Tonawanda News


March 7, 2014

ADAMCZYK: The luxury of comfort


Tonawanda News — I could drive to Delaware Avenue, turn one way and have all the benefits of a big city. Turn the other way and I’m in the suburbs. The advantages of both without being trapped by either.

Great, but you cannot write an essay about the virtues of your hometown by explaining how easy it is to leave.

With the possible exception of Boulder, Colorado, in the 1970s and a few small towns in Britain, Kenmore, in my experience, best combines Norman Rockwell’s small-town Americana with small-scale modernistic urbanism.

Kenmore’s commercial canyon of Delaware Avenue, for example, currently includes e-cigarette shops, a used record store, an Arab market, a Pakistani restaurant, churches Catholic and Presbyterian, a vintage clothing store, a computer repair shop, a farmer’s market seven months of the year and a few dozen other things like doctors, dentists, podiatrists and accountants, many in retail buildings closing in on one hundred years of service.

That’s also the street on which we run our massive Memorial Day parade, our stop-the-traffic vintage car show, our annual visit from Santa Claus.

This is not the sort of thing one thinks about when browsing the newspaper’s real estate section, looking for a home to buy, but it provides a comfort that almost feels like a luxury, once you have it and notice it and appreciate it.

Yeah, all that was tossed into the essay, as well as every architectural buzzword and urban planning term (like “mixed-use structure,” “self-governing,” and “transect planning”) I could think of.

Later came the phrase a writer (like me) loves to hear almost as much as “The check was mailed to you yesterday;” “It did not require much editing.”

Ask any fourth-grader with a pencil; this is harder than it sounds, but that’s how labors of love tend to be.

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears weekly in the Record-Advertiser. Contact him at

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears weekly in the Record-Advertiser. Contact him at

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