My former colleagues over at the TU had the least fun kind of animal visitor today.
Nobody cares about my blog. That’s okay. I like it that way.
If you want to have a personal blog and have anyone actually read it, it needs to be a food blog. No one gives a flying fennel about your life unless you’re famous, but they care very much about what you’re eating, especially if you’re giving out free recipes. Here in the greater Capital Region, the only local blogs anyone seems to care about (and that get press releases. Press releases!) are the ones about food. Restaurants. Cooking. I mean, not that I have any shortage of press releases in my life.
Blogs that are successful in traffic and/or cash money really only live in the niches. I could write about dystopian fiction or the Tridentine Mass or quinoa recipes or diabetic hamsters or any of my other interests, but I don’t.
In many places, you can buy a large cookie with half chocolate icing, half vanilla on top. This cookie goes by two names, at least here in New York. Downstate, it is called the black and white cookie. The base is white. Upstate, and notably at Hemstrought’s in Utica, it is called the half moon cookie and the base is chocolate.
I acknowledge the merits of both versions of this treat. I appreciate both, but prefer the proper half moon. I do not appreciate when someone (looking at you, the late P&C Markets) tries to pass off a black-and-white as a half moon.
Here in Albany, we live at the intersection of these two traditions. That’s why the bottom shelf of the case at Bella Napoli in Latham amused me last week when I noticed it.
Yes, a sheet of each type of cookie, coexisting in harmony, but with a respectful distance between them.
I bought a half moon. It was much too cake-like and crumbly, but I enjoyed it anyway.
I admit: I did know what I was getting into when I adopted a dog. But I didn’t realize quite how bad it would be. No, not the thing where she chews up any lip glosses, Chapsticks, and toothbrushes she can get her teeth on. Not the thing where she begs to go out and then stares at an imaginary squirrel for five minutes and refuses to go to the bathroom. Not the thing where she ignores her bowl full of kibble and bites my sleeves to tell me she’s hungry.
No, I’ve had dogs since I was eight years old. I anticipated all of that, or something like it.
What I didn’t realize was quite how hard it would be to find an affordable one-bedroom apartment. Here is a visual aid.
This is the Padmapper.com map of the city of Albany, showing apartments in my price parameters. (Red signifies listings that I hadn’t clicked on yet.) I think this map included room shares, which I wasn’t really considering unless they’re in perfect locations. (i.e. the nice parts of Pine Hills)
This is what happens if you tick the “dogs” box.
Troy is actually worse. More of the listings disappear. Albany apparently has a few more student rentals where the absentee landlords don’t give a crap.
Of course, my current place didn’t explicitly say dogs were allowed, so I’m combing through the other places and e-mailing or calling to see what their deal is. Most of them just come out and say “no dogs,” though.
A lot of these I’ve eliminated because they’re scam listings, in bad/noisy neighborhoods, or lack parking. (not off-street parking: ANY parking. In the middle of the day.) One seemed ideal except for the ’70s-vintage frayed royal blue carpet and bare wires dangling from the ceiling where a light fixture should have been. Things I could work around, but that signify deeper neglect.
I have an alternate option, but was looking forward to living totally on my own for the first time. And I wanted to illustrate the problem for people who don’t understand the extent of it.