Tell Us What You Like About UpState New York!

Earlier Submittals (#6)

The comments below are some of the "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.

Dryden, NY, homeowner in absentia writes,
If so many people loved living in Upstate NY, why aren't they returning? If anyone loved the Cortland/Dryden/Ithaca area so much that they would like to come back, I've got a lovely home I'm trying to sell. Reasonably priced, beautiful lot, etc. Upstate NY is one of the most beautiful and most unappreciated parts of the US. Most people know nothing about it. Its economy reflects that. I'll know things have improved when my house sells. Until then, despite its beauty, it's the land of unfairly high taxes, economic stagnation, and depreciating home values. After nearly 3 years, I'm still waiting for powers that be in Ithaca, Cortland to do something about the horrific economic situation up there. While most other places are booming, they're shriveling up and dying and no one likes to admit it and act to turn that around. Enough said. Anyone wishing to comment or chat should contact me at
Chuck Debaise of Ware, MA. writes,
I grew up in Syracuse and spent the first 23 years of my life there, leaving for good in 1982, after my discharge from the Navy and subsequently attaining my AS from Onondaga Community College. I lived in northern New Mexico for a couple of years, and now I reside in the hills of central Massachusetts. While here I attained my bachelor's in Business and now am studying part-time for my Master's in Education so I can teach at the secondary level back in my native Upstate New York. Each day away is very painful, the serenity of Chittenango Creek during trout season, or a cruise out to the Finger Lakes, family and friends sharing some Hoffmann's franks and some fun at Green Lakes, Fair Haven or Selkirk Shores. Autumn walks at Clark Reservation or Highland Forest, and the enjoyment of a good old-fashioned "lake effect" storm. My Boston-bred wife and 2 daughters often endure my boasts of "you don't know what real snow is until you experience a "lake effect" white-out. Someday, Lord willing (hopefully soon), they will get the chance.
A wanna be legal assistant back where I loved life the most - Roscoe, Downsville
I spent my childhood and teen years on the Beaverkill River. Sometimes fly fishing, sometimes getting into just about every kind of trouble imaginable. I learned life goes on without a telephone and television and fell in love for the very first time. If that doesn't make for wonderful memories, I don't know what else would.
Homesick in Tennessee writes,
I grew up in a magical place with real castles, mansions, history and incomparable beauty: Garrison, across the Hudson from West Point. As a solitary child, I spent endless dreamy days wandering the hills, fields and country roads. I walked the rail road tracks along the Hudson, over the trestle to explore Constitution Island, dug up a revolutionary war knife on top of North Redoubt Mt.(my own personal refuge). After marrying we moved to Canajoharie on a hill overlooking the Erie Canal. We were dedicated skiers, hikers and campers enjoying the Adirondacks in every season. We have traveled extensively and always find ourselves comparing every place to the impossible standards of N.Y. No one seems to have mentioned that Upstaters seem to almost relate to each other on a special level even when far from home....Sadly, job requirements took us away, first to Dallas then to Tennessee. Reading these testaments makes me cry but it's comforting to know that others share these joys and pangs.
A loving Mother writes,
After traveling to many places....and seeing many sights....I've always had more of a love for the East Coast. The grass seems greener. Skies seem bluer. And people seem more friendly. And in this scary world of metal detectors in the schools,...gangs...and guns....drugs....and alcohol....I'm extremely happy as a mother that I can send my kids to school and not worry about if they will come home. The colors in the fall seem more vibrant here...reds seem deeper... Yellows seem brighter. Every fall we take the kids walking through the leaves...(they love to listen to the rustling sounds they make). And we have them pick out a few of their favorite colors. We usually spend a couple of weekends a yr. camping. And almost every weekend without snow out discovering new fun things to do. My only wish is that our town's future was more secure. The economy isn't that great. And businesses tend to leave the area a lot. My husband and I often dream about opening a business to keep our little county alive. If only 4 or 5 famous people came here...Found out that upstate N.Y.. was so diverse....And so far from the crime. Maybe they would chose to live here...and bring business with them. I fell in love for the first time in Upstate N.Y.. Had my first kiss here. Gave birth to my sons here. And hope one day they can raise my grandchildren here...and not worry about how they will feed their children.
An unknown actress writes,
Almost two years ago I moved from Buffalo NY to Beverly Hills. I'm originally from Buffalo and the atmosphere there is amazing. The people are much nicer too. You can actually breathe in fresh air. There are so many parks and recreational areas to go to. Some of them are so large that you can take a 2 mile walk and still not see the whole park. For everyone living there, I know you want to get out, but when you do, you want to go back.
A former St. Lawrence Co. resident writes,
After moving to Colorado, Upstate NY was not a good description of where I was from. The state does go upward, but Upstate seems to refer only to the areas in the widest part of NY. Therefore I now tell people I am from Northern NY. After all, where is St. Lawrence Co.? I spent 29 yrs. in NY and miss the 200+ acres I grew up on. We visited my parents and siblings Dec. '98 and I think it will be the last time I will be in the home I grew up in. See my parents are selling the land as we (the children) have all moved away. My siblings live in Glens Falls, but I live in this state of 2 color falls and swimming pools for water. It takes getting use to, but I love my spouse, so visits to NY for me it is.
Jennifer in Santa Maria California writes,
I'm 20 years old and from birth to 18, I was in Oneonta, then I got married. My husband's brother and sister were already living in California so we thought we would give it a try, and we are still here. But today, January 2, 1999 the storm of the century is going to hit N.Y. and I will not see a single snow flake or pick up a shovel, and I really miss that - believe it or not. It's really scary to miss shoveling.
Barb and Jim write,
My husband and I are both from the Adirondack mountains. He is from Blue Mountain Lake and I am from Long Lake. We've been to quite a few places both in the US and overseas. We both still call "home" upstate N.Y. We miss the fall colors most of all. We have yet to find that beauty anywhere in the world but in the Adirondacks. We will return to live there someday I'm sure and hopefully our children will love upstate N.Y. as much as we do.
Because of how much I love NY State, I just wanted to say,
"What I love about New York cannot be simply put into words. I am a student at Western Oregon University right now, and so how I miss the Adirondack Region of New York. I miss the unbelievable distinction between the four seasons. The people here in Oregon do not know what they are missing. It is now December 16 and all there is here is rain. That is all it does here. No Snow. That is one of the many reasons why I love New York so much. I came out to Oregon for travel experience, and now I know that New York is the place where I want to raise my future family. Upstate New York, especially the Lake George region, is simply Heaven on Earth. I recommend to all my friends that they visit Upstate New York and not just New York City. They know nothing other than the city. There is so much more to New York than that and I hope that people will realize that in the future."
Kean writes,
"Union Springs, New York along the shore of Cayuga Lake is beautiful small rural village. At the present time it is in a land claim suit with the Cayuga Indians. Hopefully the President will have this treaty ratified. So that the honest tax paying citizens can go on about their business."
Pat from Panther Lake writes,
"I have been to many places in my lifetime and I am still overwhelmed by the beauty and magnificence of Central New York. I will never call anywhere else 'home'!!!"
Miss you New York writes,
"New York will always be my home, from Long Island to NYC, to the Adirondack Mountains and lastly the Catskills. I cannot simply express in words how being a New Yorker has affected my existence, my very soul. To those that are ignorant to the beauty of the landscapes of New York, I can only express my sympathy. Ironically, the most memorable moments of my life were the hardest for me. Before I joined the Army I lived in a camper on a friend's property just below the Gunk's in the Catskills. It was cold in the fall on a motorcycle and that cold coupled with the vision of drifting red and yellow leaves landing on the road as I cruised is forever in my mind. I miss you and hope to return someday to my hometown, New York. America the beautiful, God shed his grace on thee. Especially New York."
Tim and Susan write,
"I just moved my family from the Rochester area, to the Mohawk Valley. I also grew up in the Buffalo area, but nothing compares to the Mohawk Valley! It is so close to the beautiful Adirondacks where my family went camping every year growing up, and it is simply a beautiful area. This area is an excellent place to raise children, with fresh air, friendly folks and wide open spaces. We will never go back to the 'big city'."
Floyd from Denver says,
"My favorite place is 1001 Broad Street. Suite 450 in Utica. They always have the best parties there, really cool people, rubber band wars, and occasionally a funny looking dog named Speedy. I have fond memories of bats flying around and snacks in the back room. Since there are no oceans near Denver, I don't get fish fry every Friday either. Ahh, Suite 450, one of the finest places in Upstate New York."
Monica from 28 miles south of Old Forge says,
"The thing that I like most about Upstate New York are the lakes, creeks and enough sunshiny summer days to get everything or nothing done."
Peter B, a US Army Specialist says,
"New York will always be my home, from Long Island to NYC, to the ADK mountains and lastly the Catskills. I cannot simply express in words how being a New Yorker has affected my existence, my very soul. To those that are ignorant to the beauty of the landscapes of New York, I can only express my sympathy. Ironically, the most memorable moments of my life were the hardest for me. Before I joined the Army I lived in a camper on a friend's property just below the Gunk's in The Catskills. It was cold in the fall on a motorcycle and that cold coupled with the vision of the drifting red and yellow leaves landing in the road as I cruised is forever seared in my mind. I miss you and hope to return someday to my home town, New York . America the beautiful, God shed his grace on thee. Especially New York."
Christina N. from Rochester says,
"I love UpState NY. I am from Rochester NY. I now live in Farmington. I love the fall/winter here. I am a skier. I love skiing at Bristal Mountain. Upstate NY is a beautiful place with many things to do and many places to visit!
Barb from Elmira says,
"There is no place like home (Elmira, NY) during October. The rolling hills are ablaze with reds, orange, yellow! I love to just sit and stare. Of course, all too soon the colors become brown and then comes another beautiful view....WINTER! Those hills become beautiful when splattered with white!! All of those bad things people have to say about upstate NY float away when you get a look at this!"
Anne from Potsdam, says:
"I was born and raised in Potsdam. I think my favorite time of the year here is the fall, you'll never find anywhere more beautiful! Just remember to wear a turtleneck!"
Steve from Watertown, says:
I was born and raised in Watertown, New York. I am 16 years old and I am now in Pennsylvania for 4 years now! I really miss Syracuse, Watertown and all the other places. If someone is out there and want a nice place to go, go to Watertown. Always cool and people are nice, well, in some parts of the city! My E-mail: -anyone can e-mail me anytime!
Kassie from Albany, says:
"I moved to Albany from the Midwest in November of 1997. I can't tell you how much I love living in upstate New York. Each weekend I see new things and go to new places. The amount of places to visit is limitless. From Lake George to Saratoga to Howe Caverns to Woodstock. I love Upstate New York!"
There's No Where Like Home,
"Hi, my name is Steven Alan Lauber, and I live now in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Originally from Brasher Falls, New York. I miss the beauty from 'Uperstate New York', as I can describe it's God's Country. I miss the fall colors of the leaves, the hunting and fishing all around. I am trying to convince my wife to return but she does not want to. My children want to, but not her. She says that I will return without her, which I may do. If anyone on this earth would want to move, it should be "Uperstate New York. Brasher Falls is country. And there will be no other place that will take its place. I just wish that the cost of living would decrease. If there is anyone in the St. Lawrence County or Brasher Falls area that would like to E-mail me, I am looking for high school classmates ... Thank you New York for hearing me - I love New York.", living in Arizona, says:
"I grew up in Connecticut and have a lot of fond memories of family vacations to New York State, as a child and then later bringing my children. Here are some of the places I visited and loved:Howe Caverns, Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands, Boldt Castle, Corning Glass Works, Cooperstown, Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, Fort Ticonderoga, Enchanted Forest, Storytown, Santa's Workshop, Catskill Game Farm .Now living in the desert, I really miss the change of seasons, especially the smell of the damp fall leaves after a rain. Out west here you will never match the fall colors that I saw in New York State. I hope someday to move back east again and be able to experience the wonder, beauty and charm of New York State."
Carol, a former resident of Dryden NY, says:
"The Finger Lakes, especially Skaneateles, are spectacular. Their clarity and periwinkle blue color are exquisite. Supermarkets Top's and Wegmann's are unbeatable. Events like Ithaca Festival, Homer's arts and crafts festival are wonderful. Ithaca Farmer's Market is terrific, just what a farmer's market should be. I can still taste the Shri Lanken combination plate. Wines fantastic. Cornell Campus is the most beautiful I've ever seen and may be most beautiful in world. Many fine ethnic restaurants in Ithaca, Cortland area that don't cost an arm and a leg.This reminds me of wonderful apple juice maker in Virgil that makes best apple pies in world. Upstaters are special breed: tough, generous, hard-working. Winters are beautiful even if long and very cold. Mountains are breathtaking. Why doesn't the area get more coverage and praise from outside world?"
Keane, a retiree, says:
"I'm retired. All my life I complained about Rochester area weather, spring rains, summer heat, winter cold and snow.
I was over 55 when I realized we have it GREAT in this area. We have no floods, rare ultra high wind storms, rarely a tornado, (though one was not too far away in Warsaw, NY area recently). Except for the big ice storm of March, 1991, we have had mainly good weather. Rochester is also a technical city, and a cultured city. Truly a great area in which to live."
Matt Lesko, an electrical engineer from Binghamton says,
"I am very proud of my native grounds and upbringing, being upstate Binghamton, New York. After living in other states, I have mentally pondered and realized, numerous times, regarding the wonder and awe of my younger years in the great outdoors in UpState NY. Currently in the Midwest prairie area, I do remember the grace and charm of the hilly (if not mountainous) and picturesque landscapes with their associated seasons. I can easily picture and recall the following areas. I would strongly recommend the following areas to anyone who has not yet seen them.
Outdoor Places:
Letchworth State Park (1 Hour south of Rochester), Watkins Glen State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park (Ithaca and also in the Adirondacks), Taughannock Falls State Park (Ithaca), Chain of Lakes (Adirondacks), LiLac Festival (Rochester), Green Lakes State Park (East of Syracuse), Cayuga Lake (Ithaca), Erie Canal (East Syracuse and West of Rochester in Spencerport / Adam's Basin), Wineries (Hammondsport and towns north of Hammondspot), Saratoga Springs, Lake George, Lake Placid / WhiteFace Mtn.(Adirondacks), Catskill Game Farm (Catskill Mountains)
Indoor Places:
Corning Glass Works (Corning), George Eastman's Place (Rochester), Roberson Memorial (Binghamton), Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown)
Howe's Caverns (Southwest of Albany) Someday I will return to my home grounds, until then, hope that you enjoy this information."
Northern "country girl" living southern style says:
"I would like to thank my parents for affording me the opportunity to grow up in the little town of Hilton, NY. My dad, a farm boy from Brockport and mother, a city girl from Rochester moved my family to Hilton when I was only 4. I grew up in that little town knowing just about everyone and couldn't wait to leave for something bigger and better. Well, I definitely get bigger but not better. I moved to Orlando in 1989 and still live here but always trying to capture that small home town feeling I had growing up in Hilton. I miss the cold starry winter nights skiing and sledding and the warm summer days horseback riding but most of all I miss the fall when every tree is a different fiery color and the air smells so good! I try visiting my parents, who now live in Wolcott, at least once a year but it's hard replace a lifetime of memories with just a couple of days a year."
Gala from Rochester, NY says:
"Being a born and bred Upstate NY girl, I can honestly say after having lived in Florida and Ohio that there is no place like home! I found out really quick in Florida how much I missed the change of seasons: the soft spring and the crisp, vivid autumn. You hear so much about the snow here, but when you really stop and think about it, its not that bad and its a small tradeoff for the gorgeous scenery we have here. One of my all-time favorite things to do is to pick one of the Finger Lakes and just drive and see what we find. Getting lost on purpose is a great way to see unspoiled country roads and picturesque farms and villages. To me this area has a perfect blend of country and city, farm and suburb, sun and snow! Obviously I'm staying put in Upstate NY!"
Native New Yorker living in San Jose, CA says:
"I lived in Upstate NY (Richmondville) for 6 years in the late 1970's as a child (age 8-13) and I can say it is a great place to raise a family. I enjoyed living there, I remember the rolling hills, the wide open spaces and the small town atmosphere. I remember riding bikes all over the place, sledding down the hills, helping my friend work his dad's dairy farm, exploring the creek and catching crawfish, going swimming all summer long in the school pool, and going to the lake to swim and fish. It is a great place for a kid, but as my mom always tells me, the winters were horrendous and that is why we left to go to Phoenix, AZ when I was 13. It is a beautiful place in the spring and summer and the winter too if you don't have to drive or shovel the snow."
Robert C., a retiree from Massachusetts, says:
"It's very difficult not to like the place you were born and raised. I love the area around Cooperstown and also have a fondness for Ithaca. The country side is beautiful and each season has its own attributes. Fall is especially pretty. I love the small communities that are located along side the Susquehanna River from it's source in Cooperstown all the way to the Pennsylvania border. The Finger Lakes region is also a favorite of mine. Again it is pleasing to my eye and to my memory of times long past."
Denise R. Burnard, a technical writer and project manager, originally from Endicott, now living in Atlanta says:
"There are many things I love about upstate NY. First of all, it's my home! I grew up in Endicott, and all my family and friends are still there. Also, my Dad and his wife own a home at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, and that area is like my second home. There is something about those mountains, as with all of NY, that just gets in your blood. I smell it, and I feel it. I've been in Atlanta for 4 years, I own a house, and it still doesn't feel like home. So I'm thinking about moving back. So many people who wrote here said they wish they could go back, and I don't want to always feel that way. Hopefully I can find a job and go back to my roots and take part in all the wonderful things New York has to offer!"
Joe Valenti, a high school senior from New Jersey says:
"Upstate New York is the most beautiful place in the world! It has many great resorts and natural beauty which make it a great vacation area. Upstate has everything from skiing, to hunting, to boating, and to sight seeing. Some places I have visited include Lake Champlain, Lake George, Niagara Falls, and the Catskill Mountains. Every time I visit Upstate New York I am more and more impressed!"
James from Port Byron, now in Pahrump, Nevada says:
"I miss the water. I use to live on the Barge Canal, and now living in the desert. I miss the water. It will be 12 years in October since I left and I have always wanted to go back."
J. from the North Country says:
"Norman Rockwell must have had Glens Falls in mind when he created his wonderful artwork. I was born and raised there and in the neighboring towns of Queensbury and Chestertown. I grew up boating on the waters of Lake George in the spring and fall, spending weekends exploring the islands. In the summer it was and still is to Loon Lake in northern Warren County where my family has had a camp for 50 years. I spent my summers playing on the lake by day, and when the teen years came, so did the beach parties on those perfect Adirondack nights. My downstate girlfriend is amazed at the stars every night she sees them. Four seasons of beauty is what you'll find in Upstate New York. The damp, dreary winter days aren't the most enjoyable, but when that big snowstorm hits and the trees are just covered with snow for days, it's worth it. Not to mention the great skiing - my favorites are West Mountain in Queensbury and Gore Mountain in North Creek. I went to college with many people from the metro New York area who just don't get what Upstate New York is all about. Too bad for them. The towns, the lakes, the mountains, the rolling hills, it truly is idyllic. A northeast NY boy, I love Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, Lake George, Warrensburg, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake, but I know the whole state is filled with great places to live (although I'll be forever biased toward the Glens Falls, Hometown, U.S.A. area.) I miss my Adirondacks, and I'm only in Albany!"
Scott, a student from Long Island, says:
"I LOVE UpState NY. Ever since I was born, I have been going upstate (to the Catskills). It holds a piece of my heart and soul. I don't exactly know why -- it just does. I love everything about it -- the scenery, the fresh air, and the summer life. The Sullivan County resorts and history - the old O&W R.R. right-of-ways - Old Route 17 - all those back roads. Hopefully more people will discover Upstate N.Y.!"
Robert from Pennsylvania says:
"I was born and raised in Utica. My family still lives there and my in-laws live in Madison county. I now live just south of Gettysburg, PA near Camp David. Upstate NY is my favorite area in the USA. I spent most of my childhood and teen years roaming the beautiful Adirondack Mts., Finger Lakes, and Catskills. Here's what I recall: The Enchanted Forest; Storytown; Riding the Mohican at Lake George; Climbing the High Peaks; Camping the State Parks; Fishing the Ausable River and West Canada Creek; Canoeing on Lewey Lake; Honeymooning at Blue Mountain Lake; Catskill Game Farm; The Oriskany Battlefield; Utica Blue Sox and Syracuse Chiefs games; Cruising Rtes 28, 30, and 3 in Autumn; Sundays at Verona and Sylvan Beach; Parties at the island campsites on Indian Lake; Lying in a boat on a remote lake watching the stars; Niagara and Horseshoe Falls; Riding the Adirondack RR; Traveling Rte 20; The State Fair in Syracuse; 3 foot snowfalls; Meeting bears! on the trail; Concerts and August racing at Saratoga; The Adirondack Museum; The Northway to Lake Placid; The Utica Brewery Tour; 12 Horse & Genny Cream Ale; Morrisville A&T; Sledding on the Parkway; Summer camps; The J. Geils Band in concert at Elmira; Climbing the fire tower on top of Snowy Mt; Vernon Downs; Summer jobs at Inlet; Woodstock; Log cabins and campfires; Ice skating and hockey; Apple orchards; Chestnut and Elm trees; Deer flies & gnats; Cross- Country meets; Frat parties; Revolutionary War historical sites and Iroquois Indian villages; Pine forests; the Mohawk Valley; Italian cuisine; Proctor HS; Speculator; Clinton Comets hockey; The first snowfall; 25 below zero temperatures; Alex Bay and Thousand Islands; The Adirondack Park; I wish I could do it all over again!"

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