I moved to the city of Albany in 2002 and bought a great condo in Center Square. The proximity to the restaurants, cultural events, and Washington Park was a real plus for me. I am a professional who reverse commuted to the suburbs for work and chose to live close to the "happening" part of town (Lark Street) where I could walk everywhere and take advantage of all the area offers. It truly is a great area with so much potential. I have since moved to the suburbs because I grew tired of people throwing their trash on the sidewalks, homeless people sleeping and urinating inside of the front door to my building, the lack of respect shown by the drunken participants of the various festivals held in the area who used my car tires as a bathroom or used drugs just around the corner from where the police stood on horseback, and the gangs of youth who terrorize the neighborhood on their way home from school. I waited a long time for the plans to unfold surrounding the devlopment of the area around Albany Med toward Center Square and hoped it would elevate the area and bring in more upscale shopping, maybe turn Lark Street eventually into a pedestrian mall with outdoor cafes and make it a safe haven in the city that might attract more tourism. My building was always spotlighted on the local Duck Tour yet I was embarrassed that the streets were strewn by paper plates left by drunken pizza patrons from the night before as the tourists passed by. I feel strongly that something needs to be done about the homelessness and the alcohol and drug factor at festivals which seem to bring out the worse in people who do not live in the area and show no respect for those who do...or did. I feel that economic development should focus on bringing in attractive businesses that will entice people into an area that has so much promise but can't quite attain what quaintness because of these other factors. Adequate, safe, free parking is also needed so that visitors and commuters do not take off street parking spots reserved for those who own them. I live in the suburbs now where I look out on trees instead of the seedier side of life and have a safe place to park my car. I hope that downtown Albany can attain the quaintness I have seen in other historic downtown areas such as San Antonio, Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Stockholm, and even Saratoga and Burlington.