22 Things People From New York State Love
1. Arguing Upstate Vs. Downstate Vs. Everything In Between
We live in Rensselaer County next to Albany County. It is 2 hours north of NYC on the Hudson River.
Upstate is technically everywhere outside of the NYC metro area, with people out west preferring to go by WNY and the folks in the center insisting on CNY, even breaking it down by area code. Downstate is technically all of the NYC boroughs and Long Island with Westchester caught in purgatory. But everyone will argue this point to their grave even though it’s all just an unofficial, imaginary line in the first place.
One thing Upstaters do agree on is that NYC is in no way representative of New York State. The people in NYC just respond with, “There’s life beyond NYC?”
2. The Only Wings That Matter
Buffalo, home of wings. Not Buffalo wings, just wings. Or maybe even chicken wings, but never Buffalo wings. Where medium is hot, medium-hot is very hot, and hot will melt your face off. The debate rages on between Duff’s vs. Anchors, but it wouldn’t be a proper nod to New York without everyone’s favorite Super Bowl food.
3. Being Pro Yankees Or Pro Mets
Most people in New York will tell you that it’s fairly easy to tell the Yankees fans from the Mets fans. The Mets fans are the ones who actually really love baseball even if they’re always losing and are the constant butt of jokes. The Yankees fans are the ones who like winning and have that NYC kind of ‘tude.
4. Knowing Pizza Everywhere Else Simply Doesn’t Exist
Everywhere you go in the country, there are claims to having the best slice of pizza, some even claiming to be “better than New York!” Well, New Yorkers don’t have to make promises about their pizza because it really is the best, which is a fact. You can look it up after you put down your utensils, Chicago.
5. Weekends At The Finger Lakes
What’s your favorite Finger Lake? And don’t say “the middle one.” That joke is dead. Everyone in New Yorkers love a weekend out at the Finger Lakes, especially for touring wine country, the endless scenic trails, apple picking, and taking a lift on the Sky Rides.
6. We’ve Got Your Niagara Falls Right Here
Canada, eh? New Yorkers don’t need Canada’s view of Niagara because they’ve got their own right on their own turf and it’s spectacular. And you don’t need to cross the border or worry about coming home with a pocket full of Canadian coins.
7. Using Their Spiedie Senses
Spiedies are to CNY what wings are to WNY. New Yorkers will drive obnoxiously out of their way to Binghampton just to be able to get a famous Spiedie sub from Spiedie & Rib Pit, with some of the most perfectly marinated chicken or beef to ever cross the threshold of your lips.
8. How The Rest Of The Country Shut Downs Over Two Inches Of Snow
Georgia makes headline news for going full apocalypse over two inches of snow? New Yorkers can’t help but laugh and roll their eyes. Ever heard of Lake Effect snow? Erie got pounded with 138 inches during the 2013 winter and Syracuse sees an annual hit of 115 inches and they still all manage to get to school, work, and squeeze in a game of ice hockey.
9. A Plate Full Of Chicken Riggies…
One of Utica’s most beloved contributions to New York culture is their famous dish of Chicken Riggies. This dish can be found throughout the Upstate area, but Utica knows that no one does it quite like they do, which is why they’re home to the annual Riggiefest.
10. … And A Bunch Of Other Amazing Food That No One Else Understands
Salt potatoes, Coneys from Heid’s, Garbage Plates from Nick Tahou Hots, tomato pies, Utica greens, white hots from Zweigle’s , Grandma Browns Baked Beans, Medford Mustard, melba sauce, Bombers burritos… If you’re not a New Yorker, you won’t get it. But you should, because you’re missing out.
11. New Year’s Eve Far, Far Away From Times Square
You can always find someone who has gone to see the ball drop in person. It’s a bucket list thing and does have a certain allure on TV. But if you tell most New Yorkers that you’re headed down to Manhattan for New Year’s Eve, they’ll tell you that you’ve lost your mind. And, not coincidentally, most people who do it usually only ever do it once. Even if they live in New York City.
12. Having An Intense Love Affair With Their Grocery Store
If you were to hold a gun to a New Yorker’s head and force them to choose between their Wegmans or their kids, I’m not saying that they’ll pick Wegmans, but I am saying you’ll get a pause. No store on earth could ever compare to Wegmans in their eyes. Except, of course, a SuperWegs.
13. MoMa, Every Single Time
You could visit the MoMa a hundred different times and each time still feels new. It really is the best modern museum in the world, located right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, making it worth a trip into NYC even for Upstaters.
14. Tailgating At SPAC
The venue and shows are pretty great, too. But everyone knows the real reason you go to SPAC is for the party that happens before the party gets started. Getting loaded on Spiedies and Gennys in a red Solo at a picnic table in the park instead of a parking lot makes any show the best show ever.
15. Knowing There’s No Brew Like A Home Brew
Whether you’re relaxing at the lake or hanging out at a party in your friend’s basement, chances are there’s a case of Saranac and Genny. Both beers are home brewed in Upstate New York. Labatts is a popular brand, too, but since they’re brewed in Canada, it only gets a friendly nod.
16. The Coolest Mountains On The East Coast
When you visit your aunt up in Lake George, you can’t help but marvel at the Adirondack Mountains. Their dome formation makes them unlike any other in the U.S. So when you’re friends down in Pennsylvania tell you they have the best mountains on the East Coast, just hop off your scooter, snap a picture, and apologize for ruining their dreams.
17. Long Drives Along The Great Lakes
Along with the Finger Lakes and Lake George, New York also has the Great Lakes which provides one of the most relaxing, scenic drives you could ever hope to take. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail was even named among the top nine Great American Drives by Budget Travel in 2010.
18. Barbecue Bigger Than A T-Rex
New Yorkers have no desire to travel any farther than their backyard for barbecue because they’ve got the real deal right here. Even though it’s all over the country now, the original Dinosaur Barbecue was born in Syracuse and remains a household name throughout New York, with Brooks as a close second.
19. Vacations In The Thousand Islands
The Thousand Islands aren’t a favorite New York vacation destination just because it’s compiled of over 1,800 islands between New York and Canada at the corner of Lake Ontario and is, quite possibly, the most magnificent landscape on earth.
That helps, of course, but the best part is that the cat still seems to be in the bag, making the tourism very local to the area. And New Yorkers like keeping the things they love to themselves.
20. The Greatest New York State Fair
Every state loves their state fair, but New Yorkers know they have the best one to be found and flock to Syracuse from all over the state for this 12 day event of pure awesome.
Where else can you indulge of all of New York’s favorite delicacies while riding a monster Ferris Wheel and praying that you don’t fall over the flimsy rails to your death?
21. Stewart’s Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s? Meh. Breyer’s? Child’s play. Everyone in New York knows that they only ice cream that matters is found at Stewart’s. The fact that you can get it while filling up your gas tank only makes it even better.
22. Waiting All Year For Fall To Eat Cider Donuts
There are a lot of things to love about fall in New York but the plethora of apple cider donuts is easily the best of them all. The best way to get them is fresh from an orchard while you’re waiting in the ridiculously long line for the haunted hayride.
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