Allegany County, one of the poorest counties in the nation, is a place of heartbreaking poverty and breathtaking beauty. A chain of intimate towns, many of which are trailer parks, dot the lush valleys of Western New York. Although the nearby cities of Buffalo and Rochester offer a hint of something urban, the general feeling is overwhelmingly rural. For a lot of "city slickers," the rolling hills and open sky are a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. It can certainly be too quiet at times.
The town of Alfred itself is comprised of professors, blue-collar families, and a ghetto of graduate students. Despite a tepid but ongoing rivalry with Alfred State College, which lies across the valley, the general feeling in town is calm and friendly.