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

The Buffalonian's Burden

Luke Hammill

Being from Buffalo is quite the unique experience, to say the least.

All of my fellow Buffalo natives know what I'm talking about. The fact that we're from this city bleeds through our every thought, word, and action. The most obvious example is the nasally way we say words like "flask" and "Labatt" – you know, the thing that New Yorkers make fun of as if they have no accent whatsoever.

But it goes further than that. Here in Buffalo, we have no idea what "swag" is. Any native Buffalonian who claims to possess the mystical trait is definitely lying, pretending, and/or confused. Everything we do reeks of self-deprecation. We can't help it; we've watched too many Bills, Sabres, and Bulls games. (But we'll keep watching).

Self-deprecation is where we draw the line, though. As with any suffering group of people, we're allowed to make fun of ourselves as much as we want, but you can't say a word. The minute an outsider offends the noble people of Buffalo, we put our internal squabbles to the side and bind together to destroy the opposition complain.

Still having trouble telling the difference between a Buffalonian and an outsider? Let me make it even easier for you. Go to the Steer this weekend. People wearing hair gel, dress shoes, popped collars, "bling," track suits, or Ed Hardy gear are definitely not from Buffalo, and if they are, I'm pretty sure the City is allowed to legally remove them.

Simply put, if I can't get into an establishment wearing a hoodie, jeans, backward cap, and smudged-up Nikes, I'm not interested in attending, and if you're a true Buffalonian, you should feel the same way.

Still don't know what I'm talking about? OK, go to any of the dining areas here at school. Survey all of the people and what they are eating. Everybody eating vegetarian or drinking soy milk is either: (1) not from Buffalo, or (2) from the Elmwood Village. (I love the Elmwood Village, but it should really just secede from the rest of the city, for its own sake).

After all, this is the city famous for chicken wings and Texas red-hots. Health nuts are in an extreme state of denial. (I, on the other hand, am obviously not).

Let me go from being kind of serious to being extremely serious.

Buffalo certainly has seemingly endless problems, pathetic sports teams, and terrible weather, but please do not rag on this great city. If you do, it is people like you that contribute to the bad situations.

Above all, Buffalo is a place where it is common for somebody to see you stranded on the side of the road and give your car a jump-start during a blizzard. It is a place where neighbors shovel snow from each other's driveways without expecting anything in return.

It is a place where we have beautiful autumns and picturesque winters, which makes us appreciate the warm summers far more than LeBron James ever will in South Beach.

Buffalo is big enough to rival a major American city yet small enough to retain a small-town atmosphere, where everybody has a common friend and family is the most important thing.

Buffalo is my home, and that will never change, no matter where I live when I'm older.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm still trying to get the hell out.

E-mail: luke.hammill@ubspectrum.com


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