Monday, April 27, 2009

To Albany and Back: Josh Cotrona's Albany Adventure

Josh Cotrona, rocking a Baroness t-shirt.

The first time that I moved to Albany, I was only about nineteen years old. I never really went out or anything at that time. I guess I wasn't smart enough to get an ID back then. I would go to shows a lot, though. And Valentines sometimes.

I did enjoy going to Tulip Fest at Washington Park. And since I lived downtown on Lark Street, there was really no way for me to avoid Lark Fest. I think that one of the stages was like right across from my apartment, so I was kind of forced to listen to that.

Nothing too crazy happened then. I guess the only thing would be that at that time when I lived downtown, sometimes I would find drunk people passed out by our entry way. Some would ask for money. But it wasn't often. It wasn't too bad.

I left, though, and went on a road trip to California. I didn’t tell anyone I was leaving. I didn't even tell my mom that I wasn't living around here anymore until I had been living out there for a month. She freaked out a little, but I kind of expected that.

The friend I was with was from Colorado, so we stopped there on our way to California. When we were visiting his hometown, that's when I met my wife, Betsy. She was actually from Maryland and just happened to move out there. It was pretty random. We were both just in the right place.

I lived in Carlsbad, California for a while. When I was there she came out to visit me. I also went back to Colorado to visit her. And that was kind of how we started dating. We decided to move back east together. We moved to Newport, Massachusetts. About a year later we got married.

We decided to move back to Albany because I grew up here and all of my family is here. It is also a lot cheaper to live in Albany than it is to live in Newport. Since we were trying to save a little money. Moving back was a good idea.

So now I live back downtown off Lark Street on Chestnut. Overall, I like living downtown. I still don't really go out that much. Sometimes I'll go to Bombers. I used to go a lot when they had Win, Lose or Draw. That was fun. But now it’s a little too crowded for me.

I do go to the Lark Tavern sometimes. And I like going to the Spectrum for movies. I’m not that raw. I guess what I do here isn’t that raw, either.

It's fun to people-watch in Albany. I try never to talk to anyone when I do. But, sometimes someone will make eye contact and I can’t avoid it. I'll do it anywhere: a coffee shop, the laundromat, that sort of thing.

I work as a freelance carpenter: remodeling, construction, painting. It's not hard to find work or anything, though. I just do it on my own. Sometimes I get work through somebody else, but mostly on my own.

I have thought about moving out of this area. As far as living somewhere else in Albany, I would live over by St. Peter's Hospital. I would move there if I was ready to have a home and settle down, if I wanted to have children and start a family. I'm not ready for that yet.

Realistically, when we are ready for that, we probably won’t stay in this area at all. I would most likely move back to Massachusetts. It's a nice place to have a family and raise children.--as told to Katie Serfilippi