What is New York like outside of New York City?
I live in a village of 500 people in the Mountains of the Adirondacks in Northern New York State. Actually, it isn't even a village anymore, its classified as a hamlet.
When I tell people I live in NY they automatically think my cost of living is huge. I own 12 acres of forest land, plus my house sits on another two acres of land next to a river - total cost for both was like $80,000. Granted, it isn't a great house and not very big. I have put probably another $10,000 into fixing it up and will probably put more in as time goes on.
My 12 acres - we have a bear problem. I can't sleep in a tent there anymore and will have to build a permanent structure. I wrote about my bear problem here: Risk, Rapid Changes, and Unexpected Bears
I have to spray my yard for ticks, and most residents have been bitten a few times by ticks (my daughter twice since moving here in 2014, and me once so far).
Residents up here mostly vote Republican. I saw one Bernie yard sign. If you want to talk about an area that could benefit from Democrats controlling the government this is it (and they do benefit from it), but they don't see it that way -- in fact, they tend to hate Democrats and many want to split NY state into two states. I would move if that happened. This area relies on New York City and would resemble the worst parts of Detroit (only with trees) without New York City. New York City residents, you guys would benefit from the split, because you pay for most of the State's budget and the state dumps that into our infrastructure, schools, and welfare related services. I thank you for our pot-hole free roads.
Education wise, this area is well below national averages. Most people with an education leave and never come back (how I ended up moving here is a really long story). But they are resourceful. I know one guy around here who was a high school drop out and he now telecommutes and makes six figures a year. Kind of pisses me off (read, I am jealous of him) that I had to pay for graduate school and he makes more money than I do.
Generally, I like the slower pace of living here. I was never big on living in larger cities. Before coming here I lived in Lansing, Michigan and Alma, Michigan. Now, when I hear people complain about the snow in Michigan I usually reply with, "Is that all the snow you got.... well... we measure it in feet up here in NNY." I do miss having places nearby that I can go to. I have to drive 45 minutes to get to a Wal-Mart.
The locals like to eat bullhead fish. I was raised in Michigan to throw those fish back because they are garbage fish. I didn't even know you could eat them. There is also this weird meat called Croghan bologna. I can't bring myself to try it, it looks gross.
Lots of areas lack zoning rules up here or they aren't enforced. I have seen some weird businesses run out of people's homes. Liquor stores are fairly common. I saw a federally licensed firearm dealer run out of a guys garage (a gun store in his garage). There is a book store about 30 minutes away that is run out of someone's house. Just last week I had to take a urine test for a new telecommute job.... yes, the drug testing place was in someone's house. A duplex. I had issues finding the place and I thought my GPS was off. I called them up and told them that the GPS was taking me to a group of houses and the lady said, "Because it is a house." I peed in someone else's house to get my urine tested, which apparently only seemed weird to me.
Philadelphia Cream Cheese? It isn't made in Philadelphia. Actually, it was created in New York and is now made in Lowville, New York - using local cows. Cows cared for in part by the kid who played Charlie in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. THEN AND NOW: What the stars of 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' look like today
"Now 58, Ostrum turned down deals to act in further movies and instead went on to become a vet specializing in cattle and horses living in Glenfield, New York."
Glenfield is a short drive away from Lowville - so Lewis County (where I live) only has about two claims to fame. Charlie lives here and a famous YouTuber born in Lowville killed themselves. Singer Hannah Stone dies from apparent suicide, aged 16
We go to the neighboring counties, Viggo Mortensen went to high school in Jefferson County, and Kirk Douglas and Susan Collins went to St. Lawrence University. St. Lawrence County also is home to a large psychiatric hospital that once housed a supermodel for decades - America's First Supermodel Died Alone in a Mental Asylum
Hobbies up here for many people involve camping at their private camps in the woods (My 12 acres has neighbors from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and people from other parts of NY State - it's about 15 miles from my house), hunting, and fishing.
Occasionally we spot moose in the area, but more likely you will see Rabbit, bears, Skunk, deer, foxes, and a hybrid coyote and dog called a coydog. The Deer, skunk, Rabbit, and Foxes come right into the town frequently. We can go outside at night and hear the foxes screaming - What does a fox say? It sounds like a woman screaming horrifically for help. I have also been surprised once at dusk by a skunk that came running around the outside of my shed while I was out there. You don't know fear until you are looking a skunk in the face from 3 feet away. I almost would have preferred a bear.
The area is beautiful. Lots of lakes, Star Lake is nice, but Lake Bonaparte my daughter calls the "Poop and pee" lake. We took a boat ride of the Thousand Islands located about 45 minutes away on the St. Lawrence River (border between U.S. and Canada). There are castles in the Thousand Islands - such as the castle where Thousand Islands Dressing was first created; Official Boldt Castle Website. It is called the Thousand Islands because there are over 1,000 islands.
It is a different place up here. You can't get much further from NYC.