This past Saturday, I returned home after a week on the road promoting Left Bank of the Hudson. I started in my native region with events in Olean and Buffalo, New York and then headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Everyone whom I met expressed genuine interest in the topics of cities, gentrification, artists, and historic preservation. Residents of both small and large cities recognized the change currently unfolding in urban America and its ability to affect their own communities and lives.
The Olean audience was eager to discuss historic preservation and reinventing an urban core.
Buffalo, New York is experiencing a “rediscovery” of its architecturally-rich downtown and other neighborhoods. Stories detailing inclusionary zoning and historic tax credits appeared in the news during my short visit.
The Buffalo crowd peppered me with tough questions, forcing me to rethink and hone my arguments. The event manager politely reminded us that our time was ending. This was a very engaged and participatory audience.
My temporary personal assistant–an old college friend–and I traveled to Pittsburgh for the final event of the first leg of my tour. We were excited to see the much-covered gentrification and rebirth of the Steel City.
An enjoyable, thrilling, and instructive week. I loved meeting the many different people and hearing their thoughts on my work and its larger themes.
Next stop, Durham, North Carolina.