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Inside Kodak’s Birthplace

A founding principle of NYSOM is that there's more than one way of looking at the same thing. Meet two of NYSOM's friends in Rochester: Margaret and Carol. Read on for their unique Rochester states of mind, verbatim.

The best resources for learning about Rochester:

MARGARET relies on: Rochester City Newspaper is the go to for info about city events.  It's readily available at every diner I get breakfast at, and carries great info about the city's art scene and general happenings. CAROL relies on: South Wedge newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, Facebook; word of mouth.

Your go-to locale for...

  • Coffee:
    • MARGARET wakes up to: Joe Bean's latte. My boyfriend and I go here for weekend "work dates" and aim to get an hour or two of work done while treating ourselves to the great atmosphere.
    • CAROL agrees: Joe Bean (any coffee is excellent) or Equal Grounds (smoothies!)
  • A sandwich:
    • MARGARET craves: The Cherub from The Owl House. It's an amazing steak and portobello mushroom combo on a baguette; it's my favorite sandwich of all time.
    • CAROL craves: Open Face Sandwich’s Corn Mash.
  • A night out with friends:
    • MARGARET heads to: Good Luck. You have to book at least a day in advance, but this place is top notch. The food is superb, yet served "family style" where the table is encouraged to share each dish. This creates a great fancy yet comfortable feel for a double date.
    • CAROL heads to: Gatehouse. She recommends “any burger on the menu.”
  • Date night:
    • MARGARET (a med school student) savors one-on-one time at: Dairy Queen. Rochester has amazing food that we enjoy on a regular basis. For "date night" as students, we go "cheap and fun". We'll watch a comedy at the dollar theater on W. Henrietta, and then head to Dairy Queen which is one of the best fast food restaurants I've been to. I don't know if Dairy Queen's across America have cleaned up their acts, but ours plays good tunes, is clean, and serves the best onion rings I have ever had. I like dates full of laughs, and nothing is better after a funny movie than an Oreo Blizzard and onion rings. Eating unhealthful foods is a treat reserved for date night.

    • CAROL savors one-on-one time at: Han Noodle. She orders the House Special Noodles.

  • A glass of wine or cocktail:
  • Dessert:
    • MARGARET treats herself at:Good Luck, again. Their molten chocolate cake is great to split. But we often head to Wegmans and pick up some of their amazing cannoli and a box of raspberries.

    • CAROL indulges in: Wegmans’ fruit tart.

The hotel you always book or recommend to friends, and why:

  • MARGARET, a generous hostess, sends guests to: Our house.  When you live in a city like Rochester, you don't want for space like a person in NYC does.  Plenty of room for visitors.

The ONE thing visitors must see or do, and why:

  • MARGARET directs people to: The Rochester Public Market.  Voted "America's Favorite," this market delivers on good food, coffee, groceries, and fun people watching.

  • CAROL directs people to: Hiking or Wegmans (our two best offerings; I can't pick a favorite).

Your favorite hidden (or not so anymore) gem, and why:

  • MARGARET (who splits her time between Boston and Rochester) treasures: Elena's "Jim’s Too".  The owner (Elena, not Jim) is an amazing woman, always there making the rounds to each table, coffee in hand.  Your cup never lacks for coffee, and the menu is straightforward yet varied.  I love the french toast bagels!  "Wham" breakfast sandwiches are also top notch, as is the artisan's omelette ordered to your liking (artichoke, sausage, bacon, and cheddar anyone?).  My sister from NYC came to visit and said "is there something wrong with the menu?  Don't these items need another 1 in front of them?" in reference to the fact that what would cost you 13.95 in NYC costs only 3.95 at Jim's.  When I take the overnight bus from Boston and get into Rochester at 4:45am, my boyfriend and I head to Jim's for their 5am open.  Elena's son greets us at that hour and knows our order before we place it.

  • CAROL: After stocking up on market fare, spend the afternoon hiking at one of the area’s stunning parks: Hamlin State Park, Mendon Pond, Letchworth Falls, or Tryon Park.

Number of hours or days required in town for the "full" experience:

  • MARGARET declares: A weekend is perfect.  After driving this far towards the end of the state, it’s worth it to relax for two or three nights, and enjoy High Falls, the Chimney Bluffs, Lake Ontario, or even a drive as far north as Niagara Falls. No need to cram it all [in].

  • CAROL declares: Years.

The town is great for what type of visitor:

MARGARET thinks Rochester is perfect for people who: CAROL thinks Rochester is perfect for people who:
  • CURATE (the artsy intelligentsia)
  • INNOVATE (the tinkerers and life-long students
  • RECREATE (the adventure-seekers and fitness gurus)

The town is best explored by:

  • MARGARET and CAROL agree: Car.

The town is best explored in:

  • MARGARET: Summer

  • CAROL: Summer and Autumn

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