A head cold was settling in as I explored the streets of Troy, NY, near The Arts Center on River Street. It was my first time in the city, having visited to attend a memoir class with memoirist Marion Roach, author of The Memoir Project, a book that I use in the memoir class that I teach at my small community college.
Though my head was growing fuzzy, I took the time to meander and browse the streets and funky boutiques. I stared as the sun started to descend over the Hudson River, wandered past an actual record store and a shop that sold cheap, plastic dangling earrings circa 1980s. I bought three pairs. In some ways I felt like I had gone back in time to the days I would visit the boy I loved in Cambridge, Mass. and wander through bookstores and comic shops with him and my brother, biding the time until we’d attend a concert outside of town. I might have been in a cold-induced daze, but a part of me also felt invigorated by the workshop, my environment and the freedom to wander.
When I was young I had few dreams of traveling anywhere especially alone – now it is one of my favorite things to do. As I browse bookstores, drink tea in hide-a-way cafes, scour sidewalks for the perfect shot, I feel like I am discovering a little bit of myself – a part kept under, stunted from blooming by circumstance. It has taken me longer to travel beyond borders than it should have. But now I investigate freely. Here, in photos, is some of what I saw.