If you want to ride your bike around perfectly smooth city streets without any other traffic for as long as you want, try downtown Albany on the Sunday night after Thanksgiving. Or any Sunday night.
Except for the restaurants open only for take-out because of Covid-19, most of the shops are closed this Sunday night. There’s the occasional car and even a pedestrian or two, but otherwise you have the streets to yourself.
Some of these streets were rebuilt in 2018 at a cost topping $10 million, with the central Albany urban renewal program paying about $8.4 million of that. They are are best-paved streets in town.
There are times when the old commercial core of Albany is plenty busy. But if you want to see how empty it can be on a chilly Sunday evening in November, come along on this meandering, four-minute ride:
By now it’s around 5 p.m. and getting pretty dark. Time to get off the bike and take a closer look at the Christmas windows of downtown stores. Like these:
You almost get the feeling that you’re in the kind of downtown you remember as a kid. The only thing missing is the window of a toy store with a model train chugging around a tree.
Downtown Albany: Hard to beat as a place to look around on a winter night before Christmas. But also check it out when all the shops are open, then go inside to see what you can buy. (hh)