A Hudson Avenue Symphony

In the mid-1940s, my family and I lived in an apartment at 273 Hudson Ave., across from the Melody Inn, during an era of live music and lively crowds, described in William Kennedy’s O Albany!


Two Families, A Shared Story

The Radrizzi and Strong family stories have been intertwined for almost a century—beginning before they became neighbors and lasting long after their block of Jay St. was demolished.

A Letter to Mayor Corning

On April 5, 1962 Elinor and Leo Mullen sat down to write a letter to Albany Mayor Erastus Corning 2d.


The Big A

On March 31, 1962—4 days after the State of New York seized Albany’s 98 acres— the Knickerbocker News “Night Owl” column reported that Ambassador owner Marvin J. Sherman and his regular customers were “thinking of forming a Citizens Society to Exempt the Ambassador” from demolition.


Growing up on the “Street of Regret”

I was six years old, when my family moved from Ballston Spa to Albany, NY in 1942. My father, Morris, found a war job in Schenectady, and we lived in a rented 3-room apartment above Dinty’s Tavern….


Our Name Means Shoemaker

Hudson Shoe Rebuilders was more than just a shoe repair store. It was also a variety store, selling inexpensive socks, shoes, shirts, and other sundries to residents of Albany’s rooming house district. At the back of the store, Greek immigrants could find cheese, olives, and oil imported from their native country.


Hunter’s Pharmacy

Like most of the roughly 400 businesses that once served the 98 acres, Kenneth Hunter’s pharmacy was a neighborhood institution. In business for over thirty years at the same location, he filled thousands of prescriptions for the area’s residents and served sodas to two generations of children.


On the Street of Regret*

The regulars at Dinty’s Tavern referred to Hudson Avenue as the “street of regret,” after the song first made popular by The Sammy Kaye Orchestra. A version of the song on Dinty’s jukebox—perhaps Dinah Washington’s from her 1962 album Drinking Again—seemed to describe their lives.


George & Josephine

On May 22, 1930, George Stalter, a 43-year old bachelor from Speyerdorf, Germany, arrived in New York City with $200 in his pocket and plans to continue on to Albany.