Getting Started in Troy, NY

I’m not a student of architecture or Urban Planning, but I know firsthand how a place and its people can alter your personality.

The running joke is that I’m Daria to Jessica’s Quinn: I have dark hair and glasses, she is a red pixie. I’m known for my sarcasm and a low threshold for tolerating douchebaggery, she’s known for never meeting an adventure she didn’t want to take. Sometimes I dress like an 80 year old woman, sometimes she dresses like Bianca Jagger.

Me circa 2008 before I moved to Troy

Left to my own devices I will hole up in my house, watch terrible television, and eat my body weight in nachos. Not even good nachos… shitty ones I made in the microwave that only has cheddar cheese and taco sauce on them. Basically, if I could, I’d be a hermit with scurvy.

But, I got lucky. I moved to Troy. And then I got luckier. Jess moved to Troy.
The combination of this beautiful city and my adventurous friend forces me to leave my beloved couch to go outside and meet people in a way that I don’t think would happen in any of the cities in the Capital District.  
Take today for instance. I didn’t want to get out of bed. But then SOMEONE

Hot-cocoa-boarding has been known to happen if you tell her no.

sent me twelve text messages about the Pad Thai at the farmer’s market and to shut her up, I put on pants (didn’t brush my hair, because fuck you, that’s why), and shuffled over.  I was what my friends would call “delightfully crabby” and everyone else would term “bitch”.

I complained about how it was too hot to be fall, how the coffee burnt my tongue, how I wished that they didn’t allow a certain bar owner in downtown Troy because every time I see him I want to throw a shoe at him, and answered questions with raspberries (I swear I’m an adult).
Meanwhile, it’s not even noon and Jess has gone to 8AM yoga, had a coffee without burning her tongue, bought all the vegetables at the market, and made three new friends. She’d been awake for over 4 hours already and her day was a success.
 And slowly, her enthusiasm for being awake and the activity of Troy pulled me out of my Oscar the Grouch mood. By the time pumpkin carving and cider drinking at Pfeil’s was finished, I was appropriately friendly enough to be unleashed to the public.
So we sat on a stoop with friends and watched a photo shoot take place on

Even the most resolute curmudgeon loves to stumble upon a secret ferris wheel

2nd St. Then we went for a stroll down to the river and listened to a band play in front of the Beat Shop. Stop and ask yourself this if you don’t currently live in Troy: have you ever randomly stumbled on a live band playing on the street next to yours? What about a secret fair?

When you live someplace where these impromptu events happen, it’s difficult not to become less solitary. It gets harder and harder to justify sitting at home and watching the newest movie version of Jane Eyre when you know somewhere at that very moment someone is trying their first 90 minute IPA or their first swing dance lesson at Daisy Bakers. You start to want to be out all the time (even the morning!) so you can witness people discover this unique community that’s been built and to remember what it was like when first you did.
I won’t lie… sometimes I forget this and that’s why I need Jess to harrass me into getting out the front door. She gets me started, Troy and I can take if from there.


  1. Jessica says:

    Aww you are my favorite “delightfully crabby” (bitchy) bitch in town.

  2. Jessica says:

    If you can’t make it anywhere……you can makeeeee ittttt hereeeeeeeeeeee! laaaalaaa.

  3. Jessica says:

    “It’s such a niceeeee day, I wish I could buy it!”

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