Tell Us What You Like About UpState New York!
Earlier, Earlier, Earlier, Earlier Submittals (#2)

The comments below are some of the "earlier, earlier, earlier, earlier" comments submitted to our UpState New York home page. We have just moved them from the front page to make room for more submissions. If you have a short essay you would like us to publish, please take a few minutes to fill out our What I Like about UpState New York form.

Southern, from Titusville, Florida, says:
"My family and I visited UpState New York in July 1996. The shopping in Buffalo was great. The food and service was not only reasonable but wonderful. The people were warm and friendly not at all like we had heard Northern people treat southern folk. As a matter of fact we are planning our Christmas holiday back in UpState New York this year."
Mike from SE PA, says:
"Having just returned from the 1000 Island region, specifically Clayton. My wife, some friends and I found the area to be pleasant, beautiful, clean and friendly. This was our first trip to the region, but needless to say, not our last. We were all very impressed with the scenery, things to do, the accommodations, (K's Motel), and most specifically, the trip we took on the Uncle Sam's dinner cruise. We will, most definitely tell all of our friends, and relatives."
Robert Waters, living in Brentwood, TN, says:
"The problem with growing older is the longing to be close to your homeland. Somewhere in the Catskills or Adirondacks, or close to Lake Champlain would sure be a good place to settle back into. But of course, when we're young and adventurous, we go to far places, like Tennessee, and scratch our head one day, wondering if your Texas wife will mind ten inches of fresh snow, a new gallon of maple syrup in April, radiant colors in October, or at least a gravesite in Oneonta. That's what is great about UpState NY. It never leaves you, especially to those born there like me."
Denyce of Tully, NY, says:
"I'm a native Syracusan, born and bred some 47 years ago. I recently moved 20 minutes south of Syracuse to Tully, NY. No matter where I go in this area, it's simply beautiful. The changing of the four seasons gives you something to look forward to in the environment. No need to move away. Don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes, it'll change (local saying). Just drive through the Syracuse area and its surroundings and you will see the city change to farm country within minutes, cows, horses, turkey farms, apple orchards. Traffic is slow when it takes you more than 15 minutes to get to the other side of town. One day a blizzard, the next day the sun is out and you can put on shorts. Winter seems to bring out the rugged adventurer in you - if the native peoples and pilgrims could live in this climate and survive, hey, I know I can too. The fall can make one speechless. From where I stand I can see Oneida Lake (40 mi.) and it didn't cost me any more for the view.I love NY!!
Barbara, from Downsville, NY, says:
"I was born and raised on Long Island, we took family on vacation to Downsville, NY, Delaware County for the week of July 4 six years ago. We rented a house AND NEVER LEFT! I woke up early to see the lush mountains with "misty Ghosts" dancing up from the trees, releasing their breath into the wonderful air I was breathing, Water passing by, creating a gentle song in my mind as I followed along with the melody, the entire orchestra of flow played together, falling off the rocks, down 30 feet. Ahh, the mist from the Waterfall felt on my face. I knew this was to be my favorite place!"
Butch from Oneonta, NY, living in Oregon, says:
"I was born and raised in Oneonta, New York. I went into the Navy in 1964 and was in until 1968, moved to Oregon and met my wife of 28 years. I like Oregon but I love UpState NY. I read most of the responses on the web page and I agree with all the comments. It is a beautiful place to see and enjoy in all the seasons. The dry winter cold air is one thing I really miss. In Oregon it is wet, wet, wet. We do have nice summers but it is not the same. I do miss my home in UpState New York. I do hope to go back one more time before too long. I would love to get some E-mail from someone in the Oneonta area. Please respond to"
Hugh living in Central California, says:
"I grew up in Unadilla. Now living in Central California. My goal is to move back to the Catskills and live on a farm. There's no place like it! Thanks for the page!"
Mike, Grew up in Vestal, NY, Living in Johnson City, NY, says:
"I recently moved back to the area after graduating from West Virginia University, and after a brief stint in D.C., I knew I would be much happier starting the rest of my life in Broome County. My girlfriend and I were employed within a month and we can't think of any place we'd rather be! My parents, my parents' parents and their parents (whew) grew up in the area and I always wondered what made them all stay. Now I realize it's not just the rolling hills, the green thick woods, the majority of people who take care of their families and neighbors, the central location to so many great places to visit (but I wouldn't want to live there), the amazing array of golf courses and Hockey rinks, the school systems that do an admirable job with little resources or the thousands of other reasons I could name. It is all those things together that made this a great place to grow up and to grow in!"
Johnny V. from Virginia Beach, says:
"UpState NY is a place that I will always call my "home"! I recently moved to Virginia Beach and absolutely love it here, but it's just not the same as UpState NY. There is a sense of security that I felt in my hometown of Little Falls (located on the NYS Thruway between Albany and Syracuse) that I will not feel again until I go visit my family on June 12th. Little Falls is the type of place that you can go into a local pub to have a few cocktails and not have to worry about being shot or stabbed. Although this can happen anywhere it is less likely to happen in UpState rather than in the "city." As I said, UpState will always be my home and I look forward to visiting real soon."
Homesick in Los Angeles, says:
"I grew up in UpState New York and moved away when I was 24. I ended up in Los Angeles, CA for the past ten years. there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about NY. I miss it so much and would do anything to come back. I miss the lakes, fall colors, snow, and the mist that rises when the sun goes down. I long for wild flowers and fire flies. I miss seeing history all around me. I have traveled all around the country and Europe, and I don't believe there is anything as beautiful as UpState."
Cindy Kyea from Johnsonville, NY, says:
"UpState New York is where I was born and raised and will always stay. I live in the hamlet of Johnsonville and was born in the small village of Cambridge. When you drive through Johnsonville, you're through it in a blink of an eye. My husband and I are building a new house in this same town since I've recruited him from the city of Waterford! He loves it in Johnsonville now especially in the winter when he can ride the snowmobile! We're avid snowmobilers and we also frequent the Adirondacks for snowmobiling, camping, fishing and just to get away for a few days. We only live about one hour south of the Adirondacks. It's the most beautiful place in the world. The serenity and beauty are unbelievable. However, there are also loads of things to do!!! I'd never move from UpState New York. I've been to NYC once in my life and I'll never go back. It's nice to see once, but that's enough! What more can I say? The people, the scenery and the recreation are unbeatable. If you want to get away and relax and have fun all at the same time, UpState New York is the place for you!!"
Timothy Hirschler says:
"I grew up in the sleepy little town of Redwood, about 7 miles south of Alexandria Bay and the St. Lawrence River. I have been in the Air force for ten years but take every chance I get to return to the beautiful lakes that surround my home town. I enjoy the people that I grew up with. They are some of the kindest and dearest friends anyone could have. The lakes and woodland that surround my home offer the best recreation in the world and the seasons are perfect offering cool springs, pleasant summers, beautiful fall foliage and the winter fun that comes with the snow. I have encountered several people who tell me that I don't behave like the rude "New Yorkers" they see on television. I tell them that the reason is that I am from UpState and that makes all the difference. The people are great, the environment is wonderful, and the seasons of the year are grand. Why would I behave any other way."
Lost in D.C., wishing for CBC, says:
"THE ADIRONDACKS!!! Grew up there, met my childhood sweetheart there, love it, live it but can't get up there often enough! The family has a summer cabin on Lake Champlain and I haven't missed a summer in my 25 years. I rarely take people up there because they have a hard time understanding how we have so much fun with "nothing" to do. Our life long friends from there bring their significant others up to see if they pass the "test". If so, they might be considered for marriage. Anyway, the mountains, the lake, the people of Keesville and Westport, and my aunt and uncle who run the Wabeek in Saranac are the best. I have always wanted someone who really knows about it (the area) to talk with that lives in the area. The knowledge and education that I have gained by being connected to such a place is priceless. I love the camping and fishing, the crisp beautiful air and the solitude. Gainful employment is the only reason I'm not there right now. Spread the word!! (But not too far!)"
Bre, a student and mom, in VA/DC area, says:
"It has made me soooo homesick reading these messages. I grew up practically on the St. Lawrence River and went to school at Madrid Waddington. It was the best fishing, camping, playing in the woods, playing in the snow. It's just so sad so few people can make a living up there. If we could, we would be going home in a heartbeat. After living in Florida for 7 years (hated it) we're now in VA and it's okay, but I miss the friendly people and beautiful clean lakes and fresh air. I do get home once a year but wish it could be forever . . . . "
J.L. King, a Student at Houghton College, Houghton, New York, says:
"I come from a small town in UpState New York right below the Canadian border called Cape Vincent. Even though the winters are frigid, I still think it is the most beautiful area I have ever seen. The St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are where I grew up. I believe the 1000 Islands region is one everyone should see at least once (for more information see, And, being a northerner, let me add that the true "upstate New York" is from Syracuse northward!"
Justin MacGregor from Binghamton, NY, says:
"Where to begin, UpState NY is like no place else in the world, there is something unique around every bend in the road. I'm 20 years old, and was born in Binghamton, NY. I grew up, the son of a professional hockey player, and because of that, I've witnessed so many places, literally around the world, and no other place quite compares. It doesn't matter where in UpState NY you are, there is always a feeling of pride. That unique feeling is something that captures the essence of what people often feel is the "American Dream". Whether you are seeking city life, farm life, or anything between, UpState has it. We have great public schools, and the higher education centers public and private are some of the finest in the world. And it's those features, in addition to collectively having the most skilled and friendly population in the world, that gives UpState such a high quality of life. When I was an exchange student in France in 1993, I remember having to explain to them that there is more to New York, than "the city." But with the help of pictures of the landscape, my point was made. Whether you are driving on the Thruway, Northway, I87, I81, I88, NY 17, and any of the other major routes, NY's beauty stands head and shoulders above most places. Sure it might not be the best of this or that, but we sure have it all, and together it's the best package in the world. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else."
A Native New Yorker living in Longview, WA, says:
"Just happy it's not too close to downstate NY!"
M.J. Miller/SUNY Student, says:
"First, let me say that I have lived in UpState New York since I was nineteen years old. That gives me equity in N.Y. I have tried to relocate many times. Currently I am staying with my son in Miami, Florida. I have convinced him to return to UpState N.Y. with me in June. It wasn't hard to convince him to return. This area is disheveled, over populated, aesthetically unpleasant, saturated and bloated with crime, politically infantile and disorganized, racially segregated, and last but not least socially diseased. It is scary because there is no comradery between the multi-racial groups; unlike UpState New York. In the Adirondacks, people seem to become more involved with their communities, showing a sense of pride that they are not for the most part racists. They truly do love thy neighbor. They attend churches together, public picnics, and at least acknowledge one another. We have rolling mountains, streams abundant with fish, forests filled with wildlife, cool misty breezes; all kissed with the change of seasons. You can live as you choose pretty much, not so in Florida. Here, they have rules and regulations regarding everything. Yes, it is true that the weather is beautiful, especially when there is over twenty inches of snow laying on the ground and you still have February and March to deal with. And yes, you do get cabin fever, but you know the wait is worth it. In the spring you see newborns of every species wading out to the mountain springs for a sip of ice cold water. Together my son and I remembered the 70's in Glen Falls, N.Y., a time that if you resided in the area, you would be hooked for life. At one time it was nominated the cleanest community with the most potential. We watched the flatlanders come and go. They seemed to enjoy our sights as they almost always returned. New York State offers skiing, water sports, mountain climbing, picnicing, access to public beaches (mostly free), camping areas, large and small civic centers bragging of endless sports events, and some of the most innovative and progressed medical technology in the nation. Oh, and let me mention that as a non-traditional student I have received the most up-to-date education available. The community college of Fulton County is where I earned by A.A. in fine arts. They have one of the finest and professional faculty and staffs I have had the pleasure of dealing academically with. I could not recommend a finer community college anywhere, at any price. I truly do love New York! So, go ahead, check out any of the other states, and I will bet you will return."
C. Clark of Potsdam, New York, says:
"I grew up in Central New York (Utica and Syracuse areas) and spent every summer vacation and weekend in the Adirondack Mountains. There is no place else that holds as much of an attraction for me. I have lived in the South (Kentucky and Louisiana) and enjoyed living there (except for the tornadoes and hurricanes) but always longed to be back in New York State. People from those states often thought that all of New York was like New York City and it was difficult for them to comprehend that my home and heart belonged in the crystal clear streams and lakes and the breathtaking views that make up so much of UpState New York. Many people couldn't believe that we even had any trees or water! There is very little more beautiful than the high peaks of the Adirondacks on a misty morning as the sun breaks through the haze and shines on water falling from the mountain's side, or the natural wonders of Watkins Glen, or the Wineries and beautiful lakes of the Finger Lakes Region, or the 1000 Islands with eagles soaring in the sky, or Oswego sunsets on Lake Ontario that almost always warrant a standing ovation by the crowds that gather to watch, or all of the wonderful waterfalls in the mountains and Central New York areas. The fact that it can snow many feet and little, if anything, is slowed down by it because the plow crews can handle just about anything and the people that rally together to help other people when major storms do hit. The quality of life surpasses anything else that I have experienced anywhere else. People think it's crazy to choose to live someplace that dips to -40 during most winters but most UpStaters know the treasures that make enduring those conditions worthwhile."
A Former New York State Resident, living in Mesa, Arizona, says:
"I grew up outside of Buffalo, and moved to Mesa, Arizona three years ago. When I was a kid, we always vacationed in Tupper Lake. I never realized how much I would miss those summers until I moved 2500 miles away into the bleakest, brownest country I could ever imagine! I've been to the mountains through every season, and my parents live there now. I miss the fall colors when the leaves start to change, and the first snow, and the thrill of realizing that spring has once again returned."
Laura, living in Phoenix, Arizona area, says:
"It's hard to know where to start. Growing up, my home town, Warrensburg, seemed so small. It still does, but that is what I miss the most about it. That sense of community, people watching out for each other, just doesn't exist in the city. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a place where I could walk alone after dark. Where I could go trick-or-treating without checking the candy before digging in! I also miss having the lakes and rivers nearby. And the mountains! From Marcy to little Hackensack (in Warrensburg), no matter how much time I had, I could always find wilderness."
Larry, a communications technician living in Marlton, New Jersey, says:
"I'm originally from the Albany, NY area having only recently relocated to Southern New Jersey. I enjoyed the changing seasons, particularly the spectacular Fall season of my UpState New York home. I am an avid camper and still enjoy camping on the islands of Lake George. The Adirondacks offer unparalleled excitement that few in my area have experienced. I find the people of UpState New York to be friendlier than where I live now. I sometimes am on the receiving end of some good natured kidding about my 'rural' background because so many people think that UpState New York is the 'boondocks.' I know that this is far from the truth."
A Native Son from Sidney, New York, now living in Atlanta, Georgia, says:
"There are many things I like about UpState NY, especially Sidney, NY. Sidney, NY is my HOMETOWN. I was born in The Hospital on Pearl Street on Christmas Day 1945, grew up and graduated from Sidney High in 1964. I then went to Syracuse University and haven't been back except to visit. Every time I come back to Sidney, NY it feels like I'm coming home. I know what to expect and I'm not disappointed. It's there to greet me. Sidney is a small town of approximately 5,000 people located just off Routes 7 and 88 between Binghamton and Oneonta. It has a "Main Street" with a traffic light. Located along Main Street are some of the stores and establishments that give it character. Hales is a store where Dad goes to buy his Oneonta and Binghamton Newspapers on a daily basis. Hales also sells penny candy, tobacco products, comic books, magazines, etc. It's got wide plank floors, the big counter and display cases and an aroma distinctly all it's own. Across the street is Kent's Department Store. Their window is full of merchandise. I especially remember the basement of Kent's that they would stock with toys at Christmas. Down the street, same side, is the Rexall Drugstore. I faintly remember my sister winning a rabbit in a raffle drawing one Easter. Up the street, on the other side of Kent's, is the Sidney Theatre. I remember attending the Saturday afternoon matinees with the adventure serials that never ended so you'd have to come back. I also remember taking one of my first dates, Chris Schaeffer, to see 'Gone With The Wind.' The movie theatre had four white columns inside; very distinctive. Another store that I liked, but it's gone now, was Cable's Sweet Shop. You could buy a cheeseburger and a root beer float and get change for a dollar! I remember how excited we got when a big football game would be coming up with one of our big rivals like Windsor or Walton. Friday night, Main Street would be blocked off and we'd have a parade down the street, turn left at the traffic light onto River Street and march down to Fireman's Field. The parade would be lead by the High School band, followed by the Varsity Football Team, followed by all us kids. We'd have a bonfire and Coach Redmond would pump up everybody. The games were played Saturday afternoons to big crowds. The SATURDAY EVENING POST featured a story about Sidney back in the 50's. I still get the weekly Tri-Town News, plus my Father and Sister still live in Sidney on Pleasant Street. I'm proud of being a native son from Sidney; it was a great place to grow up and it's always wonderful to visit. Sidney has it's own WEB page, so you can 'visit it' if you like."
I miss UpState New York, living in Boonsboro, Maryland, says:
"I lived in UpState NY for 12 years in country near Watertown. It is so peaceful there, and open. People think New York as just the City, but there is more to it than that. They don't realize there is UpState New York where it is open, and there is fresh air. I love to see the open area and the farms. I also love the summers there -- they are just right. Not too hot, not too cold, and there is always a wonderful breeze. I also love the winters there. Lots of snow! That means real snow to ski, snowmobile, sled ride, and snowboard. I think everyone should at least go visit the upper UpState NY just to see there is a pretty part of New York."
A TV Commercial Director from Pittsburgh, PA, says:
"I grew up in Rhinebeck, and my only wish is that it hadn't been 'discovered' by so many people over the years . . . but it's hard to keep such a gem under wraps! I live around Pittsburgh now, and I often miss the Hudson Valley, with its beautiful scenery and nearly perfect small towns. As a kid, I remember biking on the estate of John Jacob Astor and feeling like we were part of history. I also loved fishing the small lakes of the Adirondacks (pre-acid rain) and the Battenkill, as well as the surging waters of the St. Lawrence. Ultimately, what I remember most is a trip I took across country 25 years ago. People would ask me where I was from and I'd say 'New York!' It was then I truly learned the distinction between UpState and 'the City' and I did my best to clear up the confusion for many people from coast-to-coast!"
Ed, a high school instructor in Castown, Ohio, says:
"Born in Malone, New York, grew up in Parishville and Canton, I always thought people had snow from November to April. The peaceful boating trips on Upper Saranac Lake, Stony Creek Ponds, horseback rides to Raquette Falls and other mountain trails in the Adirondacks seemed natural that everyone must have -- until you move away. So much is free to enjoy compared to living in urban areas. Too much was taken for granted until one is looking in from outside the region. Work to protect it! Being away from that environment has encouraged me to join organizations to protect the integrity of the Adirondacks. The quality of life and the environment of the Adirondacks will be lost without groups working hard to protect it from the problems faced outside the area."
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