“One of the things that attracts me to Troy the most is the diversity of culture, thought, gender and generally, the open-minded vibe I get hanging out downtown. The diversity spans socio-economic and age demographics. This is seen in many of the downtown residents and also the city government.”
Beautiful Urban Balance
Choosing favorites or top picks in downtown Troy makes for a very long list. Downtown Troy is a great combination of small and medium independent, entrepreneurial businesses and has strong arts and creative destinations. Troy arguably has the most robust farmers market in the region, having been in operation for over 20 years. The market attracts tens of thousands of attendees per year to the downtown area.
Similarly, downtown businesses have strong identities, not just programmatically and aesthetically, but also in the groups of people that they attract. They form cultural micro-climates to borrow a landscape architecture term. The architecture and rich industrial and cultural history of Troy are a significant player in the experience you have here.
As a creative freelance professional, this environment is supportive and stimulating. In a simple trip for morning coffee its possible to run into musicians, PHD students, architects, film people, gaming programmers, coders, makers, fashion designers, stylists, photographers, engineers, lawyers, poets, philosophers, producers, urban farmers, historic preservation professionals, professors and retirees…the list goes on.
It’s not uncommon to see film crews from independent and major studios here from all over the country. (HBO is currently working on a series here called ‘The Gilded Age‘). Troy is a current darling in that way and is increasingly providing quality freelance work for people in our region. In addition, there are 2 important college campuses downtown. RPI and SAGE College help contribute to an intellectually stimulating scene.
A Walkable Small City
Like many well-designed older cities, it’s walkable. Just park your car and enjoy strolling the various blocks to get to all the rich opportunities and experiences.
For the long term, my fear is that we will jump the shark and allow development that will gentrify our city overmuch. I am hoping that we can hold the beautiful balance we currently have. The new development interest can spread out from the city center into contiguous neighborhoods. By sharing investment dollars further across the Troy region, we can sustain the rich diversity that we hold so dear. The positive impact would reach a greater number of citizens, increasing the value of the city as a relocation destination. There are so many great qualities to feature, here are a few of my top picks in downtown Troy. It’s a day in the life of a downtown Trojan.
EMPAC’s ongoing FREE lecture series.
Best Date Spot
Best Place To Be Overstimulated
Franklin Alley Social Club (Shuffle Board league and old school arcade games in an old basement bowling alley!)
Ryan’s Wake (Locals Happy Hour Hang), Sunhees Farm and Kitchen, Troy Music Hall and Rare Form Brewing. Don’t miss The Hill at Muza. Muza is not downtown but is walkable in the summer and worth the trip!
Corey Aldrich currently lives and works out of Troy. Aldrich has an experiential design and events company called 2440 Design Studio.