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Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York serves as the seat for Erie County in Northern New York State. Known as the “Queen City” by area residents, one local tradition says Native American Indians named it for those who lived in a place known as Buffalo Creek. Another suggests that the French term “beau fleuve” or “beautiful river”, the Niagara River, inspired the name.

Noted for its hearty winters, Buffalo lies between the Great Lakes of Ontario and Erie. In December of 2001, a six-day storm dropped a record seven feet of snow on Buffalo. It shares its climate with the bordering Canadian neighbor, Ontario. The 41 square miles that comprise the city of Buffalo contain a housing density of 7205 people per square mile. Buffalo, New York is found at latitude 42.886N, longitude -78.878W in the northwest corner of New York State.

Buffalo, NY has produced two US Presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland . When President William McKinley visited the infamous Pan-American Exposition here in 1901, he was shot. He died eight days later. Theodore Roosevelt subsequently became the 26th president, with the ceremony conducted in a house on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.

Always an industrial town, Buffalo’s boom period began with the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. In recent decades however, the area suffered major economic setbacks with the closing of steel plants. That in turn helped fuel restructuring and downsizing of the auto industry in the area, and the closing of several airplane manufacturers and severe outsourcing by others.

The estimated population, in 2003, was 285,018. This proved a loss of almost 10,000 residents since 2000, following a greater than 10% decrease during the decade from 1990 to 2000. The white population just peaks over the half way mark at 54% over the mixture of non-white residents in this culturally and economically homogenized city. A strong number of high school graduates, 74.5%, create a solid labor pool for the mostly manufacturing and service industry jobs in the Buffalo area. Median household income for 1999 was $24,536 with a per capita money income of $14,991. In that same year, over one quarter of the city’s population (26.6%) fell below the poverty line.

Buffalo, NY contains an effective but aging Metro Bus and Rail system that carries about 94,000 passengers daily in the Buffalo/Niagara Area.

Buffalo, New York has served as the backdrop for a number of Hollywood movies, including "Bruce Almighty", "Canadian Bacon", "Hide in Plain Sight" and ”The Natural". Buffalo is the birthplace of the original “Buffalo Wing” and the lesser-known delicacy of the “Wreck”, a roast beef sandwich on a salted roll. The internationally recognized Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra calls Buffalo home, as does the Pop Rock group “The Go-Go Dolls”. There are a number of cultural venues within or slightly outside the city. Within ten miles of downtown Buffalo, NY are the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, The Buffalo Museum of Science, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, and on the lighter side, The Pedaling History Bicycle Museum.

The thought of Buffalo, New York goes hand in hand with its popular neighbor and well-known destination of Niagara Falls, which lies just a few miles to the north. The many parks and wildlife areas that populate the more rural sections of Erie and Niagara Counties provide a starkly different experience from the urban environment of the city of Buffalo. Buffalo is a proud and struggling working class town with a hi-tech industrial presence, surrounded by a balanced mix of classic culture and old world charm.

 

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