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Lark Street

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Lark Street is a historic street in Albany, New York. It is part of the "Center Square" and "Hudson Park" neighborhoods, and is located one block east of Washington Park. Lark Street is home to many independently owned shops, coffee houses, restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, bars, and tattoo parlors. Although the southeasternmost strip was rebuilt in 2002-2003 to place new roadways, trees, and sidewalks in front of the new shops in the active portion of Lark Street, some local residents have protested the neglect of the northwestern side of the street (crossing west of Washington Avenue), which runs down into the less-affluent Arbor Hill neighborhood.[1] Lark Street and Jay Street was used as a location during the filming of Ironweed.[citation needed] The Washington Avenue Armory is located at the corner of Lark Street and Washington Avenue.

Location Edit

Lark Street is located two long blocks west of the Empire State Plaza and one block east of Washington Park. Just a short walk from downtown Albany's business district, Lark Street has long been a mix of commercial and residential that is reminiscent of the some neighborhoods of Manhattan. Nineteenth century brownstones are a common sight on the street. Cobblestone intersections remain from the turn-of-the century neighborhood this once was on parts, especially the intersection with Jay Street.

From south to north, Lark Street runs through the "Park South", "Hudson Park", "Center Square", and "Arbor Hill" neighborhoods in downtown Albany. It intersects with NY 443 (Delaware Avenue), US 20 (Madison Avenue), NY Route 5 (Central Avenue & Washington Avenue), and US 9 (Clinton Avenue). From Madison Avenue to Clinton Avenue the street is part of U.S. Route 9W.

It is a critical public transportation route. All or part of several CDTA buses run along Lark Street:

  • 4 - Pine Hills
  • 13 - New Scotland Avenue (to Slingerlands)
  • 18 - Delaware Avenue (to Delmar)
  • 63 - Route Twenty (to Schenectady via Guilderland).[2]

Culture Edit

Lark Street's culture has been highlighted by the budget-minded Let's Go Travel Guides.[3] A diverse range of artists and organizations have found their way to Lark Street - among them, the Upstate Artists Guild (UAG) which is working to get more galleries and studios into the downtown Albany and Troy areas. Because of this, and efforts from others, Lark Street's many historic apartment buildings have been turned into galleries and artist studios.[4] Lark Street is the crux of the 1st Friday events, a city-wide arts show opening extravaganza organized by the UAG and managed by Michael Weidrich, executive director of the BID and a local artist.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Shopping is available, and many storefronts are tucked into basement-level or second-story shops, further lending to their appeal. Shoppers can find contemporary art, antiques, jewelry, vintage clothing, flowers, books, and wine.[citation needed]

There are many dining places, including Tex-Mex, Greek, Thai, Indian, Hunan, Italian and Japanese restaurants.[11] The original Bombers Burrito Bar franchise is located on Lark Street,[12][13] as are a Ben & Jerry's outlet [14] and a Dunkin's Donuts shop.[citation needed]

The Lark Street area is home to many of the Capital District's most prominent nightclubs. These include Justin's, a jazz club and restaurant, Tess's Lark Street Tavern, which hosts everything from burlesque and comedy shows to jazz and blues. The Washington Avenue Armory, which is located at the corner of Lark Street, hosts sporting events and rock concerts.

Virtually every prominent local musician in Albany plays regularly on Lark Street, including Jazz saxophone player and band leader Brian Patneaude,[15] Thomasina Winslow and her father Tom Winslow, Sirsy, and many other acts.[16]

Gay villageEdit

Main article: Gay village

There are two gay bars[17] and the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Center [18] catering to LGBT clientele in the Lark Street area. The annual Gay Pride parade marches down Lark Street every June.[19]

Lark Fest Edit

During the annual Lark Fest in mid-September, the street is transformed by artists' displays including painters, photographers, jewelers, sculptors, ceramicists, glass artists and live shows on several stages. The event has an average attendance of 55,000 people. The highest attendance record was in 2006, with 80,000 people showing up. It is organized by the Lark Street BID (Business Improvement District), which also arranges a Winter Festival in December.[20]

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