Allen, whenever I go back to upstate. it strikes me that the area is the land that time forgot. A place built on manufacturing in an era there is no manufacturing left. The cities, the infrastructure and many of the people themselves also seem stuck in a time warp; the whole thing is just really odd to me, and makes me somewhat melancholy (but incongruously makes me long to return to the region at the same time).
The good news is that it seems that some of the former industrial hubs in the rust belt are finding ways to reinvent themselves. Detroit seems to be doing a fair job of it, maybe Cleveland is a little too. I have been told that Buffalo (once one of the 10 biggest cities in the country) is making a bit of a revival. Let's hope the momentum continues.