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Best Of 2018: Life in the Capital Region

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Best Of 2018: Life in the Capital Region

Photo by Shannon Straney

We Asked you questions about living in the Capital Region and you answered. 

BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF LIVING IN THE CAPITAL REGION

  • Access to river.
  • Accessibility, everything is far away from each other
  • Bringing the communities together to deal with the rash of violence that we’ve experienced, without outside interference or commentary. There is enough infighting amongst community leaders and groups, commentary like that of the illustration in the TU of Arbor Hill, or bringing up outside groups that are not a part of the community is divisive.
  • City of Albany revenue crunch- need more reliable state state aid or more development along waterfront/deal with the highway/commuter tax? i not exactly sure what the answer is. i think the administration is working at this and i dont blame them i just think its the issue. i think sheehan has done a good job of making government work effectively so i dont think cutting stuff is the answer.
  • Cohesion & networking with peers
  • Connecting the many different communities to feel like one region
  • Correcting mistakes made by previous generations and administrations.
  • Corrupt state government
  • Cost of living
  • Crime
  • Cuomo
  • Cyberbullying
  • Death of retail – local and chains
  • Disconnect between Lark St. and downtown Albany, also several viable abandoned/condemned buildings.
  • Donald Trump
  • Drugs
  • Ensuring the well being, equal opportunity, and equal protection of all members of the Capital Region community.
  • Engaging the general public
  • Exposure
  • Fashion
  • Finding out how to expand the region economically and socially while retaining the distinct cultural atmosphere we have sought to preserve.
  • Garbage
  • Gentrification without rent control and protection of local citizens.
  • Getting people to care more about the amazing area where we live.
  • Heroin
  • High paying jobs
  • High taxes, the economy.
  • How balkanized we are. Why don’t we see ourselves as one place?
  • Infrastructure, housing, skilled Labor, employment, access to funds, basically its current existence.
  • It is very spread out
  • Keeping young people from moving away
  • Lack of collaboration
  • Lame arts scene
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mislabeled fruit preserves
  • No novelty activity/identity
  • Not enough active subreddit users
  • Not enough esports
  • Not enough people supporting a creative economy, not enough people who understand the importance of design aesthetics when opening new businesses.
  • Nothing to do in the winter
  • Over-development of greenspace
  • Overdevelopment
  • Parking and infrastructure – companies want to come here to work and live, but aren’t able to
  • People not willing to travel a short distance outside their city/county to experience more of the Capital Region.
  • People see it as a poor place with poor education, but there’s so much going on.
  • Political corruption
  • Political figures not getting into the trenches.
  • Poverty
  • Poverty-related crimes ie drugs, homelessness, public intoxication and loitering
  • Property taxes.
  • Provincialism.
  • Public funding.
  • public transportation
  • Racism and poverty
  • Recognizing its great theater resources
  • Recognizing the value of the Arts
  • Revitalizing poor and underpopulated neighborhoods
  • Road work
  • Rude tourists (We have follow up questions about this one.)
  • Shit head motherfuckers in my way
  • Shootings
  • Smart and talented people keep moving away; also difficult to start small business because landlords seem convinced that there’s about to be a real estate boom so they’re just sitting on their empty properties.
  • Sustaining the growth we’re experiencing
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome
  • The loss of young executives
  • The crime in Albany
  • The people can’t get out of their own heads
  • The rise of a militant, willful underclass
  • Things to do that cater to all people all year round.
  • Too many people waiting for politicians to decide the future.
  • Traffic
  • Transportation between cities. If we had a light rail train system, this area would be KILLING IT.
  • Trump supporters
  • Unsustainable development / removal of wild spaces and farmland
  • Uplifting black and brown artists and businesses
  • Venue owners not being open to hosting more events that involve different genres of music / no one trying to break the rules or revolutionize the same old same old. A lot of bias opinions mostly surrounding the hip hop scene I’ve been told by an owner that he didn’t want a show that involves local rappers because he “didn’t want gang violence” which makes literally no sense and is slightly prejudice.
  • Violence
  • Waste/recycling
  • Wrestling with apathy

Photo by Kiki Vassilakis

BEST PART OF LIVING IN THE CAPITAL REGION

  • 4 seasons
  • A feeling of community in smaller towns.
  • Access to many resources.
  • Access to so much culture and diversity
  • Access to urban and rural
  • Affordability to fun ratio is awesome. 
  • All the amazing music and art
  • All the amazing nature and arts within an hour drive from anywhere
  • Bashing shit head motherfuckers into dust. Also the quaint juxtaposition of city and rural areas that yield a truly diverse and high-quality array of activities, people, products, goods, services, art, and music
  • Being so close to so much but not being suffocated like in NYC.
  • Centrally located for Adirondacks, New York, Boston & Montreal
  • Claim to fame entertainment
  • Climate, progressive spirit, closeness to big cities
  • Close to nature
  • Convenience and quality of life
  • Dinosaur BBQ
  • Diversity
  • Downtown Troy
  • Easy, inexpensive living with benefits – no lines, easy to park, decent eating, great music, roller derby, plenty more
  • Food
  • Free events
  • Good food and lots to do
  • Giffys BBQ
  • How easy it is to get around and do things; how much we’re growing; the creative economy
  • I sleep well at night knowing I live in an extremely exciting time in what is about to become a historically cool area for music.
  • Incredible support system (and the FOOD!)
  • Influx of new growth
  • It’s supportive of the arts
  • Less traffic, affordable
  • Living in a city and being able to get out into the countryside really easily. City, Farm, Forest, and Wilderness are all here.
  • Local business culture
  • Lots of exposure and interaction with different lifestyles.
  • Low bar
  • Many great day-trip destinations.
  • Music scene
  • Nature
  • Nightlife
  • Pony in the Pancake
  • Price of housing
  • Proximity to nature, culture, recreation. It’s all here, and if it’s not, it’s a stone’s throw away.
  • Public parks
  • Quality of life
  • Quieter than most capital cities
  • Room for opportunity
  • Small surprises in shops, restaurants, events
  • Small town
  • So easy to get into a city or out of it
  • So many beautiful places (historic) to see
  • So many things to do — best music and dining scene around!
  • Summer
  • The accessibility to all sorts of venues in various states
  • The airport is easy to navigate. 
  • The arts scene
  • the availability of jobs
  • The close-knit communities of areas like Lark St & Downtown Troy
  • The comedy scene.
  • The food
  • The music scene is thriving and the support everyone receives from everyone locally is truly a blessing and not regular for most areas that I know.
  • The people
  • The theatrical richness.
  • There’s always an event to stumble upon
  • There’s no “bad” part of the region.
  • Three great towns with unique personalities
  • Thriving Rocky Horror scene
  • To actually be able to make a difference in the community.
  • We don’t give up
  • We have water
  • You’re never bored

Photo by Luke Stoddard Nathan

MOST UNDERREPORTED ISSUE IN THE CAPITAL REGION

  • Albany specific: Why is downtown/warehouse district being force-fed to us as a cool area when it sucks so bad?
  • Availability of only (part-time jobs) without health insurance
  • Affordable housing
  • The beauty of the Hudson River
  • Being ruled by NYC and decisions that do not represent upstate needs
  • Best practices in government policy
  • Commuting /Traffic
  • Corruption
  • Crime and poverty
  • Discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity
  • Diversity in law enforcement
  • Dogs on electric bicycles. I say no!
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug epidemic for kids
  • Drugs and guns
  • Education
  • Environmental Justice
  • Gun violence & racism
  • Heroin epidemic
  • Homelessness
  • Homophobia
  • Hoosick Falls has terrible water
  • How the public sector competes with private industry.
  • ICE detentions
  • Infrastructure
  • Lack of community empowerment
  • Loss of housing/ low supply of houses for sale
  • Minimum wage
  • Not enough jobs in the arts
  • Not enough Shanahans.
  • Not sure but you guys should get on it.
  • People potentially getting priced out of neighborhoods with “urban revitalization”
  • Political Corruption
  • Poor public education.
  • Potholes/bad sidewalks
  • Poverty
  • Public transportation
  • Publicly intoxicated/under the influence loitering
  • Quiet campaign by the Assembly to rename the Patroon Island Bridge after Liz Bishop.
  • Racism
  • River pollution
  • Roads
  • Safe streets and access for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Self-sufficient citizenry and a means to train them to be so.
  • Sewer dwellers?
  • Sex cyberbullying and gender discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sinkholes in Albany
  • Suicide rates increasing & lack of mental health resources
  • Teen pregnancy
  • That EQX could be the east coast KEXP but it simply just isn’t.
  • That politicians refer to this big 8 county figment called the Capital Region and most people have no idea what they are talking about or think they are talking about the Tri-City metro area.
  • The destruction of trees and green space by developers.
  • The disappearance of the middle class.
  • The growing gig economy
  • Vandalism
  • Water Quality

DO YOU REGULARLY USE RIDE-SHARING SERVICES LIKE UBER AND LYFT?

DO YOU THINK THE SERVICES HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR THE REGION?

Comments: 

  • Absolutely incredible for the region, allows everyone to connect to different communities easier.
  • Amazing addition to the bar and restaurant equation.
  • Anything to reduce drunk driving is a win.
  • Cabs in this area really suck.
  • For riders yes but the rideshare industry treats drivers poorly and probably will not evolve into anything more sustainable.
  • I’m curious to see DUI and DWAI figures since these services have been implemented.
  • I think it’s just another thing being added into a system that’s already exceeded its limits.
  • It has helped with mobility for some people. However, these services are predatory in many ways, including shady labor practices and poor wage cuts for its drivers.
  • Mostly good, but it would’ve been cool to see local taxis collaborating to make their own version of such an app.
  • Not as good as investment in public transit.
  • Taxi service was a mess here.
  • They are good but more can be added to be great.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO RIVERS CASINO?

DO YOU THINK RIVERS CASINO HAS BEEN GOOD FOR THE REGION?

Comments: 

  • Absolutely not but I will continue to go like once a year.
  • At least it’s a place for the normies to go and offsets taxes.
  • I don’t really agree with gambling.
  • I think it’s had surprisingly little impact as of yet.
  • I think Schenectady could use the revenue. I realize casinos are considered tacky, but I think Schenectady could use some tacky!
  • It pales to other casinos in NY, let alone adjoining states.
  • It seems too early to tell, but Schenectady seems proud.
  • It was a terrible idea. guaranteed to be abandoned in 10 years.
  • It’s in a great location but unsure of its popularity.
  • No casino is good for a region. Unfortunately it causes more poverty around it’s outlying areas. Is it fun to go to? Yes. Is it good for the region? No.
  • Redeveloped major brownfield and redevelopable when casino closes.
  • The Mohawk Harbor is now a community project.
  • There is no future to gambling. Younger generations do not do that for fun.
  • You may have a complimentary dinner…

HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE ALBANY CAPITAL CENTER?

HAVE YOU BEEN TO AN ALBANY EMPIRE GAME?

DO YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL TO MASSACHUSETTS TO PURCHASE MARIJUANA LEGALLY?

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