Monday, September 23, 2013

Look No Further Than Your Screen

I started the Patti Loves Bing Facebook page and this blog, as a means of expressing my obsession with everything Binghamton rather than to solely promote events and/or local businesses.  That being said, I am devoting this post to the promotion of the many Facebook pages that promote events and businesses on a daily basis. 

Some of the people behind these pages are faceless. Then there are others very much in the public eye. Either way, their undying love for the area is not to be taken lightly.  So, the next time you feel that urge to post that there is nothing going on in Binghamton or that there are no places to shop except Walmart or Target; remember all you need to do is check these pages out on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. 

Several of the pages worth following are: Greater Binghamton TodayBinghamton Business ReviewProud of Upstate New York and 365 Binghamton.  These are far from being the only pages out there.  Any that I have missed in highlighting is due more to lack of space on this post than anything else.  However, there are two I would like to give a big shout out to. (Plus it gives me a chance to test the Facebook embedded post feature; forgive me the momentary lapse into geekiness.)

BingSpot is clearly the leader with over 9,600 followers.  Their founders have an uncanny sense of not only promoting every major Binghamton event; but capturing each event through the lens of their cameras.

What's Goin' On Binghamton? is another page worth following.  They not only promote local area events and business; but also make full use of their own YouTube channel and have a presence on LinkedIn. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Binghamton is Real - Not A Hollywood Backlot

I try my best to keep a positive outlook and to promote how great Binghamton is; just like all the other Facebook community pages regarding the Binghamton area.  However, over the last few days a link to a poll naming Binghamton as the Nation's most downbeat city (Link here) has resurfaced. After the 20th time seeing it being shared on my news feed, I am compelled to say something.

First of all, this article is over a year and a half old. The Gallup poll it references was taken in 2011 right after our last flood.  We were all downbeat at that time whether we were directly affected or not.  So honestly, let's put things in the right perspective.

Perpetuating a negative attitude rather than a positive one does nothing to make those who are trying to better the city and the lives of its residents work any harder.  What it does is play right into the hands of those who want to see Binghamton brought back to the 1950's which is totally unrealistic.  In order for the city to grow and flourish, it must work on those things that need improvement; such as crime, economic development, infrastructure, while at the same time promote the things that have improved over the last several decades.

Binghamton will never be Mayberry and I do not believe that many of us want it to be.  Too many people complain online about what they perceive as being wrong with Binghamton. When confronted, they are quick to admit that either they haven't ventured from their neighborhood into the downtown core in years or they no longer live within the city limits.

I realize that my writing this post is probably not going to have much of an effect; as the saying goes, "Haters are going to hate".  However, I refuse to believe that I am the only one that disagrees with this poll.  What shocks me the most is the silence from those that do believe in Binghamton and all that is today and can offer in the future.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello September

photo taken September 2012 along the banks of the Susquehanna River
It's already the first day of September here in Binghamton. The summer seems to have flown by and for many, I am sure you are disappointed.  I have a confession to make, I couldn't be happier that Fall is just around the corner.

To me, Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in the Binghamton area. Beautiful in the aesthetic sense with the changing of the foliage surrounding us on the hills. One of the advantages of living in a valley is that you do not have to look very far to take in the sweeping landscapes of color.  Color that is constantly changing as the days pass.

Then there is the yearly transformation that takes place in the heart of the city. While a bone of contention for many, having both the Binghamton University and SUNY Broome Community College students back in town does add a sense of completeness to the city.  It almost feels like we are welcoming our own children home from a long vacation.

September is also when, as a community, we begin gearing up for a flurry of events supporting the many local nonprofit organizations in the area; everything from Duck Races down the Chenango River to Hair Warz.  Let's not forget the upcoming food inspired events, also supporting worthy causes, from Restaurant Week to Men Who Cook.

It is also the season of Apple Cider, Pumpkins and Hayrides.  All of which have a magical power of transporting us back to our youth.

For the parents of school age children, September is also the time when you can look forward to complaints about homework; chauffeuring to and from after school practices; and what sometimes seems to be the ever present whining about something or other school related.  Being a new empty nester, I encourage you to treasure each and every whine and every call to be picked up from practice. The Septembers of your future will quickly pass and these minor inconveniences will be missed.  

So, Binghamton say Hello to September!  Embrace it for all it represents.