It’s almost time for the Rust Belt to take over Rochester! Here’s the weekend’s schedule (subject to minor changes). Registration ends July 1 so don’t delay!
Spend the weekend exploring the Flower City (aka Flour City) with the YUPs! We’ll experience Rochester’s transportation history firsthand, check out the waterfalls in the middle of the city, walk through the country’s oldest municipally-owned cemetery, visit murals by internationally-renowned street artists, and get behind-the-scenes tours of downtown landmarks. We can’t wait to show you why we love the ROC!
FRIDAY, JULY 14th
7 PM – Welcome to Rochester: Friday night we’re hanging out at Rochester’s newest adaptive reuse project, Radio Social. Named in homage to the radio manufacturer that inhabited the space during WWII, it now boasts a restaurant, bar, and bowling lanes–everything we’ll need to kick-off a great weekend!
SATURDAY, JULY 15th
9 AM – Breakfast at the Market: Rochester’s outdoor Public Market has been the place for thousands of people from all walks of life to do their weekend shopping and mingling since 1905 and is increasingly driving reinvestment in the surrounding neighborhood. Chris and Tyler are regular market-goers and will orient you as you explore the 400 stalls and pick up breakfast.
11 AM – Rochester Must-Sees and Must-Eats: After breakfast we’ll head over to the High Falls neighborhood, home to our famous downtown waterfall. High Falls was the center of much of Rochester’s industrial past and offers one of the best views in the city. You’ll get an orientation to the city from The Landmark Society’s renowned, walking encyclopedia, Cynthia Howk. No one in Rochester knows more about Rochester’s buildings and history.
From there, we’ll explore some vestiges of Rochester’s rich transportation history. After working up quite the appetite, we’ll stuff our faces at Nick Tahou’s. Located in a former railroad depot, Tahou’s is the home of Rochester’s culinary masterpiece the Garbage Plate and is a must-have on any Rochester visit.
2-4 PM – Breakout Tours
After lunch, choose one of three different tours, each exploring a unique piece of Rochester:
- Death in a Time of Cholera: Exploring Mount Hope, America’s first Victorian municipal cemetery. We’ll learn about the origins of the 19th century ‘rural cemetery’ movement and Mount Hope’s founding in response to a cholera epidemic. We’ll explore Mount Hope’s unique glacial landscape of high hills and deep valleys, winding eskers and deep kettles. The walk will take us to the final resting places of some notable folks, including Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, where election day visits have become a Rochester tradition.
- Wall\Therapy: Rochester has over 100 murals, many of which are thanks to Wall\Therapy which brings artists from around the globe and right here in Rochester to paint murals across the city. Wall\Therapy’s goal is to use public art to spark discussion and inspiration. In the spirit of that goal, we’ll visit a number of the murals and gain some insight from one of Wall\Therapy’s experts on the stories behind the paintings. (NOTE: Sadly, our bike share program won’t be launching until the following week so if you can bring your own bike, that’s great! If not, we’ll have some extras).
- Lower Falls – Hydro-power, lost settlements, and bridges that spanned too far: No weekend for preservation nerds would be complete without a behind-the-scenes building tour! Crawl through Rochester’s oldest operating hydroelectric station at the precipice of our tallest waterfall, deep in the river gorge, and beneath a bridge that twice fell into the valley below. Come explore one of Rochester’s most unique buildings and idyllic natural sites.
4 PM – Free time
6 PM – Dinner with Ms. PacMan: We’ll all meet up again for dinner, drinks and arcade games. Swillburger\\Playhouse, Rochester’s only barcade, is the best place to fuel up (on locally sourced burgers, tots, and milkshakes) and relive your 90s childhood before heading out on the town Saturday night. Also, it’s in an adapted historic church, with interior spaces designed by local furniture company, Staach. (Vegan and vegetarian options available)
SUNDAY, JULY 16th
9 AM – Breakfast in Times Square: It may not have quite as many lights or tourists as New York City’s Times Square, but Rochester’s has peregrine falcons and will have breakfast waiting for you on Sunday morning. The National Trust for Historic Preservation will host a breakfast discussion after which we’ll tour the building, more formally known as the Genesee Valley Trust Building. An integral piece of Rochester’s skyline since 1929, the building has also been home to two peregrine falcons since 2008. We’ll end the tour under the building’s most iconic feature, the 97 foot tall monumental sculpture of aluminum and stone called, Wings of Progress.
11 AM – Epic East Side Dog Walk: Shake off the Genny Cream Ale from last night and earn your lunch with a brisk, approximately 5 ½ mile walk through some of the most beautiful and unique neighborhoods and hidden treasures Rochester has to offer. If you have a friendly dog, bring your companion. If not, we will have some on-hand to offer companionship and occasional motivational yipping. We will leave from 341 Barrington Street promptly at 11:00.
2 PM – Send off BBQ: Grill and chill with your new and old building nerd friends at 341 Barrington Street before exploring Rochester more or heading home (to watch the Game of Thrones season premiere!!). BYOB.
Locations: Fear not–we will supply you with a google map of all locations and recommended eats, bars, and coffee shops before the weekend starts. You’ll also be equipped with a hard copy “concierge sheet” that will give you the most important deets.
Transportation: Rochester is a very compact, bikeable city. Because our bikeshare won’t be launched yet, we encourage you to bring your own bikes. We’ll also be rounding up a bunch we can loan you if you choose to go on the Wall\Therapy bike tour. We’ll send a poll out in advance to get a headcount of who needs a bike. Our bus system isn’t the fastest way to get around town but you can check it out here. AAAND we’ll finally be getting Uber and Lyft at the end of June!!
Parking: Rochester utilizes alternate side parking. Apparently this isn’t a thing in other cities??!! Basically, it means you can’t park your car for the weekend and forget about it (unless you’re at a meter downtown). In most neighborhoods, you have a 1-hour window between 6 and 7 PM to move your car to the other side of the street. Pay close attention to the parking signs as they’re admittedly super confusing. In general though, you can always find parking within a block or two of wherever you’re going.
Lodging: If you requested lodging when you registered, after registration closes, you’ll receive an email with your lodging assignment.
Furry, four-legged friends: We’d love to have an army of dogs at Sunday’s Epic East Side Dog Walk! If you have a friendly, well-behaved dog you want to bring along for the weekend, let us know and we’ll put you up at a dog-friendly house. Just be aware that many of the weekend’s activities are not dog-friendly and your pooch may need to be left alone at a stranger’s house for extended periods of time.
Once you’ve registered, stay tuned for an email with all this information, a packing list, and a link to let us know which events you’re planning to attend and whether you need a bike.