Historic preservation and urban renewal projects have kept the city from the sad fate of its Rust Belt neighbor, Buffalo. What you'll find in Albany is a walkable, neighborhoody city, with dozen of well-maintained public parks and a strong, thriving community.
No urban city would be complete without nightlife, entertainment, shopping and restaurants. Albany has two main strips--Lark Street and Pearl Street. Pearl Street restaurants and bars are found in the downtown business area. Lark Street has funky eateries and restaurants alongside boutiques and interesting bars leaning toward taverns and/or watering holes.
Albany has its share of luxury condominiums and renovated historical homes that provides the resident with everything you may need. Of the higher-priced Albany neighborhoods, Center Square remains the preeminent destination for those who like to be within walking distance to nightlife and shopping. The Lark Street shopping district is nearby. Urban, and with an interesting mix of new and historical buildings, costs for apartments in this area can range anywhere from $1000-1200 for a two bedroom, depending on the building.
Fortunately, if you're a new Albany resident, you have a lot of housing options from which to choose. Most of this housing is located on the west side of town, and tends to, with the exception of the Pine Hills area, be a bit more suburban feeling than the Center Square district. Great neighborhoods include Pine Hills, Helderberg and Whitehall. Two bedrooms in these neighborhoods go for between $750-900.
Arbor Hill is a neighborhood of adorable and affordable row homes that has been in the process of redeveloping since the mid-2000s. Two bedrooms in this area generally go for $600-750.
As varied as Albany's housing market is, renting tends to be pretty easy. Begin your apartment hunt about 60 days before your move-in date to guarantee enough time to secure your dream space. Most rentals in Albany are accessible without the assistance of a realtor and are listed via online apartment search engines or in the classifieds of the Times Union.
Albany has remained a fairly urban city, which means that it's highly walkable and pretty easy to navigate with bikes and public transportation.
Most Capital District traffic moves into Albany in the morning, and out of it in the evening, so if you're commuting to Albany's neighboring cities, you'll be on the right side of rush hour.
If you're just planning on tooling around Albany, or its nearby cities, the Capital District Transportation Authority offers several bus lines around town and into neighboring Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga Springs. Albany is also connected to New York City by two Amtrak lines and a Greyhound route that will get you into Gotham in two to three hours.
So, welcome home, new Albany resident! Take a walk around your new neighborhood and enjoy the feel of a historic community that has been thriving since the birth of the United States as we know it!