Troy is a city in Rensselaer County, New York located northeast of Albany. Its nicknames include "The Collar City" and "Home of Uncle Sam." As a result of its unique history, Troy still has what is widely considered to be the best-preserved big-city 19th-century downtown in the country.
Troy was a major city during the early years of American industrialization in the first half of the 19th century, with iron, ironware, steel, flour and textile manufacturing among the industries that flourished in and around Troy throughout the boom times of the entire 19th century. Troy continued to have some very productive industries through the 1920s, but during Prohibition, its bootlegging industry was probably the most famous in the area. Starting not long after World War II, most of Troy's industries increasingly either fled to the South, where the cotton for the textiles is grown, unions were weaker and wages were lower; or to the West, which was by that time closer to most of the mines that were still productive; or simply went out of business. Then, when US industries went bust starting in the 1960s and 70s, Troy went even further into a depression, losing population and having the feel of being lost in time. Since there was no monetary profit in tearing down buildings in Troy and replacing them with modern highrises, they were just left alone until the early 1960s, when public opposition to a plan to raze some historic buildings downtown prompted successful applications to preserve buildings and later entire districts of Troy as landmarks. Troy has since revived to a significant degree, with numerous buildings in its Central Historic District being restored.
By plane, fly into Albany International Airport. If you visit via train, the nearest Amtrak station is Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station. The Greyhound bus drops you off in downtown Albany's Greyhound terminal, from which you can take CDTA bus #22 to downtown Troy.
Troy is easily accessible by way of I-87 North, exit 7. It is also well connected to local highway 787 from exits 7E, 8 and 9E.
Public Transportation CDTA (Capital District Transit Authority) serves Troy as well as Albany, Schenectady and (to an extent) Saratoga Springs. For full information on bus routes and schedules, visit the CDTA website at CDTA.org. Many of the cab companies in Troy serve Albany as well but may have different fare structures. Cab fare from downtown Troy to downtown Albany is approximately $30.
- 1 Burden Iron Works Museum, 1 East Industrial Pkwy, ☏ . Schedule a tour for a crash course in area history.
- 2 Oakwood cemetery, 50 101st Street, ☏ . A huge enchanted cemetery. Among the interred is Samuel Wilson, considered a possible namesake of the "Uncle Sam" character.
- 3 Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd Street, ☏ .
- 4 Poesten Kill Gorge Park. literally means "foaming or puffing stream" in Dutch, powered mills in the gorge for more than 300 years. The waterfall is located in a peaceful, secluded location in the middle of the city of Troy. The gorge can be viewed from a visitors lot off Linden Avenue, between Pawling and Spring Avenues.
- 5 T'was the Night Before Christmas historical marker, 225 River St. The poem A Visit from St. Nicolas that begins with "T'was the night before Christmas" was first published in The Troy Sentinel, a local newspaper, on December 23, 1823 and is memorialized in this marker.
Aside from the specific listings below, it's great just to walk around the historic district and look at the buildings.
- 1 Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Avenue, ☏ . The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds. The diverse films, talks, showcases and music events in 2010 included a talk by bestselling "Blackwater" investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill; music from emerging Afropop star Bassekou Kouyate and his band from Mali; a multimedia presentation by author Scott Christianson on Harriet Tubman's heroic 1860 slave rescue in Troy; filmmaker Alex Rivera screening his acclaimed sci-fi adventure "Sleep Dealer"; and the weekend Bike!Bike! Northeast celebration of bicycle culture.
- 2 [formerly dead link] Troy Bike Rescue, 3280 6th Avenue, ☏ . Open Shop Mondays 5-8PM. Troy Bike Rescue is a collective of people in the capital region committed to removing bikes from the waste stream and getting them back on the streets. Operating on a volunteer basis out of donated spaces in both Troy and Albany, they are part of an international movement of "community bike projects" - using bicycles to create community.
- 3 Frear Park, 2701 Lavin Ct, ☏ . 247-acre 18-hole public golf course, hockey arena, and outdoor playgrounds.
- 4 Prospect Park, 65 Prospect Park Rd, ☏ . 80-acre city park which includes 14 tennis courts.
- 5 Knickerbacker Park & Ice Arena.
- 6 Tri-City Valleycats, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, 80 Vandenburgh Avenue. The Valleycats are nearby Troy's minor league baseball team. The team is a Single A team that competes in the New York- Penn League (NYPL). The major league team associated with the Valleycats are the Houston Astros.
- 7 Captain JP Cruise Line, 278 River St., ☏ . The Captain JP can accommodate up to 600 passengers and is by far the most lavish vessel in the Capital District. The Capt. JP II has three climate-controlled enclosed decks, along with full service bars and dance floors on each deck. They regularly feature live entertainment on the music cruises and also hold private events.
- Oakwood Cemetery, 186 Oakwood Avenue (Going on Hoosick St, turn North on Oakwood Avenue (Rt 40) and go for half a mile.). 8am-7pm. A historic cemetery containing Uncle Sam's gravesite. A very large cemetery with many monuments, mausoleums, and statues. $0.
- Rockin on the River. Wednesday evenings June to August
- Victorian Stroll: . Historic downtown Troy is transformed into a bygone Victorian era in December each year. (date needs fixing)
- Troy Farmers Market, Monument Square on River St (49 4th Street in Winter). Saturdays 9AM-2PM. One of the largest markets in the Capital District, every Saturday in downtown Troy. Good restaurants, farm vendors, craft vendors, occasionally live music.
- 1 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street. Very highly regarded engineering and technology University as well as the location of The Lally School of Management
- 2 Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Avenue. A part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system
Troy boasts many shopping venues, including a few each of Redbox, Walmart, Goodwill, Radioshack, and a few other brand names. It also has many unique stores and specialty shops, such as antiques, promotional items, art supplies, healing techniques, and murals.
- 1 Brunswick plaza and Brunswick square, Hoosick road. Retail parks, include Walmart, Price Chopper as well as a number of food chains.
- 1 The Ale House, 680 River Street (just north of Hoosick St.), ☏ . A pub well known for its big and crispy Buffalo style chicken wings. They offer patio seating on warm nights and frequently host live bands on weekends. Worth a stop north of Hoosick for the nicely priced brews, consistently perfect chicken wings, and lively neighborhood atmosphere.
- 2 Ali Baba, 2243 15th Street, ☏ . serves affordable and generously portioned Turkish and Greek dishes. Their enormous lavash bread is baked on site in an impressive brick fire oven.
- 3 [formerly dead link] Bella Napoli Italian Bakery, 721 River Street, ☏ . is one of two branches (the other is in Latham). Feast on Italian style cookies, almond horns, cakes and freshly baked rolls and breads.
- 4 The Brown Bag, 156 4th Street, ☏ . 6PM to 6AM. Fries up burgers, grilled cheese, French fries and other heart-stoppers for Troy's collegiate night owls.
- 5 DeFazio's, 266 4th Street, ☏ . makes homemade pasta and award-winning pizza, as well as their own sauce. Adjacent to the small restaurant (just a couple tables, take-out also available) is a small Italian grocery store where you can buy DeFazio's pasta, sauces, and goods in jars.
- 6 [formerly dead link] Dinosaur BBQ, 377 River Street, ☏ . It has become a favorite, with several locations throughout New York. Expect hearty portions of Southern-style barbeque ribs, jerk chicken, fried green tomatoes, and a mighty spicy macaroni and cheese. Dinosaur is located right on the river and was flooded badly in September 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene; restoration took place in less than two weeks. Varied and affordable beers on tap, outdoor seating and live music on weekends make it a very popular spot year round.
- 7 Evelyn's Cafe, 110 8th street, ☏ . It serves lightish lunch fare and is located inside the impressive EMPAC building at RPI. They have huge cookies.
- 8 Greek House, 27 3rd Street, ☏ . If offers gyros, souvlaki, burgers, salads, etc. Smart people pass on the Greek fries and substitute the delicious zesty lemon potatoes.
- 9 Green Shell, 120 Hoosick Street, ☏ . Itis one of many area Chinese takeout joints sandwiched between discount shops in a strip mall, but the excellent food and generous delivery radius make it stand out among the crowd.
- 10 I Love, 125 4th Street, ☏ . It is the only late-night pizza place you need patronize after a long night at The Ruck.
- 11 Illium Cafe, 9 Broadway, ☏ . It's in Monument Square near the intersection of Broadway and River St., and offers the best breakfast and lunch in Troy. They also serve dinner Thursday through Saturday nights. Superb omelettes and sandwiches + bakery on premises.
- 12 Muza, 1300 15th Street, ☏ . This family-owned Polish restaurant that has trivia on Tuesday nights serves the best pierogies and golumbkis around.
- 13 Plum Blossom, 685 Hoosick Road (in Brunswick), ☏ . A very popular Chinese sit-down restaurant that tries to change up the typical Chinese-American classics (to varying degrees of success).
- 14 Snow Man, 531 5th Avenue, ☏ . It is a seasonal ice cream stand in Lansingburgh on Fifth Avenue. Expect long lines, diabetes-inducing serving sizes and monster creations like the "Boston Shake," an ice cream sundae floating atop an ice cream milkshake.
- Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress St, ☏ . Noon-10PM (closes at 4PM on Sun), bar open Th-Sa until 1AM. is a hip food court and bar downtown. It has six or seven mini-restaurants that change from time to time, giving a wide range of options including Halal, Jamaican, Mexican, Salad, and Soul Food. The bar has a good offering of beer, wine, and liquor for a reasonable price. They host evening events including a poetry slam on Monday nights. $5-15.
- 1 Brown's Brewing Company, 417 River Street, ☏ . It is a highly rated and very popular craft brewery and pub-restaurant that has been supplying the Capital Region with ales, lagers, stouts and more since 1993. The Taproom is a comfortable spot for after-work drinks and dinner on warm evenings. Amid the myriad reviews singing its praise lie some complaints that their lines are not always clean, but Brown's offers an undeniably chill and laid-back experience, with lots of weekly/monthly events, theme dinners, and a great patio. The nacho starter is a meal for three. You can find Brown's beers at local supermarkets.
- 2 Footsy Magoos, 17 1st Street, ☏ . It doesn't have a sign on either side, so ask a plugged-in local where to find it (hint: it's downtown on 1st St). Once you find it, enjoy a relaxed bar with tabletop games, Skee-ball (will cost you 25 cents), cool bathroom decor, and a cozy enclosed patio out back.
- 3 The Irish Rover, 1 102nd St (on 102nd and 2nd Ave in Lansingburgh). A hole-in-the-wall with questionable patronage, but their Skee-ball is free.
- 4 The Ruck, 104 3rd Street, ☏ . It functions primarily as a "last stop of the night" bar, but their Buffalo wings (and "wing fries" - French fries drowning in an artery-clogging mixture of buffalo sauce and bleu cheese) deserve a shout-out. Stop by between 6-8PM on Friday evenings and wait patiently by the counter for free wings at happy hour! stays open late - until 4AM - and almost everybody ends up there at the end of the night. Their selection of beers on tap is excellent, with lower prices than a lot of competing bars. Thursday night is "Pint Night" and patrons get $1.00 off each pint purchased. Late weekend nights usually mean at least one fight inside or outside The Ruck. Don't look for buybacks from the bartenders.
- 5 Ryan's Wake, 403 River Street, ☏ . A fairly generic bar with a superb location and a big patio. It gets very crowded in the summer whenever there's an event by the marina (e.g. Rockin' On The River).
- River Street Pub, 194 River St, ☏ . Monday – Saturday 3PM until late. A decent bar downtown. Nice selection of appetizers to snack on. Thursday nights they have live music, which can range from fun to weird.
- 6 Franklin Alley Social Club, 50 Franklin St, ☏ . W 5PM-11PM, Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa 5PM-2AM. Unique retro cruise ship-themed bar replete with bocce and shuffleboard courts, arcade games, and a menu of comfort food, some of which involves tater tots. Local craft brews on tap and in bottles or cans, along with unique cocktails.
- 1 Hilton Garden Inn Troy, 235 Hoosick Street, ☏ . Ample meeting space, free parking, and the Recovery Sports Grill is on site.
- 2 Best Western Plus Franklin Square Inn, 1 4th Street, ☏ . Reasonable sized rooms but has a slightly old furniture feeling. Free basic breakfast that is edible.
- 3 Cannon Suites, 5 Broadway, ☏ .
- 4 Olde Judge Mansion, 3300 Sixth Avenue, ☏ . Bed & Breakfast
- Albany, the state's capital, is a 15- to 20-minute drive across the river and slightly south.
- Peebles Island State Park (in Cohoes). A 5-10 minute drive from downtown Troy. Take Second Ave to 112th St and turn left onto 470 by the Stewart's. Meander through the woods, see some white-tailed deer and bald eagles, and walk across the bridge from Cohoes to Waterford.
- Pittstown State Forest. A few miles east of Brunswick and a peaceful escape from concrete and brick.
- The charming town of Saratoga Springs is about a 40-minute drive north on I-87.
|Routes through Troy|
|END ←||N S||→ Watervliet → Albany|
|Colonie ← Watervliet ←||W E||→ Becomes → Williamstown → North Adams|
|Schenectady ← Jct N S ←||W E||→ becomes → Bennington → Brattleboro|