One of the first things I research before exploring a new area is the city’s best street art.
All it takes is one exceptionally talented individual with a vision to turn a forgotten building, a bridge underpass, or an easily overlooked alleyway into a destination itself as an outdoor art gallery.
There are so many fantastic murals in CapNY to explore, but these are a few of my favorites.
The Big Picture, Troy
Artist Kevin Clark created a beautiful mural on the side of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to give visitors an idea of what the amazing venue looks like inside. The painting makes you feel like you’re in the audience, adding some visually stunning imagery to what was once just a bland bank building.
As you’re viewing the mural, you might notice a bunch of names edged into the bottom. Those are names of past performers that have stood on that stage. Some pretty impressive people — from Wynton Marsalis and Diana Krall and SO many more — are on that list. After you take a look at the piece, walk on over to the Whistling Kettle at 254 Broadway for a sandwich, tea, or pastries. If they have the roasted red pepper soup with smoked gouda, you must try it. You’ll pass shops and boutiques along the way, be sure to pop in.
You can see this mural at 50 2nd Street, adjacent to the Troy Music Hall parking lot.
Love Goes On, Albany
Downtown Albany has so many fantastic murals popping up, bringing life to buildings and neighborhoods throughout the city. For example, when exploring the area for the first time I came across ‘Blue birds’ by Michael Conlin (located on the Quackenbush Garage at 25 Orange St.) and ‘Float and Flight’ by John Breiner (under the I-787 ramp Clinton Ave exit, behind the Quackenbush Garage). Both stopped me in my tracks.
One of my personal favorites is ‘Love Goes On’ by Nick Walker. It was one of the first murals I saw in the area and I fell in love with it! After exploring some local fantastic murals, grab a flavorful, healthy lunch at one of my favorite spots — Lark St. Poke Bar.
The Love Goes On mural is on the eastern-facing wall of the Green-Hudson Parking Garage.
The Chatham Boxcar, Chatham
My boyfriend and I were recently driving through Chatham in Columbia County. Besides the adorable shops (there are many!), I spotted a bright turquoise boxcar. Located in what looked like the remnants of a parking lot, artist Brian Buono decided to take an old boxcar and turn it into a work of art.
After taking photos of Brian‘s beautiful work, head over to Bimi’s Cheese Shop to grab some cheeses to go for a charcuterie board at home or a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of steaming hot soup.
You can see this mural on Main Street in Chatham.
Hudson is such an amazing town. There are SO many boutique shops to explore and delicious restaurants to try. Another thing I noticed while browsing the streets was the mural next to Enkyu / Like Minded Objects (two cool boutiques under one roof). There are some really interesting paintings within this collaborative collage, from Hudson-based artists like Alexander West Guerrero. And, it’s a great place to capture some IG pics.
After some shopping and glancing at the art, head over to Oak Pizzeria Napoletana for really fantastic Neapolitan pizza!
You can see the mural at 2 Park Place.
Written by: Jessica Kelly
Jess is a journalist and photographer with a focus on food, travel, and entertainment. She’s written for over 10 different local publications in New York State in addition to the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, AAA Northeast, Eater, Dame Traveler, Food52, Insider, Wine Enthusiast, Kitchn, AAA World Magazine, Thrillist, and more. Follow her adventures on Instagram @Adventures.Are.Waiting.