Lyell Avenue, a very 'Little Italy,' and a neighborhood at a crossroads

Jul 06, 2021 109

BY: Gino Fanelli

The Edgerton neighborhood on the western banks of the Genesee River between Lyell and Driving Park avenues is a study in contradictions. On one hand, Lyell Avenue is haunted by boarded-up storefronts, open-air drug deals, and prostitution. On the other, signs that residents are making the best of a troubled neighborhood are everywhere.

Southeast Asian refugees who call the neighborhood home picnic in their yards. The walking paths of Jones Square Park are bedecked in vibrant pastel chalk. A father carries his young daughter on his shoulders to the local convenience store. Lydia Rivera, vice president of the Edgerton Area Neighborhood Association, recalled that her work in the neighborhood began with the simple act of picking up trash on Emerson Street.

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