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.
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