October 3, 2007


Trolley bells can be annoying, but after a while you don't hear them. It's convenient to have one right in front of my house, though, since the trolley lines and the bike paths next to them are the only reliable transportation we have left.

When I walk down to the trolley, I can get to Ithaca or Freeville without changing trains, and Groton, Dryden, and Cortland are an easy connection away. There's no real express service until you get to Cortland, but once you're there, Syracuse and Binghamton are just a ride away.

My favorite part of watching the trolleys is actually the freight they carry: special cars for concrete from Saunders and gravel from various places around here. Boxcars and the occasional refrigerated car carry food down to Ithaca and come back empty.

I'm lucky to have two hamlets within biking or even walking distance. Varna has a pharmacy and dry goods, while the greenhouse zone to my east has produce year-round. If I go up to Freeville, I can get barrels of grain, which fit neatly onto the trolley's cargo system. My own garden helps, of course, but it's convenient to get the help.

It's getting toward sunset now - time to get ready for bed!

Not what you expected from Living in Dryden? That's okay. It's really a piece for a new project I've been writing, Upstate 2050.

Conversations about Upstate's future seem permanently stuck on a variety of blame games - taxes, corporations, New York City, the federal government, Albany, and the other usual suspects. I'd like to step beyond the usual back and forth, and see if we can develop some visions that can change that conversation.

I definitely don't mean "visions" as "happy positive futures we'll all strive for" - those visions seem popular with planners who are selling projects, but they're only one small piece of a larger possible set of options. I'd like Upstate to think about the possibilities it has as a way of examining what we have and what we have to face.

2050 seems just far enough away for that kind of thought process. It's not so far ahead that we'll likely lurch into science fiction, but it is far enough ahead to think about what kinds of large-scale change might happen.

If you have ideas for either Dryden 2050 or Upstate 2050, let me know!

Posted by simon at October 3, 2007 10:50 AM in ,
Note on photos


Mary Ann said:

OMG! This is great. I'm going to forward it to Maggy who will surely be raising a family in upstate NY in 2050 - what with her west side apartment being flooded by then.