Moving to Rochester discussion

Negative reviews


I lived in Rochester the majority of my life thus far. Then, 5 years ago, I moved to Syracuse and found it to be worse. So eventually I made my way to Seattle and now I live in LA. After not suffering crappy cold/snowy winters the past 3 years, I know one thing! I would never go back to that craphole! So much better for everything else as well... I live in a real city, treat people, sunshine, palm trees, jobs! I mean “real” jobs with REAL pay! I’m well into the 6 figures... in Rochester, this would probably equivocate to $70k. Oh and I see the ocean every weekend, when I ride my bike on the 20 mike trail... in my shorts and t-shirt. So yeah better places... stay away!!!!! 

Works Here

Lots of crime, violence, and drugs. Not a very safe city to live in or raise children in. Also a lot of poverty and housing that is not appealing.

Neutral reviews


I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. Loved it! (B ut I don't miss thge climate!) Marv Migdol 


Rochester, NY and esp. the east side suburbs, have some of the most beautiful architectural design, you will every find. The people are not overly friendly, like the midwest, but thats because they are back east. This is a very classy, and classic city. Lots of old money here. Many educated people, and your basic white collar city. Esp. white collar, on the east side burbs, and blue collar on the west side burbs. I lived in Fairport, NY. Fairy tale.. back in time, white collar environment, with people who obey the rules. Wonderful city for families..Need some big $$$$$$, though.. High taxes, but cheap housing in the city of Rochester. 

Current Resident

I love the cultural diversity of Rochester more than anything. The Fringe and Jazz festivals are both located here, both of which offer polar opposite experiences. There are a large number of clubs and groups, ranging from Scrabble and Euchre to atheism and religious groups. There's always someone to share an interest with, creating a uniqueness of experience to Rochester that you won't find anywhere else.

One thing that I would like changed in Rochester is the large segregation by race and income. There is a clear dividing line between the Northwest and Southeast areas of the city, correlating with its more negative aspects like large discrepancies between crime and public school performance. If this issue was more effectively addressed by both the public and private sectors, I think that Rochester would see drastic improvements in quality of life and affordability of housing and services.


I just want to apologize to you for what's going to happen, being you are from Phoenix, I lived there as well. Come October, it will get cold, and dark. Eventually it will be fucking freezing and dark, with occasional grey skies. This remains until April if memory serves. But hey, no crazy August monsoons and dust storms, which is nice. That said I'm sure Park Ave and Monrie Ave are still nice and walkable. Congrats on med school too.

Positive reviews

Martha Bush

A surprising mix of affordable housing whether you want to live in the city or suburbs. Plenty of art and culture, a growing bar scene if you're interested in that. Amazing schools in the suburbs for your kids - several in the top 500 schools in the US. Cold, snowy winters that are completely manageable if you have the appropriate gear(a selection of boots to keep your feet warm), and the interest to pick up winter sports(cross country skiing is amazing here). Beautiful summers and loads of places to get on or near the water. Wonderful hiking and biking trails.  A rapidly developing music scene in all genres. Basically a terrific place to live, now beginning to get just a little bit hip.

Brittany Cerra

Winter is brutal and lasts 6+ months of the year. Autumn is a stunning, yet short transition. Spring is usually buried under winter left overs, but summer is the best I've seen. It's sticky, hot, and lasts daily until about 10pm. It's the kind of summer that you recognize from childhood movies and cliches of summer camp.

There are pristine suburbs, artsy downtown neighborhoods, and truly rotten, crime-ridden corners of the city that rival the worst of the nation.

There are incredible schools--Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, to name a few.

They have the best grocery store, Wegmans. It cannot be argued (Okay, I'll hear a case for Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.).

I grew up in the suburbs, around people who looked the same and thought the same. My public education was nearly ideal, but I wasn't exposed to innovation and motivation until I moved to a different city (with, of course, a few exceptions). People settle here. It cannot easily be defined as a place where people think big and accomplish big.

Also, people talk funny there. You can't miss it. I will always talk funny because of it :)

Mihir Shah

One of the most scenic, quiet and calm places in the US in spite of being home to one of the largest technological and manufacturing firms. Very good academic scenario with RIT and UoR. The water bodies and parks in and around Rochester Metropolitan Area make it one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed at. Summers are the best in Rochester, with good live music all summer, good places to hike, bike and go camping. A very warm and welcoming community in general with people from all walks of life studying, working and staying here.

The weather is irritating and frustrating at times, I agree. But its manageable. You can buy good gear and stay warm. Also, when it gets depressing, you need to find yourself good ways to spend your weekends. There are many good spots around and Rochester is not a ghost town as Buffalo is. Its much better.

Important thing, you need a car to survive here. Which most people usually have or buy soon after moving here.

In short, you will like this place a lot if you are willing to take extreme cold and sudden weather changes. Some people simply hate it. Lol.

Its also one of those places that is pretty cheap which works out great for many students and job holders.


I have lived in the Rochester area for about 7 years. I live in the suburbs, and think the area is generally nice. Rochester holds a lot of awesome and fun festivals, has a lot of good history and is home to many famous businesses such as Xerox, Bausch and Lomb and Kodak. (These companys have decreased over recent years). There are some parts of Rochester that are a little shoddy but for the most part it is generally clean and nice. The weather is always different. Winters are cold and snowy do to lake effect snow, spring is mild and rainy, summer is warm and pleasant, with occasional hot muggy days and thunderstorms and fall is chilly and breezy with a beautiful fall foliage. There is plenty to do. I love my Rochester area home. I'm proud to be a Rochesterian lol.

Jesse Hughson

I'm a Rochester native and love it.  Big enough that there's a lot of cool stuff going on (if you know where to look), yet small enough that everyone kinda knows everyone else, so it's easy to make good connections.  Lots of public parks.  Lots of water (river, canal, lake, bay, many ponds and streams, reservoirs, TWO waterfalls downtown...)

Great historic architecture.  Very affordable housing.  Generally easy to find work (in my experience).  Awesome entrepreneurial/startup scene.  Lots of arts, music, hipster fodder (I'm not knocking it - where there's opportunity, there's hipsters).

That said, every time I go to a bigger city I'm blown away by the amount of cool stuff there, too.  So you kind of have to appreciate a bit of little city vibe.

Marcia Layton Turner

Rochester, New York's third-largest metropolitan area, is a unique blend of history and innovation, with old and new juxtaposed at every turn. Many of the homes and commercial buildings in downtown Rochester are original, dating back a century or more, while others are undergoing renovations to become modern lofts and workspaces. Former home to pioneers and independent thinkers like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, Rochester has worked hard to preserve and honor its landmarks.

For decades, Rochester-area residents have opted to live in the suburbs rather than the city proper. However, with several developers now aiming to provide luxury housing downtown, the tide may be turning.

Ultimately, Rochester's biggest asset is its people. Residents are generally considered to be warmer, kinder and more welcoming than their downstate brethren. Maybe it's due to the region's family focus or maybe it's because residents spend a lot of time inside together during the long, cold winters. But whatever the reason, Rochester is largely a welcoming and friendly place. 


I commuted to Rochester, NY initially to visit a friend close to a decade ago and never left. When I first moved here, I was uneducated, had very little skills outside of kitchen work, and didn't excel in anything pertaining to positive aspects of my life that could also be career enhancements. 

I became an engineer solely from my determination and dedication to my field of study. I somehow managed to overcome my impoverished state and, based on the charts above, earn a singular income that more than triples Rochester's median household income. Therefore, I truly cannot understand the poverty rate here. If I was able to fully succeed in life, then anybody can do it. Rochester, NY may not have much to offer, but what little the city does offer is more than enough for one to reap countless benefits, opportunities and amazing career options. 

I highly recommend Rochester, NY to anybody who may feel as if they're stuck in their current daily struggles. You're not going to be handed everything on a silver platter upon relocating here, that is if you do not suck the benefit system dry like many of the people in the metro area, but you will have ample opportunity to exceed any expectations you may have set for yourself as you have aged. My goal was to earn a minimum of $15.00 an hour. To me, $15.00 an hour would've been the jackpot. I would have lived like a king by my standards. Now, as I have become successful, I earn $15.00 every 18.5 minutes while at work. Do it, I promise you will not regret it. 

Current Resident

I love living here. I moved here to go to college and then ended up staying because the job market was great, I found an affordable apartment, and I feel that there is always something to do around the city.

Current Resident

Rochester is a place that is filled with arts, waterfalls and good food. Depending on what you like Rochester has it all. A short 30 minute drive south can bring you to the beautiful finger lakes.


I am an undergrad at UR. I think it would be preferable to come out sooner than mid-June, but that being said, I don't think it's a terrible time.

I moved here without ever coming to visit and ended up in East Rochester (which is an okay area and definitely cheaper rent). I would definitely recommend avoiding apartment complexes. I've had two landlords and it's been so much better of an experience than dealing with complexes.

The Park Ave/Monroe area is great. You'd enjoy it here, but I assume you probably won't have a lot of time to enjoy things so I don't think it would be worth the money. If you don't mind driving maybe 15 minutes from a suburb like East Rochester, I think there you will find cheap rent in a decent enough neighborhood.

You can find cheap places in the 19th Ward, I am just skeptical of the safety of that area (I haven't spent much time there so maybe someone else on here can correct me). South Wedge has nice areas and not so nice areas. It seems like it's in the middle of being gentrified.


Swillburg, Park Ave, Corn Hill, and Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) are all nice neighborhoods. Swillburg and Corn Hill are chill and residential. Park Ave is pretty bustling. NOTA is a mix between the two -- more on the chill side but with enough stuff nearby. These are all great options if you want to stay within the city.