Buffalo, New York

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Buffalo, New York
Flag Seal
Nickname: "City of Good Neighbors, Queen City, City of Light"
Location of Buffalo in New York State
County Erie County
Mayor Byron Brown
 - City 136.0 km²
 - Land 105.2 km²
 - Water 30.8 km²
 - City (2000 <ref>Metropolitan & Central City Population: 2000-2005. Demographia.com, accessed September 3, 2006.</ref>) 292,648
 - Density 2782.4/km²
 - Metro 1,254,066
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Website: Buffalo, NY

Buffalo is an American city in western New York State. As of the census of 2000, the city had a total population of 292,648<ref>Metropolitan & Central City Population: 2000-2005. Demographia.com, accessed September 3, 2006.</ref>. It is the state's second-largest city, after New York City, and is the county seat of Erie County.GR6 It is also the economic and cultural center of the The Buffalo-Niagara Region, a diverse metropolitan area with a population of 1.1 million people <ref>http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Profiles/Single/2000/C2SS/Tabular/380/38000US12801.htm</ref>. Buffalo is also sometimes considered part of the Golden Horseshoe[1], an international metropolitan area of over 9.7 million people.

Buffalo lies at the eastern end of Lake Erie, at the southern head of the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. European-Americans first settled there in the late-18th century. Growth was slow until the city became the western terminus of the Erie Canal some forty years later. By the turn of the next century, Buffalo was one of the country's leading cities, and by far its largest inland port. The huge grain elevators and industrial plants that the canal spawned began to disappear in the mid-20th century as the Saint Lawrence Seaway enabled water traffic to bypass the city.

Distancing itself from its industrial past, Buffalo is redefining itself as a cultural, banking, educational, and medical center. The city was named by Reader's Digest as the third cleanest city in America in 2005. [2] In 2001 USA Today named Buffalo the winner of its "City with a Heart" contest, proclaiming it the nation's "friendliest city." Also, in 1996 and 2002, Buffalo won the All-America City Award.


[edit] History

[edit] Origin of name

The City of Buffalo received its name from the creek that flows through it. However, the origin of the creek's name is unclear, with several unproven theories existing. One holds that the name is an anglicized form of the French name Beau Fleuve (beautiful river), which was supposedly an exclamation uttered by Louis Hennepin when he first saw the stream; this is thought to be unlikely, as no period sources contain this quote. Early French explorers reported the abundance of buffalo on the south shore of Lake Erie, but their presence on the banks of Buffalo Creek is still a matter of debate, so the origin of the name of the creek is still uncertain. Neither the Native American name ("Place of the Basswoods") or the French name ("River of Horses") survived, so the current name likely dates to the British occupation which began with the capture of Fort Niagara in 1759. Also given credence by local historians is the possibility that an interpreter mistranslated the Native American word for "beaver" as "buffalo" - the words being very similar - at a treaty-signing at present-day Rome, New York in 1784. The theory assumes that because there were beaver here, the creek was probably called Beaver Creek rather than Buffalo Creek. Another theory holds that a Seneca Indian lived there, whose name meant "buffalo," and was translated as such by the English pioneers. The stream where he lived became Buffalo Creek.

[edit] Early history

Prior to European colonization, the region's inhabitants were the Ongiara, an Iroquois tribe called the Neutrals by French settlers, who found them helpful in mediating disputes with other tribes.

Most of western New York was granted by Charles II of England to the Duke of York (later known as James II of England), but the first European settlement in what is now Erie County was by the French, at the mouth of Buffalo Creek in 1758. Its buildings were destroyed a year later by the evacuating French after the British captured Fort Niagara. The British took control of the entire region in 1763, at the conclusion of the French and Indian War.

The first permanent white settlers in present day Buffalo were Cornelius Winney and "Black Joe" Hodges, who set up a log cabin store there in 1789 for trading with the Native American community. Dutch investors purchased the area from the Seneca Indians as part of the Holland Purchase. Although other Senecas were involved in ceding their land, the most famous today is Red Jacket, who died in Buffalo in 1830. His grave is in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Starting in 1801, parcels were sold through the Holland Land Company's office in Batavia, New York. The settlement was initially called Lake Erie, then Buffalo Creek, soon shortened to Buffalo. Holland Land Company agent Joseph Ellicott christened it New Amsterdam, but the name did not catch on. In 1808, Niagara County was established with Buffalo as its county seat. Erie County was formed out of Niagara County in 1821, retaining Buffalo as the county seat.

Image:Electric Building - Buffalo.jpg
The Electric Building - Buffalo, New York

[edit] The 19th century

City of Buffalo
Population by year [3]
Year Population Rank
1830 8,668 27
1840 18,213 22
1850 42,261 16
1860 81,129 10
1870 117,714 11
1880 155,134 13
1890 255,664 11
1900 352,387 8
1910 423,715 10
1920 506,775 11
1930 573,076 13
1940 575,901 14
1950 580,132 15
1960 532,759 20
1970 462,768 28
1980 357,870 39
1990 328,123 50
2000 292,648 57
2005 279,745 66
Current Standing

In 1804, Joseph Ellicott, a principal agent of the Holland Land Company, designed a radial street and grid system that branches out from downtown like bicycle spokes, and is one of only three radial street patterns in the US. In 1810, the Town of Buffalo was formed from the western part of the Town of Clarence. On December 30, 1813, during the War of 1812, British troops and their Native American allies first captured the village of Black Rock, and then the rest of Buffalo burning most of both to the ground. Buffalo gradually rebuilt itself and by 1816 had a new courthouse. In 1818, the eastern part of the town was lost to form the Town of Amherst.

Upon the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, Buffalo became the western end of the 524-mile waterway starting at New York City. At the time, Buffalo had a population of about 2,400 people. With the increased commerce of the canal, the population boomed and Buffalo was incorporated as a city in 1832. In 1853, Buffalo annexed Black Rock, which had been Buffalo's fierce rival for the canal terminus. During the 19th century, thousands of pioneers going to the western United States debarked from canal boats to continue their journey out of Buffalo by lake or rail transport. During their stopover, many experienced the pleasures and dangers of Buffalo's notorious Canal Street district.

Buffalo was a terminus of the Underground Railroad, an informal series of safe houses for African-Americans escaping slavery in the mid-19th century. Buffalonians helped many fugitives cross the Niagara River to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada and freedom.

[edit] The presidential connection

Several U.S. presidents had connections with Buffalo. Millard Fillmore took up permanent residence in Buffalo in 1822 before he became America's 13th president. He was also the first chancellor of the University of Buffalo, now known as SUNY University at Buffalo. Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, lived in Buffalo from 1854 until 1882, and served as Buffalo's mayor from 1882 until 1883. William McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, and died in Buffalo on the 14th. Theodore Roosevelt was then sworn in on September 14th, 1901 at the Ansley Wilcox Mansion, now the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, becoming one of the few presidents to be sworn in outside of Washington, D.C..

Image:Buffalo City Hall - 001.jpg
The city hall of Buffalo, NY - an art deco masterpiece

[edit] The 20th century

At the turn of the century, Buffalo was a growing city with a burgeoning economy. Immigrants came from Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Poland to work in the steel and grain mills which had taken advantage of the city's critical location at the junction of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal. Hydroelectric power harnessed from nearby Niagara Falls made Buffalo the first American city to have widespread electric lighting yielding it the nickname, the "City of Light". Electricity was used to dramatic effect at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. The Pan-American was also notable for being the scene of the aforementioned assassination of President William McKinley.

The opening of the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo with Fort Erie, Ontario on August 7, 1927 was an occasion for significant celebrations. Those in attendance included Edward, Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII), his brother Prince Albert George (later George VI), British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King, Vice President of the United States Charles G. Dawes, and New York Governor Alfred E. Smith.

Main Street and Lafayette Square, Buffalo, from a 1922 postcard

Buffalo's City Hall, an Art Deco masterpiece, was dedicated on July 1, 1932. It was the city's tallest building until 1970.

The city's importance declined in the later half of the 20th century for several reasons, perhaps the most devastating being the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1957. Goods which had previously passed through Buffalo could now bypass it using a series of canals and locks, reaching the ocean via the St. Lawrence River. Another major toll was suburban migration, a national trend at the time. The city, which boasted over half a million people at its peak, has seen its population decline by some 50%, as industries shut down and people left the Rust Belt for the employment opportunities of the South and West. Erie County has lost population in every census year since 1970. The city also has the dubious distinction along with St. Louis, Missouri of being one of the few American cities to have had fewer people in the year 2000 than in 1900.

[edit] The 21st century

On July 3, 2003, at the climax of a fiscal crisis, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority was established[4] to oversee the finances of the city. As a "hard control board," they have frozen the wages of city employees and must approve or reject all major expenditures. After a period of severe financial stress, Erie County, where Buffalo resides, was assigned a Fiscal Stability Authority on July 12, 2005. As a "soft control board," however, they act only in an advisory capacity.[5]. Both Authorities were established by New York State. In November of 2005, Byron Brown was elected Mayor of Buffalo. He is the first African-American to hold this office.

[edit] Geography

Position within Erie County.

Buffalo is located on the eastern end of Lake Erie, opposite Fort Erie, Ontario in Canada, and at the beginning of the Niagara River, which flows northward over Niagara Falls and into Lake Ontario. It is located at 42°54'17" North, 78°50'58" West (42.904657, -78.849405)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 136.0 km² (52.5 mi²). 105.2 km² (40.6 mi²) of it is land and 30.8 km² (11.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 22.66% water.

[edit] Climate

Buffalo has a reputation for snowy winters. The region experiences a fairly humid, continental-type climate, but with a definite maritime flavor due to strong modification from the Great Lakes. The transitional seasons are very brief in Buffalo and Western New York.

Winters in Western New York are generally cold and snowy, but are changeable and include frequent thaws and rain as well. Snow covers the ground more often than not from Christmas into early March, but periods of bare ground are not uncommon. Over half of the annual snowfall comes from the lake effect process and is very localized. Lake effect snow occurs when cold air crosses the relatively warm lake waters and becomes saturated, creating clouds and precipitation downwind. Due to the prevailing winds, areas south of Buffalo receive much more lake effect snow than locations to the north. The lake snow machine can start as early as mid October, peaks in December, then virtually shuts down after Lake Erie freezes in mid to late January. The most well-known snow storm in Buffalo's history, the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977, resulted from a combination of lake effect snow and high winds. Snow does not typically impair the city's operation, but can cause significant damage as with Lake Storm "Aphid".

Buffalo has the sunniest and driest summers of any major city in the Northeast, but has enough rain to keep vegetation green and lush.<ref>Buffalo's Climate. National Weather Service. Accessed July 5, 2006.</ref> Summers are marked by plentiful sunshine and moderate humidity and temperature. Obscured by the attention given to winter snowstorms is the fact that Buffalo benefits from other lake effects; namely free, natural air conditioning from Lake Erie. As a result, summers are often filled with gentle southwest breezes off the lake that temper the warmest days. Buffalo has never recorded a 100°F temperature, a distinction it shares with but a few other major metropolitan areas in the US (ironically, two of the others are Miami, Florida and Honolulu, Hawaii). Rainfall is moderate but typically occurs at night. The stabilizing effect of Lake Erie continues to inhibit thunderstorms and enhance sunshine in the immediate Buffalo area through most of July. August usually has more showers and is humid as the warmer lake loses its temperature-stabilizing influence.

[edit] Demographics

Image:M&T Bank Center & Liberity Building - Buffalo NY.jpg
M&T Plaza & The Liberty Building - Buffalo, New York

[edit] City proper

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, the city had a total population of 292,648.

At that time there were 292,648 people, 122,720 households, and 67,005 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,782.4/km² (7,205.8/mi²). There are 145,574 housing units at an average density of 1,384.1/km² (3,584.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 54.43% White, 37.23% African American, 0.77% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.68% from other races, and 2.45% from two or more races. 7.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 122,720 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.6% are married couples living together, 22.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% are non-families. 37.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size is 3.07.

In the city the population included 26.3% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $24,536, and the median income for a family is $30,614. Males have a median income of $30,938 versus $23,982 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,991. 26.6% of the population and 23.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 38.4% of those under the age of 18 and 14.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Buffalo has very sizable populations of Italian, Polish, Irish, German and African descent. Major ethnic neighborhoods still exist; the Irish-Americans in South Buffalo, Polish-Americans traditionally, but to a much lesser extent nowadays, in the East Side where they have been largely replaced by African-Americans, and at one point Italian-Americans in the West Side. Now the West Side has become a melting pot of many ethnicities, with Latino culture being the strongest influence.

[edit] Metropolitan area

As of 2006, Erie and Niagara Counties had a combined estimated population of 1,154,378.<ref>SUNY Buffalo Regional Knowledge Network</ref>

The racial makeup of the area is 82.2% White, 13% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 3.3% Hispanic, and 1.4% of all other races.

In the metropolitan area 39.68% of people are under the age of 18 or over the age of 64, with the median age being 38. 82.88% of residents have a high school diploma and 23.2% have obtained a Bachelor's degree.

The median income for a household is $38,400. The per capita income for the area is just over $20,000. 12% of the population is below the poverty line.

[edit] Education

[edit] Public

Like the rest of New York, Buffalo is subject to the state’s benchmark evaluation system. The Buffalo Public Schools curriculum is aligned to state standards set by the Education Department. At the high school level, students are encouraged to pass Regents Examinations for each course upon its completion.

Currently, there are 78 public schools in the city including a growing number of charter schools. As of 2006, the total enrollment was 41,089 students with a student-teacher ratio of 13.5 to 1. The dropout rate is just 5.3%, and 83% of students who graduate go on to college. More than 27% of teachers have a Master's degree or higher and the median amount of experience in the field is 15 years. When considering the entire metropolitan area, there are a total of 292 schools educating 172,854 students.<ref>SUNY Buffalo Regional Knowledge Network</ref>

Buffalo is noted for its model magnet school system attracting students with special interests, which include science, bilingual studies, and Native American studies. Specialized facilities include the Buffalo Elementary School of Technology; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Multicultural Institute; the International School; the Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School; Build Academy; the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts; the Riverside Institute of Technology; Hutchinson Central Technical High School; and the Emerson School of Hospitality. The City Honors School was recently ranked #4 in the nation by Newsweek magazine. Students of Buffalo's public school system consistently produce high SAT scores, and the overall dropout rate is significantly lower than that of the New York State public school average.

Buffalo is currently in the process of a $1 billion city school rebuilding plan.

[edit] Private

The city itself is home to 47 private schools while the metropolitan region has 150 such institutions. Most private schools have a Roman Catholic affiliation; however, there are schools affiliated with other religions, such as Islam, and many nonsectarian options.

[edit] Adult and technical

Complementing its standard function, the Buffalo Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education Division provides education and services to adults throughout the community. In addition, the Career and Technical Education department offers more than 20 academic programs, and is attended by about 6,000 students each year.

[edit] Higher education

More than 20 public and private colleges and universities in Buffalo and its environs offer programs in technical and vocational training, graduate, and professional studies.

Buffalo is home to two State University of New York (SUNY) institutions. Buffalo State College, a comprehensive college, and the University at Buffalo, the flagship university center of SUNY, are each the largest institution of its type in the system. Combined, they account for roughly 40,000 students in the area.

Other academic institutions in the Buffalo area include: Alfred University, Bryant & Stratton College, Canisius College, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Empire State College, Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Jamestown Business College, Jamestown Community College, Medaille College, Niagara County Community College also know as NCCC, Niagara University, Northtown Technical, St. Bonaventure University, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY Fredonia, The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) - University at Buffalo, Trocaire College, UB Continuing Dental Education, Villa Maria College.

Image:Buffalo, New York from I-190 North entering downtown.jpg
Buffalo, New York from I-190 North entering downtown.

[edit] Economy

Buffalo and the surrounding area was long involved in railroad commerce, steel, and automobile production. While major steel production no longer exists, several smaller steel mills remain in operation. In addition, Ford maintains operation of its Buffalo Stamping Plant south of the city, and Chevrolet has two plants, a production plant in Tonawanda near the city line, and a tool and die plant in the city. The windshield wiper was invented in Buffalo, and the Trico company still operates some facilities there. For many years, Buffalo was the nation's second largest rail center, with Chicago being the first.

In the 21st century, Buffalo has increasingly become a center for bioinformatics and human genome research, including work by researchers at the University at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Another industry that is booming in Buffalo today is the debt collection industry. There are over 6 major firms located in Buffalo and the surrounding area that collect on all of the nation's top money lenders.

Buffalo has a district office of the US Army Corps of Engineers, a civilian agency which designed portions of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and designed and built the Mount Morris Dam for flood control on the Genesee River above Rochester. The agency now is heavily involved in remediation of hazardous waste sites in the northeast.

[edit] Government and Politics

See also: Politics and Government of Buffalo, New York

[edit] Government

At the municipal level, the City of Buffalo has a council made up of the mayor and nine councilmen. Buffalo also serves as the seat of Erie County with 27 county representatives.

At the state level, there are three state assemblymen and two state senators in the Buffalo area. At the federal level, Buffalo is represented by three members of the House of Representatives.

[edit] Politics

See also: List of mayors of Buffalo, New York

The Democratic Party has dominated Buffalo politics for the last half-century, though its longest serving mayor of the past half-century, James Griffin, switched political affiliations several times and most frequently attained electoral victory from socially conservative platforms. In 2005, Kevin Helfer, the city's first major conservative mayoral candidate in over 40 years, defeated Byron Brown by a 2-1 margin in the Conservative Party primary. Despite this, voters ultimately chose Brown, making him the city's first African-American mayor. Union support bolstered Brown's campaign, ultimately providing a substantial fundraising and volunteer effort. However Tom Reynolds, the fourth highest ranking Republican in Congress has a constituency consisting mainly in Erie Country.

[edit] Cityscape

Neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York

[edit] Communities

[edit] Neighborhoods

Buffalo has a makeup of 32 different neighborhoods:

Allentown, Bailey-Lovejoy, Black Rock, Central Park, Cold Springs, Delaware District, Downtown, East Side, Elmwood Village, Fillmore-Leroy, First Ward, Fruit Belt, Hamlin Park, Hospital Hill, Humboldt Park, Kaisertown, Kensington, Kensington Heights, Lower West Side, Masten Park, North Buffalo, North Park, Parkside, Polonia, Riverside, Schiller Park, South Buffalo, University District, University Heights, Vernon Triangle, Upper West Side, and Willert Park.

[edit] Suburbs

Akron, Alden, Amherst, Angola, Aurora, Blasdell, Boston, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Depew, East Aurora, Eden, Elma, Grand Island, Hamburg, Kenmore, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lewiston, Lockport, Marilla, North Tonawanda, Orchard Park, Sloan, Tonawanda, West Seneca, Wheatfield, Williamsville.

[edit] Parks

See also: Buffalo, New York parks system
Olmsted Park System, 1914

One of Buffalo's many monikers is the City of Trees, which describes the abundance of green in the city. In fact, Buffalo has more than 20 parks with multiple ones being accessible from any part of the city.

The Olmsted Park and Parkway System is the hallmark of Buffalo’s many green spaces. Three-fourths of city park land is part of the system, which comprises 6 major parks, 8 connecting parkways, 9 circles and 7 smaller spaces. Begun in 1868 by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux, the system was integrated into the city and marks the first attempt in America to layout a coordinated system of public parks and parkways. The Olmsted designed portions of the Buffalo park system are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

[edit] Waterfront

Situated at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers, Buffalo is a waterfront city. The city’s rise to economic power came through its waterways in the form of transshipment, manufacturing, and an endless source of energy. Buffalo’s waterfront is still a hub of commerce, trade, and industry that is essential to its economic prosperity.

Recently, the waterfront is undergoing rapid transformation from its manufacturing nature of the past, and into a focal point for social and recreational activity.

[edit] Standard of Living

Overall, Buffalo offers its citizens a reasonable quality of life. It is affordable, and snow is cleared from the streets quickly during winter storms. In July 2005, Reader's Digest ranked Buffalo as the third cleanest large city in the nation.<ref>America's Top Five Cleanest Cities. Reader's Digest. Accessed July 5, 2006.</ref>

As of 2006, the Buffalo Niagara metropolitan area is the most affordable housing market in the nation. “The quarterly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) noted that nearly 90% of the new and existing homes sold in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro area during the second quarter were affordable to families making the area's median income of $57,000. The area median price of homes was $75,000.”<ref>Buffalo most affordable metro area, L.A. least affordable. All Business. Accessed July 5, 2006.</ref>

In the realm of crime, FBI reports show that Buffalo has seen a 3.5% rise in violent crime from 2004 to 2005, reflecting national trends. While rape decreased 13%, murder increased at an alarming 10%. Currently, the city’s crime rates are well above national averages and provide a stark contrast to other parts of the metropolitan area. Amherst, Buffalo’s largest suburb, has been the nation’s safest city five times since 1997 according to the same FBI reports.<ref>Amherst, New York Retains Title as America's Safest City. City of Amherst. Accessed July 5, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Culture

[edit] Nicknames

By no means has City of Light been Buffalo's only nickname. The most common of its monikers -- The Queen City -- first appeared in print in the 1840s, referring to the city being the second largest city in New York State behind New York City. Buffalo has also been called The Nickel City due to the appearance of a bison on the back of Indian Head nickel in the early part of the 20th century. The City of Good Neighbors refers to the helpful, friendly spirit of its inhabitants.

[edit] Diversity

Buffalo was first settled by New Englanders and a small but influential number of African Americans. The first wave of European immigrants was a large influx of Germans. The city was further populated by Irish immigrants escaping famine, and infused by Polish, Italian, and more recently Latino populations, all of which have made it a melting pot of ethnic cultures. The newest immigrants are from Somalia, Asia, and the Arab world.

The old First Ward in South Buffalo retains a strong Irish identity, and Kaisertown reflects a German heritage. The city's East Side was once home of Buffalo's Polonia centered around the Broadway Market, a microcosm of Polish traditions and food delicacies. The East Side is now home to African Americans who came north during the Great Migration.

The West Side is home to the city's Hispanic community, and North Buffalo is home to Buffalo's Italian American communities. The Italian custom of preparing St. Joseph's Day (March 19) tables, at which various meatless Lenten courses are laid out for the poor, continues in many Buffalo households as well as in some churches and restaurants. Bordering the West Side is the Black Rock section, which is a mixture of Polish, Ukrainian and Hungarian, but increasingly Hispanic communities.

Buffalo is also home to a sizable Jewish community. German Jewish immigrants originally settled on Buffalo's West Side in the mid-1800s. Less well-off Russian and Polish Jews immigrating to the Niagara Frontier in the early 1900s initially settled on the lower East Side, near William and Jefferson Streets. The community migrated to the Masten Park neighborhood on the East Side, and then to North Buffalo between the 1940s and the 1960s. Although many still live in the city, particularly in North Buffalo and the Delaware District, the majority of Buffalo's approximately 15,000 Jews now live in the northeastern suburbs of Amherst and Williamsville. Buffalo's Jewish Community centers are located in the Delaware District and Amherst.

[edit] Food

The Buffalo area's cuisine reflects Italian, Irish, Jewish, German, Polish, Greek and American influences. Beef on Weck, Wardynski's kielbasa, Sahlen's hot dogs, sponge candy, pierogi, and haddock fish fries are among the local favorites, as is a loganberry-flavored beverage that remains relatively obscure outside of Western New York and Southern Ontario. Teressa Bellissimo, the chef/owner of the city's Anchor Bar, first prepared the now-widespread Buffalo Chicken Wings here on October 3,1964. Local or regional chains with a significant presence in the Buffalo area include Ted's Hot Dogs, Anderson's Frozen Custard, Jim's SteakOut, Tim Hortons, and Mighty Taco. Buffalo's pizza is also of unique design; perhaps because Buffalo is geographically located halfway between New York City and Chicago, Illinois, the pizza made here is likewise about halfway between thin-crust New York-style pizza and deep-dish Chicago-style pizza.

Buffalo also has several specialty import/grocery stores in old ethnic neighborhoods, and is home to an eclectic collection of cafes and restaurants that serve adventurous, cosmopolitan fare. Locally-owned restaurants offer Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Greek, Arab, Indian, Caribbean, French, and soul food.

Several well-known food companies are based in Buffalo. Non-dairy whipped topping, later imitated by Cool Whip, was invented in Buffalo in 1945 by Robert E. Rich, Sr. His company, Rich Products, is one of the city's largest private employers. General Mills was organized in Buffalo, and Gold Medal brand flour, Wheaties, Cheerios and other General Mills brand cereals are manufactured here. One of the country's largest cheese manufacturers, Sorrento, has been here since 1947.

Buffalo is also home to one of the largest privately held food companies in the world, Delaware North Companies, which operates concessions in sports arenas, stadiums, resorts, and many state & federal parks.

[edit] Art

Buffalo is home to over 50 private and public art galleries, most notably the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, home to a world-class collection of Modern art. The local art scene is also enhanced by the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, CEPA, and countless small galleries and studios. AmericanStyle ranked Buffalo fourth in its list of America's top art destinations.<ref>The 2004 Top 25 Arts Destinations. AmericanStyle. Accessed July 31, 2006.</ref>

Two street festivals - the Allentown Art Festival and the Elmwood Festival of the Arts - bring thousands of people to the city to browse and purchase original crafts.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs at Kleinhans Music Hall, is one of the city's most prominent performing arts institutions.

See Also: City of Buffalo Public Art Collection

[edit] Architecture

Many architectural treasures exist in Buffalo, including:

The country's largest intact parks system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, including Delaware Park. Buffalo was the first city for which Olmsted designed (in 1869) an interconnected park and parkway system rather than stand-alone parks.

The Guaranty Building, by Louis Sullivan, was one of the first steel-supported, curtain-walled buildings in the world, and its thirteen stories made it, at the time it was built, the tallest building in Buffalo and one of the world's first true skyscrapers.

The Hotel Buffalo was the first hotel in the world to feature a private bath in each room.

The H.H. Richardson Complex, originally the State Asylum for the Insane, is Richardsonian Romanesque in style and was the largest commission designed by prominent architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The grounds of this hospital were also designed by Olmsted. Though currently in a state of disrepair, New York State has allocated funds to restore this treasure.

Other notable buildings:

The creme-de-la-creme of Buffalo architecture, however, are several buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Darwin Martin House, George Barton House, William Heath House, The Graycliff Estate, as well as the now demolished Larkin Administration Building. Currently under construction is the never built boathouse designed by Wright, on Buffalo's Black Rock Canal. Buffalo has more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than any other city except Chicago.

[edit] Nightlife

Last call is at 4 a.m. in Buffalo, rather than 2 a.m. like it is in most other areas of the nation. This is often attributed to the historically high density of industrial facilities and the demand of second and third shift patrons. It is also because New York law allows bars to be open until 4 a.m. (However, local municipalities can override it to an earlier time.) This law was actually designed to accommodate the thriving late nightlife of New York City, but the state's "Second City" has adopted it as well.

Several distinct and thriving nightlife districts have grown around clusters of bars and nightclubs in the city. The most visible nightlife district is West Chippewa Street, located between Main Street and South Elmwood Avenue. The area is home to high-energy dance clubs, crowded bars, trendy coffehouses, and restaurants. Bohemian Allentown, where bars are as numerous but the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed, is a 20-minute walk north to Allen Street. Allen near Main Street houses numerous alternative lifestyle bars, while Allen near Elmwood has many bars that feature live music. Continuing up Elmwood Avenue from Allentown is the Elmwood Strip, which runs several miles up until Buffalo State College. This strip has numerous small boutiques and restaurants, with few large corporate establishments. Crowds on this strip include everyone from college students to families.

[edit] Points of interest

[edit] Sports teams

[edit] Current teams

[edit] Former teams

[edit] Media

[edit] Television

See also: :Category:Television stations in Buffalo

[edit] Film industry

While Buffalo may not be a major center of film production, the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission exists to promote and assist with filmmaking in the area. In addition, the non-profit Buffalo International Film Festival helps to highlight the work of Buffalonians associated with the film industry. Squeaky Wheel, a non-profit media arts center, provides access for local media artists to video and film equipment, as well as screenings of independent and avant-garde films.

There have also been a number films that were set or filmed in the Buffalo area.

  • Best Friends was filmed in Buffalo in 1982.
  • Buffalo '66 was set and filmed in Buffalo.
  • Bruce Almighty was set primarily in Buffalo, but was filmed mostly in San Diego.
  • Hide in Plain Sight was set and filmed in Buffalo.
  • Manna from Heaven was set and filmed in Buffalo.
  • The Natural, while not set in Buffalo, was mostly filmed in Buffalo.
  • Shadow Creature was filmed in Buffalo.
  • The Savages, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, was filmed throughout Buffalo in the spring of 2006. Set to be released at theaters in 2007.
  • The Buddy Holly Story depicts the name "The Crickets" being bestowed upon Buddy's group by Buffalo disk jockey 'Madman' Mancuso, who (after having locked himself in the studio while he plays "That'll Be the Day" over and over), tracks down Buddy for a phone interview. Upon learning from Buddy that one of the songs the as-yet-unnamed group had recorded in Buddy's garage "has a cricket on it," the DJ anoints them "Buddy Holly and the Crickets."
  • [Stiletto Dance] starring Eric Roberts as a Buffalo cop trying to foil a Russian mafia-nuclear weapon deal was set and filmed in Buffalo in 2001.

[edit] Transportation

[edit] Airport

Buffalo is served by the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, located in Cheektowaga. The airport, recently re-constructed, serves over 5 million passengers a year and is still growing. As of 2006, plans are in the works by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to make the under-used Niagara Falls International Airport into an international cargo hub for New York and Toronto, as well as Canada as a whole. <ref> Bill Michelmore. "Niagara airport pushed as trade hub; Schumer joins effort to bring global cargo", Buffalo News, 2006-06-26, p. B1. </ref>

[edit] Public transit

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) operates not only Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport, but also public transit throughout the Buffalo area. The NFTA runs a number of buses throughout the city and suburbs, as well as a 6-mile (9 km) Metro Rail light rail rapid transit system in the city.

The Metro Rail operates above ground in the section closest to downtown, the Main Street pedestrian mall, then descends under Main Street as it heads toward University at Buffalo's south campus. Buffalo is the smallest city in the United States to have a subway system.

[edit] Rail

Two train stations, Buffalo-Depew and Buffalo-Exchange Street serve the city and operated by Amtrak (also VIA Rail).

[edit] Highways

Four Interstate highways run through the Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Area, Interstate 90, Interstate 190, Interstate 290, and Interstate 990. I-90 runs from Seattle to Boston and connects Buffalo's southern suburbs with the city and the eastern and northern suburbs. I-190 runs from I-90 through downtown and up to Niagara Falls and onto the Canadian border at two spots. I-290 makes a 10 mile connection between I-190 and I-90, serving the area's northern suburbs. I-990 starts at I-290 and runs over 6 miles up to the Millersport Highway, just south of Lockport. I-990 was intended to run to Lockport but was never completed.

US 219 and NY 400 are major expressways that run south of the city to the edge of the metropolitan area in Springville and East Aurora, respectively. US 219 is being eyed to become Interstate 67 to Maryland.

[edit] Sister cities

Buffalo has ten sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International(SCI):<ref>New York State Sister Cities. Sister Cities, Inc.</ref>

See Also: Buffalo Sister Cities - City of Buffalo

[edit] Honorary Consulates in Buffalo

[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

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