March 2022 is about to step aside to make room for April. In my South Buffalo neighborhood – that is, the stretch of Seneca Street and Indian Church Road graced by its proximity to Cazenovia Park – St. Patrick’s Day is finally far enough in the rear view mirror to be a mere glimmer in my neighbors’ twinkling blue eyes.
From my perspective, it’s time for local officials, businesses and property owners to set aside the “happy talk” about community pride. It is time to actually demonstrate self-esteem and affection for the neighborhood and its residents by addressing the sights and defects that adversely impact its aesthetics and safety.
Here are several suggestions – each found within two blocks of the Seneca Street/Indian Church Road intersection – for immediate spring cleaning, maintenance or repair. [Unless otherwise noted, the accompanying photos were taken by me on March 31 during my morning walk.]
No. 1. Fix the broken pedestrian signal at Seneca and Indian Church Road. For at least a year now, anyone wishing to cross Seneca St. from Indian Church Road (or vice versa) has been forced to navigate this busy, tricky corner without the assistance of the walk/don’t walk signal. The push button on the west side of Seneca Street dangles uselessly from the pole, and the electronic signal is blank.
No. 2. Repair or replace the decorative trash bin next to Shea’s Seneca. The motto is excellent – “Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” [Will Smith’s behavior at this past weekend’s Oscars ceremony is a perfect example] But its decrepit appearance inspires one to look the other way rather than give these thought-provoking words consideration.
No. 3. Attractively address the broken storefront window and facade at Seneca and Cazenovia Streets. For well over a year now, pedestrians, cars and buses passing by, and nearby residents (including those at the upscale apartments directly across the street), have been forced to look at a markedly haphazard and unprofessional effort to enclose a vandalized storefront window. The City of Buffalo’s Online Assessment Roll System (OARS) lists the owner of this property as Hook & Ladder Development LLC at 2111 Seneca St., Buffalo, NY 14210.
No. 4. Find a way to restore the vandalized, weathered wooden sculpture of Red Jacket at Cazenovia and Seneca Streets. The following photos were taken last year and shared with various public officials in hopes of inspiring an effort to show due respect for the Seneca statesman Red Jacket. The condition of the statue has continued to deteriorate.
A brief diversion. My morning observations included more than eyesores. While walking through Cazenovia Park, I did take the time to admire this naked and gnarly masterpiece:
No. 5. Remove or tastefully beautify the rusting, peeling retractable “shield” at 2348 Seneca Street. If you are unfortunate enough to depart Cazenovia Park at its Seneca Street exit, wait for or disembark an NFTA No. 15 bus, or drive down Seneca Street just blocks from the West Seneca/Buffalo border during or before the morning rush hour, you are assaulted by the image of a rusting, peeling sight. It has been in this condition for years. The City of Buffalo’s Online Assessment Roll System (OARS) lists the owner of this property as Donald P. King, 2348 Seneca St. Buffalo, NY 14210.
I am hoping that the individuals, officials, and businesses in the position to ameliorate the conditions noted above will promptly and thoughtfully take action. If you agree, reaching out to the following officials may help:
City of Buffalo Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon, 65 Niagara Square, Room 1401, Buffalo, NY 14202; (716) 851-5169; email@example.com.
City of Buffalo Streets Commissioner Michael J. Finn, 65 Niagara Square, Room 502, Buffalo, NY 14202; (716) 851-5636; firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Assemblyman Pat Burke, 1074 Union Road, West Seneca, NY 14224; (716) 608-6099; email@example.com.
State Senator Tim Kennedy, 37 Franklin St., Suite 550, Buffalo, NY 14202; (716) 826-2683; firstname.lastname@example.org.
With All Due Respect,