ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo is finally arising from its long slumber

I have been commuting from the Southtowns to the University at Buffalo for nearly 30 years. I drive through downtown. For most of these years the same areas sat stagnant, decaying. It was depressing. You would see glimmers of progress that would soon be overshadowed by the surrounding blight. Plans would be posted in the newspaper, studies would be ordered and then nothing. The standing joke was, “This is Buffalo, and nothing ever gets done.” People would travel downtown for the festivals and special events, but other than the daily business traffic the city was quiet.

The changes came subtly at first. Old derelicts like the Aud were torn down. Others began showing signs of life. You started to hear of lofts and people returning to the city. The medical corridor became a reality. The cranes started appearing in multiple locations. The Medical School is going up; Children’s Hospital is next. The eyesore of the old Donovan State Office Building is now an outstanding hotel. The Jackson federal courthouse complements the historic architecture the city is known for. HarborCenter is almost there and Canalside is a wonderful destination.

On a Tuesday night this month, we were stuck in a traffic jam on our way home. A traffic jam caused by Sabres fans going to see the future Sabres play an exhibition game. So we turned toward South Buffalo and were caught in another traffic jam. We came upon Larkin Square, where there was a crowd of people of all ages. It looked like a different city. The food trucks, the music and the new and newly renewed buildings are amazing.

While we were all complaining about nothing happening in our city, there were people quietly waking up a sleeping gem in the rough. Now Buffalo is a destination, a place to go. And not just on the weekend for a special occasion. I can’t wait to see what is next.

Christine Lee

Buffalo