AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: How do you define Upstate NY?  (Read 26977 times)

jwolfer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2037
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Last Login: June 04, 2019, 01:41:20 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2016, 11:09:00 PM »

To me it's the accent of the natives.  Any place near the City has the "New York accent" . Upstate the sound like the upper Midwest more so. I have met people from Ithaca, Buffalo and Rochester and it sounded similar to Michigan.  So linguistic border.

Sort of like the North/South(Central) Jersey debate. It's variable depending on who you ask
Logged

Duke87

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5200
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Queens, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 12:07:33 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2016, 12:19:54 AM »

Culturally, I'm thinking Regions 8, 10, and 11 plus Sullivan County and minus Columbia County as being downstate.  That's the area that's largely people commuting to the city or fueled by people from the city heading north for a weekend.

Additionally, this definition is exactly coterminous with the areas in NY that Hagstrom made street atlases of. That definitely has some weight in my mind.

It's also georgaphically "neat" because if you were to extend the line that marks most of the PA/NY border eastward, the norther borders of Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess counties are the set of county lines that most closely follow this imaginary line. Furthermore, the northeastern corner of Dutchess county precisely lines up with the CT/MA line. It just looks right on a map for there to be some significance to this.

On the other hand, culturally, things don't really neatly follow county lines. If I drive up NY 17, I definitively feel I have left any semblance of the NYC metro area behind once I pass Liberty, which is still 15 or so miles before the Sullivan/Delaware line. Said line, when driving NY 17, feels like it is in a completely arbitrary place and isn't an obvious border of any sort.

And even then, one could argue for a tighter definition. People even in Orange County are generally nicer and more open and honest than one would typically expect of downstate folk, so it's definitely got some level of upstateness to it. Orange County also has Stewart's, a place one usually thinks of as an upstate institution.


Ultimately though, I would argue that "upstate" and "downstate" are directions, not places - and the reason why seemingly no one can agree on what fits the definition of each is simply because it depends on the speaker's frame of reference. If you think about it, this correlates well with common usage - as you head north, people's definition of downstate expands and people's definition of upstate shrinks. Because people are using these terms to describe things relative to their location, not relative to a consistent datum.

 
Logged
If you always take the same road, you will never see anything new.

8.Lug

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 89
  • Keep left except to pass

  • Age: 40
  • Location: Somewhere on I90
  • Last Login: September 11, 2016, 05:07:13 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2016, 02:24:18 AM »

The question I'm interested in is not just where you draw the boundary, but WHY you draw it there. What do you see differently about the socio-cultural aspects of the area to one side of the line as opposed to the other? What makes one side of the line seem like it's more closely connected to NYC (assuming that's a core aspect of what defines Downstate vs. Upstate) than the other?

That's not really what Upstate is though - because where Upstate starts and the immediate surrounding area - it's still a part of NYC's economy as well its society seeing as most of the people that live there are still directly connected to NYC. It's called Upstate because you're basically in the suburbs of NYC, not in the city proper. And there's no real definitive "border" as to where Upstate starts anyways - it's like asking where the Pacific Ocean ends and where does the Southern Ocean start - if the fish could talk, they couldn't tell you either - and if they could, they'd surely disagree on it just like the people who live in the grey area of what's the Upstate/NYC border.
Logged
Contrary to popular belief, things are exactly as they seem.

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13185
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 57
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 12:27:54 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2016, 03:49:11 AM »

I'd think roughly the E-W border with Pennsylvania. Albany's definitely "upstate" but I think Poughkeepsie is questionable, and I don't consider Middletown or Port Jervis to be "upstate."
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2771
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 08:44:40 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2016, 07:22:15 AM »

Just my personal opinion - we're talking degree of urbanity. NYC is as urban as it gets; Adirondacks - which is "true upstate" for me - are quite rural. Albany-Kingston- Poughkeepsie are somewhere in between both geographically and culturally. I would say that spirit of extreme urbanity propagates from NYC, mostly along Thruway, and vanishes somewhere past Albany...
Okay, so you would exclude Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester et al. from the "Upstate" category…what about places like Ithaca, a small city but ultimately a rural outpost? Or the undeveloped areas between western cities, like Orleans or Wyoming counties?

To me it's the accent of the natives.  Any place near the City has the "New York accent" . Upstate the sound like the upper Midwest more so. I have met people from Ithaca, Buffalo and Rochester and it sounded similar to Michigan.  So linguistic border.
Sort of like the North/South(Central) Jersey debate. It's variable depending on who you ask

Buffalo, and maybe Rochester, are on the other side of pop/soda line:  http://popvssoda.com/  While somewhat anecdotal, that is likely a sign of being more midwest-ish.
 Ithaca is more in a class of its own due to Cornell.

And a better question may be if Binghampton is upstate (for me it is in the same league as Albany - maybe upstate, but not true upstate)
Logged

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4117
  • Last Login: June 13, 2019, 09:41:23 AM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2016, 10:22:24 AM »

I call everthing west of Utica and Binghamton "Western New York"

And is that a subset of Upstate NY, or a separate region? Where does the dividing line extend north of Utica; is Watertown in Western NY?

Culturally, I'm thinking Regions 8, 10, and 11 plus Sullivan County and minus Columbia County as being downstate.  That's the area that's largely people commuting to the city or fueled by people from the city heading north for a weekend.  Originally I included Columbia County, but it seems to me that places like Kinderhook and Valatie are probably more commuter towns of the Capital District.

And am I mistaken, or was Columbia county once part of Region 1 anyway?

I definitely see how Sullivan and Ulster could be considered Downstate, with the Catskill region being a nearby recreational destination for NYC, and therefore heavily influenced by it. Columbia County, on the other hand, I'd associate more with western Massachusetts, basically an extension of the Berkshires. Then again, the Berkshires are at least as much a getaway for NYC as they are for Boston, so…?

To me it's the accent of the natives.  Any place near the City has the "New York accent" . Upstate the sound like the upper Midwest more so. I have met people from Ithaca, Buffalo and Rochester and it sounded similar to Michigan.  So linguistic border.

Where have you observed the border to be? And what do you consider a "native"—certainly, many people in the suburbs of NYC are recent transplants from the city itself and will have brought the accent with them. Those born and bred in Orange County, however, may not have the same native accent as those who moved there from farther south.

On the other hand, culturally, things don't really neatly follow county lines. If I drive up NY 17, I definitively feel I have left any semblance of the NYC metro area behind once I pass Liberty, which is still 15 or so miles before the Sullivan/Delaware line.

I agree, generally, although there are spots in Delaware County that still give me hints of the downstate atmosphere. Really, it's when you start to see that certain type of pizza/deli/convenience store that isn't common Upstate—and I think those can be found even as far north as Binghamton.

Quote
And even then, one could argue for a tighter definition. People even in Orange County are generally nicer and more open and honest than one would typically expect of downstate folk, so it's definitely got some level of upstateness to it.

Yes, although they also have their fair share of d***heads, particularly in the congested area around Woodbury that feels more like suburban NYC than it does Upstate NY.

That's not really what Upstate is though - because where Upstate starts and the immediate surrounding area - it's still a part of NYC's economy as well its society seeing as most of the people that live there are still directly connected to NYC. It's called Upstate because you're basically in the suburbs of NYC, not in the city proper.

Interesting; I think you're the first person I've heard say the Upstate, by definition, does connote a similarity with NYC; almost universally, it's thought of as something as opposed to NYC—there's the city, and then there's Upstate.

So that means you'd probably consider that Upstate stops at around the point where most of us consider it starts; about where are you thinking?

Quote
And there's no real definitive "border" as to where Upstate starts anyways - it's like asking where the Pacific Ocean ends and where does the Southern Ocean start - if the fish could talk, they couldn't tell you either - and if they could, they'd surely disagree on it just like the people who live in the grey area of what's the Upstate/NYC border.

There's definitely no agreed upon border, you're right. That's actually pretty much why I brought it up; basically, I often find myself saying that I'm from "Upstate NY", even though I currently live where most people would consider to be Upstate but I don't. And I've found that I justify my assertion using certain specific criteria, such as I've mentioned before—in other words, I say that this area is not "Upstate NY', and here's why.

So my question in this thread is the same: in your view, tell us which areas are and are not "Upstate NY", and here's why.

You're also right that "upstate" is often a relative term, basically meaning north with respect to NYC, and I've already acknowledged that usage as uncontested (I don't think anyone considers Long Island to be Upstate—though maybe you do, given its great influence from NYC). But there's no doubt that you also hear it referred to as a specific region; as I illustrated above, people often say that they live or are going to "Upstate NY", in the same way they might say they're going to the Midwest, or to the coast. And if the person saying this is standing in Westchester County when he does, that would suggest that he doesn't consider Westchester to be part of "Upstate NY", or else he'd have said something different.

I'd think roughly the E-W border with Pennsylvania. Albany's definitely "upstate" but I think Poughkeepsie is questionable, and I don't consider Middletown or Port Jervis to be "upstate."

I definitely don't consider any of the last three to be Upstate, because they're on commuter rail to NYC. In fact, I'd consider Poughkeepsie less questionable than the other two: it's more metropolitan in its feel—certainly more urban/suburban than my home of Putnam County—and is on the frequently-served Hudson Line rather than the much more provincial west-of-Hudson service that runs to Middletown and Port Jervis. Is it just its northern latitude that makes you unsure about Poughkeepsie?

Buffalo, and maybe Rochester, are on the other side of pop/soda line:  http://popvssoda.com/  While somewhat anecdotal, that is likely a sign of being more midwest-ish.

Rochester is squarely on the "pop" side of the line; remember that the local supermarket chain calls its soft drinks WPop, not WSoda. ;-)

But both Rochester and Buffalo are about as urban as you'll find without being close to NYC; doesn't that mean they're not Upstate? They're certainly bigger towns than Albany, so if Albany's too urban to be Upstate, then Buffalo and Rochester certainly are.

Quote
Ithaca is more in a class of its own due to Cornell.

It certainly is, but is it Upstate? Or does the university make it too urban to be considered such? Is it a region of its own?
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2771
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 08:44:40 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2016, 11:49:37 AM »

Buffalo, and maybe Rochester, are on the other side of pop/soda line:  http://popvssoda.com/  While somewhat anecdotal, that is likely a sign of being more midwest-ish.

Rochester is squarely on the "pop" side of the line; remember that the local supermarket chain calls its soft drinks WPop, not WSoda. ;-)

But both Rochester and Buffalo are about as urban as you'll find without being close to NYC; doesn't that mean they're not Upstate? They're certainly bigger towns than Albany, so if Albany's too urban to be Upstate, then Buffalo and Rochester certainly are.

Quote
Ithaca is more in a class of its own due to Cornell.

It certainly is, but is it Upstate? Or does the university make it too urban to be considered such? Is it a region of its own?

Well.. Speaking for myself and trying to be as systematic as possible
Buffalo and Rochester - likely not upstate; more like western NY (which is somewhat separate)
Syracuse - less reluctantly than Albany, but probably in the same ballpark of "upstate, but not true upstate"
Utica-Rome - Upstate.
Adirondacks and around - True Upstate
Binghamton, Cortland and Elmira (just not to mess with Ithaca) - very reluctantly; upstate is really north of I-90 (which excludes anything west of Syracuse). But since those are far away from NYC, they have to qualify... somewhat...  Same probably goes for places around I-88 and between 88 and 90;

Which leaves Catskills as being more downstate than upstate for me


Looks like I ended up with a greyscale map instead of black and white definition...

Logged

8.Lug

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 89
  • Keep left except to pass

  • Age: 40
  • Location: Somewhere on I90
  • Last Login: September 11, 2016, 05:07:13 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2016, 04:40:06 PM »

That's not really what Upstate is though - because where Upstate starts and the immediate surrounding area - it's still a part of NYC's economy as well its society seeing as most of the people that live there are still directly connected to NYC. It's called Upstate because you're basically in the suburbs of NYC, not in the city proper.

Interesting; I think you're the first person I've heard say the Upstate, by definition, does connote a similarity with NYC; almost universally, it's thought of as something as opposed to NYC—there's the city, and then there's Upstate.

So that means you'd probably consider that Upstate stops at around the point where most of us consider it starts; about where are you thinking?
I was referring to your point of where the societal border is - kind of like how Gary, Indiana is much more a suburb of Chicago than it is a city in Indiana - but it doesn't change the fact that Gary is still a city in Indiana.

But I also think I may have confused the situation a bit because I tend to forget that Yonkers and Westchester in general isn't technically NYC, even though it basically is, and I was treating it as such.
Logged
Contrary to popular belief, things are exactly as they seem.

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10012
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 09:01:30 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2016, 05:30:34 PM »

Oddly enough, the last time I looked at a pop/soda/etc. distribution map, it seemed to put the line on the Genesee River, cutting Rochester in half (which matched the usage in my family; my Dad's side from Irondequoit uses soda, and my Mom's side from Chili uses pop), but then, that map didn't do a county breakdown and show mixed areas like the linked one does.

To me, Western NY, the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central NY, North Country, Adirondacks, and Capital District are subsets of Upstate just like the Hudson Valley, NYC, and Long Island are subsets of Downstate.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Duke87

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5200
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Queens, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 12:07:33 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2016, 09:14:56 PM »

Western NY is culturally part of the midwest and, realistically, has more in common with Ohio than with Albany.

So no, I would not consider it part of Upstate NY.



Logged
If you always take the same road, you will never see anything new.

1

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6873
  • UMass Lowell student

  • Age: 20
  • Location: MA/NH border
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 09:44:04 PM
    • Flickr account
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2016, 09:16:15 PM »

Western NY is culturally part of the midwest and, realistically, has more in common with Ohio than with Albany.

So no, I would not consider it part of Upstate NY.

Some of Upstate New York has a lot in common with New England, though.
Logged
Clinched, plus NH 111A (central)

Traveled, plus:
US ⒉⒔50
MA ⒐22.40.99.10⒎10⒐1⒒1⒚127.141.159
NH 27,111A(eastern),128; NY 366; GA 42,140; FL A1A; CT 32

Bold = new

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2771
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 08:44:40 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2016, 09:27:22 PM »

Western NY is culturally part of the midwest and, realistically, has more in common with Ohio than with Albany.

So no, I would not consider it part of Upstate NY.

Some of Upstate New York has a lot in common with New England, though.
or with Quebec...
Logged

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4117
  • Last Login: June 13, 2019, 09:41:23 AM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2016, 12:50:42 AM »

Well.. Speaking for myself and trying to be as systematic as possible
Buffalo and Rochester - likely not upstate; more like western NY (which is somewhat separate)
Syracuse - less reluctantly than Albany, but probably in the same ballpark of "upstate, but not true upstate"
Utica-Rome - Upstate.
Adirondacks and around - True Upstate
Binghamton, Cortland and Elmira (just not to mess with Ithaca) - very reluctantly; upstate is really north of I-90 (which excludes anything west of Syracuse). But since those are far away from NYC, they have to qualify... somewhat...  Same probably goes for places around I-88 and between 88 and 90;

Which leaves Catskills as being more downstate than upstate for me


Looks like I ended up with a greyscale map instead of black and white definition...

Well, it's just there seems to be more to your criteria than merely the degree of urbanity, but since that's the primary factor you mentioned, I'm just curious what else you take into consideration; it almost seems like you place the epicenter of Upstate in the Adirondack Park, with "upstateness" decreasing the further you go from there—not only southward toward NYC, but westward as well. I'm still not sure if you're considering rural western areas like Warsaw or Geneseo as "upstate" or not.

That's not really what Upstate is though - because where Upstate starts and the immediate surrounding area - it's still a part of NYC's economy as well its society seeing as most of the people that live there are still directly connected to NYC. It's called Upstate because you're basically in the suburbs of NYC, not in the city proper.

Interesting; I think you're the first person I've heard say the Upstate, by definition, does connote a similarity with NYC; almost universally, it's thought of as something as opposed to NYC—there's the city, and then there's Upstate.

So that means you'd probably consider that Upstate stops at around the point where most of us consider it starts; about where are you thinking?
I was referring to your point of where the societal border is - kind of like how Gary, Indiana is much more a suburb of Chicago than it is a city in Indiana - but it doesn't change the fact that Gary is still a city in Indiana.

But I also think I may have confused the situation a bit because I tend to forget that Yonkers and Westchester in general isn't technically NYC, even though it basically is, and I was treating it as such.

I do have to admit you've got me confused as well. My comment had been that the absence of influence from NYC was a defining characteristic of "Upstate", which I assumed was universally accepted to at least some extent. But you said, I thought, that that's not what Upstate is, but rather that it is "still a part of NYC's economy" and "basically in the suburbs of NYC".  So Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, etc. are all not Upstate by that definition, because they're decidedly not in the NYC suburbs, nor particularly influenced by it culturally.

Western NY is culturally part of the midwest and, realistically, has more in common with Ohio than with Albany.

So no, I would not consider it part of Upstate NY.

Aha, so Upstate means having less in common not only with NYC, but with the Midwest as well. I would have thought Midwesternness was very much a characteristic of Upstate NY, though not a defining one (because as others have said, much of the state takes on the character of its neighboring regions).

I must say I'm quite surprised by not only the wide variety of ideas being shared about what Upstate is, but also by the fact that they're totally unique to this forum. During any of the casual conversations I've had that prompted my interest in asking this question, I've never had anyone say that where I'm from originally (Rochester) isn't Upstate; if anything, the response is something like "Oh yeah, that's really Upstate!" (as compared to borderline areas closer to NYC). The only source of disagreement has been just how far from NYC the line of demarcation is, so I was looking for a way to delineate that border more empirically by thinking of definite criteria like the limits of commuter rail service or changes in tax structure.

But if we can't even find a consensus on what the concept of Upstate even is, it's going to be pretty tough to determine the limits of how far that concept can be applied! :spin:
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2771
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 08:44:40 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2016, 07:11:20 AM »

Well, it's just there seems to be more to your criteria than merely the degree of urbanity, but since that's the primary factor you mentioned, I'm just curious what else you take into consideration; it almost seems like you place the epicenter of Upstate in the Adirondack Park, with "upstateness" decreasing the further you go from there—not only southward toward NYC, but westward as well. I'm still not sure if you're considering rural western areas like Warsaw or Geneseo as "upstate" or not.
Sort of correct - as I said, True Upstate for me means Adirondacks (as a region, not only park)
and I would say after all these questions, that I see 3 principal centers: NYC, as source of urbanity and downstateness - powerful, but shorter range; something like Lake Placid  as source of upstateness, and Buffalo (or something along I-90 outside NYS) as source of midwestness, mixing and painting the map. Bigger cities somewhat repel upstateness.
In that case, finger lakes region ends up weakly painted in 2 colors. On the other hand, I am only that familiar with those areas...
Logged

mrsman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2207
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 11:55:08 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2016, 06:11:37 AM »

I would say that the definition would be which areas are within NYC's media market.  If you are in an area that can reach broadcast TV stations from NYC, you are in suburban NYC, if you reach broadcast TV from another city, you are in Upstate.

From what I gather, the following NY counties are within the NYC media market:  NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan.  Anything beyond that is Upstate.
Logged

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10222
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: May 15, 2019, 09:41:46 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2016, 04:46:10 PM »

Metropolitan NYC (in New York State) includes everything within  a reasonable drive of a train line to the city.  So if it is reasonably near a Metro-North station (since both Long Island counties have LIRR service), then it is not Upstate New York.
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4650
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 09:44:19 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2016, 01:36:55 PM »

Replying to empirestate's old post about how my idea of upstate changed from I-84 to Westchester/Rockland

The meat of Westchester and Rockland counties are miles below I-84 and there's even and almost 10-mile gap between their northern boundaries and I-84, except around Brewster.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4117
  • Last Login: June 13, 2019, 09:41:23 AM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2016, 02:39:30 PM »

Replying to empirestate's old post about how my idea of upstate changed from I-84 to Westchester/Rockland

The meat of Westchester and Rockland counties are miles below I-84 and there's even and almost 10-mile gap between their northern boundaries and I-84, except around Brewster.

My question was actually where you currently draw the boundary. You said that you considered Westchester/Rockland to be downstate "now" (as in, now that you've changed your mind)—but of course, they would be downstate before you changed your mind as well, with the boundary at I-84.

I think now you mean that you changed your idea of the boundary to be that of Westchester and Rockland Counties, meaning you've deleted Dutchess, Putnam and Orange Counties from your idea of Upstate, is that right?

And then of course, part 2 of the question still remains: why there? What is it specifically about Putnam County that makes it Upstate while Westchester isn't? For example, I live in Putnam County and I commute into Manhattan regularly on Metro North. I happen to use a station in Westchester County, but there are several in Putnam County as well (and beyond). I also pay the extra costs associated with the Metropolitan Commuter district, and my school and property taxes are way above the amount you'd typically associate with a non-NYC influenced area.

Now on the other hand, my town has almost no commercial property; much of it is residential (and most of that is of a rural character) and a lot more of it is conserved open space. Also, the homes in my neighborhood all have wells and septic systems, but just down the hill in Cortlandt they have sewers and town water. So those could be reasons to draw the line at the county boundary, but so far nobody has given these as reasons for doing so. Furthermore, that's not always an accurate line to draw anyhow: as you go east toward Mahopac and Carmel, the distinctions I've described become much less evident at the county line.

I think perhaps I made a mistake in asking a two-part question. I realize now that what I'm really interested in is the second part, so if I were to start from scratch and ask the question over again, it would be:

Draw a line on a map between "Upstate NY" and the rest of the state. Do not tell us where you've drawn the line, but describe exactly how you decided where to put the line.
Logged

D-Dey65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2073
  • Age: 53
  • Last Login: Today at 12:27:23 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2016, 07:36:16 AM »

Interesting, so you would have considered that signage to be wrong, since a part of your "Upstate" would lie in the direction of the left arrow as well (the part between the Bronx line and NY 119)? Or would you take "upstate" in this case to be the relative sense, essentially synonymous with "north"?
Closer to the latter. It was more of an issue of the rest of the thruway leading further upstate. This was the first hint that "Upstate" New York was more of a matter of perspective. All I needed was to get used to the idea of people who were already from Upstate New York talking about other people and things in Upstate New York.

Logged

cl94

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5551
  • Trust me, I'm a transportation engineer

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Troy, New York
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 11:42:36 PM
    • The Albany Hiker
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2016, 11:24:17 PM »

Roughly, it's I-84. On both sides of the Hudson, that is where there is a noticeable cultural change. Ulster County is definitely Upstate, as is extreme northwestern Orange County. I had family in Ulster and the people there were culturally Upstate.

As far as using R8 as Downstate, Columbia and Ulster are Upstate. I'd say Dutchess is half-and-half, with Poughkeepsie being the line on that side of the Hudson. Metro-North going up to Poughkeepsie pushes the boundary further north, as people up there can easily commute into Manhattan.

As far as broadcast TV, most of Ulster County can't get a TV signal from NYC (but can from Albany), even though they are in the NYC media market. I can tell you that people there pay more attention to Albany news and weather, as it is typically much more relevant. To give people an idea, Kingston is about as far from Manhattan as Springfield, MA is from Boston.

TL;DR: If you can easily commute to Manhattan, you're in a bedroom community and thus Downstate, as attention is directed toward Manhattan.
Logged
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10012
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 09:01:30 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2016, 04:57:53 PM »

I'm pretty sure there are people commuting to Manhattan north of I-84.  Poughkeepsie and the northern parts of Fishkill come to mind.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4117
  • Last Login: June 13, 2019, 09:41:23 AM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2016, 08:30:01 PM »

I'm pretty sure there are people commuting to Manhattan north of I-84.  Poughkeepsie and the northern parts of Fishkill come to mind.

There are, which is why cl94 and I both agree that the boundary reaches north to include Poughkeepsie. Indeed, as I mentioned before, the more urban portions of Dutchess County are really less Upstate-like than most or all of Putnam County.
Logged

cl94

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5551
  • Trust me, I'm a transportation engineer

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Troy, New York
  • Last Login: June 17, 2019, 11:42:36 PM
    • The Albany Hiker
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2016, 09:02:18 PM »

I'm pretty sure there are people commuting to Manhattan north of I-84.  Poughkeepsie and the northern parts of Fishkill come to mind.

There are, which is why cl94 and I both agree that the boundary reaches north to include Poughkeepsie. Indeed, as I mentioned before, the more urban portions of Dutchess County are really less Upstate-like than most or all of Putnam County.

Precisely, hence why I said "roughly". By "both sides of the Hudson", I meant that, south of that line, both sides are generally considered Downstate. In reality, the line is staggered, being 15-25 miles further north on the east side because of the presence of commuter rail. Putnam is an oddity that is only really Downstate because it's between Poughkeepsie and Westchester- it has Upstate characteristics but lies between areas considered "Downstate".

If you really want to be strict about it, you could say that only Rockland and Westchester are Downstate, but that would put southern Dutchess Upstate, which might not be accurate either. Heck, you can't even say the "Hudson Valley" is Downstate because it culturally (and physically) contains the entire Dutch colony, which goes through Saratoga County.

What I do think most of us agree on is that the line is somewhere between Albany and the northern boundaries of Westchester and Rockland. Albany is definitely Upstate (unless you talk to someone from Buffalo, but some of them think anywhere east of I-81 is "downstate") and Westchester/Rockland are definitely Downstate.
Logged
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

Landshark

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 163
  • Last Login: August 12, 2016, 10:18:31 PM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2016, 10:37:29 PM »

People in the Catskills say the are from Upstate New York.  The term "Upstate" is to differentiate it from the city.   I am from the Pacific Northwest and when I travel to Upstate New York (like I will be doing this week), I have to say Upstate New York or people assume the city.   

My definition of the boundary is Ramapo Mountain on the west side of the Hudson.  East of the river is a little more difficult, but the Appalachian Trail is a good enough rough sketch delineating where the metro core peters out.   

People from in and near the city will tend to describe the line as being further to the south while people from Upstate tend to describe the line further to the north. 

Western NY is a subsection of Upstate New York.   
Logged

D-Dey65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2073
  • Age: 53
  • Last Login: Today at 12:27:23 AM
Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2016, 11:05:39 AM »

I still consider everything north of The Bronx to be upstate, including Yonkers and Mount Vernon, and places like Western New York, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, the Berkshires, the Finger Lakes, the Capital District, and what not are subsets, but I'm not oblivious to the fact that others would disagree. Back in November 2014, when I took extra pictures of the Eastchester-Dyre Avenue subway station, I caught a Bx16 bus and took it to Woodlawn Metro-North station. On the way there, I saw changes in some of the street name signs, and I realized we were on the Bronx-Mount Vernon line. I asked the driver if we were upstate and he said no.

The street name signs didn't convince me, but I didn't bother pressing the issue.




Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.