Albany (formerly Ocean View) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States
The major retail and business areas in Albany are Solano Avenue, which is a pedestrian-oriented street lined with mainly small shops, restaurants, and services; San Pablo Avenue, which is more automobile-oriented; and an area near the Eastshore Freeway, to which the city is trying to attract big-box stores and offices, and currently houses a two-story Target store.
Albany is the site of Golden Gate Fields, the only horse racing track in the Bay Area.
Real estate prices have been rising steeply in recent years until the 2008 financial crisis and recession. The median price of a single family home and condo in Census 2000, June 2007, November 2009, July 2011, August 2013 and August 2014 were $334,800, $687,500, $610,000, $590,000, $625,750 and $820,050 respectively.
Arts, culture, and recreation
The Solano Avenue Stroll, an annual street festival held on Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley, attracts more than 250,000 visitors on the second Sunday of September. The event was started in 1975 by The Iris store owner and Solano Avenue Association founder Ira Klein as a “thank you party” from Solano Avenue business owners to customers. The Library of Congress designated the Solano Stroll as a “National Local Legacy” in 2001.
Albany provides both the locale and the title for one of the best-known poems in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, by former long-time Albany resident, poet Ron Silliman.
Albany also has a large little league, which draws children from around the area. The Albany Little League has gone to state tournaments with their junior and Majors levels. In 2008, Albany won its first championship in the Little League.
Albany is home to Golden Gate Fields, the only commercial racetrack in the Bay Area, as well as the Eastshore State Park which skirts the San Francisco Bay, and the Albany Bulb.
Albany has a strong school music program. High school music groups, both instrumental and choral, have performed at the CMEA, Reno Jazz, and other festivals. The Albany High School Jazz Band was also accepted at the Essentially Ellington festival at the Lincoln Center in 2010. Albany was one of 15 schools accepted into the festival.
Friends of Five Creeks is an all-volunteer group working hands-on for clean water and healthy watersheds.