Not fitting in the neighborhood

I’ve been lucky enough to have Hoxsie’s educational chewing gum featured frequently on All Over Albany’s “What’s Up In the Neighborhood” feature. I appreciate the attention from Mary and Greg, and it gives me a nice way to graze through some other area blogs that I may not read often or be aware of. But with all the local blogs and tweets I’ve read lately (yeah, I’m on Twitter — I’m hip to the 21st century, baby), I’m coming to realize that there are some things that people around here care about, deeply and importantly, that I really just don’t get.

  • Let’s not even start with Trader Joe’s, because it will just lead to a long-form rant I’ve been working up to for a long time about corporations sucking the wealth out of our communities, , and how we need to be creating wealth, not jobs, and how every chain we welcome into town and wait in line to hand our money to is one more flesh wound that destroys our . . . okay, I’ll stop now. To be resumed.
  • But even without that, there’s a vigorous discussion of what is the best grocery store in the Capital District, and it’s a discussion I just don’t get. Are there things I wish I could get in my local store? Yes. Am I willing to drive all over three counties to find those things? No. So it doesn’t matter what people think is the supreme grocery store, because to me, the only store that counts is the one that’s within five minutes of my home.
  • There’s also been an unbelievable amount of ink spilled over the closing of the Miss Albany Diner, which apparently was a very special place etc., etc. Don’t know, never ate there. Or any of the other places that people are writing about. You people go out to eat way, WAY more than we do. Eleven of the neighborhood blogs were about restaurants. How do you do it? It’s expensive.
  • Also, I’ve lived in this area for 39 of my 51 years. I’ve never seen or even heard of these mini hot dogs that you claim to be a Capital Region delicacy. I think you’re just fucking with me on that one.
  • I freely admit to being willfully ignorant of sports that aren’t bicycle based, and I have to squint to remember who was in the Super Bowl last week. I do get some level of fandom. But I don’t get the part where you think “we” won. Massively paid, massively doped athletes won (over other massively paid, massively doped athletes). It was probably exciting to watch, but you watched it from your couch or barstool. You probably don’t ever play the game you’re watching. Keep it in perspective. (I don’t hear cycle racing fans saying, “We sure showed those Omega-Pharma-Lotto bastards!” It’s not that kind of sport.)

Don’t misunderstand . . . I’m not trying to put anybody else down. I’m just saying I feel a bit apart from my fellow local bloggers.

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2 thoughts on “Not fitting in the neighborhood

  1. jericwrites

    There’s probably no way for me to say this without it coming across like sour grapes or something, but after three-plus months outside of Albany, the self-obsessed/self-absorbed/self-delusional nature of most of the commercial blogosphere there has become ever more painfully obvious . . . it’s one of the worst cases of “The Emperor has no clothes” that I’ve encountered in a long, long time. I’m actually embarassed to have participated in it, and I don’t blush easily. The blogs that are still readable to me from Iowa (or anywhere) are those like Non-Urban Life and Hoxsie (and Madeo, and a few others) that combine interesting topics, good writing, and a healthy dose of accurate self-perspective on the part of their writers . . . .

  2. Carl

    Much appreciated. I remain interested in your journey because it’s interesting, not because it has any relation to me (never been and can’t imagine I ever will be to Iowa). What makes a blog interesting to us is intriguing, because like you, most of the ones that are about the area I live in aren’t of much interest to me, even though I know the places and some of the people they’re writing about.
    There were two occasions when I considered writing for the T-U, but the phenomenally nasty nature of the anonymous comments in my town’s section decided me against it. (Not to mention that I really don’t care to write about my town.) Nothing I’ve written here has ever engendered a nasty or negative response, but I knew that just by posting there I’d be troll-bait, and there was no upside to that.
    Looks like things are going well out in the heartland! Glad that worked out. I decided against several moves, to my financial detriment, but I need to see a river every day.

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