I get it. It's a little hokey to go on and on about your city simply because the calendar date reflects your area code and it's a Hallmark opportunity to wax on about how great Buffalo is and then everyone gets sappy, etc., etc.
Ima be me. I'm going to do it anyways.
In the daily grind of life, I'll admit I've gotten away from the gratitude that exuded from my very being just 4 years ago when I returned home. I could not believe I had the opportunity to come back. When I left in 2009, I felt it was unlikely that I'd ever return thanks to a diminished economy and shrinking opportunity. It was a heartbreaking fact I spent several years away trying to accept. But I could not.
Fast forward to 2014. Every. thing. was. different. I spent my years away following the resurgence closely thanks to my social network and frequent trips home to visit family. It was miraculous. Buffalo had for decades embodied a sense of apathy (by locals and travelers alike.) Slowly, that perception was shifting into one of hope and rejuvenation.
Here I am years later, working, dreaming, networking, enjoying, and raising my family in Buffalo, New York. I am a living, breathing reason that it's totally acceptable to celebrate a made-up holiday on July 16th, during a gorgeous, never taken-for-granted Buffalo summer. Cheers to you, 716!