My Rochester Bucket List

In less than nine months I will (most likely) be moving away from Rochester, NY. I’ll graduate from UR with two degrees and will be looking for jobs in the West Coast/Northwest. (That is, of course, unless an amazing opportunity affords me to stay).

While Rochester has been an absolute bastard at times (a garbage plate, if you will), the city has no doubt grown on me. I’m at the point where I kind of like it. Who’da thought? People here are genuine, there’s an art culture just waiting to explode, and while Rochester lacks a thriving socio-environment for young professionals—no friendly downtown district, poor upkeep of natural resources—I get the sense that Rochester will be an incredible place to live in about five years.

Downtown projects are looming, tax breaks are given for new businesses, public transportation is getting better, and (my fav) Costco is coming. Plus, Global Warming.

So why not stay?

Because mountains. And the Pacific. I’m a West Coast kid, and I can’t help it. Home is home. But right now, this next year, I want to enjoy Rochester and Western New York as much as possible.

So here it is, my Rochester, NY Bucket List:

Rochester, NY-3

1. See a performance at the Eastman Theatre

The beautiful and rarified Eastman Theatre (1922) hosts over 700 performances a year. Wow! Why haven’t I seen one yet? Oh yes, classical music is expensive. Can’t we just do one night of local punk bands? Just one night?

2. Enjoy a Haunted Hayride

As a Halloween fanatic, I was impressed, last year, with the level commitment I saw Western New York dedicate to the holiday. Unfortunately I had just moved across the country and couldn’t even afford a hayride. This year? Oh yes. It is happening.

3. Visit Buffalo for authentic Buffalo chicken wings

I mean, I’m here?

4. Tour the George Eastman House

Before switching apartments, I lived just down the street from old George (Kodak guy). Yet, because of busyness, I never got a chance to tour his old stomping grounds. I did attend a summer concert in his backyard, however. Seems like a cool place, a mini-Hearst Castle.

5. Stay a night at Niagara Falls, Canada

Yes, I’ve been to Niagara Falls. No, I haven’t had an entire day to spend indulgently running around the stimulus-infested, tourist mecca, responsibility-free Canadian side: laser tag, haunted houses, dinosaur mini-golf, wax museums. Who needs a giant waterfall?

6. Tour Mt. Hope Cemetery 

I live across the street from this gigantic, old, sprawling cemetery. I walk through it sometimes to get to school. As it turns out, further down (this place is huge), Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony rest there, among other old impressive dead people.

7. Pretend I’m a kid at the Strong Museum of Play 

The Strong Museum of Play is a thing in Rochester, like a kid museum but huge. I don’t know what’s inside, really. Fun? The architecture has an EMP (Seattle) vibe, which I love. Plus, the National Toy Hall of Fame is there. I’ll see you soon, rubber ducky!!!

8. Check a book out from the Rochester Public Library

I’ve heard great things about our local library. I’d love to “check it out,” amiright? From the outside it looks big and pretentious, so that’s always good.

9. Tour the Memorial Art Gallery

Though I have been inside, and have even looked at a couple galleries, I have not done a full tour. It’s especially sad because I work right across the street from it, and I get free tickets since I’m an undergrad. But that is neither her nor there.

10. Walk across a stage and pick up a degree

If it’s as easy as walking across a stage, can’t I do that now? Seriously, I’m excited for graduation. My ticket out of this dump hole. Haha! Just kidding? Am I? Yes, yes I am. 😉

That’s it! (for now). Any recommendations for my Rochester bucket list? What types of things would you do in your town if you knew you were going to leave?



  1. Has it grown on you like a fungus? Or a cancerous cyst?

    I’m glad to hear your assessment of living in Rochester in five years. That’ll be just about the time I’m hoping to move back.

    I have done #5, #7 & #8 and highly recommend them. #1, #4 & #9 are on my bucket list as well.

    One thing you might consider adding to your list is Captain Tony’s $5.99 large cheese pizza on some Wednesday. A great way to support the local economy, invest in a family business and eat good pizza at a modest price.

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