I'm not a native Upstate New Yorker, but am from RI. The smallest state of all 50 of them.
Coming to NY almost 18 years ago was for work....a stopover, on my career path. I was working for Marriott / Interstate Hotels at the time and my plan was to move from my then home in Pittsburgh to Upstate NY and then head to Florida to be with my sister for a bit and then back to New England. I never truly envisioned myself anywhere else. I had moved from RI to East Rutherford NJ (because I told my company I was relocatable anywhere except NYC and LA...so they sent me to NJ - just 2 miles across the river from NYC). From there it was on to Pittsburgh, and then here to NY.
My plan for Upstate NY, was like most other cities that I have lived in, be here for a short period of time - 7 months to a year max and then move again. Hummmmmm.....where did my plan derail? I'm going on 18 years and my parents have now moved here and my sister has also left warm sunny Florida for Upstate NY. Well, along the way I have picked up a wonderful husband, his entire family is here and my two stepsons were here. So, here is where I call home.
We definately have a bad reputation though - all people know is about the many many inches of snow that we get, and the dreary days of winter. Looking out my window today, I have to remind myself what I love about Upstate NY and why we are blessed in so many ways:
* Great springs, mild summers and spectacular falls that take your breath away with color and magnificence
* Long country roads that twist and turn, with surprises around each corner
* Local farms and farmers markets with FRESH produce
* Places where everyone knows your name
* Finger Lakes where you can still afford to buy a house on a lake and let your children jump off of docks and swim carefree in non polluted water
* Horse farms and corn fields
* Pumpkin patches, apple orchards and dairy farms
* Very little congestion and traffic
* Families and values and comfortable places!
Although it is definately threatening snow and those clouds overhead are dark and dreary....I'm going to remember the things that really make me happy to be here. I'm going to pull out my warmest sweaters and snuggle into them for just a few months and look foward to the calm of winter too.