Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buffalo, NY: Not a punchline.

Everyone has their own version of hometown pride, though certain cities are more known for it than others. What most people that aren't from Buffalo don't know is - we've got as much of it as they do.

Yep. We LOVE it here.

Many people find that hard to believe. But I'll have you know - Buffalo, NY is much more than a punchline in a joke about snow or chicken wings. Believe it or not, we DO have Summer, and though we know how to handle a little snow, we aren't shoveling it in July. Our sports teams may continuously let us down, but you should see the energy and unflinching loyalty of our fans. We may be known for junk food, but...have you ever tried a real Beef on Weck, or actual chicken wings made with only Franks & butter? (Those complicated recipes you make down south don't compare. I've tried many - you guys are trying too hard.) That junk food is the best of the best. We're BFFs (and sometimes frenemies*) with Canada. We can sing their national anthem by heart, and our kids grow up vacationing in another country without batting an eyelash.

(*If you're wondering what fuels our love-hate relationship, it mostly consists of hockey rivalries, and conflicting driving styles. It's probably the conversion from kmh to mph. Oh, and it's also annoying that our malls and parking lots are always flooded.)

What Buffalo actually is, is a city full of history, art, tradition, architecture, and family. It's a great place to raise kids, educate our youth, enjoy all four seasons, and sustain connections between sprawling generations of family.

So this is why it infuriates me to hear Buffalo referred to in a negative light.

Don't knock it til you try it, haters.

Recently, I decided to get through old episodes of How I Met Your Mother, in hopes that I could catch up fast enough to watch along with the final season next year. In one of the first few episodes, Barney made a joke about Buffalo that made me mad! Being a girl from Buffalo, and all.



One of my go-to "when nothing else is on" shows is The Golden Girls. While they weren't trying to pick on Buffalo itself, the reference was still used as a punchline. It paints a picture of snow and cold, and so far north, it might as well by the North Pole. Why not say Chicago? Or Detroit? Or Cleveland? You know, we all have the same "mistake on the lake" reputation.

The Buffalo reference comes in at 1:51-1:52.



And here's well known and respected Anderson Cooper laughing uncontrollably about one of our cultural traditions.



Is Dyngus Day a little silly? Well, yeah. But our area is very heavily saturated with people who have roots in Poland (myself & my husband included), and we love to keep tradition alive. Besides - silly, dumb, or whatever you want to call it - who doesn't love an excuse to act like a kid and have fun? Isn't that what life's all about?

People love to poke fun at us, for whatever reason, but I felt it was my Buffalonian duty to take a moment and do my part to let those jokesters know that Buffalo is worth something. Just take a look at a handful of the famous people that have spent time in our wonderful city and its suburbs:

Joyce Carol Oates (born here)
Mark Twain
Ani DiFranco (born here)
Goo Goo Dolls band members (born here)
Rick James (born here)
Brian McKnight (born here)
David Boreanaz (born here)
Chad Michael Murray (born here)
Grover Cleveland
Millard Fillmore

And that is a very small sample of people that I figured you wouldn't have to Google. There's a sprawling list of athletes, musicians, politicians, architects and artists that have either lived here or were born here. They've all experienced the real Buffalo.

Check out these videos for proof of how great our hometown really is.





And check out the videos on THIS YouTube channel. They cover everything from food and beer, to shopping and architecture. Wait til you see how much Buffalo actually has to offer!

I'm not trying to convince you to move here. Although, there are worse things. (Buy a hat, you'd get used to the snow.) I just want you (the collective you), to understand that Buffalo is made up of more than snow. It's full of heart and history, and deserves to be understood as more than the butt of a joke.

3 comments:

  1. I am convinced I could be happy anywhere as long as I had my family. There is no perfect place to live except the one we call HOME! So anyone who is a Buffalo hater should just sit down...don't knock till you've lived there with your family! It sounds like there is lots of great things about it!

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  2. Aww, I really enjoyed reading this! Hometown pride is definitely a good thing! I went to school with a few kids from Buffalo and they had nothing but good things to say about their hometown :)

    Glad to have found your blog via SITS!

    Best,
    Danielle
    http://awriterinlove.blogspot.com

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    pieceitalltogetherx3.blogspot.com

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