Why would your neighborhood be jealous of some collection of sticks and bricks in a has-been rust-belt city? Well, the American Planning Association considers it one of the ten best neighborhoods in the United States. It has a pedestrian-oriented, mixed use environment, a wide variety of housing ranging from the city's most expensive mansions to middle-end single family houses to two-flats to townhouses to multi-story walk-up and elevator apartment buildings, socioeconomic diversity, a thriving streetlife, an involved and engaged citizenry, and a huge collection of mostly-local businesses. Unlike such neighborhoods in most other cities, Elmwood Village is affordable to new residents and businesses; the price of entry is relatively low thanks to the decades-long doldrums of the regional economy.
Elmwood Village isn't without its faults. There's some vehicle-oriented intrusions thanks to lapses of judgment in the 1960s and 1970s. Among businesses, there's the same passion for gawd-awful bubble awnings that the rest of the Buffalo area shares, and little in the way of sign regulations to stop their growing proliferation. Litter and untended lawns and tree wells are a problem in some areas. Some landlords prefer to keep their commercial storefronts vacant, for some financial self-benefit that escapes me. Much of Buffalo's frame-based housing stock hasn't aged gracefully, and EV is no exception; there's still a large amount of blighted and run-down properties despite 20-plus years of ongoing gentrification. However, hardcore homers will claim the grit adds to the "authenticity" they value so much in the city's built and cultural environment.
The photos don't include everything notable on or near Elmwood -- many blocks of commercial buildings are missing due to poor lighting conditions, and I didn't walk south of the Utica Street cluster towards Allentown. The presentation approximates a north-to-south walk, but not everything is in geographic order.