The reason why Westchester and Long Island are downstate and Rockland is upstate has nothing to do with urbanization or location, but rather historical connection to New York City. The Bronx used to be part of Westchester County until the late 19th century and much of Westchester's nomenclature still exists in the Bronx today; the Eastchester neighborhood used to be part of the present-day Town of Eastchester; there is an Eastchester Bay and Westchester Creek in the Bronx, as well as an Eastchester Road, White Plains Road, and Westchester Square. There is a Town of Pelham in Westchester as well as Pelham Bay Park, Pelham Bay, and Pelham Parkway in the Bronx. Also, there is a Bronx River and Bronx River Parkway running through the Bronx and Lower Westchester. However, by this method Upper Westchester might qualify as upstate because it really is not involved in the Bronx/Lower Westchester history, and has some upstate names (e.g. "-on Hudson","-kill" as in Peekskill).

Nassau County used to be part of Queens and that is apparent based on similar names on both sides of the city line. Little Neck is in Queens adjacent to Great Neck in Nassau County. There's an East Rockaway in Nassau and Far Rockaway in Queens. Also, some towns in Nassau on the Queens border have the same name as the QUeens neighborhoods on the other side, like Floral Park and Bellerose. Furthermore, many zip codes straddle the Queens-Nassau border.

Rockland has none of those. It does not border any borough of NYC nor share any history with it. In fact, Rockland County used to be part of Orange County (which is upstate according to most Rockland County residents) until about 1800. This is why Orangetown is in Rockland County.
Nobody seriously believes Rockland County is rural or far from the city, it just has no historical connection to the city, which Westchester and Nassau Counties do.
by YO Man July 16, 2004
Top Definition
All of these people who call Rockland "upstate nowheresville" and Westchester "hip and bustling" downstate have obviously never been to Rockland. They have just driven through it on the NYS Thruway and pass it off as something it really isn't without actually seeing it. It's culturally no different from the other suburbs, and its no farther away from NYC, so stop badmouthing before you've actually seen it. In addition, Rockland's median household income in 2003 was higher than that of Westchester, Nassau, or Suffolk (7th in the nation), so calling it 2nd class is wrong.
"Hmm let's see I live in Tarrytown, which is in awesome downstate NY. But that Nyack place which is 3 miles due west from here and the same distance from NYC as me is wayyyy upstate. I think it's right next to Canada"
-Doesn't make sense
by ckor July 13, 2004
A suburban county north of NYC. It's no more upstate then Westchester yet people feel the need to bash it as a "wasteland" near Albany in a futile attempt to make their own hometown feel important. Unlike surrounding areas, the people of Rockland are not arrogant and condescending.
I can hop on the Palisades and get to Midtown in 30 minutes from Orangetown, a lot closer than many of you Rockland-bashers from Westchester and LI.
by anon July 06, 2004
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.
by HeyLeigh May 02, 2005
One of the few places left with only a few starbucks locations.
"Wow, I'm surprised. I haven't seen a Starbucks in a long time."
by Arex-kun December 25, 2004
Place with big malls, cheap pool halls, and next to Jersey for cheap gas. South end is really part of New Jersey. Mostly rich and white except for Nyack, Spring Valley, and Haverstraw, in which half the town is as hood as School Street or Crown Heights.
Rockland ppl need 2 stop tryin 2 rep NYC, just rep ur own town.
by d-block October 27, 2004
Nobody cares if some place is like 5 seconds north of the city, all Long islanders hear is "north" and think "oh you live in the country"
Check out Brooklynguy's entries if you hate LOng island, he says LI is Upstate!! (iw ould agree)
by 123456 November 24, 2004
Southern most New York county west of the Hudson River. Upstate only to those from one of the five boroughs of NYC or from the far western part of Long Island. Rockland is not overdeveloped as Westchester, and its towns are not mass-produced such as those in Nassau or Suffolk counties.
Rocklander: My house is the yellow one on the left.
guy from Westchester: couldn't afford a house like this in Westchester?
Rocklander: Couldn't find more than a quarter acre of property except near Putnam County or that wasn't already a golf course.
Long Islander: Why are all the houses different? They aren't even all yellow!
by Joe Verum May 22, 2008
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