As we prepare to barricade ourselves in our apartments on Saturday and pray for all the lost souls in the East Village and Murray Hill to learn the virtue of temperance, let us give thanks we don't live in Albany, particularly in the neighborhood that tone-deaf SUNY kids refer to as "the student ghetto." It's actually a place called Pine Hills, where civilian adults courageously go about their lives in the crossfire of a rotating mob of DudeManBros who like nothing more than honoring St. Patrick by wearing Jets jerseys and rioting. Watch, and start planning your next vacation to the Capital District, where the marketing slogan, "We've Got It All In Albany," doesn't exactly say it all:
That video, and a slew of other equally amazing gems on the Times Union website, was taken at last year's St. Patty's day festivities, during which thousands of, um, "students" went berserk and tossed appliances out second floor windows, smashed cars, threw eggs, shattered windows, and left behind 16 tons of debris off the streets for somebody else to clean up. They call it "Kegs and Eggs" day, which totally rhymes, you guys!
Eight students pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, and the Times Union reports that one student pleaded guilty to a felony riot charge. We will exercise enormous restraint and simply note that the student came from Long Island, without any additional commentary.
In the wake of the riot, SUNY officials came up with a plan to make sure the incident wasn't repeated: they changed the school's schedule so that St. Patty's day would fall during Spring Break, which will hopefully result in the troublemakers going home to trash their own communities. As one pitiable local resident puts it, "The idea is to get them to realize someone lives here, that this isn't frat house row, that they aren't alone in the neighborhood. Many of them think 'No one knows me, I don't know them. I'll be out of here in a few months. I can smash this window, this beer bottle and not be held accountable for my actions.' " Seriously you guys, this is Albany, not Hoboken.
SUNY Albany administrators also cancelled the annual "Fountain Day celebration," outraging many students who objected to the collective punishment. According to the Times Union, "a 41-year-old student chained himself to the fountain." That's correct, a 41-year-old student chained himself to a fountain in Albany to protest a party being canceled. Sure, there's probably a more depressing sentence out there just waiting to wrap its meaty, liver-spotted arms around us like that naked crone who hugs Jack Nicholson in The Shining, but for now let's try to cheer ourselves up with a little "Kegs & Eggs" oil wrestling:
[Disclosure: The author of this blog post was raised in the Capital District, and in high school won an essay contest that entitled him to "serve" as mayor of Albany for one day (unpaid). During his brief but widely-lauded administration, not one SUNY student smashed a car or wrestled in oil.]