Welcome new visitors

To those who are visiting York Staters for the first time, or even those who only stop by occasionally, welcome!

Our website is an experiment in increasing regional debate and identity throughout Upstate New York by providing a forum for discussion. Our mission statement perhaps best sums up our mindset and goals:

"In a vast state that has always been dominated in the national consciousness by a few measly islands, New York has long been synonymous with New York City. Everything else is, sometime contemptuously, referred to as 'Upstate.' And geographically speaking, that’s where we in the rest of the state exist.

And so we are termed 'Upstate New Yorkers.' But personally, communally, regionally, are we merely a footnote to the story of New York State? Second class citizens residing in some hayseed cultural backwater that is merely a place for second homes, colleges,
and prisons? For people who now or at one time have made their homes Upstate, the answer is no. Upstate New York has its own rich history, culture, and communities worth considering, worth investigating, and maybe even worth celebrating. The term 'York Staters' reflects these facts and contributes to something that in this age of rapidly homogenizing culture can too often be lost: a regional identity. One made up of smaller local identities, to be sure:
the York Staters from Buffalo to inside the Blue Line have as many differences as they do similarities. And York Staters is a place to share them."

I encourage new visitors to take a look at our subpages, for which you will find links on the right hand column. Our Mission describes who we are what what we do. Below that are the guidelines for Submissions; we are a community blog and encourage you, the Yorkstater, to submit your writings to our discussion. The remaining subpages are devoted to our projects: The Yorkstater of the Month Gallery (which honors one resident who is doing his or her best to make Upstate a better place to live), Upstate Essays (a listing of our favorite posts from the history of Yorkstaters), Tastes of the Region (one of our most popular areas, each edition features a food unique to our region, its history and how to make it), What's in a Name? (discussions of the histories of unique place names), Great Books (the Upstate Reading List) and the famous York State Quote Board.

If you wish to sendus hate mail or fan mail, submit articles, photos, quotes for the quote board, suggestions for things for us to write about or books for our Reading List, please drop us an email at york.staters (at) gmail (dot) com. We also love comments on our posts as debate is impossible without your opinions. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the site.

-Jesse, co-editor of York Staters.


david said...

First time...saved, and will come back for more.

Jesse said...

As a note to first time commentors, if you make a comment it does not automatically appear. We've had problems with spam, so we have approved posting. To sum it up, we go through the comments several times a day (I know I check almost every time I go online) and weed out the non-humans and put up all of the other comments. Except for one case of a particularly nasty flame filled with profanity (check out our Submissions section for our standards), we have posted every comment sent to us... regardless of our opinion of your opinion. That does not, of course, mean that we don't respond to those who disagree with us, only that we allow them their voice in the debate.

AJ said...

Nice site, but one glaring omission. In your urgency to include "upstate New York," you seem to have cut off the top of New York. St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex do not seem visible on your map. It's a nice idea, but ignoring Northern New York isn't going to win you any fans (out of all five of us who live there...). Even if you were hitting somewhat good sized cities, Plattsburgh doesn't appear. And it is the same size as Watertown, maybe a bit smaller nowadays.

Jesse said...

AJ- The map at the top of our blog does not, by any means, indicate the borders of the area we define. I did not myself design the banner (the name for that picture at the top of the Blog), but I believe Natalie trimmed the edges to allow for enough detail to be shown in the map (not needing to alter it to the point of pixelation or unreadability).

Though you may not know it, my own home town (Johnson City), which sits on the southern border of the state near Binghamton, is also cut off the map as is the current home (Red Hook) of the banner's designer, my co-editor Natalie, though both of them are firmly in Upstate New York.

We try to hit as much of New York as possible in our discussions, and if you glance through our archives you'll find several North Country pieces (for instance, here's one on Saranac Lake), another on Rouse's Point on Champlain, and Lake Bonaparte), however, we (the editors) try not to write about places that we're not overly familiar with. For example, I have never been to Olean, Jamestown or Plattsburgh and have not written anything about them. However, instead of seeing this as a deficiency AJ, I hope that you instead see it as an opportunity to make a Submission and tell us about your home town.