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Old 06-27-2006, 12:16 PM
306 posts, read 1,567,278 times
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A recent posting saying that Geneva was "dying," had crime problems, etc., still worries me a bit. We've seen a lot of great houses there at decent prices, and have heard from just about everybody else on this list and in "real life" that it's a great little city. Can others chime in about its merits and flaws? Wouldn't living there give us good job-options around Rochester and even Syracuse since my wife and I are both teachers, yet a good big-small-town life? Is it really decaying and having a worsening crime problem? Some have said Canandaigua is better--if so, why? We're planning our look-see trip and need to know how much time to budget to each place (can keep our 2 year old in his car seat only so long). Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:07 PM
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I think that would be a pretty good commute, even on the New York State Thruway. Alot of the upstate cities are declining, loss of population and some of the people moving in are less than desirable as neighbors. I would look for a town to live and work in. Maybe Auburn, Ithaca, Geneva, etc.
I think as far as crime goes, these are small time criminals that couldn't cut it in the Bronx or Brooklyn and are moving upstate, but then again a drug dealer is a drug dealer no matter where he is.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:56 PM
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Default Geneva, New York

My first experience with Geneva, NY was when I took the Greyhound bus from New York City to Buffalo, NY, and I passed through Geneva for the first time, I had such a feeling that Geneva is the place where I want to live - just a gut feeling. I stayed in Geneva for the very first time in April, 2006, and LOVED it. What I love about Geneva is that it has just enough whereas New York City has TOO MUCH - I've always had that small town person inside me even though I grew up in the big city. There were people who were friendly and said hello but there were others who were shy. While I stayed in Geneva, I was never bothered, molested, hassled, mistreated. I will return to Geneva for one week in September, 2007, and I hope that when I retire, I will make Geneva, NY my home. There is no place on this planet which is perfect, but I feel for me, at least, that Geneva is as close to perfection as I hope to get. What is hard for me is to go to Geneva, and then, have to leave - I look forward and long for the day when I get to stay.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:27 PM
Location: Auburn, NY
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I live in Auburn (25 miles East), have lived in Canandaigua (17 miles west) and have experience with Rochester and Syracuse. I've been attending community college in Geneva for a year now, and I love that little city. I am looking to relocate, as well. Though the population is more diverse than surrounding small towns, the crime rate is about the same. Home values are declining, but for someone looking for a deal on a nice home, this is the place to be. A lovely family home in a nicer neighborhood can be bought for less than $80,000. Rochester or Syracuse would be a long commute, especially during Upstate winters (they are bad!). This town is much like the other smaller cities in the area, but maintains a degree of its own culture because of its isolation from other cities. I love downtown here; in Auburn, it is mostly empty, and here, it is mostly full. There are many bars, restaurants, and taverns downtown, and every Friday, the city seems to shut down except for these, and everybody goes downtown. Having a major university in the town is part of the reason for racial diversity and having an extensive downtown. This is a middle-class city, and from my own experience here, everybody seems so friendly, helpful, and nice (this is rare in Upstate!), unlike Canandaigua, where there is a huge disparity between the upper and lower class. I did not enjoy that town; the shopping districts and plazas are located on the outskirts of Canandaigua and it is difficult to walk anywhere. Also, there is little diversity, neighborhoods are very segregated between lower and upper class, traffic is heavy, and it seems like the middle class is very small. It lacks the sense of community that Auburn and Geneva, small cities in the area, have established over many years.

My current city, Auburn, is another for you to consider. The city is built around a prison. I am a single woman and I never worry when walking through any part of town before midnight. Downtown is dead, but again, houses are cheap, and many of the schools, especially the high school, are wonderful. As a high schooler in Auburn, I was given the opportunity to pursue sports, music, art, and foreign languages like a student at a big city school, but it is still a safe and fairly clean small-town school. Obviously, middle and high school students at any public city school will be subjected to drugs, sex, fights, pregnancy, etc. because of the sheer number of students, but I would feel very confident sending my little stepson when old enough to any Auburn school excluding West Middle, as well as Geneva and Canandaigua public schools. The Finger Lakes, all around, are a safe place to call home with a low price of living.

Again, if you plan to work in Rochester or Syracuse, look at towns closer to those cities. Auburn to Syracuse is pretty reasonable and Canandaigua to Rochester is horrible but doable (you may need to take up smoking if you do that, because it is absolutely horrible), but commuting to either of these cities from Geneva will be frustrating in the summer and grueling in the winter. We have very harsh winters.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:49 AM
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I don't know Geneva but stopped there a few weeks ago looking for a place to eat. I was surprised to see so little life in the city, there were no open restaurants that I could find (other than a small pizza shop) and very few people other than people hanging out at the mini marts. I'm sure it's completely different in the warmer months. But based on this visit, I would definitely agree that Canandaigua is much nicer.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:15 AM
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Geneva is hardly a city. It's a small college town. Once used to be a bustling place back in the days of the Eire Canal, but now is nothing more than a population center to serve the surrounding farmland and Hobart/William Smith College.

The surrounding area is quite beautiful. The housing stock in the town is very good and the RE prices unbelievably low. Property taxes are very reasonable and the overall cost of living is affordable.

Violent crime is virtually unknown (less than 20 assaults and 10 robberies per year, on average, since the late 1990s), and generally confined to an area of a few blocks where there's a small presence of public housing. As the cops keep an eye on this area, and as any crime elsewhere in town would be compromising to the colleges, the town's biggest employer and taxpayer, this sort of trouble is contained.

How much crime can you have in a small town in upstate New York that's 45 miles from any city of size? There's probably 16,000 people in Geneva when college is in session, and a little over 13,000 when it's not. It's a town of a modest income level, so, there isn't a whole lot to steal.

Yet, there's some theft and burglary, but, these crime numbers have dropped about 30% from the levels of a half dozen years ago. Overall, crime there is more than 30% lower than the national average.

I visit there once a year, and spend time downtown at night. I have never seen any trouble, nor have I ever felt threatened there. I get the feeling that the town is no more dangerous than when I was a college student there over 30 years ago.

The Summers are glorious, the Winters very snowy and fairly cold. Yet, the climate is generally pleasant.

The downtown is quite sleepy. There was more action down there in the 1970s in terms of retail activity, restaurant and bar trade, etc. But, it isn't exactly economically blighted, it just moves at a slower pace.

The presence of the colleges lends a humanizing touch. They sponsor concerts, theater events, art shows, visiting lectures, and people from the town are invited to attend, although they generally don't. There's also small-time college sports (excepting lacrosse, as Hobart plays in Division I in that sport) to watch.

It's sorta like a town that time forgot. Has an almost midwestern feel to it.

What the town could use would be some businesses in high-tech or professional services to hold onto some Hobart and William Smith graduates who like the area. This would improve the downtown amenities, but, then again, could lead to gentrification that could spoil the quaint, homey feel of Geneva.

I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and have lived in Manhattan for 25 years, yet, I'm seriously considering retiring to Geneva in 15 years when my time comes.
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