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Life in Potsdam

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Life in Potsdam
Clarkson is located in the small village of Potsdam in upstate New York. Although it is small in size, there are still a number of things that you can find to do in or around Postdam. First, here is what "Potsdam-ites" have to say about living in the North Country. Now, you have to remember that Potsdam is a small town, surrounded by farmland/marshes, and is on the border between the St. Lawrence Valley and the Adirondack Mts. This location is "central" if you consider all the big attractions/cities near by. If you like to hike, fish or canoe than Potsdam is perfect for you. You can be in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains hiking in less than an hour by car. However, if you don't feel like driving the Raquette River is right down the street from campus, and it is great for canoeing, swimming, and fishing. Also, there is a cool place on the river where you can swing on a rope and jump into the river. 

In town, there are a number of local shops ranging from a coffee shop to a stereo equipment store.  If you are looking for somewhere to eat, you can chose from Mexican, Italian, Indian, seafood or fast food establishments.  The Roxie movie theatre only has two different movies to chose from, but they do keep up with the newest releases.  An arcade is next to one of the pizzerias and there is bowling alley on the outskirts of the town.  A number of golf courses can be found in the surrounding area and are relatively inexpensive.  Potsdam also has a summer concert series in the park nearby.  Another local event is the Potsdam Summer Festival.  During the festival, downtown is closed off, all the stores have sidewalk sales, food vendors set up shop, and concerts are held at night.

There are a few bars in town that aren't as busy in the summer as they are during the school year, but they are still good places to go and relax after a long day of research.  Many of us in the program have been going down to Maxfield's, which is a higher scale bar and restaurant with a number of excellent beers on tap.  On Flip night (Wednesday) the bartender flips a quarter and you have to guess heads or tails and if you guess correctly you don't have to pay.  MacDuff's is another local bar (which is a more typical "college bar"), and they have great specials, a pool table, table soccer, darts, and a dance floor.

Massena is about a half-an-hour away and has a wider variety of things to do. A larger movie theatre and a mall are its biggest drawing points. A casino was also recently built on the St. Regis Indian Reservation a few minutes from the mall. Also, the city of Cornwall, Canada is just over the border from Massena. The best place to go there is a dance club called Freddie's.

The recreation complex has courts for racquetball, volleyball, basketball, and badminton along with a nice weight room and pool. Outside they have trails for running, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a regular volleyball court. The Cheel Campus Center is a good place to go to relax and have a cup of coffee. You should also take a look at the hockey arena while you are there.

Common destinations and travel times are:

  • Buffalo/Niagra Falls - 5.5 hrs
  • Toronto - 6 hrs
  • Ottawa - 2 hrs
  • Montreal - 2.5 hrs
  • Burlington, VT - 3 hrs (a truly fun town)
  • Lake Placid/Adirondack High Peaks region - 1.25 hrs (a must for hikers!)
  • Syracuse, NY - 2.5 hrs
  • Albany, NY - 3 hrs (Concerts in the Pepsi Arena!)
  • Boston, MA - 6 hrs
  • Portland, ME - 8 hrs
  • Hartford, CT - 5.5 hrs
  • Santiago, Chile - 6 days, 7 hrs, 13 min, 2 sec.

This is not to suggest that one need to flee from Potsdam in order to have fun - but that the fun here is not as "in your face" as in any large metropolis. There are bars, a theater, shops, etc. all close by, as well as some quality restaurant type places. And don't forget to enjoy the Raquette River - its perfect for canoeing/kayaking. I highly recommend a wee stroll along the banks at night.

As anywhere else - life is what you make of it!


Surprisingly more to do than meets the eye...

Sites of interest describing the town and the region are:

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