Many of you don't want to hear this, but the Hudson Valley is officially part of upstate New York.

I'm not sure why this argument is so important to some people, or why being classified as "upstate" is such an insult, but it's time to be honest. The Hudson Valley is part of upstate New York.

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon ruffled some feathers by stepping into the age-old debate this week. She boldly proclaimed that she didn't think the Hudson Valley could be classified as upstate. This was right before strangely defining Ithaca as the dividing line between downstate New York and the rest of the state. Suffice to say, she really has no idea what she's talking about.

Public Policy Polling asked this very question of New Yorkers in a statewide survey. Only 22% of the New Yorkers believed that Orange and Dutchess Counties could be considered part of downstate New York. A majority of 54% of those surveyed thought that the line was either right at the border of New York City or Westchester County.

And let's be honest, that really does seem accurate.

The term "Upstate" is intended to make a distinction between New York City and New York State. You either live in New York City or Upstate New York. For some reason, people in the Hudson Valley feel the need to identify with New York City geographically. But really, we're just kidding ourselves.

Take a car or train ride from Dutchess County down to New York. Notice the size of the buildings, the geography and the number of pickup trucks driven by people wearing flannel shirts. You'll quickly understand that there's a very big difference once you hit White Plains and Yonkers. Now start driving north to Syracuse from Dutchess County. The rest of the state looks pretty much the same as the Hudson Valley does.

Let's face it: we're upstate. It's really nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it should be celebrated. We're the country getaway that people in New York City fantasize about living in. We're the place to go apple and pumpkin picking. The Hudson Valley is not the hustle and bustle of New York City or Yonkers. We're laid back, upstate New York.

Perhaps we just need to form a support group. Repeat after me: "My name is _______ and I live in Upstate New York."

See? That wasn't so bad.

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