We started our Buffalo Rising Roundtable podcast with a short discussion on politics in Albany and the current budget imbroglio, in which WBFO News Director Mark Scott brought up Assemblyman Sam Hoyt’s dissatisfaction with Albany – and then called Steve Pigeon a “political hack”. More than anything, Mark wanted to point out the disparity between, say, a struggling single mother looking to better her life and facing the impact of the budget crisis, and Pigeon, making over $100k per year to serve as counsel to “one of the most ethically challenged members of the State Senate, Pedro Espada.” Fat at the top? Mark certainly thinks so.
Next, we got down to the business of talking to David Steele (STEEL), architect and BRO correspondent from Chicago. Steele, who has been archiving Buffalo architecture since his teens, has published a book of Buffalo architecture and continues to be a purveyor of architectural history for BRO readers.
Recently, Steele wrote a commentary for BRO that was record-breaking in terms of the most comments ever made by readers in answer to a post. “Buffalo Sucks and It Always Will”. That was the original title of what was renamed, STEEL’s Rant (A Study in Saracsm). It currently has 372 comments, and it doesn’t look like the discussion is going to be over any time soon. Steel’s original premise, that there is too much Buffalo bashing going on, met with a lot of agreement.
Beyond that, Steel makes note of this week’s Donald Shoup lectures. You can catch both this week; the first, at Roswell is The High Cost of Free Parking; and the second, at UB is Graduated Density Zoning for Infill Redevelopment.
In addition, Newell prompted Steele on his vantage point, as a studied Buffalo expat and resident of another large city, to state what he’s learned about “best practices” in city planning and how it relates to us here at home. As Newell points out, the fact that Steele has left Buffalo and seen how other cities operate gives his views more credence than those of someone who has never left Buffalo. Simply put, Steele’s input, with all of his combined experiences, is priceless here.
As a funny bit at the end of the conversation with Steele, Mark asked how he found time to write for Buffalo Rising. After admitting that it takes some late nights on the computer, Steele also divulged that his wife considers BRO to be his version of internet porn. We thank her for the distinction, as well as the tolerance she shows in allowing him to participate here on our forum. I think all of our readers will agree that BRO’s content is much richer for Steele’s involvement.
Lastly, we’d like to remind you about the benefit that’s being held for Ricky Costner Jr. tonight. If you can make it, please do. The strength of a small town like Buffalo is that we find ways to celebrate and to grieve together, and the shared experiences are what makes us the City of Good Neighbors. We need you on this.