The Buffalo Roams Again

The Buffalo Roams Again

In Historic Lockport: Part of One of the World’s Premiere Inland Waterways, George Cassidy Payne provided a comprehensive look at the canal town of Lockport, NY. Today, George ventures southward with a montage of urban Buffalo.

In Niagara Noir, George captured the essence of Niagara Falls.

The Buffalo Roams Again

All photos by George Payne

Have you been to Buffalo lately? Apparently a billion dollars goes a long way. The money from NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo has brought new construction, increased economic development, and thousands of new jobs to the Queen City. Today it is a roaring 54.9 billion dollar economy that has no signs of slowing down. Buffalo is happening. It feels like a city on the ascent. It feels vibrant, spacious, clean, and progressive.

To walk downtown on an early morning is to experience Buffalo in way that most people do not take the opportunity to do. Immediately one feels the dominating presence of City Hall, unquestionably one of the great masterpieces of civic Art Deco architecture in America. It is a stunning building that holds your breath in suspended animation. The ambition! The fearlessness! The hopes and dreams! The style! The brilliance! It is a building that has no equal. HIKER

Then there is the glittery roof of the Buffalo First Savings Bank, the historic Electric Tower of 1912, and the Spanish American War monument known by locals as “The Hiker.”  The architecture is World Class. BUF 3

BUF 2I especially like the Electric Tower. This structure was the first building to be fulling lit at night. Can you imagine? Before the NYC skyline, Miracle Mile of Chicago, or Los Angeles spotlights, there was Buffalo’s General Electric Tower, which is a 294 foot, 14 story, Beaux-Arts Classical Revival gem. Ideally situated on the corner of Washington and Genesee Streets, it is the site of the famous Buffalo Ball Drop. I heard from someone on the street that it is the second largest New Years Eve gathering in the United States. BufF 1BUF 6

bUF 5Buffalo is no longer a beleaguered, crumbling rust belt disappointment- if it ever was one. Today the city is looking fabulous. The Harbor is alive. The Theater District is a marvel. The Grain Elevators kick butt. And the Bills made the playoffs! I was not at all surprised to discover that from 2006-2018, Buffalo saw an increase in residents aged 18-34 of 10.5%, one of the highest rates in the country. Buffalo is booming. BUF 9bUF 7

As a Rochesterian, I have to admit I am a little jealous. I wish I lived in Buffalo. It is so much grander than Rochester. The size and scale of the buildings are so much more illuminated with the mark of excellence. The people seem to have a bounce in their step and a sparkle in their eye. The city is everything Rochester should be striving for. It is cultured. It is humane. It is robust. It is fun. It is happening.



Historic Lockport: Part of One of the World’s Premiere Inland Waterways

Niagara Noir

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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