Friday, September 22, 2006

Buffalo and Rochester: You're On Notice!

48 hours from now, Normal Girl and I will be settling into our Marriott-branded property on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York.

Western New York, I've been told, and a trip to Wikipedia proved the point.

I have to digress to say that I LOVE this key differentiator between Upstate and Western: "the use of the word 'pop' instead of 'soda' to refer to soft drinks, and the presence of Wegmans grocery stores." What a sense of identity!

It's a story for another time and place, but I would love to have maps defining what parts of the country use which term. Soda/pop is a good one. The pronounciation of "aunt" another.

Back to business...

You know, Normal Girl and I could drive out the parking garage, hang three rights, and ride the dream highway (that's I-90, fwiw) straight into Downtown Buffalo. It would take nine hours, but it can be done. No turns, just straight-up driving, six rest area breaks, three tanks of gas, two knotted backs, eleven bottles of Coca-Cola Classic...

Fortunately, we can afford airfare. Hers is provided for, mine's a write-off against potential profits from the string of articles on Buffalo and Rochester that all the glossy magazines are jonesing for... That, or a small price to pay for 100 digital pictures of Downtown Buffalo.

I'm planning to post my Rochester research/links over the weekend, but it would be fair to say that Buffalo either has a lot more to offer, or its websites have better designers. We'll find out soon enough for ourselves, and have the pictures and anecdotes to prove it.

So let's lay them out for you, our Trip Goals for this week.
Photo in front of Niagara Falls.

  1. Dance Lessons with Jackie (no photos allowed my orders).
  2. Self-Guided Tour of Downtown Buffalo.
  3. Devour authentic Buffalo wings, no matter the consequences (only me, since Normal Girl doesn't care for spicy foods... but she may suffer from the consequences).
  4. As much as I want to go to the Museum of Play in Rochester, I'm afraid I'll be profiled as a weirdo, so the George Eastman House wins the Golden Ticket.
  5. I'm planning to get through my reading list while Normal Girl brings home the bacon.
  6. Oh, and we'll be visiting 20 high schools, as Normal Girl stumps for Bentley College.

I'll be posting from the road with updates on our exciting adventures. Wish us luck!

- Normal Guy, reporting from Boston

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