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Thread: Buffalo - Elmwood Village 24 December 2005

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Buffalo - Elmwood Village 24 December 2005

    A very small part of Elmwood Village on Christmas Eve/Eruv Chanukah/two days before Boxing Day eh 2005.

    The second photo features a very Denver-like scene - people hanging out on an outdoor patio with the temperature near freezing. This is something you really don't see in Buffalo. I wonder if people the balconies and rooftop decks of Chippewa Strip bars during the winter, too.














  2. #2

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    Thanks, Dan. Call me pretentious and yuppie and all that, but this is the epitome of the kind of neighborhood I like.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    why "pretentious"? It seems like a fairly oirdinary neighborhood to me...
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Thanks, Dan. Call me pretentious and yuppie and all that, but this is the epitome of the kind of neighborhood I like.
    The City of Buffalo has a special zoning overlay along all of Elmwood Avenue between Buffalo State College and downtown -- about a four mile stretch -- limiting retail stores to a very small square footage. Outside of some older nonconforming structures, national chains are overwhelmingly outnumbered by locally owned stores. A Starbucks, Blockbuster Video, a Burger King, an old KFC, a few old gas stations, one outlet of a Canadian carry-out piza chain, Pier One, and that's about it.

    Because it's Buffalo, the area is still very affordable. Home prices are increasing, but dive apartments are still common, and a decent, architecturally interesting home within a short distance of any of the commercial nodes can be found in the low $100Ks.

    The pace of gentrification in Elmwood Village and Buffalo's West Side is accelerating, though, along with North Buffalo. I've got some photos of the Hertel Avenue strip in North Buffalo in the Gallery. The photos are about two years old. Hertel has changed a LOT in that time; very un-Buffalonian bistros and trendy stores are creeping in, and real estate prices in the area are beginning to climb. North Buffalo is still very "real" - a rare, stable, mostly non-yuppified pedestrian-oriented business district in a small city -- but change seems to be on the horizon.

    Still, say the words "scrape-off" or "tear-down" to a Buffalonian, and they won't know what you're talking about, even in the most desirable city and suburban neighborhoods.

    Three blocks from Elmwood, $160K


    North Buffalo, $145K

  5. #5

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    A Tale of Two Cities

    A real gem of a place and after looking at your pix and reading the discussion of housing prices I couldn't help but compare them with Denver.

    Last night, I took the dog for a walk in the neighborhoods around 6th/7th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard to check out the holiday lights. There's similar houses to those in Buffalo - except that they're in the $500K-$700K range.

    What a difference a strong local economy makes.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    why "pretentious"? It seems like a fairly oirdinary neighborhood to me...
    Well...in the United States this kind of neighborhood goes against everything we are taught to think is "American." No real big box stores, a mix of uses and income levels, pedestrian orientation. The houses are not brand new with four car garages. There is no beige sound wall.

    Only suspicious hippies, gays, and yuppies like this kind of neighborhood.

    (Note, I am being sarcastic and silly )

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    upstate new york has some great towns like this, i really like buffalo and syracuse.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally posted by The District
    upstate new york has some great towns like this, i really like buffalo and syracuse.
    Since upstate NY cities and towns are mostly pre-war they typically have a classic urban design. Of course, much of upstate NY is economically rather backwater these days, but the bones are there for an urban revival. See Kunstler's pic on his site of a revitalized downtown Troy, for instance. Of course, most of the areas of the country that are expanding economically, like (say) Northern Virginia, have virtually no design whatsoever, except in fairly isolated (and horrendously expensive) patches.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    What a great looking neighborhood. I would also love to live in a neighborhood like this.
    Its always fun to see old homes that are archtecturally significant in walkable neighborhhods with real prices. I really wonder why people stay here (California) to pay $500k for a fixer or a new condo. I'm in school so I have a good excuse

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Looks like the City of Hamtramck (a separate municipality within the city of Detroit)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Why is property value so low? The appearance would suggest otherwise, and I'm wondering why demand has not yet caused the values to jump...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Why is property value so low? The appearance would suggest otherwise, and I'm wondering why demand has not yet caused the values to jump...

    Its not so much demand in Great Lakes cities as much as relativeness. Cities like Buffalo, Toledo and Detroit are in strange positions in that the area in general is adding housing units, but the job market has all but stopped, and older areas are shrinking in population.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Only suspicious hippies, gays, and yuppies like this kind of neighborhood.

    (Note, I am being sarcastic and silly )
    No need for the sarcasm, there's plenty of folks in this country who think places like Elmwood have extreme concentrations of hippies and queers. A very sad state of affairs, if you ask me.

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    this is a beautiful looking neighborhood. If one could get a decent paying job in Buffalo, you'd have a great supply of houses to select from.

    It's too bad that so many neighborhoods like this have been destroyed/neglected throughout the Great Lakes region. I can think of dozens of neighborhoods in Detroit that probably looked like this in 1967, in terms of scale and mix.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    I used to live one block over from where these pictures were taken on Ashland Ave back in 2001-02. There were some fixer ups you could have had back then for $70k.

    Like DetroitPlanner said, for the most part it is the job market, and while the area continues to lose population, new units keep popping up in the outer suburbs.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    It's too bad that so many neighborhoods like this have been destroyed/neglected throughout the Great Lakes region. I can think of dozens of neighborhoods in Detroit that probably looked like this in 1967, in terms of scale and mix.
    I live in one that is still very vibrant. My biggest complaint is that the latest round of budget cuts have really put a strain on city services and the city has not communicated this to the public. For example, we used to get monthly bulk pick-up. This has been suspended and folks are supposed to arrange to get their bulk goods to a DPW yard. Since this has not been communicated I have neighbors who are putting out all sorts of 'crap' out in front of their house awaiting next week's pick up. I've tried calling the office of adminstrative hearings only to get 'its not our job to investigate, only to prosecute' and when I ask do I contact the police, or what department inspects these cases, they cannot answer me!

    Sorry for the rant. The point I am trying to make is that these nice affordable neighborhoods are going to go to crap if people are not communicating this information. (I tried to talk to the folks dumping the junk out of their house accross the street and warn them, but they only spoke arabic).

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Hey

    I would love to live in a neighborhood like this also. And on a planners salary you could actually afford to buy a place there unlike California. I don't know if I would like scraping ice of my winshield or shoveling snow everyday though. What do you do in the winters? Seems like you wouldn't even want to go outside. I've never had to deal with that.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by AugieDog
    I would love to live in a neighborhood like this also. And on a planners salary you could actually afford to buy a place there unlike California. I don't know if I would like scraping ice of my winshield or shoveling snow everyday though. What do you do in the winters? Seems like you wouldn't even want to go outside. I've never had to deal with that.
    You do stay in a lot but you get used to it. You go skiing, you go to Hawaii, you curl up by the fireplace, And in spring your soul reawakens and you really know what life is all about. The feeling of the change of seasons is a great experience.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    You do stay in a lot but you get used to it. You go skiing, you go to Hawaii, you curl up by the fireplace, And in spring your soul reawakens and you really know what life is all about. The feeling of the change of seasons is a great experience.
    I can't disagree that there is some excitement in change of seasons, but for me, I never found I stayed inside more in winter. I was almost the opposite -- I wanted to "show" winter that it wouldn't affect me, and I usually went out quite a bit in winter. I never recall missing a hockey game, staying home when I wanted to go out for dinner, or deciding not to play basketball in the driveway (the ice just added a new dimension -- dribbling was hopeless though!) because of an ice storm, blizzard, anything like that. I often went for walks in sub-zero temperatures, and with enough clothing, honestly, I found it more comfortable than going outside when it's 90 and humid.

    Now hot and humid summers... ugh....there, you do have to affect what you do somewhat -- overexertion is dangerous at that temperature!

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