Moving To Syracuse, seeking advice
July 27, 2007 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Moving to Syracuse - good neighborhoods? Any advice? Restaurant recommendations welcomed too.

My husband has just accepted a job in downtown Syracuse. YAY! We are going down this weekend to look at neighborhoods and possible apartments (we are going to rent for at least a year before buying).

I don't drive, so we need to live somewhere that I can walk to some stores and a bus stop at least. Eastwood sounds like it might be a good fit for us. We are a little worried about the crime though. I know crime is everywhere, but I've heard that some parts of Eastwood are a bit nicer - would that be the parts further east. Are there any other neighborhoods people would recommend?

We would be willing to go outside the city too possibly if there's any little towns where it's not too far of a drive and I could walk places or take the bus. Liverpool?

I'd also be into restaurant recommendations, especially sushi, Thai, or Indian.

Also if anyone knows of galleries where I could sell my somewhat whimsical paintings.

Has anyone who's a US citizen moved across the border with their household goods? Some of the stuff is from the US but some was bought in Canada and we don't have receipts for everything. We have been here legally.

Lastly, we know that Syracuse is not like Toronto and we aren't expecting it to be.

Thank you for any help.
posted by Melsky to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Yay! A question that I can be helpful with!

Do not stress about crime. I repeat, do not stress about crime. It is possible to live happily in Syracuse. It is true that there are some rough areas, but as most people know, that is true of pretty much anywhere.

Eastwood may be a good choice. I live on the North Side at the moment (and I'm just a few minutes walk down James St. to Eastwood) and the thing about this neck of the woods is that the neighborhoods are very changeable. You can literally be in the "ghetto" one minute and in the high-end Sedgewick area the next. It's good that you'll be coming to look for that reason.

You might also want to check out the University and Westcott neighborhoods, Hawley-Green (which is the "up and coming" gay-borhood)... I could go on. There are good neighborhoods all over the city. I lived in Liverpool for a short while and it's an easy drive and a pleasant suburb. Syracuse is actually a decently walkable city, though, so I would suggest trying to stay here. We found a great apartment in an area that some might call questionable... but we have a fireplace, granite countertops, tons of room. It pays to look!

There is a decent art scene and because it's not a huge city, I think you can easily make your way. One of our good friends does well selling jewelry here and in NYC.

I'm going to talk about restaurants in a separate post...
posted by stefnet at 11:38 AM on July 27, 2007

I'm pretty much going to give you a bunch of restaurant and food-related links that should provide you with a decent overview of the options (also, feel free to visit my food site through my main page on my profile). Personally, I think the Syracuse area has a lot to offer and is primed for a lot of exciting things, food-wise.

- CNY Menus (tons of menus for area restaurants - helpful before and after you move)
- Cookin' in the Cuse
- Walkable Eastwood (has some restaurant mentions)
- Dave's List (some of the options that don't get mentioned often enough)

That should get you started. You'll also be in the land of Wegmans (although there are some very good independent local grocers as well), a great food co-op (i'm on the board), a bunch of awesome farmer's markets, and little ethnic food shops. One should not decry a lack of food in Syracuse.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any other information. I happen to love Syracuse and I think it gets a bum rap a lot of the time. It has a lot going for it if you are willing to give it a chance.
posted by stefnet at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

+1 for the YAY to Syracuse.

I do love the neighbourhood around the university, along lancaster/euclid that may be a bit too "college-friendly" for your liking or apartments south of campus are a nice mix of post-grad students and professionals who work at the university or downtown. Buses are available to downtown and other parts from most areas around campus.

You may like
sushi teriyaki house
taste of india (i think its in liverpool)
dinosaur bbq in downtown -- nothing like it

i have friends in the city so feel free to ask for any other/specific information

Go Orange !
posted by cusecase at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2007

stefnet has good advice about housing. Be sure to check craigslist and

Our favorite places to eat (all easily googlable, see also as mentioned above):
Alto Cinco, pseudo-Mex
bc, great special monthly dinners
Tokyo Seoul, sushi and Korean
l'Adour, great French brunch
Sahota Palace, like the other Indian mentioned above, also in Liverpool, but that's like a 15-minute drive from almost anywhere in town
China Road in Mattydale
Erawan, no-attitude Thai
Dinosaur BBQ
Ambrosia if you're feeling hoitytoity
Kitty Hoyne's for Guinness, fish & chips, and Joyce

Feel free to get in touch. I moved here from TO three years ago. I'm a US citizen; had zero trouble coming back across.
posted by gleuschk at 4:25 PM on July 27, 2007

Good luck!

You will want to consider getting a car. There are many beautiful places in Central New York to visit that you will not be able to catch a bus to. The state park system has some incredible places to visit.

gleuschk's restaurant list is pretty solid. I'd have to say that Dinosaur is probably the place (if you are a meat eater) that you should go to first. There is a Thai place near Dinosaur that sells amazing yellow curry.
posted by rachelpapers at 6:37 PM on July 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the good advice. We are really looking forward to our move.

By the way, we do have a car, I just don't drive it my husband does. He's from Binghamton and is familiar with the general area. His mom went to school at Syracuse and his sister lives there. But they tend to prefer a much more suburban way of life. I think his sister was horrified that we are thinking of living in Eastwood and I expect we will be sitting through a dinner with them trying to convince us to move somewhere "nice".
posted by Melsky at 7:56 PM on July 27, 2007

Since you mentioned small towns outside of Syracuse, the town of Manlius is lovely. There are some apartment complexes where you would be within walking distance of grocery stores, library, parks (they have a swan pond!) and shops.

Manlius has a nice Main Street with boutique shops, you may be able to find some place to sell your paintings in town. Commute to Syracuse is going to be about 30 minutes each way (note: it has been a long time since I have lived in the area, this may have changed).

Try Danzers in Syracuse for an awesome reuben.
posted by effigy at 9:52 PM on July 27, 2007

Syracuse has some great stuff, but it is far from Toronto. First, Centro has been defunded terribly, so you need to think in terms of driving or living close to your work. The first suggestions I'd have for places to move is the periphery of the University area. The blocks past westcott are nice, much fewer undergrads (lots of grad students and some professors), decent rents, and in walking distance to the westcott street area. Drive between euclid and barry park, there's a food co-op down there, it is nice.
Second place, closer to downtown, there is a neghbor hood just north of where 690 and 81 meet (a few blocks east of where the old bookstore My Sisters Words used to be), and there's a hidden pocket of a bunch of really nice, but affordable, houses over there. But if you can't drive, the area described first will be better.
As for food, the suggestions above are good. You'll want to explore the thai on erie blvd, the indian hidden near the bus intersection downtown (don't worry, you'll find that asap), alto cinco on westcott, syrajuice and the rest of the university strip, and armory square.

As for crime, Syracuse is a city on life support. Almost all the manufacturing jobs have left due to nafta and other crooked trade agreements, the biggest new venture/swindle is a mall expansion (i.e., more minimum wage jobs). So there's a bit of poverty and hopelessness, but there's also a lot of hardy people plugging away, especially in some of the poorest neighborhoods. It desperately needs people who are invested in making it better, so have fun and good luck.
posted by history is a weapon at 7:36 AM on July 28, 2007

Dinosaur Barbeque is the best.
posted by radsqd at 3:00 PM on July 29, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice everyone. We rented a house in Eastwood.
posted by Melsky at 7:55 PM on July 29, 2007

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