Let’s go, 518! Plans are moving onward and upward (literally) to develop a public park that would make use of the eyesore that is the abandoned ramps of 787, turning it into a place you can walk, bike, enjoy local artwork and get connected from the downtown area to the waterfront on the other side of the highway.
Since all we can see so far are sketches, it is a little tough to imagine, I know. But if you’ve ever been to Albany, you’d be a straight up dummy not to realize how badly a project like this is needed to help revitalize the area and honestly, to just make it cool again.
Have you ever walked the High Line in NYC? It’s basically the coolest place ever by all stretches of the imagination. Great for a hip, outdoor Instagram pic, a nice place to relax and sit on a bench or admire walls of art, city skylines and a water view, and not to mention it’s a long stretch of green grasses and flowers amidst a literal Concrete Jungle.
And now the 518 could be getting our very own version of this and that is some seriously good news.
In 2018, I left my home base of Troy (work-wise) and became an Albany girl and let me tell you, it does not compare –and I’m not shy about saying that. Albany does not have the community vibe of a smaller city like Troy or Schenectady. Yes, that’s obvious considering it’s the capital of New York, but people still want to feel that creative, urban vibe even in a bigger place and Albany is missin’ out on that big time.
Pearl Street is like 65 percent abandoned buildings and out-of-business businesses, Lark Street and the Warehouse District are both disconnected from the rest of the city, and the government for lack of a better phrase just gets in the way (physically and literally). Us young people want to feel at home in the city that we work –we’re too young to hustle back to the suburbs after and sit in traffic wondering why we do this every day.
The Albany Skyway is a big step toward recognizing what the people in this area want, need and could benefit from and I think if it’s even a fraction as cool as the High Line in NYC, it will be a worthwhile investment. Plus, aren’t you guys sick of all the negative stuff tourists or other New Yorkers say about Albany and the Capital Region? We need to take that opportunity to step up our game and become a destination, not a pass-through point or the capital that doesn’t deserve to be the capital.
So, let’s rally together and support this project and hopefully we can see it come to life soon. If we got Uber to the Capital Region I’m pretty sure we can do anything now.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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