As I drive from diner to restaurant to tavern to ice cream stand, I usually am in the confines of what I have long called Central New York.
But perhaps no more, if the Empire State Development Corp. is to be believed. In a Post-Standard article on Sunday it was revealed that the state has changed the definition of Central New York, a bit of an amorphous region to start with.
The state now says that CNY includes Broome, Chenango, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie counties. But it does NOT include Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, and Cortland counties.
No way, folks.
Syracuse, the locus of Onondaga County, is not in CNY? Really? How can that be? The state says that Onondaga, Cayuga, and Cortland counties are part of the Finger Lakes Region. Oswego got bumped into the Thousand Island-Seaway Region.
We all know that Pratts Hollow, located just north of Route 20 and west of Route 46 in Madison County, is the geographic center of the state. That’s what the state says. So if the hamlet is only 40 miles from Syracuse, how can the ‘cuse not be in CNY?
Syracuse also is at the center of the Metropolitan Development Authority’s attempt to re-imagine the area as the Creative Core of New York State. The “core” concept doesn’t work quite as well if the city is not in Central New York, in my humble view.
The change was predicated by the state’s desire to lose the term “Central Leatherstocking Region.” A moniker that is a tourism death star that nobody understood, promoted, or appreciated. (The state needs to update its tourism website if this change is really going to take hold.)
No offense to Mr. Cooper, but I have to agree with that decision. But it looks like the state let the politicians gerrymander this newest CNY designation, and we all know what happens when the Albany crew gets its hands on anything.
I’m sure we’ll all end up paying (way too much) for the new signs that will be marring a roadway near you and for all sorts of new brochures, websites, etc.
Whatever CNY means to you, I hope it is something positive. For me, it means home.