I am a Buffalo newbie. Why does everyone in this town collect rustic silhouette pictures of buffalos, wear red, white and blue every Sunday of football season, solely drink Rusty Chain beer, and drive like the roads aren’t covered in slush and snow when I wouldn’t dare step foot in a car? It’s barely been six months living and working here, and while many unanswered cultural questions about Buffalo remain, it already feels like home to me.
This is an unexpected, but welcome surprise largely thanks to the many things—the culture of welcome, the warm and genuine people and the weather (just kidding: not the weather)—that I love about Buffalo.
Freshly married, my husband and I moved here from a small town in Northern Indiana; a region that calls itself “Michiana” because it wishes it were in Michigan. Southern Michigan does not call itself “Michiana.” Understandable.
We had no idea what to expect from this city – in fact, we barely knew where to look for it on the map of New York. Friends from our hometown were so impressed that we were moving to New York, assuming that we were headed for the Big Apple. We were happy not to correct them. “Oh yes,” we boasted, “Buffalo is huge. Very close to Times Square” And compared to small-town Indiana, it is.
Working at Ró, a unique place because it encourages such a thoughtful contemplation of home, asks me daily to consider this concept. Home is not only the place of calm that we create for ourselves to rest but also the place we create to invite others in. Being a part of the team at Ro begs me to consider my own concept of home, my hometown of Indiana and where I find myself now, my new home in Buffalo. I have been invited to this Buffalo home in so many ways in such a short amount of time.
At Ró we are interested in more than helping our customers find physical collections of furniture, art, and home goods; we are interested in cultivating an atmosphere of rest, welcome, and comfort. We are cultivating an atmosphere of home.
To kick off this New Year my resolution is to practice gratitude. As I consider what I am most grateful for, I look back on my past year of transition and am so grateful to feel at home in Buffalo.
Maddie Gerig Shelly is an artist and miniaturist from Goshen, Indiana. She loves being a part of the team at Ró.