Binghamton New York is a city which has recently taken a dive, but which is beloved by its residents. The city itself has witnessed better economic times and has succumbed somewhat to the drug traffic between New York City and Syracuse, but its beauty is still in the background and there are people who aim to bring Binghamton back to its former glory. The city is home to a fair deal of drug trafficking which could be worse if the people of Binghamton did not hold a love of their city and demand control of the drug trade. Binghamton has much more to offer than its reputation of being a stopover for New York City vagrants, and it shows through numerous businesses and groups who want to breathe new life into Binghamton.
Every city has drug related problems, which makes Binghamton no different than any other town. The issue in Binghamton, however, is that the city is a natural hub through central New York. In the past, the train station was a popular place – it was the main portal for trains up and down the East Coast. When three highways were run through the area, that train station lost popularity and the traffic slowly changed from trains to drugs. As the drug trade increased, so did the reaction of the residents of the town. These residents were not only those who had lived in the area for generations, they were also previous New York City residents who had moved to Binghamton, trying to pull their families away from the crime of the city. Together, residents pushed for better drug control to keep the city from falling to complete ruin.
Binghamton Won’t Die
As businesses lost their foothold in Binghamton and had to leave, buildings began to stand empty in the downtown area. As the residents of Binghamton and the surrounding area rose up to speak out against the drugs and natural health issues which followed, politicians aimed to rebuild the downtown area. Advocacy groups swooped into downtown to deliver education on sexual health and drug rehabilitation.
Politicians encouraged a number of new businesses to come to the area, including the Galaxy Brewing Company and Freshy Sites on Court Street. The town began to host a First Friday night, where downtown businesses could open their doors on the first Friday of every month and artists could feature their works. Gorgeous Washington Street was built. Art galleries and coffee shops were encouraged to vacate the empty shops. The plan worked; downtown Binghamton began to transform from something falling apart to a promising area of commerce.
The Metrocenter, a Binghamton mainstay, began rebuilding as well. It is a two-level area for offices and store fronts, but these days, it includes more personal offices than wares for sale. Binghamton is determined to change this and will host farmer’s markets inside this mini-mall. Before visitors go into the Metrocenter, they will walk on Binghamton’s star walk, where anyone famous from the Binghamton area is honored with a star on the sidewalk. This central attraction isn’t the only place trying to bring Binghamton back, however. The Greater Binghamton Innovation Center on Court Street strives to provide area businessmen with a place to gather and hold meetings with all the necessary amenities, such as high speed Internet, phones, cameras for Skype meetings, faxes and quiet rooms. Together, art and business meet to try to recreate the greatness that once was Binghamton, New York.
History also takes a stand downtown with the train station still standing on Lewis Street. The Lackawanna Train Station still runs trains, but it also homes offices and areas for young families. It has been renovated as of 2013 and continues to hope for new businesses in its separate rooms. This train station is lucky to remain; since its construction in 1900 it has been slated for demolition more than once. It is now designated as an historical landmark and will not be on the demolition list again.
Making a Strong Comeback
Binghamton has drugs and illnesses, as does every other city in America. However, Binghamton also has something other cities might lack: a strong, diverse residency, determined to not let Binghamton die. Together, businessmen, residents and politicians work to bring Binghamton back and healthier than before. On any given week day, a visitor can see the scars of past Binghamton glory, but the future of a brighter Binghamton is also plainly evident. The residents of Binghamton are proud and eager to offer outsiders more than just the shady neighbor or drug-laden street. We strive to rebuild our city to its former glory of the train days.