If there was ever a “Buffalo weekend” this one would bit it. It all started on Friday with the supremely magical event, enLIGHTen, at the Richardson Olmsted Campus. Buffalo Rising was a proud sponsor of the light mapping lawn party, which proved to be spectacular. Keith Harrington (Projex) pulled off a tremendous light show that attracted upwards/over 12,000 people (depending on who you talked to). The traffic at the event was akin to Bills’ game, with traffic jams radiating out from the campus once the event wrapped up – everyone stayed to the end.
Not only was the light mapping spot on, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra nailed it. All eyes (and ears) were on the BPO and the former administration building. The philharmonic musicians were fueled by the crowd’s energy . It was surreal. At times, I had to remind myself that the music was actually being performed live under an illuminated stage clamshell. enLIGHTen proved to be one of those events that spoke of this city’s ability to rise from the ashes and not only persevere, but glow and shine.
It was not that long ago that everyone assumed that “The Richardson” would be demolished. But instead of knocking it down, we now have a fabulous symbol of this city’s rebirth.
A friend of mine, visiting Buffalo for the first time, told me that he had never visited a city like Buffalo. Earlier in the day he had been standing on top of a grain silo at Silo City. And now here he was witnessing an architectural and technological marvel. He told me that it reminded him of when he was young, and how his hometown had been innovative and creative, alive with soulful imagination. He was blown away by Buffalo. He loved that Buffalo was so invigorated yet laid back. He loved how there was a real sense of community.
Times have been a changin’ – there’s so much happening in this city. People are rallying harder than ever, and this event signaled the culmination of a hard fought battle to bring Buffalo back from the brink.
As we sat and watched the light show, someone on the crowd yelled “Buffalo!”. The shout basically spelled out how everyone was feeling at the moment. It was as if everyone was on the same page. We were all sitting/standing around, witnessing a magical moment that will forever remain with us. We were part of something that was so special… history in the making… a city reborn.
We’ve fought hard to get to this point, and now we’re ready t0 do some celebrating. Buffalo has been “enLIGHTened”.
Part 2: Anchors Away, Buffalo