was built on vacant lots outside the
medical campus on the east side of
Buffalo, which is about two miles
from where I live, and has brought
in high-end research as well as
construction work and everything that
you need to service a facility like that.
Q It sounds like a Renaissance is underway.
And I think that
Renaissance is incorporating, maybe
not perfectly but in large part, those
who were previously disenfranchised
a little bit. One of the things that’s
amazing about Buffalo is that we have
a huge immigrant population, which
seems to be thriving. There are
business incubators all along the west
side of Buffalo, and you can go in and
get amazing art, amazing food, and
see great businesses that seem to start
in these incubators and then pop up
along one of the commercial streets
six months later. I really enjoy where
the city’s going.
Q Now, if only you didn’t get all that snow! But then it wouldn’t be
Buffalo, would it?
There’s a funny
misconception about Buffalo, although
we certainly get more snow than a lot
of others. Do you remember that seven
feet of snow we got two Novembers
ago? I live a mile from downtown. I
was at an event for the United Way the
night before. It started snowing, and I
thought I probably should get home. I
got home and watched a movie with
my wife. We stayed up later than we
intended because we thought, “Hey,
we’re getting a million inches of snow,
there’s no way we were going to work
tomorrow.” I remember waking up
groggy, not having slept enough, and
looking out my window and seeing
the grass in our yard and thinking, “I
hate weather men.”
I guess I was really overtired because
I didn’t listen to what was being said
on the radio. I got to my office and
had to use my keycard to get in, which
meant that the office was locked and
closed, and I realized no one was
there. I’m on the eighth floor and my
window faces south. I saw the giant
wall of snow that was about a half-
mile south of the building. Literally, 1½
miles away from where I was looking
at grass in my yard, people were in the
process of getting seven feet of snow.
So, it’s not all of Buffalo that usually
gets it. It’s usually south of downtown.
Everyone gets it sometimes, but the
real crazy snow is south of here.
I went to Toronto for a TMA event
the next day, and people were calling
me wondering if I was alive and
could get food, and I was sitting at
the top of the Royal York looking
out over Toronto, having a cocktail.
I was not inconvenienced by that
snowstorm at all, but the office was
closed for a week because a lot
of the people live down south.
Q What might people who only know you professionally be most
surprised to learn about you?
I try to be a pretty
straightforward guy—what you see is
what you get—but I think one of things
that would surprise people is how
much I do care about the community
where I live. I always get the question,
“When are you going to move back to
New York?” or “Don’t you want to go to
a bigger place?” I’ve explored those
options for sure. Time and time again,
I’ve decided against them. While I like
to practice in New York and I try to
make my practice focus mostly in New
York City and Toronto, I enjoy the
community I live in greatly.
The other thing that people might be
surprised about is how much I really
like to explore. When I go to a new
place, I like to figure out the culture.
My wife and I went to Paris and
Rome in March. My ideal day in Paris
was throwing on a backpack with a
couple of sandwiches in it and just
walking for hours, getting out of the
area along the Champs-Élysées and
seeing what the communities around
Paris looked like. I used to do that
all the time in New York City. When
I was in law school, I used to throw
on a backpack and take the train to a
different neighborhood and explore.
I think that’s been a benefit throughout
life and in my career. The curiosity
to understand how a place works and
how the people there work has given
me greater insight when I’m working
on a file, trying to plan my next trip,
or finding the next restaurant that I
want to have a good dinner in. J
I always get the question, “When are you going to
move back to New York?” or “Don’t you want to go to
a bigger place?” I’ve explored those options for sure.
Time and time again, I’ve decided against them.
SAVE THE DATE
DALLAS / FT. WORTH
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