everything to everyone when it came to transportation. Between having railroads, turnpikes and canals, anyone moving through town for local business, to go to the Michigan territory or Buffalo had an easy time traveling. Being close to many other major cities was a definite boon, as well. Robert Fulton's steamboat line began in 1807, and became the world's first successful incarnation of such an enterprise. For a time, this boom town was the 10-largest urban center in the USA.

Joseph Henry conducted many of his famous experiments in Albany during the 19th century, such as discovering electromagnetic self-induction and even creating the world's first electric motor. Of course, high tech wasn't all the city was good for. Having so many Dutch and Germans, beer was naturally an important staple, and this industry thrived. But it isn't the only successful business to come out of this city.

For example, American Express came from Albany in 1850, as an express mail company. As well, Norstar Bank and KeyBank both came from this city. Since then, all manner of successes have come from this town, and continue to do so today.

About Albany, New York

Albany, New York is a part of a major metropolitan area which includes several cities and a great deal of urban sprawl. As a matter of fact, that very sprawl is the reason why Albany has slowly but certainly sunken into the mid-range of the nation's cities by population. While having roughly 100,000 people is a reasonable number, it's still fairly low for a state capital. As the capital, Albany naturally forms a pillar of the Capital District along with some other cities. This is a very mature city, having been created nearly 400 years ago.

Albany has been a chartered city longer than any other in the United States of America. Coming straight out of the original thirteen colonies, the Dongan Charter made this tiny fur trading town into a real city. In the ensuing centuries many wonderful things have sprung up in Albany. However, the past is not all this town has to offer those who wish to explore its treasures. This is also a robust city for acceptance of different people, as well as a great place to see amazing architecture spanning several centuries. The scores of immigrants who have given this city life over the years have greatly influenced the culture in innumerable ways.

The racial makeup of Albany is a very eclectic and reasonably mixed lot. Interestingly enough, this precise mix of diversity is noted as being one of the most "normal" assortments of any city in the entire country. Albany is frequently used as a test market for new types of products used by consumers and businesses because its population is a microcosm of the nation as a whole. So a person wanting to try something that's new and different will almost undoubtedly find something neat that they can't get at home here. The only downside is that it might not take off.

Albany has a lot to offer a person who wants to take in some serious night life. For people driving around, Boston and Buffalo are not too far away, and New York City and Montreal aren't much further. While having a car has traditionally been crucial to really enjoy the area, the past two decades have seen local government invest tremendously into generating plenty of afterhours entertainment venues for locals and visitors alike to make use of.

The culture also includes an abundance of festivals for different groups. For example, every year there is a 5k run for women, the largest fireworks show in the nation to celebrate Independence Day and festivals for African Americans and Latino people. Overall, there is plenty to do even when the Tulip Festival isn't blooming.

About Albany County, New York

The city of Albany New York is the county seat of Albany County, which makes sense considering their identical names. Albany County is a part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area or MAS, which is the fourth largest such MAS in the state of New York and the 54th largest in the United States. As of the 2010 Census, the entire county had just over 300,000 people living in it. Since it was clarified in 1888, Albany County has 530 square miles of land within its borders.

Albany County was formed based on the orders by New York's governor in 1683, Thomas Dongan. This order was later made official in 1691. Interestingly enough, for nearly a hundred years, the county's borders were not clearly defined, relying on rivers, plantations and other landmarks to loosely define where it ended and other lands began. Fortunately, Tryon County and Charlotte County eventually came about to set up more definition for Albany County. Aside from the city of Albany, Albany County originally had no municipalities. As time went on, the county became an increasingly complex place, as towns and manors took on additional titles and designations on top of the ones originally granted to them.

Another factor that originally shaped Albany County was King George III's creation of Quebec, which later went into Canada. New Hampshire eventually nuzzled into the county's space, as well.

Some parts of Albany County are downright flat, while other parts of the area are quite hilly. In the southwestern corner of the county, the foothills of the Catskill Mountains are present. Partly due to the hills and partly due to the large amount of water from the Hudson River, the area is quite humid. It rains roughly 135 days a year in Albany County, making umbrellas a solid investment.

The history of Albany County goes back over three centuries, so the architectural styles represented are extremely diverse. Every type of modern construction style is represented, from Dutch Colonial and French Renaissance buildings all the way to Art Deco and Modern buildings. There are ample rural areas, but plenty of city space as well.