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WE DID IT! We have interviewed 100 Rochesterians. We have talked to 100 amazing, interesting humans about the things they love in their dear city. We have loved the opportunity to get to know the people around us doing great things and living life in #ROC. Roc gets a bad rep sometimes, but there is so much to explore, so much to love, and so much potential on the horizon. We are lucky to live in a city full of so many great, passionate people working on fascinating projects and making our city a vibrant place to life.

To celebrate our 100th interview, we have collected a list of 100 Things to Love About Rochester. We hope you enjoy it! Did we miss something? Tweet us what you love about #ROC!


1. Unique spots like Lower Falls earn Rochester a lot of love from locals. “You can literally walk down to the falls. And you forget that you’re in the city because you’re down there and it’s nature. It kind of smells like fish a lot when people are fishing (laughs), but it’s really nice down there.” - Julie Adner

2. “[The Dryden] is my favorite thing about Rochester. I go there a couple times a month because they always have something going on. It’s like $8, so it’s worth it. And I really, really like how at the beginning of each movie, they have either a volunteer or a film student give an introduction...I don’t know any other place that has such a cult following and sense of community like the Dryden does.” - Juliana Culbert

3. “There’s always something to do. If I’m ever just here and I’m bored, I can think of a million places I could go. It’s a lot of freedom actually.” - Michele Judkins

4. Genny Cream Ale. Yup. “When I think of a drink in Rochester, I think of Genesee beer. It’s classic. I like how it’s cheap, but in a good way. It’s a go-to. It says, “Make the most of what you got. Just enjoy it.” - AJ Mosher

5. “Trivia...through the company Geeks Who Drink. They do it 4-5 nights a week at different places.” - Steph Fallon

6. Cool little local spots like Lux get a lot of love, too. “Lux… [has] stuff going on every night. Wednesday night they have movies. And they have pizza. There’s always something different going on.” - Frankie Bonn

7. Discovering secret spaces in the city is the best. “I like Cobbs Hill. You can take the trail down to where the giant water towers are and where all the graffiti is. I love going there and taking pictures. I think that’s just an awesome place to be. And no one knows about it! You can’t see them. You have to know the area.” - Meg Ameden

8.Pittsford Wegmans, specifically the bulk and prepared food section.” - Kim Springer

9. Rochester is just full of surprises: “There’s a lot more to the city than people realize. There’s paintball, there’s climbing places…” - The Corbins

10. Naturally, they had to come up… “Garbage plates. Gimme a cheeseburg plate, mac, home fries, onions, extra sauce, and life is good.” - John Ellis

11. Catching a Redwings game on a weeknight is a plus. “I like to go to the Redwings games during the week. I love baseball, so I want to go and watch the game and be able to actually pay attention.” - Danielle Sauers

12. “I like the seasons. I love having winter all the time. I like snowboarding and shit. It’s fun. “ - Like Violence

13. “Rochester is a small, but strong community.” - Anthony Vence

14. “It’s affordable. I’m from California originally, and the thing I noticed when I first moved here is that people that maybe aren’t the most educated, maybe they work at a gas station, can still afford to buy a home and live a regular life. That is something that is very attractive to me about Rochester. It’s a great equalizer.” - Madelyn & Jennifer

15. Favorite drinks always make the list: “The Chocolate Sitch at Java's.” is one of those drinks. - Matt Rogers

16. “The East Ave Historic District is definitely my favorite. The houses are stunning.” - Jacalyn Meyvis

17. “My favorite part of ROC lives in its complexity. The weather, the varied architecture, how there is so much good happening, and at the same time so much bad. I like it here because most don't.” - Tony Palermo

18. “Hockey season. We are RIT Tiger fans and the whole family gets into the excitement.” - Calin Lawrence

19. “The community. Everyone is so tight knit, and the 20-30 somethings are working on some really cool projects that celebrate this city.” - Breanna Banford

20. Food just keeps coming up! Ooh, and brunch. One favorite? “Brunch at Frog Pond on Park Ave.” - Emma Daitz

21. There are just so many hidden gems. “One of my favorite spots is this trail and gazebo by the Democrat and Chronicle building in Greece by Long Pond and Ridgeway. At night, it’s the perfect place.” - Stephen Luke

22. Being in the city at nighttime around the holidays is a special thing: “Downtown around 9pm is pretty dope with all the Christmas lights.” - Denard Smith

23. There are tons of interesting local events going on all the time, like “the ROC Awards.” - Na’Tasha Jones

24. “Gibbs really feels like home. I like to hit up Java's, sit outside, sip coffee, and enjoy the day. I run into a lot of people I know, and also meet new people.” - Nate Leisenring

25. “We embrace the spirit of what it means to live here. We are going through an incredible rejuvenation period, led by creative young people who want to see Rochester thrive.” - Amanda DeFisher

26. “It’s a small city full of great, passionate, and creative people, and getting to know them and all the cool things they are involved in makes living in this city a uniquely awesome experience.” - Emily Hessney

27. “People here are very down to earth and friendly.” - Jenny Johnson

28. “The Rochester Broadway Theatre League at the Auditorium Theatre has so much culture injected into every inch.” - Taylor Wroblewski

29. “The Rochester Public an interesting collection of people, activity, and excitement in one place.” - Jason Barrett

30. “I love springtime. Other cities have nice weather year round, but they don’t get to experience the thrill of spring when the trees start blooming and everyone is outside and on their porches.” - Sam DiBona & Sarah Hudson

31. “We are a city that tries new things.” - Katy LaJuett

32. “Rochester’s skies are always so pretty.” - Jessica Waydelis

33. “There is an absolute abundance of parks with trails to hike around the city, and tons of small waterways with fishing and kayak access.” - Dave Meleca

34. “Everybody has a connection to somebody.” - Kelly & Aaron Metras

35. “Manhattan Square Park (now MLK Jr Park) is my favorite space.” - Charles Moreland

36. “I like the feeling that even if I leave for a long time and come back, the true heart of Rochester will still be there.” - Maria Gorre

37. “Live music fills the streets in the summertime, and there are so many museums or art galleries to explore.” - Jessica Gasbarre

38. “The theatre community--it’s lively! Theatre is everywhere.” - Jennifer Caton

39. “The herb garden at the RMSC. My grandmother used to bring me there growing up and now I like to wander through it before heading into work in the morning. If you visit it, try closing your eyes for a moment. It’s called the Garden of Fragrance for a reason.” - Hannah Barry

40. “When you go through the ‘would like to haves’ of a city—green space, music, restaurants, easy commute to work, art galleries, etc.—Rochester ticks all of those boxes and more.” - Kelsey Delmotte

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41.Mt. Hope Cemetery. It’s a truly beautiful park and it has a unique story. The narrated tours through the cemetery are amazing.” - Joanie Fraver

42. “There’s never a shortage of things to discover, both historical and modern. Rochester has an incredibly rich and vast history, and we are continuing to reinvent the city. Both our history and our story of self-reinvention are endless.” - Chris Clemens

43. “Snowstorms will always be my favorite memory. Rochester’s weather is a common denominator that our community is built on.” - Nicole Kazimer

44. “Rochester is becoming a huge supporter to local businesses and I see it more and more everyday. The entire community is eager to help out the smaller and local businesses, versus the bigger named brands.” - Nicole Antonini

45. “The history here combined with the revitalization efforts make it really exciting to live here.” - Danielle Raymo

46. “Evening, when the sun is setting and we all get to marvel at that unbelievable New York State sunset. There’s nothing like it. (Make sure you get to see a sunset on the lake during the summer. Hamlin or Charlotte have great views.)” - Greg Best

47. There’s something for everyone here in Roc! The “Rochester Mini Maker Faire and the feeling of seeing so many Rochesterians being able to show off their passions and projects.” - Dan Schneiderman

48. “Brunch at Brown Hound Downtown at the MAG! I live for their sausage gravy. I want to put it on everything.” - Eboni Jones

49. “Rochester is truly a melting pot.” - Terry Sinopoli

50. “It’s constantly ripe with potential and on the cusp of things.” - Matt DeTurck

51. “It’s a good place to explore.” - Ruya Kirac

52. “You come back and you feel at home, and connected” - Michael Agnello

53. “Get involved and opportunities will come from the connections you build.” - Upstate Social

54. “You can run into folks on the forefront of shaping these vibrant sub-cultures at a coffee shop! The opportunity to build relationships with other boundary-pushers and artists on the frontier is awesome.” - Alykhan Alani

55. “The beauty of the city—the architecture.” - Shawn O’Hara

56. “Rochesterians are warm and friendly...Everyone is willing to be part of the community effort.” - Jackie Capita

57.The Spectral Carnival! It’s so cool and interesting. It has kind of a steampunk vibe, with carnival type food, singing, juggling, costumes, belly dancing, and more!” - Sigriet Ferrer & Matthew Leffler

58. “You really don’t feel like you’re lacking for anything.” - Chad Post

59. “It’s a cacophony of different elements from other cities.” - Jon Lewis

60. “Rochester has this ability to be what you need it to be at the time you need it.” - Vanessa Cheeks

61. “The local parks—hands down!” - Tyler Socash

62. “It’s so welcoming.” - Rachel & Cordell Cordaro

63. “It’s no secret that Marge’s is really fun.” - Tommy Brunett

64. “If you want to make something happen in this city, you can, within three months. It’s a super supportive community—you’ll have a whole team of people on board.” - John Magnus Champlin

65. “Every neighborhood in Rochester is different and they all have hidden gems! For example, Barry’s Old School Irish in Webster is fantastic.” - Sarah Murphy Abbamonte

66. “Rochester’s got the sweetest people.” - Shelby Przybylek

67. “There’s a deep-rooted desire to share knowledge with others.” - Justin Flory

68. “The cost of living is so good here, that it makes it easy to start new businesses and other projects.” - Megan Charland

69. “A bunch of people from a bunch of different places have ended up here, creating a life for themselves. It makes the city a melting pot of cultures and experiences, which I think is pretty cool.” - Gala Tubera

70. “Central Library in downtown Rochester is one of my favorite places to visit. I love to just wander around browse. They have a hidden outdoor reading area that is relaxing and downright zen-like.” - Scott Pukos

71. “Rochester is coming into its own super artistic flavor” - January Residents at The Yards

72.Swiftwater – I love their patio and bar. Their sours are fun too and they push your palette.” - Carolyn Stiles

73. “The seafood specials at Lento.” - Kate Meyers Emery

74. “There’s so much diversity here.” - Shay Lawhorn

75. “Rochester has a huge arts community relative to its size!” - Tart Vandelay

76. “There’s a legacy of innovation here—academics and entrepreneurs alike, including Bausch and Lomb, Kodak, and Xerox. But Rochester isn’t just a hub of optics—it’s a center of great cultural innovation too. Many modern American religions have roots here, like Spiritualism, Mormonism, and evangelicalism. Other movements, like the Progressive Era, abolitionism, and women’s rights have connections to Rochester, too, and it’s all thanks to our proximity to lakes, canals, etc.” - Dan Gorman

77. “The walkability! There are so many cool coffee shops you can walk to.” - Madelein Smith

78. “I love the Playhouse! It’s so cool that it’s a legit bar, with amazing cocktails, and great burgers.” - Kathy Turiano & Christin Ortiz

79. “The food. The Arnett Café, Sooul Wings on Joseph, and Caoba on East Ridge Road are some of my favorites.” - Tianna Manon

80. “I love the mashup type events that pop up around Rochester. There was a toy store on Monroe that would have a basement show going on at the same time as a party and a video game tournament. They’re closed now, but it was super fun! I was at Swillburger recently and found out that Rochester has a group of people that play in an old-school pinball league—I just stumbled upon it. It was a group of hobbyists that meets regularly, and I had no idea it existed until that moment!” - Rob Mostyn

81. “Everyone is continuing to build Rochester up” - Lauren Zazarra

82. “The Winton Library is one of my favorite [places], I love the feel of the place and that it’s so small. ...Their staff has always been very supportive of Writers & Books.” - Chris Fanning

83. “One of my favorite events every year is watching silk dyeing demos at the Lilac Festival. It’s very unique to Rochester, and is mesmerizing to watch. They lay out silk sheets on the ground and just paint them, twice a day.” - Rachael Gootnick

84. “There’s always innovation, and weird and eclectic stuff going on” - Casey Bowker

85. “There are so many opportunities for photographers and artists” - Jason Wilder

86. “Everyone is receptive to new ideas and wants to connect with each other...people...are invested in the community and feel like they can make a difference.” - Julianne Pangal

87. “I...appreciate the partnerships within the community and the way older generations embrace collaborating with young people.” - Anita O’Brien

88. “The bad weather makes spring sweeter” - Meghan Murphy

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89. “The Nitrate Picture Show is particularly fun.” - Adam Lubitow

90. “The design of our parks and other green spaces is fascinating. There’s so much history!” - Paige Doerner

91. “There’s a series of bridges in Genesee Valley Park that feels like a different world, but is only two minutes from the city.” - Michael Cmar

92. Day trips to the Finger Lakes are easy and awesome! “The Grassroots Festival is always fun—it’s a music festival in Trumansburg. Lots of people camp out, and there’s all kinds of music, like zydeco, bluegrass, and more.” - Kit & Nancy

93. “Lake surfing in December…[it’s] like swimming in a slushie.” - Eric Lehman

94. “There’s only ever about two degrees of separation between people.” - Nicole Milano

95. “I’m obsessed with kettlecorn [from the Public Market], and I’m convinced that it’s not as good in any other city. I’ve done taste tests.” - Kristen Seversky

96. “There is such an eclectic group of people [here in Rochester].” - Ian Cramer

97. “It feels like a really all-accepting town here, where you can be socially comfortable with people from all walks of life.” - Seth Faergolzia

98. There are “so many great opportunities here.” - Abeer Kadhem

99. “The food truck scene here is amazing. Stingray Sushi Fusion has the best sushi in town. Neno’s has the best Mexican.” - Scott Fairbanks

100. “The falls on the Genesee River and made [photographing them with] Mr. Eastman’s Kodak.” - Susan B. Anthony

Thanks for reading, and thanks for following along for these first 100 interviews! Want to be one of our next 100 interviews? Fill out the Contribute form on our website.