Buffalo, the second largest city in the state of New York, the “Queen City,” the “Nickel City,” the “City of Good Neighbors.” It’s a city once made great by the Erie Canal, by railroads, steel, and the productions of automobiles. Buffalo opened trade routes to the Midwest. Truly a city of broad shoulders, blue-collared and proud of it.

But, as Frost said, “nothing gold can last,” and Buffalo fell on to hard times as American manufacturing declined. So Buffalo is a city of contrasts: Blighted areas hard on new construction, magnificent architectural gems in the downtown area, overlooking insolent, “modern” atrocities. But a grandeur endures. It’s a city that can still say, like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, “I am big. It’s the movies that got small.”

But, gentle reader, do not shuffle off to Buffalo for that famous sandwich, beef-on-weck. At least don’t shuffle off to the Buffalo Beer Pub as I did yesterday with Linda and Dennis Ryan. The Buffalo wings were excellent, the beef-on-weck a real disappointment. I will, however, on returning to Buffalo from our stay in Cambridge, try another establishment and see if Buffalo, on this score at least, can redeem itself.

And speaking of scores, can you hear Old Blue Eyes (no, not me, though I have blue eyes) crooning in the background? He’s singing Come Fly Away. https://youtu.be/Euci0_BBmNE

And fly away is what Dennis and I will do in a few hours: 6:35pm to be exact. But we got to the airport at noon. Nothing like being a little early to get the best seats. You’ll be flying with us, in spirit I hope, soaring with us over the Atlantic. See you in London.

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