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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Schenectady is an industrial city located in Upstate NY. Upstate means 'north of Westchester County' to us living here. For those living in the Adirondacks, Upstate means 'north of the Mohawk River.' It's funny how no one upstate wants to be associated with those farther south...

Anyway, Schenectady's industry has been in decline for many years. Formerly known as The City that Lights and Hauls the World due to being the home of General Electric and American Locomotive, neither is flourishing here anymore. ALCO is gone entirely, and GE has pared the plant to a shade of it's former size.

Former Mayor Jurczynski (pronounced jur-ZIN-ski) decided to do something about the declining fortunes (and population) of the city, and encouraged Guyanese immigrants living in Queens to move up here, buy some of our run-down houses and rebuild. It was a somewhat controversial decision, but now, 6 years later, I can say that it has been a good decision with very positive results for the city.

Instead of dilapidated and condemned houses sitting on trash-strewn property, these hard-working men and women have cleaned, painted, sided and renovated so that the properties are a thing of beauty. Instead of absentee landlords who rarely care for the property or tenants, these are owner-occupied, with all the pride and care that goes along with that.

I have several Guyanese neighbours, and I love walking by their homes when they're cooking dinner! Such lovely aromas!

By the way, we pronounce the name of our city skuh-NEK-tuh-dee.

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