Rockland county is a suburb of NYC. It is neither upstate, nor is it a barren wasteland. Upstate is anything north of the NY/PA line. A lot of Rocklanders live less than 2 min. from NJ, which definitely does not imply "up"state. 15 miles NW of the city? Yup, that's Orangetown. Closer to the city than a lot of places in Westchester.
Rockland County is not upstate. I don't care where you're from. I live closer to the city than most Long Islanders.
Sure it has great malls, some pretty nasty but still fun beaches, and you don't ever have to pump your own gas (because to do so would be illegal). But it still smells, needless to say. And Jersey girls are like the stereotypical Long Islander..
"Why do you smell like rotten eggs?"
"I just got back from New Jersey."