July 2012: Letter from the editor
Set the wayback machine to 1970. At that moment in time, if you were to tell someone—anyone—that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House would be restored, that the demolished structures around it would be rebuilt, and that architecture buffs from all over the world would travel to Buffalo to see this, I’d guess you’d be greeted with either polite incredulity or outright disbelief. And yet, in less than fifty years, this did happen. It has taken private money, public money, hundreds of volunteers, and countless hours of work by dedicated professionals, but almost every Western New York structure associated with Wright has been, or is in the process of being restored. Spree writer Barry A. Muskat has outlined this phenomenal process and its results on pages 21 to 36 of this issue, and I urge you to read it, even if you think you already know all about it.
Our seventh annual Best Of results in many ways continue the story started on page 21. So many things that no one would have dreamed of as happening in Buffalo as few as ten years ago are now fact—car sharing, pre-prohibition cocktails, a restored Lafayette hotel, legal food trucks … the list of wonders starts on page 66. It could easily have been doubled.
We know we’re running the risk of being too Pollyanna-ish about Western New York. We’re not, really. We know what the problems—and the obstacles to solving them—are. But we disagree that celebrating successes like Lafayette and the Martin House get in the way of that recognition. Without acknowledging that we are capable of excellence, and that we achieve excellence in many areas every single year, how can we hope to solve the many issues that get in the way of future accomplishments? Like everything in life, it’s a balance. We celebrate to gain inspiration for the future. So that whenever someone else says, “No way,” we have one more example to refute negativity.
May your July be filled with inspiration,