Review of Utica, New York


An average city which is doing better.
Star Rating - 6/30/2020
Utica has stabilized after a few decades of rather precipitous decline. It reached its peak population of just over 100,000 in 1960 but began a descent in subsequent decades in which it lost nearly half its population. Many neighborhoods ended up with many abandoned houses. Utica was not unique among communities in Upstate New York in this decline but was effected more then most as much of its industrial base was shattered by recession and movement of manufacturing first to the South and then overseas.
However there has been modest improvement in recent years. A large hospital complex is under construction downtown. In the last decade or two new housing is going up in vacant lots in previously decimated neighborhoods Munson Williams Proctor Institute is an art museum with a small attached art college in the city center with a summer festival which incudes a sidewalk art display.

There has been a large influx of immigrants from Bosnia, Burma, Nepal and eastern Africa, many of them refugees from wars. Population has recently increased slightly.

Some of the suburbs outside of town are more prosperous. There are several colleges in the immediate area. Hamilton College is several miles outside of Utica is fairly prestigious. It is located in the village of Clinton which has a definite college town atmosphere and is attractive architecturally.

The surrounding countryside is fairly hilly, green and forested with some small family owned farms. The small towns nearby are rather quaint. The Adirondack Mountains start about 25 miles away with many lakes, hiking trails, ski resorts, amusement parks and tourist oriented villages with souviner shops and restaurants

Winter weather comprises January, February most of December and part of March. High temperatures average in the lower 30's to middle 30's with lows in the teens. A warm winter day can reach in the 50's and sub zero temperatures occur about 7 times during an average winter. Snow cover extends through most of the winter although there are periodic thaws when all of the snow cover can melt. Summer weather extends from June through early September. July is the warmest month with highs typically in the lower 80's with a low about 60. There are occasional humid periods when it can be quite uncomfortable and rarely will temperatures reach the upper 90's in the summer.

Housing is not expensive and the area does afford some amenities, including a zoo and extensive parks within the city limits with skiing, hiking trails, and picnicking

Utica is in many respects an average small city which has seen some hard times but is doing better. There is some crime, including gang and drug activity. The city tends to be Democratic but the county is Republican. There are some who have moved here, especially from New York City, who feel it is a lot safer and like it and others who have moved here who are disappointed. People's opinions vary.

Bill | Utica, NY
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