Birthday present: New World Bistro Bar

New World Bistro Bar.jpg

New World was, well, new to Albany last year.

AOA's birthweek celebration continues today with -- what else -- more presents.

The winners of today's drawing get: a $100 gift certificate to New World Bistro Bar in Albany. There will be three winners.

This one got us thinking. New World. New. New stuff. New stuff in the Capital Region! So today's question is:

What new thing would you like to see in the Capital Region?

From subways to taco trucks -- it's all fair game! Post your answer in the comments section. We'll draw the winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by 10 pm Thursday (Feb 25, 2010) to be entered in the drawing. One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address with your comment. The winners will be notified via email by 5 pm on Friday and must respond by 5 pm on Monday.

Comments

Oh that's easy, a Wegmans!

Light rail system.

A Professional Sports Team!!

I would like to see a light rail line from Clifton Park (or even Saratoga Springs) down to Albany through Waterford, Cohoes, Watervliet and Menands. These little old cities/villages have such potential for revitalization, if only they were more in people's way... something like an easy public transit option might be just the thing for them.

I would like a trader joes!!

High speed rail!

A vegan restaurant!

A Wegmans for sure!

I would like to see a new focus on residential life in the city (rather than convention centers and bars).

As a recent Albany home buyer, I would love to see the city focus on encouraging more people to live in the city-- tout the services (maybe even improve them), publicize the great benefits of living in a walkable community (I can walk to a gym, a coffeeshop, a pharmacy, a pizza place, a bank, a hospital, etc-- how many people in Clifton Park can say the same?), offer up city home owner perks, create more opportunities for city residents to come together, and really draw people to buying homes here-- not just getting drunk here.

I WANT A SUBWAY WITH A TACO TRUCK IN IT!!!!

I'm going to go with a light rail system.

I want two things.

A much better local transit system. It would be great to hop on the bus sometimes after 8pm to head home, or even take the bus to work if it didn't take 2 hours.

I would also love late night street vendors. The kind that can cook up a sandwich that perfectly hits the spot after sitting in a bar all night.

Regardless of the flack everyone seems to give us -

TRADER JOES!!!!! :)

TJs!

The Google broadband trial thing.

Whole Foods, Stew Leonards, or Trader Joe's- the whole quality of life would go up here....no offense to the coop because I would still shop there as well... just want more options.

Since everyone took my light rail comment, I'll go with meat/poultry CSA. And an Urban Outfitters would be nice!

1- Disney-like monorail

2- an aquarium

I'd like to see a place with amazing breakfast tacos, nothing else competes...mmm.

A vegan restaurant and light rail are both tempting options. I guess anything that makes it easier to go from the suburbs to the city would be my ideal pick. It takes an absurd about of time to get from Averill Park to even Troy, which is stupid considering how close they are geographically. Maybe lightrail would be the best option for that.

less snow!

Definitely the high speed rail.

An Ethiopian/African restaurant.

Well it's not entirely new, but it's new to me...
I would love to see a thriving downtown to rival Saratoga's; a walkable utopia of shops and permanent residents instead of just bars and restaurants. The downtown of the 1940's and 50's before everything moved uptown. I want to be able to walk from my Center Square apartment to shop downtown, without having to battle the bus and traffic to shop!
Aside from that, yeah, light rail and all that.

I'd love to see a Brazilian restaurant come to the area. Yum!

The famous Gyros truck from NYC. Yay!!!

Trader Joes!!!
And an Ethiopian restaurant.
And a low-key, casual Vietnamese place with pho and bahn mi.

another vote for the google broadband!

Two words. And they are probably said already. Trader Joe's. Although I have been known to drive to Noho to visit on occasion but COME ON!

Chick-fil-A!

Street Vendors....Falafal, gyros, kebabs and more. Oh...and if you put them on a subway or light rail that extends to Saratoga that would be brilliant!

I would like to see an Hispanic grocer to provide the ingredients that other stores are lacking.

I have to agree with comments about Trader Joe's!

Here's to wishing the roads were fixed. That means potholes filled....and dare I say it....TIMED LIGHTS.

A botanical garden that features native wildflowers, shrubs and trees, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a butterfly garden, heirlooms, a recreation of a colonial garden, a large year-round solar greenhouse filled with tropical plants and more. Some sites might include the Harriman Campus or Tivoli Park in Arbor Hill. We could tie this in with horticulture classes through BOCES and local colleges to train people for careers in organic horticulture creating jobs and economic activity. I proposed this idea to Mayor Jennings once in a letter but I didn't hear back.

I agree with above the above comments: light rail!

Want to see: a botanical garden.

More free downtown parking!!!

High Speed Rail, Wegmans, Trash Plates.

In that order. :-)

Easy. Trader Joe's w/ cheap wine allowed to be sold at or nearby store.

Wegman's please

A bakery in Center Square (like the now defunct Townsend Bakery, you know, to buy fresh bread).
New bicycle routes.
A real IMAX. Not a "let me gouge you +$5 while you enjoy blue aliens on our Minimax".
More restaurants right on the river. I mean, you guys don't like the view?
Shamu.

Many good suggestions above regarding improving livability in Albany. If we had a decent light rail system it would improve parking situation in Albany, which in turn may attract folks to start businesses that make this community more livable. Also, I would mention something that we DON'T need in Albany, A NEW CONVENTION CENTER!

Ooooh! Awesome prize. (I want to yell, pick me pick me pick me!!!)

Light rail would so rule.

Trader Joe's would also rule.

But what I really, really, really want is mid-size, rock venue where national acts would perform (I repeat, NOT in Clifton Park).

High speed rail to NYC

high speed rail between albany and new york, for sure.

i would also love street food vendors -outside- of the state workers' monday thru friday lunch schedule, i.e., nighttime and weekends on lark street would be awesome.

also some kind of a nice, smallish, *actual* grocery market in the center square neighborhood (one that's not ghetto chopper) where we can really food shop...this kind of goes along with Summer's comment.

A world-class contemporary art museum.

Mass Moca is great - but a hike. We are so fortunate with EMPAC, and the State Museum has some great exhibits in their art series. But to round it all out, I'd like to see a gallery based contemporary art museum here in Albany bringing more world class art, cutting edge/ avant garde painters, sculptors, and photographers here to the Capital Region.

Definitely a Trader Joe's! Please!!! :)

A record store on Lark St.
and
A DeFazio's on Lark St.

A new grocery store... sort of

I don't need a trader joe's, or wegman's or even a whole foods (overrated) as long as the existing area grocery stores would amp it up a notch. These locations have the space to do so and the demand is definitely there.

Step up Hannaford and Price Chopper! We consumers are screaming for it!

I'd love to see an Albany branch of Mexican Radio. It's a pain to have to go all the way to Hudson for some Code Talkers and Carne Asada Fries!

Trader Joe's for sure!

So many answers taken before I can claim them (Wegmans, Trader Joe's, major league sports, better public transit), so where do I start?

I'm going to expand on the professional sports one. The NBA and the NFL don't have "farm" systems, so we'll stick with MLB and NHL (which, actually, I prefer anyway ... besides, we've got good college basketball, so that's already covered). We DO have professional sports - but to farm teams most people around here don't care about. The Houston Astros and the Carolina Hurricanes. Bleh. Who cares?

I would like to see a minor league team with an affiliation to a (semi) local major league team. Which, we may get with the Hurricanes leaving. Sure, I'm no Devils' fan (go, Rangers!), but I'd much rather see the Devils come back than some random team far away that doesn't even play in the Rangers' conference. Now, if we got the Wolfpack, I might consider season tickets ...

Also, I'm pretty confident that Albany could support AAA (or, at least, AA) baseball if it was the Yankees (!!!), Mets, or Red Sox. People are more likely to go to games if they can form emotional attachments with players that they might see on TV in a year or two. I know I would!

So, I would like to see some professional sports that area residents can get excited about! Too bad Joe Bruno has been indicted and can't use his clout to convince the Yanks to dump Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and move to The Joe. :)

I would like to see a RainForest Café open in the Capital Region. How about in Menands where the recycling plant used to be, next to Price Chopper and Rite Aid Plaza.

How about a carpool lane on our area highways? They have them out west and they work extremely well. It's realistic, economical and environmentally positive for the area. Plus, it's not a round-a-bout and it's not the oft-dreamed, never going to happen light rail. Just keepin it real...

SPRING!

I would like more new bike lanes, bike racks, and all of those other cool things they talked about in the bicycle master plan. Not just that row of a dozen signs on both sides of the street on Washington between Belvedere and Manning

Another try:
When I lived in Brooklyn, I loved to goto the city to take classes at the 92nd Street Y. A large arts & cultural center for people to come and learn quick skills and to become educated from experts in the community - with a focus on community. I don't think there is something like this in the area, but I wish there was. If there is, please let me know!

I'd love to see the residents of Downtown Albany claim Washington Park at night as a safe, commercial-free place for young and old folks to hang out with friends, play music, picnic, drink, dance, and socialize.

I'd also love to see Lark Street closed to traffic sometimes. Perhaps just on First Friday to start, but maybe every Friday night if it's successful. Montreal closes rue St. Catherine in the summer, and it's great for business and residents alike.

new thing? courtesy.

A Chipotle! Wait, we already got that... a Trader Joe's, a grocery store and a movie theater in Troy.

A parking permit plan instated for residents of Center Square. Maybe even just those little "T" marks painted on the pavement. Something, ANYTHING!

A Wegman's or Whole Foods would be epic.

Taco trucks!

Ikea

A Trader Joe's!! And/or a high speed train to NYC! :D

Great places define our lives. They inspire us, relax us, encourage us to sit and talk awhile with our neighbors...

1.Great restaurants with outdoor seating/on the riverfront or water (French?). More locally-conscious, healthy and cool restaurants like New World Bistro Bar. Period.
2. Community gardens downtown/ having college students more involved in our community.
3. Rail trail for bikers from Voorheesville to Albany.
4. Chronogram magazine.
5.Thatcher Park and others remaining open.
6. Bigger and better Co-op (coming soon-so excited!) with more meat/overall selection from local farmers so I can shop there only instead of there plus other stores to supplement my grocery list.
7. Safer downtown with better police leadership/presence and community involvement.
8. More local music/book stores (are they extinct?). Live open music performances by the public in neighborhoods.
9. Did someone say an aquarium? That would be awesome. How about a zoo, too?
10. Recreation activities/opportunities on the Hudson River.

What makes places better: festivals, parades, farmers'/outdoor markets, concerts in the park, youth sports activities, before and after school programs, summer teen camps, summer youth employment, senior adult programs, museum grants, neighborhood grants, Chamber of Commerce support, performing arts grants, public arts, art museums (especially for young children), social service funding, library funding, park maintenance, recreation programs, beautification projects, playgrounds, athletic fields, pools, boat/kayak ramps, sidewalk and road replacement, better night-time lighting.

Light rail between Saratoga and Albany and Troy and Schenectady. Also a high speed train to NYC.

A Korean all you can eat BBQ restaurant. nomnomnom

I have to hop on the Trader Joe's band wagon as well. I can't wait for the Dinosaur BBQ too!

I would love to see a light rail system that goes right down the Northway from Lake George to Albany (maybe even points south?)

Also, high speed rail from Albany to NYC.

I think Albany could benefit from murals, both officially sanctioned and guerilla projects! There are a lot of alleys and abandoned buildings, so why not encourage displays of art all over them?

Lounge with a Neo-Soul groove in the downtown/lark area

A progressive mayor!

Bike lanes and/or new bike routes.

Plus Trader Joes.

full service 7-11's would be nice. Slurpee's for all.

mass transit via light rail, however in lue of that, parking lots with a reliable trolley to and from

I go with Nicole: encourage people to buy homes and live here instead of just getting drunk here.

I also like Liz's idea about murals!

While I'm sure it's not an original answer, a Light Rail system would be fantastic for our area. Not only would it make everything more accessible, it would reduce the need for quite as many cars cluttering up the various downtowns, where there's never enough parking.

An Ethiopian Restaurant and more restaurants offering gluten free options...

Less cars, more bikes.

I would like to see a covered structure at each bus stop so the
kids do not get soaking wet while they are waiting for the bus.

Another vote for Trader Joe's! Also, being able to buy wine in a grocery store like 35 other States would be awsome!

I would like Thatcher Park to remain open!

Also... a Trader Joe's :)

Entirely agree on Trader Joe's! Whole Foods would be amazing, but that's just being entirely unrealistic. Ok, so, Trader Joe's it is!

I would like to see where people could walk on the streets in the Capital region and not fear getting shot!

More Hibachi Restaurants and a Great Convention Center!!!!

Weird to put in a New World prize post, I know...

a new incarnation of Avenue A. I loved that restaurant more than life itself.

a vegan restaurant

Good music festival.

I would love to see the downtown become a more vibrant arts, cultural and social center. It kills me that in the summer the malls are more 'happening' than our downtown.

I would like to see light rail between the cities.

I'd like to see more people say "Wegmans" and "Trader Joe's".
:)

What about more bubble tea shops, Jamba Juice, Nick Tahou's and garbage plates, or Dogtown (another Rochester favorite)?

Oh, and a big fountain where drunk folks can swim. And then police enforcement can scare people by saying hydrogen has contaminated the water. Eeek.

And this is a stretch, but I'd eventually and ideally love to see fewer Target and Applebees shopping complexes and more quaint little downtown areas throughout the Capital Region, similar to what Boston's greater region has. That'll also support the lightrail argument.

Back to work...

@Irisira: it would be nice, but Albany DID have a AA Yankee farm team: the Albany-Colonie Yankees, and we didn't support them so they left in 1994. It was tragic. I echo your sentiment that it would be great to have more sports here, but this town just doesn't support their teams.

Car Sharing!

Light rail would be great but the infrastructure is way too expensive for how much use it would likely receive.

The CDTA is going to launching their first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) this summer (i think). It's similar to light rail but it's a bus and way more cost effective.
http://www.cdta.org/iride_projects_detail.php?id=7

Wegmans, more good thai (only not sushi and thai) places (blue spice is a good start), a nice cheap Korean place, Bill Gray's and/or Tom Wahl's to replace burger king's and McDonald's.

I would love to see in Albany ,people actualy go out and support local venues and artist. We have good venues great artist and all you ever hear from people is there is nothing to do. I would like to see people out supporting . I also would like a hot dog cart at said places not a taco truck.

A very good and authentic Mexican restaurant. (And someone's earlier suggestion of a Latino grocery store is seconded.)

Certainly, brunch places.

New waterfront development!

Wawa - An exponentially better version of Stewarts-type store found in PA/southern Jersey.

Trader Joe's, a true Churrascaria, Korean restaurants where you grill the meat yourselves at your own table. An enclosed dog park in Latham.

A Lululemon! With free fitness classes so we can get the Capital Region a little motivated and healthier!

Soft-serve frozen yogurt and an indoor dog park. Not necessarily in the same building.

The snarky side says a list of suggestions that isn't made up of things taken from a 1992 issue of Metroland entitled "What Does the Capital District Need?"

The practical side says a full-time green grocer on Lark Street.

Tim Hortons. I know one's supposedly coming to UAlbany, but that doesn't count. They need to go into direct competition with all the downtown Dunkin' Donuts.

I'd like to see the CDTA bus fare go back down to $1

(or better yet... less than $1)!

High speed rail to NYC, as I always request ;)

Taco stands would be an excellent addition, as well as a place for dumplings. More generally speaking: Less high-end, high-priced, sit-down restaurants and chains, more little bodega-like international food places. I love eating a single lunch spread over three different storefront restaurants in NYC.

Brazillian BBQ, More Korean food, downtown housing

1) a Wegmans
2) festivals that don't close down at 6pm
3) a bookstore on Lark street again
4) and I second @vijay's call for a fountain to swim in

While I agree with a LOT of the other comments, Im gonna try for something original and say: an aquarium!

I'd like to see a Sonic Drive-In. So delicious.

Improved access to the waterfront, and repurposing of the North Albany industrial areas. Tax incentives for *small, locally-owned* businesses, particularly cultural producers, in that area (think Providence, RI).

A related PR campaign that directly addresses Albany's massive inferiority complex: Can we stop pointing out that the city is "conveniently located" (to other, presumably better, places)?

Wagamama

Put 787 underground and extend downtown to the waterfront.

1) Thacher park to remain open
2) Trader Joes or Wegmans
3) Weekly festivals in Washigton Park or Waterfront Area

google's 1gigabit internet!

I'd like to see a new movie theater in downtown Troy that's not surrounded by miles of parking, and a regular riverboat commuter service between downtown Albany and downtown Troy to get those Albany folks to that new Troy theater in style!

A place that can make a consistently good cappuccino. Ideally one where the default is to use a double ristretto as its base. Much like the cafe described below.
http://fussylittleblog.com/2009/08/19/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/

But a place like Peet's that is serious about espresso and foam would certainly be sufficient.

Nothing here comes remotely close.

more shopping downtown. this is the only city I knwo where you have to leave the city (and go all the way uptown to a mall or to colonie/latham etc) to go shopping! no fun.
make it more of a city where you really dont need a car and a lot of these transportation issues might not be so bad.

Trader Joes

Commuter rails to suburbs and Saratoga, an ethiopian restaurant, more pho and shawarma places, Trader Joe's, NYSC gym chain, the dewey decimal system in the new Pine Hills library, a fresh fish counter at the student ghetto Price Chopper, Costco, safer bicycling, a good concert venue not in Clifton Park, a hair salon that does thermal reconditioning permanent straightening, less psycho drivers, and somewhere I can buy red bean ice cream

Please pick me, I'm addicted to New World Bistro's bone marrow appetizer!

I would like to see an Ethiopian Restaurant in Albany. Making trips to NYC for a taste is a little expensive.

Albany needs a new roundabout everywhere there is a traffic light!

I'll add to the chorus of : Wegmans!

In my wildest dreams, Lark Street becomes pedestrian-only, the Grind gets a bigger space, Shades of Green is resurrected and Music Shack suddenly appears out of nowhere. That may be asking for a bit too much though. Soooo...how about movies in Washington Park.

Coming from the 415 I miss real frozen yogurt...not the gross stuff at the thruway rest stops.

A real fish taco place with small double corn tortillas and grilled fish.

A Lush store :D
A trader Joe's

and newer healthy eatery options for center square. it's all greasy bar food, or greasy pizza, or greasy asian food.

Hoverboards. or Wegmans.

for 787 to disappear and for the waterfront to be accessible full of parks

In addition to Wegmans and Trader Joe's, how about a Costco?

Where to begin?!?!?

1.Wegman's
2. High Speed Rail
3. Trader Joes

a real Korean BBQ restaurant. or an In-N-Out

Unoriginal, but I have to go with Whole Foods on this one.

Trader Joe"s

Albany needs a walking downtown area with no cars and lots of bikes - Like the Ithaca commons - full of local shops, park benches, birds, places to read, and food. Albany also needs an amazing crepe shop.

1) High-speed rail between Albany and NYC.

Without a doubt, Wegmans. If that's not possible, I would alternatively accept a Trader Joes, but that's not to imply the two are equal.

A Nordstrom.

Albany needs a walking downtown area with no cars and lots of bikes - Like the Ithaca commons - full of local shops, park benches, birds, places to read, and food. Albany also needs an amazing crepe shop.

There are several things I'd like to see:

- Costco
- Wegmans
- Trader Joes
- a public transit system that actually gets me from my home in North Greenbush to my job in downtown Albany with a reasonable commute (the current nearly 2 hour commute is in no way reasonable)
- and a government that actually accomplishes something beneficial for the state of New York....

wegmans and/or trader joe's!!!!

the capital region needs a pinkberry!

Light rail.

A "less-grungy" Lark Street!

Everyone's said the good ones but I agree that Trader Joes and Wegman's would both be welcome additions, as would a high speed train down to NYC and up to Boston. Beyond that I wish we just had more independent reasonably priced non-chain mid-price restaurants. We've got some good cheap eats and some great high end places, it's the ones in the middle that seem to be lacking, that niche instead filled with Applebees, TGIF, Cracker Barrel, etc.

as many others feel... Trader Joe's!

I agree with Liz, there are far too many blank retaining walls/unkempt buildings in Albany! I think murals can be some of the most beautiful and interesting artwork there is, it's a great way for local artists/youth to form ties with the city, as well as generating a "walking tour" or points of interest that people can go see. Handing out a map of murals to go see would be a great way to encourage visitors to step off of Lark or out of their parking garages..

The practical- better public transit, be it via buses or via light rail; Wegman's; consoolidation of duplicative and costly government entities.
The sublime- civil discourse among politicals; government ethics laws with sting; a usable Hudson River; peace, love, and understanding.

I would like to see:

-Bacon
-A directional arrow for the stop light for traffic heading west and turning south onto New Scotland Avenue.
-A greater effort to revitalize the Delaware Avenue and New Scotland Avenue areas.
-More meat markets specializing in locally raised animals.
-Trader Joe's.

State Street without clusters of empty storefronts.

I'd love to see a 7-11. While I know that Stewart's is the "official" convenience store of the Capital Region, I'd love to be able to have a slurpee and some terrible nachos rather than ice cream when I am buying a lottery ticket.

Car-Free Thursdays!!!

waterfront bar and dining. Its a shame that both Albany and Troy waste such an opportunity.

new (or any) retail in downtown/Pearl St. Lodge's isn't cutting it, though I applaud their ability to stay. The (now closed) upscale furnishings store over by Maiden lane had absolutely beautiful items, but it was too far off the beaten path and too pricey for the area. Maybe after other development moved in, it would have had a chance, but on it's own - too difficult.

Even a greengrocer or other type of market might work to lend a bit more permanence and livibility to the downtown area that could then attract retail, residential and development other than the bar scene.

In & Out Burger!

or a Sonic - after seeing all the commercials and finally experiencing one for myself in Philadephia, I would love to see those waitors/waitresses roll out to give me my tater tots and specially concocted soda drink.

or i'd like to see new ideas on how to keep thatcher park open somehow!

I'd love to see a sushi place on lark street and parking passes for residents of center square!

Wegmans, Trader Joes, and Nordstrom would all be good, but more locally owned businesses would be great! Some items on my wishlist that haven't been mentioned before: some independent women's clothing boutiques in Albany, including vintage (like the old F-X on Quail Street, or Daybreak on lower Central, long ago); a 4G cell network; ZipCar.

1) high speed rail from Albany to NYC
2) local light rail
3) More awesome restaurants like New World!
4) a bookstore that serves beer like the Spotty Dog in Hudson
5) A liquor store that is open til midnight or 1 am.

A branch of Amoeba Records would be cool, or Waterloo just like in Austin which we're supposed to become once the chip-fab is up and running!

Trader Joe's and wine in the grocery stores!!

Would love to see some more independent restaurants, fewer chains (do we really need another Applebees, or Chilis, or whatever?), and more farm stands/farmer's markets.

I'd love all of these new supermarkets and especially a taco truck, but I'd really love to see supermarket competition. I think prices are a little stagnant in our area sometimes.

I want a Trader Joe's, and I want it to be able to sell wine!

Dinosaur BBQ and Tim Hortons.

Oh wait...

Trader Joe's, Brazillian BBQ, Belgium Restaurant, African restaurant, Loation Restuarant, a place that serves Beef on Weck, garbage plates, Loganberry soda, and REAL Buffalo wings!

a hipper downtown area

A reconstruction of Fort Orange. I'd settle for a city administration that recognizes that Albany's history is unique and marketable and should be protected and celebrated. Look at what Charleston, SC, has done with Charles Towne Landing, or what Montreal has created with Pointe-à-Callière. Albany's approach is to pave over the evidence of its past. It makes me want to scream.

I'm ready for the new growth of spring! :)

Forget Trader Joe's, I want a Guido's Marketplace!

Bobsled track.

I would love an In-and-Out Burger, Wegmans, and Sonic.

Pterodactyls.

Better mass transit!

New store for the Honest Weight Food Co-op to open.

Zipcar!

Banked Track Roller Derby

An Albany outpost of City Bakery (there's one in Manhattan). Amazing choc chip cookies and other baked goods, but also great lunch fare (to-die-for mac 'n cheese).

I would love to see an arts district with $1 for artists and musicians with supporting stores that opened, great bars, great local food, and have it be walkable and accessible

I'm going to have to be unoriginal and say Trader Joe's. Preferably one that would be allowed to sell Two Buck Chuck. I loves me some cheap good wine.

I'd love a Dave and Busters, or an equivalent. While I like Jillian's, it's not nearly the game mecca that is D&B. Plus, their food doesn't suck.

I agree with Amy H
I want a Trader Joe's and a simple Vietnamese place where you can get a good PHO!


more hockey

Revitalized Albany downtown with vehicle-free pedestrian mall (like in Burlington VT) and access to the Riverwalk.

What another great prize!!!

I would love to see an IKEA!

I would like to see Wegman's move into the area.

I would like to see a zoo. It could be built on the edge of the Tivoli Preserve and contribute to the vitality of local wildlife populations.

A new AHL hockey team.

Wegmans!!

Waffle House!

I'd take a Trader Joes that sells wine!

more downtown/urban condos- I work as a residential real estate agent and have heard from numerous buyer clients that they would invest in a new downtown condo. But alas there are only a few, and they are not new.

A whole foods-oriented vegetarian/vegan restaurant

I'd love to see more independent bookstores, especially in downtown Albany. And since I spent 18 years in CNY- a Great Northern Pizza, a Record Theatre, and of course a Wegmans.

Better use of the river front with shopping, eateries, entertainment, and cultural venues. It should be suitable for winter use and be pedestrian friendly (meaning parking must be available).

It's hard to think of this in February, but I would like to see a really nice, elegant, swimming pool...similar to Victoria Pool in Saratoga.

I'd like to see a Trader Joe's. And Pinkberry. I'm a sucker for Pinkberry.

Sunshine!

A professional vegan Trader Joe's, with lite rail, hold the Wegman's. Oh, and spring...

Wow people here really seem to want more retail and/or fast food. I like shopping and eating as much as the next person, but I'd rather see something along the lines of the Washington Park idea, or allowing street food vendors, or the murals- anything that makes the urban center more appealing.

A healthy vibrant city is good for the entire Capital Region, even the suburbs benefit from it. How about warm-weather City of Albany events that don't revolve around college kids drinking? That would be a nice start for me.

New mayor, please.

Aside from more people living in the city of Albany....

SNOW!!!!!!

C'mon! It's supposed to be APRIL SHOWERS. Not February RAIN emergencies. Ugh.

Trader Joes or a vegan restaurant... and a noddle place.

the sun

whole foods. light rail between albany/troy/saratoga. a partridge in a pear tree.

A solid Latino grocer

I would like to see some new independently owned restaurants in the Clifton Park area. No more chain restaurants please!

Create a friendly place to gather, ie Washington Park without the cars, making it safe for pedestrians. Add movable chairs/tables, like the new Times and Herald Squares projects in NYC.

High speed rail for sure

A museum of conceptual art. And roof parties.

How about a new mayor for Albany?

I also want to add how disappointing it is to see the readers of this blog repeat themselves ad nauseum about their desire for two-dimensional franchises, places to spend money as if money weren't going out of style, pre-fabricated spaces filled with pre-fabricated food and styles. As if it weren't obvious that Albany is dominated by suburbanites.

I'm looking forward to Jesse Matulis and Lynne Allard winning the $50,000 from Pepsi for The Foundry in Cohoes. They'll bring the Capital Region tons of new cultural goodies - community arts, education, a gallery, and hopefully a new performance venue.

I'd like to see a little more civility and brotherly love on these mean city streets . .

I would love to see a Sonic! Those commercials always make me so hungry...

I would have to say resurgance and revitalization of our inner city areas, (Albany, Schenectady and Troy) and then a I think a light rail system would be more viable.

I'd love to see a Wegmans and also a Moosewoods restaurant!

I would like our parks and historic sites to remain open.

Gondola rides in the lake in Washington Park!

I'd like to see some more live music venues to check out good local acts...

We need a Whole Foods and the end of winter!

...light rail line from Clifton Park (or even Saratoga Springs) down to Albany through Waterford, Cohoes, Watervliet and Menands.

I have to agree with t.e. Light rail would be even better than Trader Joes.

Wegman's and high speed train to Manhattan!

A restaurant that serves papusas! I recently moved here from the DC area and am so happy to find decent pho (thank you, Van's), but have not been able to find my other favorite comfort food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupusa

More airlines flying in and out of ALB - American and Jet Blue especially- to promote lower prices!

An Indian restaurant in Guilderland that delivers.

I would love to see a Trader Joe's!

I'll jump on the bandwagon for the Ikea, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costco. If we don't get these, I hope the new Honest Weight opens with a better parking situation soon.

I'd really enjoy a more user-friendly driving experience when going from upper Western Ave., to downtown.

I believe that if Albany had a safer downtown after dark, more people would be willing to live there. You know what I mean, stores that don't shut down at 4:45pm, music that's not in a giant, oversized eyesore, a convenience/grocery shop that is easy to get to and has a lot of healthy options.

One thing I think has to go though, is the Center Square "attitude." I'd love for that particular area to be a bit less uppity I suppose is the word? I spend a lot of time in downtown Troy, and it's a lot more enchanting than the Lark Street "merchant row." The people in Troy are super nice, there is a wider variety of shops to choose from and it's not ALL bars full of drunken non-locals.

Overall, I would love to see a more well-rounded Albany in terms of walkability, arts/theatre/music events and more global cuisine. I'd also really like a city that keeps up on it's website with more current events and the like. Troy has a fantastic Facebook page that is updated quite often, and can provide immediate feedback to city leaders. I suppose that while I'm on that note, I'd also add a more transparent city government.

lower taxes and less charter schools

Better street gangs- the ones we have are to fake

bahn mi

A genuine Korean BBQ place (like Madangsui in Manhattan) would be great, as would a genuine Spanish tapas place, a Cuban restaurant, a Brazilian Churrasciaria steakhouse and a sitdown restaurant devoted to top notch pizza by the pie like Lombardi's in Manhattan's Little Italy.

I'd also love to see a top notch gastropub open in Albany, a place serving good food (with a mix of entree sized meals along with small plates for gnoshing or sharing) and a good selection of high quality beers on tap that you don't see at every other restaurant/pub in the area. Preferably they'd have both an area for people to have restaurant-style sit down meals, along with a pub-like area for mingling, etc.

Significantly more residential development development in downtown Albany - along with the businesses and services to make it a walkable, self-sufficient neighborhood - would be fantastic and would likely transform the character of the city in a really positive way.

And, of course, better public transportation (possibly including light rail, but at least an extended bus system) serving more areas with expanded service (especially later on Friday and Saturday nights to help combat drunk driving and to boost business to the area's restaurants and entertainment venues).

food trucks outside of the AMC hospital-- the magic carpet and fruit trucks from West Philly ....Yummy

a Wegmans would be so awesome!!! Late night hang out and awesome produce! Who says Price Chopper is the only good grocery store!

bring back "Shades of Green" or a good veggie restaurant

A fleet of various meal trucks (I lived in Ithaca for a few years and they have more than us!). I would be happy with Tacos, Thai, Asian Fusion, Burgers, basically anything!

more green buildings!

an alcoholic coffee bar.

A WHOLE FOODS!!

Bahn Mi.

I'm with StickFigureMan. Though I do like bacon. No offense to the Wegman's/Trader Joe's aficionados (don't matter to me either way), but I'd like to see a city and region that acknowledges, maintains, revitalizes, and promotes its special places that are already here, from our downtowns to our midtowns to our state parks -- i.e., the things and places that already make this place special.

Oh, and less sprawl.

A genuine Korean BBQ place (like Madangsui in Manhattan) would be great, as would a genuine Spanish tapas place, a Cuban restaurant, a Brazilian Churrasciaria steakhouse and a sitdown restaurant devoted to top notch pizza by the pie like Lombardi's in Manhattan's Little Italy.

I'd also love to see a top notch gastropub open in Albany, a place serving good food (with a mix of entree sized meals along with small plates for gnoshing or sharing) and a good selection of high quality beers on tap that you don't see at every other restaurant/pub in the area. Preferably they'd have both an area for people to have restaurant-style sit down meals, along with a pub-like area for mingling, etc.

Significantly more residential development development in downtown Albany - along with the businesses and services to make it a walkable, self-sufficient neighborhood - would be fantastic and would likely transform the character of the city in a really positive way.

And, of course, better public transportation (possibly including light rail, but at least an extended bus system) serving more areas with expanded service (especially later on Friday and Saturday nights to help combat drunk driving and to boost business to the area's restaurants and entertainment venues).

OK, aside from Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, yadda, yadda, yadda, how about some ACCOUNTABILITY from our city? Now wouldn't that be a welcome change and it wouldn't have to cost a dime to build!

whole foods
and ditto on spring!

a mid-size music venue that regularly books good music - all these bands heading to northampton have to pass through albany first don't they?

an hvcc annex or other community college in downtown albany

a mayor who isn't a corrupt dirtbag

whole foods just lost a taste test competition i saw online to walmart (and trader joes is crappy too) so forget about that ill stick with cardona's and the coop.

Shopping downtown!!

Great list! We're trying to collect ideas exactly like these as a part of "Albany 2030: Your City. Your Future."- the City of Albany's first-ever comprehensive plan.

Once you've posted here, get these suggestions on the record over at www.albany2030.org - you can also text them, email them and use Facebook or Twitter. And, of course, come to our next workshops April 22nd, 23rd & 24th. Our goal is to come up with community-wide priorities and develop strategies to make them a reality.

A citywide comprehensive, collaborative and actionable vision - that's the new thing we'd like to see!

@colie: Right on!

trader joe's ? we do have the honest weight ! and trader joe' is a chain! yes let's add more chains (wegman's trader joe's, whole paycheck - ooops I mean Whole Foods) and skip going local! GEES!

A real, diverse, dance nightclub please.

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I frequently find myself along this trail on Sunday mornings, hungry, & very little is open. There's a lot of talk about special mowers & building bathrooms & that's nice, yes, let's do that, certainly. But *right now* people using this trail are hungry & want to buy food & drink (& use the bathroom, as a paying customer): if the businesses that are already there were OPEN it would go a long way to providing amenities & destinations. ...

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