Living in Buffalo?

Does anyone have any experience living/working in Buffalo?

I know that it has a poor reputation but in my experience people who have lived there actually find it to be pretty underrated, even if it's not comparable to big cities like NYC and Chicago. Outside of the weather which everyone knows about, what are things to know about Buffalo?

Comments (12)

Most Helpful
Feb 22, 2019

I've lived there, enjoyed it, and would live there again. For a smaller metro of only about ~1.1 million people it has an impressive food scene, good bars, museum/arts/music, and professional sports. The polish/german/irish/Italian roots also make for some cool cultural festivals and on-going traditions. The city's history and wealth from a bygone era has left the city with some great architecture and parks.

Between late December through March the weather is less than ideal, but you still make out with 7ish months of not too hot or cold weather. On the flip side, hockey is big, and you have a couple ski resorts 45 minutes away, so winter is an embraced time of year. During the summer you have Lake Erie and Niagara to take advantage of and lots of nightly concerts all around the metro. Some good camping hiking spots too.

Housing is very affordable, but that is because property taxes are about 3% and keep things in check. You are unfortunately in New York state and western NY is not a priority for downstate politics, but it seems the relationship is improving for once. You can honestly drive to any part of the metro within 30 minutes which is also nice.

In terms of downside, most corporate roles don't pay a lot so if you want to make bank on easy mode it's probably better to look somewhere else. If you are entrepreneurial and wanted to start a business in a smaller metro with some character and personality, then it could be right for you.

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Feb 22, 2019

Hell yeah to all of this. Lived in Buffalo for some years and I agree that it's underrated so long as work/achievement/big money/professional success aren't your biggest concerns. Plenty to do, the people are fucking great, food scene is great, night life is decent depending where you go, everything is cheap for what you get, and you're close to NYC and Toronto. I still visit my friends there from time to time.

    • 1
Feb 26, 2019

Housing is very affordable, but that is because property taxes are about 3% and keep things in check. You are unfortunately in New York state and western NY is not a priority for downstate politics, but it seems the relationship is improving for once.

Can't comment on the rest of this, but this is definitely false. One of the things that allows that tax rate to stay so low is the fact that the State government is vastly more focused on pouring money into Buffalo and Rochester and upstate in general, than it is in New York City. Obviously from a press and "absolute" perspective, downstate NY gets more attention, because most of the population lives there and almost all the tax revenue is generated there, but in relative terms its very much an upstate focus. Things like the Buffalo Billion, etc.

Moreover, much like the federal government, the NY state government is very heavily tilted towards keeping conservative rural states in a position of outsize influence. The GOP has had a stranglehold on the (state) Senate for basically 50 years, even as the relative political positioning of the parties has changed on a national stage. This is like the second years in the last 55 that the senate has gone Democrat, which essentially has guaranteed that most successful legislation and economic development is equally, if not more, geared towards revitalizing upstate and western NY.

EDIT: Legit shocked I'm getting MS thrown at me for this. If you include non-residents, 82% of NYS income tax revenue comes from downstate (Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, NYC) in the 2017 fiscal year. While the data on distribution that I found is more dated (2010), upstate counties received ~35% of the state's budget, a difference which is probably bigger if you only look at economic development aid.

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Mar 1, 2019

I guess it's the same thing as blue states effectively subsidizing red states. Before you attack me, I am pretty conservative, but you can't argue that Bufallo or Mississippi are pulling their weight.

Feb 22, 2019

It's a great city. Close to Toronto as well. People will shit on it, but most of them haven't gone to cities outside of NYC and LA.

Enjoy Duffs and Anchor Bar. Love mighty taco, Jim's steakout, bills and Sabre's.

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Feb 22, 2019

Can't beat the stinger at Jim's steakout.

    • 1
Feb 22, 2019

It is in no way a bad city and the reputation it has is wildly undeserved. It lost a great deal of population in the same manner many upstate cities did, but it's smaller size is bolstered by good livability and a strong culture. I have only heard good things from people who have lived or visited. A lot of people compare it to a smaller version of Pittsburgh (another fantastic city). Plus, you get to go to Bills games and the Bills Mafia are fuckin wild.

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Feb 22, 2019

A friend went to college there. It's so freaking cold and snowy in the winter that the local ski mountain, Holiday Valley, gets more snow than Vail and Breckenridge...............................

Feb 26, 2019

Born and raised in BUF, moved out for college and work east coast now. Extremely biased but the place is great and has seen some amazing development/growth over the last decade. People always trash it because they've never been. Food is good, nights are better, and people are amazing. The thing I will say though, and why I left, is the industry. People, especially young people, are really starting to migrate back downtown again which is great but the business hasn't really followed suit. There are new bars and restaurants popping up but you don't hear about a company moving an office in. Seems like working in finance in BUF is working for M&T (which is a solid regional bank) or in advising.

Not too high, not too low

Mar 3, 2019

I had a colleague that lived there for a little while. She hated it.. Imagine waking up at 6:30 am because you have to shovel the snow off of your car, and then you have to drive on the snowy roads.

    • 2
Mar 11, 2019
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