Buffalo is a small city that for decades couldn't manage to wipe it's own arse. Decades of talk about doing something with the waterfront finally materialized and seems to be rolling right along even though there's still a huge swath of waterfront that's covered with condos and an elevated highway acting as a barrier to access. The parks system is amazing, no question. The restaurant scene is incredible, absolutely. Live music is plentiful and there are a number of art galleries and a major art museum not to mention a number of very good schools at all levels.However, there are a number of gravely serious issues that keep Buffalo from being "livable," not the least of which is crime, especially violent crime. There are shootings in Buffalo about every few weeks and assault is common. Cars are routinely broken into and rape has been known to happen in nicer parts of the city as well as petty theft being common pretty much everywhere. Buffalo is always 12th to 15th place on lists of Most Violent Cities in America. Violent crime is higher here than the state average, higher than the national average and even higher than in the city of Los Angeles (AKA the Gang Capital of America with an estimated 120,000 gang members as of 2007.) Proximity to Lake Erie makes Buffalo's micro climate a major pain in the arse with very unpredictable weather that at times can be disruptive with very sudden "lake effect" snow storms in the winter than can literally paralyze all forms of traffic. Winters are nowhere near as bad as the idiots on late night TV have made out, thanks to climate change, but people and businesses tend to not shovel their sidewalks in the city, so getting around on foot during the winter can be an unwelcome adventure. Other issues:Traffic lights are not synchronized (one, possibly two streets are synched, but that's it.) They say it takes 20 minutes to get to anywhere in Buffalo and that's not inaccurate, but you'll still go through a lot of brake pads and gas doing it because traffic is stop-and-go everywhere and people drive like retards here (e.g., after installing a handful of traffic circles, they eventually had to add stop signs because people kept crashing into one another.) Jobs are mostly corporate cubicle positions, retail, and manual labor.Roads are riddled with pot holes and cracks and most go many years before being resurfaced. Government in New York State is VERY top heavy and as such, taxes are very high, possibly the highest in the country. Most people here get married and make babies in their 20's, so if you're single and considering a move here, dating options will be limited unless you're ok with an older date who's already been married and divorced or can attract younger college age dates. Housing is plentiful and not expensive. As with many other cities there's been a wave of former industrial and retail space converted to residential lofts and apartments in the downtown area. There are really no "neighborhoods" downtown as would be expected, and riffraff routinely loiter around looking for trouble, not to mention there are very few stores to speak of downtown.The Buffalo PD is either very corrupt, very lazy, very inept, or possibly all three. They have a high degree of uncleared crimes on the books and can't seem to solve crimes without a trail of bread crumbs leading them to criminals. More often than not, they treat victims of crimes as criminals themselves and seem to lack any sympathy whatsoever which I could excuse if they were actually effective law enforcement. The seemingly only available ISP in the city is off the charts terrible. Spectrum, formerly Time-Warner has legendarily poor connectivity and EVERYONE complains of it. Only when you move to the suburbs is the vastly superior FIOS service available. Life in the suburbs is far, far, far safer, quieter, friendlier, convenient, and yes, also a little more boring. Amherst for example has been named the safest city in the country for many years. Currently I think it's 2nd safest. Generally speaking, when residents of the city get a little older and have kids, they move to the suburbs. I miss the vibe in the city, but I don't miss pan handlers in my face everywhere I go, paying for parking, alternate side of the street parking, parking tickets, dog sh!t and garbage everywhere, and the crime.I moved away many years ago and as with most others who have, I moved back. For the past 8 years I've have thought daily about suicide and now find myself at an un hirable age and more than likely stuck here amongst people I hate with 7 months long soul crushing winters.
I use to cry in this city. Then I realized I lived in a place where even that didn't matter. Life is without meaning. When I wake up there is no sky, just black; I can feel the blackness growing within me. The only good thing about this gastly location of hell is that is close too a giant waterfall, of which you can commit suicide. I think my family work like that. Dying, that could be nice? I don't even know anymore. What do I want? I have to go now, and finish: To completion.
I relocated back to Buffalo to be closer to my parents. I took a job at a locally based company full of buffalonians who never left. I had lived in Florida and worked for two fortune 250 companies. I was very excited to be back in WNY. However that excitedness ended fairly quickly. I had never professionally worked in Buffalo and I thought it would be the same as anywhere else. Boy was I wrong. Don't get me wrong everywhere had politics. But the workplaces here were political to the point you have a hard time working through it. As I was working people began to assume that I was arrogant and uppity because I had ideas and thoughts brought from major companies. This was allegedly why I was hired. When I started making suggestions I was told we don't do that or you can't change anything. My coworkers who were all buffalo flunkies were extremely rude. I would ask for something and be ignored or told I'm hovering waiting for them to get off Facebook. The economy here is also awful. It's not getting any better. Thank god I'm moving back to Florida which I consider my home. Do not move to buffalo. You will regret it.
This place is so lame and ridiculous that it doesn't even deserve to be rated. There is a malaise here that permeates everything, pulverizing it into mediocrity that is accepted as "good" or better. Obviously, the people here have not seen better to know any better, so to them the mediocrity here is seemingly much better than what it really is, and is told to visitors as such. Then the visitors from a better place (which is most places outside of the Buffalo area) see the recommendation for themselves and ar very disappointed. The people here are "nice" but not "friendly," and consistently do bad things and the wrong things with no accountability. One time I asked a local lady for directions. She gave them to me. This being Buffalo I asked if she's sure. She then said no. Rather than "disappoint" you, these "nice" people will tell you the wrong thing so as to be "friendly." Turns out her directions were wrong, and so glad I double-checked before taking them. Always double or triple check anything that you are told here. This incompetence permeates the city which is why the sports teams, education, news programming and just about everything else here is so bad. The good news is there is vast room for improvement. The really bad news about Buffalo especially, is that the people here are very resistant to change because "it's been done this (wrong) way for generations" and there is zero accountability for mistakes, so the same people keep making the same mistakes and don't even realize that they are doing so many things wrong. A shame because there is such potential here but it has to start all over again with the right people (outsiders) in place, and ensure that it is done their way only. Buffalo was also voted "The Rudest City In America." Google this and read the survey. I agree, and for that reason have given up on this place totally. A lot of this is not so much "in your face" as purposely passive-aggressive. That's why you shouldn't listen to anything here from anyone and not take Buffalo seriously at all. Things are much better here if you just avoid and ignore this city as best you can until you can get out.
I've been here for 2 months, I assure you the place is as bad as its reputation and the people tend to be far worse.
Surrounding areas (while absolutely beautiful) seem to be full of boomers and older gen xers, with that dishonest arrogant boomer mentality.
You know, that 1950s era Hate Your Neighbor But Smile Anyway mentality. That fake friendliness, that "I'll only help if its not a burden" penny pinching coupon clipping cheap Made In China nonsense.
My first landlord literally debated himself over a 50 cent price difference for cheap utensils. That is how bad it is.
I found out he was renting the place illegally to me, ended up going around his family's back to do it and tried to keep my existence a secret.
Randomly texts me not to come home and to stay at work...when I have 4 thousand dollars of video/audio equipment in the home and have only known him for a month....seriously....Ended up illegally barring me from the home and forcing me to sleep overnight in my car..during a weekday no less. I packed my stuff and got out the next day.
And now? He blames me just disappearing (After telling him repeatedly I'm leaving the next day), calls me dishonest, blames me for him deciding to not tell his family and get their permission to rent, and randomly texts me insults to the point where I probably need to get a restraining order.
This is probably the surrounding are in a nutshell. "I'm your friend, but not really".
Want a Pizza? Be prepared for 75% of the restaurants here to serve you the cheapest stuff they could find and charge you the highest price you can get.
Something that reminds you of what your school served for lunch, frozen pizzas are ten times better.
There area few good restaurants that still serve quality food, but they struggle because the residents here grew up on that processed garbage and turn their nose at good new york style or good chicago style pizza.
Half the places are dirty or have rude workers, deliver late food, etc. Just check out some google/yelp reviews, ignore the ego driven ignorance of some of the posters there.
Its still the 1950s here. Made In China and cheap garbage.
The streets are in horrible condition, avoiding potholes is almost impossible. I already have to probably fix up my car because of it.
The buildings are awful, rent is cheap because no one wants to live here or stay here. Granted, there are a lot of college students for the university, but when they are done they are normally gone from the area.
I currently rent an apartment for near 600 a month, its an old building with 2 foreclosed neighbors. Its full of drafts, wind blows right through here. No sealing on the windows/doors so heating is ridiculous...and this is one of the better places.
Everything about it is cheap, me and my roommate joke that the entire place is a cheap half ***ed job, and the sad part is that its right. The carpeting wasn't even done right, its not wall to wall when you can pull it up from the wall.
That kind of sums up buffalo, really.....cheap half ***ed job. From the restaurants, to maintenance, to housing. The surrounding areas were much better with exception to food services....4 restaurants near where I worked
Working here is even more horrendous...and the crime? Holy **** they are not kidding.
If you are a woman, do not travel alone or without a few friends/males. Not trying to be a sexist, but you need protection. Its not a question of "if", but a matter of "when" you will have someone attempt to rape you.
Same with going out in general, you need to be really careful, muggings are daily here. 1 month ago we had 3 murders 2 streets from where I work. Someguy literally walked up to a car stopped at a red light and shot a guy...in broad daylight.
A lot of the younger people here are dumb as **** and have even worse habits. They are extremely lazy, are slobbish, dirty, etc...half of them can not hold down jobs. I say this as a millennial, one of those "younger" people.
My last roommates were complete inconsiderate morons, from crossing exposed live wiring to blasting music on max right next to my room. Guy managed to lose his job, got his car towed because he parked it in front of a fire hydrant IRRC, managed to get his girlfriend (Also living here, also a compulsive liar) pregnant, and is now couch surfing because they had to bail on the lease. This is all with them being the messiest people I've ever seen with absolutely no regard to the fact they are living in someone else's home...with other people.
This is essentially a lot of people here, Cheap and dishonest. Maybe not everyone, but enough people for me to be saying this within 2 months of living here.
As far as companies in the are ago? They are even more dishonest. Place I was working for (Hint, mail delivery) heavily practices the lovely "Let's promise them a full time job, then not hire them when its done, despite them putting in a lot of free overtime". Absolutely mindblowing with the dishonesty, especially when they have an aging workforce that is retiring/quitting left and right.
The atmosphere wasn't much better.....cheap *** coffee in a cheap *** coffee machine that had to be 10 years old.
Don't come here, even if they pay you for relocation. You will basically learn what it was like to be a boomer growing up. Cheap garbage at high prices, half ***sed jobs, lack of quality, morons around you, dishonest landlords, rampant crime, etc. Top it all off with NY tax.
I always wondered why my father was so miserable while I grew up, now I know.
I moved here for a job and was told that Buffalo is a "friendly" city. Not so. The people here in general resent outsiders who they feel, rightly or wrongly, look down on them because they are from Buffalo. If Buffalo could annex itself and live in its own little bubble, it would. Here are some of the ridiculous things I have heard here widely - from young, old, and in general. "We don't like people from New York City because you make fun of us, think we're only about snow and chicken wings, don't even know that there is a western New York, and we have to pay higher state taxes because of you." When I just smile (despite thinking "how stupid!") and say "Well, as long as you're paying for all the things in New York City you might as well go there and visit," the response is usually a stern look with a comment that they have never been to NYC and would never visit there. As for "western New York," these are the only people who call it that. New York is primarily a north-south state like Florida or California (hence the expression "upstate"). You don't hear people saying they're from "western Florida" or "western California". Duh. I left that job quickly because it sucked, empty promises. Good thing I negotiated for a New York City salary to even come there (don't let companies here looking for talent outside the city "snow" you by telling you how much lower the cost of living is here -- your big-city salary is the premium they need to pay you to even take the chance of coming to this place!). Many people from this area have not been to New York City, nearby Toronto, even more nearby Niagara Falls, or other states or countries. They are generally very provincial and often don't like others in their area who did not go to the same high school. They are also overly suspicious of why you're in Buffalo if you're not from here.
There is general stupidity, incompetence, unprofessionalism and rudeness. Google "Buffalo, NY - Rudest City In America" and read the independent survey results for yourself! The "rudeness" is not just per the above, for example, but a lot of passive-aggressiveness in that people will smile to your face, tell you they will do something, then not do it. And there is little to no accountability ("I screwed up, oh well"). This permeates the city. A local news station here, TWC News, is a total joke. No kidding: 15 minutes of weather, 7-8 minutes of sports (bad teams!) including high school teams, and several more minutes of "fluffy-stuff who-cares non-news each 60 minutes. Barf! Poorly done and allowed to continue that way. Little on the economy, national or international issues, or even the real Buffalo which is mush, mush worse than what they portray (the chamber of commerce must have final approval of the broadcast). The station should be called WTF.
Here are the best things about Buffalo according to other outsiders like me and the few intelligent people here: 1) proximity to Niagara Falls. Go there to meet intelligent, interesting tourists from all over and skip Buffalo entirely. 2) the food is pretty good, but the prices are creeping up making it less of a value. 3) the low cost of living, BUT beware, you get what you pay for. Lots of inferior service, bad service, incompetent service, snow, frigid cold, wind, and dreariness unless you can "avoid and ignore Buffalo" by doing personalized projects not including the people here, visiting elsewhere, and cherry-picking the very few decent places to go and things to do. Most people here have not seen better to know better, so when they recommend doing something that's "great" it's probably mediocre at best compared to a more itinerant or bigger city person's point of view. The people here are very charitable, I give them that, but in general this is a poor and downtrodden city. The good news is it has potential, but the bad news is that potential has never been realized in the last hundred years and probably won't be given the current state of affairs (out of state educational superintendents have come and gone quickly from here - run!).
I found the following strategy to work well here: complain as needed immediately and directly to the management, NOT the frontline people who are generally shallow. You have half a chance that the "smartest person in the room" here knows what to do, has heard the complaint before, and doesn't want to lose your business in this bleak economy. Secondly, walk out of restaurants, etc. when the service is too slow, and if asked why, explain that you're used to faster, better service and won't be returning. Maybe if enough people speak up things will get better. Third, do not assume that what you are told is accurate. That goes for directions, recommendations, and more. Double and triple-check this information. LOTS of wrong information. People here would rather be "helpful" and "nice" even if they don't know what they're talking about. That's another thing: locals will tell you how the city is revitalizing with lots of new people moving in. LOL. What's really happening is they built a boardwalk and put a few shops, restaurants and hotels downtown called Canalside, which is really nothing with nothing. The governor dropped off a billion dollars to the city, made a quick speech, waved, and basically said let me get the hell out of here fast, not to be seen again. As for the new population, that's the government putting refugees here from Burma, West Africa, and other countries who have nowhere else to go. I spoke to several of these people and asked why they selected Buffalo (having never been in cold weather or seen snow). They just laughed and said that this is where the government told them they could go - not New York City, LA, San Fran, Chicago or Miami as requested. They do not like it here in Buffalo (except for the low cost of living) and have to stay here a year before they can leave. That's just what they do for the most part. Then the replenishment begins again. Replenishment of the regular American folks who "got stuck here" (I hear that a lot) and of students, especially from New York City and Long Island, who come up here to go to college and then leave asap (some stay a bit, but then leave).
In general, bypass Buffalo. Go to a better place. Stay in your better place. Don't believe the hype or bull about Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills football team and Buffalo Sabres hockey team (which you'll hear endlessly about) are emblematic of Buffalo - basically losers with a rabid fan base hoping that some day things will get better, but don't (the Bills are currently the team in all four major sports that have the longest playoff drought, 20 years and there are only four other teams in their division, by far defying the law of averages!). Hope this helps. Reminder to go online for that study about Buffalo being the rudest city. I agree!
I moved to Buffalo about three years ago. I don't know if it's because I haven't been here that long or because I don't like living in a big city, but I could change a few things about the area. The people I have met seem to be so rude. I am used to people speaking to you when you walk by, but the people who live here seem like they have so many better things to do with their time.
There are small restaurants in Buffalo, but there really isn't a lot of room to sit down and enjoy a meal. The cooks act like all they want to do is get the food out, and the managers don't really take the time to get to know you. It's all about the money here, and it's something that should be changed. One place I do like going to is Delaware Park. It's a peaceful place to go after a long day at work. The best time to go is at sunset so that you can see the light glistening off of the buildings in the distance. It's gorgeous when there's snow on the ground as well because there is a lot of open space. The Buffalo Zoo is another place I like to visit. There are so many animals here that I wouldn't expect at a zoo in a city. It's a great place for children as there are activities offered through the year. Try to arrive early so that you can walk through the entire zoo, or you will leave without seeing something beautiful or an animal that you like.
Born and raised in Buffalo/Kenmore and I miss it every day. Fantastic neighborhoods (check out Elmwood Avenue, but even better, Hertel Avenue!), Delaware/Elmwood/Bidwell area, Delaware Park (an Olmstead Park), the Buffalo Zoo, the waterfront. GREAT and affordable housing. Vibrant ethnic communities alive and well. The Central Terminal Restoration Project should get national attention http://buffalocentralterminal.org/. Canada is literally in your back yard--I worked downtown and we frequently hopped over for lunch. Big college town--University of Buffalo, the largest university in the SUNY system--has two campuses; also Buffalo State College, Medaille, Damon, Canisus. NFL Buffalo Bills. Surrounded by charming small villages like East Aurora and Lewiston. Only thing that could make it better is JOBS.
I traveled to Buffalo several years ago and it has been on my mind to make a return. I love its historical connection to the Erie Canal, something that has always fascinated me, and how it was a major hub of transportation at one point via boat or raiload. Even though it may no longer be the trade center it once was, there are still a host of sites from its colorful past, numerous shops, and opportunities for fine dining. It's educational resources are first rate and I almost moved to Buffalo for my masters degree. Buffalo State University and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are two institutions of higher learning with a solid reputation.
Traveling to Buffalo gave me a taste of being on Lake Erie and it was convenient to go to Niagara Falls as well seeing as it was within a reasonable distance. My stay at the Mansion on Delaware, recently inducted into Historic Hotels of America, was amazing. I was pampered with what felt like the royal treatment and amenities beyond belief. I popped into the Allegro Cafe, a focal point to the visual and performing arts community, and enjoyed a taste of local music and artwork while sipping my coffee and indulging in a pastry.
Buffalo appeals to me because it is rich in history. The Wilcox Mansion, where President Roosevelt was sworn into office after President McKinley's assassination, captures my imagination and transports me back in time. I was disappointed to find that employment opportunities are not competitive in the city. Unfortunately, Buffalo has been hit hard by the economy and jobs as well as residents are relocating. I hope to see a reversal in fortunes because it is still one of my favorite places to visit. While there, I was treated as a neighbor.
I've been to Buffalo on several occasions for various different reasons. I've always had a reason to go to Buffalo, having said that, I'm not sure Buffalo would ever be a top travel destination. If you ever do end up in Buffalo, for whatever reason, here's a quick guide that will help you get through your trip.
#1 Chicken wings: Chicken wings were born in Buffalo ie. Buffalo Wings. If you do anything on your trip to Buffalo, have wings. No matter what people say about Buffalo, their wings are the best! Go to Anchor Bar (1047 Main St) or Coles (1104 Elmwood Ave), they are two of my favorites.
#2 Shopping: Buffalo has some great shopping and there's always a good deal to be had. The Galeria Mall (One Walden Galleria) offers a great selection of stores and outlets.
#3 Elmwood Ave: There's a great stretch of restaurants, shops and bars along Elmwood Ave that's worth checking out. For a moment you feel as though you're in another city. Just don't stray too far west.
Overall, I can't recommend Buffalo as my #1 destination, however, as I write this review about Buffalo, I am reminded that there are still enough attractions and good eats to get you through a day or two if you ever do end up in Buffalo.
I've often traveled to Buffalo as a resident of Central New York for various reasons, and each time I've gone something new has surprised and delighted me. Many people think of Buffalo as the metropolitan hub of New York away from New York city, a center to many industries near the Erie Canal, or just the home of those infamously delicious chicken wings. If you are looking for a wing joint, try the Anchor Bar or Duff's, they are both delicious!
Buffalo is, in fact, a city with a lot of things to offer. Shopping, museums, impressive architecture, restaurants, attractions and fascinating history pervade almost every area of the city in one way or another. It's true that one should learn what areas aren't very tourist friendly, especially after dark, but Buffalo is fairly easy to navigate and friendly, helpful citizens are always ready to point a visitor in the right direction. Most big cities don't have this kind of open atmosphere, but it's easily found in Buffalo.