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Glens Falls, NY


Back to Growth - 9/6/2011
I used to seriously dislike living near here. The town used to be falling apart, with no future, and not much to do. It has changed greatly in the past decade, from going to plenty of empty, miserable store fronts to being a hustling small downtown area full of neat shops with unique goods, run by friendly business owners. My favorite coffeeshop/cafe is right in the heart of the area, the Rock Hill Bakehouse, complete with a DVD and book library that you can borrow from, and fun open mic nights. There is a theater, a small arts community in multiple buildings, and the library has since remodeled and is very welcoming (although often too loud for reading) with a good selection and tons of interesting programs by various local organizations.

Even better, it isn't a far drive to the Adirondacks, and there is plenty of good hiking right around Lake George. Lots of locals have gotten into various forms of recreation, and the bike trail that cuts through Glens Falls is worth checking out.

Shopping isn't too bad, the Queensbury business district is nearby. The Aviation Mall has mostly died and doesn't have much to offer, but the shops near Lake George are worth checking out, and you can go to Saratoga or Albany for goods like clothing. If you like bigger chains (especially for restaurants), those keep popping up around here.

The worst part is trying to find a high-paying job around here so that you can afford all of these things, and this has been a long-standing problem here, even before the economy went bad.

Saratoga Springs, NY


If You're Snotty and Rich, Come Here - 9/6/2011
I've lived nearby for 20 years. If you are stinking, filthy rich and incredibly snotty, then you will feel right at home here. This small city prides itself on taking every last cent from your pocket. The towns nearby sell nearly every item for about $2 less. You can't even use a laundromat in Saratoga for cheap!

The locals are either rich snobs or poor hippies in their 20s, complete with a handful of hipsters. This is all right for the music and art scenes. There is one major coffeeshop downtown, but because many of the young adults who work there spend more time smoking pot, there is the chance of getting food poisoning. The Starbucks down the street is no better.

Late summer is the worst around Saratoga. This city is completely obsessed with the abusive "sport" of horse-racing. In fact, Saratoga expects everyone living in a 50 mile radius of the small city to be into such a fake sport. During this time, people with money pouring out of their pockets and rudeness pouring out of their mouths drive their super-expensive sports cars into Saratoga, clogging the streets, abusing all of the local workers, and causing the local atmosphere to be filled with such tension that I'm surprised they don't all beat each other to death with polo mallets. If it rains at all, all of the tourists with an income large enough to go seed the clouds themselves will spend the day going around to the shops verbally abusing everyone else.

The locals themselves aren't very bright. I'm not sure why this is, they are in a town with money, you would think the school system would be quite rigorous. But I have found that the locals about a half hour away are much brighter and have better critical thinking skills. Saratoga is simply filled with airheads and ditzy women.

For a few positives, if you do go: Four Seasons eatery; Saratoga Spa State Park; Ben & Jerry's (I don't care if it isn't 'local'); Petrified Sea Gardens; the Tang Museum at Skidmore College (don't linger on campus though, it is just as bad as the rest of the city).
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