Good To Be Back In Oak-Town

You truly appreciate Oakland by traveling a bit and seeing what else is out there.  This week, my business dealings took me to Troy, New York.  I was meeting people at a great school called RPI, and certainly can’t argue with the interesting things percolating there.  However I was so pleased to touch down at our airport tonight.

Troy NY

Now I feel compelled to share these “Top Ten Reasons” why I’m glad to return from upstate New York.  It didn’t exactly rock my world, at least in the dead of winter.  Drum roll, please…

  1. It’s ten degrees out, with sleet and snow – and you must be bundled up. (No problem here.)
  2. When you walk around the old city and buildings, everything’s for rent. (Well, it’s not the same.)
  3. The nearby Hudson River has PCB problems, scheduled for remediation. (The Bay is healthier.)
  4. The world is either white, gray, brown or black, with a couple red buildings. (We have color.)
  5. Everything feels unchanging and settled, in its post-industrial glory. (Hey, we’re much younger.)
  6. Did you ever read Richard Russo? (Folks from NY don’t sound like us.)
  7. There’s not a lot of restaurants in downtown Troy. (We do have places to eat.)
  8. There’s nothing much happening off-campus. (It’s really dead.)
  9. Troy’s countryside is plunged into mid-winter. (Winter, what’s that?)
  10. The downtown has no people during the day. (People are in DTO.)

When the urge strikes you to rant about Oakland, try to appreciate the things that we really have – bird in the hand and all.

2 thoughts on “Good To Be Back In Oak-Town

  1. Born and raised in Troy, NY, I can tell you that you’re not getting a full picture, of Upstate NY by just visiting our old Troy, especially in the dead of winter. Come again in Spring or better yet, Fall and visit Albany, or Saratoga, Lake Placid, etc.
    Troy was a beautiful bustling place, with gorgeous brownstone buildings and stores up and down the main street, Third, and Fourth Street, which boasts the historical Proctor’s Theatre, which has been saved by RPI when our wonderful government decided a few years ago to sell it or demolish it as well. Our local government however, got so caught up in the late 60’s and 70’s Urban Renewal craze that they destroyed the city to “move ahead”. What actually happened was that they removed families from their homes and demolished them with nothing but bare land in their place. They tore down most of the downtown district for a “mall” leaving a huge hole for years until they finally got it built and asked so much rent that it not so slowly lost almost all of it’s vendors.
    When I was a child the streets were full of people, especially around Christmas time. Streets were decorated, and storefronts were beautiful. In the name of progress, our city was ruined.
    As a middle school kid I would cut through RPI and wonder about the “approach” steps leading from the city up to the college. Left in ruins as well, it was unbelieveable even to a child. RPI is a fantastic school however, located in a former industrial city, and is all that remains of a once great city.

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