One thing I’ve been thinking of late, with regard to Buffalo’s eternal quest to reinvigorate itself (or just stop the bleeding), is that folks in this area are too convinced of Buffalo’s inherent unique and wonderful nature, and that all we need to do is keep shining the already-existing facets of our little diamond and one day the rest of the world will see how shiny we are.
This seems to me…complete nonsense.
Buffalo has loads of notable architecture. But what city doesn’t?
Buffalo has a vibrant arts scene. But what city doesn’t?
Buffalo has potential for waterfront development. But what city doesn’t?
Buffalo has lots of local colleges turning out fine students. But what city doesn’t?
Buffalo has a long industrial tradition. But what city doesn’t?
About the only thing that Buffalo has that is genuinely unique among American cities — minus a handful — is its proximity to an international border. But Detroit has one, too, and it’s not really helping there, either.
There are a lot of cities in America. Quite a few of them are doing very well, and some, like Buffalo, are not. If all the things we always cite as reasons we should be doing better aren’t getting it done, what does that tell us?