I had a rather interesting evening. A friend invited me to the Beta Awards - Buffalo's answer to the Goober Oscars. Not quite, but it's an awards show for Infotech Niagara honoring those in the Western New York community who have worked to make this area high tech and collaborative, etc.
As many of you know, WNY is horribly behind in many ways. WNY is also mismanaged to the point of ineffectiveness. However, there is a bright spot. What I did not know was that Buffalo is the 5th most WIFI'd city in the country. That was impressive. That's a good thing. I figured we would be the 5th most unorganized - that wouldn't surprise. But in the midst of the chaos of our region, we have this bright star. WNY is trying to integrate technology into all facets of business and industry. Awards were given for healthcare, education, banking, manufacturing, success, minority, even philanthropy. Buffalo was also not remiss in recognizing its leading lady and gent (Digital Diva and Digital Don - quite clever, I think).
I am often asked why I still stay in Buffalo and WNY. I tell them it's the weather. I actually love the snow - even when we get it in April and - shudder - May. Truth be told, I love the spirit here. I love that the people, faced with any number of crises, march on. Nothing gets these people. I suppose if you suck back enough fish fries, chicken wings, and beef on weck, you are immune to much going on around you.
I also love the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres because they are such losers! But they keep getting back up and going back for more because, like the region, they will one day be on top and they will one day know victory. And guess what? Until then, they are going to have a damn good time doing it.
Or they won't ever 'win' and no one will know what little gems they are but they won't care - like the region. I rather like that WNY is a hidden secret for most. I like that people turn up their noses when I tell them where I am from. Stay where you are. I want this place to myself. I want amazing and diverse food, culture, and art - and I want it to myself! I want friendly people and sports teams that may not win, but that kick everyone's ass trying and entertain us in the process. I want innovations and inventions that we take advantage of and market to the world without them ever knowing the source!
I like my little secret. I thought about that when I got home from the quite fun goober convention. If I didn't already have a wonderful boyfriend - I would have found a catch here - I love geeks! (Sorry J - you're a geek, but so am I and I love you for it!)
I was walking my dogs in the backyard and I glanced up at the sky. For the first time in some days, I noticed how crystal clear it was with its midnight blue speckled with stars and a crescent moon taking its proper place. I wondered how many people didn't notice that gem. How many people looked right past for something more exciting or intriguing.
Another wonderful WNY gem (and Charlotte too) is Wild Mountain Organics. Our best kept secret? I would have to say our Facial Polish. When people first look at it, they think of it as a hard mud mask, but with a little water, it becomes a wonderful facial cleanser that leaves you clean, refreshed, and nourished. Try a little - it goes a long way!