Albany has fine cultural offerings

the walk signals

Albany culturalThe blogger Jaquandor has more questions for Ask Roger Anything.
Do you like the cultural offerings in your area?

I LOVE the cultural offerings in the Capital District of New York State. The Albany Symphony Orchestra received two more Grammy nominations this year. They often perform contemporary, challenging pieces, not just the old warhorses. Although they do those very well.

Proctors Theatre in Schenectady offers a panoply of performances. I have season tickets to see the shows that were on Broadway and are now touring. But there are a lot of other things going on in the former vaudeville venue with 2700 seats.

Capital Rep does very fine theater with mostly Actors’ Equity performers. In the past, I’ve had season tickets. There are many fine other theatrical venues in the area, such as Mac-Haydn Theatre.

Free shows in the good weather include Alive at Five, performances on the Empire State Plaza, the Tulip festival, Larkfest, and many more.

The New York State Writers Institute offers name authors and challenging films throughout the year. The Underground Railroad history project always has informational and educational events.


I can’t forget the Albany Institute of History and Art, since we are members. The New York State Museum is another of the many museums and galleries in the region. I must mention that the Albany Public Library, which offers over a thousand events each year, including a weekly book review at the Washington Avenue branch.

My friend David Brickman writes about a lot of these. Check out Nippertown for more events than I could possibly attend. My theory: if you’re bored here, you’re not trying very hard.

What’s something completely mundane that bugs you or freaks you out? For me, it’s the fact that the buttons on the drive-thru ATM have braille on them. It’s clear why (they probably don’t bother making multiple sets of buttons for those machines), but it still always strikes me as really odd.

It’s the walk signals in Albany. Some of them do nothing except mirror the street lights, so what’s the point? Some of them you press and you get extra time to cross the street – important crossing Madison at West Lawrence. Without, it’s about five seconds, and you’ll probably die.

There’s an intersection a block from there. It has five spurs. The walk sign lights up only if you hit the button crossing Madison at South Allen,. If you cross Western at North Allen, the walk sign lights up regardless of whether you hit the button. But the sequence of when you can cross and when you can not is unchanged.