As a young Air Force wife in the ’70’s, the first general question I heard was, “Where are you from?” Of course I said New York. About 95% of the people I met thought I meant New York City. In other states, and in Europe, people didn’t seem to understand New York was a great big state. I finally started telling folks I was from Niagara Falls. They understood that was a long way away from NYC. 

People would ask me how many times I had been to NYC. At the time the answer was never. They couldn’t believe that, so wherever I was, I looked at a map and asked if they had been to some city the other side of the state they were from. The answer was “What for?” Exactly……I had never had a reason to go to a city on the opposite side of the state that I lived in. A desire, yes, of course, but not a reason.

I worked at the closest restaurant to both an Air Force base and Army post entrance in Washington state during the 1980’s. After hearing my descriptions of New York state one retired teacher who I served coffee to most mornings, rented an RV and drove his wife across country to spend time in New York state. They also visited National Parks along their route. When he returned he admitted, “We saw more potato fields, orchards, vineyards, lakes, and mountains than we did cities.” No kidding!

Just a few weeks ago I was at dinner in Miami with family. The server asked where we were visiting from. I pointed to each couple and said Boston (actually Worcester, MA), D.C. (actually Rockville, MD), San Francisco (actually Orinda, CA) and Niagara Falls (actually Fairport, NY). You should have heard the tongue lashing I got when the server retreated. I didn’t even care. I knew that server, if actually from Miami, had a good idea of how many corners of the country we represented. The actual locations were not important. I know, I’ve lived it.

Yes, New York state has some of the highest taxes in the country and most of the people believe the whole state supports the city, but we also have some of the most beautiful scenery. Spend a few days driving around the finger lakes, or visit Niagara Falls, or the Adirondacks and you will find out what I mean. And while you are traveling make sure you visit Times Square and go to a Broadway show in NYC. Nothing like it anywhere else in the U. S.. Yes, I have gotten there to experience the glitz. I do love my New York.