Originally Posted by RG1976
To the upstate New Yorkers, I think of NY as NYC plus the rest of the state, even if NYC dominates. I think of NYC people as abrasive in aggregate, but I've never had any issues one-on-one.
The thing is that people think because downstate and upstate are "different" (which is extremely relative unless we're talking economy) and that upstate NY is up for grabs. There are people that honestly think Albany is 8 hours from NYC, when in fact its 2 hours (145 miles). Thats "so far" but commuting from PA to work in NYC isnt apparently, which almost takes the same amount of time, obviously depending on where.
NYC most certainly has an influence upstate, but it lessens the more west you go on 90. Albany is the medium for upstate and downstate, and when you look one way and have NYC and to the other with dying cities, its a no brainer where most of the power goes. Utica consists of half of NYC rejects, and was also an important player in connection with the mob in Brooklyn from the prohibition to the 70s, due to the largest population of Italians outside the NYC metro. There are also old maps that show Utica (Fort Schuyler) during the American Revolution and how the frontier was just west of it (including Syracuse). Utica also prospered from being on the Mohawk River, which is a runoff of the Hudson coming from Albany and obviously NYC.
Then you have people that think Upstate cities are non-existent. There are about 4 which at least 100,000 in the city and a million in their metros, inner city problems typical of anywhere else (sometimes worse) and loads of diversity. I've ran into people that think Upstate is all white people, which is partly true-- IN RURAL AREAS. Alot of the immigrants trickle upstate, especially Utica, which is probably the most diverse city of its size (60,000). Crime rates and ghettos in Upstate cities are even worse than in NYC.
Ive split time between Brooklyn and Utica and recently graduated from college in Jersey and I remember I went out one night in the city and got into a discussion about being from upstate with a bouncer. He assumed "I had land" and it kinda pissed me off. Honestly, Id bet I got as much land as he does in his 2x4 yard in Brooklyn. Most NYCers think if you're from Upstate you got land, which is not true in any sense.
I'd bet the majority of Upstaters that go to the city are familiar with the culture because theres a higher % that live in said Upstate cities. Theres plenty of diversity Upstate and any culture shock is relative. The only difference I find is the economy.