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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Google Earth

Holy mapquest, batman: If you haven't downloaded Google Earth yet, I highly recommend it. It's like Mapquest or Google Maps on steroids. And it will make your SmAlbany experience better. I guarantee it. One example:

I was looking for a cool place to eat lunch on my way out to the Guilderland Public Library on Route 20 today. So I punched in my current location and the library's location to get the directions, hit the button to overlay all the local restaurants, and pushed the play button. Voila - all of a sudden I'm slowly flying at 2500 feet (you can adjust your altitude) over a 3D satellite map of SmAlbany , tracing the path from my house to the library, with all the possible lunch spots pointed out along the way. And I mean all the spots - i counted over 150 restuarants noted by Google Earth along the 10 mile route.

I ended up eating at a familiar place - Wings Over Albany - but that's besides the point. Once you've tried this program, you'll wonder what you did without it. Get yourself in on it. P.S. What's so great about the Guilderland Public Library? Free wireless access, reasonably nice study area, and a whole boatload of excellent CD's in the music section that you can "borrow" to listen to on your laptop.
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