Growing up my family lived in a hockey town, on a one way street surrounded with families that had as little as we did. It was great. We would hear our parents talk about the good ol’ days of Buffalo when Bethlehem Steel was booming and everyone had jobs, people went to church and families stayed together. I think we all thought that’s just what old people did… talk about the good old days. But as we grew older it became increasingly cool to knock the place you were from. Apathy about Buffalo became the norm. After high school many moved away to a places they hoped were as cool as themselves. Some came back, some never did. I’ve stayed a strong supporter of my beautifully rough-around-the-edges city and have been so encouraged by the progress
made even in the last 10 years. People are starting to invest in Buffalo again- financially and emotionally. New hotels, galleries, international conferences, new major league sports team owners and managers, a new beautiful waterfront, a beach on the way, way more than I can keep track of. So much to look forward to.
Then I up and move to Ohio. I did so for many reasons (job opportunities presented themselves first to my husband and then to myself, it isn’t too far away, I always wanted to move away and move back home, etc). Yet it oddly feels like home here, in another rust belt town just outside of Cleveland. I’ve even found stories that sound like my own (see beautifuldaysgoneby) Stephanie describes Cleveland, a wonderfully less-than-perfect city in her essay for the book, Rust Belt Chic:
I pictured the lady’s old brick buildings, abandoned warehouses, and empty steel mills, all poised against an unapologetic grey sky. It fed my soul. Part of my love is nostalgic. Part of it is wrapped up in my dreams for the future—to be a part of reclaiming my city. I decided it was somewhere I need to be. It’s where my soul is.
I think growing up in the rust belt gives you a slightly skewed idea of what’s beautiful for which I am thankful. I named this blog in honor of my imperfect, beautiful home town, Buffalo, NY while giving a nod to my new home here in OH-IO! Rust Belt Beautiful is where you’ll find me and my (poorly written) musings. I never said I was a good writer… just passionate. xo