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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Rocking in the Suburbs

Katie Allen

Think of everything a kid could dream of having in life, and I had it rocking in the suburbs.

Growing up in Williamsville (a.k.a. "the Ville"), located in the Town of Amherst, has been the best experience a kid could ever dream of. Rollerblades, dirt bikes, lemonade stands, Razor scooters, carnivals, endless amounts of neighborhood friends, bonfires, pools and trampolines – I was living like a queen.

Living on a cul-de-sac provided a great sense of community and family. Waking up early and heading in late, thirteen hour play days were all I knew. I lived for days where I could play in the dirt, have ice cream smeared all over my face, and not have a care in the world other than that I couldn't be tagged out in an intense game of Ghost in the Graveyard.

The best part of living in a neighborhood was the constant ability to surround myself with my favorite people everyday. Over the years, neighborhood friends have turned into family that I still spend holidays with and can count on for anything.

Living in the suburbs, a mecca of parks surrounded my home. Hopping on my bike with at least two friends in tow, or sometimes rocking a 1960s red double bike, I was always whizzing down the road to The Red Box and Playmobile. Free boondoggle, tie-dye, crafts, and popsicle-stick jewelry boxes became my treasures. Playing capture the flag and toilet tag, I was in heaven. Occasionally, I would even ride to Target and Dairy Queen because they were so close. I had everything I wanted and more.

Did you know that located in the heart of the ‘Ville is a waterfall? That's right, Glens Falls gushes with water in a picturesque park right off of Main Street. When I was growing up, Glens Falls was providing hydropower for the Old Red Watermill, which is now claimed to be a historic site. A watermill converted to a cider mill led to fall days of sipping on freshly squeezed cider jumping in leaves at the park and special winter days filled with hayrides, sledding, and hot cider.

Perhaps some of the greatest moments in the ‘Ville were at Old Homes Days. An annual fair filled with rides, fried dough, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and carnival games, this five-day fair was much more than a festival. OHD brought members from all over the community, and as a kid I would dance in the parade as an Irish dancer and perform on stage for the crowd.

As I moved on to high school, becoming a Williamsville South Billie was a family tradition. Competing as a three-season athlete, the Amherst Bee, a community newspaper, would showcase area athletes, sports schedules, and even game-day results. It was awesome seeing my name in the paper for swimming, track and lacrosse. Living in the suburbs allowed me to feel a sense of community and pride representing my school and highlighting our victories and spirit.

One of the greatest comforts in life is feeling a sense of security. For the last 20 years, Amherst has been ranked among the top three safest cities in America, with a population between 100,000-499,000 people according to American City & County.




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