“I have lived in Rochester all of my life, and what I love most is the familiarity of it all, yet appreciation that it’s constantly changing and growing. Rochester never gets old. I grew up in Brighton, and through high school, I was lucky enough to land a part-time job as a receptionist at a trendy hair salon on Park Ave. and dreamed of living in that area one day. I went on to attend RIT where I lived on campus in Henrietta. I didn’t have a car at first, so I appreciated the campus like most other students not from the area. Later I worked at Mark’s Pizzeria on Monroe Ave. and grew to appreciate and love the business and culture on the Ave.
“After college I worked at Nixon Peabody as the web designer for a law firm, and for 2 years I got to experience the downtown city life of high heels and business suits, trekking through a half-vacant Midtown Plaza and parking garage. I lived on Oxford Street in a beautiful old house with high ceilings and pocket doors, right near Park Ave., like I had hoped as a kid. It was the most charming place I’ve ever lived.
“I married my husband and moved into his home in North Greece, and I found an incredible culture at the lake on Edgemere Drive where my in-laws live. My awareness and appreciation of Fourth of July has changed since spending the last 10 years of celebrating on the beach of Lake Ontario. Last year my husband and I moved to West Irondequoit, where once again our appreciation of community has grown so much. I-Square is an awesome place to meet with clients or work with my team, and the new Irondequoit Library and playgrounds in the area have become a part of my family’s regular routine. It’s really great how as an adult with children, my perspective of Rochester has grown even more.
“Friends from all parts of my life who are still local have spread out around Rochester, buying houses and starting families. In turn, I’ve gotten familiar with even more new places, as I visit friends’ homes in Webster, Penfield, Hilton, Fairport … each of which has its own charm and sense of community. And as a web designer and entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time networking and meeting clients and collaborators around the city. Most of my clients are small business owners in downtown Rochester, and my appreciation and awareness of the city has expanded so much in the past few years. Places like Village Gate, where five of my incredible clients own businesses, and MADE ON STATE, a collaborative of local creative businesses on State Street, have become part of my regular Rochester circuit.
“It’s so amazing to be a part of a community that is so diverse and different, yet so welcoming and familiar. I’ve lived here all my life, but I truly feel like I’m always discovering new treasures about our beautiful city and surrounding towns. Rochester is a wonderful place to raise my family, and I am happy to be a part of such a great community.
“I have a lot of favorite places and things in Rochester, and many more to come, I’m sure. But in no particular order, some of my all-time favorite things to do in Rochester:
- Getting pampered at Gallery Salon in the Neighborhood of the Arts (a hair/nail salon and art gallery hybrid — dream come true!!!).
- Taking my boys to the public libraries around Rochester. Our faves: Irondequoit, Webster, Greece, and Brighton!
- The Public Market — nuff said!
- Participating in a fitness class run by the talented and strong women of In-Fusion, a yoga/pilates blended workout that is always a unique class style and a killer workout.
- Going for lunch meetings at Marshall Street Bar and Grill. (An entire page of their menu is devoted to burgers and another to quesadillas… How could you not go??)
- Hanging on the beach at my in-laws on Edgemere Drive. I know it’s not public beach — but growing up in Rochester my whole life and only just discovering the beach culture as a part of the Rochester community has been eye-opening! Marge’s Bar by Seabreeze is another hidden gem!
- Taking grown-up naps and much needed re-centering at Rochester Community Acupuncture — such a peaceful retreat tucked inside Village Gate.
- Shopping Emerson & Oliver, Aaron’s Alley, the shops and artists in the Hungerford Building, and all the incredible artisan events and other fun and unique artists in our great town!
- Pigging out with my girls — be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Rochester has some incredible eats. Some of my faves are Salena’s Mexican Restaurant (can you say queso dip?!), James Brown’s Place, Saha, Brown Hound, Trata, Aladdin’s, Nox, Amato’s Cafe, Marshall Street, oh so many more…
- Hanging with my mom friends and chasing our kids around at the Strong Museum of Play — their Happiest Hour parties are also pretty killer!
- Touring Ward’s Science Center in Henrietta. Super hidden gem with lots of critters and bones and all things science! You can call them to request a tour and see some pretty awesome stuff. My son loves it there!!
- Taking a creative class at the Brainery or elsewhere — my fave so far was learning to do macrame with Hitch + Cord!
- Hanging out at Made on State — a really awesome artist collaborative on State Street downtown.
- Having meetings of any kind — at any time — at I-Square in Irondequoit”
—Rebecca Fien, West Irondequoit
Rebecca Natalie Web Design