Where is Upstate New York?

sutomcat

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#1
Where is Upstate New York? The debate rages on (video) (PS; Tulloch)

People in the Capital District really think Syracuse isn't in upstate NY? The home of Upstate Medical Center? The center of upstate NY? They dare to disagree with Captain Kirk? How hard is it to understnad that you make a line, with everything above it upstate and everything below it downstate?



Where is Upstate New York?

The demarcation debate has raged on for years, with lifelong New Yorkers rolling up their sleeves to practice controversial cartography.

It's a political sticking point too. New York City-born gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon found herself in the crosshairs of statewide attention this month when she casually declared the line started at Ithaca.

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick swiftly told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, "We're at least three hours away from the upstate-downstate border, which for me is once you're past Yonkers (heading north), you're in upstate."

Actor William Shatner also caused an uproar when he visited Syracuse's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que earlier in April, and sparked another #WhereIsUpstate argument on Twitter.

The flurry of attention led The Washington Post to revisit the debate, concluding: "If you can commute to New York City, you're not upstate. North of Poughkeepsie, you can't."


The Post's Philip Bump turned to poll data to find a confusing split among Upstate New Yorkers, though a slim majority drew the line North of Westchester.

Good grief. We didn't need a Washington-based paper to tell us that.
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cliftonparksufan

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#2
Maybe city folk look at it differently than upstaters. I've always thought that upstate was anything north of Westchester and Rockland counties. Although you could now argue that the Newburgh-Beacon bridge (Rt 84) could now be considered the dividing line but I still think that is pushing it.
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DeGrozz

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#5
Maybe city folk look at it differently than upstaters. I've always thought that upstate was anything north of Westchester and Rockland counties. Although you could now argue that the Newburgh-Beacon bridge (Rt 84) could now be considered the dividing line but I still think that is pushing it.
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This is the right answer, to me. It’s a gray area between Westchester county and 84. Everything north of that though is upstate. The Southern Tier, Capital Region, etc are just sub-regions of Upstate.
 
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#6
The Upstate / Downstate thing is purely from the perspective of NYC. Whatever they consider "theirs" is downstate, usually Westchester and Rockland counties and below.
"Upstate" we have our own local regions: CNY, WNY, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Catskills, Adirondacks, etc.
But, from the point of view of NYC we're just the rubes from "upstate." And, I'm happy to be one of them.
 

xc84

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#7
Where is Upstate New York? The debate rages on (video) (PS; Tulloch)

People in the Capital District really think Syracuse isn't in upstate NY? The home of Upstate Medical Center? The center of upstate NY? They dare to disagree with Captain Kirk? How hard is it to understnad that you make a line, with everything above it upstate and everything below it downstate?

...
Some people in the Capital District think anything west of Albany is "Western NY".
 

OttoMets

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#8
Maybe city folk look at it differently than upstaters. I've always thought that upstate was anything north of Westchester and Rockland counties. Although you could now argue that the Newburgh-Beacon bridge (Rt 84) could now be considered the dividing line but I still think that is pushing it.
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Yeah, that's reasonable. If I'm going to Dutchess County for the weekend from my home in Syracuse, I'm going Downstate. If I'm going to Dutchess County from my relatives in Brooklyn, I'm going Upstate.

But in general I agree with the Ithaca mayor or the Post's commuting rule.

And then there's these goofballs who argue that they're not in Upstate, they're in Central New York (or Western New York, which I've heard from some Rochester people). S---, you idiot, that's like saying "I'm not in North America, I'm in the United States."
 

MaxwellCuse

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#9
The dividing line, in my opinion, has always been the Hudson Highlands. South of the Highlands is Downstate and the Highlands and points north and west are Upstate. So, yeah, basically Downstate is Long Island, the City and Westchester & Rockland counties. It is true, however, that there are thousands of folks who commute to NYC from Hudson, Poughkeepsie and Beacon. I guess those folks are Downstaters during the daylight hours and Upstaters at night and on weekends.
 

Orangemen

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#17
As someone who grew up in the capital district, I would argue that the Midwest starts in Amsterdam (NY).

I agree that a good upstate downstate line is whether or not you could reasonably commute to NYC everyday.
 

orangecuse

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#20
Rochester and west it's pop. It's pop in Buffalo, went to school there in the mid 80's. Cleveland is pop, I was born there and resided there in my early youth, I go back there often as I still have many relatives there.

To settle the pop vs. soda thingy, asked yourself this question...when you open a can of oh, Pepsi, for instance, what does it say to you? It says/goes POP!!! Not soda. ;):)
 
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#22
As an outsider, I probably do not have much to add. My residency in New York STATE (sorry, didn't mean to shout the last word, but I find that here in the Midwest, I need to make this distinction very clear) was limited to my three years on the Hill.

I have noticed that my description of New York State has developed over the years. When I discussed my impending academic pursuits at SU, I would tell people it was in "Upstate New York" when trying to explain why I was not concerned about living in such a big city as NYC and the crime there. On one occasion, I had to break it down for a friend's mom, specifically that Syracuse was further away from NYC than my small hometown in Wisconsin was from Chicago and the quickest route from Syracuse to NYC was through two other states.

I once made the mistake of responding to a question of why I wanted to go to Syracuse as opposed to other schools was because I had never lived on the "East Coast". I was quickly and aggressively corrected that Syracuse was not part of the East Coast geographical region. I am not sure where that line is, but apparently it is not simply a state bordering the Atlantic Ocean. I have never had a problem using "Northeast U.S." for designating Syracuse, however.

Now, when explaining to people where my wife is from and where I have to travel a couple of times a year, I use "Central New York". It feels like it is more specific than Upstate New York, which because of movies and television shows seems to invoke images of a bed and breakfast or small cabins around a lake surrounded by mountains.
 
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Orangemen

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#24
Where is Central NY if not in the center of the state? Scotia?
Central NY still exists. So does Western NY and the southern tier. Everything after Amsterdam just feels like the Midwest.

Take pop for example. That's a Midwest thing. Apparently it's common in Rochester. You would never hear that in Albany or anywhere East. Or anywhere near NYC.
 
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