Syracuse Rising- A Rust Belt Love Story


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Like many, I went home for the holidays to be with family. While home , I took a walk in my old “hometown downtown”- Syracuse, New York. It conjured up a lot of memories walking for a few miles along the Creekwalk, a newly opened path through the heart of the old city. Here’s my diary:

Getting Re-Acquainted- The Mall

At some point , a visit to Syracuse inevitably includes a visit to its megamall DestiNY (get it!), and this is where, as it happens, the Creekwalk, and my visit began. If nothing else, there is plenty of parking.

DestiNY is painful to see; a case study in watching a city in need of hope get taken for a ride. The developer of this mall, to wet the appetites of the locals into bending over backwards with tax incentives, originally conjured utopian dream cities , a green paradise of sustainable entertainment in the heart of New York- “Destiny USA!”.

I would read the latest update in the Architectural press and think;  what? In my hometown? In Syracuse- 50 story hotels ?; Tuscan hilltowns ?, more tourists than Disneyland? Really? This? :

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Well, not really? The fuzzy visions begat this, our  big fat mall :

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Now, it does some good. It is IN Syracuse, and it does bring new shopping experiences- I mean Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar and Grill” !  But its an ugly  hulk that sits at the end of the county’s namesake lake that defines the  area. And, in being surrounded by hundreds of acres of parking, manages in true mall fashion to  turn inward, away from the city. But I Love This Bar And Grill!

As I stood in the cold, I contemplated these absurd visions. On its bleak exterior, perhaps to taunt, a single windmill sat, I guess to remind us how all those green tax incentive bonds were spent. It sat directly above a PF Changs banner that flapped in the tepid breeze,  non-threatening Pan-Asian cuisine coming soon.

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It drew me into a funk, made me think of all the missed opportunities or crazy ideas in my hometown. The mall that helped to kill off downtown, the ballpark that was not built downtown, the monorail to the campus (lets not even go there). Syracuse had gone on some bad dates.

The Waters of Syracuse.

The Creekwalk begins near the shores of the aforementioned Lake. This is one of most polluted lakes (albeit finally getting cleaned up) in the world, and into it flows the  industrial canal and creek that form the basis for the creekwalk.

As I started, I remember growing up in the west side suburbs not far away, and recalled the smell in nearby Solvay, an overwhelming odor of , well, cleanser. These factories were primarily responsible for nearly killing  the lake. And that was kind of the memory for me in 70s Syracuse; a lake that smelled like Borax, a decaying downtown, one largely there  for nights watching the likes of Cheap Trick and Foreigner at the War Memorial, a crumbling hulk of a football stadium , and a baseball stadium with, remarkably, no seats behind home plate (due to a fire, it stayed that way for 30 years). But it was the lake that symbolized Syracuse , a beautiful resource destroyed, broken, and in true Syracuse fashion, like the hole in the baseball stadium, it just sat there for years.

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The good times for us teens were had elsewhere, in the hills and  dales of the countryside, and along its  many wondrous crystalline lakes and rivers. A great region to grow up in, but after college, I got my Architecture degree, shook the dust of the crumbling burg off my clothes, and headed out-of-town to “Opportunity”, which I was sure was well  past Cortland.

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But a funny thing happened.  Over the years, my interest in my hometown as a built environment grew instead of fading, in part fed by my ever-loving mother dutifully sending me whatever updates there were in the trusty Herald Journal.

A New Beginning

As I began to work my way along the industrial west side heading to downtown , it was clear the old industrial canal had been transformed. It was now a park and a harbor, surrounded by cleaned up vegetation.

This got me to  remembering the beginnings of the change in these parts back in the 80’s. There was  talk that some old buildings in the neglected Armory Square area were to be redeveloped. We’ll see I thought.

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But slowly, it began to happen, a building here or there , then more, then it spread to Franklin Square, where I was now. As an Architect living in San Francisco, living in an area with an ever-expanding population, with so few unused buildings, this series of small acts seemed heroic, and maybe a bit crazy. I mean people were emptying out of downtown, who would come back? My return trips home periodically included a visit to these parts, to see what had changed. Bit by bit a critical mass developed, and on this day, with freshly fallen snow, these old factories, now a new neighborhood of homes and businesses, were kind of enchanting.

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The Creekwalk is marvelous in the way it weaves in and around buildings, giving one surprise vistas and marvelous juxtapositions, the present day walk leading to a renovated building, with industrial remnants in the blurry periphery.

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As the walk gets to  downtown and emerges from its channel, one gets an up-close view of some of Syracuse’s finest buildings. At the center of the old city, the utilitarian brick of the factories gives way to the finely hewn stones and flights of masonic fancy:

Be it a solid bit of Classical Architecture at the Clinton Exchange.

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A bit of whimsical Commercial Baroque:

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Or the Moderne Niagara Mohawk Building and her Spirit of Energy (why don’t we do this on buildings anymore?).

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Downtown and The Memory Palaces

And I was Downtown. And at the edge of the aforementioned Armory Square. Growing up, I don’t think I was in this area once, but at some point it stopped being this:

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And instead became this:

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Again, I can remember when these buildings were being restored, at first scrappy urban pioneers in lofts, then a few brave shops and restaurants. But now, with new buildings filling in and around the old, a compelling, dense urban neighborhood has emerged amidst 19th century commercial buildings. Shops on the ground floor and curtains up above, a depth of use matched by the rich depth of these substantial facades.

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But what of the adjacent downtown. While I did have that memory of a  crumbling Syracuse from the 70’s , it occurred to me I also had another  more compelling one.

But I had to search to find it, because the  bustling Commercial core seemed long gone. Downtown Syracuse, like so many other mid-sized northeast  cities, has lost people, and the attractiveness of downtown as a shopping and working core faded. My father’s shop was nowhere to be seen, and the memories of striding proudly down Warren Street with my Dad, he getting greeted every 20 feet by another friend or client, faded:

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But ,(I argued with myself ), the fact remained that downtown IS unique, there was no place like it in the region. Downtown was an exciting place when I was very young, a portal to a strange and compelling world out there, one very different from my secure suburban home. In those times, downtown visits were a treat, even if they were just a trip to the dentist. But just as often, a visit to Mom or Dad at work, an exciting downtown lunch, or maybe a trip with my grandmother to buy shoes.

Then it all came back when I came upon the old State Tower Building. In my oft-exaggerated  memories,  it IS a soaring 50 story edifice, not, the  modest depression era office building one sees often in cities of this ilk. But with slender proportions, it did soar to the 5 year old. It was home to my dentist , who was one thrilling ride up its  art deco elevators. The tallest building for miles!

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He now long gone, but how the memory of place remained. There was a small newstand in the lobby, and a cafe off the main aisle (still there), and the aforementioned ride up to a room with a view. It was all so foreign, so exciting, so urban, so stylized! I came out of the experience richer, and not just because I was the proud owner of a new gold filling.

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state tower

More dental history, my mind remembered orthodontistry in a soaring high ceilinged classical temple. Is that right, could that have been possible? And here it was , around the corner, all Christmasy, and yes there was the soaring space, second floor of the University Building on the left, where , a bit older, I would sit admiring Corinthian columns whilst getting my screws tightened on my braces, a budding architect with an overbite under construction. (Somehow, today, the partnership of architecture to getting screws tightened seems right , but I digress ).

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And always, a visit to Clinton Square, to see the Christmas tree. On this day, the scene was a Nordic urban post card, with skaters against a backdrop of the best of Syracuse’s splendid castles of Commerce.

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Ripples of Change

I made my way back to Armory Square and back to the creek for the trek back to the car. Along the way, I had passed a sign of promise for downtown, the renovation of a block of buildings along Salina Street. Redevelopment is like dropping a stone in the water, its effects gradually cascade outward, so the success of Armory seems to be sending out its small waves.

To wit, on the other side of Armory something completely different seems to have taken hold on the creek, anchored by the SU School of Architecture’s new home. :

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An arts district is taking off:

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and even the bridges have become canvasses:

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A few years ago, I came down here with my Dad. Like me, he had his own memories of the place, but much deeper. He also grew right here- on the Near Westside, right across the creek,in a dirt poor Irish Catholic household of 12 kids.

On this day, his old neighborhood not seen for 30 years, was unrecognizable to him. The area had been to war and back, sort of. It was re-emerging , with new housing being built near downtown for the first time in decades- block by block.

new house

He was startled to see this. I could tell he couldn’t quite compute it all, it rustled the recall of his own palaces. He knew it was a good thing, as change came often to inner city neighborhoods, but still.

Then we came upon his beloved St. Lucy’s , still there.  He regaled us growing up with tales of the much feared nuns of St. Lucy’s , where, as an altar boy, he served mass every day. He teared up as we stood out front, and told those stories that I had heard over and over, now with a new freshness. My eyes got blurry too, as we stood in front of dear old St. Lucy’s, his palace of memories, with Sinners Welcome :

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The solidity of these great buildings, be they churches, towers, or factories, have served Syracuse for multiple generations. Despite all the change, they are still here, because they are substantial, built to last. They are accommodating new uses, lives, dreams, as well the continuity of the old- so two generations can share a moment .

The walk gave me great hope for my hometown.  It all takes a lot more courage and conviction in Syracuse than it does in San Francisco and what I realize is how much this city and the experiences within have shaped me and inspired me.

As I returned to my car, I acknowledged that on a bitter cold day, there was a place for the climate controlled comfort of the manufactured town square:

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But in my experience, a little cold might be good for the heart and the soul. Yeah, that;s it. Syracuse Rising:

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40 thoughts on “Syracuse Rising- A Rust Belt Love Story

  1. There is no renewal in Syracuse.It is filled with those who speak of growth, promise and hope. All while they are backing their bags and waiting for better opportunities. When we all decide to move back someday, it will thrive. In the meantime, pray that the guns. gangs and poverty all go away.

    • that is a little pessimistic. i think there is a very obvious renewal and looking only at the negative creates a negative city.

    • This reminds me of an article I read about population decline in Utica and Rome. They interviewed a young woman who said she wasn’t surprised the population had declined because it was a terrible place to live. They asked her what made it terrible and she cited people’s negative opinions about the area. Unfortunately, the irony was lost on the reporter. Hopefully it’s not lost on you. I haven’t packed my bags. Some of us our working hard to achieve that promise.

  2. Really enjoyed the last 10 minutes reading your whimsies. Spent my college years at SU and am originally from Binghamton. Just a smaller version of Syracuse. So many memories of upstate NY, but like yourself, I’ve been gone for over 30 years. Many positives are happening across upstate. Hope the movement to “recovery” of the city core is sustainable. Thanks for a brief walk down “memory lane” and for a glimpse of hope.

  3. The hole behind home plate in the old baseball stadium did NOT last for 30 years. A more accurate figure would be six years, admittedly too long, but far less than 30. In the interim, ownership of the stadium was transfered from the city to the county.

  4. Why would this newspaper make such a big deal about this condescending piece of garbage. Are we supposed to be excited because some out-of-towner decided to critque our town. I am an urban developer in CNY and have traveled extensively on four continents and lived in numerous places in the U.S. (probably far more than this guy) I could live in San Francisco if I wanted to. I don’t want to. I LIKE LIVING IN CENTRAL NEW YORK! WTF do I care about some architect from California’s opinion about our area? I don’t think the San Francisco newspaper would give a damn about what a Syracuse architect thought of San Francisco.

    • Not a surprise that you didn’t understand or enjoy the article but the explanation is in your rant, as a self described “developer”.

    • Terry Kinder. Your an idiot. As someone like the author who also moved away after college I appreciate the nostalgic aspect of this piece and his perspective. And no one cares whether you traveled extensively and your self described resume. Get over yourself. Great piece!

    • I think you might read the article again, with an appreciation of what the author is really saying. His article speaks of hope and possibilities, and reminds me that while we might have been down, we’re not out.

    • He’s from Syracuse, not an out of towner and lived in Syracuse the majority of his life. He’s also my uncle, great article!

    • I know for a fact this man has done more traveling than you have. he has been to every continent besides Africa and Antarctica. Don’t make assumptions please. I love the article and appreciate the time he took to write it.

    • Are you deliberately missing the point that the author was originally from Syracuse? Being from Syracuse myself, I’ m sorry to say that it’ s kind of sad to see how the city has declined. I don’ t understand why you feel the need to put this person down the way you are. I don’ t feel they were being very negative in what they wrote.

    • With all due respect, Mr. Kinder, YOUR item here is the “condescending piece of garbage.” Since you are a presumably successful developer, I MUST assume that you put more thought and care into your profession and the care of your clients than you did in this dashed-off letter. (Did you even read the whole article?)

      What you completely MISSED was Bob Collins’ appreciation for the CORE of what make Syracuse unique : those things which are timeless, which endure. Presumably – although your letter makes no mention of this at all – that is part of why you, sir, “LIKE LIVING IN CENTRAL NEW YORK!” (Or as you say, “WTF.”)

      Anyhow, I can relate to this article…I also was young here in the 60s and 70s, and like MANY others of my generation I had to move away from here, after college, so I could get a job and be finacially independent. (It was either THAT, or continue living with Mom & Dad well into my mid-20s.) Due to a good job opportunity, I moved back in 2007 – after being away for 20 years. So I have EARNED the right to say this. That is to say, not everyone left because they WANTED to. The implication that we all “wanted to” because CNY “wasn’t good enough for us” is unwarranted and irresponsible.

      I loved the line about Syracuse’s economically “bad dates.” (Do I hear an AMEN ?) Locally and nationally, in fact we DID get taken in by a lot of bad ecomonic ideas and practices – and we’ve only begun to realize how we were “had.” (Take that any way you like – from the Left AND the Right.)

      The article was about a new sens of opportunity AND an appreciatin of what endures…What more do you want?

  5. I moved away 35 years ago and return regularly because I love Syracuse even though I am puzzled at how slow the city is to embrace it’s history other then talking about it. I liked this guys blog. However I have to wonder about the dentist at the State Tower building..he was a child molester and me and my sisters can tell you it is true. Syracuse has so much going for it. Why is downtown still so slow to be revived? With the money that comes in from SU alone, there is no excuse. Armory is just a corner. And I have to agree about Destiny; I’ll shop there but it is nothing to crow about. A small downtown mall is where it is at…just look to other cities. I am absolutely intrigued with the Lake clean up efforts…finally something you can see getting done. My Dad told me stories of swimming in that lake and then of course, heading to Heid’s for a hot dog. Love you Syracuse.

  6. It’s coming back faster than you think. Check out startfast.net and the founder’s statement at uvc.org. It will be “too late” by the time you read about these types of activities. In addition to those two organizations, The Syracuse Tech Garden has dozens of companies in development right now. You’ll read about Syracuse within 5 years.

  7. It’s always nice to look back and while there has been much improvement at Armory Square ( I attended NYARNG meetings at the Armory) those improvements to the downtown area come at a cost to those on the other side. In the 60’s and 70’s Warren Street was a hub of activity with offices and restaurants. Now it’s a dead zone. It’s as if downtown is a balloon. Squeeze it and it grows opposite of where you squeeze. That’s what’s happened to the downtown area. Growth and development are west, while east of Salina Street has been neglected.
    I venture to my Northside beginnings and I see some areas deteriorating. Butternut St, farther up North Salina beyond Little Italy. I don’t know why it’s called that when there’s few remaining pieces of that puzzle. An Asian restaurant where Tino’s once existed. An abandoned Danzer’s on Park Street. last was a Vietnamese eatery according to the signage. While there has been some improvement, Syracuse as a ways to go.

  8. You also obviously havent been to our beautiful baseball stadium either. I have great memories there now and also from when I was a child. It is a great summer evening activity. I have been to San Francisco. Ok to visit, wouldn’t want to live there. Sat for over an hour not moving on a highway near Candlestick park. What a lousy way to commute every day. I will take my 15 minute drive anyday.

  9. I loved reading this commentary, particularly your dad’s reaction to the revival on the Near Westside , where I have been putting some energy over the past few years. Standing in front of St Lucy’s brings tears to my eyes as well. The working class history of Syracuse is palpable there.

  10. Great article. I agree, Syracuse is on the upswing and has a lot going for it. Thank god young folks are taking notice and capitalizing on making Syracuse a cool place. The negative attitude of a few must not deter from the progressive vision of us true loyalist. Great article!

  11. I’m glad to have found this blog and to have read this post. I am another expat Syracusan who remains interested in his hometown. My perspective is different from Bob’s in that I only live six hours away in a city with its own army of people who grew up there and then moved away. I am at work now, so i can’t write at length, but I will come back to this.

  12. Despite his initial disdain for our town, a look at Syracuse from an ‘outsider’ gives me some perspective. My optimistic mind sees the growth that Syracuse is making and I know that its the small local businesses/groups/non profits that are responsible for it; despite the many roadblocks which are thrown at them. The truth, as far as I see it, is that change here may be slow going but there are so many people who are working hard behind the scenes and they making real progress! Restoring old buildings, refreshing neighborhoods, and creating growth in an old factory town takes time, but we can’t expect change overnight. The best part of being at the bottom is that there is no other way to go but up. Syracuse is already on its way up…keep the love for Syracuse people, we’re getting there :)

  13. I really appreciate your perspective here especially since my dad went to St. Lucy’s too. I work across the street from the new hotel in Armory Square and I can see some of the progress in our fathers’ old neighborhood from my office window. There’s a lot to be excited about.

  14. I was humbled by the response to this post, and wish to thank everyone for commenting. My post was intended to be one of hope and excitement for Syracuse, and it seemed most (but as usual, not all- my dentist was a child molester?- really?) who read this got that.

    There are many like me, who grew up here, and through punk-ass teenage eyes saw a crumbling place, (particularly in the 70’s) and left, be it for college, or work. I’ve grown up, but more importantly, I think, Syracuse has as well, in really exciting ways. I envy those, many of whom I heard from, who are part of that change. I love my hometown and want the absolute best for the city and its residents. Those that have dug in and are turning the spades of change inspire the rest of us throughout the country. Please keep going, you’re an inspiration.

  15. It may be true that development in San Franciso is less risky . . . .if you can afford the cost of land. A small attached house [2 bed rooms 2 baths] is over a million, 50% of which would be for land. With all the empty lots in Syracuse, a strategic thinker should be able to come up with a plan to build on the new developments and continue the revitalization. I believe Syracue will be an attractive area for baby boomers who will soon be seniors. The great 4 seasons climate; clean air and water; unlimited potential for growth; many golf courses; world class university; great health care; and low cost of housing will bring boomers back to the city. What Syracuse needs is a 50 year plan deveoped in a collaborative manner [like Pierre L"Enfant in DC] among the city, university and citizens. Then start to rebuild al over again . . . . Syracuse could be a mecca for the next 50 years re-building the city in a manner that creats a new municipality to meet the requirements of what businesses are looking for in jobs creation. With IT technolgy, internet and modems the only thing missing for this plan to start is a visionary. May need to look for an outsider who sees the positve [half glass full] and understands the value of cheap land for developement.
    Who will be the next LT Eagan?

    • Andy hit on an idea about rebuilding areas of the city that have been abandoned. Down here TND’s are becoming popular even in suburban and rural areas. One being constructed nearby, Ladysmith Village (www.ladysmithvillage.com), is just one example of such a development without looking like one. The architecture would surely fit the city’s style and not have the sold-out look of 60’s and 70’s architecture that was used to infill pockets in the city’s residential neighborhoods. Think of those ugly apartments built along Bear and Court streets on the Northside. A number of these developments have been designed by renowned architect Andres Duany. But wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to do something like this in the old Salt City. The issue would be with the city over taxing once these properties are built and sold. Sometimes the pols in NYS get greedy like a former mayor who finally got caught. But that’s another thread. I think a developer willing to take on such a project could do it.

  16. I am a different case. A graduate student here in the mid 70s, I stayed for a year and a half after getting my degree having some well earned fun. Adolescence had not been fun for me so a job on the Hill as a bartender at the Orange kept me in Syracuse and then a job as a bartender and manager at the then-iconic downtown disco, the Machine Shop Tavern, brought me downtown. I left for more serious pursuits in mid-1976 when the downtown, I believe, was near its nadir. In March 2012 I was offered a position at the University which brought me back to Syracuse 36 years later–the last 24 of which were spent with a wife and our kids in her native Los Angeles, CA. We visited and were excited by the possibilities of downtown living after 20+ years of living in a single family home. Newly (and sadly) dogless and new empty nesters, we found a truly amazing loft in an 1894 building at the corner of N. Clinton and W. Willow, diagonally across the street from the crowds, bikes and often heavenly smells of Dinosaur Barbeque. We’ve been here for ten months and there is much of what I remember liking in Syracuse still here: nice people, “rich” seasonal change, great natural beauty to enjoy only 15 minutes in any direction outside of town and a sense of community so different from Los Angeles and my native home downstate. Through your personal and professional eyes, Mr. Collins, you have seen the remarkable journey that went one way and is definitely on a path to return and hopefully advance the progress you’ve felt and described. But the sense of the possible and the excitement of all that is being undertaken downtown is palpable and my wife and I are happy to be a part of it. A critical mass has not yet been reached, but a crest is forming. Some 2,000+ people live downtown now in an area where the residential rental occupancy rate is said to be just 1%. But several hundred new rental units are being renovated now (several other large projects in addition to the “Pike Block” on Salina you mentioned, and many smaller projects underway). As these 500+ units come online because of the demand indicated by the strength of the rents that are being paid the waiting lists that landlords claim to have, Downtown’s prospects will be tested in the next six to nine months. Can the market absorb the new supply without causing rental rates to drop? That’s the question and if the answer is yes, it is likely that many larger developers will take another look at downtown Syracuse. I’m rooting for the developers to do well here so, among other things, the relatively upscale and affluent downtown residents may reach numbers that will see a Wegmans or Trader Joes or Whole Foods enter the area. Then downtown, with its many shops great restaurants and growing street and cultural activity, will be on the verge of a real renaissance. Syracuse itself remains a question–In some ways it is still the old blue collar community mourning the loss of the industrial base that gave it stability (but ruined the lake) and seeking to find its identity and comfort in a new Syracuse where the medical centers on the Hill are the largest employer in town and the University is the second largest. Those blue collars have given way to blue (and other color) scrubs and lots of clothing colored orange or blue with an orange S on them. I am among the new emigres attracted to the city to work for one of its waxing economic centers–I am looking forward to seeing more and more people join us Downtown and in Sedgwick and even in the suburbs of your youth–a a very determined Syracuse community adapts to its 21st century realities and potential. I’d hope to meet you someday, Mr. Collins. How about we plan to meet when we can take a swim in Lake Onondaga and then head over to Heids? I would have preferred Caroma, but alas, they are no more. Today, I’d suggest you check out the tapas joint Laci’s at Cathering and Hawley. What’s happening there is truly amazing as well.

  17. Pingback: Boiling Frogs in Syracuse | rust belt chic

  18. I lived in Syracuse from 1967 to 1989. A great place to live and raise a family. The University area was abuzz with social life and sharing. I worked in beautiful downtown before the Salina Street’s demise. Now that we are retired and considering places to retire to Syracuse is very tempting except for the big W …..

  19. Great article, reminds me of my hometown, Utica, a smaller, crustier version of Syracuse! I find that the progress achieved in Syracuse, in spite of things like “Destiny,” is nothing short of miraculous! Unfortunately, the full-time residents cannot see these incremental changes, but to an outsider, it’s so apparent! Someday, these old upstate NY towns and cities will turn from “rust to green.” In the meantime, it’s amazing to watch new life emerge from the destruction of the 70’s and 80’s!

  20. Buildings does not a city make.

    Most people thinking fondly and hopefully of Syracuse, I find, are more often than not living away from their fair city, whether out in the suburbs or in another state. It’s easy to be nostalgic when you are not ensconced in the middle of this cultural and economic wasteland. Syracuse is a city confused. A couple coffee roasters and some expensive downtown lofts will not change that — Syracuse struggles to find an identity.

  21. We moved to Syracuse 6 months ago from Miami Florida. So many people said Why would you ever want to do that!? We moved here so I could get my Masters at SU that had a program that was unmatched in my field. Ill never forget our first visit to Syracuse. I remember driving around the city with my partner and breaking down crying in the car. We hated it, it was dirty and empty and industrial and very poor and many bad areas. What am I doing to us, I thought?! My partner was supportive, but knew what we both were thinking. We had reaervations about moving here, but we thought well its only 3 years.

    We moved to a small very nice loft in Little Italy, although no one would know our loft is very nice due to the crumbling buildings around us. The day we moved in a man came up to me and said “why would you want to move to “sewercuse”? I said I dont know but thanks for the welcoming. We were discouraged.

    We’ve been here 6 months now and the city is growing on us, it’s gritty with a lot of personality and an incredible amount of potential! We thoroughly enjoy the 5 min ride to creeks and hiking, there is truly so much to do in the area and we love the snow!

    The obvious mismanagement of the city is overwhelmingly apparent from big and small things, but were rooting for the underdog city.

    This city is turning around, it will just take some convincing of the people living in it and visiting.

  22. syracuse is a gem…I lived in watertown for 25 years…never thought I would leave…..when I go back to visit there I feel so sad…..syracuse is my home now and I see it improving, slowly, every day! Embrace the past but look forward to the future…we are getting better and better every day.

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