A bit of history:
Originally founded by Nathaniel Rochester, for whom the city is named.
Known as both the Flower city (during the late 1800's Rochester was know for its greenhouses and flower exports) and the Flour City (during the early 1800's Rochester was a major producer of milled grains.)
Rochester surrounds the Genesee river (name given to popular local brewery) which the world's second largest north flowing river (second to the Nile, of course.) This river also has 3 falls including the upper, middle and lower falls. The lower falls (referred to as High Falls in the city itself (and home the High Falls district, the cities prominent night life area)) is the second largest water fall in North America (second to Niagara Falls.)
Home to Frederick Douglass, a prominent anti-slavery journalist and himself an escaped slave. Also a major stop on the underground railroad's route to Canada (trough either Niagara Falls or across lake Ontario.)
Current information on the city:
Rochester is home to Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, and Blue Cross. Through these companies, it holds the highest number of the top tier of Olympic sponsors.
Today, Rochester's MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) in home to over 1 million people. Its suburbs include; Gates, Greece, Chili, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Henrietta, Rush, Brighton, and Irondequoit. All residing in Monroe County, surrounding counties include Yates, Ontario, Genesee, and Wayne. Towns also included in the MSA include Victor, Gananda, Palmyra (birthplace of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), Brockport and Macedon.
Rochester is located approximately 60 miles from Buffalo, 50 miles from Syracuse, and 140 miles from Ithaca. It is centrally located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Interstate 90 passes just south of the City and US Route 20 passes through Victor, further south.
Rochester is home to many minor-league sports teams. The Red Wings (AAA baseball), Rhinos (current A-league soccer champions), Americans (AHL hockey), Knighthawks (indoor lacrosse), Brigade (arena football), and Rattlers (outdoor lacrosse.)
Rochester is also known for its continuous festivals, including the Lilac Festival (celebrating the blooming of the Lilac bush), the Cobb Hill Art Festival, and the East End Fest.
Though the core employers of the city continue to decline in strength (especially Kodak and Xerox) it continues to be a center of economic growth with an emphasis on small business.