2002.11.15 – wish you were here

Ah, Buffalo in November. The leaves are getting near that brown crispy stage and the snow is about to fall any day. Yes we have long hard winters here in the Queen city, but there are so many other reasons to come and visit us.

I don’t think that Buffalonians realize how famous their city actually is. Maybe not in the sense of winning sports teams or motion picture sets, but we hold our own in the Art, Architecture and Theatre departments. It is a safe bet that the majority of people in Buffalo probably don’t know that Mark Twain once lived here, that Frank Lloyd Wright built several houses here, and that the Albright-Knox Art Gallery holds an original of Andy Warhol’s “100 cans”.

Yes, President McKinley was shot here and Teddy Roosevelt had a residence down the street from my apartment building, but nowadays Buffalo gets a bad rap. The main reason for this is the sad state of major league sports in this border town. Everyone knows about The Bills and their fantastic 4 superbowl losing streak in the 90’s. The Sabres aren’t much better, with their down to the end Stanley Cup loss a few years back, they are carrying on the tradition of sports incompetance.

A theory I have for the losing aspect of Buffalo teams has to do with the fact that a good portion of Western New York is built on Native American Land. It is thought that perhaps the Tuscaroras and Senecas of the area put a sort of hex on all sports teams. ?We took their land so they take our glory. If you ask me, it isn’t a fair trade for the Native American side as they don’t get much out of the deal, but it certainly makes sense.

Most sports fans in Buffalo think there is a curse on the teams and this would confirm that theory. However, I am not a sports fan in any sense of the word so I don’t particularly care if the teams win or lose. The only teams I really appreciate are The Bisons and Sabres because their complexes are still in the downtown area and they bring people into the city, even if only for a couple of hours a night. Plus, hockey rocks just because it is a Canadian pastime, and you all know by now how much I love Canada!

Getting back to the rich history of the Queen City. Hundreds of years from now Buffalo’s legacy will most certainly be Architecture. As long as the many buildings that were constructed near the turn of the 20th century still stand, Buffalo will continue to thrive as a historical landmark city. Finding use for these buildings has become the big problem in the downtown Buffalo area. Many of the structures have fallen prey to vacancy and, in turn, infestation. They are still beautiful to look at from the exterior, but to venture inside would be a risky proposition. If big business could just see that Buffalo is a great city to invest in, we would be able to refurbish these beautiful, old buildings and bring back a little of that Pan-American Historical spirit.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: