I’ve lived in Troy for about six months, and am still getting to know the town. Like most former New York City people, I did not own a car before moving up here, and it took me about three months to get one. Before having a car, my friend Debii and I took a city bus to get downtown. Troy’s buses are a part of the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) system, which operates buses in Albany, Troy and Schenectady, both in those cities, and between them.
New York City’s subways and buses just went up to $2.50 a ride. The CDTA is $1.50. Yay! Their buses are more comfortable, and best of all, the coin machines take dollar bills! Yay x 2! They’ve got a transit card system too, but I’ve only used cash, since I don’t ride the bus every day or often enough to get a card.
If you are new to a city, one of the best ways to get the long view is to hop on a city bus and take it to the end of the line and back. If you are directionally challenged, you won’t have to worry about never making it back home, the bus, like a faithful steed, knows the way home. We rode all over in the buses, so much so, that when I finally had the car, I already knew my way around many parts of Troy. It’s not that big, anyway, it’s just long.
This is a huge first step for me.
My first personal blog post.
I’ve been meaning to do start a blog for so long, my procrastination had procrastination issues. Way back in 2009, when I started writing blog posts for Brownstoner.com, in my longtime home of Brooklyn, friends told me, “You should start your own blog!” At that time, I had already lost my job, was well on the way to losing my house, and was starting to lose my mind. Needless to say, I didn’t start my blog. I had too much to lose, and no desire to blab about it to the universe.
Since then, much has happened, none of which I could have possible imagined. I found my mind, although some would disagree on that point, have been a writing fool, lost my house, but found a great new home in a new city: Troy, NY, and am excited about all of the new opportunities and possibilities that await me here. I haven’t abandoned Brooklyn, either, a city that has been very good to me, and a place I still love. Brooklyn is a long distance relationship, and when I come to visit, I see it with new eyes, and a new appreciation, and getting back together is a lot of fun.
But Troy…..there is so much here, and so much potential for more. I want Troy. I want to buy up its abandoned and neglected housing stock, renovate, and fill the homes and streets again with people. I want to be a part of revitalizing downtown with viable businesses again, and have the streets in the evening filled with people going to local shops, and spending their money with shop owners who choose to live nearby. I want to give the people in my new community of North Central places to go within walking distance, and things to do. I want jobs to be available here, and decent housing.
Ok, ok, I sound like the Chamber of Commerce. But what a great little city this is! I’ve fallen in love with the architecture, the streetscapes and the history of this river city. In future blog posts, I plan to talk about all aspects of Troy, and hope you will find them as interesting as I do.
It’s not all just about architecture and history, though. I’ll be blogging about other things that interest me, including my own projects in home furnishings, renovation with little moneyinterior design, furniture refinishing, music, photography, travel and more. I’ll be linking to Brownstoner.com to share my articles from that site, which I write under the pen name "Montrose Morris." I’ve got friends and colleagues who are super talented, with fascinating projects and businesses, they’ll be here too. There’s so much good stuff out there, so here goes…………
My name is Suzanne Spellen. I've been many things: a writer, historian, preservationist, musician, traveler, designer, sewer, teacher, and tour guide; a long time Brooklynite and now, a proud resident of Troy, NY.