Greater Western New York’s Split Personality Explained

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To the uninitiated, Batavia might seem like a mere crossroads on the map, but the hustle and bustle of Route 5 (a.k.a. Main Street) tells a much different story. Any visitor will immediately see a testament to a thriving community. Without the telltale skyscrapers of a modern city, the heart of Genesee County clearly doesn’t come across as a quaint nineteenth century town. No, there’s a hint of modernity in its traffic, its business and even in the complexity of its inner city layout.

Yet within this bastion of modest progress lies a jewel with a much deeper backstory than meets the eye of the casual passerby. But before we get there, perhaps it makes Continue Reading “Greater Western New York’s Split Personality Explained”

Day 2: Saturday, July 9, 2011 – Roman Connection Comes Through

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Here’s what strikes me right away: the landscape. Leaving the confines of the Leonardo DaVinci airport finds us quickly on an expressway heading towards Rome. Being a good distance from the city, farm land and open fields surround the airport. It’s that landscape which first struck me twenty-one years ago that entices me once again. I Rome_Umbrella_Pines_300can’t tell you what it is. I’ve only been here once before but I feel so… at home. Maybe it’s the soft hues of subtle shades of green and aromatic amber. It’s like the feeling is on the tip of my tongue, and then I see it.

It’s a string of umbrella pines stretching across a small hill to our right. These trees. These trees have been part of me my whole life. I don’t know why I say that. They’re not indigenous to Western New York or even America. They are native to Mediterranean climes. Vague memories stir within the oldest parts of my brain. I faintly recall a home movie – perhaps from my grandfather? – shot through a window of a moving car, showing this exact scene. It’s odd. I don’t know if it’s Continue Reading “Day 2: Saturday, July 9, 2011 – Roman Connection Comes Through”