U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Northeastern Pennsylvania
 [Register]
Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-25-2008, 01:58 PM
 
10 posts, read 30,056 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

I'm considering moving to Scranton PA. What kind of place is it? Who lives there? I know all stats, but I need your opinion about the place. Please help.

Thanks
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-26-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,728 posts, read 72,531,853 times
Reputation: 17593
You'd have more luck posting this in the correct sub-forum.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,374 posts, read 11,490,382 times
Reputation: 5828
You will also have more luck if you ask more pointed and specific questions, such as:

What kind of place is it in regards to nightlife, or shopping, or friendliness, crime, architecture, traffic, politics, outlook on life, ambitiousness, cleanliness, civic-mindedness, landscaping, parks, walkability, etc, etc, etc, whatever it is that's important to you. Don't fret too much, asking the broad amorphous questions are a rookie mistake, and as old-timers, we've gotten rather jaded about trying to divine the hidden intentions of newbie posters. And yes, it will also help if you post in the right subforum.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 08:32 PM
 
10 posts, read 30,056 times
Reputation: 11
I have lived and traveled all over Europe but here, in US of A I am a rookie, as you have so elegantly pointed out. I hope that you, jaded old-timers, can bring me up to speed here about Hazleton:
Is it a clean, walkable place populated by friendly, civic-minded, decent working people where one could walk everywhere, at all times, without fear and buy groceries without a car? I plan to rent a place, are there neighborhoods to avoid?
I don't need no nightlife or shopping (NYC is close enough) but I'd like fresh produce markets, are there any in the city? What about real, honest good food and bakeries?
How expensive (or cheap) are ordinary foodstuffs, like in a grocery store or fresh produce market?
How high is an average heat bill in winter?

Since you've been there long, long time, what's your take on Hazleton?
(By the way, "broad amorphous questions" are meant to illicit personal, interesting and unexpected replies, so feel free to express yourself).

Many thanks,
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2008, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,728 posts, read 72,531,853 times
Reputation: 17593
Scranton is the type of city where many people who are lifelong natives complain about how "awful" it is, yet they are also the very same folks who will throw your family a surprise charity spaghetti dinner at the neighborhood church in honor of your child, who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Scrantonians will beat their chests from the highest hilltops so everyone can know how "horrid" their hometown is, yet as soon as they are done foaming at the mouth they'll retire Main Avenue to salute a fallen fire fighter in a memorial procession. This forum in itself is a rather odd dichotomy. I can post a nice, uplifting thread about the city that will be torn to shreds. An hour later a new member from NJ can post an awful thread about the city, and they will ALSO be chased away. Do the people in Scranton "love" it or "hate" it?

Scranton, in many ways, is an enigma to me, and even though I can look out my office window right now and see the city lights off in the distance from my hilltop home, I still just haven't quite got the "hang" of understanding what it truly means to be a Scrantonian. I can be in the city limits in roughly ten minutes, yet people on this forum consider me to be an "outsider" (completely ignoring the fact that my own community ONLY exists due to the impending success or failure of Scranton). Judging by this forum and by city council meetings, incumbent Mayor Chris Doherty can be equivocated to Beelzebub himself, yet the mayor won his 2005 re-election bid very handily. People in Scranton whine "there are no businesses downtown," but then when new ones open they take bets to see which one will be the first to fall flat on its face. I never saw a city whose residents as a whole tend to derive so much pleasure from seeing their city's reputation falter in order to spite politicians, completely oblivious to the fact that a tainted image will lead to declining property values on their own investments.

Scranton is literally half the size it was in its heyday, with many residents sprawling out to the sterile suburbs, dying off in old age, or just relocating to other regions altogether due to being turned off by our climate or being unable to find work. People in Scranton demand higher wages and better quality jobs, yet they also malign the University of Scranton, one of MANY institutions of higher learning we are blessed to have in our region that, as an aggregate, produce thousands of talented young minds annually. How can a city without any college-educated younger people hope to attract any good employers when blue-collar work is fading fast in our nation as a whole? Then again, when I point something like this out, I'm called an "elitist." Go figure. I would LITERALLY get on my knees and kiss Chamber of Commerce President Austin Burke's derrière if that's what it took to get one of the "Big Four" public accounting firms to establish a presence here. I think we're quite honestly the largest metropolitan area in the country to NOT have at least one office of ONE of those firms in our boundaries!

Scranton will likely only succeed if it can properly "tap" (i.e. "leech") off of the success of growing adjacent metropolitan markets like NJ, NYC, the Lehigh Valley, or Harrisburg. Thousands of people already make the daily commute from NEPA to these areas in order to earn their living, and I, too, will likely join them in 2009, as will many of my friends. A commuter rail line is being pitched between Scranton and Hoboken, NJ (inner suburb of NYC), and most local response has been very, very negatives, since most natives hold an unfair prejudice AGAINST anything that might tighten our growing bond to Greater NYC for fear of what it "might" bring in the way of drugs, violence, welfare-abusing trash, etc. Come to think of it, people in Scranton tend to form preconceived negative opinions and criticize a LOT of things they know nothing about (cough...sexual orientations...cough), but I digress.

Despite all of its flaws though I WANT to raise my family someday in the Electric City, most likely in the Hyde Park neighborhood just west of Downtown. The city's residents may whine a lot and have "victimized" mentalities as they nail themselves to the cross with their Debbie Downer comments along the lines of "Woe are we Scrantonians, forced to shoulder the burden of the world on our shoulders worse than a third-world country," but they'd also be the first to give you the shirts off their backs as you stand shivering in the cold watching your house burning in front of you on Christmas Eve.

Scranton's architecture is very, very under appreciated, and I can't believe that the Lackawanna Historical Society does NOT make more of an effort to expose this mostly suburban county's residents to what ASSETS the city truly has---Victorian gems can be found around many corners. When I first started posting my photo tours, member bellafinzi, a moderator on the Upstate NY forum, poked her head in to make the comment "Wow! I always thought Scranton was just a bunch of little white houses crammed together in the valley because that's all you see from I-81!" That's the problem we have here. I-81 offers some downright BLAND views of our fair city, but once you get off the beaten path you'll be awestruck by parts of the Hill Section, Green Ridge, and parts of West Scranton.

I'm going to stop now before I get too many people incensed at me, but I just wanted to give you my true opinions of the city that I've been in a love-hate relationship with now for the past 22 years.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2008, 07:55 AM
 
10 posts, read 30,056 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you for a great essay on Scranton. I understand that you live in Pittston, are you familiar with Hazleton?. I was told some very nice things about Hazleton and statistics looks great.
Since I am not looking for employment, my requirements are about quality of life issues only.
You mentioned "drugs, violence, welfare-abusing trash, etc" -that's exactly what I do not need - I've seen enough garbage (I live in Westchester county, north of NYC). It may be unrealistic or naive, but I'm looking for the old, decent America yet I must be a couple of hours away from NYC because of family issues.
I completely agree with Scrantonians being against "anything that might tighten our growing bond to Greater NYC" and I hope that Hazleton's citizenry feels the same way.
I will greatly appreciate your opinions on Hazleton.

P.S. If you plan to visit Europe - let me know. I am very familiar with it.
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,728 posts, read 72,531,853 times
Reputation: 17593
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjohn8 View Post
Thank you for a great essay on Scranton. I understand that you live in Pittston, are you familiar with Hazleton?. I was told some very nice things about Hazleton and statistics looks great.
Since I am not looking for employment, my requirements are about quality of life issues only.
You mentioned "drugs, violence, welfare-abusing trash, etc" -that's exactly what I do not need - I've seen enough garbage (I live in Westchester county, north of NYC). It may be unrealistic or naive, but I'm looking for the old, decent America yet I must be a couple of hours away from NYC because of family issues.
I completely agree with Scrantonians being against "anything that might tighten our growing bond to Greater NYC" and I hope that Hazleton's citizenry feels the same way.
I will greatly appreciate your opinions on Hazleton.

P.S. If you plan to visit Europe - let me know. I am very familiar with it.
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
There has been quite a bit of blue-collar growth recently, despite the recession, in Lower Luzerne County (home to Hazleton), and a new cargo airport is being proposed that may bring in even more industry. Amazon.com recently came to the outskirts of Hazleton and built a very large distribution center, employing hundreds. The city sits just off the juncture of I-80 and I-81, two major highways, so I expect this blue-collar growth, centered mostly around distribution centers and transportation, to continue. The city proper of Hazleton leaves much to be desired, in my opinion. There are still some good neighborhoods left, but from what I've seen in the Standard-Speaker, the city's newspaper, there is far too much crime for a city of merely 25,000.

Just north of the city, Butler Township (Drums) is the most rapidly-growing community out of the 76 in Luzerne County, going from a population of just 6,000 in 1990 to nearly 10,000 today. If current growth rates continue it will overtake Hanover Township, Plains Township, and Kingston to become the county's third-largest municipality behind Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton by 2020 or so. Greater Hazleton has seen a very heavy influx of Hispanic residents since 1990, and that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. The city even has its own Spanish newspaper, El Mensajero, which means "The Messenger," and many Latino-oriented small businesses. I believe a local radio station has now started broadcasting in Spanish as well. This has caused quite a bit of racial and sociocultural tension in Greater Hazleton in recent years. You may want to Google Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta sometime to read up on his controversial attempts to sweep illegal immigrants out of his city that were quashed by the judicial system.

Hazleton's shopping/dining options are very limited, and many folks continue to head north up I-81 into Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for most of these needs. There is the Laurel Mall just outside of the city along with some big-box stores like Lowe's and Wal-Mart, but there is no Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Target, and many others. Overall I wouldn't live in Hazleton, but that's
not to say that you shouldn't feel free to scope it out for yourself to see what sort of aura it emanates to you.

That "resistance to NYC" is pretty much throughout the Lackawanna/Luzerne County urban corridor. People in the Poconos have now mostly surrendered to the growth from the BosWash Corridor, especially now that there are more people in the Poconos that are NY/NJ natives than PA natives. The "hold outs" in the Poconos that resent the NY/NJ influx have mostly been buying building lots or homes closer to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre trying to "escape" the transplant influx in Monroe and Pike Counties or simply to reduce their driving times to work/conveniences. The growth has its positives and negatives associated with it. Just look at this forum for great examples of wonderful people who have transplanted themselves to our region from NY/NJ or SEPA---coartist88, Summering, I LOVE PA, NYRangers 2008, memoriesbre, poconosmama, Jimmy Lane, Chefkey, Karnak, EnyaGirl, JLStorm, ScrantonVideoProduction, etc., etc. I hang around so many friends from NYC/NJ that I have now picked up on a bit of their accent as well. I used to say things playfully as some mere "jostling," but now the curse has stuck as I now have to THINK before I speak to avoid blurting out "wooder" instead of "water!" I say let's roll out the welcome mat in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the transplants so that they can renovate older homes, open up small businesses in our downtowns, reinvigorate dwindling houses of worship, demand better politicians, and boost our aging and declining tax bases. Unfortunately most (not all) of the transplants into Lackawanna/Luzerne Counties are flooding in droves to the exploding suburbs---Back Mountain, Mountain Top, The Abingtons, North Pocono, and Greater Pittston and by-passing the core cities of Scranton, Pittston, and Wilkes-Barre entirely. I appreciate the fact that our area's image has improved enough to the point of being able to reverse its decades-long population decline in the past several years, but I'm NOT pleased that it has come at the expense of our beautiful natural surroundings with these transplants felling trees left and right to build NEW McMansions in large-scale subdivisions because the 2,000+ existing homes on the market just "aren't up to par."

If you're looking for the "old, decent America," then might I suggest one of the following communities:

West Pittston: Nestled on the waterfront of the Susquehanna River, West Pittston, also known as the "Garden Village," is home to just under 5,000 residents and has sidewalks, tree-lined streets, historic homes, independent businesses, and various annual community events, including the Cherry Blossom Festival and Historic Open House Tour. Most people in West Pittston have been born and raised in Luzerne County, traveling sparingly, so they are largely "sheltered" from the BosWash Corridor's ever-approaching influence upon NEPA. There have been two strong-armed muggings here in 2008, but I attribute this to the recession more than anything as crime is otherwise very, very rare here. You'd be about 15 minutes from either Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, as well as being in the generally well-regarded Wyoming Area School District, both of which would help you to gain on your investment if you ever chose to sell.

Check out my //www.city-data.com/forum/north...hoto-tour.html
for more details.

Forty Fort: Just downriver a few miles from West Pittston sits Forty Fort with its convenient location about 1.5 miles from rebounding Downtown Wilkes-Barre and adjacent to Route 309 for easy access to the malls/big-box stores and I-81. Forty Fort is essentially a mirror image of West Pittston, perhaps with some less grand architecture that has a lot more in the way of Cape Cods and Craftsman-styles in the mid-$100k range as opposed to the higher-end homes in the high-$200k range in Victorian-enriched West Pittston. Forty Fort, despite being located in the mediocre Wyoming Valley West School District, has always been a sought-after town for a lot of Wilkes-Barre's professionals, so property values should hold steady.

Carbondale: Carbondale is a bit of an "off-the-wall" suggestion for you and is often referenced as "Garbagedale" by people from the more immediate Scranton area, but a lot of that is unwarranted. The Carbondale Area School District is pretty sub-par, hence why it is not a destination for newer young families into our region, but the town proper just drips and oozes potential from every pore. People in Carbondale tend to be very insular and suspicious of "outsiders" coming in and taking over, so if you're looking for a location within easy reach of NYC that still offers resistance to that sociocultural shift heading our way, then Carbondale might be an oft-forgotten suggestion for you. The only REAL down side to Carbondale is its location. There are no big-box stores here, and the downtown is seriously lacking retail. There really aren't even many good restaurants there either. People are forced to hop on the Casey Highway (U.S. Route 6) for a drive down to Dickson City/Scranton or over to Honesdale for most of their needs. Real estate is DIRT cheap here, so I'm surprised more transplants haven't been scoping out Carbondale for property-flipping opportunities.

Check out my //www.city-data.com/forum/north...hoto-tour.html
for more information on the Pioneer City.

Honesdale: You truly can't get much more "Norman Rockwell" than Honesdale with its genteel population that still pauses at crosswalks to wave pedestrians across its pleasantly-restored Main Street. The town is pretty well self-sustaining with a Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart just east of town, and its downtown core has a great mix of retail and restaurants that makes it a very walkable community. Milford, Stroudsburg, and Jim Thorpe, the three other county seats in the Pocono Mountains, have all been overrun with transplants, but Honesdale remains the best-kept secret we have. The town's popular annual festivals (Rhythms & Roots, Fall Harvest, Christmas, etc.) attract HORDES of tourists from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, NY, and NJ, so be prepared for some God-awful traffic congestion in the town proper during these times. When I think "Americana" an image of Main Street in Honesdale is conjured up in my mind.

Be blown away by the charm of this community with my photo tour: //www.city-data.com/forum/north...art-three.html

I'll add more as they come to mind. Hope this helps a bit to get you started in the interim!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2008, 04:54 PM
 
10 posts, read 30,056 times
Reputation: 11
Dear ScranBarre,You can't imagine how much you've helped me now! Thanks very much!Will you mind if I ask you for some more info on this subject?Best regards,
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2008, 07:35 PM
 
28 posts, read 85,128 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
......Scranton will likely only succeed if it can properly "tap" (i.e. "leech") off of the success of growing adjacent metropolitan markets like NJ, NYC, the Lehigh Valley, or Harrisburg. Thousands of people already make the daily commute from NEPA to these areas in order to earn their living, and I, too, will likely join them in 2009, as will many of my friends. A commuter rail line is being pitched between Scranton and Hoboken, NJ (inner suburb of NYC), and most local response has been very, very negatives, since most natives hold an unfair prejudice AGAINST anything that might tighten our growing bond to Greater NYC for fear of what it "might" bring in the way of drugs, violence, welfare-abusing trash, etc. Come to think of it, people in Scranton tend to form preconceived negative opinions and criticize a LOT of things they know nothing about (cough...sexual orientations...cough), but I digress......
Well-said.. However, there is only on thing I kept hearing ever since I came from NJ to NEPA....about that 'commuter rail line' that seems to be non-existent.

I personally would not have it done unless it guarantees exactly that the locals only would use it, or decent people that would not trash NEPA with their presence, or people that are NOT trouble-makers........ People from NY are just the nastiest (Orange County all the way from Port Jervis), I see them every day on the Metro North train (Main Line). There are people there that drink alcoholic beverages, go rowdy and harass people for no reason. I see two fat women seating across each other very day on TWO three-seaters with peanut bags and bottles of whisky, the most horrendous thing you can see on a daily commute car Monday to Friday (word picture....ewww).. ...The 4:50 PM train from Hoboken is the worst ever.....if you want to experience personally the 'Animal House' train ride of your nightmares, just take that train alone. You will then wish you do not have that trash plopped into Scranton.

Just a thought
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2008, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Collegeville PA & Towamensing Trails
513 posts, read 1,009,475 times
Reputation: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjohn8 View Post
Dear ScranBarre,You can't imagine how much you've helped me now! Thanks very much!Will you mind if I ask you for some more info on this subject?Best regards,
The population of the city of Hazleton has got to be 50% recently immigrated Hispanics. Not sure if that's your idea of "old America".
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Northeastern Pennsylvania
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:24 PM.

¬© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top