Reflections: Five Things I Will Miss Most About Rochester

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 · No Comments

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I can’t believe it’s been a week since my beau loaded my two-seater and I made the 14 hour drive to Alabama from Rochester. I was so ready to hit the road, because I had already got a late start, but maybe I should have slowed down and took everything in one last time.

Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I can definitely say I miss the life I created in Rochester. Among the many bright spots and brilliant people I came across in the Flower City, there are some things that standout and worth remembering. Here are some of the things I will miss the most.

Community:

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When I made the drive to Rochester in 2013, it was so cold literally and figuratively. It was wet, slush rain and snow fell as I made my way in the city. It was so uninviting.

As a girl who lives for summer nights and bursts of sunshine I knew this was going to be different. And I was right. I got stuck in the snow more times than I would like to remember, but every time those tires wouldn’t turn someone was there to push my small car out of the grips of the snow.

Things eventually started to warm up and so did the people. Everyone I met invited me to church, or helped find ways to get me involved. I took them up on their offer and started to embrace the ROC way!

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By the time I left I spoke at a UNCF Scholarship Luncheon, I was on an HBCU panel, co-hosted a magazine gala, and met with the youth in the community.

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I even wrote for a regional publication.

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Not too bad for a country girl!

Dunkin Donuts:

 

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Don’t laugh, but I didn’t discover Dunkin until I moved to Rochester. Well, wait, I was first introduced to Dunkin when I was a grad student at Syracuse University, but back then I didn’t drink coffee. Sooooooooo I guess I can say it was during my time in Rochester, where I learned, “America Runs on Dunkin.” Why is this coffee so freaking delicious? Not too dark, not too blonde. A cup doesn’t need a gang load of sugar or cream. Perfect!

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It’s a Dunkin on every corner in Rochester, but my absolute favorites were the Dunkins on Mt. Hope in College Town, and at the corner of Monroe and Alexander. The team knows exactly what I want when I hit the door and they never forget my straw. Now I’m addicted to Dunkin, sometimes two cups a day. I even coined the place “Da Dunkey Dunk.” Ha!

Friendship:

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I moved to Rochester not knowing a soul, but I left with an extended family in Western, New York. My
Co-workers became more than work boo’s, we’re now good friends. Kels and MB are much younger but we clicked. Not to mention we’re also so different, but it worked. More importantly, these two are genuine and all around good people.

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We called ourselves the “Three Foxy Ladies.” Cute, right?

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My other co-workers also became great friends of mine. Since most were from the area, they were more than helpful. From checking out a hip new night spot, to finding a cool place to live, or even finding a new mechanic, my co-workers, were the absolute best!

I also gained a Bae (nerve wrecking, but sweet). We met at one of my community speaking engagements and have been kicking it ever since. While he is nerve wrecking, he’s also showed me all of what Rochester has to offer.

Lizzy Lou:

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I drove 1,000 miles to Rochester with my baby girl riding shot gun. My Bichon and Shih Tzu mix, Lizzy Lou was my baby girl and this past October she got lose when my friend walked her while I was at work. She hasn’t been seen since.

This has been the most traumatic experience of my life. I feel horrible as a dog mom. I feel like I dropped the ball and I’m completely heartbroken.

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We’ve had a few false leads and the community has definitely pitched in to help, but the outpouring of support hasn’t yielded any positive results.

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Leaving Rochester last Tuesday without my rider was the toughest part of all. She was supposed to leave with me. I know I can’t beat myself up, but somehow I feel responsible. I’m still holding out hope, that we can reconnect again. I love her so much and miss her like crazy.

Fun-Filled Activities:

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I can’t believe I’m saying there are fun-filled activities in Rochester. When I landed in Western New York , you couldn’t pay me to do anything. I went to work , Walmart, Wegmans, and home again. After getting bored and only having Lizzy Lou as a companion, I started to venture out. I’m glad I started to let my hair down, I was in wine country for goodness sake. And there was also a professional football team in my backyard, so I had to make me way to a game. I did after a few months. I watched Buffalo take on the New England Patriots. What an intense rivalry?

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But before we stepped foot in the stadium, we tailgated. I got the chance to see the Bills’ Fans in action and they’re not crazy at all, just passionate. #BillsMafia

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We also scored seats in the end zone. Cool, right?

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I participated in my first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I was completely sober and still had a ball.

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I enjoyed several festivals and even went to an amusement park.

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I sat out on a beach and sipped wine on the roof top of a swanky hotel.

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I went to “The Price is Right Road Show” and jammed at a couple of concerts.

 

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I also meet several athletes from golf to football and even soccer.

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Rochester has so much to offer, but because of my work schedule I couldn’t take advantage of some of the activities. I worked every single weekend for two years and I also work week-nights. Bummer.

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Sweeties, I was so ready to leave Rochester in the wind that I failed to think about all the good that came my way over these last two years. I’ve built unbreakable bonds, became more independent, and grew both professionally and personally.

 

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There’s also something about subzero temperatures and knee deep snow that can show you exactly what you’re made of and I’m feeling stronger than ever.

Goodbye #ROC

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