Travel and the Area
The upstate and western regions of New York are very rural and largely farm oriented regions, with apples being one of the largest crops produced in this part of New York, along with cherries and wine grapes. Outside of the cities and towns you can go for miles and miles without seeing a single building, let alone a gas station.
The main travel-way in New York state is the Throughway, which is a pay as you go highway dotted with an occasional oasis consisting of a franchised gas station, convenience store or even a mini-mall. You can still, however, travel for more than 50 miles without finding one rest stop.
You get on the Throughway at guarded entrances and they issue you a ticket at that point. You get off the Throughway via another guarded exit, but be careful as there are two distinct types, those that take money and those they use the monthly pass. If you don't have a pass you have to go through the one that takes money and they do give change. Here you present your ticket and the compute your fare, which is about $12 to go from Rochester to Albany or $20 to go all the way into New York City. This road takes you from border to border through all the major cities. If you lose your ticket or don't present one then you must pay full price, which can probably be as high as $30-$40 as they assume you started at the beginning and got of here.
Travel upstate is fairly peaceful. A lot of the throughway is two lanes in each direction, but the far left lane is for passing only. You are expected to pull right and keep in that right lane. It is quite common for everyone to pass everyone, but they do this in a very laid back manner. Few people tailgate in this neck of the woods, nor do they flash bright or honk horns. If the guy in front is too slow, they simply pull to the left and go around the car.
They are also pretty relaxed about letting cars merge in from the convenience turn-offs.
New York City, on the other hand, is a kamikaze zone where only the bold and foolish drive cars. Most people take public transportation (even Howard Stern used to ride the train once upon a time) or taxi cabs inside the city where parking is expensive, cars and trucks are double parked everywhere and intersections are always gridlock.
New York City is like a whole 'nother country from the upstate area!
To the far East of upstate is Massachusetts, but Boston is still far away from this border area. Above is Canada, which is a whole nother country! To the West is Ohio, below that is Pennsylvania and East of that but down South is New Jersey.
New York City is a little island off the mouth of the Hudson river which goes up north to Albany and keeps going.
The Erie Canal cuts through parts of the central and Northwest areas.
Upstate are the mountains and lakes of the region, more lakes are found out in the west include the big one, Lake Ontario on which Rochester and Syracuse almost sit. Only a few miles off shore is the official Canadian border and you will face patrol boats if you venture out there in any type of craft.
Buffalo is out in the north western part of the state, somewhat close to Niagara Falls and Canada and conveniently located to the large Six Flags amusement park at Darien Lake.
Continuing East on the 90 from Rochester, to the North is lake Ontario while on the South side is the inland farm regions of small towns and the Finger Lakes which stretch down the state almost to Pennsylvania. Community College of the Finger Lakes located in CANANDAIGUA.
Troy is a small bedroom community of Albany with about 50,000 people and a lot of one way streets, which will take some getting used to for many of you! Most of the "apartment" living is in largely three story (flat) buildings each with their own entrance. Most apartments are 3 - 5 small bedrooms (10x10) and several students often band together into one flat, each taking a room at a cost of between $100 and $200 each depending on if they are up the hill or down in the city. There are lots of shops and pizza joints near the Russell Sage campus, plenty of places to eat, a fairly big pharmacy, optician and statonary store. Russell Sage has their own Clark library building and events centers, plus they house the NY Theatre Institute in two large buildings, one for productions and the other is the stagecrafts shop. Across from the Clark library is the big Troy Public library, next to is is a private Law Library and then comes the court building where you'll find the local television network affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC, WB and Fox) covering news every evening.
Russell Sage College
Above is one of the Russell Sage buildings located just across from the Troy Public Library and Court buildings shown front (above left) and back (above right).
Above left part of the main campus area looking towards the Clark library (on the far right) and in the distance is where the Troy Public Library and Court buildings are found. Above right the New York State Theatre Institute at Russell Sage, located 200 feet from the banks of the Hudson River. This is on Front Street, which is just inside the city limits of Troy.
Above left is main gate of Russell Sage and above left is local apartment living a block from the school.
Above left is the Russell Sage Park Public Common. Above right is the Troy Public Library and Court Building just across the street from the Clark Library on the Russell Sage main campus area.
Above part of the Troy shopping district across from the main Russell Sage campus area.
To the East of here on the 90 is Western Massachusetts.
Going South from Albany on the 87 after about an hour you reach Bard College on the Hudson River in Annendale and then two hours you pass through Middletown where SUNY Orange, a very nice 2 year junior college is found, that offers many transfer classes to the larger SUNY Universities offering more advanced degrees in other cities.
From here itís less than an hour into New York City via the 87. Routes 80, 280, 287 or 84 also lead into the New York City connection area, depending on which direction you are coming from.
New York City is very close to parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, which also offer some nice college campuses.
In this area we have Hoftra University in Hempstead, prestigious Columbia University a very fine Law and Cinema school, City College of New York and New York University in the heart of New York City, itself, plus the famouse Julliard schools of Music (in the Bronx) and Theater (at the JFK Center).