I spent four years of my life in Troy, NY, attending RPI. I would not recommend living there. RPI is a fine school, and while I have some serious issues with its leadership, my experience there was positive. That said, I have written about my feelings for Troy, and they are not positive. (I should clarify that when I referred to the “community” in my previous post, I really mean the city and area taken as a whole; some people are pretty fabulous, but downtown Troy is not.)
I did not expect to be thinking about Troy today. I was a bit shocked to learn that President Obama made a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Initially I was incredulous — my first thought was “Troy? Why Troy?”. Later it made more sense: he had to visit Governor Paterson to give him a talking-to.
President Obama says that the United States needs Troy. I am inclined to disagree, but otherwise willing to hear him out. Now, some caveats: I freely admit I am being too hard on Troy. It is not a terrible place, just below average in some important dimensions. What does it in, in my opinion, is the opportunity cost of spending time in Troy. There are so many better places to be. It is no accident I got out the hell out of dodge as soon as I had my degrees in hand.