Rochester, NY is my home town. I was born and raised here; as was my wife. It ain’t glamorous, but it is a great place to live and to raise a family. Rochester has had it’s share of ups and downs. It has been the murder capital of NY state in the past. It has a lot of poverty and homelessness. It is (or at least was) considered the Imaging Capital of the World for a time with huge companies such as Kodak and Xerox and Bausch + Lomb calling it home. Bausch + Lomb is still around, although it has been bought by a larger corporation now. Xerox is still around, but has seen better days and struggles constantly with lots of lay offs. Kodak is essentially dead now; just a name now with a rich history and no future. It is really sad to see all those building downtown gradually emptying out.
Rochester has thrived in the past as the Flour City with huge Flour Mills harnessing the power of the Mighty Genesee River and the Falls pictured in the above images. George Eastman and his company, Kodak, really put it on the map. Kodak once employed 145,000 people; today it employs only about 8,500. An Epic Collapse; mostly due to bad decisions and underestimating the digital revolution as a passing fad.
I was, like Kodak, a film holdout. I resisted the urge to go digital for a long time. I considered myself a purist and tried to convince myself that the quality was better with film. It was true, for a short time. When digital photography started, the resolution was low and blown up images looked pixelated. but with todays digital cameras, even cell phone cameras, the quality and resolution is incredible.
I am glad I changed for many reasons. Nowadays, I wouldn’t even know where to buy film. Digital allows you to take tons of images, immediately review them, discard the bad ones and keep the good ones, then immediately retake the shot over and over until you get it right! With film, you had to take several shots of the same subject with different shutter speeds and F-stops, and hope that one of them turned out good. For every roll of film, you might come out with 2-3 quality images.
But I digress. Back to Rochester. I choose to see Rochester in a different light. it has it’s downside, for sure, but there is so much that Rochester does right. Rochester and Monroe County are a great place to raise a family. The school districts, at least the ones in the suburbs, are phenomenal. There are amazing museums throughout the area. There are great Minor League Sports teams with rich histories. It is on Lake Ontario for those who love boating. It is close to the Finger Lakes which has great wineries and beautiful scenery and all the boating and swimming that is available on those lakes. It is close to Canada. There are great restaurants and bars here in Rochester and Monroe County. There are great festivals and events every year such as the Lilac Festival, the Jazz Festival, and the Park Ave and Corn Hill Festivals.
And, Rochester is the home of Wegman’s!!! If you have never been to Wegman’s, you are missing out. It is a grocery store chain, family owned, THAT HAS EVERYTHING!!! When I lived in Sonoma, CA, we used to have to go to three different grocery stores to get everything we needed. Wegman’s has it all, under one roof, at the best price, with amazing service. Rochester has so many awesome things; Abbott’s Frozen Custard, Nick Tahoe’s Garbage Plates, Zweigle’s Hot Dogs, Genesee Beer…the list goes on and on and on. I love living in Rochester and I am proud to call myself a Rochesterian!
The pictures above were taken of High Falls on the Genesee River and the Skyline of Rochester, from a pedestrian bridge in the Brown’s Race/High Falls area of downtown Rochester, NY during the late spring. The first image has been tweaked and enhanced, the second image is the raw image.
Thanks for reading. Come and visit Rochester!! Grab a garbage plate, and abbott’s cone, walk the pier at the lake, then check out Wegman’s!!
Visit my sites below. Many of the images were taken in and around Rochester and Monroe County.