By Connor Batsimm
You know that feeling, when you just get so bored of Saratoga, and everything in it? I mean, Saratoga Springs is a great town, so long as you want to devote your entire paycheck to gourmet mac and cheese and expensive olive oil. But that ain’t me. Luckily, Saratoga is surrounded by exciting upstate New York hot spots like Schenectady and Troy, perfect for freeing an unenthused Skidmore student from their ennui. As a journalist dedicated to keeping Skidmore informed, I figured I should explore these places myself and record my experiences in a fun and helpful blog format. So, tablet in hand, yearning for adventure, I hopped on the 450 CDTA bus.
Liberty Park Station, Schenectady NY, 6:15 PM
I’ve been in Schenectady for fifteen minutes, and to be frank, readers, I’m a little underwhelmed. So far, I’ve seen a wings place and the world’s diviest movie theater, which is screening nothing but the Lego Ninjago movie all day. A pack of people wearing Union sweatshirts just passed me, all of whom are very drunk and way too old to go to Union. I decided to check Trip Advisor to see what fun things there are to do in Schenectady, and the number one option is the public library. Maybe I should’ve done a little more planning before I jumped on a random bus and ended up in a strange city.
Somewhere in Schenectady NY, 6:45 PM
I’ve been wandering around Schenectady for half an hour now, and I seem to have gotten a bit lost. I tried consulting Google Maps, but apparently I have no reception here. I’ve asked three different people for directions back to the bus station, but every time I’m led back to an abandoned roller skating arena. Everyone I talk to refuses to make eye contact with me. I’ve seen at least a dozen people with soul patches. Readers, if you’re still following my plight, could you send help? I’m outside a Stewarts, trying to write SOS across the parking lot in Miracle Whip. I fear I’ve almost run out of daylight.
Somewhere in NY, 11:20 PM
I’ve been walking for at least eleven miles, and now all the street signs have Swedish-sounding names. I’m not sure I’m still in Schenectady. The last two people I’ve spoken to responded to my pleas for help in a language that sounded awfully similar to Pig Latin, but I’m too worn out to decipher their words. Everybody in this town, wherever it is, looks at least ninety. They’re all wearing tank tops and camo jackets, glaring at me suspiciously from their yards. One man pointed a fishing hook at me and shrieked something incomprehensible to the tune of “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band. I don’t think I can walk much further. I’ve scouted out a nearby house that looks somewhat abandoned, and if I can’t find my way home in the next hour, I’m going to sleep there.
Somewhere in NY, 12:35 PM
Bad news, that house was definitely less abandoned than I thought. When I climbed in through the window, I stumbled upon an elderly couple having sex in the living room. They were watching old History Channel clips as they boned. It was a horrifying experience, and I don’t want to say anything else about it. I think it goes without saying at this point that this whole adventure has been a bust. I tried to hitchhike with the one car that’s passed by me this past hour, a highlighter yellow Subaru Outback pulling a horse trailer filled with howling pit bulls. They didn’t stop.
Somewhere? What Time is It?
Am I even still in New York? I’ve cleared a small patch of grass alongside the road that I’m preparing to sleep on. Out in the woods a few hundred paces away from me, there are three old people furiously digging a hole. I’m 99% sure they’re burying a body. I think I’m going to die out here.
Back in Schenectady I think?
The old people digging a grave saw me watching them from the underbrush and came after me, shovels raised over their heads. Somehow I found a burst of energy and sprinted away. I retraced my steps, and I think I’ve made it back to Schenectady. But somehow everything’s even scarier this time of night. I’m standing outside the library, watching what appears to be a rager on the top floor. I can hear a dubstep remix of “Low Rider” coming from the slightly ajar window. At this point, I might as well poke my head inside. What do I have to lose?
Schenectady Public Library, 7:00 AM
Well, what do you know? This night has really turned around. That library kegger was a blast and, you won’t believe this – I met Andy Warhol! He was in the corner, grinding up against a bookcase of graphic novels, lip syncing along to The Chainsmokers. He told me that he faked his death and has spent the last thirty years hiding under a bean bag chair in the library young adult section. I still have no idea how to get back to Skidmore, but hey, at least now I have a great story to tell.