I love Rochester. With the exception of the Air Force and a brief job I held in NYC, I've lived here all my life. Economically speaking, it's not as fast paced as some other markets, but it has it's advantages as well. The cost of living is pretty low, especially real estate prices. It's not uncommon to see 1500sq ft homes on 1/4 acre lots in the mid 100s. Probably not in the Pittsford area, Pittsford is one of the better suburbs.
The job market has been slow in Roch. but the jobs that are here are often technology-based, as the city has a reputation for a well educated workforce. If you'rte coming here with a job already in place, it's a huge benefit. While the economy has taken some hits with the loss of Kodak and the outsourcing of many of Xerox's workforce, the local economy has done pretty well in absorbing the loss.
Lifestyle options in Roch. are pretty wide-ranging. If you're the outdoors-type, the list is pretty much endless. Plenty of fishing along the great lakes and of course, the big lake, Lake Ontario. There is great deer hunting all over the region. If you're a golfer, the amount of public courses is fantastic. I can't recall how many times I've been out this season (it's over a dozen) and I have yet to play the same course twice. There are a couple of areas for nightlife -the Monroe Ave area (the hipster region) and the East End. There's Charlotte (pronounced Char- Lot) which has a nice beach and a row of bars/ restaurants. Plenty of shopping. There are three large area malls plus endless plazas and strip malls.
Restaurants and dining. Roch. has a great compilation of various ethnic and regional dining. Anything from Thai to Indian, German cuisine (including an awesome German deli that seats folks German beer-hall style deep in the 'hood, complete with live German music and the obligatory Germulichite) There are fantastic BBQ joints and steakhouses (You gotta try Delmonico's on E. Henrietta Rd.) Just about any fare you could want is available in Rochester. No thoughts on dining would be complete without mentioning Wegman's groceries. Wegman's is the gold standard of grocery stores. If there's one thing people who move away from Roch. all say, it's that they miss Wegman's.
As for the weather. Yes, we do ghet some snow here in winter. And by some, I mean a lot.
Around here, it's not the end of the world. The towns know how to handle it, and the people are pretty adept at driving in it. It usually lasts about 4 months with good snow on the ground. As an old weatherman used to say around here, "nothing we can't handle". The summers are usually very pleasant and mild. We don't get many days in the 90s, and when we do, it's newsworthy. A good location just south of Lake Ontario really helps temper our temperatures, even if it does account for a little more snow in winter time.
Odds and ends. Rochester, I've heard it said, is a large town masquerading as a small city. There are some limitations that come with it, but some advantages as well. With the exception of the heaviest rush hour times, I can generally drive the expressways around Rochester with my cruise control on. By contrast, I've been in hour long traffic jams in NYC that lasted over an hour.
In Roch., you're never more than twenty minutes to anywhere. Rochester and the surrounding areas have great parks and is highly commited to "green-space". From folks I know that have moved away and eventually come back ( a very VERY common occurrence) one of the reasons for returning is often "I wanted to raise my kids here".
All in all, Rochester is a small, laid-back community with a variety of lifestyles and environments that can suit almost anyone. Good luck with your move (should you choose to make it) and remember that T.C. Hooligans on Ridge Road in Webster usually gets a small band of Jets fans on Sundays for Jets games. (ironically they have a Jets Jay Feidler signed jersey on the wall