Friday, August 16, 2013

City Hall

City Hall during Taste of Buffalo 2013
So, I think everyone knows that City Hall is pretty amazing. But how many people have gone inside? Looked out at the city from the Observation Deck? It's one of my must-do items when showing visitors around. I usually bring people up there on my own but I did go on a tour with Buffalo Tours once. They happen every weekday at noon and are FREE - check out the details here.

I lived in the UK for a short time and traveled just a bit, and I would always look for chances like this to get up high and see whichever city I was visiting spread out below me. It's a really unique perspective of a given place and usually free or cheap to do.

Main lobby wall and ceiling
Back in Buffalo, one awesome part of my job is occasionally leading "field trips" for refugee clients to see the view from the Observation Deck. It's a nice way for them to see the size and geography of their new city. It's often just as impressive to them that they are allowed access to the main government building in the city, since many of them have recently arrived from situations where the government had absolute power. I'm very lucky that, among other things, I get to see our civic structures with eyes other than my own.

One of the views from up top - nice mix of architecture
One man I know had to hide by the side of the road if someone else passed by because he was low caste and it wasn't proper to inflict the sight of him on someone held to be his better. I've seen him learn to look people in the eye, and I remember standing at the top of City Hall with him and a group of clients who were learning about what the building was. When I explained that the mayor was in the building at the same time as we were, that man just shook his head disbelievingly and chuckled. 
The Liberty Building, welcoming people coming to Buffalo from land or water

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