The use of this term varies by region.
- NYC + LI: North of the Tappan Zee Bridge.*
- Westchester: North of Westchester.
- Lower Hudson Valley (Rockland, Putnam, etc.): North of Poughkeepsie.
- Albany: North of Albany
* Some people from these areas consider anything North of the Bronx to be upstate. However, (for NYC) they probably have never left their borough, or (for LI) they're jealous because Westchester is essentially a superior version of Nassau County.
All that aside, the technical definition of Upstate New York, as defined by the New York State Department of Tourism, is anything North of southern Dutchess County.
Person from Jericho: "914? So you're from Upstate?"
Person from Scarsdale: "Seriously? I'm closer to Manhattan than you are. Everyone knows that Upstate New York begins above Westchester."
Person from Poughkeepsie: "Hey, I'm not upstate. The Metro-North still reaches me, so that makes me part of the metro area."
Person from Albany: "This is the real upstate."
Person from Buffalo: "I live in Western New York."
Person from Binghamton: "Westchester, is that on Long Island?"
Person from Buffalo: "Chicken Wings."