Spending a night in Troy, inside and out

When walking down the streets during Troy Night Out, there was a different feel in the air: stillness. Usually the streets are filled with laughter, music, and hype, but this month the hustle and bustle was deterred by a wintry mix. Rain, snow, slush, and cold made for a quiet evening, prompting the majority of students to not wander off campus. Instead, they spent a “Troy Night In.”

A few souls braved the undesirable conditions and took advantage of the peacefulness and the sweet deals offered by many of the shops. Over on River Street, the River Rocks Jewelry & Bead Shop had a winter clearance sale, with 20 percent off accessories and 50 percent off select beads. The beads hanging all around the shop gave the gloomy night a colorful boost. The store carries mostly handmade jewelry, as well as unique beaded purses and scarves. For those who want to do more than just admire the work, the store holds classes for beginners to learn new beading techniques.

Other stress-relieving Friday night activities included leisurely strolls through the various antique shops and book stores. Many a passerby congregated in Spill’n the Beans Coffeehouse & Bistro for some hot beverages and live jazz music. Curling up on a comfy chair with a toasted almond coffee and listening to the soothing soulful sounds became the perfect escape from the slush and chill of the outside.

Livelier events occurred at the Rensselaer County Historical Society and The Arts Center of the Capital Region. The Historical Society had an exhibit opening entitled “One Night Wonders: New Acquisitions.” On display were 18th and 19th century findings such as a Troy flute, and old family papers.

“It is really interesting to tour the exhibit and learn these fun historical tidbits. It gives me a fresh perspective of Troy,” said Katie Maziarski ’13 while admiring the artifacts.

Over at the Arts Center, jazz was alive and well with the Troy High School Jazzfest. Participants included top student ensembles from around the area, even some of RPI’s very own. To top off the night, a hip-hop dance workshop was offered in the dance studio with instructor Nadine Medina. In the Main and President’s galleries, the exhibit “Oddly Alive” continues through March 19.

Despite the effort put into Troy Night Out to compensate for the stormy conditions, the Red Hawk shuttles ran nearly empty. Not wanting to venture far, many students decided to spend a quiet night on campus. For them, entertainment was found right outside their residence halls.

The snow proved not to be so terrible for those staying in, because the fresh powder made for perfect sledding conditions. Knowing RPI’s knack for ingenuity, students utilized their resources to optimize their fun.

“We put tape on the bottom of the cardboard we used for sleds. It made the cardboard last longer than it would have, and it is better than the other materials we could have used,” said Sheena McNeil ’13. The sled design proved to be successful as McNeil and friends laughed all the way down the hill between Barton Hall and RSE’s house.

Other students packed snow to make a little jump on which to use their ski, snowboard, and sled equipment. Needless to say, students found a way to entertain themselves in the winter wonderland weather. Spending a “Troy Night In” after wiping out and rolling around in the snow is not a bad idea, especially if hot chocolate with mini marshmallows are offered as a warming consolation prize for not spending the night out on the town.