“It was almost as if the community chose us,” — Tracy Kennedy
TROY, N.Y. — They say it takes a village to raise a child, or three. Here in town, just about everyone knows Annabella, age 10, and her twin sisters Scarlett & Evelyn Kennedy, age 6. And though they don’t have a playground, these little women do have lots of kooky adults to entertain them when they’re out and about.
After a short microphone romp with the kids, Duncan talks with their parents, Tracy and Brendan Kennedy, about their decision to raise a family in the “inner city” of Troy. The Kennedys first moved to their Cosby Show-like rowhouse five years ago, after living in Manhattan with their then five-year-old daughter “Bella” and one-year old twins. They enjoyed having children in the urban environments of Manhattan, but with three kids in-tow, the young parents were losing their ability to take advantage of the things they liked about living in New York. It was simply too expensive.
In Troy, Brendan and Tracy found a place that offered urban walkability, diversity and meaningful community relationships for their entire family. And while many people pressured them to look to the suburbs, they knew they would probably have to spend most of their free there time driving the kids from one program to the next. But in this neighborhood, when Mom and Dad need some time of their own, the Kennedys just walk to their favorite wood fired pizza restaurant, where they can relax a bit knowing their neighbors will help keep an eye on the girls as they socialize and play about in safety.
Still, this upstate city has a ways to go until it’s entirely kid friendly. But Tracy believes a little more emphasis on better sidewalks for strollers, playgrounds and high quality, affordable schooling would go a long way toward fully revitalizing the place.
Special thanks to Ian White for helping to engineer this episode.
(41 MB | 54:16)
Note: In Part 2, A Small American City will speak to the grandparents — Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy and his wife Dana — about watching their grandchildren grow up in this environment.
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