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For those who think normally, it is the geographical upper half of New York, containing 50% of the land area.
For idiots, it is anything in New York that isn't New York City, which contains over 99% of the total land area in the state.
Many people consider Westchester, NY to be part of upstate New York, but those people are idiots because the only places that are south of Westchester in New York are New York City and Long Island.
by A guy on a hill July 31, 2011
6 10
Whatever is north of the Capital District (Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady). Looking at a county map of New York State would verify that.
Whoever said that Long Island was upstate has to be the biggest retard ever. Either that, or he never looked at a map of New York State before in his life.
by Omega Death May 08, 2005
57 61
Most intelligent people know that "Upstate New York" has traditionally been the land north of Albany. Just because something is "up" from NYC, doesn't make it part of "Upstate New York". You might be going "upstate" or "up the state" but you will never be in "Upstate New York" while visiting Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, White Plains, etc.

And think about this - what do you think people in Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, etc say when they are visiting Lake George, for example. "Oh we're going to Up-Upstate New York" ???? Of course not! That's because Rhinebeck/Poughkeepsie/White Plains people do NOT LIVE IN UPSTATE NEW YORK!

Think rationally --- and read a textbook. Maybe you'll learn something about the history of New York (and the geography).
Matt: Where are you from?
Peter: Kingston
Matt: Ohhhhhh Upstate New York
Peter: *smacks Matt on head*
by cappucinomix July 08, 2011
7 12
Upstate New York, contrary to the belief of Long Islanders, does not begin just north of the city. NYC suburbs include Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Putnam, and Lower Dutchess counties - including Fairfield County, CT. "Upstate" begins north of those places, when there is no longer Metro-North train service to Grand Central Station.

Poughkeepsie is NOT part of upstate New York. However, slightly north of Poughkeepsie (i.e., Rhinebeck) is where "upstate" actually begins. On the flip side of the Hudson, Newburgh is not upstate. Newburgh is only an hour and a half from the city. Please don't call Newburgh upstate. West of the Hudson, upstate begins in Ulster county.
"I'm sorry, but Scarsdale is NOT upstate New York."

Person from Dutchess meets person from Long Island:
D: "Where are you from?"
LI: "Lawn-Guy-Lind. You?"
D: "Dutchess, Poughkeepsie."
LI: "...Is that upstate? What's it like in upstate NY?"
Person from Dutchess meets person from Renssalaer:
D: "Where are you from?"
R: "Albany. Well Renssalaer, but no one knows where that Albany."
D: "Oh...I'm from Poughkeepsie."
R: "Is it warm there?"
D: "Uh..."
R: "You know upstate starts NORTH of the Hudson, right?"
D: *confused*
by new yawka fo-shizzle November 08, 2006
61 66
-The northern part of New York north of Albany and in the Hudson River area. Just saying now, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester are not upstate. They are in Central-Western New York.

And just to clear this up, not all Upstaters are good-for-nothing hicks. Sure, some are, but everywhere has hicks and wierdos. The only reason that a lot of upstaters don't have jobs is because all the jobs left in the 50's, making New York (the state, idiot out-of-staters) the poorest state per capita.

-Upstate is not a crime-ridden slum as several cities, like Port Jervis have displayed to us. People here have manners and common sense.

-A LOT prettier than the city, which is more crime infested and poorer (per capita).
OK, this damn thing keeps erasing my example and telling me to say Upstate New York, even though I DID so now i just said it.
by *ITALIAN* June 19, 2010
9 16
The vast area encompassing New York State north of Westchester county. A varied mosaic of farmland, woodland, picturesque rolling hills, and towns and cities ranging from the charming to the decrepit. Generally more provincial and less cosmpolitan than its densely urban New York City counterpart, its citizenry is more approachable and friendly albeit less refined and cultured than the pretentious yuppies of New York and Long Island. Some of its urban centers are buoyed economically and culturally by the influence of many universities and (in the case of the capital region) government administration centers; however most of its large cities are mired in varying states of urban decay and have been hemorrhaging population since the 1950s due to a steady loss of jobs and a subsequent increase in crime. Utica, Rochester, and Newburgh are particularly miserable places to set foot in. Its more rural areas, which feature breathtaking landscapes, are lovely and bucolic albeit mind-numbingly boring to actually live in.

In summation, upstate New York is too large and varied an area to define succinctly. As a native resident of New York City who went to college upstate I can both laud it for being physically beautiful and its natives for being candid, frank, and hospitable while noting that I would never want to live there permanently as life there can grow trite, repetitive, cold as hell, and insufferably boring after a while and the locals' lack of sophistication and city-esque hustle, while charming at first, can also eventually grow unflattering. Not that I'd want them to change. Their lack of tact and culture is offset by their good character and sincerity, something too many city residents and Long Islanders sorely do not have. Both Upstate and Downstate need each other, more or less. It's a yin-yang thing.
New Yorker 1: I'm going upstate for the summer.
New Yorker 2: You'll love it in Upstate New York for the first few weeks. It's nice to get away from the yuppie assholes down here for a while. Eventually, though, you'll need to come back to civilization.
by Bob from NYC February 18, 2008
29 36
Upstate NY.Hmm. Basically anywhere within the borders of the state north of the Bronx. The people there are usually characterized by a lack of overly neurotic, self important, belligerent, paranoid ass-hattedness that plagues those that live within the confines of NYC. Its true.
I now live in SoCal and met a girl from San Diego who was back for a visit. She told me she had been living in NYC for a couple of months and we got to talking. I said "Yeah people in NYC are ass hats"
Then SHE says "Yes WE are quite intimidating".
What a cunt.
She was wearing that "center of the universe" mantle like she'd been poppin' it in the Marcy Projects with Jay-Z 6 hours before she stepped off the mo'fuckin plane.
Thats what IIII'm talkin about.
Hey Hey My My Rock and Roll will never die its better to burn out than fry hey hey my my Upstate New York

by Drunken Mick May 01, 2006
111 119