As a British English speaker, I've seen a lot of references to 'upstate New York' over the years, and had never bothered myself too much about the precise definition, as it generally seemed fairly clear from context. And then, this week, I came across a reference to 'upstate Washington'.
So, I did a bit of Googling, and confirmed that my idea of what 'upstate' meant wasn't too far off. The first entry I found with a search for 'upstate definition', for example, was "of, in, or to a part of a state remote from its large cities, especially the northern part." I also came across more references to upstate New York in particular, which appear to confirm that my (also British) friend in Rochester, NY, counts as living in upstate New York.
My question to US speakers of English is this: Is the phrase 'upstate + [state name]' often (or ever?) used for states which don't share their name with a major American city?
Some changes have been made to LiveJournal, and we hope you enjoy them! As we continue to improve the site on a daily basis to make your experience here better and faster, we would greatly appreciate your feedback about these changes. Please let us know what we can do for you!