Sunday, June 12, 2005

Living Here in Allentown....Well, the Art Festival At Any Rate

For 48 years now, Buffalo has held the Allentown Art Festival. For a city more known for it's decaying beauty, it's food and it's blue collar work ethic, it may come as a surprise how active the local art scene is. I've lived in a number of cities, and few do art festivals better than Buffalo. Despite oppressive heat and sweltering humidity, hundreds of thousands of Buffalonians headed downtown to view art and listen to music. That, and eating from one street booth to the next. It is Buffalo, after all.

How can you tell it's Buffalo? Well, one booth advertised psychic readings, new age wisdom, palm readings and doughnuts. One stop shopping for the overweight and gullible. Now, I didn't ask, but I assume they must have been really good doughnuts to lead one on the path to spirituality. Only in this town could Homer Simpson be a guru.

Joe, armed with his lightsaber, helped us to part the sweaty mobs. Even a 4 year old jedi comes in handy. We walked for hours, seeking shade and rest.

Buffalo is a town that often gets knocked around. Our next door neighbor summed up the city for many when she said "I love Buffalo! It's just like Bosnia!" Now, to be fair, she was from Bosnia, and I think she meant it as a compliment, but it's not like anyone would think it odd if we put it on our street signs. The town is just in that kind of shape.

Still, there are days when the city is out in force and you can't help but love this town. The buildings are falling down, and we don't have money for even basic civic needs, but at least we can still celebrate a summer afternoon with the arts.

Plus our policemen have horses. Think of the gas savings!


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