Mine, Sara's, mine, Sara's. Bad ISO setting on the camera the whole weekend, boo.
Troy, NY.

Stop two on our Northeast Summer Tour. Say what you will about Troy, it is a beautiful place. It is an intimate little city that is trying hard, and takes its architecture very seriously, with my alma mater right up the hill and an architect's office on every other corner.

This is the place where I experimented with lots of things, and at least back then it was safe enough to sleep it off on a doorstep. Or to leave someone (an old boyfriend, say) in the bushes for a few hours to "rest" and come back and get that someone when the bars closed at four in the morning. It was that safe.

This is the place where I sweated it out a few summers in the most brutal humidity I've ever felt, and it's where I was the poorest I've ever been in my life. I always felt special here, a female architecture student in a primarily male school, although I always acted like one of the boys. This is the place where a lot of the time I was very irreverent, disrespectful really. Some of that I do wish I could take back and do over, but all in all, I wouldn't change much about that time. Oh, maybe ONE thing (see: old boyfriend who was left in bushes).

This is the place where I stayed up in studio all night five days a week for five years. I was introduced to deep cuts from the mid-80's that are still part of the soundtrack of my life. I learned impractical but lifelong lessons, including how to look at things differently, my biggest takeaway from my entire BArch education. It's where I built this, and went here.

This is the place where I met lifelong friends. One of them, my dear friend Sara, never left. She stayed, and I am so glad she did. It's wonderful to go see her in Troy, we've done it three times now. Our oldest children are like bestest friends when they see each other. I barely spoke to Stella the entire two days we were there this time.

Yes it's twenty years later, our ghosts are all gone, but Troy feels exactly the same. I'm sure you can still buy a smoke bomb at the register of Night Owl News. I'm sure there are a lot of broken people in that town. It certainly made me feel so much older to be there. It was proof that you just can't go back in time. My whole body felt like I was 19 years old again with the smell and the heat of the city, but sadly that time is long gone. I'm sad to say I feel like this a lot now at 42 1/2 years old. 

Sara and her husband Chris were amazing hosts as always, and our other dear friends (when I say dear, I really mean it, no matter how many times I use it) Derek and Erika and their children came up on Sunday for an all-day visit. It was one of those days where someone's dad is playing with someone else's brother, where someone's wife is sitting on a blanket with someone else's husband, everyone just weaving all about getting to know each other again. And I gave Fourth of July themed manicures to anyone who wanted one. It was so lovely (except for the deer ticks).

And then, after a huge pancake breakfast and a surprise allergy attack, we were off to New Hampshire.


  1. Love the ice cream shot and getting a glimpse into your college life. Mine was filled with drinking too but sadly not the passion for your work that yours had. I do remember however how everything did feel so heightened and the enthusiasm to graduate and do something.

    Looks like a lovely town to go back and visit.

    1. With architecture you really had to commit or you were out, thus the passion! I think we had lost 80% of our original freshman class by the time we graduated. School years are really awesome and invaluable for most, that heightened feeling you're talking about is so true. xo


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