What is it like to live in Rochester, NY?
The weather is the same as New England: Unless you enjoy winter sports, you're not going to be able to do pretty much anything outside from November to May (and sometimes that means late May). This can be a very long seven months - especially if you have small children.But it's really not that much worse than what you'd find in most of the northeast or Midwest. I just don't know why everyone gets worked up about the weather when it's just as bad in many other parts of the country. You're getting the same weather across many of the country's largest cities.Weather aside, Rochester has a lot going for it but has a couple of fatal flaws that are mostly self inflicted. If it could sort these out, it could be a great up and coming city like Portland, Maine or Raleigh:What's good:It's on a Great Lake. You have to stand at the edge of a Great Lake to appreciate that these are giant bodies of water that are more like inland seas. It's an amazing resource for this country and under appreciated. There is a very active sailing and boating community that is also very social. It's a whole scene and many people in Rochester have their social life built around it. Many days of the week in the spring summer fall you'll find boat races. It's very cool if you can get past some of the uppity snobbery that it can at times lead to.Rochester has probably one of the best public school systems in the country. You can send your children to school in Rochester and they are getting what people in other parts of the country - including wealthy parts of the country like the northeast corridor - have to pay for at 35k/year private high schools. It's impressive how good they are.The real estate is phenomenally cheap. 300k in Rochester will get you 4000 sq ft in a pretty good suburb in a relatively newer home. There's a quality supply of homes also in that the area experienced a few construction booms here and there since the 80s. You can live like a king for what gets you a 1500sq ft fixer upper in a third tier suburb outside Boston.It's easy to have a normal life without a lot of hassle. By this I mean that Rochester's version of rush hour traffic is child's play as compared to cities like Atlanta, DC or Boston. Everything is 20 mins drive. There's 6 or so malls. There's all the chain restaurants. There's an amusement park an hour or so away. There's a movie theatre every 5 feet. It's just easy in that all the stuff Americans do during the course of their week or on weekends is there and easy to get to. In a lot of ways it's as convenient as a city like Dallas is. - There is a small, yet authentic and active arts/culture scene, and enough bars/lounges to give you an interesting night out or maybe give you a small fix if you are craving a cosmopolitanism - but you could wear this scene out FAST if you need to go out often.There is enough of the intelligentsia/corporate caste around spending money that you'll find some of the luxury amenities/services/charity gala scenes/high end retail/restaurants/golf/country clubs that you'd find in a wealthy northeastern city. However, like the yacht club scene, you can run into a few big fish/small pond people that have forgotten that it's Rochester - not a Boston/New York/Washington. This can get a little annoying but at some level it's endearing.What's not so good:It sounds crazy but it's a somewhat isolated city. It's 6 hours to New York City by car. It's 6 hours to Boston. It's 4-5 hours to Toronto. It's 10 hours to chicago. Unlike the coastal cities that are close to each other, you have to drive for many hours to get to a major metropolitan area. If you move from a coast you'll feel a little bit like you're on an island at times. There's not a lot of people visiting from other places at any given time to create a current of idea flow. I There's not a lot going on around it and no, buffalo doesn't count. Buffalo is like a bad sequel to rochester: The same story but not as good. There are also few places you can fly to from Rochester.There are not many high velocity career options if you're not in medicine, education or academia. The three corporations that formed the economic base of the city have either been hollowed out (xerox) or nearly extinct (kodak). Moreover, these companies are old economy and don't have the dynamic cultures that creates career possibilities for young people. This is Rochester's biggest downfall - if you are young and ambitious, and you want to start a high velocity career, you will have to leave. This means that at 18, there are many good minds that leave to go to college in some other city and never return. You will find many succesful people in major cities across the country that grew up in Rochester and think of it as a nice place to be from, but that it's not their home anymore and they don't see themselves returning.The downtown area needs help. People need to live and work in a city in order for it to become a city. Otherwise it's a region - a collection of suburbs. That's what Rochester is today: a collection of suburbs ringing a downtown core that has mostly rotted and is no longer capable of being a nucleus that generates it's own gravity field. The downtown area has a somewhat sad and ghost town type quality to it - even sometimes in the middle of the day. It can be very provincial. Rochester is the type of place where people spend thier entire lives and never leave. Whole "tribes" of people have gone to school together, married each other, live down the street from where they grew up. Their kids are friends and some of them become teachers at the high school they graduated from. If you're into this, it can be a wonderful thing. If you're not and you crave variety of experience, than you can feel stifled, lonely and dissatisfied.The city ignores the lake. No waterfront attractions. BIG waste.
How long does mail take to come from California to Rochester, NY?
The US Postal service has become much less reliable in the last 20 years. (We ship around 3000–5000 packages a year through our various web business — goldenruletradingpost is our eBay store and we sell on several other platforms too. So, this is something we have a bit of experience with…). It can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks for a first class envelope or package to get across the country. If you want to make sure it makes it in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable price, Priority Mail Guaranteed is your best bet. 1–3 days guaranteed with several flat-rate options starting around $6 with tracking, delivery confirmation and an automatic $50 of Insurance. Priority Express will usually make it in 24 hours but starts at around $25.00
How does one decide whether to live in a smaller town outside Rochester NY, or in the city itself?
Depends on your priorities.The way Rochester is organized, you'll be much further away from a lot of city life or have to deal with traffic and parking to go to the fest in a town. The small towns have a festival or two, and most have other activities happening as well in their bars and rec halls. But, the city has something like 70 parades and different festivals throughout the year as well as scores of city wide advents like First Friday the monthly small business promotion day.If you value those sorts of things and want to be where the action is, live downtown. The worst day of traffic here is better than the best commute I ever had in DC, Philly, or NYC. And all the resources are here. The super wealthy buying up all the new condos and gentrifying center city are making sure of that.If you’d rather NOT have to deal with the humanity, live in a suburb or rural village. There are some incredible towns like Fairport and Honeoye Falls that are lovely, and barely 20 minutes from most of downtown.The fact that this is even a thinking point for you, makes me want to suggest neigh orhoods like the South Wedge, 19th Ward, and Lock 66 or Park Ave neighborhoods. They have the feel of more of a sizeable town with the access of a city.
Why is Madison, WI much smaller and more rural than Rochester, NY, on Google Maps when it’s population surpassed Rochester’s in 2002?
I can’t give you specifics or a definite reason why this might be the case but I can tell you what I have observed from over 20 years of growing up in Madison, WI.For one. its on an Isthmus:“Madison's origins begin in 1829, when former federal judge James Duane Doty purchased over a thousand acres (4 km²) of swamp and forest land on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona, with the intention of building a city in the Four Lakes region. He purchased 1,261 acres for $1,500.”A road diagram nearly 100 years after it was founded. Not a lot of land for them to work with from this road diagram in 1920. In fact, there used to be a lot of swamp land just south of the Capitol that was turned into roads and houses.I am going to act like you may not be from Madison and therefore have never traveled to or visited this beautiful area..I hate that this city is on an Isthmus but I grew up here and my family and friends all live in Madison, so I have never had a reason to leave. It is miserable living in a city that really cannot have new roads built or new space and just keeps adding more and more street lights where they are not needed. (Whoever is in charge of the road system and it’s street lights are many bad words that I won’t utter here)Because the city is essentially stuck between two lakes there is limited land for people to build and live on. Some of the folks I have run into over the years who lived downtown have said that the underground parking spots in their apartments or condos can go for exorbitant amounts of money. Some folks won’t even move into a place if they aren’t also sold all the underground parking spots some of these wealthy people own.This is a picture of Madison’s unique Isthmus. There are only 5 in the United States. The Isthmus of Catalina Island, Isthmus near Fidalgo Island, The Madison Isthmus, Seattle, Washington and Point Peninsula, New York.When I grew up here as a kid starting in 1990 Madison was kind of it’s own little city. I grew up on all different sides of town, Monona, East, West, Middleton.. My dad used to drive me out past the edge of East Town mall where there were just country roads to reach my friends house to have sleep overs. My dad used to tell me that one day when you are older there won’t be country roads out here anymore. It will all be connected to the next town over (Sun Prairie. It is literally almost connected to Madison at this point). He was right. The old country roads we used to travel have now been widened for greater traffic, and the farm land has been converted into housing for large suburbs as far as the eye can see.For the longest time it seemed like most folks were living out in the suburbs like Fitchburg or Richmond Hills, even if they were working somewhere downtown these folks would make the commute. But with the 8-year reign of Governor Scott Walker a lot of things changed, we got this removal of all the industrial buildings lining up East Washington leading up to the Capitol Square and their replacement of middle to upper class apartment buildings. People want to live downtown so they aren’t making long commutes from the suburbs just to go to work, or because they want to be a part of the downtown culture where there is a lot of fun to be had. Most of these new buildings that have been built have shown up in the past 5 or 10 years and with new populations and tourism comes new hotels.Back when my dad managed the place if you wanted a fancy hotel you would go to the Concourse, but now you have resorts like the Hilton, Hyatt, AC Hotel, or the beautiful Edgewater. The Concourse Hotel has a lot of history and stories my dad used to tell me from the 90’s when he ran the Governors Club where people like Chris Farley or Brett Favre used to visit frequently. Recently my dad gave me a receipt he had swiped from the hotel in the 90’s that had Chris Farleys signature on it. From some other folks I’ve spoken to who worked there they’ve said Farley used to visit the Concourse all the time and that he was an incredibly nice person that was always fun to go out with, but he always had a hint of sadness about him like he was haunted by demons. We all know how this turned out for him of course. He was from Madison and was also buried here.A photo in case you are too young to remember who Chris Farley was. A comedic genius.When I was a kid in high school going to The Edgewater for prom it was just a run down little building with a tiny stage, but a few years later it was completely torn down and remodeled into a beautiful building on the lake with it’s own ice skating rink. It seems like the goal for this city was to try and reverse this rural small town look that most folks had an image of and turn it into a real tourist attraction for people moving here that want to work for Epic. Don’t even get me started on Epic.. (They are a giant campus of buildings in Verona for a business that writes and implants software and ecosystems for Hospital computers). I would imagine they are a good reason why more and more people want to live downtown and move to Madison in the first place since they pay well and hire young people out of College. This could be a good reason why things have been changing drastically in this City in the past decade, but that is just a theory.So to give you an overall outline of why Madison is the way it is I thought I would share with you some history and backstory about a few things I’ve experienced as a resident of Mad-Town. It is a beautiful city but you can’t really build anything new in the downtown area unless you first tear something down. This is what they’ve been trying to do since the sprawl of the city keeps getting further and further out, and people don’t want to commute half an hour to an hour just to get to work. The only way to build is up and since they have not been doing this for people who can normally afford it (living downtown even in a small studio apartment is exceptionally expensive) people have to live on the outskirts. Since there are also smaller towns on the edges of the City and Town of Madison they are being connected and turned into a part of the overall picture.P.S. Another answer I can give is that there actually is a differentiation between the City and Town of Madison. Everyone tends to call Madison one City but there are actually two separate parts of it, the City proper and the Town. Then of course you throw into the mix Fitchburg, Shorewood, Monona, Middleton, etc etc and it just becomes more and more complicated. So it is hard to know if when you are looking at numbers if they include both the City and Town of Madison, or if they are given separately. That is just another theory though.
What are fun things to do in Rochester, NY?
I grew up in Rochester and liked it well enough as a child. Playing was a year round fun thing in any season. Winters were fun, playing outside all day was great/hard/FREEZING COLD, inescapably cold with snowball fights, snowmen and making angels in the snow, then coming inside to a warm house, throwing off your snowsuit or coat, boots, scarf, hat and gloves that were uncomfortably wet where someone had pushed a snowball or two or ten down your coat. Then having hot chocolate and feeling it go down your throat was a delicious relief! You got so cold out there that when you came inside and took a pee it felt SO WARM, almost hot compared to how cold your body got. I left Roch. as soon as I could though, around age 25 after getting my degrees and went to live in Japan where the skies are BLUE(!) in winter! I heard Eskimos have a hundred words for snow and all things related. The many smells of snow, the sounds of walking on ice, on snow would depend on how cold it was. I could go on and on... I understand snow! We all did. Hope this isn't too long.