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Take a closer look 

You could easily spend your life in Greater Rochester driving between work, home, and Wegmans. Many people do. But we hope that you won't.

This area only gets more interesting the more you look, because some of the best things are under wraps.

The big things are important, and we point you to those, too. The ball park, the museums, the festivals. But take a closer look. Old blues bars, little art galleries tucked away, cool getaways out in the suburbs, the graffiti hotspots, the Public Market on a Saturday morning, nearby parks that take you miles away, a secret room in the library, community theaters giving it their all, an abandoned subway --- these are the landmarks you may need help tracking down.

Because we are huge fans of that less-traveled road, we dedicated this guide to uncovering Greater Rochester. Take a walking tour of city neighborhoods; shop in little, neighborhood groceries; go out and hear live music; find out where to go in the suburbs; tramp around Mt. Hope Cemetery and look for famous names; take a chance with some experimental art; plan a road trip; and for a real dare, do something unexpected with the family.

Before you know it, you'll be parking the car and walking around. And the holy trinity --- work, home, Wegmans --- won't even be on the itinerary.

Welcome to Rochester.

Check out our 2006 Annual Manual here!

In This Guide...

    The best parts are often hidden

    City neighborhoods
    "Cool" in Rochester is the youth-oriented Park Avenuearea, or the East End-Alexander area on a summer night, with crowds from clubs and bars spilling out onto the sidewalks. But there's lots to experience in the city.

    Where's the party?

    Festivals
    Lakeside Winter Celebration Date: February

    Sculptures, butterflies, and giants,oh my!

    Daytrips
    Anyone who complains about the traffic in Rochester has never driven in Boston or New York or Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Granted, more traffic means more population and more opportunities for diversion within those metropolises.

    A town in the know

    Universities
    One of Rochester's most important assets is its academic community. There are over a dozen centers devoted to advanced education within the Rochester-Finger Lakes-Genesee Valley Region, and they add vibrancy to the area's employment, culture, and quality of life.

    Park it

    Parks
    From the beautiful Seneca and Highland Parks, both designed by 19th-century landscape genius Frederick Law Olmsted, to Durand-Eastman Park, where you can feel the immensity of that Great Lake, here is just a partial list of some of our favorite parks in the Monroe County (256-4950, www.monroecounty.gov) and City of Rochester (428-6767 or 428-6755, www.cityofrochester.gov) systems. Cobbs Hill Park Culver Road and Norris Drive

    Not above name dropping

    Legends
    Rochester can boast a fair number of interesting citizens who continue to walk among us, but many that have shuffled off this mortal coil remain the subject of endless fascination. These former Rochesterians may not be as well known as groundbreaking giants like abolitionist Frederick Douglass, activist Susan B. Anthony, and inventor George Eastman, but their place in history is nonetheless guaranteed.

    Sporting goods

    Sports
    Last year, Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal named Rochester the number one minor-league sports market in the country. The city boasts pro sports franchises that are both storied and cutting-edge, some steeped in tradition, others still growing out of their infancy.

    From getting lost to finding your Irish

    Recreation
    Wanna work off a few pounds? Gotta burn off some work-related frustration?

    The way the political land lays

    Politics
    Just like anyplace else, politics in Rochester are a complicated affair that, when you get right down to it, aren't really all that complicated after all. Take a bunch of ambitious, outgoing men and women, add the lust for power, sprinkle generously with cash, and voila... you've got a crazy, quirky kind of world only an American-style democracy could produce.

    Eight days a week

    Nightlife
    You've only got seven, but there's something to do eight days a week. Monday.

    Live and active culture

    Arts
    They say you shouldn't talk religion or politics at the dinner table. Sound advice.

    Are you there yet?

    Families
    Got kids? You've come to the right place!

    As American as pasta e fagiole

    Food
    You can eat apple pie and hamburgers for only so long. If you're seeking ingredients to build meals in honor of your (or someone else's) culture, here's a list of some independent ethnic grocery stores.

    Welcome to the 'burbs

    Suburbs
    Rochester owes much of its development and prosperity to the GeneseeRiver, which cuts a path right down the center of the city. In the early days, many of the neighborhoods in the city, as well as suburban villages, began as small settlements that depended on the river to receive and sell goods.

    Your Rochester to-do list

    Try to see what's on TV on the ceiling of the Bug Jar. Board the Mary Jemison or the Sam Patch from Corn Hill Landing.

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