By now, most people are addicted enough to the game of Pokemon Go! to realize that many historic sites, landmarks, and museums are either gyms or stops to replace your ever-dwindling supply of balls. And it's certainly a great way to keep, you know, actually moving if you ever want your egg to hatch.
You can definitely make a day out of it just by hitting one location if you're up for it - Albany Rural Cemetery. Cemeteries are jam-packed with stops. Since there usually isn't a flurry of traffic around to also watch out for, playing the game while wandering around the cemetery can be quite leisurely and safe so long as you keep a lookout for those pesky little dips in the grass that'll trip you every time...
Cemeteries may not be the first place you think of for a picnicking day out, but Albany Rural Cemetery is more than just a bunch of graves that might have a bulbasaur attached (or a rattata since those things are pretty much everywhere).
The cemetery was founded in 1841 and spans 467 acres for visitors to walk, bike, or drive around. A pond filled with fish for visitors to sit beside as they enjoy light snacks outside is another great feature of the grounds to take advantage of. If you're lucky, you could spot some of the wildlife that also find this patch of green a sanctuary from the city. Deer are often wandering around and this is a great spot for birdwatching.
There are, unsurprisingly, numerous historical figures of various backgrounds for people to look for: some big names you might've heard of like President Chester A. Arthur, Albany's last patroon General Stephen Van Rensselaer, and others like General Philip Schuyler, the Corning family plot, the Peckham family plot and Erastus Dow Palmer. Check out the Albany Institute of History and Art for more about figures like Palmer (and see if there really is a Pokemon in the Egyptian room hanging out with the mummies...)
And some of these tombstones that you might stand next to for a minute to catch something on your phone are worth more than a quick look. For all those artists out there, you can't help but admire the beautiful carvings on some of these tombstones and the mausoleums. Oscar Lenz even contributed some works, with The Angel of The Resurrection and frieze on the Parsons family monument and the relief on George Porter Hilton's mausoleum.
Some of them are out of the way, but if you decide to spend the day hiking, you won't be disappointed. Stop by the main offices and get some advice first though so you know if there are any places you might not want to venture into...for safety reasons, not because you're scared about getting stuck in a cemetery or anything like that.
Unless that's what you're looking for, since the Albany Rural Cemetery offers tours of the spookier variety at certain times of the year. Call ahead to check in with them to see when they're available.The cemetery offers other tours as well, including history tours, tours about the symbolism of the gravestones and natural beaurty of the cemetery.
You can add it to the list of other places to check out with similar themes of ghosts and Pokemon, like the New York State Capital Building or at Historic Cherry Hill. Skip over to the blog for upcoming haunted events for more information.
Albany Rural Cemetery is a relaxing place to picnic, play, explore and catch a glimpse of Albany's past all in one place. Just remember that it is a cemetery and to be respectful.
Otherwise, Albany Rurual Cemetery is an ineresting spot to check out. You might need to make more than one trip though to catch ‘em all there!