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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:01 AM   #1
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WNY Non-Development Discussion II

continued from old thread.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #2
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So anyway. I got out of town without any of you freaks spotting me.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 06:40 AM   #3
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Old October 30th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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DT = Steel, only in DT's mind.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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You mean Jaybird's mind?
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Old October 30th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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COMMENTARY
Bruce Andriatch: A little of this, a little of that, even a Q&A
By Bruce Andriatch
Updated: 10/30/07 7:48 AM

Still slowing down and reaching for coins as you travel the 190 near Ogden or Breckenridge? It gives “Phantom Tollbooth” a whole new meaning.

• • •

Whenever government officials vote against a proposal to build a Wal-Mart and say it’s not about Wal-Mart, it’s a “zoning issue” or “a traffic problem” or “contributing to sprawl,” what they really means is, “It’s Wal-Mart. We don’t want one here.” But saying that out loud would make the inevitable lawsuit anticlimactic.

• • •

Why do so many people seem to know Southtowns roads by their state route number — 5, 20A, 62 — and the same for Niagara County roads — 31, 104, 78 — but people who live in between don’t have a clue that Sheridan Drive is Route 324?

• • •

It’s not all bad news in Erie County. In fact, we have six of something and Onondaga County (Syracuse) and Monroe County (Rochester) have only four of them, combined. Any idea what they are? (Answer below).

• • •

We should all be shocked — shocked — that students who are under the legal drinking age are getting their hands on alcohol and then consuming it, sometimes to excess. And they’re doing this in large groups inside houses in residential neighborhoods when the home’s owners are not there? What else will this lost generation of reckless teens do? Cut class? Smoke cigarettes on the corner? Play music too loud on the radio?

• • •

The term “cul-de-sac” is French for “bottom of a bag.” But saying “I live on a cul-de-sac” sounds much better than “I live at the bottom of a bag.”

• • •

Deer hunting season in Western New York starts next month. Deer-carcass-inthe- roadway season is in full swing.

• • •

There are a lot of great places to watch a swim meet in Western New York, including the outdoor pool at Cheektowaga Town Park — preferably in the summer — and the world-class facility at the Flickinger Center at the Erie Community College City Campus downtown. But to experience school spirit at its purest, check out the tiny, secondfloor, four-lane pool in Williamsville North High School. With spectators mere feet from the water’s edge and swimmers from competing schools trying to outcheer each other, it’s the nautical version of “Hoosiers.”

• • •

Just a suggestion: Someone should immediately prohibit naming streets “The” anything, as in, “I live at 21 The Commons.” It’s just wrong.

• • •

If you didn’t water your lawn this year — and really, why would you? — you could have gone the entire summer without cutting the grass. But once fall arrived, you probably needed to cut it at least four times.

• • •

Answer: Industrial development agencies. The six are Amherst, Clarence, Concord, Hamburg, Lancaster and Erie County. Albany County has seven, so we have something to shoot for.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #7
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Cute!

I read Buffalo Rising daily and I have a couple questions for you guys.

(might as well start a lively discussion within this new thread)

Since a large segment of Buffalonians believe that theirs is one of the last remaining "real," authentic cities "full of heart" in the entire nation, wouldn't that change if the city's economy improved and outsiders to the area moved in with differing opinions and outlooks on life? If (like so many boosters want) new skilled tech jobs requiring higher education were created in the area the entire dynamic of the Buffalo-Niagara metro would change -- not to mention that a burgeoning population would surely create more suburban development and traffic headaches. If the local economy is good, population growth will increase. So, theoretically, wouldn't that ruin the very essence of the Buffalo that is adored by the local populace? Also, with decline so entrenched into the city's psyche, what would be the new outlook on the future?

A growing Buffalo is a very different Buffalo that brings changes -- changes some may not want because they've never known anything different. There are generations of Buffalonians that know nothing except population decline and a tepid economy.


Second question - Do Buffalonians look forward to the destruction of our planet with global warming so that the population of the city would increase?

Last edited by DallasTexan; October 30th, 2007 at 11:41 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 11:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasTexan View Post
Cute!

I read Buffalo Rising daily and I have a couple questions for you guys.

(might as well start a lively discussion within this new thread)

Since a large segment of Buffalonians believe that theirs is one of the last remaining "real," authentic cities full of heart in the entire nation, wouldn't that change if the city's economy improved and outsiders to the area moved in with differing opinions and outlooks on life? If (like so many boosters want) new skilled tech jobs requiring higher education were created in the area the entire dynamic of the Buffalo-Niagara metro would change -- not to mention that a burgeoning population would surely create more suburban development and traffic headaches. If the local economy is good, population growth will increase. So, theoretically, wouldn't that ruin the very essence of the Buffalo that is adored by the population? Also, with decline so entrenched into the city's psyche, what would be the new outlook on the future?

A growing Buffalo is a very different Buffalo that brings changes -- changes some may not want because they've never known anything different.


Second question - Do Buffalonians look forward to the destruction of our planet with global warming so that the population of the city would increase?

I will take a stab at it:

First there are about 5 people who use that real term as you put it. One of them is you. The other is Cyburbia. Basing your assumption about how people in Buffalo think on the words of a handful of anonymous bloggers is silly. Are you suggesting that massive suburban sprawl filled with atyrofoam buildings holding one after another identical chain stores and restaurants would make Buffalo a better place? Are you saying that the only way a city can grow is to follow the unsustainable sunbelt model?

No Buffalonians do not look forward to the planet's destruction.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:17 AM   #9
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Come on, it's not only anonymous bloggers (as if that's an excuse -- when sustainable development is trumpeted, you're silent). It's a part of the local culture in real life. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just how things are. Every city has a local psyche.

Would a growing Buffalo follow a sustainable growth model? Probably not, so let's be realistic. What would be the incentive? What would Buffalo be able to do that would change current developmental patterns around the nation and the continent? Not only sunbelt cities follow the sprawl model, either. Every city has sprawled post WWII. I can guarantee you that if the population never shifted to the Sunbelt, Buffalo would be just as sprawled as Nashville or Charlotte.

Last edited by DallasTexan; October 31st, 2007 at 12:26 AM.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasTexan View Post
Come on, it's not only anonymous bloggers (as if that's an excuse -- when sustainable development is trumpeted, you're silent). It's a part of the local culture in real life as well. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just how things are. Every city has a local psyche.

Would a growing Buffalo follow a sustainable growth model? Probably not, so let's be realistic. What would be the incentive? What would Buffalo be able to do that would change current developmental patterns around the nation andand the continent? Not only sunbelt cities follow the sprawl model, either.
Well you have just answered your own question. The people talking about realness are talking about a desire to have something unique and sustainable in Buffalo. You like to denigrate that idea because you like the corporate bland culture of sprawl and sameness for every city. You get all pumped up if a Buffalo Wild Wings opens in your town. At one time local stores far out numbered chains in every city. You could travel to any city and get a completely unique experience. That can not be done anymore for the most part. When I go to other big cities I seek out the local culture. The culture developed in that place. That is the culture I would call real. It is much more interesting that the chains that dominate so many places now. Cheesecake Factory...no thanks!

I think there is a place for chains in moderation but so many over suburbanized cities are dominated by the chain mentality. It is as if Americans now think it is not good unless it was developed in a corporate test kitchen. Much of what made Buffalo unique has been wiped out by that mentality. In some places unique culture has never existed at all. In other places it holds on with a weak pulse.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:35 AM   #11
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Personally I wouldn't mind seeing a moratorium on greenfield development, or maybe on greenfields of a certain size. (Say there was some lot in the city or whatever that for whatever reason had been vacant since 1910 or something.) Even in a declining city it would have its benefits, particularly being reduced supply as well as less dilution of the tax base (it's pretty sad when even a growing area experiences that). Even in the suburbs, let's stop destroying virgin land.

If you want to see what I mean, take a drive along N Buffalo Steet in Orchard Park - Benderson built that little mini-LS thing (which I have no problems with), but across the street from the derelict, probably 95% vacant Jubilee/Latina's plaza and the 100% vacant (brand spankin' new I might add) Saville's plaza just up the road. Seems to me they could have left that new site either vacant or some more consistent development, and razed the Latina's plaza and had room for expansion to boot. You know, I've always made fun of Hamburg for being the "Abandoned Strip Mall Capital of the USA" (whether or not it really is, probably not), but at least they got Wal-Mart, as much as I hate them, to redevelop a derelict plaza.

I've said before I'd be happy with just population stabilization. People are too dumb to have too many of them clustered in one place. Therefore I am also not pro-destruction of the environment for our benefit. I see it as one of those things that if anyone is benefitting from it, then it shouldn't be practiced.

I'm not going to get into a Buffalo-specific "real" or "authentic" argument here. Buffalo, just like most other, in particular older, cities or even regions, has certain defining characteristics which are steadily eroding. Are they stronger or more entrenched here? Maybe, maybe not. I haven't been enough places to judge. I can say however that I haven't heard anyone here clamoring over the dissolution of our "regional accent", but I have elsewhere. If you want to say that makes me arguing "real" or "authentic", then that's your perogative. I'm saying the thought of living in a country as homogeneous as the U.S.S.R. really irks me. I also don't like pretentious people, and not to damn an entire class of people but this faux-upscale (upscale because we say we are) suburban soccer-mom society we're treasuring at the moment really disgusts me. Open your eyes to the media (particularly the satirical ones), and many other areas of revolt against popular culture and you'll see it isn't just a Buffalo thing.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:40 AM   #12
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I don't think the average citizen cares about sustainability, and that's to whom I'm mainly referring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steel
You like to denigrate that idea because you like the corporate bland culture of sprawl and sameness for every city. You get all pumped up if a Buffalo Wild Wings opens in your town.
No I don't. Why are we directing the discussion towards chain establishments when it has nothing to do with the topic at hand? Anyone up for a heaping helping of red herring?

Back to the real discussion -

A growing Buffalo is a very different Buffalo that brings changes -- changes some may not want because they've never known anything different. There are generations of Buffalonians that know nothing except population decline and a tepid economy.

How would Buffalonians handle this growth and influx of newcomers? How would local culture change?

If (like so many boosters want) new skilled tech jobs requiring higher education were created in the area the entire dynamic of the Buffalo-Niagara metro would change. If the local economy is good, population growth will increase. So, theoretically, wouldn't that ruin the very essence of the Buffalo that is adored by the local populace? Also, with decline so entrenched into the city's psyche, what would be the new outlook on the future?
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:47 AM   #13
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..and most importantly, what would Buffalonians bitch about?!
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel View Post
First there are about 5 people who use that real term as you put it. One of them is you. The other is Cyburbia.
Just five?

Quote:
http://www.gobuffaloniagara.com/
"Are you interested in the real thing? Ready to step off the Interstate and discover an authentic American city?... If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, make plans to visit Buffalo -- an authentic, original, real American city."

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/h...erdam_neth#sca
"A while back, I left Buffalo and moved to Amsterdam. The 1 year experiment turned into 7 years... and I am still here. My heartstrings are naturally always pulled by Buffalo and my nostalgia. Trying to explain it to my Dutch partner was difficult. Why is Buffalo different then any other city, she asked? Because it is. It's more human I said."

I love Revitalize Buffalo, but this entry has another "Buffalo is more real" article.

http://www.revitalizebuffalo.wnymedi.../date/2006/01/
"Here it is: Buffalo - The Real Deal!
I think it’s a pretty brilliant one and anyone who has lived here for a year or two can attest to that fact. Everything about Buffalo is real. The people, the architecture and history, the culture, the sports teams and their fans…if you’ve been here for more than five minutes, you already know that about Buffalo…Marv Levy said it best during his coaching tenure, “Where else would you rather be, right here, right now?”"

http://www.wnymedia.net/content/view...tent&task=view
Ed Healy from the Buffalo CVB:
"It's tough-minded, to the point, matter-of-fact. It says this is an authentic place . . . We are what we are, and proud of it. It's smash-mouth football. Chicken wings at the corner tavern. Beers and kielbasa. It's not glitz and glamour, but the authentic America that has been lost in so many places.""

Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker:
"Buffalo has a kind of power, the power of the authentic place."

http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-y...-new-york.html
It's got a lot more heart, a lot more real-ness, than all the up-and-coming suburbs and growing-too-fast cities across the country.

http://v2.hockeybuzz.com/boards/thre...d=10475&page=3
"I encourage everyone to come to Buffalo for a good time, good people, good drinks, etc. Buffalo's image is not perceived very well around the country, and I really have no idea why. Buffalo is not the most amazing place on the planet, I'm quite sure of that. However, you'll be hard pressed to find a place where the people are more real and passionate than Buffalo, New York."
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:16 AM   #15
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Maybe you should also cull all the instances where this has occured in out-of-town media as well. Any statistician would know that your sampling pool is greatly flawed.

Maybe it just where I get my news and entertainment or whatever, but this backlash against current societal trends is far too large to only be out of Buffalo. Either that, or we have one hell of a pull on popular culture for such a small city.

Also, how many people in Buffalo go about parading perceived wealth (maybe you call it conspicuous consumption?) like they do in so many other places? Not saying it doesn't exist here because it is in fact alive and well. Just an honest question. Either it's worse in other places or I just happened to have had the severe misfortune to once relocate to the one area where it exists and against which all these people have been bitching. Or is it OK there because they have the "first in the nation primary"?
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Last edited by Sabretooth; October 31st, 2007 at 01:23 AM.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
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..and most importantly, what would Buffalonians bitch about?!
This one would still bitch about the same things he currently bitches about, and who knows maybe he'd add a new wrinkle or two. Sure, the context would change a little bit; however many of the same flaws we display also exist everywhere else, with little regard for economic and political disposition. It's just a matter of degree.

As illogical as it sounds, a place with nothing to bitch about would be quite a boring place indeed. Nothing, here, there, or anywhere, at any time in history, has ever been so great that it can't be improved. Except Detroit's fuel-mileage standards and oil-based vehicles, apparently those are indeed the bee's knees.

Speaking of bitching re: development, yesterday's snafu on the Skyway which blocked traffic up into Lackawanna would never have happened were Route 5 a surface boulevard.
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Last edited by Sabretooth; October 31st, 2007 at 01:37 AM.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
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How would Buffalonians handle this growth and influx of newcomers? How would local culture change?
In most growing places where I've lived, there was varying degrees of conflict between the natives and the newcomers. Some of it was superficial; in Denver, natives used longevity in the region as a status symbol; the native professionals didn't really conflict that much with the incomeing professionals, but there was some animosity towards Californians for making housing unaffordable. In Las Cruces, though, it was a strong part of the local psyche, a conflict between rancher-types and incoming professionals, artists and affluent retirees. "Those rich liberal outsiders from Los Angeles and Chicago and Minneapolis trying to change thos place into something that it isn't, with their fancy-dancy architectural regulations they want to impose on small business owners, their complaining about slow drivers, their dog parks, their public art and elaborate bridge overpasses ... my family's been here for four generations, and I ain't gonna' let some newcomer tell me I can't put down a few single wides on a 6,000 square foot lot or do auto body work out of my garage ..."

You get the idea. I see something quite similar in Buffalo. White collar professionals have a very different set of values than blue collar Buffalonians. Newcomers aren't going to be eager to embrace Buffalo culture; not necessarily the Elmwood Village version, but the fish fry/lawn fete/volunteer fire department/bowling/tavern/Bills fanaticism aspect of it.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:19 AM   #18
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Well I just sat at another conference listening to speakers from all over the USA praise NYS for its 'authenticity' which according to cyb & DT either doesn't exist, or is useless if it does exist...I'm not quite sure which one it is yet. Maybe either can fill me in. But what do I, or any 'experts' know, as long as you get your Ripley's Believe It or Not wax museum on the demolished City Hall site, then who needs character, authenticity, and uniqueness. I'll take a nice art deco building or an Olmsted Park over a wax museum any day thank you very much.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:27 AM   #19
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So, you don't think that newcomers to Buffalo would like art deco?

---


In all seriousness, why is almost no one from Buffalo understanding my point? So many of the boosters want Buffalo to grow and attract jobs/residents, but at the same time, they love the character that Buffalo possesses now as it is. With the influx of outsiders, the city would be radically different. A lot of the city's identity is drawn from the decline it has experienced. Buffalo is a holdout vs. most of the country, and that would be lost if the area were to grow. It's not that hard to understand.


This isn't about chains, suburbia, or whatever.

Last edited by DallasTexan; October 31st, 2007 at 03:03 AM.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 03:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I'll take a nice art deco building or an Olmsted Park over a wax museum any day thank you very much.

hmm... So the best cities have these?

Let's see.. Art deco city hall:





...plus an Olmsted Park right in Midtown?



Hmm, weird. That doesn't make sense. Those things are in Atlanta.
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