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In short, a terrible place. Should be avoided at all costs.

If you ever end up moving to Upstate New York, you will never be able to escape it.

The towns are all small, boring and cold and the cities are nothing to write home about either.

However something about Upstate New York, particularly EXTREME Upstate New York will pull you back in should you ever try to leave for a prolonged period of time.
My parents, like many other unfortunate people who grew up in Upstate New York, actually left and CAME BACK.

Upstate New York will forever be in the shadow of The City, and should you move there you will be invalidated as a person entirely.
If you ever happen to travel, and you tell someone you are from New York you will be forced to endure horrid responses like "OMGZ IZ IT NICE IN DA CITY?" or "D00D I WAz iN NYC LaSt WeEk, itz dA BoMb!!123" even if you try to take preventitive measures such as saying "New York STATE," "UPSTATE New York," or even "RURAL NEW YORK YOU MOTHERFUCKER."

Believe it or not, there are actually places even farther north than Buffalo or Albany.

I personally live within walking distance of the Canadian border.

I would rather just hop across and join the Canadians than deal with another day of being seen as a hideous appendage to The City.

My dream is to get the fuck out as soon as I can, move to another state and NEVER TELL ANYONE WHERE I'M ORIGINALLY FROM.
Unfortunately that will be nearly impossible because SUPRISE, on top of being boring, cold, and ignored, Extreme Upstate New York is also DIRT POOR.
This forces its unfortunate inhabitants to attend crappy local colleges and then later either work at Clinton Correctional Facilities or live IN Clinton Correctional Facilities.

This is partly due to the inevitable drug and alcohol problems these people develop to cope with the pain of living in America's own little third-world country.
Example One:

Poor, unfortunate soul: I grew up in Upstate New York, and saved up all my money from the time I was a kid so someday I could get the fuck out. Unfortunately after leaving and entering the rest of the world I devoloped a slew of mental illnesses because I was never properly trained to live in society. I moved back Upstate.

Example Two:
Kid: Woah, mom, your dashboard says it's -20 degrees outside.
Mom: Yes dear, that's because we're driving through Upstate New York. When we get into Canada, it'll still be this cold, but at least I'll be able to smoke in public.

Example Three:
STUPID Girl on plane: So where are you from?
STUPID Girl on plane: Wow, that's so cool. Can you see the Statue of Liberty from your apartment, or is the Empire State Building blocking your view?

Example Four:
Man: I was going to get out of this place as soon as I could, but things didn't work out, I had to stay in the area for college. Now I work at Clinton Correctional Facilities.

Woman from Anywhere but Upstate, USA: OMG did you meet Tupac?!?

Example Five:

Girl on internet: I live in Massena.
Boy on internet in NYC: Is that like near Ethiopia?
by NarcissismKills July 29, 2009
Anything north of the immediate suburbs of New York City (i.e., Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Southern Orange counties).

Kindly note: Long Island is Long Island. It is not upstate. It's easy of the city, not north.
Bob: "Where are you from?"
Mike: "New York"
Bob: "Whooaaa is it crowded?"
Mike: "No, you dumb bitch, I'm from New York STATE. Upstate New York."
Bob: "Wait, it's a state?"
*Mike cracks Bob's skull.*
by alden. November 09, 2006
Lets get it straight..Upstate NY starts after Yonkers for all the people who dont know...It is not all cow country like people think..Yes there are ghettos everywhere here IE: Troy(tell right on ya), Albany (smallbany), Schenectady (AIDS capital of NY outside NYC)and Amsterdam (Amsterico) and other various locales...
Damn I got lost...I thought I was going to NYC and ended up somewhere called Watervliet...Oh shit is that the Arsenal?
by symone..AKA ill nana August 01, 2005
Any portion of New York State other than New York City and Long Island. Contains such "boring" things as the Finger Lakes, The Adirondak Mountains, large expanses of forest and farmland, a few relatively small cities, and numerous towns and villages of varying demographic levels. Not for those who have never left a city environment.
"Where do you live?"
"New York"
"Oh you're from the city?"
"No, I'm not. I'm from New York State"
"Ohhhh, you're from upstate"
by quietdream October 19, 2004
The beautiful subrban part of new york. The real New york. It is a cultural ritzy expensive part of new york. Itis not all city thee is some farms. Upstaters are not hicks they just own lots of land and enjoy having fun. The average size of a yard is 1.5 acres. It is the most beautiful area of new york. It is home to niagra falls. It also has some big cities, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany. But it is also home to some tiny cities. Phoenix Fulton Baldwinsville. We are the rel tough new yorkers that can stand anything.
NYC-er:Damn its so cold
Upstate -er:how cold is it
NYC-er:50 degrees
Upstate -er:WTF thats not cold that just wicked warm
NYC-er:okay ya hick
*upstate New York -er kicks the NYC-ers ass for coming to upsate
by real upstate new yorker June 11, 2009
border of CANADA crazy north where everyone knows everyone and you can see amish people anyday
-hey, why are those poeple burning grass on their front lawn?
-oh were in upstate new york

-hey what the fuck was that guy riding a horse and buggy for?
-oh hes an amish, were in upstate new york
by cstan90 May 05, 2009
To people from BK, Queens, and Shaolin, anything north of BX. To people from Harlem, da Heights, and BX, anything north of Yonkers. To people from Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and southern Westchester, anything north of Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow and White Plains. C'mon face it, Peekskill and Valhalla are NOT part of NYC Socially or Geographically.
Riverdale people are scared of people from southwest Yonkers
by d-block October 27, 2004