Disambiguations™ for March 12, 2010
I. Least promising title of folder on my desktop: "Unfinished semifictional scraps"
II. Great idea for an essay over at The Millions: "On Epigraphs."
(I haven't read it yet...does that matter? I can just post stuff here to read later.)
III. Via The Second Pass, some love for Buffalo and Talking Leaves bookstore, and some thoughts on where the East Coast ends and the Midwest begins:
IV. Levi: "Surely the Germans have come up with a word for lying about your plans to blog?"
Upstate New York is tricky. The better I’ve gotten to know the western NY region, the more I think that it really is better thought of as the eastern edge of the Midwest. Buffalo absolutely has many of the attributes (and problems) of the Great Lakes cities I know well, like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and my own Milwaukee. People “seem” Midwestern in a way that I rarely sense on the east or west coasts (though I occasionally feel the Midwest vibe in Denver, which maybe has some Midwest attributes as well)
As I move east toward Syracuse and the Finger Lakes however, things feel a little less clear. These places are still far from the east coast, yet they don’t read Midwestern in the way Buffalo does. When I’m in Ithaca I feel pretty firmly out of the Midwest.
My east coast colleague, Adena, and I sometimes puzzle over NY state geography. A new store appears in an unfamiliar town. She sells Albany, I go as far east (theoretically anyway) as Binghamton, so we’ll call each other and say “is this yours or mine?” The line in New York and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh! also Midwest!) is fuzzy.