Buffalo: Old & Young in Hope

Few cities sketch the economic struggles of North America gripped in the ‘tornado’ of the 19th-century’s industrial revolution, as does Buffalo, NY, 100 years ago the largest grain port in the world (http://csac.buffalo.edu/schlegel/Schlegel.pdf – page 8).

One might expect either a thriving northern metropolis and some visible signs of its earlier economic success. But instead, thrust into the sky are empty mechanical grain elevators and concrete silos once the Thruway’s fulcrum and the city’s financial lifeblood. They stand now as skeletal reminders of the woes of its economic transitions. No longer does the setting sun highlight these brightly painted warehouses of the previous century. Grayed and browned with dust and disuse they stare blankly over Lake Erie like eye-less ghouls left in decaying silence to tell the story of the city’s unmet expectations,

And yet, in times of crisis (personal, climactic, or economic) the human spirit bands together. Everywhere in Buffalo, and in every other city in North America, the old and the young can together foster new ideas from within. Change is here to stay! Buffalo, through all its history, has everything it needs to represent that change in the future. In two words, John Henry Schlegel, Professor of Law, State University of New York at Buffalo, calls for the city to “Grow Up” (ibid, p 18)!

What others may still experience, Buffalo has seen; to this extent, it has an advantage. In plenty or in want, however, it can prepare with faith for this generation of young Millennials whose task will be to lead it to the next seasons. Schlegel’s “Grow up” injunction is prescient and applicable to all if we will not miss the fresh opportunities given us through the energy of the young emerging under our gaze.

I offer this gallery of shots as an encouragement to Buffalo’s new seasons

Loys – 17th April 2013

PS: Regarding another city, I was deeply moved this morning by thousands of hockey fans gathered in a Boston arena singing the American anthem in answer to the attack at the Boston Marathon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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