This project seeks to enlist the internet’s speed and power and the digital tools it brings to slow things down and encourage citizens to explore their communities. As we move online, SEO becomes king, our attention spans shrink to 8 seconds, and half of us will jump ship if a webpage takes longer than 3 seconds to load. We now spend more time perusing social media sites than we do eating, grooming, or actually socializing. As the digital world expands exponentially, “Digital Darwinism” kills off companies. Count Blockbuster, Borders Books, and Polaroid in that tally. Even shopping malls, the cornerstones of American teenage life, are being assassinated by Amazon. And, by 2020, the Associated Press wants to use artificial intelligence to automate 80 percent of content production.

But Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden project inspired us to reconsider how we chronicle the communities that surround our university. The City Blocks project aims to document life in Syracuse by taking the time to report stories with detail and depth and, more importantly, by spending time on these blocks. Nine teams of two students dedicated an entire semester to a single block—finding the stories, characters, and fixtures that make them unique.

That time spent in the city yielded diverse stories best told with a variety of media. In the depths of South Salina Street, we learned about African-American churches, a pair of gloves found on Wyoming Street told us about immigration, and a bar of soap in Hawley-Green represents the growth of small-business ownership in the neighborhood. These stories make up the crazy quilt that is the city of Syracuse, and we’ve sew them together by blending the quick innovation of the digital age with slow, observant reporting.

Editor — Aline Peres Martins
Managing Editor — Rachel Lockhart
Multimedia Editor — Clare Ramirez
Digital Media Producer — Ankur Dang
Copy Editor — Morgan Chamberlain

Team Tipp Hill — Audrey Morgan & Dara McBride
Team Hawley-Green — Jackie Frere & Eric King
Team Near Westside — Aline Peres Martins & Sai Ibrahim
Team South Salina — Jaye Michelle Harris & Katie Shafsky
Team North Salina — Rachel Lockhart & Bridget Hallinan
Team Hanover Square — Chazz Inniss & Madeleine Fournier
Team Burt Street — Sarah Heikkinen & Clare Ramirez
Team City Hall — Ankur Dang & Chandler Dunn
Team Westcott — Susanna Heller & Chris Libonati

Multimedia Contributors
Sai Ibrahim
Alan Taylor
Ankur Dang
Kali Bowden

Melissa Chessher
Jeff Passetti

Web Developers
Cathryn Cavanaugh
Ying Chen
Emma Herrera
Annie Holleran
Desiree Hurlbut
Yilin Jia
Rohan Krishnan
Mingrui Liu
Bharati Mahajan
Rachel Sandler
Tim Starmer
Wanyi Tao
Rachel Workstel
Xin Zhou