Syracuse is often referred to as the Crossroads of New York State not only because of its physical location in the state's center but also because Interstates 90 and 81 intersect in Syracuse. The population of Syracuse in 2007 was around 140,000. Syracuse is also home to the largest airport in Central New York. The city is known for a vibrant arts scene and as a popular destination for conventions. It's also a university town, with Syracuse University and other campuses clustered there.
Syracuse was named for a city in Sicily, but the similarities end there. Unlike its Italian counterpart, Syracuse is known for especially harsh winters. The average annual snowfall tops 115 inches (9.6 feet).
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTSSome of the 26 distinct neighborhoods in Syracuse are:
- Downtown: The business center of the city is built around several urban parks and squares, like Clinton Square with stately 1800s buildings.
- Westside: A mixed commercial and residential area. Car dealers line Automobile Row. Other areas, like Skunk City, have struggled with decay.
- Far Westside: Burnet Park, with the Onondaga County Zoo, is one of the highlights of this area.
- Near Westside: Nineteenth century industrial and residential buildings survive in this diverse community.
- Strathmore: Single family homes from the mid-20th century are the rule here. Onondaga Park with Hiawatha Lake is a highlight.
- University Hill Neighborhood: Home to Syracuse University, the State University of New York (SUNY) Environmental Science and Forestry College and student housing, plus the Marshall Street business district.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The city is a popular destination for conventions, with a variety of facilities to serve large crowds. In the early twenty-first century Syracuse welcomed more than 100,000 convention visitors per year. The Empire Expo Center hosts the annual Great New York State Fair, which brings in about 1 million visitors per year.
Loss of industrial and government jobs has taken a toll on the city. Today, jobs in education and the service industry are common. Among the city's major employers are the following:
- National Grid USA
- Wegmans Food Markets
- Syracuse University
- State University of New York Upstate Medica University
- Oneida Nation and Oneida Nation Enterprises
- St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center
- Magna International
- Verizon Communications
- Penn Traffic Company
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The arts play a vital role in Syracuse, and there is a dizzying number of events and performances. Following are some of the key players in music:
- The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra performs more than 200 concerts annually for more than 250,000 people.
- The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music presents an annual series of concerts.
- The Clinton String Quartet, comprised of members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, is based in Syracuse.
- Syracuse hosts annual jazz festivals, including the & Syracuse Jazz Festival, Polish Festival, and the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation's Jazz In The Square Festival.
- The Society for New Music works with local composers and produces Fresh Ink, a weekly broadcast on WCNY FM.
- The Syracuse Opera Company typically offers three full performances each year, plus several free outdoor concerts.
Syracuse has much to offer in theater as well:
- The Syracuse Shakespeare Festival presents a free Shakespeare-in-the-Park program at Thornden Park Amphitheatre.
- Syracuse Stage is an experimental theater company.
- Redhouse is a relatively small theater. Redhouse offers various theatrical productions as well as films and an art gallery.
If the visual arts is your cup of tea, Syracuse has a number of museums and galleries:
- Everson Museum of Art specializes in American art, with a particular focus on pottery.
- The city's Little Italy is home to the International Mask and Puppet Museum.
- The Point of Contact Gallery provides a showcase for international contemporary artists, particularly in Latin American countries.
- Contemporary artists exhibit at the Warehouse Gallery.
- The Spark Contemporary Art Space is operated by graduate arts students from Syracuse University. It specializes in video art.
- The Delavan Art Gallery presents a variety of multimedia works.
- The Erie Canal Museum highlights the history of the Canal and its importance in city life through the last three centuries.
- Downtown, the Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center contains archives of Syracuse history.
- The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology offers interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater.
- During the holiday season, Onondaga Lake Park features Lights on the Lake, a spectacular drive-through light show.
Syracuse is home to two sports franchises. Baseball fans watch the Syracuse Chiefs, a league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, while hockey fans attend games of the Syracuse Crunch, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Syracuse University, a research college, is the city's largest employer, with a student enrollment of more than 19,000.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University are also based in the city.
Le Moyne College and Onondaga Community College also serve the area. Cornell University and Ithaca College are within commuting distance.
Syracuse's AM radio stations:
- WSYR 570 News/Talk
- WHEN 620 Sports
- WSEN 1050 Oldies
- WSFW 1110 News
- WNSS 1260 Sports
- WWLF 1340 Children's
- WFBL 1390 News/Talk
- WSGO 1440 Nostalgia
- WOLF 1490 Radio Disney
- WMCR 1600 Adult Contemporary
Syracuse's FM radio stations:
- WAER 88.3 Jazz
- WITC 88.9 College Radio
- WNYO 88.9 College Radio
- WDWN 89.1 Cayuga County Community College
- WJPZ 89.1 Top 40
- WRVO 89.9 Public Radio
- WRVD 90.3 Public Radio
- WBXL 90.5 Baldwinsville Central School District Radio
- WCNY 91.3 Classical
- WOLF 96.7 Radio Disney
- WLLW 99.3 Classic Rock
- WTKW 99.5 Classic Rock
- WKRL 100.9 Alternative
- WLTI 105.9 Adult Contemporary
- WPHR 106.9 Urban Contemporary
- WWHT 107.9 Top 40
Syracuse's local television stations:
- WSTM 3 NBC
- WTVH 5 CBS
- WSYR 9 ABC
- WSTQ 6/14 The CW
- WCNY 11/24 PBS
- WNYS 7/43 MyNetworkTV
- WSPX 4/56 ION
- WSYT 8/68 FOX
Newspapers serving Syracuse:
- The Post-Standard, the daily newspaper for Syracuse
- Syracuse New Times, a free weekly that focuses on entertainment
- The Daily Orange, Syracuse University's student paper