I’m gonna be honest here, I don’t like going home for the holidays. I live my girlfriend now and we’re happy staying in our apartments like hermits and never really going out to see the light of day. But, my mom called me from Albany and asked me to travel home to visit for Thanksgiving, so I went. We drove all the way to Exit 24 on the New York State Thruway, got off the exit, then merged on I-87 going north. We passed Colonie Center Mall, the Cheesecake Factory, the Albany Airport, and a million other buildings that I remember seeing throughout my childhood. That’s when it happened. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. A car swerved into us, I fell out the side of the vehicle, hit the pavement hard, and broke my tooth. We pulled off to the side of the road and starting searching for an Albany dentist, but none of the dental offices were open because it was a holiday! My tooth really hurt, so my girlfriend start calling every dental clinic in the Yellow Pages. Finally, we found dental services on www.albanydentalpros.com that were open. We called the emergency hotline and the dentist was able to see us right away. They gave me anesthesia and removed my tooth. I’m very thankful to Albany Dental Pros because that whole situation would have been a nightmare if they hadn’t been able to help. The service was covered by my insurance plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield after my $100 co-payment for the emergency dental visit. Thankfully I had that coverage or it may have been thousands of dollars.
If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know how amazing that place is. We flew into North Las Vegas Airport and arrived on a red eye and we were so exhausted we didn’t even both trying to hit the clubs- we went straight to the ARIA Resort and Casino for a good night sleep. We would have done the MGM Grand, but the taxi driver took us to the wrong spot. We slept in until about 11 AM, then went over to Caesars Palace for brunch and to play some slots. After blowing some money at the high roller tables for an hour or two, we went straight to the Mirage Pool to spend some time in the sun, take a dip in the water, and swim for a bit.
This luxury swimming pool was designed by Envy Pool Builders of Las Vegas. You can visit their website at www.poolbuilderslasvegas.net to see their full portfolio. They have developed more than 47 of the hotel swimming pools along the Vegas Strip and a number out in Paradise and Henderson as well. Samantha sat there and read their brochure for 20 minutes! I was more concerned with enjoying the water. It was a perfect clear blue and probably 80 degrees. I’m actually surprised is wasn’t closed, but I’m not complaining.
The Mirage Pool is one of several famous attractions in the city. Another big one is the Palazzo Pool located inside the Venetian at 3325 S Las Vegas Blvd in the 89109 zip code. It normally closes at 5:00 PM, so we don’t go to that one as much. If you’re in the mood for an outside oasis, you can always try the Garside Pool on Torrey Pines Drive in Clark County. There’s always a lot of great options, which is one of the reasons I just love Nevada any time of the year.
In today’s day and age, restaurants are a staple of everyday life. They’re the places people look forward to going after a long day of work and where friends go to hangout, eat and drink together. Restaurant maintenance isn’t easy though, especially in the kitchen where the food is cooked and prepared in large quantities. Special commercial tools like grease traps are used in restaurants to help keep the staff and patrons safe and prevent environmental pollution.
The city of Albany has a few hundred well known restaurants scattered across the county. Each of them sees a high volume of customer traffic during dinner hours, from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM throughout the week. On the weekends, even more hungry patrons show up to devour whatever tasty meals are being served. When the food being cooked requires heavy amounts of fats and oils, it leads to an accumulation of grease. Commercial kitchen hoods collect some of those vapors and send them out through the restaurant’s ventilation system, but it can’t catch everything. The remaining particles build up and harden, becoming flammable and increasing the risk of a fire. What’s strange is that hardly no local eateries use grease traps, which could help alleviate this concern.
Venture just 3 hours south to New York City and you’ll see 10 times more customers and restaurants at near capacity every day of the week because of the sheer number of people that live in areas like Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn. These restaurants experience a heavier dose of grease vapors and accumulation because of their increased volume of cooking with oil over a fire. Their solution to this issue is the aforementioned grease trap, also called a grease interceptor. It’s a plumbing device that’s used to collect grease and solids before they enter the wastewater system. The idea of this grease recovery device is to collect all of the waste and remove it right away so it doesn’t have a chance to build up or be released in the environment. Hood cleaning companies can easily do grease trap installation for restaurants to prevent fires and stop oils from overwhelming septic tanks and water-treatment facilities. It’s a simple fix eateries can make that can lessen the build-up of grease, which in turn decreases the chance of a fire. On top of that, having these devices installed enables microorganisms to break down these fatty solutions before they can be released into the local water supply. The cost for grease trap units are typically a few hundred bucks, which is a small price to pay to save people and the environment.
Of the 50 states, Albany, NY has some of the most historical facts you can find, but also some of the strangest. Let’s start with odd.
Perforated Toilet Paper
Did you know that Albany is home to the invention of perforated toilet paper? We’re not quite sure what happened before that. It must have previously been one long roll and you just tear it and waste more than needed. Yes, that means next time you’re wiping your a$$, be grateful for this city’s inclusion in the original 13 colonies when this area was settled in the late 1600’s.
Capital of the State
In 1797, Albany became New York’s state capital and created its own government system that still functions much like it did back then albeit serious improvements in technology and no more white wigs on peoples’ heads. This area was originally a fur trading post named “Beverwijck” by the Dutch, but was then conquered by the English who rebranded it as Albany. Thank god for that! That last name was a weird one to pronounce.
Dead Bodies in Washington Park
The beautiful Washington Park plays host to numerous events in Albany these days such as the Tulip Festival, annual walkathon, and multiple rock concerts. But, back in the 1800’s, it was used as a cemetery that held more than 30,000 bodies. In mid-1840, everyone that was buried in Washington Park was removed and transferred to a Albany Rural Cemetery instead.
Gender Distribution Leans Toward Women
Most cities are an even split of males and females. Albany tips the scales toward one side, with 52% women. For guys, that means the odds are more in your favor if you stick around the state capital. It also helps to know that the population is nearly 100,000 people. That’s a lot of options! Better start swiping.
Albany Doesn’t Have Many Famous People
Despite a reasonable population size, Albany doesn’t have many famous people. Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show is the most well-known celebrity we’ve got. He went to college at Saint Rose and started his showed shortly thereafter. Fallon broadcasts from the Rockefeller Center in New York City, a short 3 hour drive south of the capital.
Albany is the flourishing capital of New York. Every year, it attracts thousands of visitors from across the country for its historical importance and interesting attractions, many of which are based around culture. Albany’s population is roughly 98,000 people, who live in the 518 area-code, not far from the Hudson River. Below are Albany’s top attractions that people love to visit.
New York State Museum
Location: 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230
The New York State Museum, located in the Empire State Plaza, was established on April 15, 1836 under the direction of Governor William Marcy at the state’s first official collection of arts, science, history, and cultural works. It’s the largest museum in the United States with more than 100,000 square feet of exhibits, which the museum staff update periodically to reflect different topics. It’s a hub of cultural and historical significance, holding a plethora of invaluable artifacts some of which are hundreds of years old. Daily, the museum welcomes visitors from local elementary schools around the capital who want to see some of the 16 million specimens on display.
New York State Capitol
The New York State Capitol is a historical landmark and the home of New York’s government seat since the 1880’s. The building was developed in the 19th century over the course of 32 years by 5 architects, using the latest in architectural designs (at the time). Visitors can take guided tours through the large building after a mandatory security check at the front door. Inside the Capitol, you’ll find high ceilings, impressive acoustics, hundreds of stairs, and countless structures with ornate details. Brace yourself because the walk from the street to the front door is a hike that people have called the “million-dollar staircase.”
1 Quay St, Albany, NY 12202
The USS Slater is the last remaining destroyer escort ship from World War II. During the war, 563 of these ships battled the Nazi’s in the Atlantic Ocean, safeguarding American soldiers. Year later, the destroyer escorts aided in protecting the United States Navy from the Japanese invasion at Pearl Harbor. The USS Slater is the last remaining destroyer escort in the US, and it’s currently docked on the Hudson River in Albany, New York. Over the years, the ship has been heavily restored to serve as a floating museum and historical icon. The USS Slater now serves as a historical landmark, hosting guided tours, overnight camping excursions, and naval reunions, with the help of local volunteers.
Times Union Center
Location: 51 S Pearl St, Albany, NY 12207
The Times Union Center is Albany’s top indoor arena, built by Beltrone/MLB for $69.4 million. The arena opened its doors in 1990, originally called the “Knickerbocker Arena”. One year later, the name was changed to the “Pepsi Arena”. The regional newspaper, the Times Union, purchased the naming rights for the building in 2006 and renamed it the “Times Union Center”, which it remains today. The arena holds up to 15,500 people during sporting events and includes 25 luxury suites that are typically sold-out. It’s centrally located in Albany around hundreds of bars and restaurants, such as the Pearl Street Pub. The Times Union Center is home to the Siena Saints MAAC basketball team and the Albany Empire Arena Football team. It also hosts an array of events from sports to concert series.
Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site
The Schuyler mansion state historic site is a Georgian style manor that was built for Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler starting in 1761. The 18th century estate features Georgian architecture, and many of the General’s furniture, art, paintings, and personal belongings. General Schuyler used this building as his primary residence and the location for political and military strategy meetings with one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. This building is a national landmark that has been turned restored and turned into a museum. Tours are given during the hours of 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Wednesday through Sunday.
Washington Park is a 136-acre plot of land that serves as the location for numerous city-wide events throughout the year. With a clean lake, sports fields, playgrounds, and endless greenery, the park is a great place for a casual stroll. Washington Park is also the host of popular annual events, such as Dad Fest, a celebration of fathers, and the Albany Tulip Festival, which attracts more than one hundred local artisans who sell their handmade crafts and home-cooked foods. The event features more than 140,000 tulips and live entertainment from famous musicians and bands of today.
Location: 1 Crossgates Mall Rd, Albany, NY 12203
Crossgates Mall is Albany’s premier shopping and dining location, offering a huge array of more than 180 retailers, a large food court, more than 20 restaurants, and a newly renovated movie theater, Regal Cinemas with IMAX. Crossgates Mall is easily accessible by bus or by car via I-87 and I-90. This bustling shopping center features famous brands like Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JC Penney’s, Macy’s, and many more. Kids can enjoy the arcade area, tucked behind the food court. Adults come to the mall for the sports bar Dave & Busters, where they can enjoy happy hour, watch live sports with other Albany locals, host parties, and even try some virtual reality gaming.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a 3,200-acre nature preserve that protects more than 1,500 plant and animal species, some of which have been classified as endangered by the Federal government. The grounds offer 18 miles of walking trails through sand dunes, a national bird conservation area, and natural gardens. This one-of-a-kind ecosystem is protected by paid staff and several volunteers who focus on environmental education and research. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is frequently visited by classrooms of students who are learning about biology. The discovery center building contains interactive exhibits that are perfect for expanding young minds.
Albany, New York is an interesting location that blends history, culture, and environmental significance. Next time you’re traveling in New York State, visit the capital and check out some of the top 8 attractions Albany has to offer. In addition, please support Albany’s local businesses.