Welcome to Monday. Can I get on a soapbox for a short rant? Thanks.

Growing up, I was taught that we live in the Southern Tier of New York. It stretches along the New York/Pennsylvania border west to east (as I see it on a map) from Chautauqua County to Delaware County. You could also include a few counties not on the border, including Schuyler, Tompkins, Cortland, Chenango and Otsego.

So why is it when outsiders refer to our area, they don't call it the Southern Tier of New York? They instead refer to our area as Upstate New York? Can I tell you something? I hate that title. To me, it says New York is comprised of New York City and that Island to the right of it. Anything else is Upstate.

Who came up with that name? When you hear it mentioned in connection to anything that happened beyond the NYC border, the reference is Upstate. Well as we know my friends, Upstate covers a hell of a lot of territory, but people not from here don't seem to know that.

For example, there have been several times when I've traveled to other parts of the country by car, and was asked things like "How's the Brooklyn Bridge', New York City and Buffalo are about 2 or 3 hours drive apart, right?', "How do you deal with all that big city driving?" So many comments that if I live in New York State, I must live next to, or in New York City.

My point is, if the Southern Tier, along with Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Hudson Valley and the Capitol District continue to be lumped in with the massive Upstate New York name, how will people understand there is so much more to our State and exactly where we are? How do we change this? ANy thoughts?

Rant over. Thank you. Have a nice day Southern Tier, or wherever you're from.