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Rochester, New York SperlingViews

"A good area with a bad reputation..."


A good area with a bad reputation... - 3/10/2008
15 3
Derek
Rochester, NY

I have read many of the reviews about the Rochester area and I have noticed an overwhelming misconception that the Rochester area has a bad economy. People who have lived here a long time gauge the entire region by what Kodak and Xerox are doing; Yes, Kodak and Xerox and B&L were mismanaged manufacturers that are in decline. Well, I hate to break it to everyone but lots of those kinds of companies are not doing well all over the country. But they don't represent all the jobs here. I moved here last year after being gone for several years from Jacksonville, Fl and I had no trouble finding a decent job. I make good money (more than I did in Florida where I couldn’t afford a home of my own) and find that the low cost of living makes my dollar stretch. The unemployment rate in the Rochester area as of Feb 2008 is 4.9%, the national average is 5% - how is that a terrible economy? If you are looking to move here, look at the facts about the economy first before people talk you out of it.

Now, I know that the area isn't perfect. Obviously, there is a lot of snow - so if you don't like snow this area isn't for you. But lots of thriving large cities have lots of snow like Chicago and Minneapolis. But if you like actual seasons, snow and all, we have those here. Home prices are very good for what you get, even in the more expensive suburbs. Yes, property taxes are high, but the discontent finally has the attention of the government so it's being worked on. There is state income tax: Only 9 states don't have income tax (and one of them is Alaska, so if you have already shunned the area for snow then it's just 8 for you :) ) so many places people live happy lives include state income tax.

The traffic is wonderful around here. An extensive expressway system keeps the traffic moving. Only very rarely (maybe once a month) do I sit in stop and go rush-hour traffic on I-490.

In conclusion, I hope that people look at all the facts when making judgments about this area. It's a great area overall, not perfect, but what area is? This area is safe from natural disasters (no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or mudslides), droughts and boom-bust cycles that other areas are prone to. Plus it’s close to large cities like Boston and NYC without having to put up with all their pollution and crime.

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More Rochester, New York SperlingViews

Paul
Pittsford, NY

Rochester use to be great, but not anymore do your - 10/8/2013

I have lived in Rochester for over 45 years, it use ot be great but not anymore. All major employers have either closed, relocated, gone bankrupt, or downsized. Gone are the days of good benefits, retirement, and a decent wage. Kodak use to employ over 60,000 but screwed it's retirees during bankruptcy. Rochester Tele, GM, and many others dis the same thing. If you like a low wage service job you can find one but don't count on any long term career. Many people in a variety of inductries reach a certain pay level and get laid off without prejudice. Sure real estate is cheep, until you get your tax bill, the school, town, and property taxes make up the difference in your payment for the low cost of housing and the high taxes keeps values low, don't expect much appreciation on your home, and if your don't live in the right neighborhood at the lowest pricve on the market good luck selling, with so many good paying jobs gone, no one can afford to spend a lot of money on a moderately priced house. Many elderly have relocated from Florida since that states problems peeked so now the commutes are twice as long as just ten years ago. Infrastructure is aging, roads are in bad shape, highways and major roads are congested, people are truly rude, people a pulling guns out in road rage activities, it has truly gone down hill. Study your utility bills carefully, your paying more taxes than you think in this state. BEWARE the grass really is not always green on the other side. [read more...]


Chris
Centreville, VA

People here are fast-paced and rude - 9/3/2011

I lived in Rochester for 8 years and had a really open mind about the city when I first arrived. My family is from the Western NY area, so there were many pleasant memories from childhood. Such as the breezy, mild summers and frosty winter snow scenes. From my experience though, people here are generally anxious, high strung,and in your face loud and obnoxious. At best, they can be folksy and unassuming, but more often then not, people can be abrasive and downright rude. Being obnoxious and mean spirited is valued here. The work ethic is highly valued, appearing busy is very important. You dont have to be doing anything worthwhile, you just need to be busy and fast. Not being this way is like a sin! Even compared to people in NYC or other major metropolitan areas, Western New Yorkers can be very uptight and anxious. I no longer live there and am happy for it.[read more...]


edward
Rochester, NY

easy commute - 5/5/2011

Because of Rochesters continued declining population, The infrastructure is old but built for a much larger population. Those staying here will have an easy time of it for the most part. [read more...]


Cherise
Mesa, AZ

Moving to Rochester soon - 3/1/2011

Hi all! My family will probably be moving to Rochester from Arizona next year. Needless to say, we will have some adjusting to do in terms of weather and I'm sure even culture. We are excited for the change because Rochester sounds great. I do, however, need some help planning in terms of expenses. My husband and I both work full time right now and we bring home just under 50K after taxes and medical insurance deductions. After we move, I'd like to work only part time so I can be with our kids more and my husband will be studying for his Doctorate degree with a stipend to help support us. What is the average family income in Rochester? I'm hoping we can live on $30K a year. Does this seem reasonable? I have a good idea of some of our expenses as it does not seem like they will change that much. I don't, however, know how much utilities will run, how much auto gas we will use and how much oil (for heat in the winter) will cost. Could any of you give me an idea of what those three things usually calculate to in an average size three bedroom home and one car commuting no more than fifteen miles each day? I'm also curious if Rochester has any farmers markets, as our family tries to eat mainly whole and organic foods. Are organic foods readily available in your local markets? Lastly, what are some safe, affordable neighborhoods? We are looking to pay no more than $850/month in rent. Thanks in advance, Cherise[read more...]


Bp
Rochester, NY

LLow Cost of Living Leads to Good Lifestyle - 12/28/2010

Rochester is an incredibly affordable place to live. I am in grad school and was able to buy a home. With a couple of roommates, I can cover my mortgage and taxes. The U of R is helping bring entrepreneurial innovation to the city in conjunction with incubators like High Tech Rochester. Move here![read more...]


WNY
Rochester, NY

Extremely Underrated - 11/3/2010

We were apprehensive moving here given the negative image of Rochester that is held by many ("dying" upstate city, horrible weather, conservative, high taxes, etc.) While all of these extreme portrayals have some element of truth, by and large Rochester is a truly unique and wonderful place to live for a variety of reasons. The people are friendly, educated, and extremely open-minded when it comes to acceptance of all comers. The abundance of beautiful parks and recreational opportunities is almost overwhelming. The local education and health system is excellent. There is a shocking amount of culture for a city that has little national recognition. Overall, Rochester is a microcosm of a big-time city which results in a place that has everything minus traffic, a high cost of living, and too many people trying to do the same thing at once. After seven years in the New York metro area, we are absolutely delighted to have stumbled upon this hidden gem. [read more...]


Jessica
Rochester, NY

Rochester transportation - 11/2/2010

Pretty good bus system. No subways. Bus, train, and flight travel available.[read more...]


glavela
Rochester, NY

Rochester - 10/15/2010

Great schools, great colleges and universities, great people but harsh weather. It wears down on you. [read more...]


RunfromNY
Rochester, NY

It used to be something - 3/23/2010

...back in the 1970's when Kodak employed the masses. This is officially a dead city, mainly supported by a grocery chain (Wegmans, that employs mostly part time workers and pays them crap wages), local private colleges, hospitals, call centers, and basically things that have no export value to produce real money and raise the regional GDP. The property taxes in New York State are very high and make property ownership a losing endeavor. Also there is a 7% income tax in the highest bracket (anything over $20k) and 8.25% sales tax. Unable to vote out the encrusted, tax and spend Democratic incumbents, people have been leaving this area in droves for decades. Those who stay however enjoy relatively short commute times and low housing prices. You may be able to afford the house, but you might not be able to pay the taxes! Also the weather in Rochester is unbearably cold and atrocious for much of the year, save for June, July, August and September. [read more...]


Alan
Rochester, NY

It's like Shangri-La, a little - 1/19/2010

People leave to some "better" city and....they come back. Despite weather and taxes like Cold War Russia, we have terrific local food, beautiful parks, a great local music scene (including classical), wonderful old neighborhoods if that's what you want (and ugly new ones if that's what you want), reputable universities (often warranted), manageable size, distinct choices of vibe in distinct neighborhoods, a beautiful beach...I mean what do you want? Besides a little sunshine now and then....[read more...]


Dennis
Rochester, NY

Snow - 1/12/2010

Too much Snow[read more...]


Beth
Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY - 12/17/2009

Excellent value and housing costs![read more...]


Amanda
Rochester, NY

Party in the Summer - 11/11/2009

Rochester may get cold and windy in the winter with a lot of snow. It may not see much of the sun much of the year. But once late spring/summer hits, man does the city know how to party. Starting in May and going through September there are constantly free and cheap events going on: Zoo Brew at the Seneca Park Zoo, East End Music Fest, Cornhill Arts Festival, Park Ave Fest, Monroe County Fair, Party in the Park, Jazz Festival, and a variety of other music, art, and town festivals throughout the summer. Kind of makes up for the yucky weather the rest of the year.[read more...]


Laura
Penfield, NY

Good Climate if you like variety! - 10/22/2009

Rochester has very good weather if you like varialbe weather! The summers are very warm, sometimes humid, and the winters can be VERY cold. The winters last too long sometimes. People often go on vacation because it gets so bad in the winter with tons of snow and frigid winds. But, on the other hand, you get all four seasons and usually a white Christmas. Spring and Fall are lovevly and makes the city beautiful, which makes the winter worth-while.[read more...]


Andre
Pittsford, NY

Excellent Quality of Life - 10/14/2009

Rochester NY has an Excellent Quality of Life, particularly in it's southeast suburbs & the southeast part of the city where you'll find outstanding cultural institutions: The Strong National Museum of Play is a Smithsonian affiliate & an outstanding childrens museum with ever-evolving exhibits that greatly appeal to all ages. It also contains The National Toy Hall of Fame. It's one of the most heavily endowed museums thanks to the native Rochesterian benefactress founder, Margaret Woodbury Strong & her family fortune. Rochester has been endowed with many cultural gems bestowed by the fortunes of her wealthiest families: The Eastmans,Gleasons,Strasenburghs,Strongs,Wegmans,Wilmots,Wilsons,Woodburys,Glazers,Natapows,Sands & so many more -who founded Western Union,Eastman Kodak,Xerox,Bausch & Lomb-stillheadquartered here!, Gleasons Inc.,& countless more. Several millionaires & a few billionaires reside here,including one who owns England's most treasured Soccer team. There are more golf course than you can count & great facilities for horseback riding. there's an annual Horse & Buggy competitition that draws people from all over the country. The same can be said for thr annual Jazz Festival & the LPGA & the PGA at Oak Hill Country club when it comes. There are Regattas on our beautiful Genesee River near the University of Rochester, Rowings is popular. River trails are extensive, beautiful & heavily used by walkers,joggers & cyclists. There is even an annual Genesee Valley Hunt in Geneseo led by the Wadsworths. Rochester also,thanks to it's old founding families,has many very well endowed charitable foundations & trusts, with a HUGE half-billion one just coming online in the next two years- that with the benefactor's expressed wishes be used only to benefit the greater good for the Rochester community.The Memorial Art Gallery(mag.rochester.edu)has grown since founded in 1913, with 11,000 quality works of Art in a collection that literally spans centuries. It includes paintings by Monet & Rembrandt,& ancient civilization original pieces. It is one of the few art galleries in the U.S. with the highest certification. The Rochester museum & Science Center has many historical & scientific exhibits & the wonderful Strasenburgh Planetarium. The famned Eastman Music School is expanding & The Eastman Theatre has just undergone a multi-million refurbishment, with outstanding accoustics, new lounges & expanded lobby -all in a spectacularly original 1920's elegant style. The University of Rochester & Rochester Institute of Technology are greatly expanding with new reserch institutes, new collegetowns (U of R will have TWO!) & both have received national recognition for greatly adding economic growth through High Tech new Spin-off businesses & educational/cultural enrichment to the Rochester NY Metro community. Wegamnas -the famed grocer is headquartered here-& their stores are the best here=particularly in affluent Pittsford. The Cheesecake Factory,P.F.Changs,Sephora J.Crew, have opened & now they are building a beautiful LL Bean & Anthropologie. I love this place. the people are friendly & REAL. Nobody asks you what labels you wear or what you pay for things! I've lived in Northern Virginia,Maryland,Charlotte,Short Hills,Miami,Henderson & San Francisco. I never lived anywhere that was as friendly as Rochester. People here don't put on airs. If they have money,it's just a fact, not a point to put others down.The winters can be cold-but I love it because I love winter sports. I hate heat & the dirty-hot air that comes with it. I hate heavy traffic-&there's thankfully little of that! Loads of great independent restaurants & boutiques & many of the best quality-run chains in America! I use to live in Charlotte & Henderson, where all they had was chains & strip plazas. It was depressing as hell! Rochester is a real beautiful Americana place -with four beautiful seasons, & great potential for high tech growth & incredible medical research & that's why I'm so very glad to live here & continue to do so![read more...]


thomas
Pittsford, NY

roc city - 9/23/2009

bad weather[read more...]


Bp
Cincinnati, OH

Great place! - 4/7/2009

Rochester is a great place to settle down. There are plenty of natural resources and no threats of natural disasters. There are enough things to do. This isn't Toronto or NYC, but you can visit those cities quite easily. Rochester has a great infrastructure thanks to George Eastman. We have no rush hour, great classical music, and endless outdoor activities. Sure there can be negatives about anyplace, but Rochester is one of the best places I've lived. Some people think it's gloomy, but it's nothing like I experienced while living in Portland, OR.[read more...]


lisa
Rochester, NY

Time to bounce!!! - 6/10/2008

I have lived in Rochester all my life and I have had enough. My husband and I both work full-time and own our home. I am sick and tired of state mandates for increased welfare & government budgets carried on the backs of the property owner. Wake up NYS, the property owners are leaving!! Where will the $$ come from then, huh?? This place is a haven for welfare-cheats. What's wrong with able-bodied people working? What's wrong with living within your means? I don't mind people getting limited, temporary assistance but it's not a career-choice. The welfare check is not your money, you didn't earn it!! Help the ones who are at least working whether they are low income or not. No. 1 employer is U of R and No.2 is Wegmans and both pay low wages. Cost of living is high here. This city has a lot of slum-lord rentals. You can re-hab or build new housing all you want but NO ONE who works wants to rent or buy a house in a scummy neighborhood. My street was once owner-occupied homes but it was all down hill when the guy rented his house to some drug dealers. Oh and there are fights from the duplex where both tenants have a bunch of kids and don't work at all. But boy, they sure know how to party all night during the work week!! We all call and report activity but no one cares. Let the police do their job please and stop tying their hands. The crime rate is ridiculous! This place is overrun with gangs and crackheads. The city school system is terrible. I moved to the suburbs and my kids went to school there. The any suburban school district is way better than Rochester's. Wasting taxpayers money-Fast Ferry, Rennaisance Square, what's next? Decent home are available but don't appreciate much. The worst is RG&E, they are so expensive and are the only ones in the city to get electric/gas service. Winters are harsh & long (6-7 mos) and snowfall avg more than 100 inches per season. Thanks Gov. Patterson for turning NYS into Sodom and Gomorrah! The camel's back is now broken! When our home is sold, we are outta here... [read more...]


David
Rochester, NY

Big city amenities with a small town cost - 4/2/2008

Rochester is a hidden gem of a city. It takes a few years of living here for it to sink in. It doesn't have the best of anything. However, it has some of the very, very good of just about anything you might want, and the cost for housing is unbelievably low for a city its size. Unlike some other big cities, the costs of many things are lower, but also, it's possible to *drive anywhere in 20 minutes*. If you live in the city, most destinations are a 5- or 10-minute drive away. Incredible stuff. Yeah, incomes are below national average. But the reality is that it's a thriving job market if you're young and have skills. Unlike a lot of the rust belt, Rochester industry has held on - and it isn't really powered by steel mills so much as light, high-tech operations. It's worth considering.[read more...]


Derek
Rochester, NY

A good area with a bad reputation... - 3/10/2008

I have read many of the reviews about the Rochester area and I have noticed an overwhelming misconception that the Rochester area has a bad economy. People who have lived here a long time gauge the entire region by what Kodak and Xerox are doing; Yes, Kodak and Xerox and B&L were mismanaged manufacturers that are in decline. Well, I hate to break it to everyone but lots of those kinds of companies are not doing well all over the country. But they don't represent all the jobs here. I moved here last year after being gone for several years from Jacksonville, Fl and I had no trouble finding a decent job. I make good money (more than I did in Florida where I couldn’t afford a home of my own) and find that the low cost of living makes my dollar stretch. The unemployment rate in the Rochester area as of Feb 2008 is 4.9%, the national average is 5% - how is that a terrible economy? If you are looking to move here, look at the facts about the economy first before people talk you out of it. Now, I know that the area isn't perfect. Obviously, there is a lot of snow - so if you don't like snow this area isn't for you. But lots of thriving large cities have lots of snow like Chicago and Minneapolis. But if you like actual seasons, snow and all, we have those here. Home prices are very good for what you get, even in the more expensive suburbs. Yes, property taxes are high, but the discontent finally has the attention of the government so it's being worked on. There is state income tax: Only 9 states don't have income tax (and one of them is Alaska, so if you have already shunned the area for snow then it's just 8 for you :) ) so many places people live happy lives include state income tax. The traffic is wonderful around here. An extensive expressway system keeps the traffic moving. Only very rarely (maybe once a month) do I sit in stop and go rush-hour traffic on I-490. In conclusion, I hope that people look at all the facts when making judgments about this area. It's a great area overall, not perfect, but what area is? This area is safe from natural disasters (no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or mudslides), droughts and boom-bust cycles that other areas are prone to. Plus it’s close to large cities like Boston and NYC without having to put up with all their pollution and crime. [read more...]


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