It’s a sad Christmas in Downtown Rochester, NY even though the Christmas display looks awesome and the Christmas tree looks way better than it has in many years. The tree is nicely decorated and lit up and the Christmas presents look realistic and add a nice touch. Santa Clause is sitting in his rocking chair holding his naughty or nice list deciding who’s going to get gifts this year.
What makes it sad is that the tree or the display is nothing compared to what it was when I was growing up and everything was happening in Midtown Plaza which is far gone now. There was a monorail that use to travel across the whole length of the mall while hanging from the ceiling and would go straight through Magic Mountain which was massive. The Christmas tree was so big you would get a stiff neck trying to look up towards the top of it. Santa Clause was an actual person who would allow the children to sit on his lap and tell all about the magnificent gifts they wanted for Christmas.
Now you look outside the windows of Sibley Square and all you see is a vacant lot that makes you wonder how the city as a whole got into this spot and where it’s heading in the future. At one time you could barely walk downtown as their was people walking all up and down the area visiting stores such as McCrory’s, B. Foreman’s, and of course Sibley department store.
As people started to move to the suburbs with the businesses following the stores decided that it wasn’t profitable to stay open within the area and over time all closed their doors until there were hardly any left. Instead people started to shop at those awful strip malls instead, something I could never understand.
As a final nail in the coffin the city made the huge mistake in knocking the first indoor mall in the United Stated down before finding a place to relocate the retail stores that wanted to stay in the downtown area. Now they are looking for retail to move into the Sibley Building but its proving to be more difficult than they thought it would be. It makes you wonder what our politicians are thinking of when they makes the decisions that they do but then again how can you know what to do when you don’t live within the city itself?
Another issue I have is that the City of Rochester is fixing up all the streets with nice bike lanes to make the city greener and filling in the inner loop to reconnect the city but aren’t doing anything to move some companies within the downtown region that actually pays enough to allow people to rent the expensive lofts and townhouses located in places like Tower 280.
Rochester, NY is known for having cutting edge medical treatment and studies that result in a lot of discoveries so why aren’t we taking advantage of it? Why aren’t we trying to get companies that are about to be the next big thing in the next decades and possibly centuries to come? Such companies would be artificial intelligence, biomedicine and anti-aging studies.
Even if we have to give these companies tax breaks and lower rent to fill our current abandoned buildings it would be worth it as long as the companies hire and train the current residents of the City of Rochester instead of just relocating ones they they currently employ.
It’s time that we stop living int the past when Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox known as the big three dominated the landscape and start working towards making Rochester, NY the city it really could be.
Now that I got that off my chest I hope you enjoy the pictures and let me know what your opinions are.