Welp, I mentioned that I was leaving Oklahoma two months ago, and I did. I must say that the last eight weeks in the Buffalo area have been surprisingly awesome — and not because I expected for “The City of Good Neighbors” to be, well, unneighborly. (Thankfully I have some pretty awesome neighbors … though there’s a group I could live without. Just being honest.)
Saying goodbye to Oklahoma was harder than I imagined it would be — a bit surreal almost — which is kinda funny considering I’m from the east coast and I only lived in the Sooner State for a little over two years. When something sticks with you, it really sticks.
I was excited to get back to the east coast but nervous about the endless amounts of snow and salt it would require. I mean, my husband and I lived in the New York City area for many years (I was there for seven), but there’s something about the idea of lake effect snow and months of crippling cold that make me wish at times we’d chosen somewhere else to call home.
After all, Jon Snow doesn’t say “Winter is coming” for nothing.
Luckily for us, the days have been full of sunshine (that was until we gained an hour but lost sunlight) and pretty awesome temps. Even in mid-November, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy 50 and 60-degree days that’s A-OK with me. Scratch all that. Since drafting this post, Buffalo has turned on me like a friend in the fifth grade who got a seat at the “cool kids’ table.” The early spring-like weather I once enjoyed left like a thief in the night with slightly above freezing temperatures — and a little snow of all things — punching us in the face. I’m so thankful I did my research before coming here to keep my family on the calmer (northern) end of the area’s snow belt. There was some serious wind at times, but thankfully my town only got an inch or two that has since melted.
(Talk about dodge a bullet.)
There are many things I still need to discover and many places I need to visit, but overall, here’s what I love about the Buffalo area thus far.
Things to love about Buffalo
The juxtaposition of scenery. Every place I’ve lived in — Maryland, Michigan, Jersey, and Oklahoma — are oddly all represented here. I find myself staring at every corner and off-ramp as if I’ve seen each cluster of trees and homes before. They’re eerie in some strange and familiar way that makes me feel as if I’m coming back home instead of to a place I’ve never been to before. There are stretches of the greenest trees, a series of streets nestled off the main roads with a small-town feel, classic suburbs, Michigan-like left turns, bucolic areas, and of course, city life. There are times when I see parts of Connecticut (I never lived there but visited a bit), Baltimore, Oklahoma City, and everything in between. We’ve never called Buffalo home before, but it sure does feel like it.
The food! There are TONS of great restaurants and local spots to indulge in near my home. We haven’t eaten at a ton of places that are actually in Buffalo (remember, we live outside the area), but so far, so good. I enjoy the diversity of cuisines that remind me of the years I spent living near New York City. It’s also been awesome to stumble upon local gems that boast popular dishes like, I don’t know, Buffalo wings and stuff. Buffalo was ranked the third best food city in the world last year and I can definitely see why.
Endless winter activities. The thought of arctic temps, endless feet of snow, and ice don’t exactly make me jump for joy. It’s been two years since I’ve had to deal with winter and boy do I know a rude awakening is coming sooner than later. As much as I love a cup of hot cocoa, I’m kinda scared at how real things are going to get, but am happy to think about things like ice skating and snowboarding.
Buffalo pride. I can’t tell you how proud Baltimoreans are of their city. No matter the mess, the drama, and the chaos that might ensue at times, that’s our town that we will ride for until we die. I see that same love and city pride right here in Buffalo. Whether for the Bills, the Sabers, or the list of brag-worthy places and things that come with the territory, people here are excited to be from Buffalo — and I look forward to being a part of that number.
I look forward to learning and exploring Buffalo with my new Yelp Elite crew. We recently enjoyed a night of jazz at The Historic Colored Musicians Club. Did I mention The Big Easy Buffalo catered the event with the tastiest Cajun food to ever hit my taste buds since we visited New Orleans? Yeah … it brought back so many delicious memories.
The beer! If only I enjoyed a cold one like my husband — I’d seriously be in heaven here. Buffalo has some of the most diverse craft beers and brews I’ve ever heard of, and I don’t even like beer. Hell, there’s a WNY Craft Beer Magazine that shows you how serious folks here are. We missed out on a few beer-related events (it happens when you move) but look forward to all the ones in queue to make beer lovers “hoppy.” (Get it?)
So as you can see, so far, so good.
Stay tuned as I’m sure there’s more to come.
Image via David Wilson