City Storiez

The 518: Upstate’s Albany, Troy, and Schenectady, NY

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the 518 (Albany, Troy, Schenectady)

In the true Upstate New York region, or the 518 for the region’s area code, is a small metropolitan area that is made up of three main cities, Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, all in the state of New York’s capital district.

Three very small cities in a metropolitan area of around 600,000 residents who have even smaller urban neighborhoods within them, like Hamilton Hill and the Steinmetz Homes of Schenectady or Corliss Park of Troy.

A further breakdown shows each cities’ demographics of African Americans and Latinos with 27% of Troy’s 50,000 residents are of the urban population, 30% of Schenectady’s 65,000 citizens are of the city’s urban population, and Albany’s 100,000 population equals to a total 40% of the urban community.


albany new york ghetto  schenectady ghetto troy new york ghetto

Some can say an extension of New York City as the region is viewed by some as another borough of the NYC with many ties and relations from the urban community of the 518 region and the ‘hoods within the main five boroughs, preferably the Bronx and Queens.

The streets can play a factor in a few daily lives, like the Albany New York gangs of the Jungle Junkies in Albany’s Uptown neighborhood center around Arbor Hill and the OGK of the South End’s Downtown section, or the rivalry between the urban communities of Troy against Albany.

Despite what local authorities call gang activity, the 518 region does not have a large crime rate and is not a dangerous region, unless you are someone that lives a certain lifestyle of street activity and trouble.


The original start of the communities in New York’s capital region in the beginning had a very little African American or Latino presence with the majority of the residents being either Jewish, German, or some other group of a European background.

As stated above many of these communities were home once home to mainly white families who were once immigrants from Europe, with an exception to a small number of African-Americans who have been around since the beginning of slavery.

Beginning in the early part of the 1900s, supposedly around the 1930s, many southern blacks began to make their way into New York’s capital region, with another movement of African-Americans coming from the south starting during the 1950s.

albany new york ghetto  schenectady ghetto troy new york ghetto


By the 1960s and 1970s, urban renewal projects destroyed certain sections of the three major cities of New York’s capital region. For example, certain parts of the city of Troy and Albany had parts destroyed by the building of Interstate 787, housing projects, and the Empire State Plaza.

As urban renewal was changing the communities, so was white flight that started in the 1960s. With some black families being displaced, along with African-Americans from the south coming into the region, many relocated in areas like Arbor Hill of Albany or the Hamilton Hill section of the Schenectady ghetto.

Today, the capital region of New York, or the 518, often gets overlooked by New York City, but the region of Albany, Troy, and Schenectady does have its own lifestyle separate from the NYC, but at the same time has adopted many trends and cultures from the big city of New York.

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*Note: All information is provided either through people of the community, outside sources, and/or research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.