With Buffalo native-son Carl Paladino making waves in the gubernatorial race, his hardscrabble western New York hometown is getting more attention from downstate reporters than any time since the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, according to data we just made up. These correspondents, fascinated with this strange new land, are dutifully recording their observations of the city's unique culture and people, as in this dispatch from Susan Dominus of the Times:
A few blocks down, the bell of the light rail the great hope of industrial town revitalizations everywhere gave a muted clang. A man in a wheelchair stopped to rattle a plastic cup at a man sitting on the sidewalk, his back slouched up against the glass of yet another empty storefront. The two men stared dully at each other before the first moved on.