Before I even begin, I am well aware that the residents of Albany’s Pine Hills are very sensitive on the subject of their neighborhood. So, just take it easy for a moment- I’m not insulting the Pine Hills in any way. I lived right in the midst of the Pine Hills when I first moved to Albany and certainly appreciate what the Pine Hills has to offer: reasonable walking-distance to some of the best places in Albany, a variety of local businesses, a friendly “neighborhood” atmosphere. I work in the Pine Hills five days a week and enjoy it, a lot. The Pine Hills is a great neighborhood. Certainly improvements could be made, but you can make that argument anywhere. Truthfully, this post is about a very light-hearted subject.
(if you need a reminder of where the Pine Hills technically lies- click here and scroll down to “Pine Hills”)
To get to what is missing, let me first break down what is not missing (in terms of businesses). If you want pizza, for example, you can walk about five steps (okay, obvious exaggeration) and you’ve got it. If you’d like a bite to eat and/or some drinks, you’re covered. If you’d like to tan (BARF, please don’t), you can make yourself as orange as Jerry himself. Cup of coffee? We’ve got great local businesses and a tiny DD to please your taste buds. There are a lot of great things going on.
Okay, getting to the point. What’s my problem with the Pine Hills? WHERE IS THE ICE CREAM?? Sure, I can buy myself a pint or something larger at a variety of stores. I can flag down the occasional ice cream truck. But, if I want a for real-sies ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles, no ice cream shop is available to fit my needs. Why not?
I suppose the argument could be made, without being able to reference real statistics, that a large amount of business in the Pine Hills is student driven. Summer time in the Pine Hills= prime on-street parking season, whereas many other places summer time= prime ice cream season. And yes, with little effort I can make my way to Emack & Bolio’s on Delaware Ave or good ol’ Kurver Kreme on Central. Ben & Jerry’s is just up Madison Ave on Lark St, not far at all (but also not technically in the Pine Hills). I get it, I don’t have to go far to get ice cream…
wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an ice cream shop here? Maybe in the somewhat up-and-coming Quail St area? Or somewhere on Western, not far from the park, where you could grab a cone and stroll? I feel like residents would love it, and I can tell you right now that occasionally my lunch break would involve a stop for ice cream. Just a thought.
If you do know a great place to get ice cream in the Pine Hills, let me know- I’ll be there ASAP. If you’re in the Capital Region wondering where you can get your ice cream, All Over Albany did this “Capital Region Ice Cream Tour.“