Maybe don’t go to Albany in winter (but do go because it’s lovely)

It’s really cold in Albany in January. And snow.

My friends Heather and Nate moved to Albany. What a great excuse to see a new city and hang with one of my favorite couples.

I think a lot of Long Islanders think of the state of New York in 4 parts:

  1. Long Island
  2. The City
  3. Westchester
  4. And everything else is upstate

Yes, “upstate” refers to a ginormous piece of land. Yes, there’s a lot going on up there. But the general view from down here is that everything north of Westchester is just upstate.

New York City is where the stuff is, where the money is made, and where the people are, (really, so many people). But Albany is where the governing happens. I realize many people already know that, but I’ve met people who don’t know they’re going under water to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so I take nothing for granted.


Albany isn’t as far north as I thought. I am from Long Island and I don’t know much about upstate. It was about 50 when I left the city (as a Long Islander, NYC is just the city). We woke up to snow and temperatures below 30 on Saturday. To be fair, 50 degrees was a fluke and everyone woke up to cold.


How do you see a city and stay warm at the same time? Drink! I saw quite a bit of the city as we walked from place to place. There’s some beautiful architecture. The state capital and the department of education buildings are beautiful. And then you turn around and find a few buildings that look like they belong in the Soviet Union.


The Albany Distilling Company runs tours. If you find yourself in Albany go. The whiskey distilling process is really interesting, and the owner gives a great tour. I feel like I know enough now to start making my own. The distillery’s cats pull double duty as mice catchers and welcome party. And the liquor is really good too!

I don’t like beer. Finding a cidery, (Is that a word? It should be!) is very exciting. Nine Pine Cider Works is so so good. All they serve is hard cider. We had cider flights. 5 tastes of 5 different flavors. Early grey was my favorite, but I also always love lavender.


On Sunday Nate and I went to the New York State Museum. So in addition to drinking I learned stuff too. The building is…..kinda awful. It’s a concrete cube-shaped building. Not pretty and classical like the capital and some other buildings. It’s hard to look away though. So ugly it’s cool? There was an exhibit all about women’s suffrage because 2017 is the 100th anniversary of New York giving women the vote. Equality and representation: we’re still fighting for the same things 100 years later.

Albany seems like a cool little city. I’m planning to go back when the weather is nicer to take advantage of all of the beautiful nature up there. Hey Heather and Nate, let’s go hiking and camping!

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