Thursday, July 30, 2015


Here are a few highlights from a recent short trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe:

  1. Seeing lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, and giraffes on a game reserve.
  2. Visiting the former residence of a worldwide icon whose life was devoted to eradicating oppression, Nelson Mandela.
  3. Enjoying a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River.
  4. Experiencing one of the world's largest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  5. Drinking South African wine.

Is there any possible way that our beat up, disrespected town could offer a similar experience? Shockingly, sort of:
  1. Okay, so deer, rabbits, and squirrels don't quite match up to the above.
  2. Rochester boasts the former residence of an individual who fought against the oppression of women, Susan B. Anthony.  Although perhaps not as iconic as Mandela, her work was clearly critical.  She, like Mandela, was arrested for her passion (granted she did not spend 27 years in prison).  Rochester was also home to one of the most important abolitionists, Frederick Douglass.
  3. Cruises along the Erie Canal and Canandaigua Lake are readily available.  (I've done neither but have heard they are well worth doing.)
  4. Rochester is about 90 minutes from another one of the world's largest waterfalls, also on the border of two countries, Niagara Falls.  Closer to home, Rochester's High Falls is considered the largest urban waterfall in the country.
  5. The local wine scene is pretty sweet.

High Falls

(A tiny part of) Victoria Falls 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Rochesterians benefit from a low cost of living and remarkably short commute times.  Coupled with the fact that no sacrifice occurs from an educational or cultural perspective, the overall package is nothing short of marvelous.  We've seen that this high quality of life might explain the high rate of volunteerism.  One would imagine that it might also translate into less stress.

CNNMoney recently ranked 55 metropolitan areas with over 1 million people in terms of stress.  The methodology looked at five broad categories including the economy and money, work, family, lifestyle, and crime.  The 10 Least Stressed Out Cities (from most to least stressed) were:

  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Hartford, CT
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Richmond, VA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Rochester, NY - 2nd least stressed
  • Salt Lake City, UT

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Even the staunchest Rochester pessimists concede one positive about the region: the summers are phenomenal.  In addition to providing a ludicrous number of cultural festivals, music events, free movies, and outdoor activities, the summers are...comfortable.  With oppressive heat being kept to a minimum, Rochesterians can enjoy the season without losing IQ and gaining irritability.

Just how pleasant are the summers? Among the country's 51 largest metropolitan areas, here is the short list of the regions with a mean June-August temperature under 70 degrees:

  • San Francisco, CA (61)
  • Seattle, WA (65)
  • Portland, OR (67)
  • San Jose, CA (69)
  • San Diego, CA (69)
  • Buffalo, NY (69)
  • Rochester, NY (69)

Monday, July 13, 2015


As noted by RocWiki, the sun always shines in Rochester (at the proper altitude.)  The reality is that a few clouds can be seen in the Rochester sky from time to time.  And from time to time, the clouds can bring a touch of precipitation.  Precipitation comes from the condensation of water vapor in the atmosphere and subsequently falls to the surface of the earth.  Aside from giving local meteorologists a challenge and causing many a Rochesterian to whine, precipitation provides one other thing...water.  Thanks to this water, Rochester does not have:

  • Extreme to exceptional drought, as is being seen in much of the country's most populated state

On the other hand, Rochester does have:
  • 7% of the world's fresh water supply

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


As seen previously, the Rochester region has a worthy (yet unbranded) world-class university as well as one of the best value public universities in the country.  But if neither of these seems appealing, perhaps yet another understated jewel might.  Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is without a doubt one of the area's finest assets:

  • In 2012, RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering was ranked by Business Insider as the 27th best engineering school in the world.
  • RIT's co-op program is the fourth oldest and one of the largest in the world.
  • RIT's student business incubator has been recognized as the best in the country.
  • In 2014, RIT was ranked as the nation's Geekiest Campus.  Since geeks earn more, that's a good thing.
  • RIT is consistently recognized by The Princeton Review as one of North America's greenest universities.
  • RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the largest technical college in the world for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • In addition to treating students well, RIT also treats its employees with class.  It has been deemed as one of the Top 25 universities to work for in the country.