If you read my posts with any sort of frequency [don’t worry, I won’t hold you to that, you’ve got a life], you know that when it comes to my hometown of Buffalo, New York, I can get pretty excited. Like, really excited. Like, riding a horse, swinging a flag, and blasting a trumpet down the street kind of excited. As far as hometown pride goes, mine borders on creepy obsessive (in fact, I’m happy Buffalo hasn’t taken out a restraining order on me yet—thanks, Buffalo). So, when a little video called “Buffalo: America’s Best Designed City” started making its way through my social media feeds, you could bet your bonnet that I was going to share it here.
Alright—full disclosure. This film was produced by Buffalo resident John Paget in order to draw attention to this amazing, albeit oftentimes forgotten city and it was helped out by a number of Buffalo-based organizations. And my father appears in it. But still. All that mega-bias and nepotism aside: this video speaks the legit, objective truth. Don’t even try to argue with me on this, because I will have none of it.
The short film takes a sweeping look through the city’s historic roots—from its epic Olmsted Park system to its monumental architecture—and shows the strides it has taken to reinvigorate itself in the twenty-first century, from creating miles of new bike lanes to reshaping once abandoned neighborhoods into bustling cultural hotspots. Every time I return to my hometown, I witness what I can only describe as a Renaissance—a Rust Belt Cinderella story of sorts. New, exciting businesses are opening up, bold public art projects are being erected, the streets are alive with people, and it seems that everybody is feeling the infectious “Buffalove.” And what’s not to love? We’ve got amazing 24-hour restaurants, houses for a dollar, adorable accents, and some of the best architecture and art in the country. The city still has a way to go, but it is becoming a shining example to follow, both in terms of urban planning and sheer team spirit. So—Let’s Go, Buffalo! I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for you! —Max