Main Street Buffalo, NY

“The theater, the theater,
whatever happened to the theater?”
~Danny Kaye from “Choreography” in White Christmas

Dear Olaf,

They’ve torn up Main Street to put in the rail;
The subway is progress, I suppose, but only
if it ends up going somewhere.
There once was activity before,
and people drove downtown in droves –
to shop, do lunch, work and get around to the theater.
It’s all but a memory now, abandoned.
But it was happening then!
Wish I were there!

My Kind Regards,

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

**The postcard depicts the heyday of the downtown Buffalo Theater District. The “BUFFALO” sign marks what is now the Shea’s Performing Art Center, an exceptional throwback to those days, still the anchor of a hopeful resurgence. They’re bringing traffic back to Main Street.


22 thoughts on “THE LATE WHITE WAY

  1. Hi Walt! Good to see you on Poetics. I love the postcard format, which is perfect for this prompt. I’ve heard of Buffalo but know nothing about it, so it’s interesting to read your words. I really like the Danny Kaye prompt – I loved him when I was a child – and the way you’ve set the poem in the time of the old postcard, even though I have know idea what it looks like now. I suppose the Theatre District in Buffalo would have been a smaller version of New York’s Broadway. .

    1. Thanks, Kim. It is good to be seen. Buffalo sits on Lake Erie, a Great Lake. It was a major shipping port in its day, but industry and technology change that in a big way. There is a General Mills plant near the downtown area and on good days, the place smells like Cheerios. The city is making a comeback, mainly due to a visionary who has had a big hand in moving projects to completion. His backing and capital has changed the waterfront and inner harbor area. The Shea’s Performing Arts Center is a fabulous theater and does indeed run many Broadway shows yearly.

      1. I’m learning more about the world from reading poems at the dVerse Poets Pub than I have ever done at school or by watching TV! I love ports and harbours, anything to do with the sea and boats. But I’m not sure about that General Mills plant. This description reminds me of King’s Lynn, a town on the sea just along the coast that has a number of canning factories.

    1. It has been. They’ve re-opened the street in that section of Main Street, but the stores and shops and theater venues have taken a cautious approach to return. Again, the best laid plans of mice and politicians… Thanks for commenting, Lynn!

  2. sMiLes.. i grew up
    on the shore of a river
    downtown where a five and dime
    was the meeting place then..
    replacing the
    area of
    with a river
    walk.. a place noW
    of bands and mingling
    red state folks in Summer
    and even fall Now too..
    but sure..
    a River
    is always
    an attraction
    beyond concrete
    lights and stores..
    bottom lines.. nice to see
    people now togetHeR.. further
    than a Walmart and Mall Aisle..far..;)

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