Buffalo's Unplanned Nightlife Boom
I originally posted this over at Skyscraper Page but I thought it would generate some interesting conversation over here. What do y'all think?
My recent trip to Buffalo brought me down to Chippewa Street.
As many of you know this area has self regenerated into a very active nightlife area. Early in its history it was a shopping area for the wealthy. Over time it gradually changed over to a nightclub and bar area serving the after hours crowd from the theaters on main street. It gradually degenerated into Buffalo's red light district. The street, though very run down by the 70's retained many active businesses up until the 80's. During this time prostitution was pretty much eliminated on the street and many storefronts became empty. I believe it was in the late 90's when a place called the Calumet Arts Cafe opened on the street and became very popular. It spawned rejuvenation at some of the few remaining businesses and eventually set of a chain reaction of new bars, night clubs, hotels, renovation and even new office space. The city put its high school culinary school on the street adding interesting diversity. All of this happened without big plans and government funding or intervention. It just happened and it is the kind of thing that has been lacking in Buffalo for many years. The growth in the Chip area has continued to the extent that restaurants and bars are opening on adjoining streets as Chippewa has become filled up.
Here are some images cut from some video I took showing Chipp and the surrounding streets. The scenes shown are quite common on any weekend. I wish there was a way to show the video here