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Old 02-02-2013, 07:03 PM
 
7 posts, read 25,659 times
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Hi.

Checking out real estate from afar, and see that Pottsville has some genuinely bottom-rung prices on what appear to be run down Victorian era row homes. The addresses seem to be concentrated on Norwegian St. and Center St. Both have a variety of housing stock available from $10,000 up to about $40,000 dollars.

Now, I recognize that in any city setting, the least expensive housing is going to be the least desirable area.

But my question is: just how bad an area are we talking, here? From the data, the city doesn't appear to have any particular trouble with violent crime. Are these areas simply run down and poor, and full of fixer-uppers? Or is this bona fide ghetto, where meth heads are running amok and you take you life in your hands if you're out walking after dark?

Any input from locals or those familiar with Pottsville is appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
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I drove through it once by accident. It was very congested and hard to get back out of and I was glad to make it out with no plans to return. Tons of tight streets lined with rowhomes. I just did google earth street and made my way down some back roads. It's not a place I think I would like to live. Try Google earth street view if you haven't yet and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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Hey Chefkey, thanks for replying so quickly.

I will check it out on G-Earth. Good idea.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume that tightly congested streets lined with rowhomes actually appeal to me for some bizarre reason. Which they do. Looking specifically for safety, comfort, etc.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
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it reminded me a little of Red Bank NJ but less upscale. A Blue Collar Red Bank is a good description. If you like red brick rowhomes and town feel main streets then maybe it will be a good fit for you. It is sort of in the middle of no where though. I ended up in it when I was joy riding and took a wrong turn.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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I lived 30 mts north/northeast in Lavelle/Ashland. When I was working in Reading I would commute through Pottsville going to and from work.

In order to understand Pottsville one must understand Schuylkill County.
I love and respect Coal Country which goes a very long way in not only understanding the area but accepting the area.
Pottsville/St.Clair is the largest metropolitan area in Schuylkill County.

The Pottsville area is a concentrated version of the rest of Schuylkill County which overall is economically depressed and has been since a large number of coal mines were shuttered thirty plus years ago.

Because of this there is a very large population of multi generational white poverty coloring the landscape.

The area is very indicative of Appalachia, both in landscape and poverty found in southern West Virginia.

Pottsville has had it's share of problems due to the history I've mentioned.
You have a moderate undertow of drug problems, a persistent mistrust of outsiders by many long term residents and a stubborn unemployment/underemployment problem.

On the other side of that coin you have commuters that work in the Reading area and find Pottsville's low cost of living a huge plus.

Because of these residents you see commerce in the city.
Yuengling Brewery which is America's oldest brewery is located downtown and brings a decent share of locally good paying jobs and with that, money generation in the community.

There has been a long term revitalization effort in Pottsville by the city for many years and in many ways you can see it.

The city is nestled in a "" bowl "" being surrounded by the mountains of the area which in my opinion makes the city very beautiful from different vantage points.

The underlying issue with Pottsville and Schuylkill County as a whole is a lack of opportunity for long term residents concerning education and the opportunities afforded by that.

You will notice the poverty as it's reflected in the areas multi generational families.
You will also notice the commuters and their families as a sometimes stark contrast to the former.

Pottsville's "" bad "" areas of town are visually not a true assault on the eyes as is the case in the poor areas of Reading and Allentown.

The city has ample shopping for groceries and other staples of daily living.

I personally love Pottsville and if my wife and I didn't work in Allentown we would find ourselves back in Schuylkill County residing in that city due to the topography and history that is represented in coal country.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:53 AM
 
7 posts, read 25,659 times
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Awesome post, Julian. Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions in such depth!

Please tell me if I'm off base here, but what I'm reading into your post is that maybe because the city as a WHOLE is so blue collar, and there isn't so much wealth diversity, that there's relatively little social/class conflict.

Would you guys in general say these row-homey areas are safe to walk down alone? Even after dark?

Thanks again for the great responses so far. Leaning heavily toward taking a little time off and traveling east to take a look.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:03 AM
 
7 posts, read 25,659 times
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Would be really happy to see anyone with good, relevant websites from/about Pottsville. Obviously, I can google "Pottsville" and see what's there on page one. Just wondering if anybody knows of any others that aren't search engine optimized.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
2,311 posts, read 3,216,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finbabble Garp View Post
Awesome post, Julian. Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions in such depth!

Please tell me if I'm off base here, but what I'm reading into your post is that maybe because the city as a WHOLE is so blue collar, and there isn't so much wealth diversity, that there's relatively little social/class conflict.

Would you guys in general say these row-homey areas are safe to walk down alone? Even after dark?

Thanks again for the great responses so far. Leaning heavily toward taking a little time off and traveling east to take a look.

Thank you. :O) I'm a fan of Pottsville so it was easy to tell you about it.

Pottsville is a snapshot if you will of what Schuylkill County as a whole is and that is a picture of the struggle of what can happen when an entire area's economic engine gets almost entirely shut down.

When the southern anthracite coal fields directly fed Pottsville economically the city and the county were extremely wealthy.

Multi generations of coal miners and those that worked in the coal breakers and other related businesses made Schuykill County the place to reside and raise a family.
Pottsville was in the epicenter of this and as a result was the hustling bustling big city that represented King Coal and the proud people that called it their lives.

The mid seventies saw a loss of many of these jobs due to the ongoing deindustrialization in the United States causing a sharp drop in Anthracite coal usage.

Schuykill County became the exact opposite of what it had grown used to being and that was an area in rapid decline.
Forty years of struggle and continued loss of mining have left a huge indelible imprint on the area.

Schuykill County's almost 100 percent Caucasian population makeup has been altered to an extent by the influx of extremely poor Puerto Rican and to a lesser extent Dominican populous from Reading as well as NYC and northern NJ.

This influx caused and still does cause notable friction between Schuykill County's multi generational white residents and the newer Latino population.

In July 2008 the town of Shenandoah was the site of a race charged beating resulting in the death an illegal Mexican immigrant named Luis Ramirez by three white teenagers.

Two police officers were also convicted of attempted evidence manipulation related to the crime.

To answer your question about walking after dark; I myself along with my wife would not hesitate to walk anywhere around Pottsville after dark.

The police department and related agencies have done their jobs in keeping Pottsville clean of the types of crime you see in Reading Allentown, etc.

I will not say there is not drug dealing methamphetamine production, etc going on in the area because there is despite the best efforts of law enforcement.

What you don't see is the absolute abject poverty of the migrant Latino population causing crime and everything associated with it.

That was not a racist statement but a statement based on fact.

Plenty of issues concerning crime have been and are perpetuated by Caucasian citizenry but what you don't see in Pottsville is the inevitable friction that arises when cultures collide like you see in Reading.

Pottsville's revitalization efforts have been successful mainly because of the lack of the lead weight of an immigrant group weighing down the cities financial recovery.

There is a long way to go but overall Pottsville is a viable and desirable place to call home based on the continued efforts of those that refuse to allow the area they love die.

Last edited by julian17033; 02-03-2013 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:54 PM
 
7 posts, read 25,659 times
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Thanks again for all the info and insight. Eager now to share it with the wife, after which she and I may plan our official recon trip to Coal Country.

Anyone else with anything to add would still be very welcome! More info is never a bad thing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:37 PM
 
2,401 posts, read 2,490,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finbabble Garp View Post
Thanks again for all the info and insight. Eager now to share it with the wife, after which she and I may plan our official recon trip to Coal Country.

Anyone else with anything to add would still be very welcome! More info is never a bad thing.
We have enjoyed the pizza and beer at this newish place just outside of Pottsville. It has many old pictures on walls with a ice coal country motif. Obviously mostly Italian fare and Yuengling (lite is decent on draft for lunch).http://vitoscoalfiredpizza.com/ Vito's Coal Fired Pizza, Saint Clair, PA

If I recall correctly the owner relocated from NYC.

(apologize for the messy link...can't figure out why it is doing that...)

Last edited by toobusytoday; 02-03-2013 at 10:28 PM.. Reason: May have fixed link
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