I grew up in Albany.  I live in Albany.  I love Albany.  So I may be a bit biased here and I write this knowing full well that haters will say there's no way it's possible.  But I'm here to not only report it, but I believe it.

Back in October, a survey listed Albany as the 16th best "small city" in America.  Recently, in a more centralized survey of the 6 Best Places to Live in Upstate, Albany not only made the top 6, but it placed number 1 overall.  High praise for the state capital, but what was the criteria for which it was judged?

According to the rankings in Realestate.usnews.com, Albany ranked as the #47th best place to live and the 23rd safest city in the entire United States.

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In the survey for Upstate New York cities, Albany was given the top spot because of its "lively downtown" and "old-world appeal." The report also gushes about its wonderful architecture adding, "there are rows of colorfully painted, turn-of-the-century brownstones, the historic state capitol building and the iconic Empire State Plaza."

Binghamton was 6th, Ithaca 5th, Syracuse 4th, Buffalo 3rd, and Rochester 2nd.

The survey praises Albany for its multicultural and eclectic neighborhood surrounding Lark Street that is "lined with small businesses, churches, galleries and wine shops featuring New York state vintages."

While many in and around Albany complain about the long, cold and dark winters, this particular report doesn't seem to hear the grumbles from locals. Instead, it was written that "residents don't hibernate in the winter. Hockey is very popular in Albany, and it's common to see ice skaters twirling around the Empire Skate Plaza at the base of the iconic Egg."

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