Labor Day Weekend 2001

6 Sep

I moved to Buffalo exactly ten years ago this past weekend.

Are we better off now than we were then? Worse off?

When I moved here I knew nothing about this place except the stereotypes – the caricature of Buffalo and WNY. I learned quickly that we had a lot of bad politics, bad politicians, and bad policies. We have too many governmental entities that end up fighting with each other when they should be working in unity.

What I’ve witnessed in my first decade here is a lot of two steps forward, one step back. I’ve seen incremental positive changes, but the overall culture of political patronage and silly fights hasn’t changed much, if at all. In fact, in the past few months it’s gotten worse.

What will Labor Day Weekend 2021 look like?

8 Responses to “Labor Day Weekend 2001”

  1. Ward September 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    When you arrived Buffalo was being run by the puppet masters of an empty-suit mayor (Tin Cup Tony), and City Hall was a hackerama hemorrhaging corruption and misplacing millions of dollars. The city school system had just shed an abrasive Superintendent whom they’d foolishly selected for reason of his race–vowing not to repeat the mistake. The Inner Harbor was a wasteland “managed” by the NFTA–a bus company pretending to know something about development of public lands. There was a single-span Peace Bridge leading to a can-of-worms, impenetrable Customs Plaza. Buffalo had thousands of abandoned, condemned houses awaiting demolition.

    I’d say we’ve taken giant strides in these ten years, wouldn’t you? /s

  2. Black Rock Lifer September 6, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    In the past ten years we have moved away from regionalism (thanks Chris Collins and suburban voters), further concentrated wealth to the detriment of most in the area (thanks Republican Party), and squandered years that could have been used to advocate for our city (thanks Byron Brown). But, we also have found a new appreciation for our city and architecture that continues to grow and attract more interest. Much of that investment comes from grass roots efforts that were unheard of 10 or 20 years ago.

  3. mike September 6, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Having lived here for 5 decades the worst part of it was having so many friends leave, not many people from my class still around. But I would like to admit that your blog was one of the nice things to happen in the last 10 years.

  4. Tracy Diina September 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I agree with Mike!!

  5. lulu September 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Buffalo and WNY is better for having you, BP. With all of our faults, this community is still a great place to live and a great place to raise children – politics and leadership be damned.

  6. wolfpack September 6, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    WE have an indomitable spirit despite selfish politicians and selfish developers. Every neighborhood, district, village, town and City fights for everyone else’s money from a pie shrunken over the years. No one wants to wait their turn since they may vote you out if you allow it. Demolitions in the City are done one in each district until the next time around- never clean up one area and then move to another-. Empire/Enterprise/Empowered zones on a map look like a handfull of dirt was thrown at the map. Road projects are done in whatever order the ruling class finds its friends. Community and Cultural groups fail to show outcomes of their programs. The Executive Director Syndrone keeps program directors for acvtually having a program with possible results. There is no one left to form a picket line around the missing plants.

    I once attended a meeting in the Masten District and in a small group I listened to an older black woman lamenting that her first family member to finish college had to leave to find a job. It broke her heart to see what could have been here for her to see before she passed. Hopefully her sacrifices led to a promising career for her grandson who might some day return here.

  7. Greg September 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    This seems like a good post to mention that my lovely wife and I are relocating to NC this week. I hate to +2 the brain drain, but it’s an awesome opportunity for us given our particular careers. I’ll still read and comment here — for the national-type posts more so than the local stuff. The local stuff just depresses me at this point.
    Alan, your writing and this website overall have definitely made a positive impact on the area in the last 2 or 3 years I’ve been following you/it. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Alan Bedenko September 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Thanks, everyone. You’re too kind.

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