Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Why Buffalo/Upstate NY?

I was born and raised in upstate NY, outside Buffalo, and I live there for now. NY (State) has pretty landscapes, some arts, and some education… but it is the sorriest excuse for a state. This is not a political message, but politics has made living in NY (State) what it is today (POOR). Unless you live in Albany or NYC, you have no representation. The people with power are not the politicians. They are the public works, medical, and teachers unions, and other special interests who own the politicians. To feed their “needs”, NY has created bureaucracy and high taxes that are unprecedented by any other state. It is so hard to do business here, and it shows. There are so many layers of government (and none of them plan to consolidate or go away) that nothing will change. It’s been bad for 30 years, and just when you think it can’t get any worse- it does. Why do I live here? Family. I’m waiting for them to move or for me to lose my patience. A lot of people here will put on a pretty face and deny any bad press that Buffalo and upstate NY receive. We call them homers. They live in denial and probably do not travel very often. I do, and I know what is out there… much more prosperous areas. I hope it all dies soon.

Sent by Andy from Buffalo, NY

4 Responses to “Why Buffalo/Upstate NY?”

  1. Bobby Says:

    Toronto is 60 miles away. Annually rated one of the best cities in the world to live (I think it was rated #2 last yr behind Copenhagen). I’m surprised you’re not already living there.

  2. Jim Says:

    I have to agree with Andy’s comments. We moved to the Syracuse area seven years ago following government careers that had us living all over the world and in Washington, DC. We moved here because of my investments and family member proximity. Now we regret it. The region is beautiful. It is near wonderful Canadian cities and a reasonable drive to big U.S. cities. People here are friendly and wholesome. BUT — the taxes are punishing and economic growth stagnant. Upstate NY has been a net loser of population for at least a decade. Young people flee to find good jobs out of state. The NYS govt. is the definition of dysfunction. Like N. Korea, they name stadiums and govt. buildings after living politicians who’ve sold themselves out to special interests. A recent study showed that Upstate NY’s economic indicators lag behind those of Appalachia.
    We are actively scouting a new location in another state, most likely in Washington state or Oregon where there are sizable and growing concentrations of the creative class.

  3. Lily Says:

    Literally everyone I have met who is not originally from the Buffalo/Upstate NY area is miserable here. People who grew up here however will rave endlessly about it. If you’re not from here it’s like oil and water. Another tip: if you’re a ‘free spirit’ type, do not move here. If you want to ’settle down’ and have kids you might like it. Beneath the surface Buffalo has a very traditional, working class small-town vibe.

  4. Camille Hopkins Says:

    I moved from Buffalo in December, 2008, after living/working there for 27 years. As a Planner for the City of Buffalo for 21 years, I tried to raise the consciousness of City officials but unfortunately, they resisted. I tired of the small minds dominating government and decided to ‘vote with my feet’. It was the best decision of this former Buffalonian.

    I now live in Portland, Oregon – a wonderful place that is not afraid to embrace change, build community, and celebrate diversity while having fun in the process. Oh, and Portland only gets 7 inches of snow annually.

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