Sunday, February 22, 2009

From nature, to destitution, to casino

My friend Bekah and I went for a walk yesterday. I guess first we went for a ride in the car, then we walked then drove then walked! It was a crazy day! Started off at SPot coffee on Delaware then we headed over to Times Beach which is a great and weird place it is off the skyway on Fuhrman Boulevard near the Coast Guard Base. It is really hard to get to because of the stupid Skyway. Buffalo's waterfront is so cut off from everything! But we walked along the break wall and over towards the coast guard base and on the boardwalk the picture is from the Nature part of our day.

Then we drove around the area over near the grain mills and onto Chicago Street where there is much destitution, and also some housing projects which butt right up against boarded up buildings such as this little firehouse. Some of the projects are boarded up themselves, which is pretty crazy to me! That's the destitution part!

Then we saw the NEW flashy and weird Native American Casino which is only the temporary site for a larger and more magical casino which probably will never be actually built (the steel skeleton is there though) IT was weird to go from a serene nature spot to the destitution of Buffalo to this glitzy casino.

We then went to Campieri's on Main Street for some awesome food. The food was great, and we were really hungry. It was an awesome day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shovel Ready Sites?!

New York Gov. David A. Paterson's office has identified more than 1,900 "shovel-ready" projects that could be started soon, depending on how federal stimulus dollars are allocated.

This database includes proposed projects in every county in New York but is linked directly to Erie County projects. You can also sort through them if you would like. Some ask for millions others ask for $30,000. It is really a crap shoot as to who gets what funding. Lets hope that Buffalo is included in a big way in this allocation!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flight 3407

It is one thing to not hear the back story and be like 50 people just died it is a totally different story when you start hearing the names and life details of the people on flight 3407. BuffaWhat shared the above graphic from Hero Design. I felt numb up until now with regards to this, but now as the stories of peoples lives lost come out it feels real. I prayed tonight for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A New Vacant Lot Strategy. NINJAS!

So I have been thinking about vacant lot strategy for the city of Buffalo. Buffalo has between 7,000 and 10,000 vacant properties many of which are lots. We are busy creating community gardens tree farms etc on these lots to reclaim them from what they formerly were which was often places where people dumped tired and other debris. People also used these lots as places to do drugs and other illicit things. I know this is a huge and important problem, but just wanted to throw out an idea that I think is great and silly. NINJAS. (takes a little while to get down to the street view) If you click on this link you will see the new Ninja Training school that has been established in the City of Pittsburgh in order to take back the vacant lots that are throughout the city. No one wants to dump trash in a vacant lot if they know that ninjas are lieing in wait to cut them to bits. No gang activity is going to go on there because as everyone knows Ninjas can cut bullets in half with their swords. So I say if Pittsburgh can do it so can we! Go Ninja Go Ninja GO Ninja GO!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Community Garden Task Force

This morning Anthony Armstrong from LISC, Erin Sharkey and Diane Picard from MAP, Yuri from CUFF and Bill Parke from the City of Buffalo Planning Dept. met with Dr. Samina Raja's Food Security Class. The class is tasked with doing research that will lead to increased security for community gardens. The hope is that we can then present a policy document to the Common Council that will be adopted and put into law. It is exciting to see all of these students and their excitement about doing this work is great. I hope that we can create long lasting community gardens, especially since there are so many vacant properties in the City of Buffalo. I think we are moving in the right direction and will be able to provide people with food and beauty in the form of community gardens!!!