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Old 02-07-2010, 10:03 PM
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Hi everyone - I'm a senior at Syracuse University, and I'll be working in Schenectady after I graduate in May. I'm wondering if Albany would be a better living option than Schenectady. I'm looking for a studio apartment in a safe, urban neighborhood - preferably near some restaurants/bars/cafes/nightlife. I've been told there's more going on in Albany than there is in Schenectady.

I should also mention that I will only be there for a year; my job is part of a rotational program. I've been reading through the posts - especially about neighborhoods - but I'd appreciate any feedback for a somewhat liberal guy just getting out of college. I'll be driving over one of these coming weekends, so any recommendations on places to visit would be great.

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Old 02-08-2010, 04:41 PM
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i'm subscribing to this link as i'm in the same boat you are...24 years old, just took a job with St. Jude Medical with my territory spanning from as west as Binghamton to Springfield, Massachusetts....Albany being in the center.

I'm interested to see what some of the responses are that you get.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:16 PM
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I'd agree that there is more going on in Albany. Are you hoping to be able to walk to restaurants, night clubs, etc from your apartment? When you are looking in Albany you might try side streets off of Lark St. Pine Hills area is also nice. I like S. Lake, on the park & Central Sq. neighborhood (which is closer to downtown). If you look in Sch'dy, maybe try for a place right on State St. near Proctors, Bombers, etc. For a place in Sch'dy that's quieter but still near downtown, try the Stockade.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for your response, j12308

Walkability to those places would be great - but I'm nervous about the parking situation in the area. I read that living/parking on Lark runs the chance of vandalism because of all the foot-traffic - should I take that with a grain of salt?

As far as safety is concerned, are there any places I should avoid [at night]? I don't always feel the safest walking around the surrounding areas of SU at night, so I'm wondering how Syracuse, Sch'dy and Albany compare.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:53 AM
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I'd say parking probably will be an issue. I guess to me in a city that's to be expected to some extent. When I've lived in a city (or visited) it seems it'd always take 10 minutes of driving around to find a spot. Lark St. is busy w/foot traffic from bars & restaurants, so I suppose vandalism occurs. That's why I'd look for a side street off of Lark. It's one of the unfortunate minuses when you get a busy happening area, lots of drunk rowdy people. When you come up to visit, I'm confident you'll know just by driving around what areas to avoid. It's very obvious. Whether you're looking at Albany or Sch'dy - places will be boarded up, people just kinda hanging around doing nothing...Arbor Hill in Albany, Hamilton Hill in Sch'dy are two areas that jump out at me to stay away from. Really though if you've been going to school in a city and you've gotten that uncomfortable feeling, then you already have some street smarts, so if you just listen to your intuition, you'll be fine. Places that are "bad" aren't necessarily all bad. For example Hamilton Hill, I wouldn't choose to live there, but I frequent Petta's a great Italian restaurant on the hill. I'd park in the well lit parking lot and walk in by myself, but I wouldn't go for a walk around the neighborhood by myself.

Where are you working in Sch'dy? I would think they could help you out w/the area too, w/suggestions. Do you typically go out every night after work? Or just weekends? I ask because if you go out a good bit, Albany does make more sense. But if it's more of a weekend thing, maybe having a short commute and living in Sch'dy makes more sense? I'm not sure the traffic would be bad going to work, because you'd be going the opposite direction as most. I plan on a good 1/2 hr. when I go to Albany w/no traffic, 45min w/traffic.
Maybe check out the Union College website, there's a section about being out and about in the city. Union College, Schenectady, NY. It might give you an idea of what young people in Sch'dy like to do. I live near Union. I like walking around the campus and they offer free movies & lectures to the public, the little cafe in the student center is open to the public, last I knew they had Starbucks coffee and some homemade items. The patio overlooking Jackson Garden's is beautiful. In Sch'dy a lot of young people hang out in Bombers. I walked in there and felt like I was in college. Katie O'Byrnes, Pinhead Susan's, the Van Dyke has some great shows, pretty good price, good food - are all places that I see young professionals.
Let me know if you think of other questions. Good luck! Wherever you choose, just make the most of your year, take in the sights! Shows, sporting events, skiing, hiking, great restaurants, etc. There's a lot going on if you look for it. Oh I almost forgot, someone mentioned it in another post, pick up a Metroland - it's a little paper, lots of info.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:57 AM
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I was thinking that the Upper Union area in Schenectady might be fine: Upper Union Street Business Improvement District|Upper Union Street Business Improvement District

Lark Street in Albany is another option as well. Lark Street BID :: Welcome

Pine Hills in Albany could be another option: Home

As for Syracuse around SU, a lot of the issues come when students don't use common sense. Take the escorts by DPS, walk with other people and lock things up that are supposed to be locked up. Except for the area of campus somewhat close to the public housing, the rest of the area is generally fine.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:05 PM
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thanks for your responses - very much appreciated. j123, I'll be working at GE Energy. I don't tend to go out all the time... but I like having excitement around. The original plan was actually to go to NYC, but I couldn't pass up the job with GE. Still looking forward to make the most of the Capital District while I'm there, however!
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