Riding thru Youngstown OH reminds me of this ads once published in Seattle, a long time ago, when the city was depressed: "Would the last person who leaves Seattle please turn out the lights".
I was just looking for a breakfast this morning, riding thru downtown Youngstown. From a distance and apart from the road which was in a very poor state, it looked like any other downtown, with high buildings to give it the look and feel of a place for business.
I was even a little excited as this was meant to be the biggest city I visit since I left NYC a week ago. Yet when I got to the main avenue, all shops seem to be closed; or rather seemed to have been closed for a long time.
In Pennsylvania, I have already been thru some depressed towns like Hazleton or New Castle yesterday. But it was not as depressing as Youngstown this morning.
It's 9:00am, there are very few people in the streets and sure they don't look like business people heading to work in a bank. I find one place that look like a restaurant: the room is dark and filled with empty tables. At the counter, the waitress is talking the only presumed customer. They don't serve real breakfast, the English type of breakfast you enjoy before biking for a day.
Although they tried to direct me to another place, I never found it. And I took the road towards the south. A guy I talked to in a gas station explained me that the town had been great in the 50's with a good mix of cultures and communities. The steel industry was strong then and it was known as the Steel Valley which extends between Cleveland, OH and Pittsburg, PA. The steel business has moved out of Youngstown. And so has the other businesses; they went south of Youngstown where you can get a decent breakfast.
As I was riding south, I came across with this group of Pro Life, chaplet in hands, praying in loud voice along road 7.
* Steel Valley Authority