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Western New York

From Academic Kids

Western New York refers to the westernmost counties of New York State, roughly the area included in the Holland Purchase. It includes the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, as well as the U.S. side of the Niagara Falls. Residents of the area use the term "Western New York" to distinguish themselves from residents of Upstate New York; the distinction is made most often by Upstate New Yorkers.

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Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State. Its manufacturing base has declined in recent decades, but its location sustains its role in transportation. It has become an important regional centre for banking and for trade with Canada.

Transportation has always been important to Buffalo, since it was the western end of the Erie Canal at Lake Erie; the Canal's eastern end was at Albany, on the Hudson River. The combination of the Hudson River and Erie Canal gave New York State the only water-borne connection between the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes. That advantage fueled New York City's growth relative to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the mouth of the Delaware River.

The Erie Canal was an important route for people moving to the old Northwest Territories (now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin) and the easiest way for their agricultural and manufacturing products to reach New York City and international trade. When railroads replaced the Canal, Buffalo was the main transhipment point for grain (many concrete grain silos remain from that time).

The availability of low-cost, water-borne transportation, and Niagara Falls to generate electricity attracted a wide variety of manufacturers. The steel plant in Lackawanna, New York depended on water transportation to receive iron ore from the Mesabi Range along Minnesota's Lake Superior shore. Grain from the US and Canadian west reached the railroads at Lackawanna and Buffalo. Grain processors like the breakfast cereal manufacturers were attracted by the combination of water transportation and cheap electricity when hydroelectric stations took advantage of the abrupt change in the Niagara River's elevation at Niagara Falls. The combination of water transportation and cheap electricity made the region a major manufacturing center in many fields.

The Erie Canal's path was equally attractive when the iron horse replaced the mules that pulled the canal boats. The New York Central railroad, for example, advertised that its "water level route" from New York to Chicago made a good night's sleep possible, since there were no disruptions due to crossing the Appalachin or Catskill Mountains, as its competitors did.

Buffalo is home to the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College, and to numerous private colleges including Canisius College. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has a nationally ranked collection of post-World War II art and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, whose Kleinhans Music Hall was designed by Alvar Aalto, is highly ranked. The city is host to the Buffalo Bills the National Football League, Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, and Buffalo Bisons of professional baseball's the International League.

Buffalo wings were invented at Frank & Theresa's Anchor Bar (corner of Main and North Streets) in 1964 after the crowd attracted by their regular jazz program ate all the other food on hand.

Rochester is at the mouth of the Genesee River, about in the middle of Lake Ontario's southern shore. It is home to the Kodak and Xerox corporations, the University of Rochester, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Flag of New York

State of New York

Capital:

Albany

Regions:

Adirondack Mountains | Capital District | Catskill Mountains | Central | Finger Lakes | The Holland Purchase | Hudson Valley | Long Island | Mohawk Valley | Shawangunks | Southern Tier | Upstate | Western

Major metros:

Albany | Binghamton | Buffalo | New York | Rochester | Syracuse | Utica

Smaller cities:

Amsterdam | Auburn | Batavia | Canandaigua | Corning | Cortland | Dunkirk | Elmira | Geneva | Glen Cove | Glens Falls | Gloversville | Goshen | Hornell | Hudson | Ilion | Ithaca | Jamestown | Kingston | Lockport | Malone | Massena | Middletown | New Paltz | Newark | Ogdensburg | Olean | Oneida | Oneonta | Oswego | Plattsburgh | Port Jervis | Poughkeepsie | Riverhead | Rome | Saratoga Springs | Warwick | Watertown

Counties:

Albany | Allegany | Bronx | Broome | Cattaraugus | Cayuga | Chautauqua | Chemung | Chenango | Clinton | Columbia | Cortland | Delaware | Dutchess | Erie | Essex | Franklin | Fulton | Genesee | Greene | Hamilton | Herkimer | Jefferson | Kings (Brooklyn) | Lewis | Livingston | Madison | Monroe | Montgomery | Nassau | New York (Manhattan) | Niagara | Oneida | Onondaga | Ontario | Orange | Orleans | Oswego | Otsego | Putnam | Queens | Rensselaer | Richmond (Staten Island) | Rockland | Saint Lawrence | Saratoga | Schenectady | Schoharie | Schuyler | Seneca | Steuben | Suffolk | Sullivan | Tioga | Tompkins | Ulster | Warren | Washington | Wayne | Westchester | Wyoming | Yates

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