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Creating A New Image For Western New York [VIDEO]

City Hall, Buffalo NY (photo by andrew.deci@flickr)

We told you about it an earlier post and I was so very impressed with a new, well-done video introduced Tuesday by Visit Buffalo Niagara, formerly the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau. We’ve Got A New City Slogan  It was the result of a 16-month project to create a new image for the region.

I’ve lived in Buffalo all of my life.  From the days when downtown was crowded with workers and shoppers during the day and theatre and movie goers at night.  From back in the days when busy auto and steel plants employed tens of thousands.  When there was no such thing as abandoned or vacant homes.  Buffalo was a place people aspired to come to because the jobs were here.  But little by little taxes and fees and low cost labor in other parts of the country or other parts of the world ate away at Buffalo’s job market.  The jobs began to disappear.  And so did the companies.  And so did the people.

It breaks my heart to tour areas of the city that were once thriving neighborhoods bustling with people.  Extended families, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins all lived just a short distance from each other.  But those neighborhoods are empty now.  The homes, corner stores, taverns and restaurants are gone. 

One of my fondest memories is summers at my grandparents’ house on Fillmore Avenue sitting on the front porch in the evenings listening to the ball game and watching the traffic go by.  I cried when one day I drove by and the house was gone.   

I’ve always wondered why when you say you’re from Buffalo, NY people laugh or ask if you’re tired of shoveling the snow…or some other stupid thing.  It’s my home and I would hate to leave.  It’s a good place to live and to raise a family.  I’m really not surprised at the number of people who have left and bite at the chance to come back. 

The winters are long and tough, but there is something special about Buffalo and Visit Buffalo Niagara’s video has captured the essence of the city.  Visit Buffalo Niagara president Dottie Gallagher-Cohen said, “Buffalo is a whole lot more than chicken wings and snow”.

This video captures what Buffalo was, is and what could be.  It shows a city that most people around the country don’t know about – the Buffalo I hope more people can come to appreciate.

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