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.
What I like about Troy is that everyone seems to live everywhere. New York City can be pretty self-segregating, with ethnic and racial neighborhoods that have little diversity, but Troy does not. As an African American, I was happy to see us everywhere, from Lansingburg to North Central, to Downtown, Little Italy and South Troy. The same held true with other minorities I saw. Everyone is everywhere, as it should be. We are, after all, all in this city and world together.
I grew up in Upstate NY, near Oneonta, but back when I was a kid, (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) black people were such a minority that we used to get stared at like we were from another planet. After college, I spent close to 35 years in New York City, where no one stared at anyone, at least not for racial or ethnic differences, not in the biggest melting pot in the world. When thinking about moving here, I hoped that I wouldn’t have to go back to being the “only” in a crowd. I was quite pleased to find that I’m not, and my race seems to make no nevermind to anyone here. I’m not naïve to think it’s perfect here, but so far, so good. Yay, Troy!
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.