The Scranton Hill Section is one of the most incredible areas in the country. Or maybe that's my biased opinion.
Just take a walk! You'll stroll through a quaint college campus at the University of Scranton. Step off campus and you'll find a mix of new and older commercial buildings with small shops to enjoy.
Start climbing up the Hill and the first thing you'll notice is abandoned properties, empty lots, and multi-family homes that have seen the wear and tear from the abuse brought on by wild college parties. Not the kind of place you'd want your small kids growing up. But keep walking.
It's unbelievable, but in just minutes and before you break a sweat, you'll be gaping at huge mansions from the turn of the century! They are spectacularly maintained and are architectural marvels. The conglomeration of the old and the new, the beautiful and the ugly, the pristine and the scary is just surreal.
The Hill Section clearly has a way to go to clear it's bad name. Even though there are large sections with homes and neighborhoods you would dream about, the overall connotation of "The Hill" still sends a shiver down the spines of many people. If they could see past this, they would find beautiful neighborhoods, like the Upper Hill, east (and uphill) of Harrison Ave.
An article in The Scranton Times brought my attention to The Hill today. I'm glad that the city has made the restoration of The Hill Section a top priority. It was no surprise that Mayor Doherty's master plan centered around the revitalization of Nay Aug Park, situated at the very top of Scranton's Hill Section.
After reading the article you can see that there has been a concentrated effort to enhance the appearance of The Hill. For years, the District Attorney's office has been sending convicted criminals to clean up vacant lots that used to look like mini-landfills. I'm glad to see the effort and the commitment from the D.A.'s office.
Now if we can only figure out what to do about South Side and West Side while maintaining the other sections of the city, we'll be just fine. I'm looking forward to the renaissance of Scranton and NEPA (Northeast PA).