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Old 10-23-2015, 12:39 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 418,309 times
Reputation: 1389


Hello City-Data,

I wanted to ask honest opinions from residents or people who know a lot about Rochester to chime in whether or not my wife and I would like/fit in this city. We are in Long Beach, CA right now, but we don't like anything about it.

I would describe our personality as a mix of green, tree loving, authentic people with a laid back attitude, but with a Christian twist. We take our faith very seriously. We are positive people who love people and want to serve our community.

I am a mechanical engineer with ~2-3 year of experience and a MS in Mechanical Engineering. I work in the piping engineering field for refinery projects (yes, I know that isn't that "green"), but I have past experience with fuel cell research and field engineering. I would describe my resume as "eclectic". I am open minded with work, but R&D is my edge.

My wife will finish her Masters of Social Work in May 2016 from USC and wants to work in non-profit enterprise and potentially help the homeless. She is very driven and many compliment her honesty and integrity.

We like rain and snow. I went to college in Colorado and worked in North Dakota, so I know what true cold is. We like a lush terrain with proximity to mountains (Adirondacks seem nice).

In terms of community, we need a good church (of any major denomination) and would like a happening downtown with music and coffee. We don't care about the bar scene.

Our biggest goal with our move is paying off student loans and potentially starting a family afterwards. This makes home affordability a major major priority (which I know Rochester excels at).

If you think we would fit in, please comment.

Thank you!
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:10 PM
970 posts, read 1,631,926 times
Reputation: 1539
I don't live in Roch but grew up there as a kid and still visit family there occasionally. I'd say it's a pretty good choice for you.

It certainly meets the rain/snow & lush requirement, although it's true as well for nearly anywhere in upstate NY. Generally though I think it's best in the great lakes/finger lakes regions. Rochester in particular contains a lot of parks & mature trees within the city limits. Another natural feature in that area worth noting is the abundance of top notch gorges/canyons, mainly in the southern ends of the finger lakes and then towards Lake Erie and of course Niagara (look up Letchworth, Watkins Glen, and "Ithaca is Gorges"). The Adirondacks are a few hours away, but closer you have some beautiful wooded hills south of Rochester extending to the Appalachians in PA. The Catskills are not too far either.

Rochester is probably the best or one of the best cities upstate for the engineering field... many think negatively b/c the big guys with roots here (IBM, Kodak, Xerox) have downsized or moved out. But there is a lot of engineering talent in Rochester and in place of a few huge employers, there's a lot of small ones, which may be more appealing. GM had a fuel cell facility south of Rochester just a few years ago and I believe it's been shut down... but it may have led to some offshoots.

As to the religious aspects, I really don't know, will let others comment.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:42 PM
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There still is fuel cell research at Delphi and I believe RIT also. Batteries and energy storage also have a large presence and growing.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:47 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 418,309 times
Reputation: 1389
Thank you for your replies. I welcome all useful replies.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:02 PM
1,204 posts, read 903,369 times
Reputation: 2041
Based on your criteria, I think the Rochester area fits very well. You enjoy 4 seasons and you enjoy snow. Rochester has 4 very distinct seasons. And the summers here are incredible. Not too hot at all but definitely warm enough for water activities.

Rochester has a burgeoning alternative energy and re-usability industry starting to ramp up. And the city has made these industries a priority.

This is "BEST" at the Eastman Business Park:
Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Test and Commercialization Center | NY-BEST

Eastman Business Park and Energy Storage:
Innovation Lives Here. | Eastman Business Park: @FollowEBP

RIT has a major focus on Sustainability:
Golisano Institute of Sustainability

Here's a company in Rochester focused on Biofuels:
Sweetwater Energy | Better Sugars. Better Results.

RIT is also doing major research on Fuel Cells:

Rochester as a whole is full of large, mature beautiful trees and in terms of the surrounding area, Canandaigua, Canandaigua Lake and the Bristol Hills are right near Rochester. Many suburbs of Rochester are canal towns and are very unique and cozy villages.

Village of Fairport, NY - Home

Village of Pittsford: Home Page

Home - Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce, NY

Bristol Mountain Resort:

For Coffee, Rochester has incredible coffee shops in the East End and Neighborhood of the Arts:
Fuego Cofee:
Fuego Coffee Roasters

Joe Bean:
Joe Bean Coffee

Pour Coffee:
Pour Coffee Parlor - Rochester NY

5 best coffee shops in Rochester | NewYorkUpstate.com

Rochester has an amazing arts scene too. We have really good museums and theatres:
Geva Theatre:
Geva Theatre Center | Rochester, New York's Premier Professional Theatre

Memorial Art Gallery:
Memorial Art Gallery

For music Rochester has one of the largest Jazz Fests in all of North America which attracts over 300,000 each year:
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival | JUNE 24 - JULY 2, 2016

Also since community involvement is important to you and your wife, you would fit right in Rochester in that aspect too. Of the top 51 metros in the country, Rochester ranks 3rd in terms of volunteerism:
Rochester Profile - Volunteering and Civic Life in America

And for churches, you will have no problems finding a church. There are many, many churches of every denomination. Rochester has a huge Italian population, so there is a very large Catholic population. But there is also a large Christian population as well.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:28 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 418,309 times
Reputation: 1389
Wow! Thank for taking the time to compile all of those links and give your input. It means a lot. I will look at them all and get some more information.
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:19 PM
Location: Rochester, New York
83 posts, read 64,336 times
Reputation: 142
I think you'd fit well professionally and be okay with the climate. Your community interests will be met here; there are a lot of community efforts (many underpublicized) that are authentic and very service-oriented. It's likely you'll find a faith community that suits you; there is a good amount of diversity of both religious (Christian and otherwise) and nonreligious people here.

Best of luck with your journey to find your new home city, be it Rochester or elsewhere!
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:06 AM
1,240 posts, read 2,973,298 times
Reputation: 1793
Here's something I really like about upstate NY - and this includes Rochester, of course: whether you are Christian, secular, conservative or liberal... there is a place for you here. There's no terrible ideological political fighting between factions going on. You will find plenty of like-minded people AND, you won't spend all your time fighting exhausting pitched ideological battles with "the other side." You're pretty much free to do what you want here and the attitude is pretty much "live and let live."

A lot of this has to do with the fact that upstate NY is completely ignored during presidential elections. Despite being demographically like a lot of the battleground states, politicians ignore it because New York is thought to be a "sure Democratic state" in presidential elections. So, meddlesome national politicians stay away, and people can live their lives in peace!
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:14 AM
351 posts, read 237,973 times
Reputation: 697
I don't see any reason why you wouldn't like it here. We get plenty of rain/snow here but also have very nice days too over the summer. I can identify with your comment about "true cold" as well, born and still live in Rochester but went to college up in the north part of NY and while we didn't as much snow up there, the bitter cold was totally unlike anything down here in Rochester. Talking -40 wind chills where it's generally unsafe to be outside for more than a couple minutes. Not sure about jobs in your particular field but there are definitely engineering companies around, and like others have pointed out you shouldn't have any issues searching out a church if that's your thing. Rochester is what you make of it and you can find most anything you need if you want to look for it, which it sounds like you guys are pretty open to.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:57 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 418,309 times
Reputation: 1389

Thank you for your input. I am hearing about the city as I imagined it to be. I have no doubt that the city would be a great place for us. The people sound very friendly and helpful. My wife will need some convincing for sure (she is more set on Oregon and Colorado). I keep showing her great pictures of the Adirondacks, the lakes, forests, rivers to little avail. Of course, the low housing costs makes Oregon and Colorado look like California!

I do have some lingering questions. I have asked in another thread, but wasn't satisfied by the answers. Taxes are obviously higher in NY than almost any other state. Do people generally "get back" what they pay? Are the roads, public services, libraries, etc. at the quality that would suggest that an ample stream of tax dollars are entering the city's coffers and used effectively? I am not really anti-tax. I am anti-taxed-for-the-sake-of-taxation. Any input?

Thank you all!
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