Poor Self-Image Plagues the City of Syracuse - 7/27/2009
For anyone unfamiliar with Syracuse, I think it is important for you to realize what many of us here think of ourselves and the place we live first before you take any of the comments to heart. One of the area's biggest problems, and this is not just coming from a resident but was also identified in the 2007 American Institute of Architects' plan for the city, is the poor self-image and illogical desire of many residents to put themselves and Syracuse down any chance they get.
Like all Upstate New York cities, Syracuse suffered quite a bit from the loss of industrial jobs and good paying blue collar positions beginning in the 1970's and continuing into the late 1990's. Having lost the very institutions which provided a sense of identity and pride that came from living in a hard-working, American idustrial center, many people never seem to get enough opportunities to bemoan the city's "deplorable" state and impending doom. Being a post-industrial city of over 135,000, it naturally has its good and bad areas, some crime, and some unemployment, though I think, and I think many new residents and visitors would agree, that things arent nearly as bad as some people will have you believe.
For starters, Syracuse is situated in the midst of great natural beauty, with myriad parks, lakes, beaches, waterfalls, and hiking trails right nearby. The winters are long, but there are many opportunities to make the best of the situation, from tons of great hills for sledding right in the midst of the city to several skiing and snowboarding slopes less than an hour away. The city and county have invested heavily in increasing the amount of cultural and entertainment options, and there is at least one major festival or concert being held every week downtown or in the nearby areas. Syracuse University's varsity athletic teams are a source of great regional and state pride, with the university's Carrier Dome playing host to many big nationally televised football, basketball and lacrosse games each week in the fall, winter and spring drawing tens of thousands. If there isnt enough to do, it is an easy four hour drive to Toronto and New York City, and five to Boston and Philadelphia, though it is possible to get cheap plane and train fares at the local airport and train station.
In addition, the city possesses strong urban form and lots of historical architecture, as well as many new developments just outside the city center. Many young and elderly people have begun moving into downtown for the ease of walking and good public transportation, which has spurred the restoration and renovation of many vacant downtown buildings in recent years, even through the recession.
The growth of small and medium-sized industries had been slow, but many new companies in green and sustainable technologies, advanced materials, electronics, and computing have been seen greater and greater success over the past few years. The city has continued to be a regional center for education, healthcare, legal practices, and financial and engineering services, and these sectors are only expected to grow over the coming decades.
All of these things, which are just a fraction of the reasons to be positive about living in Syracuse, are so often forgotten or written off by the residents who would rather you look somewhere else before even considering Syracuse. My biggest advice to anyone interested is to do your own research, disregard the negative posts by residents on this site, and come see the city and the area for yourself.[read more...]