listening to: neoangin – i want you
First and foremost, I want to say that it was one of the weirdest and most surreal experiences of my life to walk through the Galleria mall in Buffalo and HEAR THIS SONG, yes, by NEOANGIN, yes, this guy, sometimes known in Berlin and Russia or that one place my sister saw him play in Germany, playing overhead. The world is smaller than I thought. I tried to exclaim to my Mom how crazy this was, but I don’t think she cared.
So right, Rochester. I do this thing where I’m really crazily aware of my surroundings, particularly the city in which I live, and I make it into a big psychological and sometimes emotional mess when I have to relocate. I have like, weird nostalgic attachments to locations. Some of you who have been reading my blog for eons remember that whole moving-from-Iowa City-to-Champaign business. Not fun. For anyone. So I kind of went a little quietly nuts when I first realized that I would have to be living in Rochester for the next two years. Everyone I know who lives in or goes to school there says it’s a crappy town.
But you know something I discovered? ROCHESTER IS AWESOME.
Honestly. I’m going to refer to Rochester as the Paris of Western New York from now on. Maybe it was the weather while we were there, or something, but seriously. I had only visited Rochester during my audition last February, and all I did was think “man this weather sucks” and walk from our hotel downtown to Eastman School of Music, and many years back when we were stranded there due to extreme weather. I had somehow thought that Rochester was just going to be a bigger, crappier version of Rome or Utica. But it’s most definitely not. Aside from the crime and the Western part of town that’s really not all that nice, it’s a cool and very aesthetically pleasing place. Much of this can be owed to George Eastman, who was rich and did a lot. Other companies which helped in the building of extravagant houses and buildings and neighborhoods would be Bausch and Lomb and Xerox. And something else. I can’t remember what.
The main reason for my going to Rochester was to find a place to live, which I did. I saw some not-so-great places, and a one fairly okay one. But I ended up settling on a really really nice apartment, modified into a 2-bedroom dealie inside this 3-story gigantic, beautiful house (or “mansion”), I guess. It’s located about 3 blocks outside the main downtown area, 15 minutes tops from Eastman walking, and on the edge of this insane huge-house neighborhood. I’m serious, these houses are ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like them. They make the older, fancier houses in Bloomington around Washington and Grove St. look plain and small.
Plus, not even a mile down the main street by our house is a Wegman’s! If you are ever in Central-Western NY or PA, visit Wegman’s and go look at their fancy cheeses. I’m serious. Just do it. I never ever ever thought I would say this, but having a Wegman’s to shop at very nearly makes up for the lack of Trader Joe’s. I KNOW, RIGHT? Never thought I would say that, did you.
(sidenote: I have a roommate next year. And it’s Anne!! And so when I refer to “our house” or “our place,” that is who is included in my referall)
And really, I love Upstate New York. I’ve spent a lot of my summers and small parts of my winters up there. I like the openness and the wind of the midwest, but I like the trees and hills and water and HIKING! YES! HIKING of the North-Easterly area. Rochester and the surrounding area has much of this.
After Rochester we headed to Ithaca and then Adirondack-foothills territory. I want to add that after being surprised by how cool Rochester is, I was equally as surprised by how not-great some of Ithaca is. I think I remember it to be a lot more glorified in retrospect, after my 3 weeks there 7 years ago. We did however go to the Cornell Plantations, though while not in bloom, were lovely. I also only just discovered that Cornell has an Ornithology lab that I absolutely must go to during my stay in Upstate New York.
The whole trip was quite nice. I got to spend time with family and see my Granddad. And ride in a car a lot. And be surrounded by way too many double-reed players in a small amount of time than anyone should, ever, in history. I know far too much about bassoon reeds and Fox Products than any non-bassoonist ever should.
The trip made me realize a lot more, though, how while parents are great and supportive, too much time around them can be tiring and stressful. One of my close friends shared similar sentiments with me when she came back from Harvard during her first semester there. It’s funny to me how it’s only taken 5 years for me to really start to experience feelings like this. I have honestly been pretty okay with how much time I’ve spent with my parents over the last five or six years, with an exception here or there. I guess that in the last year I’ve also traveled a great deal by myself. When it comes to things like traveling, I have my own effective ways of coping and dealing and navigating, and having to go back to ways I may somehow view as “old” and “outdated” probably does not help.
Um. But I’m tired.
I think the bottom line is….Rochester = good.
There are probably many grammar/typing errors in this country. I mean entry. What? And I don’t care.