Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Penthouse forum

Lastnight I was over at my friend Ruth's condo, this beautiful penthouse on the 11th floor of that building on Delaware near West Utica that looks like something out of "The Jetsons." I love that word, "penthouse," in spite of the, um, men's magazine. I like writing that I visited one.

Well, I spent most of the evening outside of the penthouse. I was on the patio drinking wine, as Sunday's communion meditation suggested I should, and contemplating the Buffalo skyline.

The Buffalo skyline is not specifically mentioned in either the Old or New Testament, but looking at it, I am always struck by how unusual it is.

Often when I am driving past on the 190, I think of how if I were an out-of-towner, just passing through, I would be impressed by the look of this city. I have done a lot of driving around the country, and I remember distinctly my impressions on passing Cincinnati, with all it bridges, or St. Louis, with that arch. Of course when I passed St. Louis I naturally made a wrong turn and ended up immediately in East St. Louis. That sort of thing always happens to me.

But back to the Buffalo skyline.

Buffalo definitely has it together when it comes to our silhouette. We do not give our city enough credit for that. Our skyline has unusual features: the Liberty Building, the Electric Tower, Olympic Towers, various church steeples, and of course our magnificent City Hall, delightfully out of proportion for a city of our current size and station.

At night the buildings are lighted up in unusual ways. I love especially how the Electric Tower and the Liberty Building are lighted. Flying into or out of Buffalo, the city looks stunning, especially at night. You see the streets all fanned out like spokes of a wheel.

It all can make a Buffalonian's heart beat faster. We have our problems, same as every other city.

But we sure look great from a distance.


Sarah Bear said...

I agree every city has its problems. With that said, cities do have a interesting appeal when they are all lit up through thousands of bulbs.

Anonymous said...

I too love the downtown skyline, with the exception of the HSBC building, which seems to crouch, monster-like, over lower Main Street. The city skyline is also surprisingly beautiful from the terrace in front of the Central Terminal, when one is looking west during sunset.

Prof. G.

Maggie Mills said...

As an 'outsider' viewing the Buffalo skyline on my recent return to Buffalo (yeah--- the homecoming that Mary forgot! heehee) I can honestly say, that Buffalo has as beautiful and unique a skyline as any other city I've seen.

It's funny, everytime I come home I find myself compelled to visit the downtown area and take pictures. I think I find it comforting to return and find it unchanged from when I moved to NJ, almost 20 years ago. This time, I was pleasantly surprised to find the waterfront area, drastically, different. I loved the new canal walk and was so mesmerized taking pictures of it, that I didn't notice Mom had continued to walk down toward the big square lookout tower. (What's that called again?) Yes, Mary, you can ask George-- we lost Mom!!! Suffice it to say, for 83, she can really cover some turf in a short amount of time!

Anyway, after agreeing to meet George and Mom back at "105", I risked life and limb to snap a photo of city hall. I had to drive three times around the circle (McKinley?) in front of it to get a few good pictures. Emily and Matthew wouldn't let me park the car. They were hungry and whining that I was taking too many pictures. (Gee, ya' think I'm related to Mom???!!) But, it was well worth the couple of pictures I got! This trip-- I wasn't going home without my usual "Buffalo Skyline" pictures.

Next time I come home, George tells me The Aud won't be there. I have to admit though, as a tourist visiting Buffalo--and as much sentimentality as I have for the building for all the circuses I went to and Sabres games I attended with George--the skyline might actually-- dare I say it? Look better without it??

Wow. My comments are really WAY too long!

In summary: The Buffalo skyline is beautiful. It'll always be symbol of comfort and "home" for me.

Anonymous said...

As Prof. G. said, the view from the Central Terminal, especially from the top of the tower, is one of the best views available. You see the Liberty Building, Gold Dome, the electric tower, City Hall and the Rand Building all in one view.