Establishing a Sense of Community in a Big City

While Albany is affectionately referred to as Smalbany, because of its tiny downtown area and the high probability you’ll run into someone you know, it seemed huge and daunting for 18-year-old me. I came to Albany as a college freshman, having never lived in a city before. Attending a school with nearly 18,000 kids made it even harder to find my place. This all changed when I found my niche—a tiny student-run radio station tucked away on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center. Here I found my people, the music-loving kids who never quite escaped the “I wanna be in a band, mom!” phase.

Our WCDB Fall show at WAMC’s The Linda

Our WCDB Fall show at WAMC’s The Linda taken by my pal AJ Kluck, more at https://ajkluck.com/

Who knew! People who all enjoy the same thing meeting up to enjoy it together? They’re really onto something with this “club” thing. The station, WCDB, has changed my life in ways I’ll never be able to quantify. Three years later, I’ve managed to make some lifelong friendships and have listened to more hours of music than I’d like to admit. But what I love most about being a part of the station is the sense of community that comes along with it. Whether its road tripping to another state to see our favorite band play or jamming out at a friend’s house show, we can always carve out a few hours of our busy lives to make time for some music.

I’m lucky to have met and hung out with some of my favorite musicians, and am consistently in awe of the talent that some of my friends have when it comes to making music or organizing events to support the Albany DIY community. While I won’t shamelessly plug any of their bands, if you’re in the car, stick on 90.9fm—you might just find a new favorite song.

Albany, PRA Newbie

The views expressed by the blog post author are their own and do not necessarily represent the official views of Policy Research Associates, Inc.

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