One time, someone told me I was built for speed, not comfort. CMAXBY herself has described this kind of energy level several ways: highly kinetic, hummingbird speed, hi octane, and occasionally, just plain old insane. It’s always strangely satisfying to find a new walk, skip, jump, swim, bike, or paddle around town. I feel lucky to have been digging up dirt in ALL of these varieties. Some I have been sworn to ultimate secrecy about, but this one is fair game and definitely a favorite.
It’s not new, it’s not original, and it’s not secret. But it IS beautiful, effective, orderly, and has the potential to kick your own ass/legs/thighs/etc. IT IS…..stairs. About a million of them. All in a row. The RPI Approach from Broadway, all the way up to the sky, is the kind of stair climb that maybe you shouldn’t declare that you’re going to do 10 trips of, 2 at a time, without getting out of breath. It’s the kind of stuff that would put Suzanne Somers right out of business. Your thighs AINT NEVER looked this good.
As I flew up the flights, 2 at a time, as fast as I could, like an asshole, I left my affectionately exasperated companion in the dust. I did a really good job. ONE time. He did a REALLY good job, many many more times. As he (again) gave me the old tortoise and hare tale, I stood quietly (aka breathless) and admired the view.
Th RPI approach, like most of Troy, has been through some serious shit. The short version…. built originally in 1907 after the Great Fire took out RPI’s main building, fell into disrepair after WWII, and then fortunately rebuilt in 1999. Phew.
I think the coolest part of the approach is just the perfect linear path it creates from the monument square all the way up to the top.
MINUS ONE ASININE BUILDING that was slapped down totally askew in the 70′s. SERIOUSLY. This shit drives me nuts. Centuries of civilization observe this building pattern and then you just bail on us and basically throw up a middle finger to the symmetry that has been created and observed by everyone else? Why people suddenly began to think they are unique and special is beyond me. The order of a city that is in line is beautiful and feels like a real place. No one likes holes in streets and no one likes an random boring building messing up everything else that is good.
Also. I saw a skunk. A real live skunk. I tried to get its name, see what it was all about, and considered taking it home to walk on a leash or wear…..but it unfortunately was not interested in either.
The moral of the story is IF you are looking for an awesome morning city climb, or sunset stampede, or dusky decent, run/walk/fly your way up the RPI Approach. Don’t stop after just the one set of stairs, keep on climbing up until you can’t find any more stairs to climb. Then look out over the city, and look for the sore thumb building, but most of all, just look at everything else, all the ducks all in a row. If you go at night like I did, you might have the honor of seeing my new special little friend. Fear not, he is non violent. And really…who gets to see a skunk just hanging out doing their skunk stuff? Personally, before last night, I have only had the displeasure of seeing dead ones. Live ones are more fun. As with most things. I think.