Greetings and welcome to New York, BATWers! So glad you could stop by today and visit our great state. Now, I know the other hostess for NY is a city girl, but I'm here to represent the rest of the state. While New York City certainly is fantabulous (I am originally a Jersey Girl and grew up within an hour of NYC - my first real job was in Manhattan and NYC remains one of my most favorite cities ever), there is a lot more to the state than just those five delightful boroughs. I'll leave the city tour to her, and show you around upstate. As our state motto says, Excelsior! (That means "ever upward" in case you can't recall your high school Latin. I know I can't - I had to look that up!)
There are several great places to visit in New York. We've got vineyards and apple orchards and farms aplenty. We've got mountains - the Adirondacks, Catskills and Alleghenies (which are part of the Appalachian Mountain range) all go through our state. We've also got lakes, including a couple of the Great ones (Lake Ontario, where I live, and Lake Erie, too). We've got dibs on one side of Niagara Falls (though, props to the Canadians for having the better side - though that was just luck of the draw on the border, eh?). Some slightly less massive, yet still amazing and beautiful waterfalls can be found all over our state, along with the gorges they cut into the land - gorgeous! Oh yeah, and we've also got kind of a famous canal, that runs right through my town....
Is the sightseeing making you hungry? There are loads of "good eats" that originated here in NY! For example, we all know and love Buffalo wings (or just plain old "wings" as we call 'em around here). A delicious sandwich you may not have heard of that also comes out of Buffalo is the Beef on Weck, which is a roast beef sandwich with horseradish on a Kimmelweck roll. Closer to my neck of the woods, there's a little dish known as the Garbage Plate. Despite its name, it is delicious, if a bit messy. Salt Potatoes are native to central NY, and you can find them at fairs, festivals and summertime BBQs and picnics across the state. Another delicious dish with NY ties is Chicken French, though veal and artichokes can also be done French and are all equally tasty.
Besides our land and our food, there are lots of cool things to do in upstate NY. Each August, you can visit the Great New York State Fair over in Syracuse. That is a can't miss trip for my kiddo and me every summer. We have music festivals aplenty - Rochester and Syracuse both have annual jazz festivals, for example, oh and there's a little music festival you might of heard of called Woodstock - that's a NY thing, too! There are many great arts and crafts festivals, along with the music festivals. For example, Rochester is home to the Lilac Festival, which is lots of fun and another can't-miss for my family. We have one of the top children's museums in the country right here in upstate New York, not to mention several terrific zoos and 176 state parks to visit. New York is home to several great educational institutions, from Cornell (if you're feeling Ivy-ish) to the SUNY schools, to Syracuse University (have to plug it - Hubby and I are both Orange! Yes, I know, our alma mater's mascot is a citrus fruit, what can I say, we didn't pick it and he is pretty cute!). West Point is also in NY, to give a shout out to our military. And did you know that the women's rights movement has its birthplace in upstate NY? Yep, the first ever Women's Rights Convention was in 1848 in Seneca Falls.
What else can I tell you? Our state insect is the ladybug and our state flower is the rose. We are, of course, the Empire State. So, please enjoy your visit to our great state, and be sure to pop by NYC and check out that wonderful corner of the state, too!