Buffalo, New York

The Comeback City

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What's it like to live in Buffalo?

What are the pros and cons of living in Buffalo? We're thinking of moving out of state and Buffalo seems pretty cool to me. I've lived in Chicago, and I have family in New York. I'm currently in Texas. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

To me Chicago always feels like a big city version of Buffalo. So that would have the closest feel. Our weather is better (cooler summers and warmer winters). It all depends what you like to do and what your comparison points are. If you like the constant novelty of a big city Buffalo is going to feel too small. But people are friendly, it's cheap, architecture is nice, Toronto is close enough for concerts and things you can't get here. Come up for a long weekend, take a look around and see what you think. You can probably get a decent feel for it in that amount of time.

What are the pros and cons of living in Buffalo?d

Not from TX but used to live in Denton. Moved here in 07.

You seem to be thinking a lot about the political climate, and it's even more different from TX than you're thinking. Texas has this kind of triumphal, fuck-you conservatism that delights in making liberals cry. Even the conservatives here by and large aren't like that. Just my opinion, but I think a lot of that is because conservatives in Buffalo tend to be Catholic conservatives and not Southern Baptists. It's not all snuggly puppies; there is still racism and racist policy here. But it's just sooooo much better.

Just straight-up taxes are higher here, but not as much as you'd think. Property taxes are in the same ballpark as most of TX. The 'burbs where I am have property tax rates a little higher than I saw in Denton; Buffalo city has them a little lower. Local governments around here don't use fees nearly as much as ones in TX do. Garbage collection is part of my property taxes, so is leaf pickup in fall, so is spring brush cleanup, and so on. The town just gives us wheely-bins for trash and recycling. The tax part that actually takes a bite from your income is that there's a state income tax.

But, you also get more back. Like I said, lots more is covered by your taxes instead of your taxes and some bullshit fee. And while the schools vary by district, duh, on average they're night and day better than TX. And obviously that difference is going to get bigger with the TX government mandating that the schools lie about race and racism, etc.

What are the pros and cons of living in Buffalo?

Being in New York, you don’t have to worry about attacks on women’s rights, religion in education or labor rights.


  • Offers 75% of the amenities of the popular coastal cities

  • Still very affordable - median rent is $1,000 and median home is $200,000

  • Lots of trendy walkable neighborhoods, up-and-coming areas and repurposed industrial sites

-Big city amenities despite having a metro population just over 1 million: pro sports, 4 am last call, theatre district, subway line, large museums, Olmsted designed park system

  • Largest public university in New York makes part of the city feel like a college town

  • Strong finance, biomed, professional services and engineering sectors. Rapidly growing film and startup industries

  • Perfect summers and cozy falls. Ski resorts just an hour south

  • Surrounded by 3 different wine regions

  • Quick and cheap flights to the NE and Midwest

  • 2 hour drive/train/bus ride to Toronto for cultural stuff, expanded dining options and a major international airport

  • Rust Belt Chic Culture (aka “New Buffalo”). There’s an amazing group of people here hard at work making Buffalo a better place to live with their own hands. From activists helping refugees to pirate farmers turning the urban prairie into an urban farm, there’s a lot of great groups and organizations helping to restore the city. Buffalo has so much land and underutilized space, it’s a really great place if you have an idea and want to make it a reality.


  • Have to like having 4 full seasons. It can snow a lot here, though most winters in previous years have been mild

  • Some industries have very little presence here. Like Buffalo isn’t a great city if you’re looking for work in game design

  • Jobs here pay less since the cost of living is lower

  • Parts of “old Buffalo” can feel pretty insular and even backwards. Cynicism and skepticism rules the day here to a fault. To the people nothing ever good happens because nothing good can happen. The “New Buffalo” culture is in protest of this attitude.

What’s it like to live in Buffalo?

Think of Buffalo, not as a city, but a very large town. We have most of the usual city like attributes, sports teams, shopping, bars, restaurants, hip section and waterfront, but there is a charm here that large cities don’t have. But, as the saying goes, It’s a nice place to live but you wouldn’t want to visit. Meaning the city is not planned well enough to accommodate visitors just passing through and the winter weather can, and often is, a total drag. Whereas Toronto is filled with walkable areas and interesting things to uncover upon just a casual visit, with Buffalo it’s easy to go to a place like the waterfront and walk around wondering; “Where is anyone?”. Yet living here, you soon start to unpack the town’s local charms like, our parks, architecture, history and (here’s a secret) our antiquing! Chip beneath the surface and you start to find that not only does Buffalo have what every other city has but we also have a uniqueness you can’t find anywhere else.

Buffalonians are very approachable and almost always very nice. A tad downtrodden but very warm and helpful. Which brings me to just another negative, the local economy is garbage. If you come from out of town with a job offer you are usually fine but most local businesses and owners do not wanna pay their staff over 35k per year. That’s why a lot of natives leave for greener pastures. Also, the Buffalo concert scene is often a huge bummer as most national acts, even indie bands, pass by Buffalo for Toronto or even Rochester. So aside from making money, cool bands and the winter Buffalo has it all.

New 2022: Living in Buffalo, NY Pros and Cons