After an article in the New York Times showed Sunderland in an unflattering light, here are 12 things you want to say to them:
1) Shelby Penman: “I’m a American expat living in Sunderland (and now a UK citizen) and I absolutely love Sunderland. My children love the Winter Gardens, we’ve got so many lovely restaurants, and, of course, the seaside!”
2) Lisa Craik: “Well I for one am proud of Sunderland and how much it has changed over the years! What about The Stadium of Light? The Winter Gardens and Mowbray Park?
"The Wear Bridge? What about our growing tourism and our International Airshow? Do some research to find out what’s great about our city instead of focusing on the negatives!”
3) Emma Eaves: “I think this article paints a bleak picture of Sunderland and I don’t think it is very fair or very accurate. Yes, I admit there are areas which need regeneration and change; however, I would suggest this is the case all over the country.
"I am very proud to be from Sunderland and I am also proud to work for a successful local company. I don’t see any mention of our amazing coastlines, Premier League football club which also attracts global stars, Empire which attracts West End musicals, fantastic independent restaurants, a university which attracts students from across the world.”
4) Linda Barella: “There is good and bad no matter were you live. If we went to New York and looked there, we would find run-down unemployed, just the same.
"Where you live is what you make it ... this pic is right, there are places like it in Sunderland BUT I think there are a lot lot more that are not.”
5) Adrian Dalzell: “This is a biased article, to sell papers, just like an Echo journalist would no doubt write if they were employed by a right-wing fascist paper.
"However, no offence to the people in the picture, but Kimiko has used them to her advantage and unfortunately, due to whatever reasons for voting out, have been used as an example to exploit every society’s problems. Unfortunately, in this article, it was Sunderland.”
6) Lewis Elliott: “I commented on the article as it was posted on Facebook by the NYT. Firstly they called Washington a “suburb”, when it’s a completely separate settlement, and isn’t just “run down”.
"And secondly, I found the tone of the article extremely patronising. Yes, the city has suffered from loss of industries, but things have changed and the city looks and feels a lot different now than even 10 years ago.
"It’s getting a new bridge, unemployment is relatively low, the coast line is up and coming, and I think it’s a disgrace how it was described. Just because it was the first city to go for Brexit, I think it got a bad rap in fairness (and we didn’t all vote for that either)!”
7) Michelle Crowe: “I think they’ve painted a fairly accurate description of a certain portion of every city in the UK. One inaccuracy in the piece is the whinging about the Aquatic Centre, this is a fantastic EU-funded facility which is accessible to everybody as it’s run by the same company as Washington Leisure Centre. It’s not an elitist centre requiring membership.”
8) James Thompson Steven: “Most Americans have no idea that Washington is the original Washington. I have been asked why did we call Washington the same name as theirs! I have also been told oh you have a Washington too!”
9) Lisa Jayne Whitham: “I am so appalled by the article written by the New York Times I couldn’t finish it. If there has ever been an example to showcase journalism at its sneakiest, most deceiving, looking in the gutter for filth and dirt then Kimiko has achieved the epitome of this.
"She certainly made sure she found an area where she could really do her worst to show Sunderland in the horror that she has done."
"Where are the photos of our beautiful parks and seafronts? Discussions with adults who live, work in some of the very many beautiful areas of Sunderland? No, Kimiko couldn’t do that! She came to do her worst and she achieved it."
10) Catherine Rosa Goldsmith: “I saw and commented on the NY Times articles, and hopefully explained well that we are a modern, vibrant city! Of course we have some issues, but we’re not as bleak as they made out! Show them the Empire, the SOL, the beaches, the parks, the pubs...:)”
11) Darren Barrass: “Of course New York had some lovely neighbourhoods and shocking homicide rates not so long back. Venture out of the touristy quarter and you have many living in rabbit hutch, roach-infested apartments far from the quaint picture Friends painted.”
12) Victoria Vosper Atkinson: “I’d most definitely be safer in Sunderland than New York, that’s for sure.”