Students who come for college may like the town because it is cheap and they can hang with their high school buddies. But this is a horrible city. When the defense industry pulled funding in the 1990s, the city went into free fall. Housing values have been on the decline since that point. It is not a bubble it is a bottomless pit. The local talent, Tanenhaus-housing with the Salvation Army, got to work and invited the very worst element possible to the area from NYCity, Section 8 vouchers in hand. They are the ones to thank for the immense gang element that has made the area not just an economic cesspool but dangerous. College students regularly have their heads bashed in. Read the articles in the newspaper. The fact that IBM polluted the area, something that caused a childhood cancer cluster, does not help. Another problem is the fact that the city is isolated. There is no easy way in or out of the city. Every 4 years politicians come to the city, comment on how it looks like Appalachian poverty, and promise to work on getting high speed rails. But there are no rails at all. There is no reliable way to get the heck out of the place. Really, it should be condemned. If you move there, be sure not to move into a place that is in the plume which is the cancer corridor. Don't be fooled into thinking that the venting makes any difference at all. And, don't expect the sun to shine more than a few times a year. It is a gloomy, ugly, dank place.
...DO NOT move over here...this "City" is like a roach motel, once you get in, you can't get out. The job market is absolutely horrendous to say the least (unless you plan on starting a career at the Weis supermarket, McDonald's or as an absurdly underpaid Java developer).
The crime rate is MUCH higher than what other people claim. Stabbings or slashing at the club, roberry, burglary, drugs, you name it, it's out there and all concentrated into 11.16 miles of Binghamton, NY. Almost every park or neighborhood that you visit will at the very least have a touch of "ghetto". I moved here from NYC (BIG MISTAKE) to be with family, and for the first time in my life I felt compelled to (legally) purchase a gun to protect my family at home.
Nightlife is okay with all of the bars and lounges (assuming that you don't go to a ghetto one and get stabbed). Dining is okay with a couple of halfway decent places like Lost Dog Cafe and Burger Mondays. The "city's" pride are the Binghamton Mets, who are actually the Minor League club of the NY Mets. But really are a handful of restaurants, bars and a lame baseball team reason enough to move to such a dump?
It's a shame because the land itself actually is beautiful with it's mountains, streams and tons of trees. In any event, I am desperately looking to get my wife and kids out of this dump. I feel sorry for the kids growing up in this dilapidated community who typically have a schoolteacher mom and drug dealer dad, I know I'll be getting mine out of here that's for sure.
I moved to Binghamton, New York from Kansas City, Missouri to attend Binghamton University about three years ago. I was nervous to move to a new city, but the community is great and very accepting of new comers. I attribute this to the University. Almost everyone I have come into contact with has been helpful, from the campus to the local Walmart. I really love the older architecture of the city, but the younger atmosphere. This has made it much easier to live in Binghamton, than I expected.
I also have to mention the great restaurants here. Growing up in Kansas City, I had access to some of the best barbeque and Italian restaurants around. However, I have to say I have found some here that are even better, especially the Italian food. When you have time off from studies or work, you will have no problems finding something to do. The nightlife here is killer. You can go to a quiet lounge and sip on a martini or party the night away dancing in a club. This is another fortunate side effect of being a college town. You never get bored, no matter the time of day between the shops, eateries, and the nightlife.
The city itself is beautiful and so is the surrounding area. Binghamton boarders upper state Pennsylvania and is less than 100 miles from Syracuse, New York. The city sits in the middle of the Susquehanna River and the Chenango River, so there are several riverside hotels, restaurants, and living accommodations. Binghamton being a river city, it seems automatically to have that easy going atmosphere you find with many other river cities. I have really grown to love it here. In fact, I am thinking about relocating here once my schooling is over. The community here just grows on you, as does the city.