Every place is identified by one specific characteristic more than any other. For some places, it’s peace and serenity in nature, for other it’s the liveliness of a city, but on rare occasions, it’s not the place, but the people that inhabit it that make it truly special. To me, Buffalo, NY is one of those places.
The rollercoaster ride that is Buffalo’s history has ranged from the highs of the opening of the Erie Canal and being the “City of Lights” during the Pan American exposition, to being a textbook example of urban decay in a rustbelt city. There is always a sense of optimism around Buffalo though. It ‘s a city full of things worth fighting for; the small shops of the Elmwood Village, the waterfront and its redevelopment projects, the Olmsted Parks System, and all the beautiful architecture found in every corner of the city. Buffalo exudes that indescribable feeling of welcoming and home to anyone who gives it a chance, and this is the reason, as Buffalonians care so much about our city.
It is the history, especially that of the economic decline that has shaped the city and the people within it, into whom they are today. It has built camaraderie between Buffalonians who have a reputation of living in a blue collar town, with friendly, optimistic and resilient people. It is the sense that we are all in this together, in all aspects of life that builds that sense of community and beyond that a shared sense place in Buffalo. It’s no mistake that it’s called the “City of Good Neighbors”. I have always loved Buffalo, but I never really knew why. I knew I liked the people, my friends, the food, the sports, and even the weather, but never seemed to add up. The love I have for Buffalo, my place, is so much greater than the sum of its parts, and that is what I believe is the true definition of a place worth caring about.