Jamestowner Returns to Roots after Life in the Big City

Steven Cobb (pictured, left) has returned to Chautauqua County after living in the Big Apple for over twenty years. He moved to the city after graduating from Jamestown High School. He built a life in New York as an actor and set designer. While he sometimes misses the big city’s twenty-four-hour lifestyle, he also believes “there is a great diversity of cultural options in Chautauqua County.” Steve also has a large extended family in Chautauqua County, which makes returning to and living in the area enjoyable.

Steve and his partner, Roosevelt Terry, plus their two cats – Winston and Jacobi Pierre – live on the historic north side of Jamestown.

“I love the historic homes located in this part of Jamestown. Great character and walkability in this neighborhood. This neighborhood is also easy for me to bike in and bike to work,” he says.

Steve and Roosevelt are both valued members of their community. Roosevelt is an RN, working for Evergreen Health Services and Steve is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association (MHA) in Chautauqua County. He uses his life experiences to lead the organization and other collaborative projects to bring hope and support to the people in the community facing mental health and substance use challenges. MHA is also the producer of Chautauqua County’s June PRIDE festival.

“Some of my favorite things about the county are right here in Jamestown,” he explains. “The downtown area is historic and beautiful, and the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk (along the Chadakoin River) offers some beautiful walking trails. We enjoy going to the Jamestown Public Market on Saturdays. It is dynamic, vibrant, and filled with great produce. The Reg Lena Center for the Arts, in the heart of downtown Jamestown, is in the restored 1923 historic theatre that presents movies, touring productions and is host to many of the Lucille Ball Comedy festival performances.”

But Steve notes there’s also plenty to see and do in other parts of Chautauqua County.

“I love the cultural offerings at Chautauqua Institution. The Chautauqua Theatre Company offers a full season of professional theatre every summer. The Bratton Theatre is one of the best intimate contemporary theaters I have ever seen,” he adds. “I also love to ride the back roads of Chautauqua County and view the farms, trees and rolling hills, beautiful country. The changing four seasons create natural beauty that is very accessible.”

And Steve likes having a home that is close enough to larger metro areas. “Chautauqua County is close to some great close urban centers, New York City, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Toronto – it’s so easy to take a vacation,” he explains.

Steve is an accomplished chef. He likes to use locally grown, in-season produce.

“Some of the best places in our community are Eklof’s bakery that has the best Swedish pastries and cookies and donuts. Peterson Farm has local, and home-grown produce, beef, and pork,” he says.

Steve also enjoys visiting Bemus Point at sunset. Set at the narrowest section of Chautauqua Lake, Bemus Point is a vibrant yet slow paced summer resort on the lake with great dining, drinks, ice cream, sunsets, and places to people watch.

Outside of work he enjoys helping plan Jamestown PRIDE every year.

“I love that for a small county we embrace diversity and the queer community. It’s easy to garden in Chautauqua County. Many of us have gardens on our property or borrow a plot from a neighbor. I participate in some great local theatre, the Winged Ox Players and the Lucille Ball Little Theatre,” he says.

When asked the advantages of living in Chautauqua County, he said, “It’s location to the rest of the east coast is very central. Upstate New York has so much to travel to and do. The abundance of locally grown produce and locally farmed meat and chicken offers some great choices. The local food is also very affordable here. I value the great sense of community and safety in this area.”

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