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Hannah Barry

Rochester Museum & Science Center

Interview No. 39

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I think cites are magical in the morning as they begin to wake up. All sorts of people start to trickle out into the streets—from people in sweats walking their dog, to people in suits heading to work.

What part of Rochester are you from?

As of very recently, I’m from NOTA! I moved from Brighton to the Neighborhood of the Arts earlier this month and I’m very pleased that I can now walk to work at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC).

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Webster.

What is your favorite part of living in Rochester?

There’s so much to do! There’s a fantastic variety of arts and entertainment that are extremely affordable or even free. I’ll definitely be checking out one of the many Jazz Festival performances this week or next.

Do you have any favorite Rochester spots?

Too many to count. I spend the most time in is 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.

What is your favorite time of day to hang out in the city?

The morning. I think cites are magical in the morning as they begin to wake up. All sorts of people start to trickle out into the streets—from people in sweats walking their dog, to people in suits heading to work. The light is something special; I love to see the sun starting to hit the tops of tall buildings while the world below is still a soft, shadowy grey.

What is your favorite day of the week?

Thursday. On Thursdays, it starts to feel like the weekend. Apogee cuts into a Scratch Bakeshop Cake, the MAG is open late, and I hope to be somewhere with a glass of wine in my hand.   

Describe your dream Rochester day.

I’d wake up pretty early—no surprise there—and head to the Public Market. Starting with a cup of coffee, I’d gradually take in all the sights and sounds: the hum of conversation, a guitar playing, a small child wandering over to dance.

After an initial lap to scope out the produce, I’d pick out ingredients to make a meal for friends. Shopping in the past, I’ve had vendors and other shoppers chime in with their tips for cooking what I’m buying and I love that.

Since this is a dream day, let’s say that after cooking and enjoying all that food, there’s still time to catch a show at one of Rochester’s theatres.

“See the wings?” he’d say. “That’s how you know you’re in Rochester.”

Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

NOTA and the Park Ave/East Ave area. Okay, I didn’t pick just one neighborhood, but it’s hard to decide! Three museums (RMSC, MAG and the Eastman Museum) are all there within walking distance of one another and my favorite restaurants (Good Luck and Roux) are like delicious bookends to the north and south of the city.

Favorite bar?

Probably the Daily Refresher. It’s where I first had a French 75, now my go-to cocktail.

Favorite hungover spot?

The Highland Park Diner is probably my favorite. Nothing says classic diner like Highland Park.

Personal coping method for cold/grey weather?

The only solution is to wrap a cozy scarf around my neck and find something warm to hold. Whether it’s a cup of tea at home or an empanada at the Public Market.

What is your favorite Rochester memory?

My favorite Rochester memory brings me way back. As a little girl, I remember my father pointing out the Wings of Progress in the city skyline whenever it was in view. “See the wings?” he’d say. “That’s how you know you’re in Rochester.” It’s still my favorite building in the city.

What makes Rochester unique?

In my experience, the most unique thing about Rochester are its sister-city relationships. Through student exchanges, cultural events and other initiatives, Rochester maintains a network of friendships with twelve other cities all around the world. You can go to Rennes, France, for example, and find that you have mutual Rochester friends. It’s across the ocean, but it may as well be across the street.

What do you think could be improved?

I’d like to see some areas become more pedestrian and bike friendly. Fortunately, there are improvements like this already in the works. I can’t wait to see where we’re at in five years.

If Rochester were a food, what would it be?

A Zweigle’s “white hot.” It’s one of those things that you take for granted until you leave Rochester and realize nobody knows what on Earth you’re talking about. I have family near Atlanta, Georgia, and when they visit, they always drive back with some Zweigle’s in their cooler.

 

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Hannah Barry eloquently shares and discovers all the wonderful things Rochester has to offer, and during the day works as part of the RMSC's Advancement team. Read more of Hannah's perspective on our Instagram.

Interview by Emily Hessney