So I have this friend (we’ll call her Blichelle, to hide her true identity) who, after playing with us several times in Troy, has made the very reasonable decision to give up her apartment in Clifton Park to move to downtown Troy. As much as I’d like to think that she’s moving to be closer in proximity to me, I’m an adult enough to admit that it’s because she fell in love with the area.
I hope everyone who is reading this understands the magnitude of this statement.
Yes, Virginia, people from the ‘burbs will move to our delightful gritty city just the way it is now.
I’m going to provide you with a brief little history of how we turned Blichelle’s eyes to Uncle Sam’s birthplace in the hopes that you follow my example and start harrassing your friends to move here. I won’t lie- it’s a long process. In Blichelle’s case, probably about a years worth of wining, dining and prodding resulted in this outcome but that is mostly due to the Clifton Park deprograming. I’ve managed to talk Albany friends into renting in Troy over the course of a few nights.
Without further ado:
A Guide to Talking Dwellers of Suburbia to moving to Troy
1) First visit: Invite them for a beer at Browns.
Blichelle actually was in Troy for a party at my house long before we ever went to Browns for a beer and a bite, but it was our visit to the brewpup that put a twinkle in her eye. First, they have parking. To people that aren’t used to street parking, the idea of parallel parking sends chills down the spine. What if they hit someone? What if someone takes off their mirror? WILL THEY HAVE TO WALK MORE THAN 20 FEET TO THE ESTABLISHMENT’S DOOR????
Browns beer is also some high APV stuff for someone who normally drinks Coors Light. So, two beers and an Uncle Sam burger later, your suburban friend is ready to walk it off to the next locale where you can slowly get their feet wet with new downtown experiences. And by this I mean, the Ruck. At midnight. On a weekend. When school is in session.
There is no easy way to warn people about the things that they won’t be able to unsee but hand them a Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout and all their worries about getting hit on by a 21 year old who has never heard of Hammer Pants will melt away.
2) Second visit: Class it up a bit
If you’re friend is looking for something to do during the day, drag them to brunch at Carmen’s or Illium. Feed them some sangria, cuban eggs or corned beef hash. An evening meal? LoPorto’s, Bacchus, or Daisy Bakers. This is about AMBIANCE. Not every night in Troy is going to be a rager and, as I’ve mentioned before, a quiet, reflective Troy is my favorite of all her faces. Again, take a stroll around. This time an aimless gambol around. If it’s during the day, wander up and down River and 2nd. Point out our architecture and wander into some of the great shops. If it’s at night and still warm enough to sit outside, grab frozen yogurt at Dante’s, sit in the Adirondack chairs in Monument Square, and relax with the sounds of the city at night.
3) Third Visit: DeFazios.
Here’s what will happen: You’ll sit down with your friend, order a pizza, stare at the old family photos on the wall and the BOOM. There’s Rocco. Talking to you like he’s known you your whole life. Making you feel at home. Joking. Making recommendations. He is SELLING THE CITY WITH EVERY STORY. This is the easiest of all the steps because you get someone else doing the work for you AND you get awesome pizza afterwards.
Now’s the time you start mentioning how much cheaper rent is in Troy. If possible, casually bring them into your other Trojan friends’ glorious Victorian apartments. Hell, bring them over to my house. Tell them you need to walk my dog. Then have an impromptu dance party in front of my floor to ceiling living room windows. I don’t care because I’m not home and you’re walking my dog. So… Thanks for that. You’re a good friend.
That’s basically all it takes. You may have to rinse, lather, and repeat steps 1-3 a few times but eventually your friend will get the hint and move their belongings to a nice 2nd floor apartment in downtown. I’ve been told that this sounds eerily similar to brainwashing but whatever. We know what’s good for your friends and if they need to be badgered into realizing it, then so be it.