Welcome to Albany
Albany became state capital in 1797 because of its geographic centrality to local colonies and its strategic importance in the fur trade. These days it's as much synonymous with legislative dysfunction as with political power. Its struggling economy is reflected in the number of derelict and abandoned buildings (the ones with white cross signs on a red background). Even so, the locals' friendliness and the city's usefulness as a gateway to the Adirondacks and Hudson Valley make it worth more than a casual look.