Buffalo
#1
Hello everyone. I haven't seen any threads on the city of Buffalo, so I'm starting one here. I've been there before and found it to be an OK city. I'll be up there again for two days to visit a friend who has been living there for a bit. After my last visit, I did leave some comments about the city on another forum. Below those comments are a datasheet from another poster. Curious to see if anyone else has thoughts.


I just spent a day in Buffalo, so here are my thoughts.


X hit the nail on the head with where the nightlife is. Both Allentown and downtown have significant volumes of people. You'll see a hipster/alternative, divey, and more laid back crowd in Allentown while your mainstream and club/lounge spots will be downtown. Allen St. Hardware has a $5 cover on Friday and Saturday. I don't know about downtown since most of my night was spent in Allentown, but I did notice that bouncers were denying people when I did get to downtown around 2-3 AM. Everything closes by 4 AM.

The crowds seemed mixed in both areas. I saw your typical American white girl (both slim and fat) but also sizable numbers of black and hispanic people (though heavily of the ratchet variety). The Franklin/Chippewa intersection downtown is a madhouse with a heavy police presence, but for good reason. There are a lot of shady characters, homeless, and just plain crazy people wandering around there. The same can be said for the Allen St. strip in Allentown, so just be aware of your surroundings.

In my interactions, people were warmer than I'm what I'm used to getting in much of the northeastern US. Buffalo also had the most urban feel out of anywhere I've been around upstate New York (basically everywhere aside from Rochester). You won't see large crowds of people downtown on a typical weekend day, but you'll see some activity if the weather is good. Canalside is a nice place to hang out, although I didn't see too many women walking around that weren't with families.

Buffalo seems like it would be a decent place to spend a summer working and building a decent social circle to really reap the benefits. Canada (and Toronto) being nearby also doesn't hurt. "Ok" would be a good word to describe the city.


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In all the years I’ve been here, I realize I’ve failed to drop any sort of proper datasheet/report. Here’s #2, though, and probably my last. I’ve been to Buffalo exactly once, unfortunately, but I’m going to be going back. This is, in my view, an underrated city (aided, admittedly, by the fact that I have many friends there – I may be a bit biased, but I am being upfront on that).



Buffalo is on the far western end of New York, right on the shore of Lake Erie and a stone’s throw from Canada. It is the second most populous city in the State of New York (there are about 1.2 Million people in the metro area).



Buffalo is highly diverse, arguably more so than Boston. Non-hispanic whites make up about 46% of the city’s population. There’s a very large black population and a sizable Latin demographic. You’ll spot a lot of different kinds of women out on the street and at most of the major venues. They’re not hard to run into. If you’re only after white girls, you’ll be happy to know that most of the major spots (two of the largest of which I’m going to talk about below) still feature mostly white crowds. Pretty much everyone can have what they want here.



Canada is a stone’s throw away, and you will run into a decent number of Canadian girls if you come out enough. They go to all the regular spots in Allentown and Downtown and can be found at any major events that take place in Buffalo.



None of my complaints about Boston’s race relations or vibes apply to Buffalo. Despite being, on paper, the less “cosmopolitan” city (and despite being closer to the middle of nowhere), Buffalo doesn’t give off any of the vibes I got from Boston. People are open here – dating across racial or ethnic lines doesn’t seem as big of an issue here and, frankly, I felt my background mattered a lot less than it did on any given night out in Boston.



The streets don’t feel unsafe, even in the areas that are supposedly “bad”. I had no trouble walking around. The Buffalo Police are very active on all of the main pathways/turn-up zones in and between Downtown and Allentown, so if you’re walking around there you should feel comfortable even at the very latest hours.





My experience (and that of the residents here I talked too) was that girls here are pretty down to Earth. There is not as much talent in the city as there is in a place like Boston (which isn’t that talent rich itself, IMO) but girls who are actually from the area seem to be a little less pretentious and easier to chill with/talk too. You trade a little on the physical end to get more positive intangibles, but the talent I saw in Buffalo was still solid enough to make that worth it IMO.



Mass transit in Buffalo obviously isn’t as extensive as a bigger city like NYC, but it does the job in its limited way. The small metro train line can get you to and from downtown pretty rapidly and the buses come around quickly. More important, though, is how walkable the city is. If you stay in a pretty central location (more on that in just a second), you can pretty much walk anywhere (up to and including the very heart of Downtown) in like 15 minutes, and cabs will take half that time to get you anyplace (Uber will be in Buffalo by the beginning of July, making things even easier).



If you come to Buffalo, consider an AirBNB stay in Allentown. I also hear good things about Elmwood, but I didn’t get out there enough – peers who reside in the area suggest that while Elmwood has its moments, Allentown is the much more lively area. Find a place relatively close to Allen Street – this is the main strip lined with bars, and it gets VERY active on a Friday or Saturday night. Even on a random, summer weekend with local colleges/universities out of session and no big events on the calendar, this was a VERY target rich environment. The area is pretty hipster (I stayed in an AirBNB that featured, among other things, fluoride free natural tea tree oil toothpaste and Indian sandal soap) and it seems like every soul that lives/works there voted for Bernie (I don’t think I’ve ever seen more hipsters, not even in Somerville or Cambridge), but that’s not something that has a big impact on your game at all. It can admittedly get a little noisy if you’re staying directly on the strip (as I did), but if you’re just here to shoot your shots and turn up then Allentown is where you want to be. Walk the bar scene, shoot some shots/pregame at Hardware or Brick’s (mentioned below), look in on a couple of other bars, and then take the quick walk (or rapid cab/uber ride) downtown to cap off the night – that’s a recipe for a solid night.



Alternatively, you can find a place downtown (hotel or AirBNB – once you get downtown the price difference is pretty minimal) and be within spitting distance of some of the venues I mention below while still havng the option of walking up to Allentown if you want. Really, the choice is yours. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of AirBNB and will probably try the downtown hotel option on my next visit.



Drinks are cheap here relative to a city like Boston. You can get a round of shots for $5 each, which is nearly half the price at some spots in Boston. I was genuinely shocked at just how little I spent here in one weekend as someone used to living in a city where racking up $60 bills in a single night was just too easy. Your money goes far here, especially if you can lock up some pre-games and further limit what you buy outside.



There are some pretty big downsides to the city. First, it is small relative to even a not-so-mega metropolis like Boston. There are over a million in the wider metro area, but the town itself doesn’t feel quite that large.



Also, there is a greater variety of spots to head to in a city like Boston, and you’re less likely to run into people you know and/or have seen before.



Also, not a huge fan of the architecture in the city. On the whole, it looks rather dated and definitely gives off the vibe of an old Midwestern industrial town that has seen its best days go by already. Ultimately I think the city offered more than its looks implied, but the visual could definitely be better. It is a shame there just isn’t really enough investment in the city proper to make a full makeover of the city skyline possible.



Now, on to venues (there aren’t a ton, unfortunately, but the few you get are decent):



Sky Bar



Might be the biggest venue in town. It’s basically a rooftop with a large main floor surrounding a central bar and a small raised area toward the edge that is overlooking that main floor and also includes a small bar. There is a lot of talent that comes through, from college students (almost always University of Buffalo, Buff State, or Canisius) to young professionals. The Under-25 crowd is probably more well repped here than anywhere else I’m going to mention, and VIP tables/outdoor cabanas can be had for up to 8 folks for around $200 on a Friday. A good place to migrate too (or even start) and shoot a few shots. The music isn’t bad either. In the summer, this spot is only available Thursday through Saturday. Also, beware: lines here are some of the longest in the city (although the rather long line I was in paled in comparison to some of the wait times I’ve had in Boston).



SoHo



I spent the most time here. It is something of a smaller version of skybar with more indoor space and a smaller outdoor area, as well as two main levels. The crown here is fairly similar, and there’s a good amount of overlap. I’d say the music at Sky Bar is better and there is a bit more in the way of dancing at Sky Bar, but you will get to grind a little here too. I found the girls generally more receptive here than those at Sky Bar, perhaps because it’s a more intimate spot and the guard is down a bit more. Talking is also much easier here.



67 West



I did not get here, though I did walk by a couple of times. From what I heard and glimpsed, absolutely worth checking out if you are in the downtown area. Stone’s throw away from SoHo and Sky Bar so the time and distance are right for someone looking to hit all three spots.



Brick Mulligans



There are a bunch of dive bars on Allen Street, but this is one I frequented most and is one of the 2 or 3 busiest on Allen Street. I wouldn’t make it a focus of my night, but it is (along with the rest of the Allen Street bar scene) not a bad place to start a night off before migrating to some of the bigger spots downtown.



Allen Street Hardware



Another major bar on Allen Street that is always worth looking into on a night out. I didn’t get here on my short visit but my friends frequent the place most weekends and swear by it. This is legitimately one of the busiest spots on Allen Street.


Conclusion: With all of that being said, Buffalo is not a bad town to check out on a visit. I wouldn’t say drop everything and go out of your way to get to the city (as solid as I thought Buffalo was, I do know several other cities that offer a good experience and, as I conceded earlier, my friend groups here bias me a bit), but if you’re going to see the Falls (which is very affordable, btw - $15 bucks for parking and you're in) and/or just want a side trip on the way to Toronto, give the city a thought.
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#2
I was in Buffalo for all of last Saturday and normally it would be the weekend of the St. Patrick's Day parades. However, with the impact of COVID-19 all of that stuff was cancelled and the streets were rather quiet during the day. I was out with my friend for a bit and even the bars didn't have that many people in the early evening. Normally, large crowds of people would be out drinking in the day time but that obviously didn't happen this year.

That being said, things started to pick up around 9:30 in Allentown and every place had a good crowd by midnight. In a way, it was actually more conducive to talking with people because there was fair capacity to move around in the bars (on a normal St. Patrick's weekend the bars would've been insanely crowded). The talent of girls left a bit to be desired, but I found most of them to be somewhat approachable and either received IOI's or openers from a few of them. I tried to pull a girl who was with her two other friends (and even had the support of one of them), but that just didn't work out unfortunately.

Last call is still 4 AM, but I wouldn't bother with downtown at night. That Chippewa St. area has gotten emptier and sketchier since my last visit over a year ago and many of the locals said as much. Allentown is definitely the place to be on a weekend night in Buffalo. I noticed a few more bars charged a cover fee of $5 after a certain time (11 PM), but don't let that deter you.

Buffalo isn't a place I would go out of my way to visit, but if you want to see Niagara Falls on a random weekend, then I would recommend it as a place to stay and go out. The drive between the two places is about 30 minutes. Buffalo also has a fairly low cost of living for a city of its size, so it could be decent for someone who makes enough money from a remote business or higher-paying job.
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