Zoë and I had been talking about an upstate road trip for months. Troy, New York floated in our vocabularies for a few weeks after we heard that it is "the Brooklyn of Albany," and we finally set a no-joke-this-is-happening date in the calendar. We stayed with John, a collector who had traded Manhattan for Troy and opened a B&B that is truly out of a storybook. Breakfast was berries and good, strong coffee, and dessert was painting under string lights in the yard, but the best part was all the conversations, laughs, and subtleties that happened in between.
It's no secret that New York City can feel like the whole world. Visiting a place like Troy is an reminder that the world is always bigger than we think it is and that our moment now is just one of millions. Walking down streets frozen in 1870 - and then 1950 - made "right now" feel very insignificant. This perspective may seem self-explanatory, and it is easy to lose sight of on a day-to-day basis; bringing it front and center as Troy did can help ground us in something beyond our own immediate experience. This is important.