What Rochester does have going for it

Local News

(News 8 WROC photo/Matt Driffill)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is set to make its Upstate New York debut Wednesday night at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena. While local wrestling fans are excited for the show, one of the wrestlers on the roster is not.

AEW’s Maxwell Jacob Freidman, known as MJF, wrote on Twitter Tuesday night: “Just landed. Holy mother of god Rochester has literally nothing going for it.”

The tweet went virally locally with many chiming in to agree or disagree, but with the amount of attention the post is getting, it begs the question:

What does Rochester have going for it?

Festivals and entertainment

If you’re from Rochester, or the region, you know what a rich festival city this is. During the summer months there are free events, live concerts, art festivals, and more practically every weekend. From the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in March, through the Lilac Festival in May, to the Jazz Festival in June, the Corn Hill Arts Festival in July, the Park Avenue Festival in August, to the Fringe Festival in September.

And those are just a few of the headliners. Events like Canal Days, Party in the Park, Live at MLK!, Midtown Eats, Food Truck Rodeos, Clothesline Festival, Artist Row, Public Market events, Flower City Comic-Con, Zoo Brews, GCVM’s Agricultural Fair, and too many others to name all dot the calendar.

And the fun extends beyond the summer too. Throughout the year you’ll be able to find shows at RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre, GEVA Theatre, Blackfriars Theatre, JCC Centerstage, Kodak Hall and more. You can catch live music year round at the Bug Jar, Anthology, Flour City Station, Lovin’ Cup, Main Street Armory — just to name a few venues. You can see a movie at the historic Little Theatre and Dryden Theater.

And there are sports too: Between the Red Wings, Amerks, Knighthawks, Flower City Union, and Rochester NY FC — there’s always a game to attend.

Weather

Your thoughts probably immediately jumped to a February snowstorm, or a windchill of minus 20 in mid-March, but in reality Rochester’s weather is a treat — or as News 8’s John Kucko might say, “sensational.”

Situated around 43 degrees latitude, the Flower City is about halfway between the equator and the North Pole, giving us some of the most diverse weather offerings year round, and four full seasons.

Yes, we get a lot of snow, with a big thanks to Lake Ontario, but we also got a beautiful spring bloom, some sweltering (but not unbearable) summers, and some of the most cozy and brilliant fall foliage seen anywhere.

Plus, as an added bonus for our weather, we don’t have to deal with major natural disasters like tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, or severe floods — for the most part.

Museums

Rochester is chock-full of museums to frequent and they’re each as different as they are engaging.

For family friendly fun, there’s the renowned Strong National Museum of Play, complete with its Toy and Video Game Hall of Fames. For contemporary and classic art, there’s the Memorial Art Gallery. For photography, and the history of it, there’s the George Eastman Museum. For space and science there’s the Rochester Museum and Scienter Center along with the Strasenburgh Planetarium. For a look into the past, there’s the Genesee Country Village and Museum. For a glimpse into a civil rights champion, there’s the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House. There’s also a nearby war plane museum, auto museum, historic sites, and more.

That’s just to name a few. Whatever your fancy, Rochester likely has a museum nearby that will interest you.

Food

As much as Rochester loves garbage plates, there’s much, much more to offer when it comes to cuisine.

That’s why last year it was named the fourth best metro in the country for “foodies,” just behind Miami, Berkeley, and Pittsburgh in the rankings.

There’s fine dining, cheap eats, brunches, cafes, delis, international cuisine, and more.

Whatever your palette desires, there’s a restaurant in Rochester that can satisfy your taste buds.

Nature

Not many cities have a nearly 100-foot tall waterfall going through their downtown, but Rochester does with High Falls. And although that natural beauty is located in the center of the city, the natural elements extend to all corners of the region, and beyond.

Whether you want to layout on the sand of Durand Eastman or Ontario Beach Parks, hike through Letchworth or Stone Brook State Parks, or soak in some urban trekking through Highland or Cobbs Hill Parks — Rochester has the nature spots for you.

And just outside the metro, you can make a short drive to soak in the wonders of the Finger Lakes, the towering Chimney Bluffs, the majesty of the Adirondacks, the force of Niagara Falls, or the breathtaking Thousand Islands.

Whatever your natural retreat of choice may be, Rochester has something for you.

History

If you want proof of Rochester’s historical significance, look no further than a trip through Mount Hope Cemetery, where you can find the gravesites of the city’s founder, champions of civil rights movements, titans of industry, and more.

Rochester was home to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass — each of whom are celebrated to this day as two of the city’s most significant residents in history, but there was also Kodak founder George Eastman, whose business and philanthropy fueled the Rochester economy and culture for generations.

Rochester was also home to media mogul Frank Gannett, who founded the newspaper company that owns the USA Today network and many other local newspapers. Gannett is among the many historical figures buried at Mount Hope.

A few other historical local figures include:

  • Hiram Sibley — Western Union Telegraph Company’s first president
  • George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry — Internationally renowned horticulturists
  • Frederick Law Olmstead — Considered the “father of American landscape architecture”

Arts

While Buffalo and Syracuse are big sports towns because of the Bills, Sabres, and Orange, Rochester is more an arts-oriented city. Perhaps a consequence of being home to Eastman, aka the “Father of Photography,” but Rochester has a long historic of artistic inclinations.

From longtime institutions, like the Eastman and Hochstein Schools of Music, or more contemporary artists like Shawn Dunwoody, Mikaela Davis, or Danielle Ponder, Rochester has a rich history of its involvement with the arts, from past to present.

And there’s a thirst for art in this city; hence the aforementioned arts festivals nearly every weekend throughout the summer where local vendors show off their wares to eager consumers in a quest for the creative.

Traffic (or lack thereof)

Although it’s common for locals to express negative opinions regarding local traffic issues (like potholes), the reality is most commuters can make it from one side of Monroe County to the other in less than a half an hour regardless of the day or time.

So say what you will about Rochester, but the traffic, or lake thereof, is nice compared to other cities that our bigger or comparably sized.

Wegmans

Just because.


Are we missing anything you would add to the list? Email newsroom@wroctv.com with your suggestions for what Rochester has going for it.

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