Monday, August 25, 2008

Buffalo Before the Bronx?

In New York Magazine's newest issue, Adam Sternbergh attempts to understand why some New Yorkers find themselves fleeing the City to places in the so-called 'Rust Belt,' like snowy Buffalo, in his article Where the Urban Dream Life Is Going Cheap . The subtitle of the article is appropriately "What could possibly make someone want to leave New York and move to Buffalo?"

It seems a number of these new Buffalonians wanted more space for cheaper rent; more possibility; more blank canvases to work with; a new frontier.

Hey, I understand the aforementioned desires, and I don't begrudge any of these new hockey-loving residents, but Buffalo? Really?

There is an interesting section of the article where Mr. Sternbergh is on a bike ride with some of these Buffalo enthusiasts, including Newell Nussbaumer, the Buffalo cheerleader and cultural mayor, and the group is looking at an abandoned police station and wondering if they could turn it into a club.

If you are looking for blank canvases and neglected buildings to rehab we have them for you up here on the mainland U.S. in the Bronx.

"But New York, for all its mythology, is no longer a frontier. Buffalo is a frontier." Maybe Williamsburg isn't a frontier or even pre-gentrified Bushwick isn't a frontier, but the Bronx is. Before anyone up and moves to Buffalo for cheap rent, blank canvas abandoned buildings and lower salaries, please just move to the Bronx. You can get the first two without enduring the last.

FYI, this is what you have to look forward to for Buffalo nightlife. [photo courtesy of Buffalo Nightlife (Nightlife), RMC]



Anonymous said...

uhhh... where did you find that link about buffalo nightlife? hahaha. i'm pretty sure it's umm missing a lot of stuff?

Guywithacause said...

That was a great is amazing that in 2008 the Bronx is STILL the frontier....but I have to agree....the Bronx is the last frontier.

Anonymous said...

The Bronx has better weather than Buffalo plus the Yankees.

Megan said...

hey there - joyce cohen introduced me to your blog (I am a recent Fordham grad and will soon be featured in the Hunt). I couldn't help but comment on this Buffalo post. I am a proud Buffalo native and was thrilled to see NY Mag's article. Like the BX, Buffalo has a bad rap and attracts a lot of negative PR. Yes I agree that the Bronx is an affordable option in NYC, but Buffalo is even more affordable. Sternberg also made points suggesting that many of NYers returned home to Buffalo to "step off the treadmill." The Bronx, in my mind, is still very much associated with the fast-paced lifestyle of NYC - and then there is the commute factor (depending on where you are). I'm not sure the two places are comparable. And where on earth did you find that nightlife picture?? Trust me when I say that Buffalo is a drinking city that lives off sports and canadian beer - while the nightlife may not be as diverse as the Bronx - it certainly exists in full capacity for those who want it.

Having gone to Fordham, the Bronx will always hold a special place in my heart, but having grown up in Buffalo I couldn't help but defend it a little.

I felt to strongly about Sternberg's article that my comment (out of over 240) made it into the next issue's commentary section.

On another note - great job with this blog - it really is a wonderful resource for the city and I've enjoyed all of your posts!