We at Rust Wire don’t like to toot our own horn that much.
But I just couldn’t help it after seeing this recent story in The New York Times about Buffalo’s lower west side neighborhood.
The story notes that this historically blue-collar Italian section of the city has recently become home to a number of different immigrant groups, such as people from Puerto Rico, Myamar and Somalia.
In a post about Buffalo back in March 2009, Rust Wire made this observation about the area:
“Our next stop was Niagara Street, on the city’s West side, to what was once a very Italian neighborhood in the 1950s and 1960’s where a number of my father’s family members had lived. Vestiges of the old neighborhood remain, in some of the business names.
I honestly expected this to be a fairly blighted area, but it turned out to be in pretty decent shape- judging by my (albeit somewhat superficial) view driving through. There definitely were not many boarded-up homes here, and the residents seemed to be from all different racial backgrounds. We drove by a small Asian market, and several women we saw appeared to be recent immigrants from Africa or the Middle East, and were wearing beautiful, colorful dresses.
My dad’s grandfather’s old home on York Street was brightly painted with multi-colored trim, his uncle’s old house on 14th Street was also in good shape.”
In Richard Longworth’s book, Caught in the Middle, he emphasizes that Rust Belt and Midwest cities must work harder to attract immigrants the way they once did. It looks like at least this neighborhood in Buffalo is succeeding.