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Old 12-28-2012, 01:53 PM
 
6 posts, read 32,454 times
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I'm in the phone interview stage for a nice job near Schenectady. I've only been there once and it was over 10 years ago and for just a day, so I don't remember much. I did drive past on I-87 a couple of summers ago and I thought upstate NY looked pretty nice. But then I checked this forum and the posts are just unrelentingly negative. They make Schenectady seem much worse than Cleveland or even Detroit. There is little optimism. Isn't the NY state government growing, and doesn't that bring in money and people to the area? Can someone with experience in both Schenectady and other cities in the region, like Buffalo, Rochester, etc. give a little perspective?
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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From my own experience living in Albany (and working in Schenectady), and from many of the posts on this board, the perspectives of how "bad" Albany and Schenectady are, vary based on where you are from and what you like to do. It would be helpful to know where you are moving from; for example, coming from Syracuse you probably would find the weather an improvement.

I spent eight years in Albany and prior to Albany lived in Atlanta (now in Austin). I'd be happy to point out some of the positive aspects of the area (Adirondacks, Thacher Park, ease of going to NYC, etc), but overall, I found the Albany/Schenectady area to be extremely gloomy and depressing. Schenectady is an awful run-down city with bizarrely high taxes for how little you get. The area in general has an attitude that simply does not suit me. As I've noted in other posts, it's hard not to notice that a lot (emphasis on "not everyone") of people are complainers: they complain about the weather, taxes, state workers, politics, their job, their relationships, the Yankees, the Bills (that's understandable), traffic, their boss, living situation, taxes some more.... and even their own friends. Without any desire to change their situation, make new friends, find a new job, "beat the weather" i.e. take up a winter sport.... It was mind-boggling. And if you're not used to the weather, that will be a shock as well. Most of my co-workers at GE that moved to the area from out of state left within a couple of years.

To one of your specific questions, to many, growth in government (if that's true) is the last thing NY and the Albany area needs. How do you pay for that? Only through more taxes, when NY is already the highest-tax state. Private sector jobs are needed.

So is it that bad? It can be. I just read on another forum that according to the US Census 2% of the NY state population left NY for other states in 2011 alone - a absolutely staggering number; people are fleeing faster than almost any other state.

But the bottom line is, if the job prospect is that good, you can certainly take the offer, make the very best of the area, try some new things, get some experience, and move on. That's what I did, and while I'm not a huge fan of the area, I do NOT regret my time there.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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To answer some questions, we are a young family of four who spend our free time doing kid/family stuff like Little League. Certainly no clubbing, although we do like to head out to a nice restaurant once in a while. We would be coming from the Rust Belt, so have plenty of experience with urban blight and cold winters. However, it is a much bigger metro than Albany, so there are several upper-middle suburbs that support upper-middle lifestyle stuff like Apple stores and such.

As far as growth of government, I do not like paying high taxes, but thought govt growth might be a net positive for a state capital.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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There are decent family activities and Little Leagues, soccer leagues, etc. If you're really active, there are plenty of outdoor activities for the kids (when the weather actually allows), but not a ton of overall diversity in activities. On the other hand, watch out for school budget cuts significantly reducing school programs and activities - my sister-in-law teaches in the area and says they are basically on an austerity budget and many extra-cirricular activities have been cut.

The restaurants in the area aren't bad, especially Italian food; but again, less diversity and not much Mexican like here in TX

And while you say you have cold weather experience, be prepared for an awful lot of cloudy and gloomy days....Albany is, without question, one of the cloudiest cities in the country and it gets depressing. Don't take my word for it - go to city-data's Albany page and look at the sunshine chart of Albany compared to national averages. It's brutal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:42 PM
 
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Look into Niskayuna, Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake, Scotia, Colonie and Guilderland. Perhaps Clifton Park/Shenendehowa Schools as well as Rotterdam(Schalmont Schools) too.

This should help as well: 2012 Upstate school district rankings - Buffalo - Business First

2012 Albany Area school district rankings - Buffalo - Business First

Property Search - Capital Region / Schoharie County

Upper Union Street Business Improvement District|Upper Union Street Business Improvement District

GE Realty Plot - Schenectady New York

http://uniontriangle.org/

The Stockade Association

//www.city-data.com/forum/alban...hborhoods.html

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-28-2012 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:27 PM
 
72,088 posts, read 99,584,507 times
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Also, NY has slowly added people the last couple of years: State's population estimates for July 1, 2012 - The Business Journals

Schenectady has private school options, if that is a consideration. There's an Apple Store at Crossgates Mall. Crossgates Mall

Out of the top 100 metros in population, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro is 20th in the percentage of residents with a Bachelors degree or higher: Cities with the Most College-Educated Residents - Graphic - NYTimes.com

Here is some more information: Albany: Official Guide To Albany Hotels, Events, Restaurants, Real Estate, Classifieds & More In Albany NY On Albany.com!

Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Albany, NY area | Kids Out and About.com (Albany Mobile)

Parent Pages Mobile

Family-friendly resources in Schenectady, Albany & Troy | Capital District Fun

Capital District Youth Soccer League

Capital District YMCA

If you to a town you are interested in living, check the town's Parks and Rec department. Here's Niskayuna for an example: Town of Niskayuna, NY - Parks

Town of Niskayuna, NY - Community Programs

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-28-2012 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:20 AM
 
70 posts, read 114,898 times
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The Albany/Schenectady area is very good for families. As long as you stick to the suburbs the schools are excellent and you will find the same family related activities you can find anywhere else.

Schenectady is nowhere near as bad as Detroit or Cleveland as far as crime. When people say Schenectady is horrible, they are just comparing it to the pristine suburbs that surround it.

Yes its cloudy and gloomy during parts of the year, but it can't be that much worse than elsewhere in the Rust Belt. Also be prepared for taxes to be a tad higher than you might be used to in the midwest (but not as bad as Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut etc. etc.) All in all, if its family friendly you are after, and if you have a good job offer, I say take it!

Good luck
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:27 PM
 
6 posts, read 32,454 times
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These posts have been very informative and I appreciate them.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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You have to be born there IMO.

To go there, why would you?

If you are born there, other areas will seem either naive or overly expensive. I have lived in Rochester, which I thought was a cool town but the natives were way too proud of it from what I'm used to, and Westchester which I think is a steaming pile of poo unless you're a millionaire. To me Albany is the perfect balance in that nobody is proud of it but it doesn't completely suck either. If you are born there you are used to the constant negativity.

It reminds me of an early Simpsons episode -- "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" where a girl moves to Springfield and remarks that there's "a smell you are all probably used to... but I'm not."

It's really not an awful area but if you are coming from somewhere else it is IMO.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:13 AM
 
72,088 posts, read 99,584,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juppiter View Post
You have to be born there IMO.

To go there, why would you?

If you are born there, other areas will seem either naive or overly expensive. I have lived in Rochester, which I thought was a cool town but the natives were way too proud of it from what I'm used to, and Westchester which I think is a steaming pile of poo unless you're a millionaire. To me Albany is the perfect balance in that nobody is proud of it but it doesn't completely suck either. If you are born there you are used to the constant negativity.

It reminds me of an early Simpsons episode -- "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" where a girl moves to Springfield and remarks that there's "a smell you are all probably used to... but I'm not."

It's really not an awful area but if you are coming from somewhere else it is IMO.
I think some of what you said sums up Upstate NY areas in general in terms of the attitude of some of the people, but when many metrics, the areas aren't that bad even though there have been better days in some parts of those areas. You have your people that are fine living in those areas as well.

Why do you think it would be bad or awful for people coming from another area?
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