Sean Kirst's column today in the Post-Standard had me in tears before 8:00, as his columns often tend to do. I read them with trepidation, wondering what emotion he will wring from me.
Go to www.syracuse.com/kirst for his blog or the local section of today's P-S on www.syracuse.com to see what stirred me.
Sean wrote about a culture that appears to be dying. He spoke movingly about his experiences growing up in an upstate New York city, and how he wanted the same for his children. The impetus was a report that said Syracuse, for the first time in decades, is under 140,000 in population.
I've run into Sean over the years at Little League games and when my nephew returned from an extended tour of duty in Iraq. Many of my nieces and nephews have grown up on the west side of Syracuse, playing with his kids or at least enjoying the same pastimes. They've had true summers in the city - baseball games at the different parks, church on Sunday at Holy Rosary, theatrical productions through the city school district (last year's Beauty and the Beast was great!), working at ice cream stands like Gannon's and now Mahoney's on South Salina.
I have two listings that are investment properties in the area. One is a duplex, and if you read Sean's article you'll see why it stood out for me. It's a very pretty home, just across from Rosary - I'm showing it today to someone who wants his kids to stay in the city and begin their families there. Only $69,000 -
The other is a pure faith two family near there on a street that has seen hard times but is coming back. The owner has gone through it and brought back the charm of bay windows, large eat-in kitchen, hardwood floors, refurbished molding. Off street parking and a good-sized backyard with a fence like Sean describes, for talking over with your neighbor. Only $49,500 -
My nieces and nephews have gone on to colleges with educations in summer living in the city. I hope that they will continue the tradition of large families in the city so I can selfishly borrow some of the fun of hot summer nights sweltering at Little League games, eating hot dogs and rooting for the Southside Americans. Most will leave, I know that, but I hope the city remains for them to return to their roots, even as a visitor, as I have.