Talk to people from Rochester and they have well defined impressions of Buffalo. They follow our sports teams. They come to our concerts. They know their way in and out.
Talk to people from Buffalo about Rochester, however, and you enter terra incognita. Sure, we recognize that it’s the place where the Sabres have a farm team, where the Bills hold their pre-season practice, the birthplace of Kodak and Xerox and Bausch & Lomb, but not much else. Even I, knowing Rochester reasonably well from having friends and music business dealings there for the past 30-odd years, can get confused by that city’s version of Elmwood Avenue, which because it’s a diagonal street, shows up in the most bewildering places.
Same phenomenon is in effect for the sectional bridge tournaments. This year, Buffalo’s spring sectional took place just one week ahead of Rochester’s, and the reciprocity – or rather, the lack of it – is stunning.
While Canadians were by far the largest group of out-of-towners among the 174 players who earned points at the Buffalo sectional, there were nine from the Rochester area. On the following weekend, of the 129 players who scratched in the Webster Recreation Center outside Rochester, only half a dozen were from Buffalo. Four of them – Saleh Fetouh, Jay Levy, Donna Steffan and Jay Costello, most likely a Sunday Swiss team – were tied for 75th place with 1.04 points. Our other representatives? Thomas Koralewski and Davis Heussler, tied for 88th with 0.84 of a point.