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Old 03-02-2010, 07:10 AM
 
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I am considering a move to Rochester from New York City and was hoping to get your insights. There are a bunch of threads (some of which I’ve read) about people moving from NYC to Rochester but I felt a new thread was needed because all people seem to center around is which area is ‘safe’, and not what each area has to offer in terms of amenities, architecture, diversity and lifestyle!

I’ve lived in the Rochester area before having gone to a nearby university, and think the city/surrounding area is beautiful, full of nice/non materialistic people (unlike NYC and tri state area), and most importantly it is affordable. It’s obviously a great place to raise well rounded, educated children; I know this because I went to university and remain friends with them. As for safety, every city has its bad areas and good areas. I’m certainly not going to base my living situation entirely on this factor though!

So here’s a little summary about my situation/what I’m looking for when/if I move to Rochester. I hope this gives some background. I’m newly married, and we’re in our mid/late 20s. Based on living in great areas of NYC, I’ve listed below things I’d like the area we choose to offer (doesn’t have to include everything!). Any suggestions of areas that fit this description would be greatly appreciated. I’ve had friends who lived on Park Ave and Monroe Ave and I love the area, but the schools aren’t good which means I’m looking for neighborhoods that border these areas (easy access, within 20 minute drive or less).

Desired neighborhood/area characteristics:
- Has a main street that is walkable (has a sidewalk). Also has path/route to housing so you can easily walk/cycle from home.
- Has a nice range of ‘mom and pop’ shops, such as an independent coffee shop(s), general store, pizza place and deli.
- Nearby park/trail, good for running/cycling
- Food shopping (Wegmans, farmers markets?, local stores like a butcher etc)
- Nice, old houses (Colonial or Tudor preferably). I prefer old over new construction. A neighborhood with a mix of both isn’t a problem.
- Good schools (but not number 1 priority). Standard of living (see above) is as important.

Ideally nearby (within walking distant or realistically as this is America!, a short drive):
- Recreation facilities (Gym, health club, YMCA type facility)
- Restaurants, diner, local pub
Easy access to areas of culture/nightlife (20 minutes or less drive / (how much will cab fare be?)):
- East End nightlife (access to the Little Theatre, Eastman Theatre and bars/restaurants)
- Park Ave / Monroe Ave - bars/restaurants and coffee shops

Based on feedback from friends (and this forum), I have been told the below areas have good schools. So now all I need rating is the following. Which do you think best embodies the above characteristics?
Eastside:
Brighton
Pittsford
Fairport
Penfield
Westside:
Gates
Greece

Are there any areas that are on the border of East End, Park Ave etc that allow city living but are within a good school district? I love city life, but realize that this might be a sacrifice I have to make for schools, main street life etc.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:38 AM
 
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No doubt; the area that would best fit your criteria would be Brighton. It adjoins the city on its southeast border; very close to Park/Monroe avenues; has the older tudor housing with sidewalks you are looking for, very family oriented with amazing schools. With the exception of good schools; which is what you said was one of the least of your worries; I would suggest the Park Avenue or Browncroft neighborhoods in the City; but as you've said yourself the schools in the city aren't very good (unless you would consider private/catholic schools when you do have kids). But Brighton and its 12 corners area would definitely be the place you'd like best in the suburbs.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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Thanks for the feedback! I actually have realized that in another thread 'Moving to Rochester, NY from out of state ' there is a lot of helpful information. I see, although more expensive, Pittsford has the quaint main street but is further away from East Ave area. Does Brighton have a nice main st with independent stores? How much are cabs from there to East Ave?
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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I'd say Brighton or Pittsford.... The problem with Brighton though is that there aren't really bike lanes, but you can still get around. Pittsford IMO has the nicer Main street with more independent stores but is farther out. Brighton has a main drag, Monroe Ave, but its really busy and does not have a "main street" type vibe. There are some great jewish delis and other businesses on Monroe though. Depending on where you are in Brighton, a cab from East ave would be 10-20 dollars
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
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You just described Park Avenue.

Characteristics:
-It is its own village within the city.
-It is walkable.
-Has many shops and restaurants, most are mom/pop. Multiple coffee shops, diners, eateries, candy shops, clothing, etc. There is a new Wegmans being constructed to replace the old one on East Ave, one street over.
-There is a gym on East Ave, one on Culver that isn't too far either.
-Toward downtown, Park/Alexander/East have a good cluster of night clubs and bars. You could walk it, a cab would only be a few bucks, it is a short distance.
-The houses are mostly older and more expensive. But you can find tudor style, colonial etc. There are many large mansions in that part of the city.
-There are a couple museums on East ave, one street over (George Eastman house, Rochester museum & science center). The museums and the theaters downtown are within 5-10 minutes no matter what direction you take.

The city parks are a little further, Ellison is close to Browncroft, Highland Park is a little south of the 490 it borders Brighton and the city. The sidewalks around Park are always plowed, so you can do jogging or walking around that area.

I would agree with everyone else too, for a suburb, Brighton would also be your best best. I am just not sure on walkability. There have been multiple suggestions that Brighton has the better public schools in the area. Brighton can be expensive, that may be the only downside.

Congrats on the marriage!
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:35 AM
 
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Great feedback everyone. I think I’ll focus on Brighton and Pittsford as suburban options, and then look into options around Park Ave for city living. Any other nice areas of the city that has nice historic homes, and close to coffee shops etc? I don't know the city neighbourhoods outside of Park Ave and East End. Thanks again!
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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I'd add Spencerport to your list if you really are interested in the westside. It meets all of your criteria, at least when Tops opens soon. It has great schools and the quality and range of local restaurants all within walking distance is outstanding for a suburban village (Chilangos for Mexican, Taste of Texas BBQ, and Grandpa Sam's Italian). Being on the canal and walking distance from Pineway Ponds park, you have a lot of trails. The only downside is that East End is definitely 20 minutes away, though Spencerport has bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in the village.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Browncroft is a city neighborhood chock full of beautiful old tudor houses; and sidewalks. Though despite being within the city limits; it is much more suburban in character and doesn't have many mom and pop shops/restaurants within walking distance; at least not compared to the Park avenue area. Most houses in the Browncroft neighborhood will run you about $300k; about the same as a house in Park Avenue would; but with more square footage and probably updated better.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
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I used to live in Browncroft. It is an excellent place to live, with good homes. But is a bit further from the attractions though.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rochacha View Post
I'd add Spencerport to your list if you really are interested in the westside. It meets all of your criteria, at least when Tops opens soon. It has great schools and the quality and range of local restaurants all within walking distance is outstanding for a suburban village (Chilangos for Mexican, Taste of Texas BBQ, and Grandpa Sam's Italian). Being on the canal and walking distance from Pineway Ponds park, you have a lot of trails. The only downside is that East End is definitely 20 minutes away, though Spencerport has bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in the village.
Would Brockport be another community to consider? I say that because SUNY-Brockport is there and it is a community that has some independant stores on it's main street.
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