New York By Rail 14th ed. - Page 49

Ask a Local Originally from a small town in Illinois, Rhonda K. Belluso has lived on and off for nine years in Albany, where she shares a 1929 Tudor-style home with her husband, son and stepson. A former environmental lobbyist, she owns and operates her own public relations and marketing firm, RC3 Communications. ” I love Albany’s small-town feel. It’s great bumping into friends at a coffee shop or grocery store, and my neighbor- hood is the best. While many things about Albany have changed, a lot is the same. There’s new, exciting development around Albany Medical Center and in the Warehouse District, but along South Manning, toward my neighborhood, it’s as charming as when I first drove there, in 2001. For brunch, we love Café Madison (get there early to avoid the lines). For lunch, we like El Loco or El Mariachi. Our go-tos for dinner are Druthers, The Pump Station, New World Bistro and Capital City Gastropub. Jack’s Oyster House is a nice treat or one of the old Italian restaurants downtown like Lombardo’s or Café Capriccio. For coffee, we walk to Tierra Roasters or drive to Emack & Bolio’s, which has delicious confections. I encourage guests to visit in warmer weather for the fun festivals like the Tulip Festival and the Alive at Five concert series. Track season is fun too, so we’ll do a picnic at Saratoga Racetrack—just 30 minutes north. In winter, we go to the New York State Museum, which has a giant ed nam g Before bein FUN lish Duke carousel, or go skating Eng the for FACT of Albany in 1664, at the Empire State ent Plaza Ice Rink (it’s free, the Dutch called the settlem r minus the skates). And Beverwijck, meaning “beave ran district,” since the critters there’s always a concert Mahicans rampant. Before that, the or play we can see at uthut- called the area Pempotoww The Egg, Palace Theater of e plac Muhhcanneuw, or “the fire or Upstate ” ion. Nat the Mohican Concert Hall. ” Out on a Lark From quaint coffee shops to gargantuan festivals, Albany’s Lark Street has it all. By Brian PJ Cronin I t’s a 10-minute cab ride to Lark Street from the Albany- Rensselaer Amtrak Station, but once you’ve arrived, you might think you wound up in Greenwich Village. The brownstones, wide stoops and cobblestoned, tree-lined cross streets make it easy to see why this neighbor- hood has been nicknamed “the Village in Albany.” Lark Street’s intimate scale and turn-of-the-century architecture isn’t the only reason for the comparison. It’s also the Capital District’s premier neighborhood for artists, musicians and the LGBT community (the Pride Center of the Capital Region, America’s oldest continuously operating LGBT center, is nearby on Hudson Avenue). Coffee lovers have a choice of old-school coffee shop Daily Grind, which has roasted its own beans since 1976; newcomer Stacks Espresso Bar, where every cup is served atop a miniature wooden cutting board next to a glass of sparkling water; or Brew, which not only roasts its own beans, but sells a staggering array of craft beers as well. Diners can travel the world over the course of just a few blocks, with Greek, Japanese, Thai and Italian restaurants, and there’s even a vegan deli. Plus, there’s Chinese for every budget, from the 100-seat Cantonese restaurant Rain, which serves dim sum on weekends, to the equally popular, miniscule take-out joint Amazing Wok, a neighborhood staple for o ٕ(啅̸ ЁѡЁمՔɡ́չЁ ˊḛ)ݡ͕ٕ́ɥͥ镐ɥѽ́ݥѠٕѡɽ)Mѡɸɥљ͠Ѽɕɥɥѕɬѥ)ѡЁȁȁՍͻeЁЁ ˊéͥ)хѕаӊé́ɥѽ䁅́ݕ%Ё݅́չ)ݥѠѡݥ́ɽѥձɱхձȁոЁѡ)ȁхɉ䁍ͥ)1ɬMɕӊéɥ́Ց́х䁽єѡ)ɥ䁽ٕ䁵ѠЁѡ͔ȁȁ)͡ձѽ䁥)չȁѡՅЁ1ɬMɕ)ѥمݡѡɕЁ́ɹٕȁѼѥ̰ѕ̰)͍ձѽ̰Ʌѕ́ȁɽ̸%ӊé9܁eɬ)Mхїé͕ɝЁɕЁѥمЁӊé݅əѡ)Ёѡݡ́ͼ1ɬ1ɭMP)́ѼɅѼ́́)MѕȁMɑ䁙ȁѥͥ́5)-5䁅1ݕȁ̸)Qɽݑ́хЁȁ1ɭMP͕ѡe)ɔЁ9܁eɬ 䰁Ёȁѡɔ 䰁ӊe)Ёѡȁ݅ɴݕѡȁMɑ䁹аٕѡݥ)ٕȁѥȁѡȁեЁMչ䁵ɹɕ͠)ɽѕմѡхїéЁٕ)ɡ̸)9܁eɬ I