Did you know that February has two monthly observances? Black History Month and Library Lovers’ Month.
As a daughter of two librarians, the second observance was news to me. I grew up swearing I would never be a librarian, because wherever we went as I was growing up, my dad would know the librarian and we had to stop in and connect. However, I loved the original East Orange Public Library building and spent long hours in the Children’s Room or hanging out in the office area.
Libraries have gone through their ups and downs, as they have adapted to our e-way of reading, googling for information etc. They have adapted to the times and have been a lifesaver to many during the pandemic. What I like about going to a library in person, is the random discovery of titles on the shelves. Libraries make books, computers, sewing machines, exercise equipment, museum passes, movies etc. accessible to all who have a card.
I love historical fiction and reading about places I know well in the context of a story. There are many books that are set in the Albany, Troy, Schenectady area. I recently finished reading Robin Oliveira’ Winter Sisters, a story set in 1879 in Albany. During my Historic Downtown Albany Food Tours, I share historical tidbits that are brought to life in her book.
As we walk along North Pearl Street, looking down the hill to Broadway, we discuss how the businesses along Broadway would get flooded every year due to the freshets, so as the prominent families moved away from Pearl St, the businesses relocated uphill to get away from the spring flooding . This is brought vividly to life in Oliveira’s book, as is the development of Washington Park and the brownstones that were built around it.
Learn about these facts and many others by signing up for my newsletter, which will keep you informed as to when we are able to again offer our walking food tours. These tours are a progressive meal with a side of history. Hopefully we can partake soon!!
Another good book to get from your local library that also relates to Black History Month and Troy NY, is Freeing Charles by Scott Christianson. It provides an in-depth look at the life and epic rescue of a captured enslaved man, Charles Nalle of Virginia, who was forcibly liberated by Harriet Tubman and others in Troy NY.
We have sketched out an idea for a second food tour route in Albany that will introduce the Underground Railroad Education Center, so sign up for our newsletter to keep informed about the details of this new food tour route and other things to do in Albany and Troy.
Pandemic enforced distancing and wintery days are perfect opportunities to get in some great reading by borrowing these books and others set in Albany and Troy, NY.