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ANNUAL MANUAL '09: Introduction 

The details of Rochester

Rochester can be easy to overlook if you consider only the broad strokes. It's a home to once-major businesses that have seen better days. For the past decade-plus, the city itself has experienced a slow but steady drop in population. And there are times of the year when it's buried under inches of snow, sometimes feeling more like the Siberian tundra than a mid-sized American city.

            But when you scratch the surface and look at the details, the picture that emerges is quite different. Rochester may have some struggling corporate giants, but it remains a major academic center, with nearly a dozen colleges and universities in the area. The population may not be as large as it once was, but the city and county are still home to unique, varied neighborhoods and towns filled with engaged citizens trying to improve their communities. Although the winters can get rough around February or March, the area's vibrant arts and entertainment scene never catches a cold. And once the snow and ice are gone, the people make sure to take advantage of the area's gorgeous natural assets.

            This Annual Manual is designed to help you appreciate some of Rochester's best details. From a look at several of the communities that help to define the region to a timeline of local rock 'n' roll history to profiles of favorite shopping and dining destinations, these pages will give you a good starting point from which to appreciate Rochester, a mid-sized city with a lot to offer.

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