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STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '11: The Rochester Quiz

Improve your ROC IQ: Test your knowledge of your new home’s quirks and claims to fame


Welcome to college in Rochester! Every town has its own quirks, and Rochester is no exception. We could help you out with something boring like a map or a fact sheet, but we decided to have some fun. This quiz will test you on everything that is worth knowing about Rochester. If you get them all wrong, don't worry. You'll learn stuff just by looking at the right answers. If you've lived here your whole life, stop cheating and go help an out-of-towner. Good luck!

1) What are some of the optional contents of an original Nick Tahoe's Garbage Plate?

a) Two hotdogs, two hamburgers, macaroni salad, fries, baked beans, hot sauce

b) Two Italian sausages, two hamburgers, macaroni salad, fries, baked beans, Tabasco sauce

c) Two hotdogs, two hamburgers, coleslaw, macaroni salad, fries, hot sauce

d) A heart attack

2) Which of the following foods is unique to Rochester?

a) Deep-fried Oreos

b) The bun-less burger

c) The white hot

d) The fat cat

3) What is Abbott's specialty?

a) Gelato, an Italian ice cream

b) Frozen custard, an extra soft and creamy frozen treat

c) Frozen yogurt

d) A variety of unique soft-serve flavors

4) Which famous person is buried in Rochester's Mount Hope Cemetery?

a) John D. Rockefeller

b) Frederick Douglass

c) Frank Lloyd Wright

d) Michael Jackson

5) Did you pack an umbrella, rain boots, and a heavy jacket?

a) Yes

b) No

6) Why is the Susan B. Anthony House a historical landmark?

a) It was used as part of the Underground Railroad

b) Susan B. Anthony was a famous women's rights activist

c) Susan B. Anthony was a famous abolitionist

d) Who is Susan B. Anthony?

7) How long does winter last in Rochester?

a) December-March

b) November- March

c) December-February

d) October-April

8) Which is NOT a real town in Western New York?

a) Egypt, NY

b) Greece, NY

c) France, NY

d) Amsterdam, NY

9) What will you find in a Wegmans?

a) A mall-sized grocery store

b) Tons of delicious prepared food

c) Both a and b

d) What's a Wegmans?

10) Which animal is not the mascot of a Rochester sports team?

a) Hedgehog

b) Rhino

c) Redwing

d) Armadillo

11) Which of the following is a nickname for Rochester?

a) The Flower City

b) The Flour City

c) Smugtown

d) All of the above

12) What do you get when you order hot sauce in Rochester?

a) Tabasco sauce

b) A mix of Frank's hot sauce, a dash of lemon, and a secret ingredient

c) An extremely greasy, spicy sauce with bits of meat in it

d) Chopped up hot dogs in a mix of Tabasco sauce

13) What is interesting about the Genesee River?

a) It is a college myth about filling a dorm bathtub with Genesee beer

b) It flows north

c) Nothing, it's just another body of water

d) It has never flooded

14) Which Company was NOT founded in Rochester?

a) Kodak

b) Xerox

c) Paychex

d) BIC

15) Which Rochester fact is true?

a) Rochester is the fourth-cloudiest city in the United States

b) Rochester was originally called "Rochesterville"

c) It has never been more than 100 degrees in Rochester

d) Rochester is has the fourth-highest population in New York State

16) What will you find at the Strong Museum?

a) A collection of Kandinsky paintings

b) More than 400,000 historical photographs

c) A miniature grocery store

d) A tribute to Susan B. Anthony

17) With what flower is Rochester's Highland Park most associated?

a) Dandelion

b) Rose

c) Daffodil

d) Lilac

18) How do you pronounce "Charlotte" neighborhood?

a) Shar-let

b) Shar-lot

19) Which is not a Rochester radio station?

a) 100.5 The Drive, a station that plays alternative rock

b) 93.5 Smooth, a station known for its jazz

c) 106.7 Kiss FM, a pop and hip-hop station

d) Warm 101.3, a station that plays soft rock

20) Who is most likely to attend the Eastman School?

a) A pre-med student

b) A clarinet player

c) A photographer

d) A liberal-arts undergraduate

21) Pick the correct food-named Rochester community known for its annual art festival.

a) Strawberry Hill

b) Carrot Hill

c) Corn Hill

d) Pumpkin Hill

22) Which actor/actress is NOT from the Rochester area?

a) Kristen Wiig ("Bridesmaids," "Saturday Night Live")

b) Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill," "A Cinderella Story")

c) Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," "Capote")

d) John Lithgow ("3rd Rock from the Sun," "Shrek")

23) Which is NOT a Rochester news station?

a) Channel 13 WHAM

b) Rochester YNN (Your News Now)

c) News 12 Rochester

d) These are all Rochester news stations

24) How many colleges are in the Greater Rochester area?

a) Three

b) Six

c) 10

d) My college is the only one worth knowing

25) How many TOTAL inches of snow does Rochester get in an average year?

a) approx. 75.2 inches

b) approx. 95.8 inches

c) approx. 111.5 inches

d) approx. 54.6 inches

Answer Key

1. A: Rochester is famous for its greasy, delicious food. Many diners have their own version of the Garbage Plate, but the original came from Nick Tahoe's (320 W Main Street; 3070 W. Henrietta Road) and contains your choice of two hotdogs or hamburgers, French fries, macaroni salad or baked beans, smothered in hot sauce.

2. C: While deep-fried Oreos are sold at many local festivals, Rochester is one of the only places where you will find "white hots." The meat in these hotdogs is not smoked or cured, allowing it to retain a white color. Yes it sounds weird, but it is delicious.

3. B: Local favorite Abbott's does not sell your ordinary ice cream. It sells frozen custard, which is thicker and creamier than the regular dessert. It is churned slowly, giving it a unique texture.

4. B: Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent abolitionist, author, publisher, and orator. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, along with many other prominent Rochesterians.

5. A: I really hope you said yes. If you said no, I am laughing at you. Go buy all of them immediately. Winter starts in late October around here, and the fall can be plenty cold and wet, too.

6. B: Susan B. Anthony is a big deal here. Seriously, my high school teacher dressed up as her for Halloween. Anthony was a major figure in the Women's Rights Movement, and her house on Madison Street has been preserved and turned into a museum.

7. D: Winter will take up the most of your school year here. It usually gets cold way before Halloween, making it hard to dress in a skimpy nurse costume (although many co-eds manage to find a way to succeed). The snow lasts through March and sometimes even April, and it doesn't get warm until mid-May.

8. C: For some reason, Western New York likes its cities named after other countries. Rome, Amsterdam, Egypt, and Greece are all cities and counties in New York. And no, Amsterdam, NY, does not have the same drug laws as the real Amsterdam.

9. C: Wegmans is Rochester's life source. It is local, the people are pretty friendly, and you can find everything there. The Wegmans in Pittsford Plaza is enormous, and half of the store is devoted to prepared food like pizza, subs, even sushi. You can get a nice meal before you go shopping.

10. A: OK, so a hedgehog sports team sounds a bit ridiculous. The Rochester Rhinos is a very popular soccer team. The Red Wings is our baseball team, and the Armadillos (my personal favorite) is a local club rugby team.

11. D: All of these nicknames are real. Rochester is famous for its lilacs and roses in Highland Park, and was once a major seed and plant producer, earning it the name Flower City. Rochester was also famous for its enormous flour mills that turned it into one of New York's first boomtowns. Smugtown was coined by the author G. Curtis Gerling in his book about Rochester's millionaires.

12. C: If you are new to Rochester, beware: do not order hot sauce if you are a vegetarian. Most of the hot sauce here is more like chili -- it comes with ground beef. If you don't want meat in it, ask specifically for Tabasco sauce.

13. B: The Genesee River flows north.

14. D: Bic, the company that makes everything from pens to lighters, is not from Rochester. Kodak was started in Rochester and earned us the nickname The Image City. Xerox and Paychex are also Rochester-born.

15. B: We dropped the "ville" part back in the 1820s, shortly after the city's founding. Rochester is actually the sixth-cloudiest city in the United States, the highest recorded temperature is around 103 degrees, and it is the third-most-populated city in New York State.

16. C: The Strong National Museum of Play is definitely something to check out. It has a butterfly garden, lots of antique toys, massive interactive displays, a working old-school arcade, and yes, a miniature Wegmans that kids can shop at.

17. D: Highland Park is famous for its lilacs that bloom every spring. Rochester holds its Lilac Festival in the park every May, featuring live music, food, and craft vendors.

18. B: Forget everything you know about the word "charlotte." Here it is pronounced shar-lot. Don't ask why, just say it.

19. B: Rochester does have a jazz radio station, but it is Jazz 90.1 FM.

20. B: The Eastman School of Music is one of the top music schools in the country. Students come from all over the world to attend. The college offers many concerts throughout the year, many of them free of charge.

21. C: The Corn Hill neighborhood has nothing to do with the vegetable, but is famous for its new apartments and pretty houses. The Corn Hill Arts Festival takes place there every July.

22. B: Chad Michael Murray is from Buffalo, not Rochester. Kristen Wiig, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and John Lithgow were all born or raised in Rochester or one of its suburbs.

23. C: News 12 is not a Rochester news station.

24. C: Rochester has 10 nearby colleges: University of Rochester, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Finger Lakes Community College, Monroe Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher , Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

25. B: If you haven't gotten it through your head by now, it snows here. A lot. We get around 95.8 inches in total snowfall each year. That is the second-highest average in the state.

Your Rochester IQ

0-7 Correct: You are a Rochester newbie. Maybe you're only here for college, and maybe you had never heard of the city before you applied. You're doomed to spend your whole first year complaining about the snow and pronouncing things wrong.

7-14 Correct: You're either a smart out-of-towner or an ignorant Rochesterian. Are you so anxious about college that you actually researched your new home? Or maybe you are from Rochester but never leave your house? Either way, you should get out more.

15-20 Correct: You are a Rochester wannabe. So close! Keep getting out into the community, immerse yourself in some local culture, and you might even develop one of our awesome quasi-Midwestern accents.

21-25 Correct: Hooray, you're a Rochester expert! In that case you're probably from here, which means you enjoy sitting at Java's and talking about how cool you are.

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