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I'm glad there are still some vibrant areas to the city, and it's encouraging to see the new developments (loft and office) with people returning. I hope Buffalo can find the secret to its future, though I don't think it's fair to blame the light rail for Main Street's demise; the problem is also linked to urban flight, the construction of the UB Amherst campus, and other factors.
I grew up in Rochester just east of Buffalo, during the time period you describe. We had Front Street where one would go for a suit or jacket or shoes. It went out when downtown took out the trash and made room for other boxes.
A lovely piece. Thank you.
This reminds me of the Schenectady I grew up in, with wide Erie Boulevard where the canal used to end at the General Electric plant that was a city of its own, replete with its own railroad tracks, State Street with Carl's and Wallace's, which were local department stores, and an old Woolworth's with a take-your-own photo booth and a soda counter. I remember my dad shedding his tie at the kitchen table when he first came home, just as you described, as if he were punching out on a time clock. Then he'd sit down at the small kitchen table with a white and gold flecked Formica top and sip a scotch while he chatted with my mom, Donna Reed, and flipped peanuts into his mouth. He wore a hat, too, just as you described, and when I hugged him after work he always had a "dad" smell, which I now realize was just stale smoke, metal shavings, and sweat. Thanks for taking me back.
Beautiful. I used to dress the windows of Kleinhans as a summer job. Grandma was a seamtress at M. Wile. Do you wear your grandfather's ties still?