My "big fundamental" is that being _left_ means working for a more egalitarian, democratic society, but also for fairness, not ethnic or other kinds of favoritism. Because the left has turned away from fairness it is lost and unpopular. I'm a small voice hoping to push the left back toward its basics and its natural popularity.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Vision of Buffalo: A Natural Beauty

Here are some of my many positive impressions of the city in no particular order: super friendly, celebrates Halloween and Christmas better than anywhere else, the awesome Niagara River, the Lake Erie coastline, big beautiful winter snow, great summer weather, the mountains an hour south, Tonawanda's Canal Fest. Oh, and several comfortable, established neighborhoods. I've left out negative impressions, because that's my worst impression about the area: Buffalonians' negative attitude toward their city.

Bufalo is having one of its usual, less than visionary mayors' races right now, so I think the time is right (well, it's been the right time for awhile, actually) to urge a radical, creative vision of the city's future. My fundamental belief (as you might guess from the previous paragraph) is that there is tremendous natural beauty and even more _potential_ natural beauty in and around Buffalo. The city (and Erie County, for that matter) should commit itself to gradually repairing the immense damage wrought by heavy industry and planning fiascos to its waterways, to Delaware Park, and to much else. At the same time, Buffalo should gradually and entirely re-orient itself toward the magnificent Niagara River and Lake Erie. Obviously this means a massive long-term clean-up and (neighborhood-friendly) urban renewal. So let's get started (!), raise the money and make clear and inspiring five, ten, and twenty-year plans. Oh and one more suggestion just to expand your minds a little: establish a big artificial hot springs resort just north of the new Peace Bridge: the region's many Asian tourists will _love_ it in the wintertime!

Finally, we need to revel in the region's awesome winter snowfall! Create festivals and a dog sled race from Buffalo to Toronto or Cleveland. Whatever shows a tremendous positive attitude toward the massive beautiful snowfall. If you want tips, check out how Minneapolis deals with its winter snow and cold.

Isn't the Tonawanda canal area beautiful this time of year? The Tonawandas' people and governments should be justifiably proud of what they have accomplished, and excited about the future of the area. Buffalo needs the same spirit and same direction: it could be a natural beauty nestled by a great river and lake.


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