A UA Perspective: Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Albany

  1. Albany is beyond “cold”

In Albany, the summers are warm and wet, the winters are freezing and snowy, and it is partly cloudy year-round. I had to do some research about this and found that the reason for the storminess and heavy rain in Upstate New York is because we’re caught between the massive heat dome out West and a stubborn high-pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean (If you’re not exactly sure what this means you can find more information on it by clicking here). I am not a fan of the cold at all and to others, moving to Albany might not have been the smartest idea especially since I’m so opposed to the weather, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be THIS bad. When I tell you in the dead of winter the wind blows so hard it forces tears from my eyes and turns them into snowflakes in my lashes before they even fall? At this point it’s beyond cold, it’s frigid, freezing, and arctic.

Aerial panorama of Albany, New York downtown at dusk. Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York and the county seat of Albany County
  1. Albany doesn’t care much about shoveling snow.

If you move to Albany and you have a car, be prepared to go to work. I’ve noticed that because it snows so much in Albany the capital does just enough to clear the roads but that’s about as much effort as they’re willing to invest. Oh and if your car happens to be parked in the street? Good luck shoveling your car out, you might have to call for backup. In addition to this,  Sidewalks are icy, steps have black ice, and snow has no choice but to crawl up your calves as you trudge through the remaining snow of whoever’s property isn’t shoveled. And just when you thought the storm was over there’s always another one right around the corner.

  1. Uber and Lyft are really hard to come by

It’s so frustrating needing to go somewhere and go to your uber app just to find that the nearest uber is 20min away, you then switch to Lyft hoping for better odds only to disappointingly find out that there aren’t any drivers in the surrounding area. During storms and at certain times of the day (the time varies depending on whether it’s rush hour or not) getting a ride to get to where you have to go is not only difficult to come by but they’re costly as well. I’ve chalked it up to the fact that a lot of people in Albany have similar 9-5 schedules so they inadvertently move at the same time. In addition to this, there aren’t that many people in Albany so the demand is high but the number of people available to meet those demands don’t match.

  1. Allergy Season Shows no mercy

Spring is fast approaching and I’m enjoying these last few weeks without aggravated sinuses. When I first came to Albany my allergies and I was fighting and I would’ve been in a losing battle had I not religiously taken my allergy medicine. With a bit of research, I learned that hypersensitivity to tree pollens most often is manifested with an allergy to oak, birch, and maple tree pollens, and Albany is filled with all three.

  1. Despite COVID basically being over, Liquor stores still close early.  

I was so excited to be 21 but usually, my night time adventures start later on in the day and I’ve been let down one too many times by the liquor stores in Albany. In the city, I’m used to liquor stores closing at 2 am – 3 am so for me to come to Albany and discover that they close at 9 pm? What an adjustment. If you plan to have last-minute plans that involve liquor you need to be pre-stocked or you will be disappointed.

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