Final Prompt

Sense of Place

To see a map of my location in Buffalo, New York CLICK HERE

Map view of Marvin Gardens located in Buffalo, NY
Satellite view of Marvin Gardens located in Buffalo, NY

MY Sense of Place

Previously, we discussed a sense of place at our site in Centennial Woods. Over this Thanksgiving break, I went back to my hometown of Buffalo, New York, to visit friends and family. For this entry, I wanted to compare my sense of place in my hometown in comparison to my phenology site and then my sense of place in Burlington as a whole.  

I chose the scale of my sense of place in Buffalo to be my village, Marvin Gardens. The town is approximately two square miles and contains my high school, my supermarket, my pharmacy, my doctor, and all my friends and family. The entire village is a tight-knit community that fostered my character and cultural norms that I follow today. My sense of place values is highly weighted in Buffalo based on historical, cultural, and social benefits. All my entertainment is concealed in the proximity of a few blocks and holds so many memories that I reminisce from time to time.

Buffalo, New York

A shift in Sense of Place

Two years ago, I could not imagine leaving Buffalo yet; I am over 400 miles away from home studying a subject I never knew existed. Vermont was somewhat of a cultural shock when it came to how people interacted with each other. My previous beliefs were that I would be counting down the days till I return to Buffalo, but surprisingly those were not my thoughts this Thanksgiving. I missed my dorm and friends more than I could’ve imagined and quite frequently referred to my room on campus as home.

Visiting my parents this Thanksgiving made me realize how much happier I have been since I left Buffalo and arrived in Burlington. My mood dramatically shifts, and this is because I feel that I have created my sense of place for the first time, and it leaves feelings of excitement and hopefulness.

Burlington, Vermont

What Makes My Sense of Place

I am from the city where the only biology that exists is the biohazard known as Love Canal which is a ten-minute car drive from my house. I found that being surrounding by the green mountains and vegetation that did not have waste was comforting. I began to hammock in the forests and develop a sense of self and appreciation for life. These emotions are now attached to this period of my life when I lived in Burlington. This idea is why I feel such a deeper sense of place with Burlington.

I have learned that my values for a sense of place have changed. I no longer allow cultural and social values to anchor my opinion on the sense of place. I now appreciate ecological, aesthetic, and historical values and hold them higher.