Here's the neighborhood I grew up in ... University Heights, in far northeast Buffalo.
University Heights never really cashed in on the presence of the University at Buffalo South Campus, so it doesn't have the same hip college neighborhood feel of the Elmwood District by Buff State.
University Heights, located at the end of the 8-Main IRC streetcar line, developed as a streetcar suburb from the 1910s through the 1920s. The streetcars stopped running in 1950, but rail transit returned with the opening of Metro Rail in 1986.
The Heights is really a struggling neighborhood. UB expanded on the new North Campus in Amherst in the 1970s and 1980s, and the original South Campus became something of a backwater of the school; today all that remains are the medical and dental schools, the Department of Mathematics, and the School of Architecture and Planning. Racial transition in the adjacent Kensington neighborhood in the 1990s, the exodus of that neighborhood's middle class population, the decrease in owner-occupied housing, and the perception of increased crime all hurt University Heights. The construction of apartments on North Campus is now drawing away the student population, who once filled the neighborhood's two-flats.
Today, University Heights is a lower middle class to upper middle class neighborhood with a slowly increasing African-American population, and a decreasing student population.
Here's the Main Street corridor in University Heights.
Lake Effect Diner
The Steer, a favorite among the fraternity and sorority crowd.
A consignment store.
Yikes! Used cars sold on the sidewalk!
"Adaptive reuse" of a 1960s-era Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.
Broadway Joe's, a popular jam band bar, next to the former Mickey Rats, a one-time favorite of Buffalo's guido crowd.
An abandoned gas station. When I was a kid, this used to be a full service Gulf station.
Jim's Steak-Out, a local sub chain.
Caribbean Ratsta-Raunt, mon.
University Heights is plauged with first floor uses that hurt the potential for pedestrian generation and street animation.
Chinese Fast Food. An urban legend in the Heights is that the neighborhood's stray animal problem disappeared when this restaurant opened.
More Main Street.
The books lining the shelves at Talking Leaves would make some of the bookstores in Berkeley seem conservative in comparison. Stimulance is one of the neighborhood's coffeehouses.
Another pizzeria, with ugly signage. This used to be Westworld, a video arcade, back in the early 1980s. Before that, the building hosued a movie theater.
Queen City Bookstore, a long-time neighborhood institution.