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15.
This is how I see it from my experience--

1) If you tell someone your from the city and they ask which one? Your Upstate.
2) If your not from Amsterdam the European city. Your Upstate
3) If your movie theater is in the mall. Your upstate
4) If you do all your clothes shopping at Woodbury Commons. Your Upstate
5) If there is a strip road with 15 fast food joints in row. Your Upstate.
6) If you dont get Hot 97 or 92.3 or K2u on your radio stations. Your Upstate.
7) If you know more about my car than a mechanic. Your Upstate.
8) If you live near a prison. Your Upstate.
Pretty much anywhere past White Plains.
ex: You know your upstate when??????? Follow the above.
by Soldier17 January 11, 2008
 
1.
The meaning of Upstate, New York:

Residents of northern New York State - the true Upstate region - know that the state consists of several regions. Namely, upstate, downstate, western (Buffalo and Rochester), central (Syracuse and Utica), and the city. (I like to think of Long Island as an orbiting moon, but it is better classified as a different planet all together.)

Albany is barely on the edge of Upstate, Poughkeepsie is NOT Upstate, and Newburgh is definitely NOT Upstate. It may be hard to fathom, but not everything in the state of New York revolves around the city, so therefore, everything above the city/Westchester is not Upstate.

Admittedly, Upstate may be "different" than New York City and other regions, but it is a term of pride, not a term of derision. Many ignorant downstaters (who probably don't recycle and drive Hummers) may not realize that Upstate is home to the Adirondack Mountains and the most beautiful natural areas of New York state. Always remember, not only does New York State have the largest, most culturally diverse, most amazing city on the east coast, it also has the largest tracts of pristine, protected wilderness lands east of the Mississippi in the northern, Upstate regions.

New York State is amazing, from top to bottom!
"Hey, wanna do something this weekend?"

"No thanks, I am going Upstate to my cabin on Lake George."

"Oh wow, you are so lucky! It is gorgeous up there."

"I know."
by LongBlackVeil5 September 09, 2007
 
2.
The areas north of NYC in New York State, with maybe the exception of Westchester County (depending on the context) due to the fact that it has a lot more in common with the areas to its south than to its north. Rockland County more often than not is considered to be Upstate NY (sorry.)

In rural New York State people will either use the NYC area or the Albany area as the marker for upstate. Some people from Orange County for example, say they live upstate and some vehemently oppose that designation, as Orange County is well south of Albany.

The word "upstate" has a particularly negative connotation and should be avoided. Few people like to be considered to be from "upstate", as it implies the antithesis of all that New York is about. "Upstate" is the N-word of geography and should be avoided at all costs.

Note: There is also a rare usage of "upstate" referring to everything outside of New York City, including Long Island and Westchester, just meaning New York State.
In Brooklyn, anything north of the Bronx is upstate.
In the Bronx, anything north of Yonkers is upstate.
In Yonkers, anything north of White Plain is upstate.
In White Plains, anything north of Peekskill is upstate.
In Peekskill, anything north of Poughkeepsie is upstate.
In Poughkeepsie, anything north of Albany is upstate.
by Watashi July 01, 2004
 
3.
Jail. The same thing as up north. Comes from New York, where thug niggaz get sent to the penitentiary upstate of the city.
After the boys upstate get to you, your shit will probably double in diameter.
by Nick D January 13, 2004
 
4.
Downstate as defined by the New York State Dept of Tourism:

Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Southern Dutchess Counties.

Includes: City of Rye, Peekskill, Newburgh, Middletown, Beacon, Port Jervis, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, White Plains, ect.


So anything north of Poughkeepsie basically, like Ulster and Columbia counties.
Were ya from:

"Downstate NY"
by Finch31 May 06, 2005
 
5.
Zip Codes starting with 12, 13, or 14
by Anonymous August 22, 2003
 
6.
Upstate is a term used by people who live in New York City or the surrounding metro area. Long Islanders and some city people consider the Northern suburbs (Westchester, Rockland) to be upstate because they are north of where they are and think thaty for some reasons the cultural and economic ties spread east. Northern suburbs consider anywhere above them to be upstate (mostyl Poughkeepsie and up). Whats funny is that people from "upstate" cities such as Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester or Buffalo have no concept of what "upstate is. Albany is the Capital District. Binghamton is the Southern Tier. Syraucse is Central New York. Rochester is near the Finger Lakes and Buffalo is in Western New York. In the end Upstate doesn't really exist and is generally a term used to imply that you live south of the area being discussed.
Everything north of Westchester is upstate (Rockland is west of Westchester bordering New Jersey and the the northern tip of Westchester is above Rockland. So Rockland is not upstate.)
by Jim October 27, 2004
 
7.
A place too far north in NYS for a tough New Yawka like you to know or care about.
by Anonymous July 27, 2003