Proud to call Buffalo home as the city returns to former glory

Michael Read, Staff Writer

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No matter where we come from, we all have pride in our hometowns. Pride in our high school. Pride in ourselves when we say we came from whatever city or town.

But to me, when I say I’m from Buffalo, I have more than pride. It’s an honor.

Buffalo is known as the “City of Good Neighbors,” “The Queen City,” “The Nickel City” and most infamous, the city whose football team made it to four straight Super Bowls and lost all four. But for as long as I can remember, Buffalo was considered to be a dump; a waste land. Buffalo was not a destination but rather a city where everyone was leaving. “The City of Pity” is the name it was given.

From the year 2000 to 2010, Buffalo’s population decreased 10.7 percent. Might not sound that drastic, but that is roughly 30,000 people. People who packed up their families and left their lives in this community due to lack of opportunity, employment, deteriorating neighborhoods and a disappearing sense of pride in their hometown. No one wanted to say they were from Buffalo, instead, “I’m from New York,” came out.

Today, it’s a different story. Buffalo is on the cusp of something big. The city is revitalizing itself into a destination that must be seen by tourists and everyone around the area. Niagara Falls who? Buffalo is in the spotlight now.

Canalside. The Canalside District has transformed itself into the city’s must-see attraction. It is a multi-seasonal attraction with activities in the summer and winter months. Paddle boating, canoeing and water bikes are among the favorites in the summer. And skating on the ice is the must do in the winter at Canalside. What used to be the old Memorial Auditorium, then turned possible Bass Pro Shops, is now a family-fun atmosphere which attracts hundreds of thousands Buffalonians and visitors each year.

HarborCenter. HarborCenter is another piece of the puzzle adding to downtown’s resurgence. Built by Terry and Kim Pegula in October of 2014, this building is top-notch. Features include a Marriott hotel, two NHL-style indoor ice rinks, Buffalo-induced restaurant (716), Buffalo Sabres-influenced Tim Hortons and a number of unique shops and boutiques. This masterpiece is a key part in bringing the top NHL events to Buffalo. For example, the NHL Combine. The 2016 NHL Draft and just announced the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships, which will also play a game in New Era Field. And with these national headlined events coming to Buffalo, the Pegula’s have played a huge and important role in making Buffalo Hockeyville, USA.

Buffalo’s waterfront is bringing life back into the city. It is bringing hope back into the community and people in the area and it is getting recognized.

In May of 2016, Travel and Leisure, gave Buffalo a great honor. Number-one on the list of America’s Favorite Cities. Travel website Travel and Leisure stated that Buffalo impressed readers with affordability and its high-end dining. This past summer, Buffalo was ranked the second-best city for beer lovers by Redfin, a national real estate company. Suits us pretty well considering Bills fans are ranked the most drunk in the NFL. Cheers, Buffalo. And The Washington Post gave Buffalo the title of the number-one housing marking in America. The Post cited this due to the improved job growth and the booming economy in Western New York.

The area is gaining so much attention that there is a website dedicated to helping millennials and families relocate to Buffalo. BuffaloNiagara.org has an 87 page Relocation Guide flipbook filled with Buffalo stats, figures and persuasive reasons to come and live in the community.
I feel honored to say that I am from Buffalo. We may have the most bipolar weather and the worst luck with sports, but we have a lot of pride and heart for this community. Buffalo is making a comeback and it’s a great feeling knowing that we are all here to be a part of it. A wise man once said, “Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?”

 

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