|I am looking for some perennials that would work well in up-state New York.|
|My mom gardened in up-state New York and had one of the most spectacular perennial beds I've ever seen! You can grow ANY hardy perennial up there. If you're in the snow belt...or even if you're not...I'd mulch the bed well come fall, once the ground freezes.
Most of upstate New York is in USDA zone 4, some in zones 3 and 5. Since I don't know where in NY you're referring to, I'll give you some reliable zone 4 choices:
Daylilies, New England asters, coreopsis,purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, shasta daisies, bee balm, lupines, veronica. (All these prefer full sun.)
For more possibilities, visit a local nursery to see what they offer. Hope this helps get you started!