Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

01 June 2013

Feelin' Groovy

One thing that many people don't know about
Buffalo, New York,
which is where I live,
is that 
on any given morning
I can walk out my front door 
and smell
the smell
of Cheerios baking.

That's right,
Buffalo smells like Cheerios.

And it's not an unappealing smell at all.
In fact, after I moved to this city,
about nine years ago,
it was one of the things that really enamored me
to this much misunderstood town.

It's true,
when driving into this city,
one of the first things encountered
is the monstrous, haunting carcasses of former industry,
in the form of grain elevators.

Grain elevators are one of the inventions that 
Buffalo, at its peak, gave to the world,
which may not seem all that big of a deal until
I find myself someplace like Barcelona, Spain,
where I was a few weeks ago,
and, on looking out at the busy harbor,
and what do I see but
a couple grain elevators:

This does make my chest swell
with a modicum of pride,
but it's a difficult one to explain,
so I generally opt not to.

But I felt it necessary to explain the grain elevator
in the context of the subject of
Cheerios in Buffalo,
as one travels along the industrial waterfront,
past rows and rows of empty grain elevators,
one inevitably encounters this:

The General Mills factory, one of the working industries
and proud employers in this town.

In this next photo, from Buffalo Rising,
you can even see the Cheerio smoke
rising out and wafting over the city.

And that's a much better scent than your typical industrial smells, I'd say.

Now, you may be wondering, why have I decided,
after so many weeks and months of silence
to write about the fact that
Buffalo smells like Cheerios?

Well, it is a notable thing,
and I did indeed smell Cheerios
just the other day.

But I also was made aware of this commercial,
and the fact that it's making some people upset:

Yes, it elecited so many nasty, petty racist comments that

And that upsets me quite a bit,
because I think it's a very sweet,

And furthermore, 
it makes me so proud
to live in a city
that smells like Cheerios.

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