Five Great Things to know about Buffalo, New York

As a young adult, I lived in Buffalo for about ten years, split by a period of 3 years when we moved to two mid-Atlantic states. We eventually returned to Buffalo and bought our first home. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this iconic, hard-working American city. It’s probably due to their football team finally doing well! Last Sunday night, we watched the entire game as the Buffalo Bills beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a joy to see. They played well and deserved the win!

Football Team Love

Great Ethnic Neighborhoods and Food

  1. This city loves its football team. I know fellow Wisconsinites will argue with me but Buffalo Bills fans love their team as much as Packers fans love Green Bay. Yes, over the years Green Bay has had a better record. But, no one can say that the Bills don’t have hearts! Maybe, just maybe, it is their turn at a championship! We can only hope!

2. Buffalo has many pockets of ethnicity in its realm and this diversity adds to the city’s charm. Now, I haven’t lived there since 1999 and some of this might have changed, but bear with me. I know it still has great food. The West side had a large Hispanic and Puerto Rican community. I know because I worked at the West Side Clinic for several years as a Nurse Practitioner. There was also a large Greek community along Hertel Avenue on the North side with great restaurants serving souvlaki with pita bread and generous helpings of feta cheese and retsina (wine). I also worked out by the airport in the suburb of Cheektowaga where there was a large Polish community. I never did get good at pronouncing the names of my clients in Cheektowaga which had long strings of consonants next to one another! But, everyone understood I didn’t belong due to my nasally Rochester accent and it was all good! My mispronunciation didn’t matter as long as they got good care (and, they did). There were pockets of Italians and Irish and Jewish people as well, all of whom we knew and called friends. It was a true melting pot of a city. And, very welcoming to all – even a skinny girl from 75 miles up the throughway.

The Zoo

The Galleries and Museums

3. The Buffalo Zoo holds great memories. When our oldest son was born, he was taken to this zoo several times a week. My husband often took him while I was working. They visited the animals and enjoyed the sights and smells of the zoo. It was well worth our yearly membership to have these frequent experiences. And, the zoo was a great place to meet friends from preschool for an outing, too! My favorite animal shelter was the elephant house. My son and I even got to ride one of these majestic creatures during a special event! And, the display I detested the most??? The cockroaches! Ewwww! They were insanely large and gross!

4. You expect world-class galleries and museums in larger cities, but Buffalo boasts some of the best. The Albright Knox Art Museum is an imposing feature near Delaware Park and adds to the cultural atmosphere of the city. The Science Museum we frequented more than once. There were always buttons to press and interesting things to learn. Then, there is the Darwin Martin House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to visit (post-pandemic), and The Roycroft Museum in East Aurora, a suburb of Buffalo. Both offer great representations of former periods of art and culture in the United States. We frequented the later often, while we were in our antiquing (before kids) phase. If you like the arts and crafts period of American history, I can highly recommend a visit to the Roycroft. Just don’t take any photographs! We got in trouble for that once!

Botanical Gardens

5. While I was not a Master Gardener Volunteer during my time in Buffalo, my idea to be one started here. My father-in-law was a Master Gardener, trained by Cornell University. After moving to the mid-west, I wanted to get involved in our community so I took the Master Gardener training. That is one of the best decisions I ever made! I maintained my master gardener certification for 15 years! Buffalo boasts some very well-kept and beautiful gardens right in the city limits. Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest free garden tour in the United States.

What?! You don’t believe me? Well, just take a look at this YouTube Video! Buffalonians LOVE their gardens!

I’m sad to say I do not recall ever going to the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. I will have to make the gardens a dedicated stop on our next trip to Buffalo! After years of admiring them from afar, I look forward to being there in person!

I can safely say that the longer I’ve lived away from Buffalo, the more I’ve come to appreciate what the city has to offer. If I knew someone was going to Buffalo to visit, all these amazing places would rank high on my list of recommendations!

And, there’s more! I’ll save it for another post, though!


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