This post is the first of my weekly neighborhood identities series.
Eight neighborhoods make up the city of Syracuse, according to the city’s website. Each has its own name. Its own identity. Without that identity, how would these places differ from one another? Why would they be separately defined, other than on a map?
Neighborhoods, or districts, make up the vast scopes of cities and characterize the city for what it truly is: a collection of diverse and intricately-detailed neighborhoods within areas that are linked through history, heritage, ethnicity and culture. As residents of these places, we are responsible for using our community strengths in a marketable and time-honoring way.
An article from Alabama.com published in August discusses how the city of Birmingham designated its Central Business/Financial District, its Civil Rights District and its Five Points South district, known for its entertainment. The city’s Lakeview District has popular restaurants and bars. Next they may name the Theater District and possibly the Parkside District soon, anchored by the Birmingham Railroad Park and a future baseball park. While most of these areas make up greater downtown Birmingham, they all intersect and connect to form an eclectic and varied part of the city.
I’m from Louisville, Ky. where some of the districts include the Highlands, St. Matthews, Springhurst, Middletown, Oldham County, Germantown and downtown’s Southside. Our newest-named district, NuLu, is an up-and-coming street full of hip restaurants, funky fun shops and art galleries. I love going there when I visit home.
One summer night a friend came in from Lexington and we spent the evening exploring the newly developed area. First, we got pastries from Please and Thank You. Then we looked at posters and trinkets in Why Louisville, and we wrote three things we would do before we die on the chalk wall display outside the Speed Art Museum. (One of mine included moving to New York. Check.) We capped off the night with pizza at Garage Bar.
Whenever a friend comes in from out-of-town, I take them to NuLu on Market Street. It’s a perfect example of newly revitalized district with rich history and a very Louisville-ish culture.
If someone new came for a visit in Syracuse, what district would you take them to? Would you show them around your own neighborhood? Think about it. We’ll talk tomorrow.
More on neighborhood identities – and Syracuse – in my next post.