Albany, New York is the state's center of government and education. Albany is among the oldest cities in the U.S., a fact evident in its historical architecture and Dutch heritage sites. Students of Albany colleges and universities can enjoy a thriving cultural scene, anchored by institutions as varied as the Albany Institute of History & Art and The Egg, an egg-shaped performance venue. Lark Street, Albany's answer to Greenwich Village, is a hip neighborhood of coffee houses, independent stores, and art galleries.
Albany, New York's higher education system includes seven major colleges and universities. The State University of New York at Albany is the region's largest institution, with over 15,000 students. Albany colleges and universities include Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany Law School, and Albany Medical College. Albany is dominated by state-supported colleges and universities, but the College of Saint Rose and Excelsior College offer independent undergraduate education.