Chris Clemens

Creator + Owner + Author = Chief Exploring Officer. Chris has been traveling back and forth across New York for years studying and discovering the tucked away gems of the state and chronicling the journey

14 Comments

  1. Jenn
    January 14, 2018 @ 10:09 am

    In regards to Gloversville and the Leatherstocking Region, it was my understanding that the term “Leatherstocking Region” referenced James Fenimore Cooper’s series of novels–The Leatherstocking Tales (The Last of the Mohicans being the most famous). Since the books largely took place around Otsego Lake/Cooperstown and the Susquehanna River, that part of the state, a bit further west and south and Gloversville, became referred to as the Leatherstocking Region. As a literature lover, I thought I’d mention the connection. Love the blog! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 14, 2018 @ 10:25 am

      You’re 100% right that the origins for the words “Leatherstocking Region” refer back to Fenimore’s books! It’s my understanding, that after establishing the moniker for the surrounding counties to Cooperstown, that outlying tourism groups latched on to the success of the region, and the “leatherstocking” term began to mean different things and take on new borders. Only in the last decade or so, I think people have decided it should no longer be used at all. That alone could be a research topic all its own.

      And, glad you’re enjoying following along, Jenn! Thanks for contributing to the discussion!

      Reply

  2. Suzie Carlson
    January 14, 2018 @ 9:46 pm

    My opinion as someone who has lived in the Perry/Castile (Letchworth State Park) area my whole life: draw a line from Watertown down to Syracuse, then down to Binghamton. Anything East of that? I’ll let the people who live there fight over what they call themselves, although I think of it all as Upstate. Anything west of that line, for me, is Western NY. I consider the Fingerlakes to simply be a region/area WITHIN Western NY, not a separate region.
    I very much dislike sports, but even so, I’ll still root for the Bills ANY day (although please don’t expect me to wear any paraphernalia)! And even though I identify with Rochester over Buffalo, probably because we get Rochester television stations on our over-the-air tv’s and do our major shopping there, I proudly tell Southerners that I come from the home of the original Buffalo Chicken Wings 😉
    And when I’m traveling and people ask where I’m from? I adamantly proclaim: “Western New York State”!
    Thanks for your blog–I enjoy it so very much!

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 14, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

      Ha! Regions within regions could be a whole other topic! This one would be a bit of a rabbit hole to fall into.

      Glad you enjoyed, Suzie! And, I appreciate your thoughts on dividing things up—yours would be an easier map to draw, for sure!

      Reply

  3. Candace Broughton
    January 15, 2018 @ 11:54 am

    Hi Chris

    I really enjoy your blog. I hail from Lewiston (Niagara Frontier), but have spent most of my life in Cattaraugus County. Living on the Canadian-US border has inspired hours of pondering the meanings of borders, boundaries. Often I have felt more Canadian than American. To tell the truth, though I am “a grass is always greener on the other side of the fence kind of person.” That said, I think of myself primarily and “simply” as a Western New Yorker. I have explained to interested parties that Catt. Co. is in SW NYS…one county east of the farthest western county, Chautauqua or I say ‘it’s in the Southern Tier, right above Pennsylvania” or where Ellicottville, home to the “Aspen of the East,” or near Allegany State Park, or…my favorite…where there are two Seneca Nation Territories…one surrounding the city of Salamanca, which used to call itself “the only city in the county entirely on an Indian reservation,” today however, people may know it for the casino, and the second territory known as the “Cattaraugus Territory” further north…the name Cattaraugus lends its name to the territory, the county, the main waterway, Cattaraugus Creek, and the village closest to me. What is the meaning of “Cattaraugus”? I have heard in Seneca it means “smelly banks” referencing the natural gas escaping from creek beds and banks. I have not however checked this out with a Seneca speaker.
    But I digress…
    I was especially pleased when I read about the fourth grade class’s map; this week I will start volunteering in a fourth grade classroom, which is researching their small town’s history in honor of its bi-centennial coming up this summer. This article is a perfect springboard. I know we will have fun looking at these maps.
    As you know better than most, small doesn’t mean empty.
    P.S. Actually there are many people in this area who believe it has more in common with the Midwest, than the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 23, 2018 @ 7:54 am

      Great thoughts on this, Candace. It’s interesting that you associate so much with Canadian culture! I’ve visited Lewiston a few times, but probably am not in touch enough to recognize Canadian influence outside of Lewiston just being a town that is new to me. Next time I visit, I’ll be seeking authentic poutine. 🙂

      Reply

  4. Candace Broughton
    January 15, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

    Almost forgot…one of my pet peeves in the way NYS Travel Guide labels this region: “Chautauqua-Allegany.” No mention of Cattaraugus! Thanks a lot, guys!

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 23, 2018 @ 7:55 am

      Haha! I totally get what you’re saying, but to mention all three would make it a loonnnggg name!

      Reply

  5. A Concerned Upstater
    January 16, 2018 @ 1:20 pm

    An Amazing Blog Chris… to take a note from Suzie, it is also interesting how media has helped shape a regional or subregional identities in the state -particularly that old school television and radio (back when it was independent stations that is). Their “markets” help to culturally identify regions. Used to live in an area that made no sense to hold a subscription to any of the local newspapers because one was focused on the greater Saratoga area and the others were more south/southwest into the Fulton & Montgomery Counties.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 23, 2018 @ 8:01 am

      That’s a great point. And, modern media, too. When this site first launched, I was concerned that I’d catch blowback from people not liking that I used the word “Upstate”. Within the last few years, I’ve seen a lot of digital media brands begin to use the term in their branding. Maybe the modern definition is changing exactly because of your point–media not only reaches certain markets, but helps shape ideas, too.

      And, thanks for your kind words about the blog. Glad you’re enjoying! There are always areas we can do better, but no need to be “a concerned upstater”! 😉

      Reply

  6. D
    January 16, 2018 @ 9:47 pm

    Isn’t northern NY just part of Lower Canada anyway, eh?
    Pretty good look at the various state “regions” by agencies and the lack of continuity. The conclusion of regions really being an actualization of the community culture is an appeal notion as well Chris. Finding the old I Love NY or NY Tourism Marketing regions to compare to older versions of similar agency regions would be interesting to see if/when and perhaps why those regions have shifted for those organizations as well.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 23, 2018 @ 8:08 am

      Funny you should mention this about Canada. Checkout one of the previous comments here from Candace associating with Canada despite living in (what I would call) Western New York.

      I’ve been looking through eBay the last couple months to try and find more vintage New York tourism ephemera. I think it would be super fun to dig some up and compare their work to what is out there today. In fact, I wonder how many of the destinations in some of those guides still even exists!

      Reply

  7. Brandon
    January 20, 2018 @ 7:08 pm

    I’ve always considered Schoharie, Montgomery, and Fulton Counties (don’t confuse Fulton County for either the City of Fulton or the Town of Fulton) as part of the Greater Capital Region. I find people in those counties are more likely to travel to Albany than Utica or Syracuse. Granted other people will argue otherwise.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      January 23, 2018 @ 8:10 am

      That’s one of the things that was fun about looking into this topic–you can find two people from the same area who have two opposing thoughts on how things are. As long as its always civil, I think the discussion will always be a fun one!

      Reply

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