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.
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.
What are some lesser-known sights to see when visiting Rochester, NY?
The George Eastman Museum is a must-see in Rochester. Located near downtown Rochester at 900 East Avenue, the museum is in the heart of the “ East Avenue Historic Preservation District.”George Eastman was the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, as well as the Eastman School of Music, located in downtown Rochester. Here is a little blurb about him from Wikipedia:George Eastman (born: Jul 12, 1854 in Waterville, NY, died: Mar 14, 1932 in · Rochester, NY)EntrepreneurGeorge Eastman was an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and popularized the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888 by the world's first film-makers Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by their followers Léon Bouly, William Dickson, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers, and Georges Méliès.The museum named after George is host to speakers who are authorities in various aspects of photography. It also has interesting exhibits related to the photographic arts and film preservation, as well as family-oriented events and holiday specials. You can find out all about the museum at eastman.com.From Wikipedia:The George Eastman Museum, the world's oldest museum dedicated to photography and one of the world's oldest film archives, opened to the public in 1949 in Rochester, New York. World-renowned for its photograph and motion picture archives, the museum is also a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world. Home to the 500-seat Dryden Theatre, the museum is located on the estate of George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company. The estate was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.The following pictures link you to a couple videos which are available online at The results of insight.Before Photography (from the Photographic Processes Series):The Daguerreotype (from the Photographic Processes Series):