Tonawanda News


October 29, 2009

ADAMCZYK: Of course we’re thrilled

For years, what sometimes seems like generations, I’ve occupied Friday’s Tonawanda News editorial page, a soft-punching cartoon above me, the fury of the common man below me and some opinions about one thing or another to the left and right. My regular theme is the Village of Kenmore, my hometown, and one would get the idea that I kinda like it here.

The American Planning Association, a professional group of urban planners, architects and similar people in the business of organizing space to suit the needs of its users, seems to concur. Its annual “10 Best Neighborhoods” in America award this year includes Kenmore.

I could have told them that.

Kenmore was included for its historic architecture, walkable design, accessibility, functionality, commitment of government officials and community involvement (no mention of its colossal liquor store), all that stuff its residents would rather keep secret and enjoy. The award is also something of a vindication of the citizens who communally run to the ramparts whenever the common good is threatened. Potentially losing the library or the post office, for example; threaten to rip away a vital social service and the people here behave like they live in one of America’s 10 best neighborhoods.

To be sure, snaring a national award such as this takes some work and a little campaigning. Next year there’ll be 10 other places that will win it and crow about it (Buffalo’s Elmwood Village was a recipient, several years ago). While winning this sort of exposure (and a plaque) definitely doesn’t hurt, it may not necessarily spur business development, increases in the value of real estate or a sudden immigration to Kenmore. Nonetheless, people, we have something enviable here, and it’s satisfying to know that an affinity group such as the APA, who know what to look for in a neighborhood, chose our little village. This was not a tourism or Chamber of Commerce initiative, it was an honor and an acknowledgement bestowed by a bunch of planning professionals.

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