September 2011: From the Editor

This has been a summer of milestones for Buffalo. In spite of dire economic news that was worsening as we went to press, the last few years have been years of significant growth for our area—depending on where you look.

Over the weekend of July 4th, many of us visited Canalside to see the progress of this on-going reinvention of Buffalo’s Inner Harbor. While I could wish for more interesting (and permanent-looking) dining choices there, the expansion of the Central Wharf and the addition of colorful chairs, more places to walk and sit, a water ferry, and kayaking adds considerably to the critical mass. Canalside is now a place—not just a framework. To me, the most valuable element was the connection to Ohio Street and the new Riverfest Park, which leads to the Lake Erie waterfront. Suddenly the two harbors began to make sense—as a pedestrian I could see how they could be coherently linked. That simple physical clarification has been missing for too long. It is also eye-opening to be able to walk alongside the D, L & W terminal and imagine its possibilities. It will be a while before this project is near final fruition, but enough is there to raise hopes of a long-needed waterfront destination.

Another surprisingly successful summer happening was June’s ECHO Art Fair. As event producer Frits Abell says, it “straddled the intersection of Rust Belt chic and fine art,” and it did so with style. Artists found a market for their work, and those who attended experienced another superb use of the Central Terminal. For a building with zero amenities and scarcely a whole window anywhere, the Terminal is nonetheless a splendid setting for events like this.

Finally, hearty congratulations are once again due to the organizers and gardeners of Garden Walk. For the second year in a row, this was expanded into a five-week festival and significantly more horticultural tourists visited Buffalo not just for the Walk but also for the Open Gardens and other programming. As a Garden Walk gardener, I noticed more out-of-town visitors walking through my garden than ever before.
And there will be more to enjoy throughout the fall. Check our calendar!

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