Let me tell you about the love/hate relationship I have with Troy, my adopted hometown.
I spend a lot of time here, and I really love it. I love the people here. I love the art and nerdiness that abounds. I love the actual Victorian architecture that is just everywhere (including in my own, endlessly decaying but beautiful home). I’ve put thousands of hours into making Troy a better place over the years, working to stop the demolition of its one-of-a-kind 1914 vaudeville theater, getting dog-park legislation passed and a dog park built, going to hundreds of neighborhood and city meetings, building a makerspace, you get the idea. The people of Troy have rewarded me with actually caring about this stuff, and supporting it.
I also hate Troy, because it seems that the city regularly goes out of its way to make me want to leave. Here’s a little story as an example:
Our little family has a tradition. Every year, we drive far away for the New Year’s holiday, to spend time with close friends we rarely get to see. This year, the plan was the same. We ran into a minor (I thought) problem, in that there was to be an inch of snow the night before we left. Since I have a 4×4 truck, I pretty much ignored this issue, as even five inches is trivial to simply drive over, if we are in a rush.
Then, the morning came. Everyone on the street had an inch of snow on their property. Everyone but us, that is. We had six inches of jumbled, icy carnage covering our sidewalks and the first ten feet of our driveway, courtesy of the city’s snowplow brigade. You see, we live on a right-turn lane, meaning no cars can park in front of us, so the plows swing in to the curb, and dump an entire block’s snow on our property. Not only would this have been a challenge to drive over, it was flat-out dangerous to anyone who might have walked on our sidewalk. So I shoveled, for an hour.
I just barely had things clear enough to get moving, when the plow came by again. Since folks down the street were now awake, and had driven away, the plow collected all the previously protected snow all down the block and once again dumped all of it on our property, while traveling at about 45 miles per hour (an estimate based upon my observation and the fact that the sprayed snow made it onto our porch, 20 plus feet from the curb). This pile was nearly a foot deep, and completely covered the just cleared driveway and sidewalks, as well as most of our front walk. I was annoyed, but I got back to work, and spent yet another hour re-clearing our property.
Just as I finished, Mr Plow came by again, pushing another massive pile of snow from god-knows-where, and headed straight for us. I stood just inside our front gate, waving my shovel and yelling at him to give me a break! As he passed, and did the little jink that the plows do as they pass us and prepare to corner, which dumps all the snow in their plow right there, I realized that the driver was literally pointing and laughing at me! I was in shock, and didn’t think to get the plow’s number, but I will remember the weaselly, light-brown bearded, bespectacled face behind that windshield forever. I truly hope I never see it again, because I fear I will break my principal to never initiate violence against another person! After several minutes of fuming and fantasizing about the tortures I would devise, I got back to it, and spent another hour clearing our property.
Needless to say, with re-showering, resting, now having to make change/nap/make lunch for our toddler, etc. we were so late leaving that we had to break our trip into two days and spend an unexpected night in a motel so our little one could survive the trip!
But it gets better. When we returned tonight, we found that despite the fact that the entire block has since melted clear, our sidewalk still has massive chunks of snow sitting on it from yet another pass they must have made after we left. Even more astonishing was the snowpile that was still on the “downstream” half of our driveway, with plow lines still visible, where a plow had apparently come the wrong way down the street just to push the pile of snow that had accumulated past us at the corner up into our driveway!
But it still gets better. We also discovered that several panes of glass in our front entryway had been smashed out by the bottles of beer we found shattered across our front porch! That’s right, not only did our vacation start with hours of back-breaking labor, it ended with it too. At least an hour of cleanup, then talking to police, then papering over the broken panes, then filing an online police report because the officer they sent “couldn’t really do anything”, all while desperately trying to keep our cranky, tired-from-eight-hours-of-driving toddler awake until his bedtime!
Thanks, Troy! I hate you, but not in a metaphorical way, at the moment. Right now, I hate you with the burning rage of a thousand suns, and want you to be obliterated by an asteroid impact a week after we sell our home and get the hell out of here…
Happy Holidays, Troy. UP YOURS!