An American Girl in Washington

Getting the Hell out of Albany

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 31 January 2011

The last time I was in Albany it was for the bar, so I didn’t want to judge the town based on one of the worst experiences of my life.  But this time, I’m here for one of the best experiences of my life and so I can definitely say for certain, Albany sucks.

First of all, getting here in January is a bitch.  The weather sucks and the morning I was trying to get here flights were cancelled, MegaBus (a paragon of suckiness itself) cancelled my buses, and I had to take the amazing Bolt Bus (which is the only bus line I’ll ever take again) to NYC and then buy a $38 Amtrak ticket at Penn Station.  $38 isn’t that much unless you’re broke, then it’s a shit ton.

When I finally got to the Albany train station, I walked outside expecting to see a line of cabs.  Ha!  There was a line alright, of people.  And one very angry cab guy calling all of his cars in (all three of them apparently).  We waited in the freezing sleet for 15 minutes before a van finally showed up and piled us all in.  This would not be the first time that I was forced to share a cab.

Of course, they didn’t bother to tell us how much the ride would be and there are no meters in Albany (something else I have become all-too-familiar with in this town) so I just rode blind with twelve other people until they finally dropped me at my hotel.  It cost me $10 for a two mile ride in the middle of nowhere.

I finally got to my hotel, the same hotel I stayed in during the bar (my stepfather liked the poetry, I liked the big suites and the kitchens) and was immediately reminded that this must be a trainee Marriott because the employees here are about as good at their jobs as those Cirque du Soleil outposts in places like Orlando where it’s obvious the acts are still learning how to do cartwheels.  Whatever.  I settled in, ordered a late pizza (delivery actually works quite well in this town, we also had excellent Chinese, good Mexican and surprisingly amazing BBQ -all delivered- during our visit) and chilled out before my interview the next morning.  Right before going to bed I called every single cab company (4) on the list that the hotel gave to me.  Not a single one of them would make a reservation for the morning.  They just didn’t know where their cabs would be.  Awesome.  The rest of the visit would pretty much be a repeat of the cab situation.  No wonder NYC basically runs itself.  Albany is useless.

The character and fitness interview was a bit of a joke, just a really nice dude who said that of course my application is fine, shows no evidence of any ethical conflicts (apparently they would have called me weeks ago if it had) and gave me a nice lecture about not putting my legal reputation in jeopardy by blurring the lines between black and white.  3 minutes and I was out of there.  However, the swearing in part of the week was actually pretty great.  It was an actual ceremony with justices and everything, totally designed for moms and mine was very happy and teary-eyed through the whole thing.  In the end, I got my certificate and a couple of lectures on legal ethics that I’m sure will be useful if I’m ever actually employed as an attorney, and I left Albany no longer a fledgling JD, but a full grown ESQ.  Holla.

I spent the next two days in Manhattan, seeing some law school buds I haven’t seen in a few months and hanging out with the Rev, who was devastated by the totally unjust Bears loss.  On the plus side, I had amazing Thai and beef chow mein.  Yaay for food!  At the end of a late and freezing Sunday the Rev and I gratefully boarded a BoltBus out of NYC and back to DC.  It was great being in the city again and once it warms up I’ll have to visit a lot more often, I was sad to drive away from that gorgeous skyline, but it was really nice coming home.  One of my favourite things about DC is that I can live so close to New York City but still walk by the White House every day.  It’s the best America has to offer.

Have you Bolted to New York recently?  I highly recommend it.  Just stay the hell out of Albany.





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