Sunday, April 22, 2007

Buffalo, NY Wrap-up and Lessons Learned

Gadabout Relaxes with Baseball

Gadabout Travel Note. One note from Gadabout concerning travel and the use of elevators when on the road; if you are last on, then you should be first off. Don’t try to be polite at 4:30 AM offering a woman in the back of the elevator with luggage to exit first. Just get off the damn elevator! Shut up and travel.

Gadabout has spent the past 5 days in Buffalo, NY, of all places. I had not spent any time in Buffalo since I was a young boy visiting family—the Browns. Once the Browns moved away from Buffalo in the early 1970’s there was no reason to return, so I never did. I don’t remember much of Buffalo from back then, only hanging out with my cousins during the summer with nothing interesting to do. My older sisters smoked cigarettes they stole from mom and were generally a pain in the ass. My mom and Aunt Marilyn spent their evenings drinking wine—trying to forget their children and rotten husbands. My cool cousins, Larry and Steven, and I played baseball in the street during the day, and spent our nights wishing we were older, and beating up our sisters.

The reason for my return to Buffalo was to help my friend, Rachel, find a house for the next couple of years. She is moving there this summer. I am staying in Virginia. Okay?

Anyway, I had preconceived notions and biases of Buffalo before the journey began. I was told that Buffalo was a place of crime, racial tension and poverty. “Don’t ever LIVE in Buffalo,” was a familiar firm recommendation. I was prepared for the worst, but the preparation was all for naught. Gadabout discovered that Buffalo is a fine place to live. Sure, we found a few places that were not safe and we were steered away from blighted areas where we wouldn’t fit in, but not everyone fits in everywhere in every city. Gadabout has been around the block a few times, and was raised in Detroit proper, so he understands boundaries.

Buffalo even has a presidential assassination under its belt. President William Mckinley was shot twice by Leon Frank Czolgosz (of Detroit no less). It was a nasty wound and he died of a persistent infection. Maybe that’s how the city got its bad rap!

The streets of Buffalo have a Midwestern feel to them—more of a Chicago experience than a New York City rush. We even attended a Bison’s Triple-A baseball game and were pleasantly surprised at the franchise’s professional appearance, ample parking and cheap beer. The one truly unsettling aspect of the ball game was the fifty or so seagulls flying overhead and landing on the field during play. Very Alfred Hitchcock like. The Bison’s lost 5-3 to the Pawtucket Red Sox. I drank beer and ate Buffalo Wings in mourning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who beat up whom???