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Thread: you say upstate and I say downstate...

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    you say upstate and I say downstate...

    form the introduce yourself thread, I noted that the whole NY state perspective depends upon where you are standing at the moment, or in my case, where you grew up:

    I grew up in Syracuse NY so this is our perspective:

    downstate NY
    is the Catskills and Westchester and Duchess County

    upstate NY is this general place that isn't the Capital area, is not the Adirondacks, and is not Syracuse

    Syracuse is Central NY

    west of Syracuse to Buffalo is western NY

    north of Watertown is the north country

    then there is the Finger Lakes region which is the bottom towns of those lakes

    the northway is that area north of Albany and south of Vermont, which is distinct in culture from the north country

    and the city is, well, the city

    and I just remembered, old NY-ers will also know the Leatherstocking region which is that dead zone on the thruway between Amsterdam and Utica

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    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Everything south of 80-94 and west of 355 in Illinois is downstate. Which, as cch can tell you, makes Rockford, 80 miles northwest of Chicago, downstate.

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Everything north of Gedunker and me is upstate.

    Whose Yur Planner I would consider toward the northside of the cental part of the state.

    Using the Time Zones to describe where you are in the state is another matter -
    I am in the southwestern corner in the Central Daylight Savings.
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    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The regions of my homestate. But there are so many more sub-regions not listed.

    http://www.southwestblend.com/California/index.htm

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    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY....and everything north of Westchester County was considered Upstate New York. For most NYC residents the state of NY consists of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Upstate NY....makes it all nice and simple.
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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planning Fool View post
    Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY....and everything north of Westchester County was considered Upstate New York. For most NYC residents the state of NY consists of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Upstate NY....makes it all nice and simple.
    Oh yeah, this is absolutely true! I often tell people I am from "upstate NY" for that very reason... some people aren't familiar with communities in New York State outside the NY metropolitan area.

    I think Luckless Pedestrian has the right idea, though. For those of us who grew up anywhere north of, say, Dutchess County, there are a lot more regional epithets than just "upstate" or "downstate." Out-of-staters often don't realize how large (and diverse) the state is! A friend of mine just moved to western NY from NJ, and while she's now in the same state, she is actually further away.

    BTW, LP, I think the state tourism office still uses the Leatherstocking region in its travel guide.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planning Fool View post
    Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY....and everything north of Westchester County was considered Upstate New York. For most NYC residents the state of NY consists of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Upstate NY....makes it all nice and simple.
    This is how it was explained to me. Maybe this is a NYC bias towards the hayseeds.
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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planning Fool View post
    Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY....and everything north of Westchester County was considered Upstate New York. For most NYC residents the state of NY consists of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Upstate NY....makes it all nice and simple.
    if i'm talking to non-NYers this is how i explain it. it seems like only the natives know that north of Westchester is more than farm country.

    i grew up in the Southern Tier.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Everything north of Gedunker and me is upstate.

    Whose Yur Planner I would consider toward the northside of the cental part of the state.

    Using the Time Zones to describe where you are in the state is another matter -
    I am in the southwestern corner in the Central Daylight Savings.
    Huh, and I thought the General Assembly decided it would be best if we were annexed to Kentucky.

    I always thought I grew up in Central Jersey (that was the name of the railroad in the town next door, after all), but talking to someone from Camden and I discovered I was in North Jersey, or talking to someone from Passaic and lo and behold I was in South Jersey.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    yes, that's right - the southern tier - forgot about that one

    Planning Fool - that's why upstaters have bad feelings for the city folk - LOL

    and really, the reason why Hillary won in NY for her first run was that she really did hit those regions I listed a part of her campaign - many campaigners focus only on the city and that can be to their political demise if they aren't careful!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    and really, the reason why Hillary won in NY for her first run was that she really did hit those regions I listed a part of her campaign - many campaigners focus only on the city and that can be to their political demise if they aren't careful!
    Yes - do you remember when former NYC mayor Ed Koch ran for governor in the '80s? He made some negative comments about upstate NY and living in Albany... that was the demise of his campaign!

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    upstate NY is this general place that isn't the Capital area, is not the Adirondacks, and is not Syracuse
    My impression was that it was all upstate NY (except Buffalo) if not in the NYC metro area. Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Rochester= all upstate NY.

    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    the northway is that area north of Albany and south of Vermont, which is distinct in culture from the north country
    I thought the northway referred to I-87, as in the interstate that runs north of Albany to the Adirondacks. I have never heard the northway referred to as a place.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Everything north of Gedunker and me is upstate.

    Whose Yur Planner I would consider toward the northside of the cental part of the state.

    Using the Time Zones to describe where you are in the state is another matter -
    I am in the southwestern corner in the Central Daylight Savings.
    In Indiana, there is no upsate or downstate. It's either northern, central or southern Indiana. "dunker and JNA are considered in the southern part of the state. I'm definitely in the central part of the state. I would draw the lne between central and southern Indiana at Columbus. When I lived in nothern Indiana, the line between nothern and central was considerered Marion, Indiana. Now Da Region in the very northwest part of the state considers itself a part of Chicago and is heavily influenced by it.
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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I thought the northway referred to I-87, as in the interstate that runs north of Albany to the Adirondacks. I have never heard the northway referred to as a place.
    I went to college with a lot of people from there and they used to describe themselves as off the northway area - maybe to distinguish themselves from the Capital area or not want to say the Adirondack region

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    In Indiana, there is no upsate or downstate. It's either northern, central or southern Indiana. "dunker and JNA are considered in the southern part of the state. I'm definitely in the central part of the state. I would draw the lne between central and southern Indiana at Columbus. When I lived in nothern Indiana, the line between nothern and central was considerered Marion, Indiana. Now Da Region in the very northwest part of the state considers itself a part of Chicago and is heavily influenced by it.
    Funny, I always heard and thought that Gary was the end of the intestinal tract of Indiana......which would make it "down state!"
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Funny, I always heard and thought that Gary was the end of the intestinal tract of Indiana......which would make it "down state!"
    Calling Gary the end of the intestinal tract of Indiana would be lifting it's status. Gary, unfornatly is what happens when you major employer leaves and you are right next to less than desirable section of a major city. Gary's decline has also been fairly rapid. Up to about 1973, my aunt would to go Gary to pick up the South Shore into Chicago before transferring to the El. Within 10 years, nobody in their right mind would do so.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I work in Wisconsin, where there is no "downstate" or "upstate". You are either Northwoods (anything north of Wausau / Hwy 29, I'd say), or you are just plan Wisconsin.

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    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    I always found it very odd how the upstate was geographically larger than the "downstate".

    Similar "north-south" dichotomy happens in Ontario. No one really agrees where "northern Ontario" starts. Some say it starts north of the Trans-Canada highway. Some say it starts at North Bay. Other believe it's Muskoka and the Algonquin Park. Some believe it's Hwy #7. Other thinks it begin at Bloor Street in Toronto for those Toronto-centric folks.

    Btw, what is the area of NY state that borders Canada called? The St. Lawrence Seaway area?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    An interesting, related discussion is why are there the differences in an individual state. Example, part of the divisions in Indiana stem from the migration patterns when the state was settled. Southern Indiana was setteled by people moving north from Kentucky and that area still reflects this. Northern Indiana was settled by people either moving west from Ohio, south from Michigan, or as my family did, getting off the boat in Chicago and and moving east into Indiana. Nothern Indiana also attracted alot on immigrants to work in various factories. Central Indiana was where the influences from northern and central Indiana mingeled. Even though all this happened 100+ years ago, the preceptions still remain throughout the state. Another sideline is how these perceptions affect people moving these areas.
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    Cyburbian DrumLineKid's avatar
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    I am a former New Yorker, but in geography only. Delaware isn't so far away, but I always have to clarify and say I am from Central New York or the Fingerlakes Region. If I don't, the assumption is I came from in or near the City.

    I thought the North of Westchester County was the official dividing line between Upstate and Downstate Maybe it an elevation thing. The City and Long Island are relatively flat and lower (but not as bad as Delaware ). CNY, WNY & Capital have some rolling terrain, Fingerlakes has some good sized hills, and the Catskills and especialy the Adirondacks have Mountains (at least what we call mountains).

    One day I'll get to see the Rockies. But thats another thread.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I grew up in Rhode Island. It is not big enough to have an upstate or downstate. We did have South County, East Bay and West Bay regions.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Growing up no one ever referred to the place we came from as "Central Jersey" or really "the Shore" for that matter unless you were talking to someone who wasn't from NJ. You normally just said the name of the county and everyone knew what you meant.

    Having lived out of the area for a while and working in New York and Philadelphia I got accustomed to telling people "the Shore". In the NYC area that means Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In Philadelphia that means southern Ocean Co. Atlantic and Cape May counties.

    In the NYC area "central Jersey" means Somerset Co. (which is central to what i'm not sure) and i've often heard from that New Brunswick is South Jersey. In the Philadelphia area there is no such thing as Central Jersey. The border of north and south Jersey is somewhere along I-195 - which is ridiculous to anyone who lives near it. To me, though, these are cultural definitions as much as they are geographical.

    So, from my perspective, having been a few generations deep in the geographical center of the state, Central Jersey is south of the Raritan River and one could draw a line from South Amboy, to New Brunswick, to Hillsborough, to Lambertville. The southern edge of that is a little less distinct because it travels through the sparsely populated Pine Barrens but it would be a line that ran from just north of Burlington City straight across the state to around Lacey Twp.
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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    Everything south of 80-94 and west of 355 in Illinois is downstate. Which, as cch can tell you, makes Rockford, 80 miles northwest of Chicago, downstate.
    I live west of I-355 and it is definitely suburban and certainly not downstate. Seriously...the Fox Valley is not downstate. Naperville is not downstate. Elgin is not downstate. Being in the far suburbs and close to Rockford, I refer to everything south of I-80 as downstate. Everything north of I-80 is Chicagoland or Northern Illinois...including Rockford, Freeport, and DeKalb. The Quad Cities is kind of in a class by itself since it's half in Iowa. Everything south of I-80 is downstate.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    I work in Wisconsin, where there is no "downstate" or "upstate". You are either Northwoods (anything north of Wausau / Hwy 29, I'd say), or you are just plan Wisconsin.
    ... I don't know 'bout that last part. I've found that a lot of people from the Fox Valley like to distinguish themselves from the rest of eastern WI (I grew up on the "border" between the Fox Valley and the Milwaukee metro, so maybe I saw more of this than most people.)

    I think it's about the same in the Coulee Country in the triangle between Platteville, Tomah, and Hudson (but again, my sister lives in Eau Claire, so this is what she tells me.)

    Regarding New York, I think the term "upstate" is incredibly nebulous. When I was in Rochester, they seemed to think upstate was everything between the Catskills/Lake Ontario Shore (from Oswego north) and the CT/MA/VT border. West of the Catskills was divided into Southern Tier (Jamestown to Binghamton, along PA border) Finger Lakes, CNY (Syracuse), WNY (Rochester) and Erie shore (including Buffalo & Niagara.) No one in Rochester would ever allow Rochester & Buffalo to have to 'share' a region.

    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I live west of I-355 and it is definitely suburban and certainly not downstate. Seriously...the Fox Valley is not downstate. Naperville is not downstate. Elgin is not downstate. Being in the far suburbs and close to Rockford, I refer to everything south of I-80 as downstate. Everything north of I-80 is Chicagoland or Northern Illinois...including Rockford, Freeport, and DeKalb. The Quad Cities is kind of in a class by itself since it's half in Iowa. Everything south of I-80 is downstate.
    Freeport is certainly not Chicagoland. Rockford really isn't either. Though I do agreee that these places don't belong with the rest of the (down)state regions, either. My grandma used to live near Watseka... it felt like Tennessee at times.
    Last edited by njm; 22 May 2007 at 6:01 AM.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

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