What It's Like to Live in Syracuse

There’s more to life in Syracuse than snow and Orange basketball. In fact — the city has been a thriving hub of arts and culture for more than a century. Syracusans enjoy a city full of old-world charm and a variety of attractions for all ages. Consider relocating to the Syracuse area if you have a passion for community development and civic engagement.

Here are some locals’ thoughts on life in Syracuse.

1. What’s the right way to pronounce Syracuse: first syllable rhymes with “deer,” “bear” or “sir”?

I was born and raised a deer person, but I think it’s a matter of what you heard growing up. I know natives that say sir. I think the bear people are mostly transplants. — Jared Paventi of Al Dente

I have been and will always be “Team Bear.” It is a huge debate among Syracuse locals and school alumni. I grew up about 1.5 hours southwest of Syracuse and always heard it like “bear” But most locals apparently say “deer.” While either are acceptable, TEAM BEAR FOR LIFE. — Brian Harrison of Orange 44

Sare-a-CUSE. “Cuse” rhymes with juice. — Lauren Greutman of I Am That Lady

2. Who’s the biggest Syracuse sports legend?

Photo Source: Matthew D. Britt via Flickr Creative Commons

Jim Brown. Photo Source: Matthew D. Britt via Flickr Creative Commons

For the younger crowd, probably due to the fact that he helped deliver Syracuse’s 2003 National Championship in basketball, you have to give it to Carmelo Anthony. But you can’t deny sports legend, and probably the great running back every to play football, Jim Brown. He played football, basketball and lacrosse at Syracuse. And they say he was even better at lacrosse than football. — Brian Harrison of Orange 44

3. Mark Twain once said: “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” Do you think this applies to Syracuse? Why or why not?

Yes, absolutely! I’ve entered the grocery store in a torrential downpour only to find it bright and sunny when I was finished shopping. — Elizabeth Allers of CNY Arts

Yes, the temperature here can go from 55 to 30 faster than a nervous teen driver spotting a police car. — Mark Bialczak of markbialczak.com

4. Can you be a true Syracuse local without attending an Orange basketball game?

Photo Source: James DiBianco via Flickr Creative Commons

Syracuse University Orange Basketball. Photo Source: James DiBianco via Flickr Creative Commons

Of course, Syracuse locals show their pride for the city in many different ways, and it doesn’t always center on attending an Orange ball game. — Yona Williams of My Name is Yona Williams…and I Write

No — you need to bleed Orange. — Lauren Greutman of I Am That Lady

5. What’s the best way to enjoy the outdoors?

From Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks, there’s a lot of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. And it’s all a quick drive to reach some great destinations. — Matthew De Bellas of CNY Arts

Taking a walk around Onondaga Lake or through Beaver Lake Nature Center. — Lauren Greutman of I Am That Lady

6. Stella’s Diner or Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and why?

Photo Source: RJT via Flickr Creative Commons

Stella’s Diner. Photo Source: RJT via Flickr Creative Commons

Both. A plate of food at Stella’s could last you a week; and the ever-so-creative Dinosaur Bar-B-Que seems like a rite of passage when living in and visiting Syracuse. — Yona Williams of My Name is Yona Williams…and I Write

It’s clearly Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Everything on the menu is fantastic and it’s probably the best BBQ you can get above the Mason-Dixon line. — Brian Harrison of Orange 44

7. What’s the best thing to do at The Great New York State Fair?

Grab a couple of $0.25 chocolate milks, a sausage sandwich and take in a free concert at Chevy Court! — Susan Troman of CNY Arts

8. What food is Syracuse most known for? (coneys, salt potatoes or … ?)

Photo Source: Joshua Bousel via Flickr Creative Commons

Salt Potatoes. Photo Source: Joshua Bousel via Flickr Creative Commons

The salt potato with Hoffman’s hot dogs and coneys coming in a close second. — Jared Paventi of Al Dente

9. What’s the best Syracuse suburb to live in and why?

Camillus, because they are constantly adding new businesses to the area, with the Township 5 project being their latest — it’s where you will find the first Costco’s in our region. — Yona Williams of My Name is Yona Williams…and I Write

I would say Liverpool. A lot of small children and families with a lot to do. — Lauren Greutman of I Am That Lady

10. Is Syracuse a good place to raise a family? Why or why not?

Yes. The cost of living is relatively cheap. We have a first-class children’s hospital, a world-renowned zoo and some of the best schools in the state. — Jared Paventi of Al Dente

11. How would you best describe lake-effect snow to someone who’s never experienced it?

Take all the snow you ever feared shoveling from your driveway at one time and add a foot. — Mark Bialczak of markbialczak.com

12. Is the expanded mall, Destiny USA, a big deal? Why or why not?

Photo Source: CaptMikey9 via Flickr Creative Commons

Destiny USA Mall. Photo Source: CaptMikey9 via Flickr Creative Commons

I personally love what they have done with Destiny USA. It gives families a lot of activities to do (especially in the winter). — Elizabeth Allers of CNY Arts

13. Where in Syracuse can you get the most house for your money?

If you live in Clay, a suburb right outside of Syracuse, you can get a decent price on a house. — Elizabeth Allers of CNY Arts

14. Which is more fun to visit: Niagara Falls or Finger Lakes?

Photo Source: Asif Ali via Flickr Creative Commons

Niagara Falls. Photo Source: Asif Ali via Flickr Creative Commons

Finger Lakes by far. The lakes are beautiful all year round and a short drive from Syracuse. Each lake offers a unique experience with many great wineries, craft breweries and amazing events. And the Finger Lakes are not overcrowded with tourists. — Matthew De Bellas of CNY Arts

Niagara Falls! There’s nothing like seeing the power and beauty of three waterfalls in one. — Yona Williams of My Name is Yona Williams…and I Write

15. What do you love about Syracuse? If you don’t love it, why have you stayed?

Syracuse has enough sports, entertainment and dining to keep me busy, like a city should, and enough space and friendliness of the people, like a smaller community should. — Mark Bialczak of markbialczak.com

I love how accessible it is to partake in a variety of interests. If you love food — restaurants to suit all tastes. Like the arts? There are well-established cultural institutions offering options each night, all very affordable. A sports fan? Syracuse University, Syracuse Crunch, the Silver Knights, all the colleges … you can cheer for your favorite team until you are hoarse. Nature lovers will never run out of places to visit — Syracuse seasons highlight the beauty that is found upstate. — Susan Troman of CNY Arts

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