Northside Revealed Bus Tour shows new side to historic neighborhood

003On Thursday April 16, Northside UP, Hopeprint, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and the Central New York Community Foundation collaborated to showcase the changing dynamic of Syracuse’s Northside neighborhood on a 40-minute bus tour. The bus tour had 11 stops through the historic neighborhood to demonstrate examples of new developments and investment in the neighborhood.

Syracuse’s Northside started off as a primarily Italian and German community when the city developed. After World War II, the trend of suburbanization caused residents to leave the neighborhood for surrounding towns. Many local nonprofit organizations are working to transform this neighborhood back into a thriving community.053

The Northside is now a destination point for refugees coming to Syracuse from all over the world. The area’s new locally owned businesses reflect this multiculturalism. Director of Northside UP, Dominic Robinson, said that they aim to “empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.” These locally owned restaurants and businesses found on the Northside strengthen the neighborhood’s economy and the sense of community.012

After the bus tour finished, participants entered St. Joseph’s Hospital to taste a sampling of food from the new restaurants and listen to a panel moderated by Robinson. Food from three Northside startups—Bhutan House Restaurant, Aloha Japanese Bento Express and That’s What’s Up (American comfort food with a twist)—catered the event. The panel featured Laura Serway and Cindy Seymour, owners of Laci’s Tapas Bar and Laci’s Lunchbox; Jai Subedi, a refugee from Bhutan and case manager for Interfaith Works Center for New Americans; and Joe Russo, a Northside resident who grew up in the neighborhood when it was still a largely Italian area.

Although the panel acknowledged that the Northside still faces unique problems, they concluded that its new settlers continue to carry the spirit of this historic neighborhood.

See photos of the event here.

For more information about destinations in the Northside, visit Northside UP’s directory.

To hear more about Jai Subedi’s story as a refugee, listen to his StoryCorps podcast.

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