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Syracuse and Buffalo are ranked among the top 10 large metros in the U.S. for bars per capita. Trulia did the math using U.S. Census data.

The top drinking towns in the U.S. tended to be more affordable rust belt cities, including Pittsburgh and Toledo.

Since Trulia only published a map and not the full rankings, I crunched the numbers using the Census Business Patterns database and Trulia’s methodology.

Here’s where Upstate New York’s cities rank on bars per 10,000 households:

  • Elmira: 8.2
  • Binghamton: 7.1
  • Syracuse: 7.0
  • Buffalo: 6.8
  • Ithaca: 5.4
  • Albany: 4.3
  • Rochester: 4.2

How did Rochester end up dead last?

The presence of a lot of college students doesn’t have an impact when you consider Rochester and Ithaca are robust college towns. One explanation could be Rochester, Albany and Ithaca have better economies and are less blue-collar.



Here is a look at restaurants per 10,000 households:

  • Ithaca: 28.0
  • Albany: 21.6
  • Binghamton: 21.2
  • Syracuse: 19.7
  • Elmira: 19.7
  • Buffalo: 19.2
  • Rochester: 18.7

On this list, the smaller cities with big colleges did very well. Albany has the added bonus of having hungry, deal-making lawmakers.

Trulia found cities with more restaurants per capita have higher real estate prices:

Many people are willing to pay more to live near restaurants. But, more importantly, high-income people have more money to spend on eating out, so the high-cost places where high-income people tend to live can support more restaurants.

That’s certainly true in some Rochester neighborhoods, such as Park Avenue and South Wedge.

Links of the Day:

– The Albany Times Union revived the always-fun Upstate v. Downstate boundary debate:

Unlike all the different ways entities and governments carve up the state between regions and counties and towns and cities, there is no universal dividing line that separates “upstate” and “downstate,” according to multiple public and private agencies and organizations contacted Wednesday.

“Ever hear the line ‘Where you sit is where you stand?’ ” said Mark LaVigne, deputy director of the New York State Association of Counties. “There is no objective line.”

New York State has distinctive regions, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The Capital Region is enjoying economic success not felt in the rest of the state. The Finger Lakes Region’s unemployment is lower than other regions, but wages here are declining. Western New York is lagging.

Upstaters don’t need to be reminded of these differences. Downstaters do.

– How much money do you need to buy a home in the Rochester region? The National Association of Realtors says you only need to earn $23,796 if you put 10 percent down. The group based the figure on median home prices and mortgage payments not exceeding 25 percent of one’s income.

That figure seems awfully low. Could anyone qualify for a mortgage with that kind of salary?

– The Bay Bridge is closing four weekends this summer for repairs. Webster residents are worried they’ll be trapped.

A Syracuse hot dog company wants to go national.

Meet Monroe Avenue’s Dancing Man.

TIME is creeping everyone out with its coverthat they’re seeing for the first time on social media. Nice way to grab attention for a medium declining in relevancy.

City of Rochester

Links of the Day:

– Rochester is much more optimistic than our Upstate counterparts, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Fifty-three percent of us are optimistic about where our community is headed.

Binghamton landed in the bottom 10 metro areas on the optimism scale, with only 28 percent of residents feeling good about things. Syracuse and Utica also landed in the bottom 10. Buffalo ranked in the bottom of large metro areas.

Other facts about Rochester’s well-being, which is slightly higher than the national average:

  • 25% of us are obese
  • 53% of us frequently exercise
  • 10% of us have diabetes
  • 58% of us eat produce regularly

– Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize sports teams because there is no economic benefit, according to a report in Freakonomics:

Do sports generate jobs and economic growth?

This is a question that has been addressed numerous times by economists.  And these studies – summarized by economists Rob Baade and Victor Matheson — tend to reveal two answers.  When the study is completed by paid consultants prior to the public money being spent, the benefits from sports are numerous are large. However, when independent researchers – who are not paid by professional sports teams or leagues – look for these benefits after the fact, evidence of more jobs and economic growth are hard to find.


…the empirical evidence suggests quite strongly that sports do not create many jobs or generate much economic growth.  And such evidence has proven to be quite persuasive.  In fact, a survey of economists by Gregory Mankiw noted that 85% of economists agree that local and state governments should not subsidize professional sports. Mankiw also notes that only five issues have more agreement among economists.

– Everyone loves a good dog story. This one is about a paralyzed puppy abandoned in Rochester.

– Look at cool pictures of lions.

– Red meat will kill you.


The Rockefeller Institute of Government, in a report called “Giving and Getting,” found New York State’s downstate residents pay far more in taxes than they receive in return. The study was first reported by Gannett News Service.

New Yorkers pay more than $80 million in taxes and fees.

Excerpt from report:

Upstate residents often believe they subsidize generous social welfare programs that disproportionately benefit Downstate;


New York City and the Downstate Suburbs “give” far more to Albany in taxes and other revenues than they “get” in state-funded expenditures. The Capital Region and the Rest of State, by contrast, get significantly more than they give.

The study finds New York City gives 45 percent of the state’s income tax revenues, but gets back 40 percent. Downstate suburbs give 27 percent, but get back 17 percent. Upstate, excluding the Capital Region, gives 24 percent and gets back 35 percent.

State Senator Joseph Robach has advocated making Upstate New York its own state. This report suggests Upstate would lose out on serious revenues.

“I don’t know if those numbers are right, but New York City drives the policies that we spend money on,” said Robach, who would like to see a referendum on secession and other issues in New York.