I took a picture of Buffalo last weekend. I thought it was beautiful so I put it on Instagram and captioned it with something snarky. As obvious as I thought the sarcasm was, evidently, it wasn’t.
How many times have you heard people talk bad about our city and you just think to yourself, “How am I seeing this so differently from them?” It’s what prompted someone to paint the mural that says “Keep Buffalo a Secret.” Those of us who love it here believe we’ve got a hidden gem. While people all over the country talk bad about Buffalo, many of them haven’t ever been to the city or seen it in the same light as we have.

Last weekend we went to dinner with some friends on the waterfront. We stopped out to Charlie’s Boatyard and ate as we watched the sun slowly set over Lake Erie. It was an incredible night. The weather was absolutely perfect.  The water was calm. The Buffalo skyline was framing the boats that were sitting in the harbor. So I took a picture.

I couldn’t help but think about how beautiful it was.  It felt like the exact opposite of what people would expect from Buffalo. So I put it on Instagram with a snarky title. It said, “Go ahead…tell me how ugly Buffalo is and how no one wants to live here. #Buffalove”

It’s my fault.
I assumed that my sarcasm would shine through when I used the hashtag #Buffalove.

I was wrong.
People took it to heart and proceeded to tell me all the things they hate about our city.

”Buffalo is filthy, smelly, full of graffiti.”
“It's ugly and no one wants to live there”
“I was just in Charlotte NC and comparing that to Buffalo, Buffalo is dirty. Trash on every corner.”

These are just a few of the comments that people left on one of my other social media pages. I’m leaving their names out because I’m not trying to call them out. I guess I asked for it. I guess I was just really surprised.

First off, is it really that hard to distinguish between sarcasm and sincerity?

Secondly, it’s a beautiful picture of boats in a harbor. Why were people so negative about it? And if they’re so disenfranchised by Buffalo, why are they here? What is keeping them?  I'll acknowledge that I've seen trash in the streets at times...this certainly wasn't one of them.

Now, before I get people saying "You asked for it by putting it on social media" or claiming that I'm "crying about it."  I'm not.  I'm just trying to understand.  When did we get to be this way?

I love our city. I’m proud to say I’m from Buffalo. I know it’s not perfect. Yes, I’ve lived in other places. They’ve all got their haters too. But I choose to look at the positives. I’ll admit I’m not normally a "glass half full" kind of guy but I will just never understand how someone can look at something like that and not see the beauty.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But is this really who we want to be as a culture? Where does all this negativity come from?
As hard as I try…it’s hard for me to “Keep Buffalo A Secret.” I plan to continue to show Buffalo as I see it.


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