Sunday, April 29, 2012

New series: If I were mayor...

Seeing as how we only get 2 or 3 mayors in a lifetime* here in Albany, I often find myself wondering what I would do if I were ever in that position.  I know I wouldn't get corrupted by power or throw all the construction business in a particular direction thus guaranteeing each building project looks exactly like the one which preceded it, but, what would I do?  

I've been running - a lot, and I've really been mixing things up - the Corning Trail, down along the Normanskill, through the city streets, around Washington Park and the Capital. There are so many beautiful and challenging places to run around my fair city that I can't imagine ever growing tired of the options available for outdoor exercise.  So, returning to my original premise - if I were mayor I would promote the hell out of Albany as a place for active people to live.  We've got bike paths and running trails and great places to walk.  Why aren't we capitalizing on the opportunities for exercise and fresh air that are available here?  How come more isn't being done to improve or simply advertise the existing quality of life here in Albany?

Have you ever spent any time down by the river on the bike path?  Between the boathouse and the I-90 bridge there are some funky pieces of equipment that look like they were intended to be exercise apparatus.  Maybe one of the local gyms could take on the task of creating a true circuit of exercises?  I bet there are local benefactors who would sponsor a stop along the trail just like there are sponsored holes at Capital Hills golf course.  

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were outdoor yoga classes down by the river or in Washington or Lincoln Park?  Perhaps a series during the summer months.  Or how about some organized moonlight runs?  How cool would it be to run in a group at night through the city?  And would it really be that challenging to close Washington Park to automobile traffic on Sundays to allow families to gather with bicycles, roller blades and skateboards?  Perhaps even have vendors in the park with some of the yummy food trucks that line Washington Avenue and State Street during the work week.  Wouldn't that be amazing?

So - if you were mayor, what would you do?

*And people complain about tenure for teachers? Ha!


  1. It does surprise me this doesn't happen here. I go to other cities and see outdoor yoga, exercise and other classes all the time, and they're not necessarily more temperate than we are.

    The stray equipment on the path goes back a couple of decades, I think. At one time Perrier and a couple of other companies put up a number of these parcourses in parks all over. This was back at the end of the '70s, so it might be time to do it again.

  2. The first thing I noticed when I moved up here from Westchester County 7 years ago was exactly what you are talking about. How great the quality of life is here in the Capital Region. Great place to raise a family. So many different cultural events. City, town and farms events within a stones throw of each other. I wasn't here a week when I rode my bike from Albany to Niskayuna and back along the bike trail and a few side streets. How awesome.

  3. Yes yes yes! This hits on something I've been thinking about a lot-- Albany majorly misses out on marketing itself to residents -- curent and potential. Other cities cater to its residents as well as its visitors, while Albany focuses so much on visitors (to restaurants, bars, hotels, conventions, sporting events, etc)

    This city is full of young professionals, young families, doctors, professors, artists, and athletes. But you wouldn't know it by looking at the city's marketing - you'd think it's just full of restaurants and bars and state workers who leave at 5pm.

    How do we, as Albany residents, claim our identity? Share how awesome it is to live in the city? Posts like this one are a great start, and there are plenty of local pride blogs -- all movement in the right direction. Imagine how great it would be if Jerry took notice!