Cowed CanalSide Crowdsources

30 Jun

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s implementation of “placemaking” is happening, guys!  Instead of ground being broken on a big store, (pshaw! – everyone hates big stores like what AM&A’s used to be!), which would, in turn, attract other businesses, we have this:

Food stand 1

No, seriously, the food shack under the Skyway is almost done! Soon, you’ll be able to eat food near the water. (Bathrooms may come shortly, too, ZOMG! And CHAIRS, GUYS! CHAIRS!)

Naturally, I’m coming off as snarky because I’m disappointed in the pace of progress, which has mostly been hampered by protests and threatened litigation.  Par for the course for any Buffalo development, really.  I hope – truly hope – that the most recent plans that ECHDC has for Canal Side, involving interpretive canals, a public market space, and build-outs for other retail and food outlets will happen soon.

We’re close to ten years out from the first announcement of Bass Pro. We’re now supposed to get excited over a shack that would look at home at any little league field.

To make matters more bizarre, the ECHDC is so proud of this shack that it’s holding a naming contest for it.

Not everything needs to be crowdsourced, guys. How about you bid out the food operation, and let the food operator choose the name?  Fred Kent and his PPS were paid six figures of taxpayer money for their Google Image Search and unscientific “power of ten” feel-good hocus-pocus. I seriously want our money back. After all, we could have built a second shack with it.

But we held our own contest on Twitter last week under the #ecshack (Erie Canal Shack) hashtag. Some of the entries:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/wnymediachris/status/84334020174938112″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/wnymediachris/status/84332632447516672″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/labgrrl/status/84333084278927361″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84332153952935936″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/ccharvella/status/84335083980472321″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84330606359621635″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/TomDolina/status/84336873652232192″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/redsbasement/status/84336917436567552″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84329793084080128″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/drwarner29/status/84328763004948480″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/TomDolina/status/84324953847119872″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84324833210540032″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84321213501018113″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/buffalopundit/status/84321068101275648″%5D

For some reason, the Twitter search function isn’t working quite right, so a lot of my favorites aren’t available. Suffice it to say many of them involved “Shack” or “Shed”.

Disappointment breeds cynicism and sarcastic reaction – all three are growth industries in Buffalo.

10 Responses to “Cowed CanalSide Crowdsources”

  1. Mike In WNY at 10:33 am #

    Speaking of food at the harbor. While at the Elvis Costello concert, the soon-to-come Food Shack appeared a bit undersized. Perhaps I am wrong, but that was my impression.

    Buffalo Place needs to get better food options during concerts. The choices are too limited – pizza, dogs, or bbq. The pizza from Just Pizza tasted like the box with a scant smear of sauce, rubbery/tasteless cheese and 2 miniscule pieces of pepperoni. Perhaps, a deal could be made with Food Trucks to provide some tasty variety. Not only during concerts, but during other time periods as well.

  2. Sean C. at 12:06 pm #

    The Greased Wheel? Tears Shed? 

  3. Eric P. at 12:25 pm #

    “…because I’m disappointed in the pace of progress, which has mostly been hampered by protests and threatened litigation.”

    “Progress” has mainly been hampered by self-serving and uninspired big-box / magic bullet ideas from ECHDC.  

    Perhaps publice-use / green space / park land and clean water are just not as sexy as a new, dime-a-dozen, tax-abated & otherwise taxpayer subsidized, non-locally owned “AM&A’s”.  AM&A’s, really?  

    Of course, its the people who oppose the self-serving ideas of ECHDC who are the “bad guys”.  Those who brought suit against ECHDC had many reasons, particularly whether the crony-created ECHDC has the right to piss away the $150 million that came to EC from the Niagara Power Revenue agreements. Those funds should be used for environmental clean-up of the Bflo River and waterfront area (ie. the long-term benefit of the citizenry).

    3 Questions that never seem to be asked (or answered):
    1.) What do the plaintiffs stand to gain from litigation against ECHDC? (hint: no personal benefit).
    2.) What do the members of ECHDC stand to gain from the various plans that have been proposed?
    3.) Is everybody ok with “floaters”?

    In this case, no development is better than bad development.    

  4. Ward at 12:52 pm #

    Of course the Naval Park Museum restaurant has been scotched for this season, possibly by reason of the operator’s failure to “pay to play” with Urkel?

  5. Brian Wood at 2:17 pm #

    Looks as if the Naval Park Museum folks failed to properly kiss Urkel’s ring, or french his anal orifice, or whatever toadying, lickspittling thing he demands.

  6. Brian Castner at 3:35 pm #

    @ Eric P: Answers to your questions:

    1) Local prominence, power and control

    2) Business connections, power and control

    3) No, but a) floaters add to the authenticity and b) floaters are priority #2634984395 compared to the other problems down there

  7. Tom Dolina at 6:46 pm #

    As a side note to MikeInNY: The Elvis show was awesome. Bring him back every summer and watch the dollars pour in!

  8. Mike in Buffalo at 11:18 pm #

    I have still not given up on Bass Pro, hear me out guys….

    1. We write letters to Bass Pro begging them to build one of their stores here with our money.

    2. We promise to spend our money and direct our visitors to spend their money at the Bass Pro store.

    3. We promise to do other things to help out Bass Pro if they would only come and run their store here… 

    Please, Mr Bass Pro if you are reading this right now, we’re sorry! We didn’t mean to run you out of town like that. We will never be so childish again. We have learned that it is only through your divine mercy that we shall have eternal salvation. 

    Bass Pro.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o..o.o………………….~drowning in sorrow…

    • Christopher Smith at 1:37 am #

      Well done. As a fine connoisseur of sarcasm, I think you gave just the right amount. However, it wasn’t just Bass Pro, it was an entire development of local and national retail, restaurants and destination activities. Instead, we have a food shack and a hope that 40 people in the community will let us build something mildly similar at a time of their choosing. So, can;t say I’m feeling good about it right now.

      I am excited to see this tomorrow, though!


  1. con·grat·u·bate (kənˈgraCHəˌbāt), Verb « -

    […] a veritable mad house when the winds whip in off the frozen lake and the lunchtime crowd eats its shack lunch al fresco whilst developing a nasty case of […]

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