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Letter: Residents should support revitalization of East Side

Residents should support revitalization of East Side

I grew up on the East Side when Jefferson Avenue was the place to be. You could buy almost everything there and find work there. Hamlin Park was filled with schools that were not failing and beautiful homes that did not need repair. We played on tree-lined streets that had no abandoned buildings or vacant lots. Then, the lively East Side began to fade.

Local pastors have now revitalized urban areas surrounding their churches by acquiring property and building homes, opening businesses and creating jobs. A billion dollars has arrived in Buffalo and development plans are in place. But the East Side and the downtown area known as the African-American Heritage Corridor need the support of those who live and work in the City of Good Neighbors.

Support organizations such as the Colored Musicians Club in downtown Buffalo, and the Paul Robeson Theater. Try Southern food at East Side restaurants and shop at East Side boutiques. The African-American Heritage Corridor, rich with cultural history and tours, is the perfect destination for school field trips.

I enjoy going to other neighborhoods for Canalside events, the Broadway Market, Allentown and the Italian Festival. But residents living in other parts of Buffalo seldom come to the East Side to dine, shop and experience the culture. That’s why the economy declined over the years.

As the Buffalo Billion initiative begins to trickle down and the East Side continues to get revitalized and back on its feet, I hope the people in the City of Good Neighbors will come and shop and live and work. Everyone thought the East Side was down for the count. But it will be known as the “comeback kid” and I know it will soon become one of your favorite neighborhood destinations in Buffalo.

LaVinia G. Hairston