This post is not entirely beer-related. However, to appreciate one’s city, celebrate its history, champion hard work and the spirit of service… that’s totally craft beer. So, in the spirit of craft beer, I bring you the spirit of Rochester, NY—my city.
Every so often I hear someone rag on Rochester; usually they say there’s nothing to do here. It seems to come mostly from people that grew up here, living in the suburbs, outside the vibrant life of the city. If you’re one of those people, I invite you to read the following text and reconsider Rochester, NY. Come to our city, experience it, and come to understand what many of us already know—The “get together” spirit is strong here. It’s in our neighborhoods, like The South Wedge and the Neighborhood of the Arts. It’s at The Public Market on Saturday mornings. It’s in our bars and restaurants, seen in the thoughtfully prepared menu’s full of quality, local ingredients. And it’s in our beer scene, close knit and accepting…. full of variety and quality, creativity and collaboration.
I recently stumbled upon The Book of Industrial Rochester, published for the Allied Trade Commissions of Great Britain, France, Italy and Belgium, on the occasion of their visit to Rochester, NY in November, 1919, under the auspices of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In reading the introductory statements, which I’ve copied below, I found myself filled with emotion—an overwhelming sense of pride for the city I’ve come to call my home. Feelings of social contentedness and a sense of community, strengthened by words written nearly 100 years ago.
The Spirit of Rochester
To obtain recognition in these strenuous times one must carry his pedestal with him.
The meek and lowly may inherit the earth—later.
So said a commercial cynic recently. Rochester doesn’t need a pedestal in order to obtain recognition. It is a city that in the eyes of the knowing part of the world is set on a hill. Neither does Rochester desire to inherit the earth. It wants the earth to inherit Rochester.
Rochester is a young city. It was only a hundred years ago that a handful of pioneers settled in this beautiful valley of the Genesee at the brink of a great waterfall, and set up the beginnings of what is now the City of Rochester, the twenty-fifth city of the United States in size. The story of Rochester’s growth is not unlike the story of the growth of many other American cities. It is a story of enterprise and thrift coupled with an intense desire for advancement in education and the things which make life more worth while.