COLLAR CITY CRAWL (August 2022) By: Jordan Lanegan

Written by on August 8, 2022

Alas — sweet, sweet summertime has finally arrived in full force. Our beloved farmer’s market is back on the blocks, the days are warm, bright and long, the grass is lush and the trees are full, the flowers have bloomed and the birds are singing and all is right and merry and beautiful.

Well, almost. 

It is, until you turn on the TV and tune into the news over your morning coffee, or open social media and catch a glimpse of the latest, most terrifying headlines via memes, or you decide to take a sunset stroll down by the river with your main squeeze, only to have a near-magical moment interrupted by none other than Troy’s finest anthem: the very calming, very soothing sound of sirens wailing in the distance — bouncing off the brownstones, echoing throughout the city’s walls — fully saturating the air with its incessant, haunting, almost mocking pitch.

Basically, what I’m getting at is — if you have a pulse, conscience, and/or possess the ability to think critically and fully comprehend the grave state of our current world, (on a micro or macro level), well, how do I put this nicely…

You’re f*cked. Congratulations! #IsntThatLovely #JoinTheTeam

The more dialed in and cognizant you are, the more excruciating your reality becomes, because you aren’t just going through the motions anymore – you’re painfully aware of every little thing., even when you really wish you weren’t. Hyper-fixated, if you will. It’s the double-edged-sword of all swords, the bitch of all bitches. But hey, better to have a brain and put it to good use, right? I’d take being depressed and ‘smart’ over happy and ‘dumb’ any day. Blissful ignorance gets real old, real quick. (It’s 2022 people, caring is actually cool now, in case you didn’t know!)

With good, comes bad. With light, comes darkness. Yin, yang, you know the deal. When it comes to summertime, yes, we can count on blue skies, toasty lake days and fun evening excursions, but we can also count on more people flooding into the city, more violence, more drunk drivers, more drug use, and generally just an overall, heightened and magnified energy to the city that is not always in alignment with the energy we’ve grown to love of Troy. 

In the past few weeks, vandalism and gang activity have been on the rise, there have been break-ins, stabbings, gun-shot victims and hostage situations, and there has been a very evident influx of panhandlers and the homeless population, all of which have seem to come straight out of the woodworks. (Special shout-out to Troy, PD — y’all deal with some shit — hats off to you guys.)  

This energy can feel quite intimidating, and rightfully so. It is alarming. It is scary. It is unsettling. It can make you want to put three deadbolts on your door, keep the blinds permanently shut and shades drawn, Doordash all your meals and spend your entire summer inside huddled underneath a blanket watching endless hours of Netflix (can we get rid of that ‘are you still watching?’ notification yet? I mean, seriously). 

If that’s what you want to do, so be it. To each their own. But I think it’s important to remember that this is what happens during summertime all across the country. It’s not just our little ol’, blip-on-the-radar, quirky city — it’s everywhere. Whether that makes it better or worse, I’m not sure, but I do stand firmly by this: 

To hell with all that. To hell with fear, to hell with bunkering down, to hell with letting life pass you by. The world is a mess. Always has been, always will be. But that’s part of the beauty, no? How would we know what to appreciate and what to standup for and fight against without all of the mess? The mess gives context, it deepens layers, and it brings everything full circle. 

Bottom line? Give love to the mess and embrace it. Acknowledge it, nod to it, be wary of it, and stay safe from it, but don’t drown in it. 

I think that’s enough dark and gloom and preaching for one article, wouldn’t you say?

If I’m being honest, I had a totally different game-plan for this second issue of Collar City Crawl in my head. That’s the funny thing about writing, though, or any creative outlet for that matter. You may have one idea, but as soon as pen hits paper, or you pick up the mic (or the guitar, or the paintbrush, or the frying pan, or the soccer ball, etc.), the item at hand just sorta takes you and shows you where you need to go. Planning is good, sure, but planning too much? Well, now, where’s the fun in that… 

Before I go, there’s one last thing I’d like to share. 

Someone that has very recently come into my life said something to me the other day that struck a chord and stuck, and I feel like it’s the perfect way to close this bad boy out. We all have those people who we feel we’ve known for forever, going back moons and lifetimes before this one (if you believe in that sorta thing), when in reality we’ve only known them for a very short period of time. You can just feel it; there’s a natural flow and channel in relationships like these, and this lil’ mama is one of those for me (!!! you know who you are). 

Anyway, when she described Troy as she did below, I knew she was one of my people, and that we were cut from the same cloth. #RealRecognizeReal

“Troy is such a safe haven…it literally wraps its gritty little arms around you and gives you a dirty hug.”

See y’all in September. 

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