On a cool, crisp early autumn morning the city of Utica is never lovelier! The trees are just beginning to change color and the crickets are singing their greeting of the new day.
Ah, to be alive in Utica!
Ok, so its a bit dramatic. But, so much of what we read and see and hear is so negative about Utica and our region that I just have to try and pull out something positive about where I have chosen to reside.
And make no mistake, I have chosen it.
So many people feel trapped in life. They let family, jobs or lack of them, fear and even laziness dictate where they live. The city of Utica is no different. What is different here is that people tend to blame the city for their problems. "Utica sucks" is their motto. And they truly believe if they lived some other place they would, as if by magic,have the perfect life that they see on the nightly TV shows that form their reality of what life should be.
That is not to say that our city is without problems. BIG problems! That is an area that we will explore on this site.
The issues that confront our city are similar to those shared by lots of metropolitan areas across the country, especially in the Northeast. The difference is that, while other places are working on solutions to those problems, we just keep lamenting them.
Case in point-downtown.
Why is Downtown Utica not the premier social, business and cultural draw for our region? In a time in our culture when downtowns across the country are enjoying a renaissance, why is our downtown limping by?
True, several high profile projects have been undertaken by dedicated urban pioneers who believe that downtown is "the place to be." Unfortunately, these are the exceptions to the current conditions of high vacancy rates, crumbling infrastructure and a weak market.
What can be done to change those conditions?