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Old 05-02-2020, 01:27 PM
 
Location: California
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Recently, I had the opportunity to extensively travel Western New York (WNY), which was previously untrodden territory for me. Prior to my travel, I had anticipated that I would observe significant rural blight in small towns throughout WNY, similar to what I have observed when traveling through Eastern New York (ENY) over many years. Needless to say, I was shocked when I stumbled upon small towns and agricultural areas in WNY that were rather charming and more reminiscent of Western New England, which is quite unlike the small towns and rural areas that I have visited near Albany, Plattsburgh and Poughkeepsie. In a surprising twist of fate for someone who is quite familiar with ENY, I found most WNY towns to be cleaner and in better repair overall than towns in ENY, which gave me a refreshed perspective on New York State.

Here are my theories that are for up validation or debate:
  • WNY is more recently settled than ENY and, as a result, most buildings, roads, etc. in WNY are newer and in better repair.
  • WNY is a more productive agricultural region and, therefore, has received more farm capital investments.
  • WNY has lower property taxes, which inhibits the renovation and preservation of older homes and public buildings.
  • WNY was largely settled and developed by New England Yankees and, therefore, is more community-oriented and concerned for the greater good.
  • WNY has a higher concentration of German ancestry, and people of German stock usually place strong emphasis on cleanliness and orderliness.
  • Many small towns in WNY are within reasonable commuting distance from Buffalo or Rochester, which means that
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:32 PM
 
3,829 posts, read 2,594,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post
Recently, I had the opportunity to extensively travel Western New York (WNY), which was previously untrodden territory for me. Prior to my travel, I had anticipated that I would observe significant rural blight in small towns throughout WNY, similar to what I have observed when traveling through Eastern New York (ENY) over many years. Needless to say, I was shocked when I stumbled upon small towns and agricultural areas in WNY that were rather charming and more reminiscent of Western New England, which is quite unlike the small towns and rural areas that I have visited near Albany, Plattsburgh and Poughkeepsie. In a surprising twist of fate for someone who is quite familiar with ENY, I found most WNY towns to be cleaner and in better repair overall than towns in ENY, which gave me a refreshed perspective on New York State.

Here are my theories that are for up validation or debate:
  • WNY is more recently settled than ENY and, as a result, most buildings, roads, etc. in WNY are newer and in better repair.
  • WNY is a more productive agricultural region and, therefore, has received more farm capital investments.
  • WNY has lower property taxes, which inhibits the renovation and preservation of older homes and public buildings.
  • WNY was largely settled and developed by New England Yankees and, therefore, is more community-oriented and concerned for the greater good.
  • WNY has a higher concentration of German ancestry, and people of German stock usually place strong emphasis on cleanliness and orderliness.
  • Many small towns in WNY are within reasonable commuting distance from Buffalo or Rochester, which means that

Are there any towns you particularly like? What examples can you give of eastern NY towns you mention?


As far as the western NY, many of the residents work in Monroe or Erie county doing skilled blue collar work in the city, but love living in the country, supporting those small towns. I'm sure many small towns couldn't make it on their own, although some can. For instance, Avon and Geneseo.
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:32 PM
 
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Interesting...I think if you look at say the bigger metros in Upstate NY, the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse(CNY) areas all have quite a few villages that can be pretty quaint or neat, whereas the Albany area doesn’t have as many outside say Scotia, Ballston Spa or maybe a couple of others. There are places in the eastern portion of Upstate like Rhinebeck, Salem, Cambridge, Chatham, Red Hook, New Paltz and Saugerties that have an artsy and/or collegiate vibe to them as well.

Like JW mentioned, some of those small towns have an industry that helps the community’s tax base like Fisher-Price with East Aurora, ITT/Gould Pumps in Seneca Falls, Perry’s Ice Cream in Akron, Hill-Rom in Skaneateles(CNY) or those with a college(or 2) like Brockport, Lewiston, Alfred, Aurora, etc.

I’d also say that ethnic groups like Irish, Italian and Polish are just as or more prevalent than German in WNY.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-02-2020 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:14 PM
 
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I don’t think “recently settled” counts, unless you’re speaking relatively. Towns in WNY were settled 200+ years ago.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:09 AM
 
Location: western NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post
....[*]WNY has a higher concentration of German ancestry, and people of German stock usually place strong emphasis on cleanliness and orderliness.

Very true!!

[*]Many small towns in WNY are within reasonable commuting distance from Buffalo or Rochester, which means that ......

Many of us "western NYers" like the suburbs around Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, so we don't live too far out. We can get some serious snowfall during the winter, and it doesn't take too much to turn a "normal" 20-25 minute commute, into a 2 hour ordeal. So we stay close, to minimize the potential hassles.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I’d also say that ethnic groups like Irish, Italian and Polish are just as or more prevalent than German in WNY.
People of German ancestry make up the at least the plurality in most WNYcounties (and much of CNY, as well), but the region is diverse enough that a plurality can amount to as little as 20-40% of the population.

That said, while not making up a plurality, most of eastern NY outside the immediate metro area people of German ancestry are pretty solidly represented, though the plurality populations there tend to be Irish and Italian, much like how in much of the country, people of English and Scots-Irish (Ulster Scots) ancestry are very broadly represented, but their numbers hover just low enough to not represent a plurality in most counties (or tend to identify as "American" particularly if they are white evangelicals).



Source:http://mapsof.net/uploads/static-map...ounty_(en).png
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
People of German ancestry make up the at least the plurality in most WNYcounties (and much of CNY, as well), but the region is diverse enough that a plurality can amount to as little as 20-40% of the population.

That said, while not making up a plurality, most of eastern NY outside the immediate metro area people of German ancestry are pretty solidly represented, though the plurality populations there tend to be Irish and Italian, much like how in much of the country, people of English and Scots-Irish (Ulster Scots) ancestry are very broadly represented, but their numbers hover just low enough to not represent a plurality in most counties (or tend to identify as "American" particularly if they are white evangelicals).



Source:http://mapsof.net/uploads/static-map...ounty_(en).png
Good points and information. I think with German, it seems to be more “mainstream” compared to the other groups and I believe it is the biggest Euro ethnic group in the country. So, it may be taken for granted, for lack of a better explanation.

There is also the exception in WNY in terms of Chautauqua County having a relatively big Swedish population(I believe around 12-13% of the county’s population). That is by far the county with the highest percentage in the state.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:45 PM
 
Location: California
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Originally Posted by JWRocks View Post
Are there any towns you particularly like? What examples can you give of eastern NY towns you mention?
In Monroe County, I visited the following towns and villages:
  • East Rochester
  • Fairport
  • Honeoye Falls
  • Penfield
  • Pittsford
Let me start off by saying, "Wow!" I was certainly not expecting towns and villages in the Rochester metropolitan area to be so charming and quaint. In my perspective, many of the towns and villages in Monroe County are tidier and in better repair than most towns and villages in the Hudson Valley, despite the cash on hand of wealthy city-slickers. Obviously, the Rochester metropolitan area is less densely populated and has flatter terrain than the Hudson Valley, so of course, Monroe County seems less crowded and more open. From an urban development standpoint, structures in the Rochester suburbs appear to have deeper road frontage than communities in the Hudson Valley, which allows for more tree-lined streets with sidewalks. This style of development is more common in western New England, eastern Long Island and much of Michigan. In areas of New York State that were initially settled and developed by Dutch people, such as the Nyack and Poughkeepsie, for example, commercial buildings and residential homes are closer together, have very little road frontage and, by my accord, are generally shoddier.

Outside of Monroe County, I had the opportunity to visit and explore the following hamlets and villages:
  • Avon
  • Geneseo
  • Canandaigua
  • Victor
In addition to the communities listed above, I drove through Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, but did not stop in either of those hamlets, since they are both small with limited public space.

IMO, all of those towns generally lacked the tiredness that is pervasive in many small towns of Eastern New York, such as Brewster (Putnam County), Champlain (Clinton County), Chester (Orange County), Kingston (Ulster County) or Whitehall (Washington County), for example. This leads me to believe that the Western New York towns were settled and developed during a different era and by a different crowd and have more local wealth and pride.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:54 PM
 
76,347 posts, read 104,191,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post
In Monroe County, I visited the following towns and villages:
  • East Rochester
  • Fairport
  • Honeoye Falls
  • Penfield
  • Pittsford
Let me start off by saying, "Wow!" I was certainly not expecting towns and villages in the Rochester metropolitan area to be so charming and quaint. In my perspective, many of the towns and villages in Monroe County are tidier and in better repair than most towns and villages in the Hudson Valley, despite the cash on hand of wealthy city-slickers. Obviously, the Rochester metropolitan area is less densely populated and has flatter terrain than the Hudson Valley, so of course, Monroe County seems less crowded and more open. From an urban development standpoint, structures in the Rochester suburbs appear to have deeper road frontage than communities in the Hudson Valley, which allows for more tree-lined streets with sidewalks. This style of development is more common in western New England, eastern Long Island and much of Michigan. In areas of New York State that were initially settled and developed by Dutch people, such as the Nyack and Poughkeepsie, for example, commercial buildings and residential homes are closer together, have very little road frontage and, by my accord, are generally shoddier.

Outside of Monroe County, I had the opportunity to visit and explore the following hamlets and villages:
  • Avon
  • Geneseo
  • Canandaigua
  • Victor
In addition to the communities listed above, I drove through Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, but did not stop in either of those hamlets, since they are both small with limited public space.

IMO, all of those towns generally lacked the tiredness that is pervasive in many small towns of Eastern New York, such as Brewster (Putnam County), Champlain (Clinton County), Chester (Orange County), Kingston (Ulster County) or Whitehall (Washington County), for example. This leads me to believe that the Western New York towns were settled and developed during a different era and by a different crowd and have more local wealth and pride.
Ok, this explains a lot. Those first 5 places minus East Rochester(no offense) are some of the most affluent communities in the Rochester area, while those “Eastern” NY places range from a small city to a smaller community in the NYC metro to more isolated small towns of varying sizes. So, I can see how you came to your conclusion. With this said, you'll find variation throughout the state and opinions will vary based upon experiences/what people are use to/relativity.

Even the second list of 4 are either a growing exurb(Victor), a nearby stable city on a Finger Lake(Canandaigua), and a couple of small towns with industry(Avon has a Heinz plant) or a college(Geneseo) that are all still in the Rochester metro.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:54 PM
 
818 posts, read 629,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post
In Monroe County, I visited the following towns and villages:
  • East Rochester
  • Fairport
  • Honeoye Falls
  • Penfield
  • Pittsford
Let me start off by saying, "Wow!" I was certainly not expecting towns and villages in the Rochester metropolitan area to be so charming and quaint. In my perspective, many of the towns and villages in Monroe County are tidier and in better repair than most towns and villages in the Hudson Valley, despite the cash on hand of wealthy city-slickers. Obviously, the Rochester metropolitan area is less densely populated and has flatter terrain than the Hudson Valley, so of course, Monroe County seems less crowded and more open. From an urban development standpoint, structures in the Rochester suburbs appear to have deeper road frontage than communities in the Hudson Valley, which allows for more tree-lined streets with sidewalks. This style of development is more common in western New England, eastern Long Island and much of Michigan. In areas of New York State that were initially settled and developed by Dutch people, such as the Nyack and Poughkeepsie, for example, commercial buildings and residential homes are closer together, have very little road frontage and, by my accord, are generally shoddier.

Outside of Monroe County, I had the opportunity to visit and explore the following hamlets and villages:
  • Avon
  • Geneseo
  • Canandaigua
  • Victor
In addition to the communities listed above, I drove through Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, but did not stop in either of those hamlets, since they are both small with limited public space.

IMO, all of those towns generally lacked the tiredness that is pervasive in many small towns of Eastern New York, such as Brewster (Putnam County), Champlain (Clinton County), Chester (Orange County), Kingston (Ulster County) or Whitehall (Washington County), for example. This leads me to believe that the Western New York towns were settled and developed during a different era and by a different crowd and have more local wealth and pride.
Those are all really nice areas! Most of those villages, particularly in Monroe County, are part of the outer ring suburbs of Rochester. They are one of the most (if not most) affluent areas in the state outside of the NYC metro area. They really do not represent rural WNY at all. Go to Orleans county or Cattaraugus County to see blight and decay. As you hypothesized, the rural villages in the "metropolitan counties" of Erie, Monroe, and Onondaga (and to a lesser extent Niagara and Ontario) have a lot of commuters into the central cities of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse respectively.

As an example, a village like East Aurora or a hamlet like Clarence Center are on the rural fringes of the Buffalo metropolitan area that have a strong commute flow into the city and are VERY affluent. Go another twenty minutes out to a place like Java, NY or Alabama, NY (not to pick on those places in particular, just the first that came to mind), and there is a very noticeable decline in overall prosperity. You just happened to visit literally some of the best-kept villages in all of WNY. Trust me they're not all like that
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