Move to Central New York? Why on earth would someone want to do that, you ask? Because this transplanted Texan feel’s it’s the best place to live in America, period. So, if you don’t already live here, what are you waiting for? Ok, I know, you probably don’t know anything about this part of the country and probably think it’s a suburb of New York City. Well, I’m here to dispel that misconception and to tell you that we’ve got it all here in what many refer to as Upstate New York, away from the hustle and bustle and congestion that characterizes The Big Apple. In fact, when my family chose to relocate from Austin, Texas, most of our friends mistakenly thought that was our destination, as they had no other concept of what represented New York. Simply put, Syracuse, Central New York, or CNY, is a completely different creature from NYC and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to relocate here. And if you happen to find yourself in the same situation I was in, tired of the overcrowding of urban sprawl, traffic congestion, extended periods of extreme heat and drought, exorbitant housing and living costs, then CNY should be a prime target on your relocation radar.
The quality of life we’ve discovered here in the Syracuse area is the primary reason why you should move to this part of the country. Please, don’t get me wrong, I loved Texas and its Lone Star attitude, and Austin was a very happening place, but guess what? Syracuse is, too! Like Austin, there is a plethora of activities for the young and hip, what with Syracuse University and several other colleges existing within CNY, not to mention the many museums, art houses, and the ever rocking Armory Square in the heart of downtown Syracuse, so there’s always something to do. One thing is certain; as a family man, I‘ve come to appreciate and love the quality of life afforded to my family here. We chose to sell our house in Austin and make a quality of life move as we’d grown weary from years of dealing with the traffic congestion and overcrowding that came to characterize the metropolis that was becoming Austin. We’d had enough of the blistering summer heat and crunchy June grass that became all too familiar as drought conditions would set in by early summer. You won’t find any of that here in CNY! We enjoy a nice variety of temperate conditions within the four seasons that can be found in Central New York.
Another bonus of living here is that there’s water here and plenty of it! While we do get quite a bit of snow here, it typically lasts three months and it certainly creates an enjoyable atmosphere while sitting by the fireplace. With that, there’s plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast, as our weather and close proximity to numerous ski slopes make for some great skiing. The Central New York region also has plenty of lakes and canals for fishing and boating enthusiasts and because of the amount of water we receive either via snow or rain, we never encounter drought-like conditions. Since this region is so used to the amount of snow we receive, it rarely hinders driving as the area town and village highway departments are prepared to deal with it and thus, keep the roads plowed and salted to avoid delays for commuters. Some of the other activities one can enjoy as a result of the winter season aside from downhill or cross-country skiing are snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Of course, I must mention that my wife’s favorite winter activity is the aforementioned sitting by the fireplace, warm and cozy with a good book and enjoying the landscape as it becomes adorned with snow. Now, how many parts of the country can virtually guarantee a white Christmas? Bottom line, we have lots to do here and we get to enjoy the abundance of green grass, huge trees and large sections of wooded areas as a result of the amount of moisture we receive in this part of the country.
The four seasons is another reason you should move to CNY. We chose to move to this part of the country because we wanted variety. Fall is easily our favorite time of the year and Central New York is one of the greatest locations for those wishing to enjoy the wonderful, vibrant fall colors of autumn in New York. The abundance of trees in this part of the country makes for a great October! One can make a day trip of driving throughout the area to enjoy not only the great views, but also the various apple and pumpkin festivals that can be found throughout the area. Central New Yorkers sure know how to make use of their natural resources, too! Apple cider, apple donuts, fritters, home-made Maple syrup, pumpkin pie, apple pie, apple butter…wow, I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the great treats we’ve enjoyed this past fall at all the various fall festivals. Since we’re talking about food, I might as well mention the fact that CNY has awesome food, particularly Italian and greasy spoon diners. We’ve never enjoyed pizza and spaghetti on such a wide scale from so many fine Italian establishments, not to mention the great diversity in menu selections that can be found at the various restaurants in the area. As for the tiny Mom and Pop diners that seem to flourish in the area, it seems every town or village has one that serves a mean breakfast for under $5 and is usually hard pressed for open tables.
Another bonus we’ve discovered in our time here in Central New York is how friendly we’ve found the people here to be. While we found Austin to be very transient, the Central New York region has been home to generations of Upstate New Yorkers who were born and raised here and chose to remain in the region. This tends to foster a greater atmosphere of civic pride and neighborly attitude, which we have happily benefited from. Our favorite story to tell new friends and acquaintances centers on the night we were moving into our new home in the Radisson subdivision. Despite the fact that there was a raging snowstorm blowing about, my family was visited by an angel in the form of Carolyn Eaton, our new neighbor directly across the street, appearing on our doorstep bearing a piping hot apple pie! Never have I tasted such a delicious apple pie, particularly since it came special delivery from such a great neighbor whom we lovingly refer to as our adopted mother. Despite the fact that we chose to sell that house and move across town, we spend nearly every holiday with the Eatons and their loved ones as they’ve become like family to us. That same street also bore us one of our closest and dearest friends, the Rotchford family. Rarely do we find ourselves at the Eatons where we won’t pop into the Rotchfords to catch up and toss back a few, not to mention the daily and weekly phone calls just to say hi. Space and time prevent me from going into further detail on the amount of new friends we’ve made since relocating to CNY. Bottom line, we'd found a place we quickly called home in just a relatively short time because of the nature and warmth of the good people of Central New York.
On a final note, I’d be remiss if I did not mention a few more of the benefits of living in Central New York, particularly the absence of “traffic” and congestion, natural disasters, as well as the incredible housing prices and architectural treasures found here. Rarely, if ever, do I find myself in bumper-to-bumper traffic. In fact, it usually takes 30 minutes or less to cross from one section of the area to another. The region’s proximity to the east coast, the Adirondacks, NYC, and Lake Ontario lends itself to some great weekend getaways. And just to give you an idea of the housing values found in CNY, the median price of housing in Central New York is 49 percent cheaper than the national median and is currently lower than it was in 1990! The current median price for housing in Onondaga County is only $127,000! Compare that with $435,000 for Washington, D.C., $172,000 for Atlanta, $290,000 for Chicago, $416,000 for Boston, $538,000 for Los Angeles, $176,000 in Austin, $255,000 for Denver, well, you get the picture. Besides getting a lot of bang for your buck, the architectural styles of the area are incredible! You can’t find many turn of the century houses in other parts of the country at affordable prices, especially on large lots, country settings, or on the water. There’s gold to be found here, one simply has to come find it! (Since writing this back in 2007, we've discovered a lovely 60 acre abandoned farm nearby and built a brand-new farmhouse on it and now raise chickens as well!)
So, considering the fact that making a move to Central New York can greatly improve your family’s quality of life due to the region’s abundance of great people, abundant natural resources, temperate climate, low housing prices, unique and historic architecture, the area also plays host to the great New York State Fair. CNY also has plenty of entertainment, sports and outdoor venues and activities, plus we have virtually no traffic congestion and we’re conveniently situated along the east coast. So, what are you waiting for? Get your bags packed, sell that expensive home in that overcrowded part of the country you currently find yourself living in, and come to Syracuse!