A Month Back in Buffalo, the City Formerly Known as …

I didn’t miss Buffalo until news of Snowvember crossed the Atlantic, and found its way onto a BBC report.  The autumn blizzard didn’t put Buffalo on the map, but it did give my European friends a better understanding of New York State geography.  For months, each introduction had followed a predictable pattern:

European: “So, where are you from?”

Me: “Buffalo, New York.”

E: “Oh, cool!”

M: Cool?  No, there must be some – 

E: “Like, Manhattan?”

M: “No.  Like as far from Manhattan as Edinburgh is from Paris.  Like, Niagara Falls.”

E: “Ohhh – Niagara Falls.”

Once Snowvember hit I’d introduce myself as a Buffalonian and meet with a kind of reverence (even from the Scandinavians!).  Scots would say, “Ye had sum radge snow there, eh?”  “Looks like it,” I’d say – and I wished that I was back home, shoveling it.  I read my old friend and colleague Kevin Daley’s narrative account of Canisius College’s “snow days for days,” and what has already become a legendary snowball fight in the Canisius quad.  It was a clear November night in Edinburgh – balmy, a Buffalonian might say, in the upper 40s Fahrenheit.  I poured myself a mug of hot chocolate.  It felt like a lie.  By late November, after a trip spanning five months and four countries – with no breathers in between – I was ready to come home.

Photo courtesy Robert Kirkham, The Buffalo News.  For more photos of Snowvember 2014, check out the BN gallery.

Continue reading