Albany, New York

The Mohicans and Munsee tribes flourished in this area for thousands of years before Henry Hudson sailed up the river which would later bear his name. The tribes mainly survived by collecting nuts, harvesting berries, and growing corn, beans, and squash, in addition to hunting and fishing.

Then Hudson arrived in 1609, as a  representative of the Europeans and their relentless westward pursuit of land and riches. In 1797, the growing city of Albany was named the State Capitol of New York State. It’s also become the temporary home of my daughter as she completes her Ph.D. studies and a place I’ve started to visit more often.

I like it!

I’ve only made a couple of visits so far and have only made it to a few places to visit around town. However, there’s a lot more to see, both in terms of natural discoveries and the history of human inhabitation.

Here are some of the things I’ve seen so far.

Empire State Plaza

The Empire State Plaza, built between 1965 and 1978, was the idea of then-Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. The story goes he was embarrassed by the condition of downtown Albany between the State Capitol Building and the Governor’s Mansion. He wanted something grander to impress people who came to the city. So, historic Victorian-era buildings were replaced by the sprawling modernistic-styled mall. The mall also brought state workers together in a confined space rather than having them in buildings throughout the region. It also houses impressive art, historical, and museum collections.

A Salute to Firefighters

As I walked onto the plaza one warm summer day in Mid-August 0f 2022, I was immediately drawn to a monument dedicated to the firefighters of New York State.

As you may know, the fire service has played an important role in my life, and I’m always grateful for the time I served.

The monument caught my eye because it showed two firefighters dragging a third one away from a “scene”. The third firefighter has obviously been injured and needed help.

At first, I thought it was a scene honoring the firefighters injured and/or who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, in New York City. However, the statue was actually created in 1998, three years before that tragic day in American History.

You’ll find other displays and artifacts once you go inside the State Museum at the south end of the plaza.

The State Capitol Building