In case you haven’t noticed — and I hadn’t before Saturday — the downtown Albany “parklets” are back for the second summer in a row.
The Albany Downtown Association thought of the idea last year and put it into action. The idea was to create small spaces on city streets for passersby to pause and take a load off.
There are two of these parklets, one on Broadalbin Street and the other one a block away on First Avenue near the Wells Fargo Bank. Benches and flower baskets, that’s about all there is, along with boards and game pieces for checkers. If someone wanted to bring a set of chess men, that would be possible too.
Not having staked out the scene and kept watch, I wondered how much use these little places were getting. Lise Grato of the Downtown Association told me that since the outdoor sitting areas were set up, which was done during “our spring cleanup,” she has often seen people playing checkers there. And now and then someone plays the guitar.
As long as it’s not raining and it doesn’t get too hot, these mini-parks are a good place for office workers to take their lunch break too. You can get something at a nearby sandwich shop or restaurant, or you can bring a sack lunch from home. (hh)