MUST WATCH VIDEO: “Life In America’s Unhappiest City” AKA Scranton, PA


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NEPA SCENE – An oft-cited study of the “unhappiest” cities in the country by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University, released in 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, placed Scranton at No. 1 in a list of “the least happy American regions.”

How can someone find happiness in America’s unhappiest city? Do Scranton and Wilkes-Bare reallydeserve to top so many unpleasant lists? Budding indie filmmaker Kenny Luck set to find out in his short documentary “Half Empty: Life in America’s Unhappiest City,” which is premiering exclusively on NEPA Scene.

“I had two clear goals from the outset of this project. First, I wanted to see if I could handle the responsibilities of writing, shooting, and editing a short film with the hope of making a feature-length documentary sometime in the future, and second, I wanted to highlight a subject – happiness in Northeastern Pennsylvania – that I think most residents in the region would find interesting,” Luck told NEPA Scene.

“Obtaining happiness in my own life has been very difficult, and I started to think about happiness in a broader way. Then, a few months ago, I remembered hearing about a 2014 study that identified NEPA as the No. 1 least happy region in the U.S. Then, I asked myself: If I am unhappy, and I live in a region that is unhappy, what are the odds that I find happiness for myself? Pretty slim, right? But rather than take a negative view, I decided the film should be uplifting. I wanted to say to people, ‘Look, even if you are miserable, it doesn’t have to be that way.’

“In the end, I hope that is the message the audience takes away from this, that even if you’re down, you’re not alone, and that there are ways to improve your outlook.”


I guess what it comes down too is what perspective you look at Scranton from. If you’re a successful person living in Scranton, the glass is half full. If you’re fed up with life and the way things are going working and living in Scranton, I guess the glass is obviously half empty.

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of shitty things wrong with Scranton. I’m not going to name them, I think you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. But there’s also a lot of good things in Scranton. I live in Old Forge. I LOVE Old Forge. A youthful community filled with good people. That’s why I named this site BDP4Life (Blue Devil Pride). Just to pay homage to where I grew up and the people I’ve grown accustomed to. The restaurant life in Old Forge is honestly ridiculous. Some of the best restaurants on the planet are right here on on strip of pavement on the main avenue. Just unreal. And i can’t stress it enough how great the people are that consume and work at those establishments.

So from my perspective, the glass is half full. Might even be three quarters full.


Posted on February 15, 2016, in LOCAL NEWS, VIDEOS. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. One thing you should have touched on is the weather. It plays an important factor because NEPA has a lack of sunlight. A lot of the residents including myself have experienced seasonal depression or lack of vitamin D from sunlight. People are going to tanning beds just to try to supplement. The lack of vitamin D affects wellness in general people are more unhappy because they are getting sick easier, seasonal depression, and no sunlight affects morale.

  2. In this video the author interviews people with stable well paying careers to give anecdotal evidence on what they thing is wrong with the area….

  3. I am from California but lived innScranton 2 different times. I am currently living in Vegas but I am seriously thinking of moving back. I have lived all over the US and have not found any other place that has more community things to do and more support from the community for the arts, churches, schools,etc.

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