Since I moved to Buffalo two years ago I spend a lot of time exploring the city. On my walks on the West side of the city I often enjoy the feeling of being present on the street and I want to extend that moment and sustain that feeling. In these moments I just want to sit down to enjoy the view, the air, the sounds, explore the buildings with my eyes, watch traffic - have a feel of the physical environment and the life in it.
And I always notice that there is nowhere to sit down. That’s an awkward realization, because it feels like the streets force me to keep moving, telling me to get off, when I want to stay there. That is not cool.
That’s why I would use the grant to put a bench on the street in the Five Points area of the West side of Buffalo. I chose the Five Points, because it is frequently visited by customers of local businesses and I think it would get attention from residents of the neighborhood and visitors from other parts of the city alike.
The bench would let people look around in their city from a different time and space perspective - the perspective of the city itself. The experience would be more than the usual transient one, when we drive on those streets or when we rush from A to B; it would be a few minutes of slow immersion, a long gaze; we would notice new things and we could understand better where we live.
Funded by Buffalo, NY (March 2019)