Moving to Syracuse? Here is the Student Guide to Syracuse’s Neighborhoods you need to read
Syracuse is a typical rust belt city. Founded by immigrants, it has a wide variety of nationalities and heritages. One is able to experience very different cultures all within a 20-minute drive. Here’s a Student Guide to Syracuse’s Neighborhoods you need to know as you plan out your move to the Salt City in Central New York.
Most people living on Syracuse’s Northside today have emigrated from countries within Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. The Northside has a long and rich history of being home to immigrants. German, Irish (who also settled on Tip Hill)and Italian immigrants arrived in this area during the 19th century. A changing economy has brought some challenges, like concentrated poverty and higher crime rates. Neighborhood groups are trying their best to revitalize the Northside, one block at a time.
Syracuse’s South Side is primarily a residential neighborhood. Many properties have a historic character, but there is not enough money to maintain them. There is a significant number of vacant homes and the perception of crime and poverty on Syracuse’s South Side is a major concern. The area can also be characterized as a “food desert”. Many people live too far from a supermarket and rely instead on convenience stores to get their food. Several community gardens, like the SouthSide Garden on South State Street are working to provide more healthy options to residents. The area has much potential, and neighborhood activists work tirelessly to improve the community they love.
Eastwood is like a village within a city. Henry Gannett, in his 1905 book “The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States,” described Eastwood as a suburb of Syracuse and village within Onondaga County. The Eastwood Neighborhood has retained its provincial vibe since the early 1900s, before it was incorporated into city lines.
James Street is one of the best places to visit to understand Eastwood’s character and atmosphere. Look up and down James Street to find shops and historic locations like the Palace Theater. When compared to other parts of the city, Eastwood is a popular location for raising a family. “We have schools inside our borders that people can walk to and a business corridor, which is still mostly intact” said Karen Schroeder of the Eastwood Neighborhood Association.
Syracuse’s Downtown, right in the city’s center, serves as the main hub for commerce and business. Department stores, restaurants, bars and museums provide ample opportunity for entertainment. Some residents describe Clinton Square as one of the most exciting spots in Downtown. It is known for its many public events held through the various seasons of the year, like the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays. An ice-skating rink opens up in Clinton Square during the winter time, from the last week of November 2018 through March 9, 2019.
Other great locations in the Downtown area include the Fayette Firefighters’ Memorial Park, Cathedral Square and Hanover Square. It is famous for its historic buildings and clean, inviting outdoor parks.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Data, the Syracuse University neighborhood draws over 22,000 students to the city. They take up about 20 percent of the city’s population. Students tend to cluster around the University Hill area and its student neighborhoods. In the east, the Westcott neighborhood is a popular hangout for students and young adults. In the past, Westcott was a common place to live for those who worked downtown. As the University grew, the housing increasingly accommodated a burgeoning student population. Now, Westcott is an area with significant amounts of off-campus housing for grad students and young professionals. Famous architects designed many of the homes on Euclid Avenue in the early 20th century. One of them was Syracuse’s very own Ward Wellington Ward.
Westcott still manages to maintain a thriving community of stores, parks and entertainment options. Therefore it is easy to be proud of Westcott’s long history.
The disparity of Syracuse’s neighborhoods
It’s clear that an unequal distribution of human and financial resources can leave other neighborhoods like Syracuse’s Southside and West Side to struggle with poverty and higher crime rates. Tracing the money back to student’s high tuition costs and a low tax burden for the university can help better explain this disparity.