Buffalonians were generous to a fault with their spirit, time, and good humor. Some examples: Prish Moran stood on a chair at Sweet_ness 7 and ordered everyone to come talk to us. Max Willig bought me a Wegman's chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday the day we filmed in Black Rock. Kathy Mecca coordinated a neighborhood block party for us on the West Side. And that doesn't even approach all the moments and gestures in between.
Then I flew home and went through a period of serious Buffalo withdrawal and personal reflection, at which point I emerged with the word future. The Queen City impressed me with its rich social fabric, deep well of community activism, and distinctive point of view. If I moved to Buffalo tomorrow, I realized, I'd already have friends. I'd already feel at home. I'd already be making an impact.
I should have made a down payment on an absurdly affordable historic Buffalo home right then. But I didn't (largely because all my fancy editing equipment for this project was in DC). Instead, I've sat at our editing station for 2.5 months, re-watching our new friends' interviews and reliving our funniest, craziest, most poignant moments.
Which means, of course, that I have arrived at a new word. Phenomenal.
According to Merriam-Webster, phenomenal means "remarkable, extraordinary, known through senses rather than through thought." Phenomenal is also my favorite Buffalonian-ism. I love hearing it spoken in a Buffalo accent. I use it most often when telling others about the project. It has become my personal shorthand for everything I've come to know and love about the Nickel City.
So thanks for being phenomenal, Buffalo. You made me happy to chug the Kool-Aid.
Julia Rocchi works for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Along with Jason, she wants you all to come to our big fat interactive premiere on Friday, October 21, during the National Preservation Conference. Learn more about this event (and our secondary screening on Saturday), and let us know you're coming on Facebook.
Important Update: A second screening of Buffalo Unscripted has been added on Saturday, October 22, at 12:30 p.m. at the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre. Click here to learn more.