Albany/Schenectady/Troy in upstate New York, the 19th Century hub of commerce for the Empire State.

Albany of course has been the state capital since 1797. The city of slightly more than 100,000 is equidistant from New York, Boston, Buffalo, and Montreal, so it was natural that even Native Americans considered it central to their own commerce.

The name "Schenectady" is derived from a Mohawk word for "on that side of the pinery," or "near the pines," or "place beyond the pine plains."

Schenectady was known as the "city that lights and hauls the world" because of its prominence in the locomotive manufacturing industry. It is also the headquarters of the General Electric Company, and as a result--single-handedly--Schenectady has probably polluted more of the Hudson River than any other metropolitan area in the state.

Troy was synonymous with the industrial revolution, and has therefore also had its share of cleaning-up to do in the late 20th Century. It was the home of the detachable shirt collar, stove manufacturers, textile mills, stagecoach and carriage builders, breweries, bell manufacturers, and iron and steel mills. Iron plates for the Civil War submersible "Monitor" were rolled in Troy.

Samuel Wilson, better known as Uncle Sam of the famous army recruitment poster, lived and worked in Troy.

The Tri-Cities have gone through several "boom and bust" periods and are now in a period of revival because of tourism and Information Technology. There are many fine schools and colleges in the area, home prices are reasonable, and train schedules make it realistic to commute to Manhattan. A two-hour station-to-station trip makes an uninterrupted laptop noding period every morning and evening a distinct possibility.

Everything is possible in Upstate New York.