The first round of comments on my Saturday column came mainly from Toronto but Buffalonians also have something to say.
Yesterday, while at lunch, the topic of conversation was that of Richard Florida (theory of the creative class) and his recent move to Toronto. The conversation led to a Globe and Mail article that ...formulates, as many of us have been doing for quite some time now, that the key to growth and prosperity it to capitalize on the fact that we're already a major force if you look at our region as a network. We all know that Buffalo must do a better job in marketing what we have, and what we are getting. One of those assets is our relationship to Toronto. When someone comes in to Buffalo for the first time Toronto is always on the laundry list when I talk of the great assets of our city. I tell them that they can leave Buffalo at 9am and still be in Toronto for breakfast. Then they can spend the day there and be back in their favorite city in time for dinner. That's the same length commute that many of my friends who live outside NY take to get into the city. It always amazes people that Toronto is so close. It also reinforces the idea that Buffalo should aim for becoming a strong mid-size city... with a mega cosmopolitan city within a short drive. Listen to what Florida writes as part of the lead-in for his article: "And yet everywhere we go we are met by Torontonians who either seem mystified that we would move to what they imply is a second-rate city, or seem to be seeking some kind of validation in our answer." Sounds a bit familiar doesn't it?
And vice-versa: One of "our" assets is proximity to Buffalo. I'm a huge Buffalo fan. I lived near Elmwood and taught at UB. The city has tremendous assets. Some of them, like great universities and great art museums are self-evident. Others a bit more mundane. As an American, I'm tickled pink we get watch our favorite US shows, as well as the Bills, on Buffalo TV. Plus, I can pick up my favorite American micro-brews there.