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Buffalo has always been great

Every so often, I peruse the media, and check to see how Buffalo is doing, compared to other places in the country.

I think I do that because there have been times when someone, like Forbes, decides to take a poll, such as “Top Ten Most Miserable Cities,” or “Worst Places to Find Love,” and print the results for everyone to read.

Not that I, or anyone else, should care what poll takers think, but it hurts just a little when Buffalo lands on one of those lists. Through the years, our poor, beleaguered city has been listed in a few “Top Ten Worst” polls. The subject varies: misery, snow, economics, and yes, even love lives.

And yet, they haven’t really polled anyone who actually lives here. It’s all done by statistics, charts and graphs.

As someone pointed out to me recently, because they were incredulous about this fact; I have never lived anywhere else in the whole 56 years I’ve been alive. So, even though I’ve traveled quite a bit, who am I to compare other cities with my own?

I would answer, who needs a poll? Maybe a city’s statistics can be assessed and found wanting, but a city’s heart is an intangible life force that can’t be measured by outside pollsters and pundits.

Well, anyway, as I was searching for arbitrary lists of American cities and how they fare, I stumbled across a few that were different from the usual. According to, this past July, Buffalo is listed as one of the “Top US Revival Cities Worth Visiting”.

Besides recognizing Buffalo’s architecture, the article states that our low cost of living, our art galleries and our many great restaurants, make our city worth visiting.

I think that Buffalo has had all of these qualities for quite sometime, it just took a while for others to notice. The poll also praised Buffalo for having no traffic, and for that, to paraphrase my niece when she read the article, “obviously they weren’t here at rush hour.”

But compared to cities like Chicago, and New York, our rush hour traffic at least moves forward, even if it is slow. A few bog-downs at a couple of exits is tolerable, compared to times I’ve been at a total standstill for hours in larger cities.

So, it’s nice that Buffalo is finally being recognized. Is it really a revival or has it always been a well kept secret?

As far as I can see, we’ve always had the art scene, theaters, universities, great food, the harbor, the music, and the indie reputation. It’s just taken the pollsters a while to discover it.

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