Katherine S. Conway-Turner: New resident answers the ‘Why Buffalo’ question - The Buffalo News
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Katherine S. Conway-Turner: New resident answers the ‘Why Buffalo’ question

My husband and I are among the newest members of the Buffalo community, and now, in my second month here, I have been reflecting on my newly adopted home. As the new president of SUNY Buffalo State, I arrived in a ready-made community. I have thousands of students, faculty and staff members who are now a part of my extended family, and it is wonderful to be among such a vibrant college community.

Buffalo State provides an amazing series of lectures, exhibitions, performances and athletic events, so I knew I had a great deal to experience within the boundaries of our campus.

However, I must admit that I have found the City of Buffalo to be on fire with growth, activity and new development. Every place I go, I see that change is happening. The construction that can be found at every corner illustrates that now is the time to join Buffalo.

Buffalo seems to have everything that one would want in a city: friendly neighbors, a welcoming and diverse environment, fabulous restaurants, great places to practice yoga, a wonderful array of parks, coffee houses, musical performances and festivals to meet everyone’s taste, art exhibitions, cultural events and much more.

The “much more” includes the Buffalo Bills. Friends of the Buffalo State community joined us to attend the Bills game against Miami. The game was electrifying, and it was wonderful to see the stands totally full of supportive fans who love our hometown team.

It was a trek to maneuver through the many fans as we made our way to the stadium for the game. But the drive and the lines were well worth it, and we settled into the game. Of course, it did not hurt for the Bills to win, and we all basked in the glory of the victory. As a Buffalonian texted me later that Sunday, “We squished the fish.” A little healthy competition and a great deal of team pride were certainly in play that day.

We have also found that Buffalo is an astoundingly beautiful town with a richly layered history. The industrial history of the city, the waterways that surround portions of the town, the renewal of Canalside and tree-lined avenues all add to the interest of Buffalo. I am beginning to explore more fully the history and architecture of Buffalo.

One of my first visits to the city included a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin home. I have had the pleasure of seeing other Wright homes, but this was truly magnificent. The beautiful historic homes lining Delaware Avenue and the Colored Musicians Club are two other interesting discoveries I have made. The Underground Railroad tour is definitely on our to-do list.

But I’ve been told I have much more to see and experience, and each conversation with those of you who discovered the secret of Buffalo long ago reminds me that my list of adventures in Buffalo has just begun.

So I just smile when those not from Buffalo ask, “Why Buffalo? Isn’t it snowy all the time?” Because I have fallen for Buffalo in just two months, and I know what keeps Buffalonians right here in this cultured, diverse, exciting, welcoming and growing city.

Thanks for adopting this woman from Missouri and showing her that there is no place like home when home is Buffalo.

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