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We're Talkin' Proud
December 28, 2012 12:37 PM   Subscribe

For the thirteenth year in a row, the Buffalo Bills have failed to make the playoffs, a new league record. The tallest building downtown is losing its major tenant. People seem to drive into the sides of buildings a lot. Yet Buffalo was named as the second "Merriest" city in the United States. Despite the odd calculation of that index, things are looking up for the City of Good Neighbors:

Funds were raised in time to bring a historic centerpiece clock back to Buffalo's Central Terminal.

Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is developing an open lot, the Webster Block, into a destination center that includes public ice rinks.

The legendary (but long vacant) Statler Hotel reopened as the swanky Stater City. The Hotel Lafayette was also restored.

Governor Cuomo committed a billion dollars to develop the Western New York economy.

GM will start manufacturing eco-friendly engines at the Tonawanda Powertrain plant in the Northtowns.

The 'Steel Winds' project, fourteen wind turbines along the coast of Lake Erie, was completed earlier this year on the site of a vacant steel plant, Bethlehem Steel. This adds to Buffalo's reputation as an increasingly clean city.
posted by troika (61 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
er, the "also restored" should point here.
posted by troika at 12:38 PM on December 28, 2012


Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:39 PM on December 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


And from a Rochester perspective, the Amerks are once again affiliated with the Sabres the way God intended.
posted by tommasz at 12:40 PM on December 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wow, I was thinking of making a similar post about Buffalo's neighbor to the East, Rochester. Nice work!
posted by k8lin at 12:42 PM on December 28, 2012


If I'm reading correctly, and I might not be, thirteen years without being in the NFL playoffs makes the Bills the current frontrunner, not the all-time leader.
posted by box at 12:45 PM on December 28, 2012


Wow, I was thinking of making a similar post about Buffalo's neighbor to the East, Rochester. Nice work!

Rochester: All governesses have a tale of woe. What's yours?
posted by three blind mice at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, Rochester has Kodak...

So, what's the latest in the ongoing saga of the Bills moving to Toronto?
posted by Eekacat at 12:55 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two good things about Buffalo: The Tralf and Record Theater. Beyond that, I'm stumped.
posted by davebush at 12:58 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, what's the latest in the ongoing saga of the Bills moving to Toronto?

They just re-upped the lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium for another ten years. Since it was time to re-up, I guess you could say (puts on sunglasses) the Bills had come due.
posted by azpenguin at 1:00 PM on December 28, 2012 [23 favorites]


Western New York state continues to hemorrhage population, and the entire region, including Buffalo and Rochester, now barely equals the population of Pittsburgh. Dairy farming continues as the mainstay industry, but modernization decimates the need even for that limited workforce, and the market is pretty much limited to the in-place populace.
posted by Ardiril at 1:02 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


A friend of my ex-girlfriend's was originally from Buffalo, and when I asked her what she thought of the place she said "I don't."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:09 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


For the thirteenth year in a row, the Buffalo Bills have failed to make the playoffs

Judging from how things go when they do make the playoffs, they aren't missing much. I used to feel sorry for the Bills- they were the little engines that just kinda barely couldn't.
posted by Jpfed at 1:13 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mmmm. Buffalo wings!
posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Cigarette Smoking Man isn't going to let it happen.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:19 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really enjoy visiting Buffalo and get annoyed when fellow Torontonians view it as a convenient shopping trip with a city attached.

I don't know if this is true, but I imagine Buffalo as a city that is confident with what it is. It has a rich industrial history, isn't trying to be "world class" and flies under the radar with cool cultural experiences like the Albright-Knox and rebuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Separately, The Bills may be lousy but is it ever a great tailgate/atmosphere vs. anything I've ever experienced at a sporting event in Toronto.
posted by dismitree at 1:23 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


"a rich industrial history" - From World War II. The area was losing its manufacturing base by the mid-1950s as the importance of the St. Lawrence for shipping dwindled.
posted by Ardiril at 1:29 PM on December 28, 2012


Judging from how things go when they do make the playoffs, they aren't missing much.

What they used to do is go to the Super Bowl.

Of course, they tied the Vikings record for most Super Bowl appearances without a win, and worse, it was four in a row, 1990-1993.

Four teams never appeared in the Super Bowl. Two are expansion teams, the Texans and Jaguars. The third is the ever cursed Browns. The fourth is the apparently ever cursed Lions. Going but never winning, asides from the Vikings and Bills (4) are the Bengals (2), Eagles (2), Chargers, Falcons, Titans*, Panthers, Seahawks and Cardinals.

But I have respect for the Bills. They play in a city that is in one of the worst places for lake effect snow, and when the Lake Effect Snow machine gets going, it doesn't kid around. Despite this, they play football as it is meant to be played. Outdoors.

I'd gladly trade Detroit or Minnesota for Bufallo in the NFC North, though the Vikings will play proper football in 2015, when they spend the year at TCF Stadium while the Metrodome is nuked into oblivion and replaced.


* They came up One Yard Short.
posted by eriko at 1:38 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Separately, The Bills may be lousy but is it ever a great tailgate/atmosphere vs. anything I've ever experienced at a sporting event in Toronto.

Boy is it ever. I'm not from Buffalo but I went to RIT, became a big fan of both the Bills and the Sabres (curse this lockout!), and for the past few seasons I've been visiting friends for the Bills first home game. We take an RV and camp out in the lots from Saturday morning until after the game, and it is a blast. The best part of going to the first game is we are still full of hope that this season is when it will all turn around...

Speaking of Rochester, something something garbage plate
posted by Roommate at 1:39 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Trivia: Buffalo was the 10th largest city in the US in 1860, not on the list for a while, then 8th largest in 1900 and back to 10th largest in 1910, then off the list permanently. It has now fallen to 72nd (although the MSA ranks 49th).
This is useful to know if you play Sporcle a lot.
posted by dhartung at 1:42 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I lived there for a while during and then shortly after college. When I went back this summer for a weekend and stayed downtown the entire city seemed shabby and nearly empty - too many buildings downtown were vacant and there was basically nobody on the streets. We walked about 1/2 mile from the hotel to a restaurant for dinner and saw exactly one other person on the street. When we walked around on Sunday morning we did not see a single other person walking around. It was eerie how dead the place was.

The biggest shame for Buffalo is that SUNY had the opportunity to locate the University on the waterfront back in the 60s and instead opted to build the new campus in suburban Amherst. Then they failed to connect the one subway line Buffalo has to that campus - effectively cutting the University completely off from the city. Had that decision gone the other way the city would have had ~20,000 more people living in it. While that alone wouldn't have saved the city but it sure wouldn't have hurt.

The place is cold, dark, dreary, has a poor and worsening economy, and seemingly no new businesses moving in. The core of the downtown business district (where the subway becomes a trolley) could be wonderful, and there are a ton of buildings sitting empty but unless people decide they want to live in Buffalo it's going to slowly collapse.

I don't know what they can do to revitalize the city but part of me hopes someone thinks up some way to revitalize it and other cities like it. As bad as Buffalo is the suburbs of most midsized Midwestern cities are worse.
posted by cmj at 1:47 PM on December 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Submitted without irony: Talking Proud.

Hard to listen to hateration on Buffalo from over here in Syracuse. IT'S PARADISE!

I consider myself lucky to have inherited inside Buffalo knowledge from my wife. It's an easy place to pick on, but most of my favorite places are.

ok, craving beef on weck now
posted by activitystory at 1:47 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyplace that created Beef on Weck is okay in my books. In fact - would visit Buffalo on the strength of that sandwich alone.

But the namesake wings? No. Those are an abomination to any right minded eater. ABOMINATION.
posted by helmutdog at 1:52 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"some way to revitalize it" - For awhile back in the 90s, Buffalo and Charlotte, NC were competing for insurance businesses to establish regional headquarters. Charlotte more or less won that one.
posted by Ardiril at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2012


The Bills may be lousy but is it ever a great tailgate/atmosphere vs. anything I've ever experienced at a sporting event in Toronto.

I went to a Redskins-Bills game with a guy from Buffalo who had such a great time tailgating that he hopped the fence to a game he had a ticket to. A preseason game he had a ticket to. He went on to bluff his way into the Club level, bleed all over a Hooters thanks to a cut he got on the barbed wire, make out with someone exactly half his age, meet the one and only Trent Edwards, and end the night arrested for the dumbest public urination in the history of mankind.

Admittedly, this was in DC (or rather Landover, Maryland), but he was clearly bringing as much Buffalo to the game as anyone possibly could.
posted by Copronymus at 2:00 PM on December 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


But the namesake wings? No. Those are an abomination to any right minded eater. ABOMINATION.

Mmmm. Buffalo wings!
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on December 28, 2012


Meanwhile, Niagara Falls is about to lose its status as "city" and is literally paying people to live there. Things are not looking up for the region.
posted by deathpanels at 2:45 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spent my first 24 years in Buffalo. Honestly, if I could have found a decent job, I probably would have stayed. Three brothers, same story.

The problem with Buffalo is not even the snow, it's the constant overcast sky.

After being away for a few years I went back for a week over Thanksgiving. No sun the entire time. The intense winter wind is not always fun either.

But those are minor complaints. There are lots of great things about the place and many of it's surrounding suburbs. Plus, it's really close to Canada!
In some ways, it's a great place to live.


If you can find work.
posted by freakazoid at 2:47 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I miss Anacone's for the best Beef On Weck ever! But I do love to visit Buffalo whenever I can, and my wife and friends are always mystified when I run into someone from (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse) here in Portland because the animated hands start flying and the longing for Wegmans comes up, and the accents return all too quickly. Their first question is always "How long have you known them?" and the answer is always "I just met 'em."

Love the whole region, miss the food and constantly wonder if these places will ending up rusting out like the winter beater cars that populate the roads for half the year.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 2:51 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The guy who does the news on Arrested Development was anchoring the NBC local news in Buffalo tonight.

(Yay!)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:57 PM on December 28, 2012


(Apparently he's been doing it since 2009, but this is the first I've noticed from across the border.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:10 PM on December 28, 2012


My freshman year roommate was a tiny gay Indian kid who fucking LOVED football and LOVED the Bills and got me to appreciate football and love the Bills as well, which will remain a lifetime thing for me provided they don't do anything stupid like sign Vick or something.

ALso, I've only spent a few days there, and in the dead cold of late February at that, but Buffalo struck me as an immensely cool, super-welcoming and friendly town in all of the best ways. Talk shit about that town around me at your peril. It is the atmosphere that cities should strive for.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:10 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Two words... Commander Tom.
posted by fairmettle at 3:19 PM on December 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


I went to a Redskins-Bills game with a guy from Buffalo who had such a great time tailgating that he hopped the fence to a game he had a ticket to. A preseason game he had a ticket to. He went on to bluff his way into the Club level, bleed all over a Hooters thanks to a cut he got on the barbed wire, make out with someone exactly half his age, meet the one and only Trent Edwards, and end the night arrested for the dumbest public urination in the history of mankind.

As a product of Western New York and a current DC resident, I say: THIS MAN IS AN AMERICAN HERO AND I SALUTE HIM.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yep, downtown can be pretty dead outside work hours, but that's changing as various buildings downtown are converted into apartments and condos (which all seem to be doing well in terms of occupancy). And the weather isn't remotely as bad as it's often made out to be. Yes, we get snow. As does Rochester, Syracuse, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, and numerous other Northeast cities. Heck, I hear even Chicago gets snow. In many cities, it appears that they shut down completely when they get (or are even threatened with) an inch or two. Not us. When it snows, we generally (and yes, there have been some recent exceptions) deal with it quickly and efficiently. Although many of us were expecting (and hoping for) another virtually snowless winter like last year, we got about a foot on wednesday. The streets were plowed, and people went about their business like it was no big deal (because it wasn't). I live in the aforementioned Amherst, and my street was plowed at least five (five!) times while it was snowing. So while the snow may seem like some life-squelching blanket to those from cities who don't get it and/or can't deal with it properly, it really doesn't affect us here.

In addition to the many great things mentioned in Troika's post, there's also (off the top of my head) Larkin Square, which is helping to rapidly change (for the better) an area just outside of downtown; and numerous new buildings going up in the medical corridor (centered around the Roswell Park Cancer Institute). Within a few years, the University at Buffalo's Medical School will move downtown, which will bring even more people to that area.

I could go on about how cheap it is to live here, how easy it is to get around, how we actually have more sunny days than some cities down south, how summer here (despite the humidity) is pretty incredible because people really make the most of it, or how friendly the people are, but then the secret might get out.

TomSophieIvy: Anacone's is closed, but there are plenty of other places to get good beef on weck.

Navelgazer: thanks for watching our backs! We've got yours. We're not called "the city of good neighbors" for nothing.
posted by jonathanhughes at 3:37 PM on December 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Born and raised there, though transplanted to Toronto, I have to say that I haven't stopped calling it "home" and it's been almost twenty years now. It's so easy to have a love/hate relationship with it:

I love its houses - so many different styles, with nice yards and gardens even "downtown." I love the layout of the city. I do love shopping there - it's like it's designed around me getting all the things I need easily. It has the best flea market, where I started my career at age 15. I love how everything is twenty minutes away from everything else, no matter what. I love the comfort food. I love its cost of living. I love its very traditional businesses - that I can visit Guercio and Sons or the Broadway Market and taste my childhood.

I do not love that it's not particularly walkable, even in good weather. I do not love whatever passes for public transportation there - didn't then, don't now. I do not love the weather - snow is one thing, but shin-deep gray slush everywhere for months is just depressing. Yes, other places get snow - but the over-salting and piling instead of removing means there's a lot of grime all winter long. I do not love that a good salad at any restaurant is a foreign concept. I do not like their "water dressed in brown." I do not love that the newest, most fun businesses and restaurants are kind of like what Toronto's had tens of for years, so a place that's getting "wows" like Blue Monk there would be just a neighbourhood place for us here. I do not love that neighbourhood playgrounds, parks and public spaces are often really really empty - we visit at least monthly, and I have no idea where kids play on weekends during the day. I do not love that my friends there have a hard time getting work. I do not love that a gorgeous, refurbished 4 bedroom/bath and a half/Victorian house with parking and a yard off Elmwood would cost us about of third of what our Toronto hundred year old money pit is worth - we just couldn't work either, if we lived there.

Critics from Toronto (including friends of mine - but not the author of this particular article) were invited by the city's tourism office to stay at the Lafayette and visit a few other places (the Frank Lloyd Wright houses) recently - there's obviously an attempt to "re-launch" Buffalo. But I am sad that so many places are "former" and "vacant" and that a lot of classic taverns are endangered due to their clientele's attrition rate. There's a club there that book so many bands that I care to see that don't make it to Toronto because of border issues and we travel out of our way to catch shows even on weeknights -- (though Mohawk Place is closing) and I miss all the old places where I used to hang that booked similar acts too. If I lived and worked in Buffalo, I doubt I'd be able to get out and support bands so easily as in Toronto - when we bring our friend's band up to play, they're amazed that we can charge a decent cover, and people will still have a few drinks and cab/TTC it home on top of it.


It's funny, TomSophieIvy - I have three friends from Buffalo who moved to Portland.
posted by peagood at 4:14 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harvey Jerkwater: As a product of Western New York and a current DC resident, I say: THIS MAN IS AN AMERICAN HERO AND I SALUTE HIM.

As a fellow product of WNY and DC-area resident: come to the next meetup! I'll bring the sponge candy.
posted by troika at 4:17 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always tell people that Buffalo is a good place to live, but a shitty place to visit. I lived in Chicago (amazing) for awhile, but I came back to Buffalo. The people are nice and the food is fantastic.

We don't have much of a downtown, but the surrounding city neighborhoods are fantastic. Its a shame, because people see downtown Buffalo, but miss all the great stuff (still in the city) just outside the business district.

I was in Portland this summer. It remained me a lot of Buffalo, but bigger and prettier.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 4:23 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


jonathanhughes: "Anacone's is closed, but there are plenty of other places to get good beef on weck."

I've always been a fan of Charlie The Butcher
posted by aerosolkid at 4:30 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dairy farming continues as the mainstay industry, but modernization decimates the need even for that limited workforce

I don't know -- Batavia is pretty happy:

Greek Yogurt A Boon For New York State (NYTimes Link)


Commander Tom was fine...I was partial to Rocketship 7 with Dave Thomas, real life father of David Boreanaz.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:02 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If there is something good coming out of Buffalo it is because we have talented people in the Assembly. I can't even begin to talk about how disappointing city leadership is with a few exceptions. Once, while answering questions about a resolution I wrote for a councilmember, I had to pause to tell a city councilmember how to do basic math. I once saw another councilmember speak against his own resolution. I worked with another who was such a simple minded man. He has since been promoted and is now an Assemblymember. His replacement's most pertinent qualification? Bartender

It is an embarrassment.

But the six years I lived in Buffalo were fine. If I were heterosexual, had career opportunities and wanted kids it would be a great place to live and I would have stayed. There are some great places to eat (Left Bank, Europa) the Albright Knox has a great collection of modern pieces from mid-century (plus this, my favorite piece there) and there is no shortage of great beer. There is a lot to love about the crown jewel of the rust belt.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:02 PM on December 28, 2012


Biff Beeper!
posted by Ardiril at 7:20 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My father-in-law is from western NY. He left there forty years ago. Doesn't watch much football. But every year, what does he want for Christmas? Buffalo Bills gear. Knowing that, I hope the team stays there forever.
posted by azpenguin at 7:27 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course, they tied the Vikings record for most Super Bowl appearances without a win, and worse, it was four in a row, 1990-1993.

And as a Vikings fan, I will always be grateful.

Also, that Bills team is one of the best in NFL history. They're the only team to go to the Super Bowl four years in a row.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:31 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "deal" put together to keep the Bills in Buffalo (Well, Orchard Park at least) should be a crime.

I spent ten years in Buffalo. While I enjoyed my time there, it was such an incredibly stagnant community. *Nothing* happened. Projects stalled, nothing got built, and nothing ever got torn down. (I arrived the year that HSBC Arena opened - the finally demolished the Aud 2 years after I left town.)

Yes, Albright-Knox is nice, but you can only go there so many times.

Larkin Square and the new Larkin Buildings? Still doesn't atone for the sin of letting the old Larkin Administration building fall into disrepair and getting demolished.

I didn't enjoy my time living in Buffalo very much, but there were some things I miss a ton:

Mighty Taco, Jasmine Thai Restaurant, Ulrich's Tavern.

And oddly enough, I actually, really, really miss the Lake Effect Snow!
posted by punkrockrat at 10:36 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bocce Club pizza or Santora's? Anderson's. Ted's. Pat's.

Williamsville girl, here. Thank you, troika. I'm a long way from home, and though you made me miss it more, it really put a smile on my face.

And guys, in my old life, I used to work at Channel 7. I've carried Commander Tom's coffee. I've dialed for dollars. I can spell the Scajaquada Expressway.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 11:40 PM on December 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Southern California Wants to Be Western New York
posted by Navelgazer at 11:42 PM on December 28, 2012


Beef on weck. Best regional sadwich of all time!
posted by Ad hominem at 4:29 AM on December 29, 2012


Well, Rochester has Kodak...
Do you mean Kodak is Rochester's Bills? Because if so, yes, this.
posted by knile at 5:33 AM on December 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


But the namesake wings? No. Those are an abomination to any right minded eater.

You want to know how I know you've never been to Duff's?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:20 AM on December 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


deathpanels: "Meanwhile, Niagara Falls is about to lose its status as "city" and is literally paying people to live there. Things are not looking up for the region"

Why is it so important to stay a city? I understand that some money depends on it, but doesn't the lower population also mean lower costs?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:52 AM on December 29, 2012


I have to say I just love Eckl's for beef, and on 'weck if I must. It's another place that hasn't changed since I was a kid.

I'll pass over regular Buffalo Wings for La Nova's barbecue wings every time.

What else is there to love? Chef's, where the food is terrible, but Irv Weinstein was always a table away at every family celebration there and often joined us.

And Salvatore's Italian Gardens - home of my First Communion, and a place that I keep threatening to take my husband, and promising to take my 9 year old daughter, who will think it's as beautiful as I did back then.

And Buffalo does know how to do snow - recently the wooden toboggan runs at Chestnut Ridge were restored. We had such fun on them a year or two ago - even though mrgood's ribs were broken on another part of the hill when someone on an inner tube plowed into us.

Buffalo's Museum of Science has the most gorgeous old wooden cases with taxidermy exhibits
, many having beautiful hand-lettered cards and handmade flowers and foliage. It's one of my favourite things in the city.

We're looking forward to skating at Rotary Rink soon - a fine option for a winter city!

And Mighty Taco! Where thank goodness I still posses the remarkable life skill of knowing exactly how many beef & cheese soft tacos I can swing with however much pocket change I have. And where I drive past the one nearest Niagara Falls Boulevard & Sheridan to the one at Delaware Road and Sheridan, because who actually gets out of their car to go and get one?!


I can't say it makes me merry, or less Grinch-like to be there. Certain things are done there better than any place I've seen - especially how Buffalonians decorate their houses for the holidays. I learned from living there that coming home to something cheerful like that in a city that's often overcast is heartening.

Our immediate family doesn't watch sports, or even pay much attention to them (despite the fact that just over the border, my mother's godson/my cousin has had some success in them - and, funnily enough, was in Toronto and is now in Portland) and every visit is spent scouring the Gusto to see what we can do to make the most of our time there. There's a lot to explore that's new to us - the Western New York Book Arts Center, the Elmwood Village Flea Market and more - but we always have the fear they'll disappear before they can really take off.

The problem with a lot of the refurbishments in Buffalo is that they're still destinations and still isolated. It's still a drive and park and see or do one thing then go home kind of city.
posted by peagood at 11:27 AM on December 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Buffalo has the skills to pay the Bills!
posted by Bag Man at 2:08 PM on December 29, 2012


Born and raised in Buffalo, and though I don't live there any more, I love it still. I believe I said when I read this Grantland article about the Bills that if Chicago is my chosen husband, Buffalo is my high school sweetheart. I will always carry a torch for my hometown.

I get really defensive of it still, even when the criticisms ring true. It's just that I don't want my hometown to die. It has such a wonderful heart. I haven't been back in 18 years because my parents moved away when I was in college. (My dad's company, Occidental Chemical, moved dozens of families from Buffalo to Houston. My parents, both born and raised in Buffalo, wanted and tried to stay but there just were no jobs.) All of my high school friends who still live there are either in education (teachers, professors) or healthcare (nursing).

But I miss Buffalo so much and would buy an amazing and cheap Victorian in Elmwood in a heartbeat if I could find a job there. I would go to Broadway market for my pierogi ingredients around Christmastime and a butter lamb around Easter. I would get hot dogs from Teds and custard from Andersons in the summer. I would eat my fill of sponge candy from my first ever employer, Watson's Candies. I would stuff my face with Beef on Weck and wings and pizza and be happy.

/Tonawanda and Clarence girl, checking in/
posted by misskaz at 7:01 PM on December 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


miskaz - Yes! Sponge Candy! I ate handfuls of it this past Christmas. My mom bought it in bulk from Top's (which is just wrong.)

My first job was as the Easter Bunny for the Yum Yum Shop and Parkside Candy, and then I went on to waitress for them for almost three years! Back then, I ate SO MUCH candy and ice cream (we could eat the mistakes for free!) and I started every shift by making myself a pineapple egg cream, which was my own invention. I love that building, and all of the secret areas and passages in it. I think it's time to bring my kid there (and remember how I always brought my grandma her favourite ribbon candy.)

One thing Buffalo has a lot of is charm. Another thing? More snow tonight, and people who are pretty well used to it: "Some residents, including 69-year-old Arthur Johnson and 9-year-old Michael Gonzales, are cleaning up the streets themselves. Johnson says "I'm 69 years old, I've had open heart surgery, had some toes chopped off and I'm out here shoveling -- cause who else is going to do it?"

posted by peagood at 9:13 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, dear - and I see that the founder of La Nova's has passed away - Joseph Todaro was someone I've certainly read about often, as his obit goes into a little. Thanks for my favourite wings and white pizza, sir.
posted by peagood at 9:30 PM on December 29, 2012


The problem with Buffalo is not even the snow, it's the constant overcast sky.

I miss the constantly overcast sky of Buffalo, especially when it gets over a hundred degrees for a month at a time here in Fort Worth.


Oh, and... Rocketship 7 theme.
posted by Doohickie at 7:36 AM on December 30, 2012


I was just up in WNY for the holidays. I'm from much nearer Niagara Falls* than Buffalo, but I went to high school there, and visit just about every time I go home. Yes, there are a lot of problems in Buffalo, but it has (at least) two of the most beautiful neighborhoods I've ever seen: Elmwood Village, where a gorgeous, restored, turn of the century, 3-story Victorian will run you somewhere south of $300k; and the Chapin/Bidwell/Lincoln parkway area, built by the magnates of the Erie Canal/early industrialization era, and designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, with dozens and dozens of truly grand homes. I make a point of taking first-time visitors through the area, and the universal reaction is "I can't believe this is in Buffalo." Then I take them to the Blue Monk for dinner and Belgian beer.

*What has happened to Niagara Falls over the last 40 or so years is, literally, criminal. Per capita, it's probably worse than Detroit. Although its decline was probably inevitable, owing to its having the oldest heavy industry infrastructure in the world (first large-scale electrification), everything else has been self-inflicted. The scale and pervasiveness of corruption of all kinds is breathtaking. I once loved the place, but am convinced everyone would be better off if they bulldozed the whole thing and started over.
posted by sensate at 4:09 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was in Portland this summer. It remained me a lot of Buffalo, but bigger and prettier.

I am from Buffalo and currently live in Portland, and am confused by this statement... perhaps you mean that in the "Donald Trump reminds me of Barack Obama, but he's white, an idiot/douchebag, and instead of being the President he makes buildings named after him" sense?


(Kenmore girl, checking in). When I moved to Portland, I wrote an article for the alt-weekly on the subculture of Buffalonians in Portland.
posted by blazingunicorn at 7:57 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


blazingunicorn, I know Mac and Sonya. From Buffalo. Heh.
posted by oflinkey at 8:18 PM on December 30, 2012


Why is it so important to stay a city? I understand that some money depends on it, but doesn't the lower population also mean lower costs?

Wondered about this myself. New York State has no minimum population requirement for cities^ and its smallest (Sherrill) is just 3000 people. Digging deeper [pdf] it seems there are three classes of city granted levels of Home Rule, and 50,000 is the cutoff between Second Class and Third Class, but the actual differentiation between these classes is a matter of some historical and constitutional interpretation.

The 50,000 barrier, though, seems to be attributed to losing access to HUD CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) assistance as an "urban area". Money would still come to the Buffalo-Niagara MSA and Niagara County, but the city would no longer receive its own pot to administer.
posted by dhartung at 12:07 PM on December 31, 2012


I'm from Williamsville and I love it. One of the things I love about my husband is that he loves Buffalo and he would want to move back if we could get jobs. In fact, my best friend is planning to move from Long Island to Buffalo in the next few months because she wants to raise her daughter there. Something about the city inspires fierce loyalty. I met another girl from Buffalo and when she said she hated Buffalo, I immediately thought, we are NOT friends anymore. It's a really wonderful place.
posted by kat518 at 7:24 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


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