Name: Bill Schwappacher
         I am: Creative Director/ Interactive Developer
         Years in Rochester: 9
         Current home: Rochester (Upper Monroe)
You know you’re in love when it is her flaws that turn you on the most.
I was dating the perfect American city when true love hit me. She was my college sweetheart and the poster girl for what most college boys crave. A sporty, young, mid-western beauty that loved cars and knew how to have a good time on Saturday night. Best of all she was easy. I could buy and do whatever I wanted and always knew there was any number of jobs to support my consumptive habits. 
But my heart left her when I was reacquainted with a childhood friend in upstate New York. 
It had been many years since I spent much time walking her streets. As I did, fond youthful memories mixed with the sad realization that the years I spent away from her were a bit unkind. Abandonment, infighting and insular thinking had left her greyed, unsure and rudderless. Yet, as we spent time reacquainting ourselves, I discovered a woman that had endured and was still full of alluring surprises. Her lilacs and magnolias filled my senses. Her unique and deep history seduced me. Her diverse and majestic neighborhoods invited me in. And her kind and generous people made me want to spend every day and night with her. 
When I told those close to me that I was madly in love and wanted to run away with her, I got reactions of bewilderment and pity. “But she is so cold,” they’d say. “She’s plagued by brownfields, mired in poverty and doesn’t even have a Crate and Barrel.” 
“Exactly,” I’d reply, “she is perfectly imperfect and that is what I love most.” Perfection is no fun. There is no challenge or adventure in clean homogeneity. To me, love is about rolling up your sleeves, investing yourself in someone and helping them grow. The fun part is growing with them and taking pleasure in celebrating their idiosyncrasies. 
When we came back together we were both deeply flawed and directionless. In the nine years since, we have done a lot with and for each other. We have and continue to support, tear down, reassure, play with and even fight one another. I’d like to think we are both a little better for it. 
I’m crazy in love with you Rochester, scars and all. You are without a doubt the woman worth fighting for.