Letter to the Editor:
My name is Vincent Alejandro. I was born and raised in the old First Ward in Buffalo, NY. I left for the Army in '93 and haven't lived back there since. I have missed Buffalo so much and am now planning within the next year to move back to my home city with my family. My parents, who were also born and raised in the ward are also talking about moving back to the area from Missouri. I check your website on a regular basis and love to read the stories of the old buildings and businesses being revitalized and reused.
The Cobblestone District is amazing to see. My friends and I used to skateboard down those streets before the arena was there. My wife and I always talk about that old fire station on Chicago Street and how wonderful it would be to live there and restore it ourselves. Not just for the fact that the row house my parents were raised in is across the street, also for the nostalgia of breathing new life into something in my old neighborhood.
[These days] I dare to dream. I am coming home to visit in May of this year and hope to see some of these new places in the area and enjoy home once again. I am a muralist/urban artist and I hope that when I come home for good I can contribute my artistic talents to the area. I have lived in Joplin, MO for the last year and it's been hard. The May 22nd EF5 tornado that leveled half of this town took a lot out of me.
But through art I managed to keep my head up and at the same time use it to create something inspirational. After the tornado I painted murals for two families that received homes from Extreme Makeover Home Edition - Joplin. Even recently I did a painting of the Concrete Central elevator that I remembered from my youth (lead photo). As a 1992 graduate of Buffalo Arts Academy and best friends of the B.lo Skateboard company, my pride runs deep. Thank you for what you do and for keeping the spirit of Buffalo alive. Buffalo will rise again and I want to be there for it. Here is a link
to the story of the wall that we created here in Joplin after the storm.