Sunday, January 11, 2009

44 Places to Go

BuffaloPundit points out that Buffalo made the New York Times list of places to go in 2009. Naturally I went to see what they had to say. In part:
With the exception of senatorial hopefuls, many New Yorkers write off the rest of the Empire State as a cultural hinterland. But the chilly rustbelt city of Buffalo now has something to thrill cultural junkies other than its scattered specimens of pioneering early 20th-century architecture: the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
It then goes on to talk about the Burchfield Penney's Buffalo-centric collection. It's great to see the museum get the attention, but it's also a funny write-up.

I went to the new Burchfield Penney when I was in Buffalo for the holidays. I say "new" because the museum has in fact existed--first as the Charles Burchfield Center, then as the Burchfield Art Center, and finally as the Burchfield Penney Art Center--since the 60s. It's the building which is new, not the Center, although you wouldn't get that impression from the Times mention. Still, it's very nice and by all accounts a huge improvement. And don't get me wrong, I think the new Burchfield Penney is a lovely addition for Buffalo and totally worth seeing.
But it doesn't suddenly turn Buffalo into destination travel. And, while the New York Times makes it sound like it's such a great thing that Buffalo can now include, when they couldn't previously, a nice art museum in it's collection of tourist-worthy sites, that makes for strange reading, because it's not even the best art museum in the city. That would be the art museum, oh I don't know, right across the street. Also not a new museum. (Although it could use some new building space as well).

That's not to take away from the Burchfield Penney or their pretty (on the inside) new building. I'm just saying that Buffalo wasn't any more or less a cultural hinterland before it was built than it is now. Still, it's nice for the city to be on a places-to-go list with the likes of Vienna and the Red Sea, I'm sure. If nothing else, it's a much cheaper trip.

1 comment:

eco-eco said...

The Times article only scratches the surface of all the cultural attractions in Buffalo. The museum "across the street" from the BP is the Albright Knox, which has one of the finest modern art collections in the world.

I think the Times article focused on the BP because it's new.

Check out the new Martin House visitors' center for another gem.It just opened adjacent to another Buffalo masterpiece.