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From New York, Columbia's Hank Levin gives an upbeat view of the polished big apple:
"'Inner-city' life is changing in the U.S. Some of the most yuppified areas of New York are places that were "inner-city" just ten years ago. For example, in Manhattan, the lower East side and parts of Harlem are being reconstituted. We live in midtown on the East Side and find it charming and accessible to almost everything. There are similar changes taking place in Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, and Seattle. The center of these cities has become a very desirable place to live, and housing prices have zoomed. Europeans like New York City precisely because it is exciting and accessible in most parts with good public transportation--despite the gripes".
My comment: This seems to me to be overly optimistic. "Parts of Harlem." What about miserable stretches of Harlem not far from Columbia University? Harlem was once the best residential area of New York. Admittedly, Mayor Giuliani has done marvels in cleaning up the city.
Sidney Raffel was proud of the renewal of his home town, Baltimore. but he was recently there and came back dismayed by its falling from grace. As the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. is still a disgrace. East Palo Alto, once the nation's crime capital, will certainly flourish thanks to Silicon Valley. In many cities, such as Chicago and New Haven, universities are actively promoting the clean-up of their depressed neighborhoods.
Ronald Hilton - 12/9/99