As others left, they came to one of Syracuse’s poorest neighborhoods to build a future

By Marnie Eisenstadt | meisenstadt@syracuse.com The house at 721 Otisco St. was a shell. It had been set on fire four times. And still, someone had scrawled “Burn Me” in black on a board covering one of the broken windows. The message: Try harder. Every window was broken. The Victorian details were covered by decades[…]


For Near West Side kids, Syracuse’s Skiddy Park is for softball, love

By Samantha House | shouse@syracuse.com SYRACUSE, N.Y. – To Yanira Johnson, Syracuse’s Near West Side has always been one big, extended family. She said it is a family that lovingly gets involved in each other’s business – a family that wants to give its youngest members a safe place to live. That’s what Johnson, a 17[…]


Near Westside Initiative: Father’s Day violence at odds with neighborhood’s rise

An open letter to the Greater Syracuse Community: The violence that took place at 11 p.m. Father’s Day on Otisco and Tioga streets in the Near Westside is a tragedy for those directly impacted, those who witnessed it, the city of Syracuse and particularly for the residents who have been working to make their neighborhood[…]


Syracuse’s saddest building becomes a pop of light: The Gear Factory’s promise

By Marnie Eisenstadt | meisenstadt@syracuse.com Syracuse, N.Y. — The Gear Factory building glowed on the city’s western edge, a five-story flash bulb stuck on. On a recent night, someone had left the lights on in the renovated factory. It has 120 windows and the light bounced from pane to pane. This month, the building officially[…]


Syracuse University ‘urban acupuncture’ students pinpoint safe space on Near West Side

BY Julie McMahon SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Three groups of two dozen Syracuse University students were sent out into the city with $600 per group to perform “urban acupuncture” on Syracuse’s neighborhoods. Junior Kayla Fermin and Senior Abigail Feikes were among a handful of students that went to the Near West Side, one of the areas[…]