Ghost Town’s Over, Buffalo

By Griffin Jones

Some people think that population size doesn’t matter. I think it matters a lot. Buffalo’s population decline has slowed considerably; it hasn’t reversed. It’s time to increase the city’s population, and I hope it does so substantially. There is a massive disparity between areas with booming populations, and the congestion and cost of living that come with them, and what Buffalo has to offer. Finally, in a digital world, it’s possible to work from anywhere. This unprecedented economic movement could balance the huge differential between these types of areas, and Buffalo could be well poised to greatly benefit. We could use it too, because Buffalo needs DEPTH. The allure of big cities is due in no small part to having lots of people who are active in lots of different things. We lack for that in Buffalo.

Well, am I right or wrong?

Buffalo Compared To What?

By Griffin Jones

I’m a Buffalo centrist. I don’t buy into the negativity that Buffalo is a dump, there’s nothing to do, and no good will ever come of it. I also don’t buy the hype that Buffalo is a major city that has everything you could want. I’ve been to major cities and many of them have a lot of things that I really wish we had in Buffalo.

So, I constantly compare Buffalo to other cities. It’s not an aspiration, Buffalo will never be any city other than the one it is, and we are unique. It’s a baseline. I am always grateful and proud, and never satisfied with the status quo. I think the summary of Buffalo at the end of the 21st century is entirely dependent on the will of its people to hold it to excellence. We have an opportunity to push Buffalo to a level of greatness far beyond what she’s at now. So while I’m young and able…I’m pushing.

Push it. Push it real good.

 

Refugees in Buffalo: Reinforcements have arrived

By Griffin Jones

“The people in Buffalo are just the best. They’re just good people.” It used to annoy me when people would rattle this off as the first thing that they like about Western New York. I thought it was corny. And probably inaccurate. As I get a little bit older, I see more of the truth in it. At the very least, there is a “down to earth” aspect of our culture that I don’t want to go away, no matter how many shiny new things we have to celebrate.

I see Buffalo’s refugee community playing a huge role in keeping the best of Buffalo while we learn to adapt to the present. I’m idealizing both Buffalo and immigrant values and I don’t care. It’s the part we were born to play.

Old Buffalo vs. New Buffalo

By Griffin Jones

“Buffalo: We got nice shit now.”

That’s what I wanted to title this video. I really want to call attention to two different things. First, Buffalo has enjoyed a lot more “cosmopolitan” success in the last five years relative to what it saw in the previous five decades. Second, Buffalo has always had a great deal of cultural gold mines that many of us have ignored or simply didn’t know about. I want everyone in Buffalo to visit a new establishment that has just opened in the last year or so, and to tell us if you recommend it or not. I also want you to visit one of Buffalo’s many heritage locations that you’ve never actually been to (I still haven’t been to friggin’ Ulrich’s).

What is a new place that recently opened that everyone should check out? On the flipside, what is one of Buffalo’s best kept secrets that we may have ignored even though we may have lived here our whole lives?

Buffalo: Now Is the Time

By Griffin Jones

I still think about this all the time. Buffalo is what is is for the amazing people who work tirelessly and thanklessly to improve it on any margin they can. We need deeper ranks. There are so many people that have taken charge of different tasks and they need help.

Get up off of your ass Buffalo. There are too many lurkers. I’m not singling out, Buffalo, this is a pretty universal truth. Most people are passive observers. Still, for those observers that have it in the to become action-takers…do it. Every single person counts and it’s all hands on deck all the time.

Taking responsibility for a cause that you don’t get paid for is what it means to be a citizen, and there is no shortage of them to choose from, especially in Buffalo.

Do You Really Want to Move Back to Buffalo?

By Griffin Jones

Shit or get off the pot. You don’t owe anything to Buffalo if you moved away for your career or to pursue any of your dreams. There are plenty of other places that can offer you things that would be really hard to find here.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for things to get better. Making things better is not a magical phenomenon that happens on its own, it happens from creative people working very hard to go against economic and cultural stubbornness. Buffalo is what it is for the people who are here.

Buffalo Zero Zero

By Griffin Jones

Thinking good things will last forever is what led Buffalo to a massive economic depression, and thinking things will never get better is what kept it there for several decades.

We have improved greatly over the last couple years, and there is no finish line for the work we need to do. The score is always zero zero.