Manufactured Loyalty

Caveat: This post is long and a bit of a ramble. It has a lot of ideas in it that aren’t fully formed and should probably be split into several distinct posts. It’s more of a thought exercise about the role of place in one’s life, which is the focus of a new writing course I’m taking. The point is to get writing and generate ideas without a lot of self-censorship at this point. I’d love to hear thoughts from my readers if anything here resonates with you.

When I was young, I thought Buffalo, NY was the absolute best place in the country to live. Some of the reasons I can remember included:

  • bars were open until 4pm
  • we had a waterfront (although it was undeveloped at the time)
  • we could use Canadian coins interchangeably with American ones
  • our shitty beer was Labatt’s, not Budweiser or Miller

Continue reading →

Eight Days in the Mid-Atlantic (Part 2)

I spent the second half of my trip back east in “DC and Baltimore”. Or is that “DC-Baltimore”? I was there to see a friend who used to live in Boulder. According to her fiancé, who works in urban development, Baltimore is part of the greater DC metro area, and the region should be referred to as a whole, similar to Minneapolis-St Paul or Dallas-Fort Worth. This led to some debate, as neither my friend nor I consider DC and Baltimore part of the same area, though they are extremely geographically close. The question of “Denver and Boulder” or “Denver-Boulder” also came up, although given Boulder’s habit of buying up all the land around the city limits to prevent urban sprawl, this seems a much harder sell than DC-Baltimore. But the bigger question my friend’s fiancé raises is this: should experts refer to areas of their domain by the technically accurate but pedantic definitions of their industry? Or refer to them by the terms preferred by the public at large so as to better connect with their audience? I’ve posted previously about my own internal debates concerning whether to use proper grammar in certain situations, so I couldn’t help thinking about his instance on DC-Baltimore for longer than I should have. Continue reading →

Yankee

I suppose I myself am a Yankee, having been born in New York State. But the idea of calling northerners Yankees seems quite old-fashioned to me. My dad is a Yankees fan. He has to be – major league baseball is the one professional sport that Buffalo does not have a team for. It is baffling to me that a city that is so economically depressed and with such high population flight can support an NHL, NFL, minor league baseball, lacrosse, soccer, minor league basketball, and women’s hockey team. But it does. I guess since Buffalonians really have nothing besides crappy weather and high taxes, they cling to their sports and their NFL team that has never won the Super Bowl and their NHL team that has never won the Stanley Cup. I can understand why my dad needs the Yankees.

Dad in Yankees Hat.jpg

My parents. Date unknown – probably around 1990, give or take a few years.

What else are people writing in the A to Z Blog Challenge? Check out today’s featured blog, sponsored by the letter Y: Your Daily Dose. It’s a participatory A-Z challenge. The author gives you a word and the readers post songs with that word. Fun!