By Seamus Gallivan
And, they’re on – filming for Buffalo Unscripted is underway, as the three excitable representatives from the National Trust for Historic Preservation set up shop at the Central Terminal this morning to kick off eight days of collecting opinions from Buffalonians about the past, present, and future of our city.
And, I was on – stage, that is, part of a li’l flash mob that was arranged for the occasion. As Those Idiots argued over which preposterous polka arrangement to play next, I joined a couple cronies in crashing the stage to sing part of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” aided by a crew of clued-in crowd members that created a funny-lookin’ formation – check it out at the bottom of this post. While I’m not sure that our effort will become the next YouTube sensation and wind up on local newscasts from Anchorage to Zephyrhills, it’s still good for some silly footage to fit into the film that will premiere when Buffalo hosts the National Preservation Conference in October.
As our fast-friended filmmakers prepare for more interviews – next stop is tonight at Cazenovia Park for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance as part of First Niagara’s free BPO Summer in the Park series, set in front of the casino with a 7pm start time and post-show fireworks – we’ll complete our mission to get to know them through their own answers to some of the questions they’re asking us throughout the next week. Get the full schedule of filming at the official site for Buffalo Unscripted; meet Julia Rocchi and Jason Lloyd Clement in this article from Thursday; and enjoy Leigh Ivey’s responses below, along with a video they made that proves their giddiness to get back here –
Where are you from originally and what neighborhood do you call home now?
Originally from the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn. (that explains my Twitter handle, @TNLeigh!), but now live and work in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.
If you could describe Buffalo in one word, what would it be?
Persevering. You Buffalonians are a tenacious and proud bunch and you have every right to be. This city has good, strong bones and although there are certainly some challenges to overcome, I have no doubt that Buffalo will prevail in the end. There are too many good ideas and too much potential here for it not to! I sincerely believe that.
Do you think Buffalo is misunderstood. Why or why not?
Yes. When I first heard that we were asking that question I was a little confused; I didn’t know much about Buffalo prior to our May scouting trip and all of the information that I did have came from my coworkers, all of whom are enthusiastic about the city and hosting our conference here in October (let me tell ya – we are feeling some serious “BuffaLove” at the National Trust!). However, I’m realizing that it’s the people who have either never been to Buffalo or who have had very little contact with it who are often its most outspoken critics. I’m hoping that our project can change some of those misconceptions.
What places matter to you in Buffalo? What about the city makes you tick?
There’s just something about those Olmsted Parkways! I so appreciate that the entire city was laid out with such thought and care for its inhabitants and for future generations. Striking that perfect balance between the built and natural environment is hard to do and isn’t something we see as often in our cities today. Buffalo is so fortunate to have the many parks and tree-lined parkways provided by the Olmsted Parks System.
To the best of your ability, define Buffalove.
To me, BuffaLove is a warmth that seemed to emanate from every Buffalonian we encountered. I’ve never seen such a willingness to accept, adopt and aid strangers! We all feel like we’re returning to Buffalo to visit a group of old friends and we’ve been so excited to see everyone again. That’s BuffaLove.