Matty Lanese is a true local. Born and raised in Jeffersonville, he has 22 years under his belt, having left the area twice to serve in the navy and to study business administration. He loves the peace of upstate and yearns for a good taco spot. Matty’s advise to new locals: stay outside as much as possible. Come summer, you can find him cruising Route 97 on his Sportster lovingly dubbed “Jolene.”

Where do you live?

Liberty 

Were you raised there?

I grew up in Jeffersonville and came back two years ago. I’ve lived in White Lake and recently moved to Liberty. If I had to choose though, I’d like to be closer to White Lake again.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a direct support professional.

How long have you been upstate? What led you here?

I’ve lived here 22 years. I left to join the navy and returned after two deployments and completing college.

What song describes your life up here?

Matty LaneseGreen arrow by Yo La Tengo. It’s an instrumental so it’s not really descriptive, but when I listen to it I feel like I’m home.

How do you know when summer has arrived?

You start to see motorcycles on the road again.

Spring or Fall?

Spring, but only because Summer isn’t an option.

Mode of transportation?

My Sportster “Jolene” in the warm months and a Nissan Sentra in the cold. I prefer to ride for pleasure. It’s more for meditation in motion than everyday transportation.

Favorite restaurant?

Benji and Jakes.

Favorite swimming spot?

There’s a little swimming hole on a friend’s property that’s the best. Eagles fly over our heads and no one but the people we want are there.

Someone should open up a (blank) here.

A 24-hour café.

Best place to watch a sunset?

Wherever your friends and loved ones are, hopefully next to a lake.

Best kept secret (until n0w)?

Blue Hole was a fun place to visit, but since it was named one of the best swimming holes to visit in America Online it’s swarmed with people in the summer.

Name three things a local should not be without.

1) A hobby. It can get pretty boring (especially in the winter) if you don’t have some kind of discipline to occupy yourself with 2) waterproof boots 3) a hammock.

One tool you use practically every day.

My phone.

Describe your best wild life sighting?

I was playing horse-shoes with my dad one summer evening and a great horned owl was sitting on a tree branch watching us an arms-length away. If it hadn’t turned its head to show its crazy yellow eyes we wouldn’t have even noticed it.

Do you grow your own?

No, but I’d like to.

How do you spot a local?

It’s easier to spot a non-local.

What are some common errors you see new locals make?

Not looking out for the wildlife that like to cross the roads.

What keeps you here?

My friends, family and the peace.

What advice would you give someone interested in moving upstate?

Appreciate the nature you’re in and stay outside whenever you can.

I wish I could get a good (blank) around here.

Taco.