About Rochester

About Rochester

Conference Location: Rochester, New York

The 2019 ALTA conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency and the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center in historic Center City, downtown Rochester, New York, situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The third largest city in New York State, the greater Rochester region is inhabited by a little more than one million people. Rochester is a 6-hour drive from New York City, 3½ hours from Toronto, and 90 minutes from Niagara Falls. Home to seven publishing companies and one of the nation's largest writers' centers, Rochester has a vibrant arts scene, especially in music, film, theater, and literature. You can view the official Rochester visitor’s guide online here, or request one in the mail. Rochester has an important legacy as the birthplace of film and the Women's Rights Movement; it was the home of both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, a relationship explored in Mat Smart’s play The Agitators.

Local Time and Weather

Rochester is located in the Eastern Time Zone, the same time as New York City and the East Coast of the United States, and one hour ahead of Chicago. November weather is generally chilly, with daytime high temperatures in the mid-40s and nights in the low 30s. Precipitation is likely.

Dining in Rochester

Rochester boasts an impressive variety of cuisines and dining styles, with many dining options clustered along Main Street and East Avenue, blocks from the Convention Center. Find a restaurant guide produced by Visit Rochester here, and consider some of these nearby favorites:

  • Bar Bantam is just around the corner from the Convention Center, and nearby is Native Eatery and Bar
  • On the river itself, you’ll find options including Pane Vino on the River, offering Italian-American Fine Dining, and Dinosaur BBQ, NY’s nationally acclaimed bar-b-que chain.
  • Across the river, heading west, options include Byblos Café, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, and the distinctive The Spirit Room, a spooky hole-in-the-wall with great food and cocktails, founded by two writers.
  • Heading north from the Convention Center, up St. Paul Street, you’ll enjoy local favorites such as Tapas 177 Lounge, serving food until midnight or later and offering salsa dancing lessons on Thursdays, and Fifth Frame, a brewery and coffee roaster serving breakfast from 7am.
  • Heading south from the Convention Center, past the Central Library, you’ll reach Fuego Coffee Roasters, a low-key coffee shop with Guatemalan roots, and The Vesper, a gastropub and raw bar, among other options.
  • Heading east from the Convention Center, options include Fina’s café and restaurant, offering a fresh spin on Italian food; DiPisa Subs with its “old-world” submarines; and Branca Midtown, with Italian cuisine, a coffee bar, and cocktails.
  • From Center City, it’s also an enjoyable walk to a plethora of other choices in such areas as Neighborhood of the Arts and South Wedge. Rochesterians will be only too happy to give you (too many) recommendations!
Rochester’s World of Arts

Thanks in part to the legacy of Eastman Kodak, Rochester hosts an array of world-class performing arts and cultural spaces:

Film and Photography
  • The George Eastman Museum, a National Historic Landmark, is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives, holding unparalleled collections encompassing several million objects and offering a range of exhibitions and film screenings.
  • The Visual Studies Workshop supports makers and interpreters of images through education, publications, exhibitions, and collections.
  • The Little Theater offers a mix of indie & foreign films, rotating art displays, and music in a 1929 theater.
  • The High Falls Women’s Film Festival takes place October 31-November 3 and celebrates the artistry and innovation of women in film.
Visual Art
  • Dating back to 1977, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) promotes and showcases alternative and contemporary art in the region.
  • The Memorial Art Gallery’s permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects has been called the best balanced in the state outside of metropolitan New York City.
  • The Baobob Cultural Center is a gallery which promotes a deeper understanding of African culture, as rooted in ancient traditions and routed by the migratory experiences of people through the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia to the Americas.
  • The Lyric Theater Rochester, home to the Rochester Lyric Opera, Western New York’s only professional opera company, offers world-class performances in a variety of genres.
  • GEVA Theatre, Rochester’s flagship theatre company, is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit, professional theatres and the most attended regional theatre in New York state.
  • At the Avenue Blackbox Theatre, social justice and art disciplines converge to create dynamic stage productions, installations, and live art-making events.
Hands-on Activities
  • Rochester Brainery, a community classroom and event space located in Rochester's Neighborhood of the Arts, offers over 50 single-session classes each month.
  • Small Fry Art Studio offers weekly art classes that foster individuality, artistic exploration, and critical thinking, as well as art-centric play groups that celebrate the intersection of creativity and play.
Getting into Nature