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Thread: Community charts its own new course

  1. #1
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Community charts its own new course

    Community charts its own new course by Donn Esmonde

    Stop whatever you are doing and pat yourself on the back. Yes, you. You are leading the community. You are shaping the present and the future. Not the politicians or the power brokers. You.
    OK, maybe not you personally. For all I know, you have not left the house in this century. By “you,”I mean informed, community-committed citizens. Power to the people.
    Look at the major events of this summer: The birthing of a people-friendly downtown waterfront. The annual explosion of the Garden Walk. The revitalizing West Side. None of them were part of a grand political plan or a big-subsidy project. Indeed, all of those “magic bullets” have misfired.
    Go read the full article before commenting in the Buffalo News

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    Member Linda_D's Avatar
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    Since I have been saying for years that silver bullets don't work, I'm glad Esmonde has finally caught up with me. However, I do believe that Donn is being a little hypocritical about Bass Pro as I think he did support it in the past. He may have supported building a signature bridge, too, but that battle has been going on so long it makes the Bass Pro issue seem like a blink of an eye.

    As I attended both the Gardenwalk last week-end and spent some time on the waterfront both last Sunday and this past one, here are my observations:

    Esmonde is right on about the West Side. He went into more detail in his previous column about the WS, and that's worth a read. During the Gardenwalk, we drove through the West Side west of Richmond to get to Little Summer-Union-Ketchum Pl-York near Symphony Circle/Grover Cleveland HS. There seems to be more homes being "rescued" from slumlords, especially on York, than there were when we visited this same neighborhood in the 2008 Gardenwalk.

    What makes the West Side more salvageable than the East Side is its better architecture, even in very modest homes. People love quaint. They love whimsey. They love Victorian detailing. Many are willing to gamble that they can turn an ugly frame two story with some Victorian detailing into a comfortable family home, especially when they can get it cheap. Not many will do that on the East Side because they don't love plain, nondescript, utilitarian, which is basically the vernacular architecture of the East Side.

    We also drove down to the waterfront to see the gardens at Erie Basin Marina. I, personally, was amazed at the number of people flocking the entire waterfront area, on both successive weekends. Lots of people brought chairs and just set them up in the shade to enjoy the lake breeze. Others were walking or bicycling. Plain and simple, these people were interested in being outdoors enjoying the sun and the water NOT in being indoors shopping, which is something they can do when it's 20 degrees and there's a foot of snow on the ground.

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    Member Linda_D's Avatar
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    Here are some examples of common (vernacular) architecture found all around the West Side that make it desirable:



    This is a cottage on Little Summer Street (between Richmond and York).



    This is a restored cottage on York. It's from the 2010 Gardenwalk.



    This whimsical gem is on Ketchum Place near York. A lot of the homes in the Symphony Circle neighborhood sport bright -- some might say "gaudy" -- color schemes. I have to wonder if this is an influence from the Caribbean as many of the residents of the West Side are of Puerto Rican descent.



    The most beautiful Victorian I've seen in a long time. It's on Orton I think. It's from the 2010 Gardenwalk.



    Here are some modest two families on Bird Avenue between Richmond and Elmwood. These aren't architectural gems but they have enough architectural detail to attract people looking for ambiance and detail. These were probably built between 1890 and WW I.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Lot of nice detail on some of the homes....

    From a few years ago

    Buffalo, NY Garden Walk 2008

    Buffalo, NY Garden Walk 2008

    Buffalo, NY Garden Walk 2008

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    Member Linda_D's Avatar
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    I recognize those houses on Little Summer in the middle picture ... probably taken before the Ice Storm since those two trees in front of the yellow cottage are gone and the street is much shadier in your picture than it was even in 2008.

    There's a gorgeous Victorian in serious need of rescuing on Johnson Park down the street from former poster Marilynn Rodgers' restored 1830 home. I see that house and its large overgrown yard, and it almost makes me itchy to take the plunge ... if only I was twenty years younger and had a spare $50-100K handy (that's just for reno, not for purchase).

    PS -- Rez, for some reason I suddenly can't post pics. It keeps telling me "Invalid URL" when I try to add it. It's from the same site where I got all my other pics. When I try to add a pic manually, it seems to add an extra http://font=2 to it.

  6. #6
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    I was getting that also. I think I clicked off the check box beneath the URL. They have a new editor for the posts that takes some getting used to.

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    Member Riven37's Avatar
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    I don't read this fool ...Donn Esmonde
    Riven37
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    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

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    Member Riven37's Avatar
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    Weeds, all I see are weeds, colorful but still weeds.
    Riven37
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    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Some of the gardens were awesome specially for the confined space some people had.

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