The first step in taking pride in Rochester, for me, is actually seeing it. While many rave about the direction Rochester is headed, I find that a surprising few actually walk around downtown and marvel at the landscape, the grand structures new and old, and the urban energy that spills out into every scene. A few weeks ago, I biked around downtown (as I often do) and snapped some shots along the Genesee on a gorgeous evening.
Rochestarians have a funny relationship with the Genesee… I think sometimes we forget the beautiful stone bridges that cross it, the marvelously unique buildings that rise above it, and trees and parks that compliment it.
For me, the key to loving Rochester is the same as appreciating your partner. Sure, he or she may be imperfect (just like us!) but you find the beautiful, you champion the parts that make you happy. You see in them what nobody else might see, and you make that unique connection the basis for your relationship. But to see all of this, to get to this level with a person, you need to take them out, you need to have a two-way conversation with them, you need to hear and touch and see and feel all that they are.
That’s my Rochester. That’s my relationship to this beautiful, living, breathing community in which we live. The first step is finding the beauty, and from there, you can look deeper into its soul. Rochester’s soul, like most of ours, is complicated. But it’s there and it’s truly amazing if you’re willing to take it out on a date once in a while.
Our connection to our city should be organic, it should be beautiful and complicated and full of life like our love for a person. So get out there and search for your Rochester, the one that brings you in, warms your heart and makes you smile.