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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:58 PM
Location: wilkes-barre
1,974 posts, read 4,554,151 times
Reputation: 998


Originally Posted by Lehigh Valley Native View Post
You don't know enough about me, to make statements such as I am the type of person holding the city back or I want to see the city fail. I am actively involved in Arts Youniverse, and to bring other ventures like this to the city.

I don't want to see the city fail, I want it to progress. However, bars, restaurants and pizza places don't equal progress. They are not what the city needs to move forward. It does not help quality of life. It does not bring people to the area to raise families.
I understand what you are saying. I too would like to see a variety of buisnesses spring up, and they are, just not at the same pace as the bars and restaraunts, but what would you rather?...empty storefronts? Also, you mentioned Scranton...well Scranton's entire downtown wasn't wiped out by a massive flood, and Scranton has had more then enough help from governor Casey and other native lawmakers to get the ball rolling up there, and from what i hear, Scranton isn't doing all that great lately, especially the mall at steamtown. I think the fountain will eventually be replaced, and I think the River Common is a prime example of investment in our community. Instead of bashing and mocking the fledgling rebirth, why not support it and think of ways to contribute? I think as new bars and restaraunts flourish and word spreads, other retail and buisnesses will follow. I, myself am looking into the possibility of opening a buisness totally unique to the W-B/Scranton region because of the success that I see other enterpenuers in downtown W-B are having (and it's not a bar or restaraunt). You mentioned Arts Youniverse...well isn't that itself a great example of a unique and different buisness, then a bar that decided to call downtown W-B home? Arts Youiverse brings you downtown does it not?
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:06 PM
3,813 posts, read 4,827,291 times
Reputation: 3495
it is wonderful to see new businesses--the key to sucess here is ensuring the nitetime safety of those that wish to patronize these businesses---the cooperation of police and yes,the guardian angels is needed here----also less expensive cab services for those that want to leave their cars at home for fear of coming out to smashed windows and a ransacked car
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:18 PM
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,767 posts, read 21,938,962 times
Reputation: 45114
Actually I am a transplant as you all know. So is my husband and my brother in law, My brother and his fiancee and two good friends of theirs are looking into W/B.
In choosing a place to live, a variety of restaurants and the close proximity of a movie theater WOULD and HAS drawn us to a particular place over one that was say, - out on a high way somewhere in a place dotted with fast food joints and nail salons.

I like the conviviality of downtown WB as does my husband and others!
For the first time in... well a VERY long time, our broker convinced us to go to a bar - Rodano's.
We played pool, had a few, and felt really young.

Back on LI, such an activity for people in our age group with kids would have generated disdain.
We felt more free here - we still do.

BTW, we had a designated driver!
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:32 AM
996 posts, read 806,946 times
Reputation: 440
I got up an hour earlier for my hunt this morning.
It appears to me that others have already been rummaging through the woods and have acquired their target.

I didn't realize it was Sheena-season...
Unfortunately, I did not purchase the necesary permit from the PGC so I will opt out...

One comment I have is in regards to folk's desires to live "in the city" within close proximity to numerous restaurants,bars,businesses,services,etc..

I say good for you - but "different strokes for differernt folks".

Yesterday afternoon I took a couple of out of town visitors to Mountain Top fora late lunch. On the way, one of them commented about how isolated my town is - and how I have to travel 10-25 miles in any direction to arrive at any decent shopping or dining venues.

I told them that I would not have it any other way. My closest neighbor is 3/10 of a mile from me, the "river runs through it", well not through it - but right in front of my home, and driving down the 10 mile ribbon of asphalt surrounded by nothing but trees is the best route for me to travel.

Different strokes for different folks.

To me, most restaurants are over-rated and over-priced, movie-theatres? - I have not been to one in 20 years - and if it was up to me - them liberal Hollywood slugs would all be working double shifts at McDonalds to get by (except Clint - he gets a pass for being a real man).

It's all about choices, and what people define as "culture".

I choose the country culture and the peacefulness of country living.

WB ain't too bad. Nice place to visit on occaision, but I certainly would not want to live there, or for that matter, any city.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:28 AM
12,465 posts, read 27,190,395 times
Reputation: 6957
Originally Posted by W-B proud View Post
Look's like two more buisnesses will be opening very soon in the Diamond City. Mulligans wilkes barre, and Pronto Pizza are both opening. Along with the anouncements that the new buisness incubator is expanding and the possible coal miner's museum are the latest in a long line of downtown openings... i am still holding my breath for an "urban marketplace" downtown though, like Reading Terminal in Philly. I would love that! Two new businesses move into downtown Wilkes-Barre - News - Citizens Voice
This thread is about Wilkes-Barre and I think it would be respectful of the OP if we focus on the above.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:51 AM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,650 posts, read 65,855,824 times
Reputation: 15152
Lehigh Valley Native, while I can agree with you to an extent that bars, pizzerias, and restaurants alone will not "save" Downtown Wilkes-Barre, they are all important complementary factors to help it on its path towards revitalization. Seven years ago nobody from the suburbs ever entertained the notion of going out for a "night on the town" in Wilkes-Barre. Now? You have art walks, Christmas caroling, more annual events, an indoor rock-climbing wall, Cinema 14, the pre-existing F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts (the NEPA Philharmonic is exquisite, by the way, for those who haven't had the pleasure), a good VARIETY of restaurants (Thai, Japanese hibachi, Mediterranean, Brooklyn deli, semi-upscale Italian, Chinese buffet, college-oriented venues, pizzerias, etc.), and a small (yet growing) retail presence---Barnes & Noble, The Bee Hive (operated by the First Lady of Wilkes-Barre), Tilbury's Knob, and pre-existing fixtures such as Marquis Art & Frame, Bartikowsky's, and Boscov's. Now one could realistically head Downtown from the Back Mountain to see a performance at the Kirby preceded by dinner at Cafe Toscana and followed by dessert at Blue Chip Gourmet. One could head Downtown from Mountain Top to take their family to enjoy the indoor rock climbing wall, a movie at Cinema 14, and perhaps a walk along the river at the new park. One could head Downtown from the increasingly suburbanized Pittston Area and sip a latte at the Starbuck's within Barnes & Noble while enjoying a free concert from a small local band. The intermodal transportation center has removed much of the "element" that used to bum cigarettes or "bus fare" off of Downtown business workers from Public Square, the city's epicenter.

Is Downtown Wilkes-Barre perfect? NO! However, the city looks better (and feels better) than at any other point in time since I was born back in 1986. The recovery in the city is palpable, and, for a change of pace, seems to be sustained. Sheena claims she has a few relatives/family friends who want to move to Wilkes-Barre, and I know some people who are also looking to move to the city.

Like W-B Proud I, too, wish to open my own Downtown business venture (or ventures). I have ideas in mind for two retail stores (one being a specialty fitness goods retailer I'd call "Strideway Fitness" that would cater to the growing local running/cycling community primarily and the other being an Edible Arrangements franchise, which is why I now work for them so I can learn the ropes). I'd also like to open up some sort of indoor family-friendly venue Downtown akin to the now-defunct Buzzy's Bazaar with indoor miniature golf, an arcade, laser tag, etc. to give families one more reason to see Downtown as a destination.

I remember when King's College used to try to keep prospective students and their families ON CAMPUS during tours at all possible costs at the risk of having them see the blight all over town and run in another direction. Now? Visiting families are encouraged to explore. My personal ax to grind is that most of Wilkes-Barre's redevelopment as of late Downtown has been along or SOUTH of Public Square, unfairly benefiting Wilkes University; however, I'm hopeful that more will be done to liven up the rather bleak stretch of North Main Street between King's and Public Square. Blue Cross of NEPA has a rather hideous building as its headquarters---a large footprint with no pedestrian-accessibility or -friendliness. The removal of blight to open the new "Gateway Corners" project was a step in the right direction. What else would I like to see Downtown?

1.) King's College has a MASSIVE surface parking lot along North Washington Street @ East North Street, roughly across from Beer Boys, Washington Florist, and Valley Seafood. I'd like to see the college eventually build a multi-story parking garage here for students to greatly reduce the land it is using onto perhaps the rear-right quadrant of the property in question and redevelop the parcels fronting both North Washington & East North Streets with a 3-story mixed-use project that would feature lofts targeted towards college professors, some street-level businesses that are missing from the King's neighborhood (King's should hold a "community" visioning session to determine what, if anything, would be in highest demand), and perhaps a college-exclusive business incubator to provide reduced-cost fees/services to students (and faculty) considering starting their own business ventures. I think a coffeehouse would be great at the corner of North Washington & East North (preferably something local, such as a sister location of Scranton's "Northern Light", even if the incoming NY/NJ students and their families might be more "impressed" by a sterile Starbuck's). Rounding out the other storefronts might be a laundromat, relocation of the Widmann Art Gallery from a campus spot that most locals don't know about to one where it would garner more public participation and interest, and maybe a chain fast-food restaurant that is popular with college students and would be unique to NEPA (Chipotle immediately comes to mind, as would Wilkes-Barre's first Chick-Fil-A). An ice cream parlor might be nice as well (maybe Manning's Dairy or Hillside Farms Dairy?)

Is this one a "pipe dream?" Somewhat. However, just a few years ago I never would have envisioned the old printing buildings now housing a beautiful mixed-use project like that only a block away through a partnership between King's and the Radnor Development Group, so envisioning this happening again on THAT parcel in another 7-10 years isn't ludicrous. I wish I was more tech-savvy, as I'd draw you all some renderings of what I envision for that huge "parking lot wasteland" that would help to gentrify the surrounding struggling residential area of the Near North End.

2.) Fix the &#^%&# fountain on Public Square! In Scranton Mayor Doherty has run the city into hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, yet in Wilkes-Barre Mayor Leighton says $30,000 is "too much" to spend to repair something that would serve as a HUGE draw to the square in the warmer months (and potentially the winter months, as it might be cool to let the exterior water freeze into a sculpture---without damaging the fountain itself---and then spray-paint the ice festively to serve as a draw). If Wilkes-Barre is going to penny-pinch here then I'd love to personally help launch an effort to fund the fountain's repair through donations. If each Wilkes-Barre resident gave just $1, the fountain would be fixed (and then some).

3.) More annual events need to be held. More PUBLICITY needs to occur, too, as very few people ever seem to know about what's going on in the Diamond City. I'd like to see "First Night" come to Wilkes-Barre, especially since Scranton might be losing theirs as their city council decided to fully tighten the city's belt. I'd like to see a regatta race held on the Susquehanna. I'd like the city to host more conventions for special interest groups and hobbyists. There's so much more that could be done to help put Wilkes-Barre "on the map".

4.) Downtown would really benefit from having a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or another well-known national grocer that would be unique to NEPA. Here in Pittsburgh the once-neglected East Liberty neighborhood (where I work) is now undergoing a renaissance, partially attributed to its newer Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and other businesses that have made the neighborhood more attractive as a LIVING option. Downtown Wilkes-Barre has had great success with selling the Elevations Lofts thus far, but more residents are needed to help sustain the positive momentum. More residents will come if there are more businesses available (i.e. a grocery store) to service them. Even if Trader Joe's or Whole Foods is a "pipe dream" why not a sister location of Clarks Summit's "Everything Natural" organic grocery store that attracts MANY Luzerne County patrons?

5.) Do &#*#&^@ something with the Hotel Sterling already! It's been "under renovations" for a decade now!
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:20 PM
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,767 posts, read 21,938,962 times
Reputation: 45114
Yeah when its Sheena season, you need a special permit for a Cougar gun that seeks out women dressed in black vintage cocktail dresses and Steve Madden heals. She can't run in those, I-)

RestonRummer - good points as always!
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:31 PM
525 posts, read 880,274 times
Reputation: 396
The one thing that scares me the most is the crime you read in the paper, and I check out the police blotter every day. We live about 3 blocks from Hazle & Stanton, and we have a lot of nice neighbors here and it's a good block. But besides the rhetoric "most of the people that get targeted are known by or involved with their attackers", you have to admit there are some random crimes too. I'd like to walk around & ride my bicycle more, but you never know if it's a risk. For that and walking to downtown from here, which is just over a mile. At least avoiding nights and weekends would be a plus. But in the several months we've been here I did read that someone was mugged or assaulted with a gun on the stairs by the wall near Bank/Hazle while either walking or on a bike, and shots were fired on Prospect St near High St., also on more than one occasion there have been violent crimes / muggings near Schiel's Market near Parrish & S. Main. If I could feel a bit more safe, I'd venture out more, but it still seems to touch-and-go, more so if I were to attempt a weekend walk after dark via Grove - Hazle - Main and then downtown to go to a club on foot or bike by myself.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:51 PM
1,245 posts, read 2,752,284 times
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Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post

2.) Fix the &#^%&# fountain on Public Square!
How about a pool? In the summer where do kids have to go? Swim in the river? Scranton, I believe has 4, possibly 5 public pools. I have been to two of them multiple times this past summer, and they always have kids and teens there.

Where are the WB kids going? More importantly, what are they doing instead.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:46 AM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,650 posts, read 65,855,824 times
Reputation: 15152
Originally Posted by Lehigh Valley Native View Post
How about a pool? In the summer where do kids have to go? Swim in the river? Scranton, I believe has 4, possibly 5 public pools. I have been to two of them multiple times this past summer, and they always have kids and teens there.

Where are the WB kids going? More importantly, what are they doing instead.
It's not perfect, but they're actually building a splash park at Coal Street Park for the kids. Doesn't one of the elementary schools (Dodson? Dan Flood?) have an indoor swimming pool that is open to the public during the summer?
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