Another snowball in the face?

Here we go again.

Blizzard of ‘77. The infamous grab a six pack of ‘85. October Surprise in ’06.

Now we have the Snovember to Remember in 2014.

Each of these weather events are every bit as serious as they sound. They demand the attention of government support and national media. They’re damaging to property, city and town budgets, and our image. And not to forget, they can be life threatening.

These are the storms that everyone around the globe hears about and the images of such storms pop into their heads whenever the name Buffalo is mentioned – no matter the time, place or setting. We’re forever associated with snow based on a handful of “big ones”.

So what, right? Yes and no.

As a marketer, it’s a PR nightmare for our region. No matter how hard we try, changing people’s overall perceptions will be a continual challenge. Despite snow events like these ranking far behind catastrophes most other places commonly see (you know, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, wildfires, droughts), for some reason, snow seems to stick in people’s minds the way it does to our rooftops and car windshields.

As a lifelong resident, it can be infuriating. Our opportunities to make the national spotlight are limited; it’d be so much better if we had the chance to fill those timeslots with the billion other great things going on here.

Nobody likes to be constantly reminded of tough times.

I can’t think of anything worse than vacationing somewhere and telling people I’m from Buffalo, only to hear the “is it snowing?” comment. In June.

It’s funny how weather gives people and places a certain stigma if it’s perceived to be always bad and a blatant arrogance if it’s thought to be good.

So where am I going with all of this?

As we dig out of this latest blast, and continue to be the focal point for all of the bad weather that the Northeast ever gets, I urge everyone to think about a few things.

Embrace it. If you’re not in danger, have some fun! How many other natural disasters let you go out and play games in the wake of the storm? Or better yet, enjoy the quality time with your family and favorite alcohol next to a fire.

Be part of the positive story. When the sky gives you slush, make a slushy? You get my point. There’s a good way to handle dealing with things, and there’s the way that adds insult to injury. Give a follow to Visit Buffalo Niagara, which is taking every step possible to see the creative and positive side of the weather, and join in on the fun.

Help someone. We NoBo’s have escaped relatively unscathed here. Take the time, once the roads open up and it’s safe to do so, to help out friends and family that may need a push or hand shoveling or a beer.

And most importantly, remember that all in all, we have it really good. We have four beautiful seasons of weather. OK, three and a half. But still, it’s pretty awesome. And really what it comes down to is we’re surrounded by genuine people, and their best shines through in moments like these.

Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now? Hawaii? Maybe. But I’m just fine in the 716.



Got a double for sale? Jay wants it.

If you’re selling, our friend Jay is buying. Read his 5 reasons on why he should be your home’s next owner.


Dear Residents of North Buffalo:

For four glorious years I was a member of your community.  I worked out at Terrie’s in a cut-off t-shirt and flexed my guns in the mirrors.  I played volleyball at Nichol’s. I hammered down more Poncho Villa burritos at Gramma Mora’s than I can remember, and on Sundays I hazily stumbled a quarter mile to Kosta’s for the best damn hangover food in Buffalo.  Life was good, North Buffalo. And I cherished every minute of it.

But, like a Bills Dynasty, all great things must come to an end.  And today this dispatch comes to you from another part of town.  A lovely neighborhood that lets me run along the water every morning and eat fresh picked cherry tomatoes from my neighbors garden at night.

But I miss you North Buffalo.  I’m older now and I realize that I didn’t truly appreciate your community for the vibrant, walkable neighborhood that it is.  I took North Buffalo for granted.  I’ve matured since then, North Buffalo, and now that I’m ready to buy a home I want back in.  I gaze longingly at the 198 on my drive into work and hope that someday, I’ll be able to call North Buffalo home again.

So, residents of North Buffalo, sell me your home.  A two-family right in the heart of the action.  Forget that empty nest couple looking for an income property and willing to pay $20,000 cash over asking price. You want ME as your neighbor.  I will owner-occupy the shit out of that home and I will be the best neighbor you have ever had.  Below, I have outlined a few of the many reasons why I deserve to call North Buffalo home again.

  1. Home Maintenance:  The home I buy doesn’t need to be perfect.  I will lovingly restore my future dwelling.  I will spend hours gently stripping paint off woodwork by hand with a tiny razor.  I will hire the great-great-great grandson of Darwin Martin to come into my home and hand make stain glass windows for my front door.  And when it’s finished I will proudly participate in EVERY Tour of Homes.  I will serve visitors food catered from Joe’s Deli and let them rifle through my underwear drawer while they pepper me with questions about the refurbished knobs I bought at Buffalo ReUse.
  1. Lawn Care: As a member of North Buffalo my lawn will be so perfectly manicured that the groundskeeper for the Buffalo Bisons will hire me as a consultant. In the summer I will spend a minimum 3 days a week outside working on my lawn shirtless.  I will gratuitously pour water on myself to cool down.  Unless you’re not into that sort of thing.  Then I’ll totally keep my shirt on.
  1. Tenants: We can’t have just anybody living in our neighborhood, North Buffalo.  So I will carefully screen all potential tenants.  I’ll require letters of recommendation from at least three sources, a credit check, and a security screening that would make Homeland Security blush.
  1. Buying Local: My home will be furnished with nothing but antiques and items purchased at ROOM.  I will dust off the cut-off and renew my membership at Terrie’s, and when I’m done pumping iron I’ll walk next door and ruin it all on chips, salsa and Poncho Villa’s.  Local businesses will know me better than staff at Cheers knows Norm Peterson.
  1. Hello Hertel: Karen and Charlie insist that I be a resident of North Buffalo before I’m allowed to join the staff of Hello Hertel.  You want me on that staff, North Buffalo.  I will weave beautiful word webs about our community that you will be proud to post all over social media.  I will do nothing but sit in Spot Coffee with my hipster glasses on and write about how awesome it is to be a resident of North Buffalo.

So there you have it.  I humbly ask that you consider my proposal and allow me to move back into our neighborhood.  I miss you, North Buffalo.  Admit it, you miss me too.


For more nonsense follow Jay on twitter @TheBigElevator