Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

A Look at Our Neighbors of the Future

Last night, about 400 people attended a public forum at Kleinhans Music Hall to get a peek at four proposed plans to redevelop the area where the soon to be former Women & Children’s Hospital currently stands.

If you’d like to get a play-by-play of what went down, you can visit Buffalo Rising and The Buffalo News to get the gist and read the comments and so on.

It’s been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. And writing like an architect is simply precious, as this video demonstrates.

Me, I’m more of a people-person. So I say let’s get to know some of the individuals who will be populating our streets in just a few short years—starting with these two millenials in the lower left hand corner of a Ciminelli rendering, chatting away on Elmwood…

(Click on the images for a better view.)

"He was all like 'I'm not ready to make that kind commitment' and I'm like 'splitting the check with me is not much of a commitment.'"

“He was all like ‘I’m not ready to make that kind commitment’ and I’m like ‘Splitting the check with me is not much of a commitment.'”

Your heart really goes out to her, because you know that her non-committal boyfriend is in fact the hipster fixie bicycle dude bro captured here, one-hour earlier, checking out a young woman walking her dogs at the very same intersection in a Uniland rendering…

"Awesome. If I could hook up with her, I her dogs and use them to meet more women."

“Awesome. If I could hook up with her, I could…like…walk her dogs and use them to meet more women.”

You want to tell her she deserves so much better, but you can’t because she exists in the future and you are forever separated by time. Luckily, it seems her friend has the patience of a saint, walking all over the Elmwood Village, listening to her vent about this douchebag…

"He says he wants to get a dog, and I'm like 'Why don't you get a job, first?'"

“He says he wants to get a dog, and I’m like ‘Why don’t you get a job, first?'”

Que sera, sera.

I’m also a little suspicious of this pack of hoodlums, always loitering around on Elmwood…

ciminelli-elmwood-and-bryant-north photoshop 2

And by the soccer field…

ciminelli-west-utica-south-view photoshop2

They just seem so unwholesome next to the kids playing soccer and giving themselves high-fives for no apparent reason. I hope they eventually work out their issues and manage to stay out of prison and go on to lead somewhat normal lives. I could be over reacting. Teenagers will be teenagers.

What’s even more disconcerting than a few hoodlums may be the strange dystopia envisioned by Ellicott Development, where people do not interact with one another, and seem to walk alone at regularly spaced intervals under a darkening sky…



Then there’s the plan that’ll turn Elmwood and Bryant into a hopping destination at dusk, complete with people hanging out on their balconies, bicyclists of all ages, jaywalking dog-walkers, a line of people on the sidewalk waiting to get into a restaurant, street musicians…

sinantra-elmwood-and-bryantThis vision of the future seems to be getting positive reviews, but I can tell you right now that it’s a pipe dream. There is absolutely no way that street musicians will be tolerated anywhere near popular restaurants in Buffalo. They’re barely tolerated anywhere now. I’m willing to bet that a banjo player picking “Orange Blossom Special” on the sidewalk near Rue Franklin might quickly find out that bluegrass and foie gras do not mix.

sinantra-elmwood-and-bryant 2

And what’s with this poor musician who’s forced to sit on the curb, strumming a ukulele? That’s just pathetic.


Read more about the secret lives of the tiny people in architectural renderings and how they’ve been used through the years to sell architectural plans to the public.