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
Not quite the city, not quite Westchester, not quite Jersey, not quite Upstate. In short, a big nothing.
Wow, you're pretty good at playing that keyboard. Wait a're not playing it at all. In fact, that's a pre-programmed tune. You're a phony! A big phony! Hey everyone, look! It's a big fat phony! You know who lives here? A phony! A big fat phony!
by Bush is Going to Win in a Landslide September 19, 2004
County that technically falls within the NY metro area yet few people in the NYC boros or the prime suburbs (Westchester/LI) really know where it is or what it is like. For that matter, few people even really care. Besides Nyack, there is really nothing to write home about in Rockland at all, a quality shared with the neighboring state of New Jersey. Unlike its big brother across the Hudson, Westchester, it really has no "range" at all, just a collection of nondescript suburbs, whereas Westchester is urban, rural, and everything in between. Rockland unlike the other suburbs has no history with NYC at all.
What a bourgeois place to live
by Eastsider May 04, 2005
A county that people are ashamed of being from, just don't realize it. Deep down everyone in Rockland knows they live on the outskirts of the NY metro area and certainly not in the heart of "New Yawk".
If you're from Rockland and the next county up is Upstate, just imagine what people in Manhattan probably think of Rockland.
by Anonymous July 21, 2004
Fuck you people! You voted for Bush!
Rockland is a red county.
by Tom January 26, 2005
A county in NY that everyone except itself seems to regard as part of a depressed region known as Upstate New York. While that may not be entirely accurate, Rockland county is an outer-suburban wasteland, not even on par with Westchester in terms of wealth and urbanization (as sad as that sounds.) However, it does have some Sopranos fame; Ralph Cifaretto's head was buried in Sloatsburg and Adriana was whacked by Silvio in a forest in Ramapo.
Rockland is literally and figuratively between Jersey and Upstate, though not quite either.
by YO Man June 30, 2004
Boring county west of the Hudson. And that's where its stigma originates from: West of the Hudson. Given that Rockland kind of reminds real New Yorkers (Westchester/NYC/LI) of Jersey, people are inclined not to think of it as part of NY. Although Rockland IS no more north than Westchester, simply because the Thruway goes west before it heads north, that gives people in Westchester the impression they are going "upstate" into Rockland since they pass thru to get to places like Orange/Ulster/Sullivan County. Rockland has no walkability to it (no sidewalks, no interesting towns or neighborhoods) so is therefore NOT part of the real New York.
Anything in NYS west of the Hudson, as well as Bedford and up east of the river, should secede into the State of Upstate New York.
by Axo May 24, 2005

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