Friday, July 24, 2015

Dear Buffalo, Stop Comparing Yourself to NYC!

Hello my friends. It has been a while, but here I am. I hope you are all enjoying the summer. Although its been a wet one here in good 'ole WNY, things seem to be drying out a bit. My son is finally enjoying the luxury of the pool in the backyard and I'm able to get out for my morning jogs without being rained on. Who could ask for anything more.

It's funny that this topic would come up. Over the years, since moving back to Buffalo, I've had some very interesting conversations about the city, life here and what it means to have BUFFALOVE. Yet, throughout those conversations, I would continue to hear this seemingly annoying comparison between New York City and the City of Buffalo. Now mind you, for the most part, this compare and contrast fascination doesn't actually appear to come from folks who actually live in the city. It hails from somewhere outside our walls. Or from people who really have no idea what it's like to live in an urban environment. Us city dwellers are very happy with what we got. Maybe its because we are surrounded by this place. Our daily routines and communities are Buffalo and we understand that, flaws and all, we make the city what it is. But for some reason or another, I am constantly seeing these "Top 5 reasons why Buffalo is different from NYC" or "What's the difference between NYC and Buffalo" internet lists from radio stations or tourist blogs. Why the insecurity? Why the chip on your shoulder? Its things like this that create such a negative perception of us as a whole. Especially in the fact that those of us who live in the City of Buffalo are allowing others to be our voice, to speak for us. We can speak for ourselves and we compare ourselves to NO ONE! No, we are not the melting pot of the world or the city that never sleeps, but we don't need to be either, nor do we want to be. Our streets aren't lined with yellow cabs and the masses aren't flocking to get a piece of us. But, we are fine just the way we are. People who live here live and breathe and bleed for this city. And we are quick to tell those who complain and put us down "if you don't like it, get the hell out". Because as Goodie Mob says "one money don't stop the show". We are rebuilding and learning to love Buffalo again. We are regaining our pride and reinventing ourselves from the inside out. We are refusing to be the butt of jokes and shame of a region. When people say "Why Buffalo?" we don't automatically put on the armor in defense or hang our heads in shame anymore. Now, we simply say "You should come visit" or "Let me show you why". We are families and friends, artists and entrepreneurs. We are writers and performers and scholars and teachers.  We are architects and civil service workers, lawyers and accounts and everything else in-between. We are growing in diversity and establishing a community once again. This is Buffalo, a city that is being reborn. We are not the high school girl with low self esteem, who has to compare herself to the prom queen. We who live in this city, walk its streets, shop in its stores. We know our worth, we know who we are. There is no competition, there is no comparison need. We are Buffalo, the Queen City.

Love M xoxox

If you are interesting in learning more about Buffalo and WNY, check out these sites: