It has been two years since I relocated to Buffalo. At the time, the news was surprising to many of my family and peers who knew little of the Buffalo Niagara region aside from cold winters, chicken wings, and Buffalo Bills football. I myself knew just what I had experienced in a few short summer trips – visits to Letchworth State Park, sightseeing in Niagara Falls, and trips to some of the local townships that are quaint and charming places to see. Yet, as with any city, there is more to Buffalo than meets the eye and its present is decidedly marked by its past.
Buffalo, like other manufacturing powerhouses of the late 19th century, suffered economically for many decades as it struggled to find a new identity in the post-industrial era. In its heyday Buffalo attracted extraordinary talent from across the nation, including famous architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and H.H. Richardson; landscape geniuses Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux; and scientists like Nikola Tesla, who pioneered the world’s first hydro-electric power plant in Niagara Falls and lit up Buffalo with the nation’s first electric street lamps, giving us one of our beloved nicknames as The City of Light.
The legacy of this region’s rich history can still be experienced today all throughout Western New York, but Buffalo is on the brink of a new chapter that will define who we are in the 21st century. With nearly $8 billion of investment being pumped into the region today through various development and infrastructure projects, a new wave of revitalization has gripped Western New York, making it an ideal place for a young person like me to start a life and career. Quality of life, homeownership, community impact, and career growth are all realities that are possible here, not distant dreams. While I was not born and raised in Western New York, I have fully adopted it as my home.
The video below was recently released by local filmmaker John Paget, member of the Congress for New Urbanism that will be coming to Buffalo in June 2014. It demonstrates vividly why Buffalo Niagara is an exciting place to be right now. Enjoy!