COLLAR CITY CRAWL -By: Jordan Lanegan
Written by Staff on July 17, 2022
Odds are, if you aren’t a New York native, you’ve probably never heard of Troy. Even if you are, there’s a chance you may not have. But, if you’re anything like me (who’d never been to the East Coast at all until three years ago), when you first thought of New York, what you imagined was N.Y.C. — the razzle, the dazzle, the glitz and the glamour. You imagined those cheesy rom-com moments that we all hate to admit that we kinda, sorta, really (really) love.
You know — the dancing in the pouring rain with some random heartthrob in the middle of Times Square (who, come morning time, will not be the 10/10 you remembered) as a cat-sized rat scurries between your feet diving headfirst into an overflowing, godforsaken, downright dirty pile of sidewalk trash and a pissed off, overworked, underpaid taxi driver lays heavy on his horn screaming at you, the rat, and the 4/10 to get the hell out of his way — type of moment.
A wholesome moment. A romantic moment. A moment you surely won’t forget, despite your best efforts.
Needless to say, New York is all that (unfortunately), but it’s also so much more.
When I moved here three years ago, I was floored (and so, so, so) pleasantly surprised to discover that New York was way more than what you see in the movies. Don’t get me wrong, N.Y.C. is great and all, but Upstate is a whole different vibe, in the very best way possible.
At this point, I suppose I should introduce myself. For those of you who don’t recognize the by-line, hiya! I’m Jordan. If you’re a frequenter of Troy’s bar scene, or an industry worker yourself, you may know me as the bartender from Footsy Magoo’s, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a little about me:
I’m 25 and I’ve been all over the United States (48/50). I’ve been to Japan (and dove with whale sharks). I’ve backpacked alone through Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Croatia, Rome). I’m, as they say, a military brat (both parents — Army). And, as a brat (proudly), the urge to pick up and move after two or three years in one place is practically ingrained in my DNA.
But for the first time in perhaps ever, that innate urge has yet to rear its head. Something about the little ol’, blip-on-the-radar, quirky city of Troy has somehow managed to capture my heart and hold my interest. And that is for many reasons.
For starters, it has good food (like… really good food). It has history (like… a lot.) It has brownstones (with vines and moss crawling all over.) It has stoops for days (stoop-kid for life.) It has picturesque parks (and hidden gems you’d never believe.)
But, above all else, it has the best (and weirdest) people around.
Whether it’s the fourth street sidewalk-swindlers relentlessly asking for a cent or a cig every other second, or the newest bunch of small business owners opening seemingly every other day, or the industry workers and regulars servin’, boppin’, and supportin’ all around town — the Collar City characters are what make Collar City what it is.
Of perhaps all the places I have lived, Troy just may be one of my favorites. Call me crazy (because I probably am), but there’s a certain energy and magic to this little ol’, blip-on-the-radar, quirky city of Troy that is uniquely special.
And the raddest part about it? The best has yet to come.