Albany, NY

Writer, author, poet, playwright

Albany, NY

Gee, is this gentrification?

Albany, New York is the capital of the Empire State. It's a diverse small city with elements of good and bad, but overall it is a city that is yearning for greatness. The city is earning some style points by having a new business move into its environs. Hattie's Restaurant, a popular Saratoga Springs soul food eatery will open on Madison Avenue in Albany. Formerly owned by an African American couple, Hattie's will occupy the former venerable Lombardo's restaurant. Lombardo's has been closed for more than a few years and if those walls could reveal all the political, social and personal deals that were made in those booths, the history of some notable people, businesses and the city at large would be very different. The South End has been looking rugged for years with boarded up storefronts and restaurants. The long standing visage has been potholed streets, dusty sidewalks and tired looking facades. It was home to one of last year's many Black Lives Matter's protests. It is the current home of Historic Cherry Hill, Albany Housing Authority, Schuyler Mansion, Albany County Board of Elections, police, fire and other small and corporate businesses. This once thriving community has been surviving in dim wattage. The announcement of Hattie's has put a smile on many faces and created a buzz in the Capital District. Is this a start of some great things to happen in Albany, New York? Is this the first breath of fresh air off of South Pearl Street? Will Albany become cool?

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