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Rochester Love Notes

The following blog post is written by Tanya Zwahlen, Ana Liss, and Laura Fox of Rochester Love Notes.  

The art of writing a good love letter has, by and large, been lost to the growing convenience of electronic correspondence and the increasingly hurried, helter-skelter backdrop to today’s commonplace lifestyle. But besides being an art, letter-writing can be therapeutic to the writer, who must pause to consider the spectrum of their feelings, deduce how best to convey them in words, and then – voila! – express them on paper. Ultimately, though, a love letter is intended to let the recipient know that he or she is loved – and what can be more therapeutic than such a feeling?

That brings us to today’s post, which is about a project called Rochester Love Notes.

As Rochesterians, we have long observed that our City has been subject of scathing criticism and eye-rolls for everything from economic decline to brutal winters. Despite the negative sentiments, though, there is a population numbering in the thousands living all over Earth that love Rochester with a burning passion – natives, relatives of natives, one-time visitors, colleagues, and friends. They love her history, her bicycle paths, her Public Market, her quirky bars, her boisterous summertime festivals, and her four beautiful seasons.

So we launched Rochester Love Notes in the fall of 2013 knowing that (a) Rochester could use a reminder that she is loved, and (b) lovers of Rochester could use an excuse to express themselves.

“Rochester is a girl who doesn’t realize she’s hot” became the tagline for our project, which provides a platform for those who love Rochester as well as those who struggle in their relationship with her to write her love notes (we started out the easy way, by allowing letter-writers to submit their notes by email). These words of encouragement, we believe, are positively impacting the way that Rochester views herself.

So we hereby invite you, the avid writers and star wordsmiths of Rochester, to show your City that you care for and respect her by telling her how you feel. What is your most cherished memory here? How has Rochester impacted your life – or a family member’s, or a friend’s – for the better?

The process is simple and democratic – send Rochester a love note at (you may also email us a high-resolution photo of your handwritten note along with a transcript) and we’ll post it. Include some information about yourself if you like – your name, what you do, how long you’ve lived in Rochester, where you live now and even your twitter handle (find us at @RocLoveNotes) if that’s how you roll. Of course, secret admirers are always welcome. Rochester would also love to receive a photo with your love note – of you, your family, your favorite slice of life in the City, anything goes.

To get you started, here are just some of our favorite excerpts from notes we’ve received to-date:

  • “I’m crazy in love with you Rochester, scars and all. You are without a doubt the woman worth fighting for.” – Love Note #20
  • “I love you, you hot little secret, Rochester! And I miss you all the time.” – Love Note #19
  • “We’ve had our struggles, but I know that you will persevere.  Our neighbors rely on you just as you rely on them.  So let us redeem our spirits, and look forward to the good days that are still to come.” – Love Note #17
  • “You’re without doubt the most underappreciated girl I’ve ever met. Your personality is second to none, undoubtedly a consequence of your perpetual under appreciation.” – Love Note #15

So please join the chorus of voices showering love and affection on a City that’s more than worth the effort. In the process, you just may find that there’s some love in it for you, too.

P.S. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about our collaboration with Writers & Books this coming summer!