New York state is large in size, dense with people and full of various oddities and "attractions,"
so it depends on your tastes. It's about 5.5 hours drive from one of the NYC airports to Rochester.
The Finger Lakes region south of Rochester contains most of NY's wineries and there is a "wine
trail" route that passes right by most of them. You can do this on your way if you take Route 17
along the "southern tier" of the state and turn north below the Finger Lakes (consult maps for your
The typical way is the monotonous but pretty well-maintained NY State Thruway (it's nothing like an
Autoban, but it's in very good shape for a US interstate highway, due to toll-funded maintenace).
Make sure you have $$$ for the hefty tolls. If you've driven in Italy and stopped at those
"Toto-moto" rest stops, avoid what you find on the Thruway because you will be sorely disappointed.
On your way up the NY State Thruway, you pass by the Catskills region, and it may be worth getting
off at Exit 28 and driving over to Woodstock to check out the aged-hippy artsy scene. Having lived
for a time in Syracuse, Watertown, Cortland and the area between Syracuse and Utica, I can't say
there is much to see except the odd "museum" here and there, a few interesting restored buildings
and theaters and other curiosities. The Syracuse area seems to be a mecca of consumerism these days,
more strip-malls, indoor malls and shopping centers than you would think the whole population of
upstate NY could support. Rochester itself is an interesting place, in my opinion. It's definitely
got an air of decline, but it's got personality (a somewhat mean and ragged personality, but
personality none the less). There are good record stores, a guy who restores and sells Edison and
Victrola machines lives within driving distance, there's the Eastman House museum and the Eastman
school of music, and other various things to see and do. I've never had any trouble finding a good
meal in Rochester, unlike many other places in upstate NY. I highly recommend both the Dinosaur and
Sticky Lips BBQ places and, if you don't mind slumming it (literally), Nick Tahos' (sp?) is a
must-see. There is also a Triple A minor league baseball team in Rochester, also teams in Buffalo
and Syracuse. Keep in mind that, statistically, all of NY State's smaller cities are more
crime-infested than NYC nowadays. Usually, the violent crime takes place between rival drug-related
gangs in the bad neighborhoods, but there are occasional crimes done in other areas. It's not like
Times Square in the 80's, but keep an eye open and keep your wallet in your front pocket.
Another option is to take Amtrak train from NYC (Penn Station, I think). You'd need to get
transportation from the airport into Manhattan. The train goes north to Albany right along the shore
of the Hudson River, it's very pretty. At Albany, it kind of follows the NY State barge canal and
the old Erie canal, and it's interesting because it goes through a lot of industrial-ruin stuff in
the various small cities. I haven't ridden Amtrak trains in years, but published reports say they
are cleaner these days and the food is better than it used to be.
If it were me travelling from Europe, if I could get a decent price on airfare from the NYC airport
to Rochester, I would take it. Rent a car in Rochester if you plan to do activities beyond the
Conference, especially outside of the main city area. If you are there for a couple of extra days,
you can do a long driving day of heading over to Niagara Falls early, getting done there by
lunchtime and then circling down to the bottom of the wine trail and hitting a few wineries in the
afternoon, even eating dinner down there if you like.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Birgit Lotz Verlag" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 6:58 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Travel plans for Rochester
> Would it make sense to travel by road from New York? Are there any places of tourist interest en
> route? Or should I fly straight from Germany, changing planes in New York? And should I spend an
> extra couple, three days before and after the conference? Any suggestions?
> I need to book air transport fairly soon to get fair rates..
> Dr. Rainer E. Lotz
> Rotdornweg 81
> 53177 Bonn (Germany)
> Tel: 0049-228-352808
> Fax: 0049-228-365142
> Web: www.lotz-verlag.de