Eyes Wide...Open

Since childhood, I've been fascinated with looking out windows - bedroom, car or school, didn't matter. Imagining the world beyond my immediate environment quickly became an important way to interpret and transform what's here and now, direcetly in front of me and often standing in the way. Elementary school and later still in high school, there were new challenges and I'd find myself looking out the window with what must have seemed like a vacant stare to my teachers, masking my boredom with increasing regularity during the school day. At times imagining myself seeing things beyond the available horizon yet somehow comforted knowing that what I was seeing was dynamic, vibrant and capable of keeping me sane. Long wind up, I know...

I returned to the recently remodeled East High School on Northampton Street Sunday afternoon. (See - School House Project, for additional background.) This is what I saw.
DSCN5946 DSCN5945
click image to enlarge
This is the corresponding view from the porch, next to the open window at 773 Northampton, looking across the street towards the recently remodeled East High School.
Imagine, just for a moment, looking out your classroom window and seeing this. The disappointment and diminishing set of expectations internalized by students here, must be - has to be - profound. A parallel somewhere between the lives we lead and the fragmented spaces we see is working and shaping our minds. The metaphor of the soul - in harmony and discord - with the city, developed by poets thousands of years ago must ring true still today as school children absorb the abandonment and vacancy they see through their windows developing and taking hold in their own lives.

Part of the reason why I started blogging was to actively participate in changing the way my neighborhood looks, the way it is. You know the drill, abandoned, boarded, derelict places...so not good for our physical and probably psychic health, too. That's why I'm working to document, show and change things over here in my little corner of Cold Springs in Masten. Which of course brings us to Tuesday's election.

Word is that Eliot Spitzer will probably be New York State's next governor elect sometime Tuesday evening. Met him a couple times over at Canisius College last year. Seems like a smart guy. Yet never had the opportunity to ask him about MBBA and his take on places like this - 773 Northampton (just learned that 813 Northampton, same block is held hostage by MBBA, too - it's boarded and secure) and the lives of students leaving Buffalo.

Anyone know what Eliot's plans to do with MBBA? I'm sure a few students at East High School, as they imagine thier own lives and think about staying or leaving Buffalo, are wondering - in their own way, too.
All about MBBA - 1500 Buffalo, NY Properties held hostage by MBBA - Searchable Website.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faqmy flickr
buffalo olmsted parks conservancy


Anonymous said...

You can check out Eliot's toothless reponse to the MBBA issue at:
Near the end of the article.

PUSH was at the governor's debate Oct 12th at WNED studios calling for him to fire the CEO & Chairman of MBBA. We'll see where that gets us.

fixBuffalo said...

anon 1:20,

missed that thanks! Here's the link
Eliot's toothless response.

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