Right around the time my husband Tim and I decided to make the move back home to Buffalo from Philadelphia, someone sent us this promotional video produced by the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. It highlights several points of Buffalo pride—unspoiled architecture including houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, the extensive Olmsted park system, proximity to the majestic Falls, a strong sense of community, low cost of living—and it features some really gorgeous images of the area. People who know stuff about Buffalo say insightful things about the city, its history and its potential.
We tried to be inspired and excited that someone was getting the word out about the diamond-in-the-rough that was calling us home, but we just couldn’t. We got stuck on the title. Buffalo, NY: This Place Matters. It’s like making a video about your parents for their anniversary, showcasing their love and devotion to each other over decades of happy togetherness, and then calling it Mom and Dad: They Stayed Married. New York City wouldn’t call its video This Place Matters, because … duh. New York City knows that it matters, and it would probably challenge you to a knife-fight behind the bar if it heard you say otherwise.
How would we rework the title? Well, we thought about that. We came up with Buffalo, NY: Where a Three-Bedroom House On A 1/2-Acre Lot Costs Less than a Studio in Brooklyn. Or perhaps Buffalo, NY: Seriously, the People Are Sooooo Nice. Or maybe Buffalo, NY: The Snow’s Only Part of It. Or how about just Buffalo, NY: Experience it for Yourself? Because some Philadelphians shuddered when we told them we were moving to Buffalo, but most of them have never been here. They’ve seen the city on the news when there’s a heavy snowfall, and that’s about it. But there’s so much more! And that’s the real point of the video—that the experience of Buffalo is inviting, comfortable and warm, even when the weather’s not.
My cousin Laura and her family moved here just a couple months before Tim, Charlie and I did (Take that, recent census reports about people leaving Western New York! We count for 7 on the plus side.), and we’re always comparing notes about cool stuff we’re rediscovering. We’re Zoo members and Laura’s training as a docent at the Darwin Martin House. As the weather warms up, we’re eagerly anticipating the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’ Market, which will be on the parkway directly across from our front door. Tim and I went to Trimania a couple weeks ago and got to meet a whole bunch of people who do really neat things (French Press stationers, portrait photographer KC Kratt, some bellydancers). We’re starting to look around at houses and I drool over some of the stuff in the Elmwood Village area. Interiors with original stained glass and beautiful woodwork are everywhere, and I’m convinced that if we buy around here, I’ll get to have a party befitting of my 100-plus-year-old house.
So come visit us, friends from other places, because Buffalo more than matters. Come experience this marvelous dreamland of a city! (Is that overstating my case?) We’ll take you to all kinds of great places and show you how great life in a small city can be. And come to think of it, at least our promo video doesn't look like this. (Warning: They swear in this video, so you might not want to watch it if you took my last post to heart.)