Utica, Seriously?

It’s no secret that our city has had it’s struggles. In fact for most of my life in this area Utica has had a less than stellar reputation as a place you would choose to live.

That opinion is changing. Rapidly. Why you ask? Well let me tell you what we don’t have first so you can really question my sanity.

Great weather. Unless gray skies for weeks on end are your thing. Pretty sure the folks from Twilight would love it here. That being said our summer-all 6 weeks of it-is pretty incredible. Take today for example. 80 degrees and sunny skies. Down right perfect! Don’t think it will last though because once the weather forecasters on the local TV stations say we need rain we will not see the sun for days. Still not sure why they think it is necessary to give a forecast that they are rarely right about. Great job if you can get it! At least they smile a lot. Of course if you love fall colors that will truly take your breath away, stay away from Utica. Snowmobiling and skiing not your thing, again you won’t want to come here. World class hockey, as in the Utica Comets, stay away! You may not like how much fun you will have at our games. Spring rains that keep our water running and provide us with fantastic drinking water. Run as fast as you can away from here.

What else don’t we have in Utica and the surrounding areas? Traffic. Yep, you’ll be hard pressed to wait for long at any light. The current exception is if you are traveling on Route 8, Route 5, and Route 12 North or South. AKA The Arterial. Don’t sweat it though because that entire stretch is being totally reformed. Should be complete in under 2 years. That may not be a big deal where you come from but for us folks here who are used to waiting 40 years for a new road it is BIG! And I am personally psyched!

A lack of great restaurants. That’s correct, if you like to eat then you should move to Utica, like yesterday.

On the horizon is Ocean Blue.

Ocean Blue - 1


I’ve had the good fortune to tour the inside during construction. What can I say but WOW. There’s nothing like it within 100 miles of here. How do I know? Check out my page Why I Wander. I travel, a lot. I eat out, a lot. I cook when my blueapron arrives-like today. This gives me more time to eat. In Utica. Where the food is GREAT.

Coffee? We don’t have a Starbucks. WHAT you say? How is that possible? Well we kinda do if you count the one inside our Barnes and Nobles which I don’t cause it’s not really real. You can’t use your Starbucks app so henceforth it ain’t real. But we do have

UTICA COFFEE ROASTERS. “Wake The Hell Up” is their motto and great coffee and conversation is their game. Everything inside the store is made right here in Utica. Pretty awesome. So is their logo, eh?

UCR 2 - 1


How about bread? You like bread? You love bread? Then get in your car, now, and drive to Utica. We have lots of great bakeries to buy bread. You know, real bread, not just that stuff in a plastic bag you see in the grocery store that resembles bread. The real deal. Here’s a new place that just opened last month and it’s divine!!!

Simply named: Utica Bread

UTica Bread - 1

See the dude with his back to the camera by the counter-that’s Francis Pezzolanella. He’s part of the team that is making Ocean Blue a reality. What else do you notice about him? He’s young! And he chose to live in Utica. Yep, we are not the Utica you thought you knew.

Speaking of Utica Bread-guess who opened it? Same team that opened Tailor and The Cook a few years ago. Yep, you’ve heard of them if you’ve read anything about OpenTable.com Which by the way Tailor and The Cook was named 2014 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award for Americas Top 100 Restaurants! That’s news I mentioned in my old blog but worthy of a second mention.

So don’t come to Utica. You probably won’t like it. The people are friendly. The food is fabulous. The Adirondacks are breathtaking-30 minutes from here. Too many lakes to choose from. Too many beautiful historic buildings. Too much entertainment. Oh and especially don’t come if you’re not a fan of running. Running Hall of Fame is here along with The Boilermaker Road Race.


The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world-renowned race is often referred to as the country’s best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing’s best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert!

Yes, Utica is awful, isn’t it? Give me time. I’ll tell you more about how terrible our city is. “She says in her snarkiest voice”


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