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Old 02-12-2012, 04:51 PM
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,136 posts, read 3,900,563 times
Reputation: 3328


I find it interesting that this thread has gone on for 18 pages. Basically it shows that there is no clear definition of upstate vs downstate, it really is only a matter of opinion. No one is right and no one is wrong. No need for some people to get so hostile towards each other saying their opinion is fact
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:01 PM
Location: Queens, NY
199 posts, read 304,271 times
Reputation: 392
There is no absolute demarcation, it's relative and has adjusted with time. For some 'Upstate' is anything north of the city. In the 1800s the Bronx was 'Upstate', as it wasn't incorporated into Manhattan, and the state was historically split between the City and Upstate. I don't consider the lower Hudson Valley to be 'Upstate' but instead Downstate, but again then I denote the North Country, Central NY, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, and the Catskills often but sometimes reference all of NYS north of the city and immediate Westchester suburbs as 'Upstate'. So Upstate could (and does) incorporate all of these. You're really harkening to something that is somewhat cultural if not entirely geographic with terms like Upstate/Downstate, and if the influence of NYC is the determining factor, how do you draw the line? Everyone can draw it, and you'll have 19 million different lines (and 19 pages of this thread). Upstate, Downstate, it's all New York to me.

Couldn't agree more with a previous poster from the Bronx/Rockland that everyone should see the whole state. The most provincial simple-minded people never leave home and bicker the most about the opposite side of the state, many having never lived or worked elsewhere or visited beyond a fleeting time or two.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:38 AM
120 posts, read 246,378 times
Reputation: 263
I haven't read through all the posts but will give my 2 cents.

I live in Rochester. I always figured upstate depends on where you live. If you live in NYC or LI everything is upstate. I used to think of it as west and north of Albany.

I've heard it described as everyting North of the 42nd parellel. It obviously means different things to different people. I used to love "Law and Order" but was alway amused when they used the term, "oh yeah they found the fugitive on a farm "upstate"". Well that narrows it down.

Our state is so diverse geographically, politically, economically etc. Every region WNY, CNY, NNY, Southern Tier, etc has areas within the Region. While Watertown and Saranac Lake may both be in NNY both are very different.

Each area has something unique about it and each has its own treasures and its own problems.

So I guess upstate means whatever the person talking about it thinks it means.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:58 AM
Location: Western Massachusetts
43,380 posts, read 32,950,053 times
Reputation: 13861
Growing up in Long Island my image of upstate was a land of hills and snowy winters. Bear Mountain marks the start of taller hills and past there snowfall is almost double Long Island.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:30 AM
Location: New York
282 posts, read 331,168 times
Reputation: 307
[quote=NYisontop;22967676]Upstate, Downstate, it's all New York to me.quote]


Last edited by montydean; 02-15-2012 at 08:30 AM.. Reason: grammer
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:11 PM
50 posts, read 69,916 times
Reputation: 44
Thanks for informing us about what you don't think others know about - but that you do know about.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:05 PM
8 posts, read 15,217 times
Reputation: 31
So I guess upstate means whatever the person talking about it thinks it means.
And that's basically what being a New Yorker, not from NYC, is all about! I'm amazed that this argument/debate remains ongoing over the years. Haven't lived in NYS (Mid-Hudson) for quite a few years but still consider NY to be "home" and IMO the most beautiful state in the country. I love the diversity: beaches, mountains, beautiful rivers, lakes, and creeks, gorgeous rock formations and waterfalls and caverns. As a few others have noted, it's sad when folks who have never visited outside Manhattan hear you're from NY and all they think about is concrete...they can't believe NYS has dairy farms, apple orchards, vineyards, forests. I think it's fun to hear about the different terms we New Yorkers use for things based on where in NYS we grew up (e.g., pop vs soda).
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:12 AM
70 posts, read 113,937 times
Reputation: 186
Upstate is too broad, I usually only go by region such as Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Western New York etc.

Which, a lot of those are really hard to define, too.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:22 PM
270 posts, read 336,425 times
Reputation: 133
Upstate NY is usually consider to be economically depressed with hash winters!
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:25 PM
271 posts, read 271,868 times
Reputation: 473
Originally Posted by superleggera View Post
Upstate NY is usually consider to be economically depressed with hash winters!
Is there any value in this comment whatsoever besides the intent to stir it up and be a troll?

The thread is over 7 years old. Depending on where you are, upstate takes on different meanings as noted by many on this forum. Upstate to me has always been anything north of the NYC area which then can be further broken down.

Having moved back to the Rochester area after being in California for 20 years, I have new appreciation for the state overall and the Northeast in general. I think it's great to be able to enjoy what the upstate region offers (ease of getting around, no real traffic, scenic beauty, lakes, fall, relatively mild summers) and yet its only a 45 minute flight to NY when I want to get down there. Perfect for me.
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