Friday, February 28, 2014

Let's Not Forget Why There is a Binghamton Parade Day

2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade
The Binghamton St. Patrick's Day parade is tomorrow. An annual event meant to celebrate the contributions made by the Irish immigrants, not only to this area, but to American society, overall.  While I am not a prohibitionist by any means, and nor do I fault the local Binghamton bar owners from capitalizing on what may possibly be one of their most profitable days of the year; I do take exception to the overwhelming promotion of the day being solely for drinking and seeing who can make the biggest fool of themselves.

Now, I realize that many of you will not agree with me on this. That is fine. But I cannot be the only one who takes offense to status updates asking if we have started drinking yet for parade day? We need to come together as a community and positively promote Binghamton.  If someone totally unfamiliar with Binghamton were to scroll through my news feed today, they would assume; wrongly, of course, that all we do is brag about drinking and getting wasted.

Is this the Binghamton we want to promote to potential new businesses who could bring much needed jobs to the area?  Is this the Binghamton we want to celebrate; not only on parade day, but throughout the year?

If the answer is a resounding yes; then I will stick my tail between my legs and not say another word about the matter.  I strongly believe many feel the same way I do.  There is a time and a place for a beer or two.  There are several pre and post parade events scheduled.  I, myself, have plans on attending several of them. Let's keep the parade's true meaning in mind and be respectful of those who are actually there to enjoy it with their friends and family.  You never know who may be standing next to you on the sidewalk; it could be the CEO of a major corporation looking to move his or her entire operation (including jobs) into the Greater Binghamton area.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Binghamton's Wintry Beauty

If you are anything like me, you probably have had enough of the snow and cold right about now. Yet, it is only mid-February and we have a good month and a half before we see any semblance of Spring.  So why fight it?

Even as the piles grow taller and the snow fades from a bright white, there is still something magical about Binghamton in the Winter.

As the icicles continue to grow thicker and longer, though they pose a potential safety risk; you cannot stop an admire how they reflect the light around them or how they mimic the roots of the trees that soon will be sprouting the welcoming greening of spring.

While the snow and ice may be piling up on the rivers, we need to remind ourselves that underneath the continually growing piles, there is an entire ecosystem flourishing.  We will soon be greeted by the flowing waters of the Chenango and Susquehanna teeming with the flora and fauna that only Mother Nature can provide.  

As we seem to receive one snowfall after another, to the extent that we are either ready to cry, scream, hide or a combination of all three; take a moment and reflect on the beauty of it all. There is a certain magical peacefulness that falls over Binghamton that shouldn't be ignored.