Downstate exodus: A sign of the 'Times?'

Last week the New York Times published a feature on Norwich and Chenango County entitled "Hunting, Snowmobiling and Rural Charms." It epitomized, at least in this writer's opinion, the downstate urban perception of life in the rural upstate regions. In fact, the lead photo was of the back view a big trailer loaded with baled hay, traveling north on Broad Street in front of the Colonia Theater. Nice touch, but how often does that occur?

While, by and large, the author of the article tries to be fair and complimentary, pointing out the scenic beauty and friendly, laid-back lifestyle of the area, her attention was equally focused on the "bargains" that were available in our real estate markets here. She especially highlighted the availability and cost of the more scenic residences that would be attractive as seasonal or retirement homes, accurately pointing out that real estate in those areas and counties closer to New York City, Long Island and New Jersey has become priced too high in many downstaters' opinion.

What made the article somewhat misleading was when the author kicked it off with a verbal image of what our area diners, restaurants and sport shops are like when deer season arrives. "They're all in there with their new boots, L. L. Bean flannels and a three-day growth. You can practically smell the testosterone in the air." If I didn't live here, I'd think the description far more appropriate to someplace like Jackson Hole, Wyoming during elk and deer season, where the hunters outnumber non-hunters. I wonder what she'd have thought had she viewed our area in the 1960s and early '70s, when we had many times more deer hunters than we do today.

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