I've lived in the Capital Region my entire life and surely I've had plenty of issues with various things like Northway traffic and a winter that seemingly never ends.  But when I overhear local residents saying certain things about our area (and stating them as FACT) it drives me insane. Many of the Capital Region stereotypes people repeat over and over simply aren't true; here are 9 of the most annoying things I always hear people say.

PEOPLE ONLY STAY ON THEIR SIDE OF THE RIVER: Not true! People from Troy actually come to Albany and people from Albany will actually go all the way into Troy... it's a fact! Turns out, our bridges are pretty sturdy and safe. When was the last time the Hudson River prevented you from checking out a Valleycat game, Troy Pig Out, Beerfest, great malls, awesome new restaurant or a concert at the Times Union Center?

SMALLBANY: I've never understood what this means and I cringe when I hear people say it. There are approximately 20,000 cities in America.  Only about 60 or so of them are bigger than Albany.  Smallbany?  How about "Tallbany".  Boom

NOTHING EXCITING HAPPENS HERE: I beg to differ.  Major D1 collegiate athletics win championships here, the biggest music stars and entertainers on the planet love performing here, we have the best horse racing track in the world, amazing cuisine, Presidential candidates campaign here and we have...wait for it... Arena Football again! Still want more?  Drive a few hours to New York, Montreal, or Boston.

THE ALBANY SKYLINE IS A STERILE-LOOKING COLLECTION OF COLORLESS BUILDINGS OUT OF A RAY BRADBURY NOVEL : Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love Albany's skyline and the egg that accompanies it.  When flying into Albany International Airport, I look forward to seeing the skyline all lit up.  It's a welcome sight and if you take the time to get a closer look (from the museum steps or from the Capital building) the views are pretty awesome.

YOU HAVE TO SEND YOUR KIDS TO PRIVATE SCHOOL OR MOVE TO BETHLEHEM IF YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE A GOOD EDUCATION:   I call BS on this one.  I went to Albany public schools and did just fine (most of my friends from AHS did much better but that's besides the point).  If you're going to tell me that students you know in public schools didn't have a great chance at success, I'll tell you that more than likely, it wasn't because of their teachers or the school.

THE BEST PIZZA IS IN SCHENECTADY: Not true. I'm not saying Schenectady doesn't have great pizza, but it's not the best. I've had great pizza from Paesans, I love NY, various spots on Lark street, heck, I love a good deep dish from Pizzeria Uno!  Schenectady does have good food, but I don't think they're unanimously the best just "because everyone says so".

I CAN’T DRIVE TO ALBANY, SCHENECTADY, OR TROY AT NIGHT: IT ISN’T SAFE:  Nonsense.  Lock your doors, use a little common sense, don't flip anybody off at a red light, and keep your cell phone handy (just in case).

WE DON'T SUPPORT OUR TEAMS, AND THAT'S WHY THEY LEAVE:  How many times do you hear this conversation in barber shops and at the ol' water cooler? It never ceases to amaze me that people (myself included) still can't over the fact that the Albany Firebirds left in 2000 or that we don't have professional hockey in Albany anymore.  Sports is big business and if there's a better money opportunity somewhere else, ownership will explore it.  When Siena played NIT games at home back in the day, the TU Center was packed.  When the NCAA tournament comes through Albany, the joint is sold out. The Valleycats regularly are one of the top drawing teams in the Eastern League and it's not because people are passionate about the players, they're passionate about the experience.  Give us a good, fun, cost-effective entertaining product and we'll show up in droves. Once in a while, a franchise will leave us for greener pastures.  Sometimes, *ahem*Albany empire, they come back because they miss us.

EVERYONE IN THE 518 FORGETS HOW TO DRIVE WHEN THE WEATHER GETS BAD: I used to agree with this, then I spent a weekend recently down in Memphis, Tennessee.  They had a mini ice storm and some unusually cold weather and the city literally was SHUT DOWN for days.  You wanna see people who don't know how to drive in the conditions?  Check out the drivers in a southern city when it snows. Capital Region residents may drive a little slow, some too fast, but southerners in the snow drive sideways and backwards. True story


ICHABOD CRANE SCHOOL ALWAYS CLOSES IN THE WINTER: This one is actually very true, but enough with this wisecrack "1 inch of snow...betcha Ichabod Crane is closed!"  I laughed the first 6,000 times I heard it.

Other than that, love ya Capital Region!


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