Some time ago, home stopped meaning places and started meaning people. Home is where my people are, wherever it is they happen to be. Home is multiple places at once because I’m lucky enough to have friends and family members the world over.
But Rochester, New York is my first home. My longest home. Rochester is the place I know the best and the place I feel safest. It’s where my immediate family lives, where my oldest friends are from and where some still are. It’s a place of both fond memories and dark moments, times of absolute elation and the deepest uncertainty. Rochester and its people have raised me and only asked that I remember where I come from wherever I go.
Rochester is technically a mid-size city on the shores of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, but it’s very much a small town. People are friendly, the pace of life is calm, and there’s a sense of collective responsibility and a spirit of helpfulness. People make connections with others, knowing they’ll cross paths again. Rochesterians have a sense of genuine pride in their city that they want to share with others. It’s not enough that we love our town and that we’ve made our homes here; we want you to feel the same way.
I’ve called other places home since going away for college back in 2008, but Rochester has always been home home. No matter where in the world I am, it always will be.