August 14, 2005

IF THEY CAN SAVE SCRANTON THEY SAVE ANYPLACE:

Waves of Hispanic immigrants changing face of NEPA (TOM LONG, 8/14/05, The Times Tribune)
You can see it in Hazleton. There are new grocery stores on Wyoming Street.

On their doors, signs thank you, Gracias por su compra. Well into the summer, a faded banner wishes you Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas.

Below it, a U.S. flag declares with bold, blue English words: Proud to be an American.

You can’t miss it in South Scranton, either.

On Pittston Avenue, the sign outside a sky blue house announces Casa Latina, and offers a travel agency, money transfers, translations.

The things one needs when living thousands of miles from home. “Styles by Connie” is painted in red in a hair salon’s window on Cedar.

On the other window, Estilos por Connie.

And the change has arrived in Wilkes-Barre.

On the corner of Butler and Wyoming streets, the reds, whites and blues of the Puerto Rican flag flap in the wind alongside those of the U.S. flag. Hispanic women, children in tow, compare peppers and cucumbers at the Thursday farmers’ markets.

A substantial wave of Hispanic immigration is sweeping across Northeast Pennsylvania.

Families that speak Spanish — some only Spanish — are taking over houses left vacant by decades of population decline.

They are living, working, shopping and praying in cities built by Welsh, Irish, Italian, Polish and Slovak immigrants a century ago.
The prior waves of unassimilable immigrant scum....

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2005 7:05 AM
Comments

These towns are really quite striking for all the empty buildings, quiet streets, and aging populations. The reasons for their existence are long gone. One wonders what the new immigrants are doing for a living, other than providing services to one another.

Posted by: curt at August 14, 2005 5:09 PM
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