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Don't slag off Buffalo

October 05, 2008

I liked the Jackson Browne article ("Still Running and Hardly on Empty," by Geoff Boucher, Sept. 28). One thing puzzled me -- Browne's mention of Buffalo. I'm still not quite sure what invoking Buffalo means in this context:

"Walking on the beach bicycle path, he shrugged when asked if celebrity culture has become a sour, polarizing factor in the national discourse. Then a young woman in a bikini top skated by, her shoulders doing a nightclub shimmy. 'That's why they hate California. That's what Buffalo holds against us. They always will.' "

So for Jackson Browne, Buffalo is a stand-in for yahoos?

And why does the bikini-clad woman trigger the Buffalo resentment statement? And what is it that Buffalonians purportedly hate about California -- the bikinis, the bike paths, the skates, the nightclubs, the shimmy, the weather, the youth? Certainly not the overpriced housing.

Having lived in Buffalo for many years, I am always fascinated by its hold over the national imagination.

Dr. Andrew Jenks

Assistant professor

Department of history

California State University, Long Beach

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