I love Rochester more every day. The summer sun brings a glow about this city and all that’s going on that I am more and more addicted to all the time. Yes, there’s plenty we have to roll up our sleeves and accomplish, but we have something very very good here.
There is one thing, however, I’m a little tired of, something I would like to address. The other day I made the mistake (like always) of viewing the comments following a Facebook post about a new and positive project in the city. Person after person slammed the city and slammed the initiative… “a waste of taxpayer money,” “I don’t even go downtown so I’m not paying for it” and my personal favorite “it’s the Fast Ferry all over again.”
Sidebar. The Fast Ferry was a disaster, but for God’s sake stop negatively comparing EVERYTHING in Rochester to the stupid boat.
OK, deep breath. I decided to do a little Facebook creeping on the folks that were making these comments and found that about 75% of them were from people living in surrounding suburbs like Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Faiport, Brockport, Spencerport and Greece.
If you live in Rochester, and/or if you experience the city for work or play, if you support the good things happening and the good people making a difference, you have my love and respect. You have every right to comment on what’s happening in the city.
But if you don’t live here, if you have chosen suburban life over the urban experience, if you don’t even go into the city because it’s too dirty or dangerous or scary, then please stop negatively commenting on our downtown. Please.
I understand that you want to raise your family in a place that you feel is safe, where the schools are stellar, or maybe you just want a little more space. I understand that the urban setting is not for you and you have made a choice to embrace the suburban or rural lifestyle. I respect and fully understand your decision, as I think anyone would. But I ask you please, don’t throw stones at my city from behind your picket fence. Don’t inflame a culture of negativity surrounding Rochester while you mow your 0.73 acres.
We all have our opinions and we are all entitled to them. We all can make choices (within reason) about where and how we live. But if you have chosen not to be a part of the solution by not supporting Rochester businesses, organizations and endeavors, I don’t recognize your right to comment on Rochester’s issues or initiatives.
Please note this is not an assault on those living in our local suburban neighborhoods and rural spaces. They are wonderful places to live and raise a family, and we are lucky to have them. Some of my best friends live in the suburbs, but still support Downtown Rochester and all that’s happening here. This post is simply a commentary on the criticism of our city by those who have chosen not to be part of the direction or the solution.
Hate Rochester? Think it’s a hole of crime and delinquent teens and economic depression, but you don’t get out of your car in Downtown more than twice a year? Then stop slinging negativity from behind your gate about something you don’t know. Leave your safety nets and visit here, put on your explorer hat, see what we have, be a part of Rochester’s resurgence… there’s something for everyone! If you still don’t like it, feel free to comment all you like on how much it sucks. But if you give it a real chance, I bet you anything you’ll find something that warms your heart, fuels your sense of fun and adventure, and keeps you coming back.