1. Syracusans Laugh At Your Pitiful Capacity For Dealing With Snow
Source: Flickr user Krista76
First things first: with around 126 inches of accumulation yearly, Syracuse is the snowiest city in America, meaning you can never complain about weather in your neck of the woods to a Syracusan without getting one-upped. They’ll tell you they fire up their snowblower more frequently than their car. They’ll show you a picture of their car so thoroughly coated with powder, not a single inch of it is actually visible.
But they’ll also brag about how they’re so snow-adept, that snow almost never shuts the city down. People from Syracuse pride themselves on bundling up, laying salt down, shovelling their cars of and getting on with their lives.
2. Syracusans Have A Love/Hate Relationship With The University
Source: Flickr user philbahr
On one hand, the school brings money, world-class facilities and activities and jobs into the area.
On the other hand, it tends to be the only thing outsiders think of when Syracuse in mentioned. Sure, the school is important to the area, but the people of Syracuse know that from Armory Square to Tipperary Hill to Westcott, there are thousands of people living in the area that don’t live and die by the comings and goings of SU. It almost goes without saying, they find the label of “college town” a bit limiting.
3. But Syracusans Will Never Stop Bleeding Orange
Source: Flickr user brandon.weight
SU’s hoops squad not only hangs around the top of the college basketball rankings almost every season, but the hometown fans fight Syracuse winters to help them break on-campus crowd records just about every year. They’re known to remain on their feet and clapping until the first SU basket is scored—even if getting a shot through the net takes way longer than anticipated.
They’re also unwaveringly supportive of the maligned (but improving!) football team, and can rattle off the program’s history like clock work, including the name of the first black player to win a Heisman (Ernie Davis) and the dominant running back who was also a LaCrosse stud (Jim Brown).
4. Syracusans Make Cold-Weather Tailgating An Art Form
Source: Flickr user dennis crowley
If you’ve ever decided just to show up for game time instead of the pre-game party just because of sub-freezing temperatures and snow, you wouldn’t make it through a winter in Syracuse. Pre-game parties and cookouts for football and basketball games, which mostly take place during the city’s cold-weather months, dominate the Syracuse social and party scene for locals and students alike.
From RV motorhomes to hand warmers and hot drinks, Syracusans come equipped with a full arsenal of weapons for getting through the toughest months of the pre-game party season.
5. Syracusans Can Drink You Under The Table In No Time
Source: Flickr user michpc26
Almost every city likes to make big claims when it comes to drinking, but ‘Cuse probably drinks you under the table. According to the Huffington Post, the Salt City is sixth in the nation in terms of bars per household, with seven bars for every 10,000 households.
From students trying to complete the famous beer tour at Faegans to locals grabbing a cold one and checking out some live music at Coleman’s, the folks of Syracuse sure do like bellying up for a brew or two.
6. As Far As Syracusans Are Concerned, Lacrosse Is The Most Popular Sport In The Country
Source: Flickr user cmbfoto
While much of the country only vaguely knows that lacrosse involves a ball, a stick and helmets, lacrosse is a huge deal to folks who grew up in the greater Syracuse area, where kids learn how to properly hold a crosse from a young age. This is largely because the sport is deeply embedded in the area’s local Native American culture.
The area’s lacrosse tradition has helped lead Syracuse University to having one of the most dominant teams in the country, with a record 11 NCAA national championship titles.
7. Syracusans Firmly Believe That Wegman's Is The Disneyland Of Grocery Stores
Source: Flickr user John M
Everyone else can have their Trader Joes and Whole Foods. To the folks of Syracuse, Wegmans is the only grocery store that matters.
Besides being beautiful on the inside (think halfway between an indoor farmers market and an upscale restaurant), and having great selection and prices are both unbeatable, for the people of ‘Cuse, shopping at store is a communal experience. You’re bound to run into either a friend or strike up a chat with one of their notoriously friendly employees.
8. Syracusans Know The Best Part Of Living In The Salt City Is Salt Potatoes
Source: Flickr user lisaclarke
It might sound simple—bite-sized young potatoes boiled in salt water and topped with butter—but then, simplicity is key to the regional delicacy known as “salt potatoes.”
The good people of Syracuse are way proud of their regional trademark dish, which is deeply entrenched in their history—it originated the 1800s in Syracuse’s famed salt mines, where workers would boil their potatoes in the salt water for lunch. Now, cooks at households, restaurants and fairs around the area serve up their premier local dish with pride, with seasonings and styles that are just a pinch different in each recipe.
9. Syracusans Have Mastered The Art Of Reminiscing About The “Good Old Days”
Source: Flickr user Adam Schwartz
Besides having an encyclopedic knowledge about all things SU sports, including the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers), older locals love to bring up the Rust Belt city’s booming production days. Syracuse was formerly home to a General Electric television plant, air conditioning company Carrier Corporation’s headquarters and major car manufacturing operations.
These days, much of the conversation revolves around the city’s past glory, and how to get the economy back on the track. From Westcott coffee shops to Armory Square bars, locals make shooting the breeze about plans to jumpstart the economy—including the famously failed Destiny USA expansion—a centerpiece for spirited, occasionally argumentative, conversation.
10. Syracusans Talk Like The Lovechildren Of Canadians and Midwesterners
The Syracuse accent is tough to pin down. Its central characteristic is an oddball pronunciation of vowels, which includes melding and emphasizing “a” and “e” sounds, and a tendency to harden the soft “a” (“keean you get me the eyapple? It’s in the baig”). Landing somewhere between a Canuck and a Minnesotan, it’s also terribly endearing and down-homey, making the friendly folks of the area seem even friendlier.
Did we miss anything? Tell us what you think about Syracuse in the comments below!