An open letter to paleandpasty


(Dear readers: Please read this article, complete with comments, and then come back.  Okay, done?)

I’ve got some information for you, paleandpasty.  Take that fence picket out of your ass and have a seat.  I am so tired of people like you anonymously criticizing my city.  From your self-perceived superior, suburban vantage point, you make general statements about personal safety and outrageous property taxes in Albany.  Let me tell you a couple of things.

In the more than 20 years I’ve lived in Albany, I’ve been mildly physically threatened once.  Yes, once.  It was fairly recently and I related the details here.  While the situation was less than comfortable for me, the way I felt after that incident didn’t come close to approaching the degree of physical unease I experienced this week when I witnessed a brutal physical attack in the parking lot of the Dunkin Donuts on Delaware Avenue.  In Delmar.   At 3:15 in the afternoon.  Bad people and bad things happen to be in every community.  Stop trying to perpetuate the misimpression that Albany has the monopoly on such things.

As for taxes, I just wrote the check last week for my school taxes.  I paid 60% the price that a suburban friend paid.  Of course, their property and their school district are both valued higher than mine.  I understand that, but I certainly don’t believe that their cookie cutter ranch, which has less square feet and character than my home, or their mostly homogenous school system, which is more than a little white bread, is worth 40% more than what I paid.  My children have access to AP classes, courses through HVCC and opportunities to explore and experience community resources, too.  Those things are not suburban exclusives.

In closing, I’d like to add that my children are not being raised to believe it is okay to make anonymous statements criticizing the choices made by others.  I don’t know where you grew up or attended school, but that is a lesson you seemed to miss.  You are more than entitled to live where you want, but please stop trying to validate your choice by maligning mine.

Sincerely, Silvia Meder Lilly


12 thoughts on “An open letter to paleandpasty

  1. Seriously. I’m fine with people wanting to live in the suburbs because you can get certain benefits from them. But don’t then don’t try to validate your choice by putting down city-living.

    I could go on and on about how living in the city is the right choice for me, but that doesn’t mean I should fabricate facts and generalizations about suburbs.

  2. I hate to play the devil’s advocate here (and I find myself doing this fairly often) but here is a bit of my perspective.
    I grew up in the C/Albany back in the 80s. I left around 3rd grade (McKownville which is still pretty close) and maintained a close association with downtown for a variety of reasons. I continue to work in the city, spend time with friends, frequent businesses, etc…
    Having said that, it is a personnel opinion of mine that the quality of life in the C/Albany is not such that I would choose to raise my children there. That is simply a well considered personnel opinion.
    You counter with the typical “cookie cutter ranch,” soulless suburban attacks which I understand somewhat. But I find those statements to be as equally offensive towards my chosen life choices as you find the attacks on life in Albs.
    I live in Delmar (Old Delmar more specifically). I bought a reasonable sized/priced gable front vernacular (1927) with a fall-down porch, tons of “character,” and a nice big backyard. My children cand easily walk to their elementary/middle/high schools, we are about 1/8th of a mile from the 4 corners with its businesses, and should require downtown Albs. travel an 18 CDTA stop is a stone’s throw from my driveway.
    The taxes are a bit high in relation to other areas. But I am thoroughly satisfied with services rendered by the town in exchange. And from a month of observing my daughter’s K-garten experiences at Hammagrael I can virtually guarantee she is receiving an education that is world’s beyond what I received as a child at School 19 (I can’t comment on the current state of Albany elementary education).
    In closing I find that using the “whitebread”-ness of a school to comment on its educational quality to be as virulently offensive as if someone used the level of “blackness” of a school to criticize the quality of a particular institution.
    In any event, there are very divided opinions on these life choices and I see equally offensive shots being fired across both bows.

    1. Mister Dave – You make a valid point about my word choices andy own bias regarding suburban living. I really will take your criticism to heart and work on that. I appreciate the thoughts and experiences you shared and have no trouble accepting your perspective with one exception. My sole issue with your comment is when you expressed your belief that the education your kindergartener is receiving is “world’s beyond” what you received at School 19. I’m curious how the adult Mr. Dave can make such an assertion about the 5 y/o young Mr. Dave. What criteria are you using to draw that conclusion?

    2. Right and I think that’s perfectly understandable. It’s the people that just dismiss a location as being”unlive-able” and saying everyone who lives there is ignorant. Which is what the TU comments were implying.

      I think we should all just accept people’s choices and reasonings for living where they want to live and respect that. Doesn’t mean you can’t think that they’re wrong.

  3. Right on with this article. For too long the citizens of Albany have had no pride, they believed the suburbanites propaganda that Albany is a bad place full of bad people and ought to be destroyed. For 20 years under Jerry Jennings we had a City government that reflected that lack of pride. But now more and more people in this community are standing up for our City. This article reflects that change in attitude.

    Meanwhile, the longtime heroin crisis in Guilderland has spun out of control so badly that lately the corporate media has been forced to acknowledge it. The recent heinous murder of a family of four in Colonie is just the latest of an every increasing crime wave out there. As for Delmar, when people aren’t busy killing their parents with an ax, they are getting busted for drugs and any number of violent incidents. And taxes are going up and up in all the suburban towns as unregulated sprawl crawls to a halt.

    I no longer put up with suburbanites sneering at my community. If you people don’t like my City, then go back to your tick tacky overpriced box on a dead end street in unsustainable nowheresville and watch your TV and stay there until you die.

    1. Someone recently said to me that Albany has a confidence issue and I completely agree. It’s definitely time for city residents to start holding their heads up a little higher. Wouldn’t it be cool too if we got rewarded for living here? Maybe give residents with current proof of address preferred seating at free city events?

  4. Delmartians and other non-Albany residents with kids in school–if your kids’ school has only token ethnic and very little economic diversity, then, yeah, your kid is not getting an excellent well-rounded education. Sorry, it is just the godawful truth. The lessons kids learn when you send them to a nearly all-white school with only upper middle class and up students are not good ones. So many people from outside this city talk down about it and it often smacks of thinly-veiled snobbery, racism, and downright ignorance. My kid is learning to play an instrument this year in an Albany public school in the 3rd grade. Since Pre-k they have been on amazing field trips to the symphony and places where they not only learn about their natural environment, but get to do things like raise and plant lupine for karner blue butterflies, count glass eels on the hudson river, etc., etc. The only places I have ever feared for my safety since moving to Albany almost ten years ago have been outside the city in lily white towns where some of the inbred types make brown people feel unwelcome.

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