One Street Scranton: North Washington Avenue

     Mary Ney, turning 73 next month, moved to Scranton to be with family. She has been living in this one bedroom apartment for almost three years with her adult son, who she cares for because he has suffered brain damage.  Ney, a single mother of four, says ‘I don't like it. I have no faucet for my tub so I can't take baths. I turn the stove on for heat because the one heater in the living room isn't enough to heat the whole apartment.’ (Jessica Kourkounis/For Keystone Crossroads)

    Mary Ney, turning 73 next month, moved to Scranton to be with family. She has been living in this one bedroom apartment for almost three years with her adult son, who she cares for because he has suffered brain damage. Ney, a single mother of four, says ‘I don't like it. I have no faucet for my tub so I can't take baths. I turn the stove on for heat because the one heater in the living room isn't enough to heat the whole apartment.’ (Jessica Kourkounis/For Keystone Crossroads)

    I think you can learn a lot about a household just by taking a peek into the kitchen.

    As part of the Keystone Crossroads series “Locked out: Pennsylvania has a housing problem,” I explored one street in three cities, getting to know the residents and seeing their homes as a way of telling a greater story about the city.

    If you move along one street in a city, you can get a good look at the differences and similarities of its residents and their homes. It may include high-end condos and new developments where people make six-figure salaries, but just down the road, could be a neighborhood plagued with vacant lots and dilapidated homes where residents are struggling to make ends meet. Essentially all of these people are neighbors looking for the same thing; a safe and comfortable place to call home. I wanted to explore questions like: What makes a space into a home? Why do we live where we do? What gives us a sense of community?

    Scranton

    For Scranton, I chose to focus on people’s kitchens. I think you can learn a lot about a household just by taking a peek into their kitchen. It is often a gathering place for both family and friends and can provide a good backdrop to a larger picture. North Washington Avenue runs from downtown Scranton to the Green Ridge neighborhood. It includes historic buildings recently renovated into downtown loft apartments, subsidized and low-income housing with a racially and ethnically diverse population, aging housing stock, mansions from the days of the coal barons and modest middle class homes, one of them being the childhood home of Vice President Joe Biden.

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