You found me (not that I've been hiding) and, yes, I realize this page was built in Blogger, but I'm really not using it as a blog. Occasionally, I'll post a note in the space below, but not too often.

However, I do blog regularly and invite you to check it out. If you're looking for me, I'm probably logged in to Facebook right now. I also tweet a lot.

Twitter is where I make most of my noise...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

a look back home

So, last weekend, Alison & I made our second trip back to the 716 since moving south last year. Visiting is such a pain in the ass. We spent the whole time rushing around from place to place, and still didn't get to see everyone. I think our best bet is to get the rest of them to leave town too.

It's funny, because when we left, the plan was to get away for a few years, and hopefully when things got better back home, we could go back. Now, I'm not so sure there's any chance of the situation ever improving there.

After taking a step back and looking at Buffalo from the outside, it's clear now how bad things are there. Driving around, everything looked so run down and miserable. I had never really noticed that until spending a year in a city that's actually vibrant. People often ask me how I could stand the Buffalo winters for so long, but honestly, sometimes I think the snow is all the city has going in it's favor. The economy is in the toilet, and looks like it'll get far worse before it gets any better.

Erie County is going to raise the sales tax to an oppressive 9.25%, and New York is getting ready to raise the minimum wage. Toss in the already high cost of utilities and property taxes, and it sounds like a perfect blueprint for a competitive business environment and a recipe for a booming economy, right? What a joke.

Of course, the biggest problem is that whenever something gets proposed, it ends up getting shot down because it's not the single solution to all the area's problems. After years of planning, there's still no bridge, no new office tower, the Aud sits empty, the waterfront remains underdeveloped and the zoo serves as a museum of what zoos were like back in the 1920s. Yet, people continue to wait around for the magic bullet, while in the meantime, businesses and residents leave town, draining the tax base.

It's all ridiculous. Try everything, build on what works and learn from what doesn't.

Hops & Hickory