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!