Western New York
Western New York refers to the westernmost region of
New York State. It includes the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Niagara Falls, and surrounding suburbs. Some historians, scholars and others consider the Western New York border to be at the Monroe–Orleans County line. [http://rkn.buffalo.edu/] However many in the region consider Western New York's easternmost county to be Wayne County [http://www.truckads.com/Affiliate/Rochester.htm#map] [http://www.wayne-county.org/] .
While Western New York is part of
Upstate New York, the term "Western New York" is used to distinguish the western part of the state from the rest of Upstate New York. Western New York consists of 12 western counties in New York State: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Orleans, Niagara, Wyoming, Monroe, Wayne, Livingston and Ontario. Western New York can also be defined as the area of upstate New York within the Buffalo and Rochester television markets. The Buffalo market covers the eight counties of the Holland Purchase(as well as two counties in Pennsylvania, each station varies slightly in its coverage) and the Rochester market covers from Wyoming County northeastward to Wayne County.
Western New York has three "sub-regions". The mountainous southern regions of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties make up a "sub-region" known as "The Southern Tier" or simply "The "Southerntier" which can be considered part of
AppalachiaThis portion of western New York overlaps with a broader Southern Tierthat takes up most of the counties along the New York-Pennsylvania border. Another "sub-region" is the Niagara Frontier, the name of which dates back to America's Colonial period, when the area surrounding Erie and Ontario, as well as The Niagara River were the point of the colonies' furthest expansion. To this day, the "frontier" is sometimes defined as also including part of northeast Ohio, as well as Pennsylvania's Erie region. A third "sub-region" is the Genesee Valley region, which includes Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming Counties as well as Steuben County(Steuben County is seldom defined as being part of Western New York). A large portion of the Genesee Valley region is also considered part of the Finger Lakesregion.
Western New York is served by
Interstate 90, Interstate 86 in the Southern Tier and Interstate 390, (the former U.S. Route 15) in the Genesee Region. The Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan area is served by Interstate 190, Interstate 290 and Interstate 990. In addition to being served by Interstate 390, the Rochester Metro area is also served by Interstate 490 and Interstate 590. The planned expansion of the U.S. Route 219Expressway from Buffalo through Cattaraugus County will provide another major thoroughfare in Western New York.
Some traits that differentiate Western New York from the rest of Upstate New York include people's use of the word "pop" instead of "soda" to refer to
soft drinks, and the presence of the local Wegmans grocery stores (although these stores can now be found in Central New York). Western New York is part of the Inland North region of American English, which means it is subject to the Northern Cities vowel shift. The distinct Buffalo Englishaccent, while bearing a slight resemblance to other Great Lakesaccents, is indigenous exclusively to the region. Furthermore, in the southern portion of Western New York, influences of Appalachian Englishcan be heard due in part to proximity to rural Pennsylvania. Finally, a clear majority of Western New York sports fans support the Buffalo Billsand the Buffalo Sabres. Team loyalties of sports fans in the rest of upstate New York are more divided.
If it were counted as a single area, the population of Western New York would number 2.5 million, or roughly the population of the entire Pittsburgh metropolitan area. However, the U.S. Census Bureau has classified the Buffalo and Rochester areas as two different metropolitan areas.
*Erie County, population 950,265
*Monroe County, population 735,343
*Niagara County, population 219,846
*Chautauqua County, population 139,750
*Ontario County, population 100,224
*Wayne County, population 93,609
*Cattaraugus County, population 83,955
*Livingston County, population 64,328
*Genesee County, population 60,370
*Allegany County, population 49,927
*Orleans County, population 44,171
*Wyoming County, population 43,424
The following incorporated villages are found in the 12 western counties:
Western New York's land was acquired from the
Iroquoisthrough war, treaty, and purchase during the late 1700s and early 1800s. During the War of 1812Western New York was part of the borderland frontier between the United Statesand British Canada and became the scene of various military actions.
The two major Western New York cities, Buffalo and Rochester, benefitted greatly from the opening of the Erie Canal. With its strategic position at the western end of the Erie Canal, the eastern end of Lake Erie and proximity to Niagara Falls and Canada, Buffalo emerged as a major port. Niagara Falls provided Buffalo with a ready supply of power, so much so that one of its enduring nicknames is "The City of Light". Buffalo experienced steady growth during the 19th Century and at one point was one of the 10 most populated cities in the United States. According to some, Rochester was "America's First Boomtown" [http://www.westernny.com/history3.html] and was a key player in the flour industry (hence its initial nickname "Flour City"). Its growth was directly attributed to both the completion of the Erie Canal and its resulting significance in the flour industry. As a region, Western New York played a significant role in the American economy during the 19th Century.
Western New York has a
humid continental climateheavily influenced by both Lake Erieand Lake Ontario. Winters are indeed long and cold, often lasting from around mid-November to early April. Thanks to both Lakes Erie and Ontario, a copious amount of snow falls on Western New York. Lake effectsnows can result in highly localized, sometimes intense snow events and are usually most active between November and February. The Southern Tier normally receives the heaviest amount of snow in Western New York during the winter. Spring and Fall in Western New York are usually short and changeable. Lost in its famed winters, Western New York summers are generally very pleasant. Thanks in part to breezes blowing over Lakes Erie and Ontario (which are usually cooler than the air temperature in the summer), Western New York enjoy generally cooler and more comfortable summers than other regions in the same climatic zone.
Colleges and universities
Bryant & Stratton College
Buffalo State College
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Empire State College
Erie Community College
Genesee Community College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Jamestown Community College
Monroe Community College
Niagara County Community College
Roberts Wesleyan College
Rochester Institute of Technology
St. Bonaventure University
Saint John Fisher College
St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry
University at Buffalo, the largest public university in New York
University of Rochester
Villa Maria College
Western New York is home to two significant scenic attractions.
Niagara Fallsis undoubtedly the most famous attraction in Western New York. Forming part of Western New York's border with Canada, the Falls has evolved into a major destination for tourists and locals alike. A second, less famous scenic attraction, is Letchworth State Park. Located 35 miles south of Rochester, Letchworth State Park has been termed "The Grand Canyon of the East."
Western New York is represented by the
Buffalo Billsin the NFLand the Buffalo Sabresin the NHL. The Buffalo Bills currently play their home football games at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the largest sports stadium in the state. The Bills have something of a tortured history, having reached the Super Bowlin four consecutive seasons (1990-1993), only to lose all four times.
The Buffalo Sabres also have a strong following in Western New York. The Sabres reached the
Stanley Cup Finalsin 1999 only to lose the series on a controversial goal. The Sabres currently enjoy healthy rivalries with both the Toronto Maple Leafsand Ottawa Senators. It is not uncommon for Western New Yorkers to make the relatively short trip to Torontoor Ottawato support the Sabres. On January 1, 2008, the Sabres played the Pittsburgh Penguinsat Ralph Wilson Stadium. This was the first ever regular-season NHL game held outdoors in the United States.
While Western New York currently does not have a team in
Major League Soccer(occasionally considered the fifth major league on the American sporting landscape), Rochester has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for a new expansion franchise. This is due to the relative success of the Rochester Rhinos. The Rhinos have become something of a regional team in Western New York, though at nowhere near the popularity of the Bills or Sabres. The Rhinos are best known as being the only non-MLS team to win the US Open Cupsince that competition was opened to MLS teams.
Buffalo Niagara Region
Central New York
Upstate New York
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