Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 18:06:41 -0500
From: Daniel S Goodman dsg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Subject: Upstate New York
The following contains information on dialects I want to check out, to
make sure I haven't made any gross errors.
Notes toward alt.soc.ny-upstate FAQ
1. Q: I'm visiting New York City from Europe, and want some advice.
A: Here's my advice -- learn something about American geography.
Upstate New York excludes New York City.
Try rec.travel.usa-canada for the information you want.
Upstate New York is defined in this group's charter as north of
Westchester [County] -- which is the county just north of New York
City. There are various definitions of where Upstate begins; but they
all definitely and completely exclude New York City.
Upstate New York is bordered on the west by Canada, Pennsylvania, and
New Jersey; on the south by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Westchester
County; on the north by Canada; on the east by Vermont, Massachusetts,
It includes sparsely-populated rural areas -- for example, the
Adirondacks are said to have "More deer than Democrats." (Anyone know
if Republicans outnumber deer there?)
It also includes cities which would be major metropoli in most
Q: Is this newsgroup about the northeastern US?
I see you're in Amsterdam. What is that part of Germany like?
Q: So Upstate means the parts of New York State that don't want to be
confused with New York City?
A: No -- because that would include Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn,
and parts of Manhattan.
2. Language: The New York City dialect doesn't extend into Upstate.
According to dialect maps, there are two dialects in Upstate New York
-- Hudson Valley and Upstate New York. (Dialecticians' definition of
Upstate New York also includes Long Island. Dialecticians have funny
ideas about geography, sometimes. And they use a lot of old data --
much of Long Island is suburban now, and speaks the New York City
Dutch was spoken till some time in the 19th Century in the Hudson
Valley and adjacent areas.
French Canadians have moved south from Quebec.
In the southern Catskills, the major immigrant languages of New York
City have been brought by people not completely melted down in the
Languages spoken in Buffalo include [If someone doesn't supply good
information, I just might say that Buffalo is full of people who
native language is Esperanto and who worship in Old Church High
3. Cultural history: Upstate was settled partly from New York City,
starting back when it was New Amsterdam. The Dutch legacy includes
the Dutch Reformed Church.
Nowhere near all the Dutch settlers were actually Dutch. For example,
New Paltz was settled by French-speaking Belgians from Germany. (The
original name was "Die Pfalz" -- German for The Rhineland.) Other
"Dutch" settlers were Huguenots, Germans, Frisians, etc.
There was also settlement from New England.
4. Religious history: One portion of Upstate New York spawned
Spiritualism, the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and various other
religious groups -- some of them rather odd.
5. The Twilight Zone: Rod Serling, best known as host of The
Twilight Zone, was born and raised in Binghamton. [More data
requested, from people who know more.]