A Warm Day in Rochester

Toasty warm in fact. Yes, it’s still only in the teens outside after a bout of single digit temps and a couple feet of snow in recent days. I have been out riding in all of it every day and coming home with a near frozen ________ (fill in the blank) at times. Such is a normal winter day in Rochester NY.

But, I’m inside, on the couch and bundled up … “warm and fuzzy” … recovering  from the sedation of this morning’s routine (albeit late) colonoscopy (all  good — as expected). So within this cozy cocoon, I’m catching up on some reading that’s fallen behind due to a recent flurry of bicycle upgrade and maintenance projects … and test riding, of course.

“Warm and Toasty?”

One of my local sources of journalism posted an article about one of my favorite subjects … living in snowy, cold, and highly taxed New York … Rochester in particular. As a tour guide meeting people from all over the country, I hear one question all too frequently.

”Why would anyone want to live in New York State?”

Under my breath, I wonder why they come to visit my backyard … The Finger Lakes, The Adirondacks and Catskills, Niagara Falls, The Southern Tier, and  The Thousand Islands Regions … The Erie Canal, the beaches and lakes and  waterfalls and gorges and forests of our top notch state parks, the history, the wine country … and STILL not understand why I live here. Duh.

They wonder how we can stand the cold snowy winters. Well, we have snowplows and snowblowers and plowing contractors and we even have sidewalk plows! And my tour guests hear this from me often … “ There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”  And we have winter toys. Skis and sleds and snowshoes and snowmobiles and ice boats and now fatbikes and …. really … we have plenty of fun.

But all too often, it’s “The Taxes” they bring up. As if they think you need to be a lottery winner or something to be able to live here. As if, you’d be fine if they were as low as … Arkansas … or some other backwater state. I could argue that taxes, like anywhere else you live, are only one part of your total cost of living, and a very small one in comparison to the total. And if I start mentioning the services I get for those taxes … services that people in other states have to pay directly, individually, and typically higher for … I get these blank stares like I just cheated on the debate.

Alas, I’m no economist and although I generally think you get what you pay for, sometimes you can find bargains in places you’d never expect. My reading material today really backed me up on that, so I’d like to share that with you (link below).

Come see Rochester sometime. I’ll be happy to show you around. Bring your bike.

Rochester’s affordability edge

Life Behind Bars