Monday, December 28, 2009

Resurgence through immigration

It could just as easily be about Brier Hill or Smoky Hollow. Instead, it's about Buffalo's 'Lower West Side':

Just west of downtown, the Lower West Side was historically a blue-collar Italian neighborhood, but in recent decades, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics settled into the community. In recent years, the area has become home to resettled refugees from Myanmar, Somalia and other countries beset by conflict.

Buffalo is a Rust Belt town that in many ways looks like Youngstown. It too is about as far to New York City as to Chicago. A steel and shipping hub, it's economy was ravaged by the export of jobs overseas. Sound familiar?

And both cities have seen transformations in their economies. Now far removed from its industrial past, Buffalo, like other Rust Belt cities, has been emphasizing health care and higher education as growth industries.

The New York Time's City Room blog, normally painting on the canvas of New York City life and culture, has hit the road to bring stories from some of New York's other large cities. The story of Buffalo offers some thoughts on how recent immigration by Latinos and Asians has reshaped Buffalo, a city built by immigrants.

Just read the article and replace each mention of 'Buffalo' with 'Youngstown' and you will see a common tale.

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