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Albany, NY- Empire State Capital, Gate to the Mountains
   by Howard Giske

Albany, NY, the capital of New York State is located 135 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. It has a population of about 96,000, and is located slightly south of the juncture of the Hudson and the Mohawk rivers. Albany is close to the cities of Troy and Schenectady, forming what is known as the Capital District, and the whole area should be looked at when considering Albany homes. This area makes up the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Area with a population of 850,000.

Albany has been the capital of New York State since 1797. Much of Albany's importance derives from its location along the Hudson River, and its later connections through railroads and the Erie Canal. In 1807, Robert Fulton started a steamboat line from New York City to Albany. On October 26, 1825 the Erie Canal was completed, forming a canal and river route from the Lake Erie to New York City. The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenectady, New York opened on September 24, 1831 and later became part of the New York Central Railroad. Albany is still a transit hub between Montreal, Canada to the north, Worcester and Boston Mass. to the east, New York City to the south and Buffalo and the Great Lakes to the west.

Between 1965 and 1978, the Empire State Plaza was constructed in Albany's Midtown, west of Downtown and south of the Capitol building, now named after Governor Nelson Rockefeller. The Corning Tower stands 589 feet high and is the tallest building in New York State outside New York City. There is also the Legislative Office Building, the Cultural Education Center with the State Library and Museum, the Justice Building, and the impressive performing arts center known as "The Egg" around Empire State Plaza. The NY State Museum has exhibits displaying the state's history and natural heritage as well as art exhibits. The museum is free. The historic Palace Theatre is a pre-World War II, ornate movie house that has recently been rehabilitated and now is the venue for medium sized, that is, up to 2,800 seat concerts and performances.

For some exciting sports fun, there is the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York. There are hockey, football and basketball games at the Pepsi Arena, baseball at nearby Heritage Park or the thoroughbred racetrack at Saratoga in the warm weather months.

Albany is also a college town in a major way, home of one of the four big State University campuses of New York, SUNY-Albany with over 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Just a cab ride away from downtown is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. It is known as a top engineering, science and technology school. It has over 7,000 students and has occupied its campus since 1824 with its own share of ornate historic landmark buildings.

The Albany International Airport and the Amtrak train station allow for convenient transportation in and out of the Albany area. Also nearby are the mountain climbing, ski and other resort areas of the Catskill Mountains, and the protected areas of the Adirondack Mountains. The Albany area has bus service provided by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA).

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Albany homes and nationwide real estate at http://millionsaver.com

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