Our Urban Prairie - Summer 2008

Buffalo's 'urban prairie' is growing at an ever increasingly faster rate.
The first time I started thinking about this amazingly complex phenomenon I started reading what Soundlab's Craig Reynolds had to say about this place.
THE ARGUMENT: Buffalo provides a challenge, not a legacy; it taunts the uninspired until they flee to a city where legacy’s flow will carry them along, like New York, San Francisco or Seattle. Buffalo requires a substantial commitment, like that of a drowning man to his condition. In Buffalo, we wrestle with God, Job’s God, and the fact of being is enough.
I begin to understand this after asking my 2 friends visiting from Seattle how they like the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the first stop in my weekend tour of Buffalo’s monuments to greatness. Pointing at Andy Warhol’s 100 Cans, they ask, “how Buffalo get a Warhol?” making me realize: 1) my friends aren’t exactly Peggy Guggenheims, but that’s perfectly a–okay; and 2) even after enjoying firsthand some of the greatest paintings anywhere, the misconception that Buffalo couldn’t possibly be significant remains even still.
Read the rest from Craig's 1997 essay How Buffalo Get a Warhol?

I've assembled some of my favorite pics of Buffalo's 'urban prairie' - right here.
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
the creativity exchangeshrinking cities


john paget said...

Well said, my friend. Like the prairies of old, Buffalo is a land of challenge and opportunity (for those with an imagination).

STEEL said...

The irony is that the guy making the comment probably never set foot in an art gallery until his Buffalo visit.

karima said...

Your photos of Buffalo's "Urban Prairie" are heartbreakingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

All this urban prairie has a silver lining.

This land will soon be needed for localized, small-scale agriculture. We're approaching the point where trucking foods 3,000 miles across the country is becoming cost prohibitive.

For anyone who really wants to PIONEER it, Buffalo's East Side is really the land of opportunity.

Lesterhead said...

Thanks for the continual updates on the B-Lo. This is one of the most intriguing things I've ever seen!