Friday, December 30, 2016


The holiday season serves as a great (usually) opportunity to reconnect with family.  During this year's festivities, I had the realization that Rochester is in many ways just like a dear family member:

  • Great pride comes with discussing Rochester's assets and accomplishments (museums, breweries, schools, Finger Lakes, inner loop removal, etc.).
  • At times, Rochester can be remarkably irritating (repeated discussions about Kodak, the train station (shack), the Family Dollar store next to the empty garage type thing on Main Street, etc.).
  • After some time away from Rochester, a strong desire to reconnect develops.
  • Something about Rochester demands taking abundant photographs.
  • Making fun of Rochester is fair game, unless a non-Rochesterian is making the jokes.
  • After years of knowing Rochester, you got to admit that he/she is a really good kid.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Embrace It

Unbeknownst to me prior to my arrival in Rochester, the area receives an abundance of snow.  (Okay, perhaps I did have slight forewarning of the weather.)  Surprisingly, the ample winter precipitation is frequently met with a collective groan, rather than what could be an emphatic embrace.  Because as is often the case, when Rochester does something, it does it in world-class fashion (think music, Riesling, children's museum, iconic companies, etc.)  Not only does it snow here, it snows in a way that makes the world take notice.  In fact, as measured by average annual snowfall among cities with over 100,000 residents, Rochester is one of the ten snowiest in the world.  So rather than shy away from this label, it's possible to wear it with pride.  Here are the top ten, in reverse order:

  • Buffalo, NY, USA (95 inches)
  • Rochester, NY, USA (99 inches)
  • Akita, Tohoku, Japan (107 inches)
  • Saguenay, Quebec, Canada (123 inches)
  • Syracuse, NY, USA (124 inches)
  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (124 inches)
  • St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (131 inches)
  • Toyama, Hokuriku, Japan (143 inches)
  • Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan (191 inches)
  • Aomori City, Tohoku, Japan (312 inches!)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another List

In a move away from politics, the time seems right for another meaningless (yet potentially meaningful) list.  As the capital of film, it would seem logical that Rochester should be an ideal location for cinephiles (also known as movie buffs).  And the data, at least as collected by one source, would agree.  In 2013, Movoto Real Estate ranked the 10 Best Cities for Movie Lovers.  Although not perfectly specified, it appears that the 100 most populated metro areas were assessed by the following criteria:

  • Movie theaters per capita
  • Video rental stores per capita (perhaps a bit antiquated)
  • Indie theaters per capita
  • Number of annual film festivals
  • Number of film/cinema museums
  • Film societies per capita
  • Drive-in theaters per capita
  • Specialty theaters per capita

Here are the top 10:
  1. Portland, OR
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Atlanta, GA
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. Pittsburgh, PA
  6. Minneapolis, MN
  7. Rochester, NY
  8. Orlando, FL
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Cincinnati, OH

(Rochester is also tough to beat in terms of movie watching weather.)