6.5 out of 10

Buffalo

Ranked 31st best city in New York
42.9048665055926 -78.8332075760039
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Shopping Options
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters

Reviews

2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"The City By The Falls"

Buffalo is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, where the lake meets the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers, a half-hour south of the famous Niagara Falls. It is the second most populated city in New York, after New York City. By 1900, it was the eighth largest city in the country, a thriving commercial area of railroads, manufacturing, shipping, and storage; less than 100 years later it was in decline, its shipping rerouted, most of its manufacturing relocated. Buffalo is now in the process of reinventing itself, and so is a city of contradictions.

In 2010, Buffalo was rated the second poorest city with a population of over 250,000, just behind Detroit; the same year, Forbes magazine rated it the tenth best place to raise a family in America. The only city in America with more vacant and abandoned houses than Buffalo is St. Louis; yet the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area now has one of the most affordable housing markets in the country. In 2008, the metropolitan area was rated by the United Nations as one of the worst in the world in terms of racially-based economic inequality; yet progress is being made, thanks in part to Buffalo’s first black mayor, elected at the end of 2005. Two of Buffalo’s nicknames sum it up: “The Queen City of the Lakes,” and “The City of No Illusions.”

Today Buffalo’s main economies are healthcare, education, high technology, light manufacturing, industrial and private sector companies. It is also a destination for Canadian shoppers, who, believe it or not, cross the border to take advantage of our lower prices and taxes. It’s the headquarters of M & T Bank, Rich Products (one of the world’s largest family owned food manufacturers), and the Canadian beer brewer Labatt. The city’s original Erie Canal Harbor has recently been transformed into a tourist destination, with restaurants, stores, and condominiums.

There is a great deal of greenery in Buffalo, as it has more than 20 parks. A network of them were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and his partner Calvert Vaux, designers of Manhattan’s Central Park, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed on the NRHP are more than 80 buildings, including City Hall, a gorgeous Art Deco building that looks like something out of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.”

There are art galleries galore, a thriving theater community, an outdoor Shakespeare Festival, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Botanical Gardens, the Buffalo Zoo, and Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Buffalo loves a party, and there are an array of food festivals, a festival to promote African-American heritage, and a garden festival that offers 14 garden walks and tours within a five-week span.

Prefer to hike and bike? Try the Olmsted Parks, Chestnut Ridge Park, Zoar Valley or Niagara Gorge. Like to watch sports? Football fans have the Bills, hockey fans have the Sabres, and minor-league baseball fans have the Bisons, an AAA affiliate of the New York Mets.

Buffalo stays up late, with the bars staying open until 4 AM, although there is a debate right now as to whether the law should be changed and patrons sent home earlier. Most of the nightlife centers around West Chippewa Street, with Allentown and the Elmwood Strip a bit more low-key. No trip to Buffalo is complete without a visit to the famous Anchor Bar on Main Street, where the original Buffalo Wings were created in 1964.

There are three SUNY (State University of New York) schools here: the University of Buffalo, Buffalo State, and Erie Community College, as well as Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There are 78 public schools in the city, as well as charter and magnet schools, and 47 private schools. There is also a continuing education program for adults. As part of its revitalization effort, the city is currently undergoing a $1 billion school rebuilding plan.

Many programs serve the city’s kids – theater groups, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, counseling services, and recreation and sports programs. The Office of Senior Services operates two Senior Centers, and provides information, trips, a medical van service, meals, discount cards, and health help.

Buffalo has a reputation as being the snowiest city in the East, but it’s undeserved. Each year the Golden Snowball award is presented to the upstate New York city that receives the most snow, and Buffalo nearly always loses to Syracuse, and occasionally to Rochester. Summer weather usually includes plentiful sunshine, with lake breezes that keep the temperature moderate.

Once one of America’s most successful cities, Buffalo is in the process of recapturing its former glory. Take a trip to Niagara Falls and check out the city – you just might stay.
Pros
  • beautiful old architecture
  • affordable
  • on the upswing
Cons
  • large poverty line population
  • some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
2yrs+

"Do you need directions?"

Harlem is an extremely well known road from Buffalo all the way out to Amherst where it finally stops at Sheridan Drive. If you’re looking for directions, this is a good place to start from. It’s generally a fairly fast moving street with little in the way of traffic until you pass Genessee Street going north (near the 33 exit). Avoid at rush hour.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"A busy road that connects towns."

Harlem Rd. is one of the most widely known streets in Buffalo, NY. It has just about everything along it from, strip malls to restaurants, and medical facilities to movie theaters. There is always something new being built along this road, and that means there is always some place new to discover.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Best Neighborhoods in Buffalo

1

Downtown

3/5
"Wonderful "Old" Feel"
42.8851905751464 -78.8685759858244
2

East Side

2/5
"We are the Indians mighty mighty Indians"
42.9084196187474 -78.8586163085382

Unranked Neighborhoods in Buffalo

Black Rock

2.5/5
"Grant street is a great place to find ethnic food!"
42.9407399796673 -78.8896365411718
"An architectural dream!"
42.9179474346648 -78.8680988460058
"Eclectic mix of young professionals, students & New Families- urban feel in tight community"
42.9141418774719 -78.8767066039264
"Great memories of yesterday."
42.8996318581089 -78.8595133921037
"Great places for photography and long walks"
42.9527754593729 -78.8537482709701
"From point A to point B."
42.8483894135078 -78.8107061488121

West Side

2/5
"Last stop in the City of Buffalo"
42.9130151388877 -78.8911251812928

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