Utica is a small city in Central New York, located about 140 miles from Rochester (about 2.5 hours driving time). It is often lumped in with nearby Rome to form the Utica-Rome Metropolitan Area. Suburbs include Clinton (home of Hamilton College), New Hartford, Whitestown, Yorkville, Marcy, Frankfort, and New York Mills.
Utica was traditionally (and still is) very Italian-American and was once known as a hotbed of the mob activity. On a more positive note, it was Italian-Americans who developed riggies and tomato_pie, both beloved native Utican foods. Riggies is a pasta dish made with chicken, rigatoni, and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce. Tomato pie is similar to pizza but is Sicilian rather than Neapolitan in origin. (Places in the Rochester area that offer tomato pie may be found here.) Anyone nevertheless craving a Garbage Plate in Utica may order one at Nicky Doodles.
As with other cities of New York's rust belt, including Rochester, Utica has struggled in recent decades due to a loss of manufacturing jobs and a drastically shrunken population. Since the 1990s, however, Utica has received national attention for its large population of immigrant refugees, mostly Bosnian but also Russian, Thai, Somali, Iraqi, and Burmese. These newcomers have been instrumental in the city's slow economic revival.
Attractions in Utica
The Adirondack Mountains are about an hour's drive north of Utica.
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2012-04-14 17:39:18 Despite their similar names, it should be noted that the Corn Hill neighborhood in Utica is the exact opposite of its Rochester counterpart. Utica's Genesee Street, however, is a considerable improvement over ours: an active commercial boulevard with a lot of professional offices in well-kept vintage homes. —EileenF