10547336_10152508495326075_1852112944617892265_o

Millennials In Buffalo? YEP!

The kids are taking over Buffalo! One house, one chicken coop and one loaf of bread at a time. :)

I am being serious! Read this article. This article in the Gothamist really captures why Buffalo is an incredible place to live, work and play. In Buffalo, we have arts, culture, cheap rent and the ability to create our own work because it is an affordable city to live in. We are truly a soulful city filled with great people and dense, walkable neighborhoods!  #buffalove #buffalostyle

“The new American Dream is not owning a $200,000 house or owning a very expensive car, but owning something that matters more to you that’s accessible,” she says. “I think the whole American Dream is really shifting, but the problem is in big cities you can’t get that.”

“According to census data analyzed by the New York Times, from 2000 to 2012 the number of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 moving to Buffalo jumped 34% – more than Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.”

Read the article here: http://gothamist.com/2015/01/28/millennials_buffalo.php

Thanks for the Buffalove, Gothamist!

Photos of young Buffalovers from Summer 2014. (My birthday party!) 10547336_10152508495326075_1852112944617892265_o 10410163_10154871938285085_1544344788711901953_n 10492087_10154407877880085_1583498299318958518_n

Buffalo takes on Detroit: 36 Hours In The Motor City by Bernice Radle

You have stolen my heart, Detroit.

Bernice Radle at the Michigan Central Station

The Michigan Central Station

Here is what happens when you put four people who love planning, cities, buildings and the rust belt together in a car. We drive 5 hours to Detroit, rent out a kick ass industrial loft space, wander around town checking out bars, shops and historic sites, tour a once forgotten Kresge Mansion now being renovated by a 30 year old and meet with Mark Nickita (architect, owner of Pure Detroit and Mayor of Birmingham MI), inside the Guardian building – an art deco masterpiece! It was a trip for the memory books. You can see photos from our trip here.

Here are my top three take aways from our 36 hours in Detroit.

Buffalo is Detroit’s sister city. Hands down. Our radial street grid, friendly mid western attitude and blue collar approach to life is nearly identical. We both can see Canada from our windows, we share Lake Erie and we share similar boom / bust  / rebirth stories. Detroit is definitely Buffalo’s older, bigger Brother – the industrial strength attitude is very masculine, IMO. Sure, Detroit is bigger in size and in population but we can learn a lot from one another and we are only a 5 hour drive away!

TRUE GRIT. With slogans like “Detroit Hustles Harder” and “Detroit Vs. Everybody”, it is clear that Detroit has embraced their true grit and entrepreneurial spirit and that nothing, including their steep decline, will stop them. A rising tide raises all the boats, was the mentality from many of the local folks we spoke with. Sure, there is a long way to go and a lot to accomplish but we left feeling a great deal of confidence in the future of the Motor City. Detroit is tough and resilient!

Detroit is ALIVE. All the articles you’ve read about the vacancy and decline is true however, many fail to notice or mention the incredible amount of life that Detroit has. We saw signs of it everywhere – from a 30 year old buying a Kresge Mansion to the emerging Michigan Avenue retail corridor… the entrepreneur spirit is alive and well in the Motor City.  The downtown is beautiful – the storefronts are lit up with lights, the ice skating rink was packed at midnight and even their top millionaires are working together to privately pay for a light rail system along Woodward Avenue. Heck, even billionaires own community gardens in Detroit.

In case you want to travel to Detroit and don’t know what to do, here is a list of all the places we went to in 36 hours. It was a true sprint!!

  • Industrial Loft Space – Check In (Air B&B)
  • Corktown Tavern
  • Gaelic Irish Center
  • Slows BBQ
  • Michigan Central Station
  • Mercury Bar
  • Motor City Wine Bar
  • UFO Bar
  • Downtown Detroit – Ice Rink / Fox Theatre / Woodward Avenue
  • Detroit Institute of Bagels
  • Brush Park
  • Kresge Mansion Tour – Arden Park
  • Eastern Market
  • Guardian Building / Talk with Mark Nikida
  • Mid Town – City Bird / Nest / Shinola
  • Traffic Jam Restaurant
  • Greektown – “Detroit Vs. Everybody” Store

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bernice Radle accepts the National Trust for Historic Preservation award in Savannah, Georgia.

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation – Bernice Radle

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation

Bernice Radle
Buffalo, New York

As a founder and managing director of Buffalove Development, Radle has taken a creative and hands-on approach to preservation in Buffalo, working to restore four homes that were at risk of being demolished, while also changing the preservation conversation in the city.

Bernice Radle accepts the National Trust for Historic Preservation award in Savannah, Georgia.

Bernice Radle accepts the National Trust for Historic Preservation award in Savannah, Georgia.

map

We Want Great Urban Design : Tell Tim Horton’s To Adjust Their Current Design Proposal!

Today, I wrote this letter to the City Planning Board as an alternative option for the proposed Tim Hortons on Niagara and Albany. (See article about proposal here!)  It is my hope that our leaders will ask Tim Horton’s to redesign this project into a more urban space that better aligns with our community vision. Full Letter Here: Tim Hortons Alternative Proposal by Bernice Radle
The planning board meeting is TOMORROW, Nov 5th. If you want to voice your concern, email these people – tchwalinski@city-buffalo.com, nmarrero@city-buffalo.com, darivera@city-buffalo.com, bbrown@ch.ci.buffalo.ny.us

James Morrell – City Planning Board 901 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202

Re: Tim Horton’s Proposal for Niagara & Albany Street

Dear Mr. Morrell,

I write to urge the City Planning Board to ask for adjustments to the site plan of the proposed Tim Horton’s at Niagara and Albany streets. Simple, effective design changes will help better align this project with what the community has envisioned.

The current design disregards three important planning initiatives that citizens have worked hard to create:

  • Buffalo Green Code. The proposal casts aside the placemaking principles embodied in the Green Code. The goal of the Green Code is to enhance our urban fabric with dense, mixed-use buildings, built up to the sidewalk, with parking hidden away. The current proposal is suburban, not urban, which is inappropriate for the West Side.
  • Vision Niagara. The proposal does not reflect what the community has envisioned for the Niagara Street corridor. Through numerous community meetings, Vision Niagara has helped generate consensus around reinforcing our walkable, mixed-use neighborhood; embracing heritage buildings and landscapes; and enhancing the corridor’s relationship with the Niagara River. The current proposal falls short of these goals.
  • Complete Streets Policy. The proposal puts the automobile before people, and is in conflict with City plans now underway to make Niagara St. more safe and comfortable for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and the mobility impaired.

The solution is pretty simple! A few simple adjustments can better align the Tim Horton’s proposal to the community’s design expectations:

  • Relocate the proposed retail building to the corner of the lot at Niagara and Albany streets, with zero setbacks from the front and corner side lot lines.
  • Locate all parking and drive-through areas to the rear and interior side of the building.
  • Increase the percentage of fenestration along the front facade to 70%, measured between two and eight feet above ground level.

With such a simple adjustment, the project will immediately begin to follow the principles citizens have laid out in the Green Code, Vision Niagara, and Complete Streets Policy. This simple change will meet the community vision, as well as rely on design precedents for Tim Horton’s central city locations throughout North America, including in Buffalo. The urban Tim Horton’s in the newly opened One Harbor Center follows the community’s expectations, as should this proposal.

Please help our community restore a mixed use, walkable neighborhood that embraces smart growth and good urban design. We hope you will listen to the wants and needs of the community and demand excellence as our community continues to grow.

Thank you,

Bernice Radle

CC:       Mayor Byron W. Brown & Councilmember David Rivera
map TimHortons THsiteplan
Lafayette High School in the West Side of Buffalo, NY

Immigrant students are not one size fits all. Give Lafayette High School more time and more resources to support these students.

” EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.” – NELSON MANDELA

Lafayette High School is the beating heart of Buffalo’s West Side. It only takes a few moments of walking the hallways of this community institution to realize how unique our city is becoming, how much it is growing and the budding potential of our Cities newest residents. There are over 500 English Language Learners (ELL) speaking over 40 different languages at Lafayette High School this year, all having left their own homelands in search of a new life here in the United States. From Spanish to Karen, from Nepali to Arabic, Somali, and Burmese – Lafayette High School is a true melting pot of cultures, ideas and identities. These students and their families breathe new life into our historic West Side neighborhoods by opening small businesses, buying homes and sharing their rich cultural traditions with all of Western New York through cuisine, clothing and street festivals. And I would have to argue that the pulse of our city’s West Side renaissance is best measured every school day in the classrooms of Lafayette High School. And Lafayette High School is in trouble.

Over 2,000 refugees are settled in Erie County each year – that is more than any other county in the entire State. The vast majority of these new residents eventually choose to reside in the City of Buffalo and specifically in the neighborhoods of the West Side. Given it’s proximity to these growing populations, Lafayette High School has become the natural feeder school for almost all of the teenage immigrants residing in the region. All of these new ELL students are expected to adapt to their new lives in Buffalo, become proficient in the English language and pass complex exams in the same time period as native English speakers. This fact poses serious challenges for these students, their families as well as the school’s staff. And given the recent news  that the Buffalo Board of Education has passed a resolution calling for the “phase-out” of Lafayette High School in a move to close the high school permanently as a public school – the entire Buffalo Public School District could potentially be affected by the obstacles to learning that these students face everyday at Lafayette High School. Despite the problems and challenges, there are solutions that Lafayette High School can implement to keep its doors open while effectively supporting and strengthening our immigrant population and the West Side community.

As with numerous public schools in the City of Buffalo, Lafayette High School has its fair share of problems. The most unsettling statistic is Lafayette High School’s graduation rate –  just over 25%. But many of the influencing factors of this number are easy to diagnose and address.

Aging Out: Running Out of Time

A huge barrier to graduation for ELL students is age. Immigrant students are expected to attain the same level of achievement designed for native English speakers but in the same amount of time as their more proficient counterparts. Lafayette High School and its teachers work hard everyday to take it’s immigrant high school students from being illiterate to passing exams that regular US citizens are expected to pass – all in only a short few years. Sometimes, the ELL students even arrive illiterate in their first language, having never read or written. These ELL students are held back in the same grade for several years until they have learned the skills necessary to more on.

But once any student turns 21, they are forced to drop out from high school – which means they are denied the opportunity of graduation with a NYS Regents Diploma. A ELL students’ only option then is to take the limited GED courses offered. But unfortunately a GED Diploma does not provide the same amount of opportunities to a graduate as a NYS Regents Diploma in our society. The lack of a high school Regents diploma will negatively impact these ELL students for the rest of their life when applying for work, higher education and other opportunities.

NYSED Exams: Translations Needed

In New York State, students may take their State Regents Examinations in more than just English. If a student is an immigrant to the country, he/she might’ve learned Algebra before arriving here. With the exam translated into students’ first languages, students can prove to the State Education Department that they are competent in Algebra. On the day of the exam, a student can have the English version and translated version on their desk. Only one exam needs to be marked. In addition to having an exam translated, NYSED also offers bilingual glossaries for students to reference, while they take their tests.

Immigrants who mostly arrive in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica do not receive translations often. Currently, the New York State Education Department translates Regents exams into Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. To give an example, the top languages spoken at Lafayette High School are Spanish, Karen (minority language in Burma), Nepali, Arabic, Somali, and Burmese. Lafayette’s languages are representative of other Upstate cities’ language groups as well.

As you can see, NYSED’s services for English Language Learners need to be expanded to serve the growing refugee populations in the West Side and other Upstate cities. The lack of these vital services to ELL students at Lafayette High School provides yet another impassable obstacle to our most vulnerable students.

It should be noted too that the New York State Education Department translates into only those languages because they are representative of the languages found in NYC. Spanish and Chinese account for 70% of all English Language Learners in New York. At Lafayette High School, Spanish accounts for about 30% of the population. From data available, there are no Chinese speakers at Lafayette High School.

Above are just a few of possible solutions to the challenges facing ELL students and the staff at Lafayette High School. There are many other issues not covered here however it is known that the school lacks resources including proper training and staffing. It is also important to note that there are success stories at other schools in NYS that the Buffalo Board of Education could use as case studies.

If the Buffalo Board of Education chooses to ignore the inherent hardships faced by ELL students at Lafayette High School, and at similar schools across Upstate New York, we will continue to deny our country’s newest residents the most fundamental aspect of the American Dream – the promise that if an individual works long enough and hard enough in this country they will succeed. A flawed and outdated system is preventing ELL students from even having a chance at accomplishing that dream, and Lafayette High School has become the Buffalo Board of Education’s scapegoat. If Lafayette High School is allowed to close not only with this issues not be addressed but that will be compounded when the current ELL student body are sent to other underperforming Buffalo Public Schools. You only need to take a short walk on Grant Street to see the potential of Lafayette High School’s ELL students. We need to make the right decision and give Lafayette High School, the students and staff the tools they need and desire to succeed.

Lastly, I am not a teacher but I am an invested community member who understands first hand that education can lift you up and out of poverty and create a pathway towards a successful life. I have researched and discussed these issues at length with teachers, students and local officials. The one thing that is clear is that the students, staff and dedicated teachers at Lafayette High School do not need to be given up on – they need more time and resources.

Sign out petition to keep Lafayette High School open and give the teachers, staff and students the time and materials needed to obtain success. CLICK HERE.

Lafayette High School in the West Side of Buffalo, NY

Lafayette High School in the West Side of Buffalo, NY

BYP October Events !

Hello Everyone!
We now have FIVE preservation related events happening in October that we are excited to share with you. Below is a list of tours, talks, happy hours and clean outs that we are hosting – this is a busy month for BYP!  With Buffalove, The BYP Team

Wed. Oct 1st – BYP October Happy Hour @ Ulrich’s Tavern !

On Wednesday, Oct 1st, we are joining forces with AIA and BAF to celebrate the “Festival of Architecture, Buffalo!” Week. This will be a big happy hour event – one that cannot be missed!

Ulrich’s Tavern at 674 Ellicott in the BNMC
October 1st​, 2014 –
 6:30 pm​ 9pm​ 
Click here for the facebook event listing.

 
Sat. Oct 4th – BAF Presents: Family Fun Day @ Darwin Martin House

Join us for fun activities centered around architecture, Buffalo and its culture!
Local organizations (including BYP!) will come together at one of Buffalo’s most iconic architectural landmarks for this FREE event! The event includes educational activities, games, and the sharing of preservation/architecture related knowledge.  In addition to the featured activities Family Fun Day will have Food Trucks, Music, Games, and Specialized Children’s Tours of the Martin House!

Monday, Oct 6th – BYP City Auction Talk: Learn the Ins & Outs of the City of Buffalo INREM Auction
Join Bernice, Jason and Melanie on Monday, October 6th at 7:30pm at 128 Fargo Ave (Cafe Space!) to get the inside scoop about the upcoming City Auction. We will give details on how it works, what hurdles you may face and how to prepare to buy an auction property. Bernice, Jason and Mel all have a ton of experience with buying and renovating houses from the City auction – this is the only time to pick their brains! Refreshments will be available. Free to attend but we will accept donations to pay for the space and refreshments. 

Sat. Oct 25th @ 10am – BYP Board & Seal & Clean Out – The Church @ 150 Edward Street. 

Join us on Saturday, Oct 25th from 10am – 1pm at 150 Edward Street as we help to clean out an old church that has just been purchased to become a new art space! Dennis Mayer, the new owner, saved the church from demolition earlier this year and has big plans to create a unique artspace inside. He needs our help boarding up some windows and getting it cleaned out and ready for the rehab work happening inside this winter. 

If you plan on attending, please make sure you come in comfortable clothing you don’t mind getting dusty and wear safe footwear.Tools, snacks and general construction expertise are always welcome. RSVP via email to bypteam@gmail.com

 
Sat. Oct 25th @ 2pm – BYP Richardson Complex Group Tour (Must buy tickets!)
Come tour the Richardson Complex with us on October 25th at 2pm

During this invite-only guided tour, learn about the genius of Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Dr. Thomas Kirkbride as they carried out the development of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. This history-focused tour will also introduce you to the present and future plans for the Richardson Olmsted Complex, with access to and former patient buildings in various states of renovation and additional areas of the partially restored Towers Building.

Note: There will be no photography allowed on this tour. For those interested in taking photographs, please see our designated photography tours.

Sign up for tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/820588 

 
BYP Happy Hour Poster – Created by Darren Cotton. Thanks, Darren!!


See you there!


With Buffalove,

BYP Team
View More: http://christinalaingphotography.pass.us/abuffalovewedding

Wedding Photos – A Buffalove Wedding at Silo City in Buffalo, NY

Jason and I tied the knot at Silo City surrounded by our friends, family and Buffalo’s historic grain elevators. The Mayor proclaimed July 5th to be “Bernice and Jason Day” in the City of Buffalo, it was 77 degrees and Sunny, my dress looked like wall paper, everything went as planned and it was the first silo city wedding ever… We had a perfect day!

If you want more info about our wedding venue and vendors – check our wedding website. http://abuffalovewedding.com/vendors-we-love/

Here are just some of the photos that exist…If you have instagram, check out the #abuffalovewedding hashtag for other photos and videos that people took!!!

http://christinalaingphotography.pass.us/abuffalovewedding/favs-1693181

This slideshow requires JavaScript.