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ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Rochester Experts 

Bolgen Vargas

Occupation: Interim superintendent, RochesterCitySchool District

Neighborhood:Cobbs Hill

Most beautiful place in Rochester:DurandEastmanPark looking at the LakeOntario waterfront.

Best kept secret of Rochester: The Highland Park Lamberton Conservatory. You will find tropical flowers there on the middle of the coldest winter day in Rochester. The RochesterCitySchool District has many excellent schools, some of which out-perform surrounding suburban schools.

Favorite park:WashingtonGrovePark

Favorite restaurants: Jim's Restaurant, Jim's Too, Edibles, Salena's Mexican Restaurant

Favorite entertainment spots/groups: The Little Theatre

Best spot for a date: Edibles

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: Check out the line-up on WXXI.

Advice for those new to Rochester: Go to the Public Market, go to a Rochester Red Wings game, and shop at Wegmans.

Saul Maneiro

Occupation: Program Officer at the Community Foundation

Neighborhood: Downtown

Most beautiful place in Rochester:Highland Park when the lilacs are in bloom.

Best kept secret of Rochester:TurningPointPark (Google it).

Favorite park: It's tough to choose, but one of my favorites is the Maplewood Rose Garden.

Favorite restaurants: I'm kind of a foodie, so picking just a few is hard. But my list includes Good Luck, DogTown, and Sinbad's Mediterranean Restaurant.

Favorite entertainment spot: Lux Lounge on a summer night, when they have a fire going in the back.

Best spot for a date: Taking the ski lift at BristolMountain in the fall and going for a hike to see the bright fall colors.

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: I usually go to Tapas 177 Lounge for happy hour. They have fantastic happy-hour food.

Advice for those new to Rochester: We have great cultural institutions like Garth Fagan Dance, the George Eastman House, The Little Theatre, and festivals galore. Explore all this the area has to offer and try new and different things, like hanging out in the South Wedge or going to the Public Market on a Saturday. You'll find Rochester has a lot to offer.

Cat Bauer

Occupation: Talent Buyer and Marketing at WaterStreetMusic Hall; Talent Buyer for Greentopia

Town: Brockport

Most beautiful place in Rochester:LakeOntario

Best kept secret of Rochester: The Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park

Favorite park:SenecaPark

Favorite restaurants: Pane Vino, Pizza Stop, Owl House, Highland Park Diner, Tapas 177, Hot Rosita's, 2Vine, Dog Town, Max at Eastman Place, Lunch Rochester...I like to eat.

Favorite entertainment spots/groups: Besides Water Street? You've heard I live there, right? I love the National Museum of Play, George Eastman House, and any outdoor event. Summer isn't complete without Party in the Park, Lilac Festival, and Park Ave Fest. But my all-time favorite hangout year-round is Abilene Bar & Lounge.

Best spot for a date:NationalMuseum of Play

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: Fridays are usually date night with a band. If I'm not working it's dinner out then a good book.

Advice for those new to Rochester: Get a map, look for things that interest you, explore and meet people. If you like music, hit up every venue. If you like the outdoors visit the parks, join a club. Rochester has a ton of things to do, museums, clubs, sports, wineries, breweries, boutiques. You should try them all at least once.

Tom Parrish

Occupation: Executive Director, GevaTheatreCenter

Neighborhood: Downtown Rochester

Most beautiful place in Rochester: Along the banks of the GeneseeRiver, or better yet, on the Mary Jemison boat cruise on the GeneseeRiver. The view of the skyline over the river is beautiful.

Best kept secret of Rochester: I have only lived here for a year, so I don't think I know any secrets yet.

Favorite park:EllisonPark

Favorite restaurants: ONE, Tony D's, ChenGarden, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Frog Pond

Favorite entertainment spots/groups:GevaTheatreCenter and Geva Comedy Improv (shameless plug)

Best spot for a date: A performance at one of the many fine performing arts organizations in town, going to a museum or the zoo, strolling through one of the summer festivals, or just taking a nice walk through the Corn Hill, Downtown, or Park Avenue neighborhoods.

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: Trying dinner and drinks at a new or different restaurant.

Advice for those new to Rochester: Get out, explore and meet people. There are a lot of great places to see and things to do. It is a beautiful city and there is always something going on.


Occupation: President, NazarethCollege

Town: Pittsford

Most beautiful place in Rochester:HighFalls

Best kept secret of Rochester: We are a college town with 80,000 students attending the Rochester area colleges.

Favorite park: Erie Canal Trail

Favorite restaurants: 2 Vine, RistoranteLucano, Good Luck, Mario's

Favorite entertainment spots/groups: Rochester International Jazz Festival and Nazareth College Arts Center Dance Festival

Best spot for a date: The bar at the Inn on Broadway

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: Attend a performance at the NazarethArtsCenter.

Advice for those new to Rochester: Take advantage of all the cultural opportunities (especially the NazarethArtsCenter).

Erich Lehman

Occupation: Owner/Curator of 1975 Gallery

Neighborhood: Just north of the North Winton Neighborhood, a hop and skip into Irondequoit

Most beautiful place in Rochester: I've become particularly fond of the Seabreeze jetty both for its serenity and for the surfing.

Best kept secret of Rochester: That there is endless possibility here. If you are willing to put the time in to make something happen, there is no limit to what you can do in this city.

Favorite park:CobbsHillPark. I've done so much there, including play softball (poorly), crossfit, bike, polo, skateboarding, snowboarding, sledding, and even, occasionally, just sitting and taking it all in.

Favorite restaurants: Fujiya, Sticky Lips, Paola's, Good Luck, King and I, Flour City Diner, Owl House...the list goes on and on and on.

Favorite entertainment spots/groups: Keep an eye on The Yards in the Rochester Public Market -- I have met such a diverse group of entertainers, artists, and individuals through the events there the last year. And I'd be remiss if I didn't let you know that the second half of 2012 is filled with some pretty big things from 1975.

Best spot for a date: I think I'll always be partial to the Little Theatre, followed by any place for a good conversation.

Best thing to do on a Friday night in Rochester: If I'm not putting on an opening, I try and take advantage of the plethora of art openings, open studios, and creative events that fall on Fridays after a workout at Wolf Brigade Gym.

Advice for those new to Rochester: Explore! There is SO much to do here, but it's not always obvious or spelled out for you. You have to dig a little bit, but our city has the world to offer you.

In This Guide...

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Introduction

    Considering Rochester’s past, present, future
    Rochester is something of a hot topic right now. Over the past few months our fair city has been getting a fair share of national media attention.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Rochester Hot Dog Guide

    Looking for some hots stuff. A look at the history — and the current champions — of Rochester’s signature cuisine
    BY ERIC LACLAIR Many cities or regions are identified by a special food or dish.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Custom t-shirt presses in Rochester

    Custom t-shirt presses are becoming booming business in Rochester
    Maybe your band needs some shirts printed up before you go on that northeast tour. Or perhaps your bar-sponsored softball team is gearing up for the summer and you want to talk to a printer about pricing and design options.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Rochester Monuments

    Permanent markers. A look at some of Rochester’s most interesting, and sometimes overlooked, monuments
    Rochester's history is a fascinating study, only partly told by our standing monuments. As permanent dedications, these structures are anything but motionless -- they have a tendency to move with our changing city, unlike our dedicated grand spaces, such as MountHope and Holy Sepulchre cemeteries.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Rochester neighborhoods

    Get to know the Greater Rochester area
    MonroeCounty is about as diverse a community as you can find: a mid-size city, rural areas with orchards and farm markets, suburbs with 20th-century tract houses and shopping malls, and quaint, Victorian villages. The GeneseeRiver and the Erie Canal bisect the county, more or less vertically and diagonally, so geology and history are a constant presence, shaping everything from traffic patterns to architecture and public festivals.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Alternative excercise guide

    Beyond the weight room. Alternative ways to get fit in Rochester
    BY DEB SCHLEEDE You may not be a health nut, but the thought of joining a gym or participating in some sort of physical activity has probably crossed the mind of even the laziest of couch potatoes.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '12: Rochester's lesser-known entertainment

    Beyond the big dogs. Expand your cultural scope with less-mainstream offerings
    It has been said many times, by many people: for a city its size, Rochester is packed with arts and cultural opportunities. On any given night literally dozens of events take place in the Greater Rochester area, from art exhibits to theater shows to dance recitals to music concerts.

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