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Places πŸ™οΈ Buffalo New Yorkers, represent

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
slightly off topice @Dan @ExRocketSci - The Ellicott Sq Bldg is good, but block long buildings today are the bad?
Just from my personal non-expert opinion on the differences:
  • Ellicott Square is not a single use building, but has commercial storefronts on all sides in addition to main entrances to the center courtyard, elevators, and office sections
  • the courtyard is public-accessible, glassed roof, and is a pass-thru between Main and Washington Streets, with multiple commercial businesses accessible on the interior retail floors
  • there are no driveways, garages, or loading docks at street level
  • the exterior is detailed and is visually interesting from the street with no blank walls
A nearby "bad" example of a (multi) block long building is the Main Place Mall, which has limited access, no sidewalk accessible commercial storefronts, not a reasonable pass thru (even as a fully occupied mall it wasn't), has a 2-block long dead section of blank walls/driveways/loading areas, and a nearly featureless black exterior. (I am still in awe about "what were they thinking?!?" when Shelton Square was destroyed as the radial street system was interrupted by the placement of the mall and tower).
 
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Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,175
Points
57
1619123818072.png
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,242
Points
71
There's a lot I have to get to in this thread, but first, a house in the neighborhood I grew up in.

409_lasalle.jpg

Despite the current state of the Kensington area, the list price for this house is about the same as what it would have sold for when it was new, adjusted for inflation.

In the early/mid 1920s, new Buffalo-style bungaows built by Kinsey, Giesecke, Wallace, Bickford, Pearce & Pearce, George Saltarelli, Gangnagel, etc., in the Kensington area sold in the $6000 to $8000 range. (A lot of Kensington-area production homebuilders also built the same models in Kenmore, selling them for a $500 to $1000 premium over city locations.)

Prices peaked towards the end of the 1920s. I've seen ads for then-new income bungalows in Kensington with (1928) $10K-$12K price tags, or about $150K-$185K in 2021 dollars.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
Points
46
Here's a tangent: I noticed this house for sale last fall. I grew up across the street and over one house from this particular house. We knew the family. When I was young their son was one of the neighborhood kids we played with. He was.... slow.

Anyway, I looked him up on Facebook, and his sister too, and Friended them. As I feared, the house was on the market because their mom had died (the dad passed some time ago).

It turns out Bobby is doing very well these days. Back then they didn't really have a name for it but as an adult he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. He has a life coach and lives independently more or less. And he's writing children's books! There was actually a feature about him on ABC World News Tonight just this evening!

 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
Points
46
The Bills Mafia is the collective name for Buffalo Bills fandom. They (we?) are known for imbibing mass quantities followed by liquored-up stunts. They are extreme tailgaters. Here's a sample


For some reason, jumping through folding tables became their trademark move. If you search long enough you'll find examples that don't end well (legs bending in exactly the wrong directions, etc.) Fox Sports did a feature on the best fan base in the NFL and the Bills Mafia came in #1.

The last Bills game I attended was at the Cowboys on Thanksgiving 2019. There was a massive Bills tailgate party; an "official" one sponsored by DFW Bills Backers, surrounded by dozens/hundreds of Bills fans doing their own tailgating. Note that Bills fans will tailgate even if they don't have tickets to the game and will party all through the game in the parking lot. Bills fans were in the majority in many sections of the upper bowl and by the end of the game (which the Bills won handily) Bills fans dominated the remaining crowd.

One of the Bills Mafia's points of pride is how well the fans travel with the team. This isn't just people coming from Buffalo; there are Bills Backers organizations all over the country and even the world.

Our local DFW Bills Backers have two official bars, one in a Dallas suburb and one in Fort Worth (Buffalo Bros, which is only a few miles from my house). It was different this year with Covid, but on a typical game day Buffalo Bros is packed with primarily people from western NY and Bills fans from other areas. Coming to Buffalo Bros on a game day is like walking into any local tavern in Buffalo.

Our #1 fan who recently passed away from cancer was from El Paso. He went by the name Pancho Billa:

jrumze6nq89z2cvx1d2w.jpg
 
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Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,242
Points
71
The mid-1990s is often thought of as the beginning of the urban renaissance, and a period of economic growth for the country, yet just the opposite was happening in Buffalo. I know the area was damaged by the collapse of the S&L industry, losing 2 major banks, but what other factors kept the area from continuing the turnaround that had begun?
This was kind of a weird time for Buffalo. I have a few thoughts about what held Buffalo back during a time when the rest of the country was booming.

* Welcome to Buffalo. Please set your watches back 20 years. SIlent Generation / old Baby Boomer "Old Buffalo" culture was still dominant. Outside of Elmwood Village, Buffalo seemed trapped in the 1970s. Ethnic restaurants other than the usual Italian, Polish/German, Indian, and American style Chinese were uncommon. If you weren't Catholic, Polish/Italian/Irish, or from a blue collar background, you could feel like you're on the outside looking in; like there wasn't a place for you in the grand scheme of things.

* There's plenty of jobs! Customer support, debt collection, and more customer support! There was a severe mismatch of jobs to skills in the region. All those folks who worked in the banking sector couldn't just move to an engineering job at Moog or Calspan. There were plenty of back office jobs, but pay was low, and area college candidates had their pick of better opportunities outside of the region. The computer/Internet-based tech sector was nearly nonexistent, and there was no DIY or startup culture to speak of. There were also tens of thousands of unemployed laborers that weren't close to retirement age.

* "The Big E" now meant "The Big Empty". It wasn't just a couple of banks closing, but a near collapse of Buffalo's banking industry. The region lost Buffalo Savings Bank/Goldome, Liberty National Bank, Erie County Savings Bank, Western New York Savings Bank (merged into Goldome), and Permanent Savings Bank. Buffalo also was the headquarters of Marine Midland, which was one of America's largest banks. Marine Midland was controlled by Seymour Knox II; the "Knox" of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It was bought out by HSBC, which gradually shut down all of its Buffalo operations. M&T is Buffalo's last remaining "legacy bank".

As Buffalo's banking industry collapsed, Charlotte grew into the leading financial center of the Southeastern United States. In my opinion, this is what triggered the "Everybody's moving to Charlotte" phenomenon; Buffalonians who once worked for the region's banks found work in North Carolina, and others followed.

* I'll just sell my Corvette and start my own tool factory ... NOT! Heavy industry and large banks don't scale down well. Rochester didn't suffer that much when Kodak went bust, because many of the engineers and techies that worked there pooled their resources and founded new companies. When Stan Szymankowsczyzna got laid off from Bethlehem Steel, he couldn't just sell his boat or Florida condo, rent a few hundred square feet of space, and open up a 22 inch bar mill of his own.

* For us, by us. Buffalo doesn't have a strong culture of entrepreneurship. For example, why does it seem like every restaurant or retailer that gets its start in Columbus, Ohio becomes a regional or national chain, while peer businesses in Buffalo that get so much hype stay small and local? Yeah, I know, chains are teh evil, they're not authentic and real, blah blah blah. However, they often employ hundreds of highly paid professionals at their headquarters. What would be better for Buffalo's economy, a few people working on some pizza makeline in Depew, or this?

Many of Buffalo's iconic stores and restaurants lost out on the chance to go national, and explode their professional employment base back home. Buffalo was the birthplace of the chicken wing, but it's on;y recently that a couple of local wing joints made the effort to franchise. For every thousand (or so) Buffalo Wild Wings or Wingstop locations, there's one Duff's or Anchor Bar. Detroit-style pizza is now everywhere, but Buffalo-style -- which has a strong cult following -- is impossible to find more than 20 miles outside of Buffalo. Except maybe Charlotte, North Carolina, of course. I'm gong to guess that the first national Buffalo-style pizza chain will be based out of good 'ol Columbus, Ohio. Lots of new jobs with six-digit salaries in Dublin or New Albany, and more minimum wage makeline workers for Buffalo.

* Career advancement is a family affair. Fortune 500 companies were (and still are) lacking in Buffalo. This goes way back to the early 1900s, when Buffalo's business leaders were very aggressive in recruiting out-of-town-based industrial operations, but made no effort to foster local startups. then locally owned manufacturing operations reached a certain size, they were usually absorbed into a larger out-of-town-based corporation. The few local companies that broke into the Fortune 500 either folded, or relocated their headquarters.

Small family-owned businesses fill in the void left behind by the lack of major corporations. One thing I heard from a lot of my peers during the 1980s and 1990s was that it's very difficult to break into a job at one of these family-owned businesses, and if you do, upward mobility is impossible. There's a very low glass ceiling, and it's impenetrable to those who aren't family members. You still needed "connections" to find a decent job in a certain field, and all the networking in the world won't help if you aren't a blood relative of the folks at the top. Many had no choice but to leave the area to advance their careers.

* Curb appeal? What's that? Buffalo looked tired and shopworn Overcast skies, closed factories, far more neighborhoods in decline than on the rise, rusty bridges, rusty cars, few new buildings -- outside of a few select neighborhoods, the place still felt gloomy. This feeling hit hard anytime I flew into Buffalo from ... anywhere else, really. Leave the airport, and the first thing you see is ... Genesee Street and billboards. Drive out of any mid-sized city airport, and you'll probably follow an attractive landscaped street or parkway for a while. Buffalo's expressways pass alongside high voltage power lines, industrial areas, and neighborhoods that have seen too much vinyl siding, Insulbrick, and Dutch Elm Disease for their own good. Buffalo is not good at making first impressions, and some great pre-WWII architecture doesn't make up for the post-industrial landscape.

In many ways, much of the Buffalo area still feels tired. Compare the commercial streetscapes of suburban Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany to suburban Buffalo. Sure, the bulk of residential streets in suburban Buffalo have curbs, tree lawns, and sidewalks, something that's more of the exception than the norm in upstate New York. The commercial areas, though, look far less polished. Architectural design standards, billboard and portable sign prohibitions, low sign height limits, service area and rooftop mechanical screening requirements, and site and parking lot landscaping requirements, are weak or nonexistent in suburban Buffalo. Many busy commercial corridors are blighted with overhead utiliies, utilitarian 1950s-era retail buildings shopping centers in key locations, and a lack of access management or landscaping.

Sheridan Drive was supposed to be a grand residential boulevard, but thanks to the lack of zoning after it was built, it became a home to hot dog stands, strip plazas, and Class C medical office space. Decades of comprehensive plans made the plea -- "don't strip out Transit Road" -- yet that's just what we did. New York State now has to spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the mess from years of incremental "just one more lot" commercial rezoning,
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
Points
46
If you weren't Catholic, Polish/Italian/Irish, or from a blue collar background, you could feel like you're on the outside looking in; like there wasn't a place for you in the grand scheme of things.
This is how we... or more accurately, my wife... felt when we lived in Detroit during the 1990s. As a sober WASP she just didn't feel like she fit in.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
Points
46
When Stan Szymankowsczyzna got laid off from Bethlehem Steel, he couldn't just sell his boat or Florida condo, rent a few hundred square feet of space, and open up a 22 inch bar mill of his own.
My uncle actually hung on with Bethlehem into the 2000s when he finally retired. He became a process consultant and went to plants that used steel, primarily automotive, to help them with problems they encountered. He retired from there some years ago.
 

The Terminator

Cyburbian
Messages
1,736
Points
25
This is how we... or more accurately, my wife... felt when we lived in Detroit during the 1990s. As a sober WASP she just didn't feel like she fit in.
What about in the Grosse Points ? :p
"Old Buffalo" culture was still prevalent. Outside of Elmwood Village, Buffalo seemed trapped in the 1970s. Ethnic restaurants other than the usual Italian, Polish/German, Indian, and American style Chinese were uncommon. If you weren't Catholic, Polish/Italian/Irish, or from a blue collar background, you could feel like you're on the outside looking in; like there wasn't a place for you in the grand scheme of things.
^This. This is the Buffalo I love and want to preserve, but minus the racism and with a proper and just place for Buffalonians of Color (BUFPOC). Urban class conciousness. I want the tech bros, venture capitalists, hot yogi's and oat milk drinkers i.e. the ultra rich, the union busters, the big developers etc. to not feel welcome in Buffalo.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
This was kind of a weird time for Buffalo. I have a few thoughts about what held Buffalo back during a time when the rest of the country was booming.

* "Old Buffalo" culture was still prevalent. Outside of Elmwood Village, Buffalo seemed trapped in the 1970s. Ethnic restaurants other than the usual Italian, Polish/German, Indian, and American style Chinese were uncommon. If you weren't Catholic, Polish/Italian/Irish, or from a blue collar background, you could feel like you're on the outside looking in; like there wasn't a place for you in the grand scheme of things.

* There was a severe mismatch of jobs to skills in the region. All those folks who worked in the banking sector couldn't just move to an engineering job at Moog or Calspan. There were plenty of back office jobs, but pay was low, and area college candidates had their pick of better opportunities outside of the region. The computer/Internet-based tech sector was nearly nonexistent, and there was no DIY or startup culture to speak of. There were also tens of thousands of unemployed laborers that weren't close to retirement age.

* It wasn't just a couple of banks closing, but a near collapse of Buffalo's banking industry. The region lost Buffalo Savings Bank/Goldome, Liberty National Bank, The Big E, Western New York Savings Bank (merged into Goldome), and Permanent Savings Bank. Buffalo also was the headquarters of Marine Midland, which was one of America's largest banks. Marine Midland was controlled by Seymour Knox II; the "Knox" of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It was bought out by HSBC, which gradually shut down all of its Buffalo operations. M&T is Buffalo's last remaining "legacy bank".

* Heavy industry and large banks don't scale down well. Rochester didn't suffer that much when Kodak went bust, because many of the engineers and techies that worked there pooled their resources and founded new companies. When Stan Szymankowsczyzna got laid off from Bethlehem Steel, he couldn't just sell his boat or Florida condo, rent a few hundred square feet of space, and open up a 22 inch bar mill of his own.

* Somewhat related to the last bullet point: Buffalo doesn't have a strong culture of entrepreneurship. Why does it seem like every restaurant or retailer that gets its start in Columbus, Ohio becomes a regional or national chain, while the stores and restaurants in Buffalo that get so much hype stay small and local? Yeah, I know, chains are teh evil, but they often employ hundreds of highly paid professionals at their headquarters. What would be better for Buffalo's economy, a few people working on some pizza makeline in Tonawanda, or this?

Otherwise, businesses that got their start in Buffalo tend to get taken over by out-of-town interests when they reach a certain size.

* Fortune 500 companies were (and still are) lacking in Buffalo. Small family-owned businesses fill in the void left behind by the major corporations that employ a large part of the population in other peer cities. One thing I heard from a lot of my peers during the 1980s and 1990s was that it's very difficult to break into a job at one of these family-owned businesses, and if you do, upward mobility is impossible. There's a very low glass ceiling, and it's impenetrable to those who aren't family members. You still needed "connections" to find a decent job in a certain field, and all the networking in the world won't help if you aren't a blood relative of the folks at the top. Many had no choice but to leave the area to advance their careers.

* Buffalo looked tired and depressed. Overcast skies, closed factories, far more neighborhoods in decline than on the rise, rusty bridges, rusty cars, few new buildings -- outside of a few select neighborhoods, the place still felt gloomy. This feeling hit hard anytime I flew into Buffalo from ... anywhere else, really. Leave the airport, and the first thing you see is ... Genesee Street and billboards. Drive out of any mid-sized city airport, and you'll probably follow an attractive landscaped street or parkway for a while. Buffalo's expressways pass alongside high voltage power lines, industrial areas, and neighborhoods that have seen much better days. Buffalo is not good at making first impressions.

In many ways, much of the Buffalo area still feels tired and post-industrial. Compare the commercial streetscapes of suburban Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany to suburban Buffalo. Sure, the bulk of residential streets in suburban Buffalo have curbs, tree lawns, and sidewalks, something that's more of the exception than the norm in upstate New York. The commercial areas, though, look far less polished. Architectural design standards, billboard and portable sign prohibitions, low sign height limits, service area and rooftop mechanical screening requirements, and site and parking lot landscaping requirements, are weak or nonexistent in suburban Buffalo. Decades of comprehensive plans made the plea -- "don't strip out Transit Road" -- yet that's just what we did. New York State now has to spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the mess resulting from years of incremental "just one more lot" commercial rezoning,
It sucks to be a poor city because things aren't as shiny as they are in (some) richer cities (if you think Buffalo and its suburbs feel tired and post industrial, 2/3 of my former high growth city of Houston and suburbs are way more depressing). I think this "old Buffalo" thing is just a poor excuse (pun intended) for issues in the city. Its blaming the victims for the crime.

Every city has its own version of insular locals and "good old boy" networks - and it wasn't the Polish/Irish/Italian/Black/Jewish neighborhood people that operated and managed the city's commercial and industrial businesses, ran the Fortune 500 companies, or made the decisions that impacted the jobs and salaries of the area's citizens.

After looking at all of the data I could find about the 90s, I'm leaning more toward thinking that the changes in demographics in the 70s and 80s as the primary cause of the decline in the 90s and oughts. I recall reading from somewhere that in the 1980s the area lost over 50,000 people between the age of 20 and 40 - prime ages for child bearing. A whole generation was lost, and as a result fewer children were born in the 90s and 00s. That meant fewer teachers, medical services, food and clothing demand, housing needs, etc. Growth generates more growth. A city can't lose tens of thousands of steel and related industry jobs in such a short period of time without running out of replacement jobs, especially at decent wages. I was only able to find labor data starting in the 90s, and it didn't look like there were any major significant losses in any job sector throughout the 90s, with even manufacturing somewhat steady during the decade (although it dropped by about half in the 00s). But there was nearly zero growth in any sector, even though population was still marginally increasing through the early 90s.

Family connections became strong because there were no jobs. I was in my 20s before I saw my first "Help Wanted" sign - in Texas. I thought "Help Wanted" signs were things that only existed in cartoons and old movies, that they didn't exist in real life.

As far as entrepreneurship goes, Buffalo has never had a lack of entrepreneurs at the local level as the job market forced many people to essentially create their own work. Many many small and independent businesses operate throughout the area. The lack of chain stores is well known. But there was definitely a lack of investment and growth. Maybe some was due to a lack of vision, or lack of visibility, but anecdotally nearly everyone that I know has a primary or side business of some sort.

Also never spoken of, is (in my opinion) a very large and strong underground economy in this city - many cash-only businesses operating legally and illegally. In some ways, this underground economy hindered legal investment and development, either by having limited growth (small size, locally operated), siphoning from legal businesses, or discouraging legal development as competition (mob-related business stranglehold). But, there is a lot of money changing hands in this city that is unaccounted for. Any international border city does not live by the legal economy alone, if you know what I'm saying.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
Points
46
I recall reading from somewhere that in the 1980s the area lost over 50,000 people between the age of 20 and 40
That would include me. I went to college out of the area in the early 80s but was still based in Buffalo (Cheektowaga actually) when not in college. When I graduated in 1984 at age 21, I moved to Los Angeles and never (so far anyway) lived in Buffalo again.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
That would include me. I went to college out of the area in the early 80s but was still based in Buffalo (Cheektowaga actually) when not in college. When I graduated in 1984 at age 21, I moved to Los Angeles and never (so far anyway) lived in Buffalo again.
I was one, as was my sister and her husband. I left with 4 friends to Texas, served my time, and then moved back permanently a couple years ago. Of the 4 friends, 3 moved back to Buffalo over the years, along with myself, and altogether brought an additional 10 people not originally from Buffalo.

I am very curious what the Buffalo area numbers will show in the Census, especially as the NY actual count exceeded estimates by more than 800k. The metro area was already close to being slightly positive growth with current estimates.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
A fact-or-fiction question.

Is Rochester really more "white collar" than Buffalo in 2021? Or is this just one more ghost of a collective memory of the days when Bethlehem Steel and Kodak were each city's largest employers? I mean, Rochester has actually shown more Manufacturing employment than Buffalo for several years now, and Buffalo has a good number of finance, banking, and insurance operations in the area.

Not sure how it is even quantified anymore.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,242
Points
71
Is Rochester really more "white collar" than Buffalo in 2021? Or is this just one more ghost of a collective memory of the days when Bethlehem Steel and Kodak were each city's largest employers? I mean, Rochester has actually shown more Manufacturing employment than Buffalo for several years now, and Buffalo has a good number of finance, banking, and insurance operations in the area.
According to the US Department of Labor, as of May 2018, Rochester is slightly more white collar than Buffalo. The table shows percent of total employment by major occupational group.

Major occupational group
Buffalo
Rochester
USA
Total, all occupations
100.0​
100.0​
100.0​
Management πŸ‡·
4.0​
4.3
5.3​
Business and financial operations πŸ…±οΈ
4.7
4.3​
5.3​
Computer and mathematical πŸ‡·
2.7​
3.5
3.0​
Architecture and engineering πŸ‡·
1.3​
2.2
1.8​
Life, physical, and social science πŸ…±οΈ
0.9
0.6​
0.8​
Community and social service πŸ‡·
2.0​
2.4
1.5​
Legal πŸ…±οΈ
0.9
0.7​
0.8​
Education, training, and library πŸ‡·
7.1​
8.8
6.1​
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media πŸ…±οΈ
1.1​
1.2
1.3​
Healthcare practitioners and technical πŸ‡·
6.6​
6.8
6.0​
Healthcare support πŸ‡·
2.6​
3.1
2.8​
Protective service πŸ…±οΈ
2.7
2.1​
2.4​
Food preparation and serving related πŸ…±οΈ
9.8
8.5​
9.2​
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance πŸ‡·
3.0​
3.2
3.1​
Personal care and service πŸ…±οΈ
4.5
4.1​
3.8​
Sales and related πŸ…±οΈ
10.1
9.6​
10.0​
Office and administrative support πŸ…±οΈ
16.4
15.7​
15.1​
Farming, fishing, and forestry πŸ‡·
<0.1​
0.1
0.3​
Construction and extraction πŸ…±οΈ
3.6
3.5​
4.1​
Installation, maintenance, and repair πŸ…±οΈ
3.8
3.6​
3.9​
Production πŸ…±οΈ
6.4
6.6​
6.3​
Transportation and material moving πŸ…±οΈ
5.9
5.2​
7.1​

For Februrary 2021, for the mining/logging/construction, manufacturing, and trade/transportation/utilities sectors:

Buffalo: 161,100 out of 508,600 nonfarm workers: 31.7%
Rochester
: 155.100 out of 497,300 nonfarm workers: 31.2%

That being said, I still think Buffalo is far more blue collar from a cultural standpoint. I have a gut feeling that the blue collar aspect of Buffalo's economy is "heavier" and "dirtier" than that of Rochester's economy.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
According to the US Department of Labor, as of May 2018, Rochester is slightly more white collar than Buffalo. The table shows percent of total employment by major occupational group.

Major occupational group
Buffalo
Rochester
USA
Total, all occupations
100.0​
100.0​
100.0​
Management πŸ…‘
4.0​
4.3
5.3​
Business and financial operations πŸ…±
4.7
4.3​
5.3​
Computer and mathematical πŸ…‘
2.7​
3.5
3.0​
Architecture and engineering πŸ…‘
1.3​
2.2
1.8​
Life, physical, and social science πŸ…±
0.9
0.6​
0.8​
Community and social service πŸ…‘
2.0​
2.4
1.5​
Legal πŸ…±
0.9
0.7​
0.8​
Education, training, and library πŸ…‘
7.1​
8.8
6.1​
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media πŸ…±
1.1​
1.2
1.3​
Healthcare practitioners and technical πŸ…‘
6.6​
6.8
6.0​
Healthcare support πŸ…‘
2.6​
3.1
2.8​
Protective service πŸ…±
2.7
2.1​
2.4​
Food preparation and serving related πŸ…±
9.8
8.5​
9.2​
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance πŸ…‘
3.0​
3.2
3.1​
Personal care and service πŸ…±
4.5
4.1​
3.8​
Sales and related πŸ…±
10.1
9.6​
10.0​
Office and administrative support πŸ…±
16.4
15.7​
15.1​
Farming, fishing, and forestry πŸ…‘
<0.1​
0.1
0.3​
Construction and extraction πŸ…±
3.6
3.5​
4.1​
Installation, maintenance, and repair πŸ…±
3.8
3.6​
3.9​
Production πŸ…±
6.4
6.6​
6.3​
Transportation and material moving πŸ…±
5.9
5.2​
7.1​

For Februrary 2021, for the mining/logging/construction, manufacturing, and trade/transportation/utilities sectors:

Buffalo: 161,100 out of 508,600 nonfarm workers: 31.7%
Rochester
: 155.100 out of 497,300 nonfarm workers: 31.2%

That being said, I still think Buffalo is far more blue collar from a cultural standpoint. I have a gut feeling that the blue collar aspect of Buffalo's economy is "heavier" and "dirtier" than that of Rochester's economy.
One observation by my Texas relatives (that I am certainly aware of but had taken for granted) was that unlike in Texas, "white" people here perform common manual labor jobs - framers, roofers, construction, lawn maintenance, etc - unlike places in the south where they usually do not. In Texas, at least where I lived, manual labor was regarded as low class - ie something a "white" person would never do. I hate to make race or origin a part of it, but that's bluntly how it is perceived, and in those terms, by nearly everyone. I was the only person on my street who cut his own lawn (our lawn was VERY tiny), and more than once older hispanic women (and occasionally others) would look at me like they had never seen a person like me work like this before - one even stopped and stated it. One older neighbor said he remembered cutting his lawn "as a kid."

Is THAT what gives Buffalo a cultural blue collar feel - that its not "others" doing the laboring? Is Rochester any different (or places like Pittsburgh with a low number of immigrants)?

I know Buffalo had a lot of "dirty" industries in the past, but the last of the coal-burning factories and power plants are gone now, as are basically ALL of the basic iron and steel production facilities and refineries. I don't even think there are any active smokestacks in the city limits anymore.
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,523
Points
25
One observation by my Texas relatives (that I am certainly aware of but had taken for granted) was that unlike in Texas, "white" people here perform common manual labor jobs - framers, roofers, construction, lawn maintenance, etc - unlike places in the south where they usually do not. In Texas, at least where I lived, manual labor was regarded as low class - ie something a "white" person would never do. I hate to make race or origin a part of it, but that's bluntly how it is perceived, and in those terms, by nearly everyone. I was the only person on my street who cut his own lawn (our lawn was VERY tiny), and more than once older hispanic women (and occasionally others) would look at me like they had never seen a person like me work like this before - one even stopped and stated it. One older neighbor said he remembered cutting his lawn "as a kid."

Is THAT what gives Buffalo a cultural blue collar feel - that its not "others" doing the laboring? Is Rochester any different (or places like Pittsburgh with a low number of immigrants)?

I know Buffalo had a lot of "dirty" industries in the past, but the last of the coal-burning factories and power plants are gone now, as are basically ALL of the basic iron and steel production facilities and refineries. I don't even think there are any active smokestacks in the city limits anymore.
Chicago is like that too. Well construction has a lot of Polish immigrants and I'd imagine the higher paying union jobs tend to be more native born whites but we really don't have the white blue collar culture here in the city anymore. Off hand I think they were exiled to the exurbs a generation or two ago.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
11,934
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Chicago is like that too. Well construction has a lot of Polish immigrants and I'd imagine the higher paying union jobs tend to be more native born whites but we really don't have the white blue collar culture here in the city anymore. Off hand I think they were exiled to the exurbs a generation or two ago.
When you think of the blue collar/immigrant culture, think Da Bears and the Cubs until the 2000s along with the movie the Blues Brothers.

They moved out to the 'burbs and NW Indiana. NW Indiana had a strong blue collar and immigrant vibe to it. I'm not sure if it still does.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,778
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46
One observation by my Texas relatives (that I am certainly aware of but had taken for granted) was that unlike in Texas, "white" people here perform common manual labor jobs - framers, roofers, construction, lawn maintenance, etc - unlike places in the south where they usually do not.
The barrio here in Fort Worth feels comfortable to me, kind of like Lackawanna. Hell, even the tejano music they play reminds me of Polish polkas. I've mentioned it before, but if you go east and north from my house, you get into the edge of that barrio. I actually feel more comfortable around working class people that rich people in general, probably part of my Cheektowaga ethos.
 

ExRocketSci

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Messages
33
Points
2
The barrio here in Fort Worth feels comfortable to me, kind of like Lackawanna. Hell, even the tejano music they play reminds me of Polish polkas. I've mentioned it before, but if you go east and north from my house, you get into the edge of that barrio. I actually feel more comfortable around working class people that rich people in general, probably part of my Cheektowaga ethos.
The Mexican polkas for sure reminded me of the polkas my mother used to listen to back in the day, when the Polish polkas here were way more lively with upbeat tempos, not the oompah crap music polkas morphed to especially as the musicians and audience got older. When I was a little kid my mother would try to teach me to dance in the kitchen, telling me "How are you going to meet any girls if you don't dance the polka?"

I think the NorteΓ±a music was one of the best parts of Texas, as I was never a big fan of Texas Country music.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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My wife and I took a dance class years ago. Polka was one of the steps they taught us. We were not good learners. I got it pretty well but my wife isn't ethnic enough ;)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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I know Buffalo had a lot of "dirty" industries in the past, but the last of the coal-burning factories and power plants are gone now, as are basically ALL of the basic iron and steel production facilities and refineries. I don't even think there are any active smokestacks in the city limits anymore.
The Buffalo area still has:
I can't say Rochester has anything approaching half or a quarter of that amount of heavy or "dirty" industry.

Buffalo still has many of the relics of the heavy industry it lost over the past 50-60 years. Even as physical evidence of heavy industry slowly disappears, the influence on the region's larger culture, landscape, development pattern, and environment will likely be around for centuries. Consider this: drive along any expressway in Rochester, and odds are you'll be passing through leafy middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, and leafy suburban office parks. Billboards are rare. Drive on Buffalo's expressway system, and the bulk of what you'll see are industrial landscapes and working class neighborhoods; much like driving through northwest Indiana.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
The Buffalo area still has:
I can't say Rochester has anything approaching half or a quarter of that amount of heavy or "dirty" industry.

Buffalo still has many of the relics of the heavy industry it lost over the past 50-60 years. Even as physical evidence of heavy industry slowly disappears, the influence on the region's larger culture, landscape, development pattern, and environment will likely be around for centuries. Consider this: drive along any expressway in Rochester, and odds are you'll be passing through leafy middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, and leafy suburban office parks. Billboards are rare. Drive on Buffalo's expressway system, and the bulk of what you'll see are industrial landscapes and working class neighborhoods; much like driving through northwest Indiana.
I dunno about the last paragraph here. I wouldn't say its close to the bulk of what you'll see. A couple of miles of 190 in Tonawanda, the 90 between Walden and the 190, and a couple of miles of the 190 on the East Side is pretty much all of the industrial side of the city from the expressways.

The 400 is mostly wooded, as is the 219 with some glimpses of middle-upper neighborhoods.
The Kensington passes no industries, runs through some middle and historical neighborhoods, and along rocky cutouts, and gives a good entrance to downtown and medical center.
The Scajaquada goes through some of the most expensive homes and best parts of the city, although some legacy industrial (which is quickly being rehabilitated or replaced)
The 290 goes through woods along with middle-upper middle areas, the only industrial is at the 190 junction in Tonawanda.
The 990 is wooded suburban
Route 5 (Skyway) is legacy industrial, but once in the city limits is the best views of the lake and downtown from a car, with Tifft Farm nature preserve on one side.
Even the 190 has good river views, good views in and approaching downtown from either direction, and the "working class industrial" is being transformed with all of the renovations and restorations in Larkinville, Canalside, and Buffalo River areas.

The 90 skews the perception of Buffalo, and actually never crosses into the city limits. But, I'll agree that 90 gives the worst first impression.

I wonder how many people claim that they have "seen" Buffalo who never left I-90?
 
Last edited:

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
You dissed Cheektowaga, didn't you? Cuz it feels like you just dissed Cheektowaga.

Nah. Every town has its good and bad parts.

It just needs a little help with its introduction - whether driving in from the Amtrak station on Dick Road, driving in from the South on I90, or coming into town from the airport, most people's first impression, usually when they go to the Galleria, isn't necessarily the most flattering.

I still have older relatives in Cheektowaga, so I do visit once in awhile.
 

jsk1983

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Messages
2,523
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25
Nah. Every town has its good and bad parts.

It just needs a little help with its introduction - whether driving in from the Amtrak station on Dick Road, driving in from the South on I90, or coming into town from the airport, most people's first impression, usually when they go to the Galleria, isn't necessarily the most flattering.

I still have older relatives in Cheektowaga, so I do visit once in awhile.
Transit Road in East Amherst/Clarence isn't particularly attractive either.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
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19,242
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More on Buffalo's blue collar feel vs Rochester:

From the US Census 2019 American Community Survey: people reporting ancestry, 5 year estimate. The ACS has a limited sample size, so even for the five year estimate there could be a relatively margin of error.

Buffalo metro
%
Rochester metro
%
Total
1,130,175​
1,072,877​
Afghan πŸ‡·
229​
0.02%​
469
0.04%
Albanian πŸ‡·
829​
0.07%​
936
0.09%
Alsatian πŸ…±οΈ
231
0.02%
52​
0.00%​
American πŸ‡·
44,639​
3.95%​
50,295
4.69%
Arab πŸ…±οΈ
14,246
1.26%
6,027​
0.56%​
Armenian πŸ…±οΈ
801
0.07%
728​
0.07%​
Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac πŸ…±οΈ
26
0.00%
12​
0.00%​
Australian πŸ‡·
222​
0.02%​
252
0.02%
Austrian πŸ‡·
2,584​
0.23%​
2,621
0.24%
Basque πŸ‡·
8​
0.00%​
49
0.00%
Belgian πŸ‡·
580​
0.05%​
1,430
0.13%
Brazilian πŸ‡·
395​
0.03%​
725
0.07%
British πŸ‡·
3,770​
0.33%​
6,831
0.64%
Bulgarian πŸ…±οΈ
414
0.04%
177​
0.02%​
Cajun πŸ…±οΈ
132
0.01%
9​
0.00%​
Canadian πŸ…±οΈ
4,311
0.38%​
3,792​
0.35%​
Carpatho Rusyn πŸ…±οΈ
24
0.00%
19​
0.00%​
Celtic πŸ…±οΈ
260
0.02%
133​
0.01%​
Croatian πŸ…±οΈ
2,142
0.19%
556​
0.05%​
Cypriot πŸ‡·
0​
0.00%​
81
0.01%
Czech πŸ‡·
1,684​
0.15%​
2,464
0.23%
Czechoslovakian πŸ…±οΈ
985
0.09%
918​
0.09%​
Danish πŸ‡·
1,373​
0.12%​
3,639
0.34%
Dutch πŸ‡·
9,776​
0.86%​
35,798
3.34%
Eastern European πŸ‡·
2,815​
0.25%​
2,986
0.28%
English πŸ‡·
82,116​
7.27%​
117,466
10.95%
Estonian πŸ‡·
159​
0.01%​
279
0.03%
European πŸ‡·
9,550​
0.85%​
14,346
1.34%
Finnish πŸ‡·
927​
0.08%​
1,226
0.11%
French (except Basque) πŸ‡·
27,384​
2.42%​
30,365
2.83%
French Canadian πŸ‡·
8,447​
0.75%​
10,724
1.00%
German πŸ…±οΈ
265,373
23.48%
202,727​
18.90%​
German Russian πŸ‡·
47​
0.00%​
103
0.01%
Greek πŸ‡·
4,810​
0.43%​
5,243
0.49%
Guyanese πŸ‡·
498​
0.04%​
702
0.07%
Hungarian πŸ…±οΈ
10,017
0.89%
4,951​
0.46%​
Icelander πŸ…±οΈ
144
0.01%
36​
0.00%​
Iranian πŸ…±οΈ
931
0.08%
452​
0.04%​
Irish πŸ…±οΈ
184,946
16.36%
161,361​
15.04%​
Israeli πŸ…±οΈ
300
0.03%
259​
0.02%​
Italian πŸ‡·
177,625​
15.72%​
169,057
15.76%
Latvian πŸ‡·
297​
0.03%​
339
0.03%
Lithuanian πŸ‡·
1,703​
0.15%​
3,009
0.28%
Luxembourger πŸ‡·
25​
0.00%​
47
0.00%
Macedonian πŸ‡·
562​
0.05%​
916
0.09%
Maltese πŸ‡·
53​
0.00%​
245
0.02%
New Zealander πŸ‡·
0​
0.00%​
65
0.01%
Northern European πŸ‡·
574​
0.05%​
1,419
0.13%
Norwegian πŸ‡·
3,623​
0.32%​
3,890
0.36%
Pennsylvania German πŸ‡·
522​
0.05%​
1,494
0.14%
Polish πŸ…±οΈ
181,328
16.04%
51,328​
4.78%​
Portuguese πŸ‡·
1,117​
0.10%​
2,347
0.22%
Romanian πŸ‡·
813​
0.07%​
805
0.08%
Russian πŸ…±οΈ
9,173
0.81%
8,336​
0.78%​
Scandinavian πŸ‡·
1,372​
0.12%​
1,534
0.14%
Scotch-IrishπŸ‡·
5,361​
0.47%​
6,262
0.58%
Scottish πŸ‡·
17,942​
1.59%​
19,614
1.83%
Serbian πŸ…±οΈ
1,427
0.13%
281​
0.03%​
Slavic πŸ…±οΈ
830
0.07%
434​
0.04%​
Slovak πŸ…±οΈ
1,516
0.13%
993​
0.09%​
Slovene πŸ…±οΈ
299
0.03%
208​
0.02%​
Subsaharan African πŸ…±οΈ
10,771
0.95%
9,126​
0.85%​
Swedish πŸ‡·
8,353​
0.74%​
8,488
0.79%​
Swiss πŸ‡·
1,644​
0.15%​
3,895
0.36%
Turkish πŸ‡·
889​
0.08%​
2,755
0.26%
Ukrainian πŸ‡·
7,682​
0.68%​
11,237
1.05%
Welsh πŸ‡·
6,230​
0.55%​
7,320
0.68%
West Indian (except Hispanic groups): πŸ‡·
5,590​
0.49%​
10,277
0.96%
Yugoslavian πŸ‡·
879​
0.08%​
1,417
0.13%
Other groups πŸ‡·
246,688​
21.83%​
239,878
22.36%
Unclassified or not reported πŸ‡·
149,132​
13.20%​
188,915
17.61%
(Asian alone or in combination with one or other races) πŸ…±οΈ
40,968
3.62%
37,288​
3.47%​
(Black alone or in combination with one or other races) πŸ…±οΈ
155,194
13.73%
139,797​
13.03%​

With a higher percentage of German-Americans and Polish-Americans among its population,. Bufflao's ethnic demographics more closely resemble Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Milwaukee than cities of the Northeastern US. Rochester has a noticably higher percentage of "unclassified/not reported", and those of English and Dutch descent. The higher percentage of "minor" ethnic groups (Belgian, Danish, Swiss, Turkish, Portuguese, etc) in the Rochester area seems to compensate for the lack of Polish-Americans.

The big surprise looking at this: I expected Rochester to be off the charts with its Italian-American population, but for every ACS year I checked, the percentages were comparable to or just slightly higher than Buffalo. FWIW, Syracuse out-Irishes Buffalo and Rochester, with 20.3% of its population wearin' o' the green.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,242
Points
71
And a little further down.

My childhood neighborhood from da' Tirdytree. And another view.

This is about as industrial as it gets along an expressway in Rochester -- a very short stretch of the 490 east of the 390. There's a mile or so of light industry and logistics along the 390 in Henrietta, and a short stretch of NY 390 lined by light industry south of Ridge Road. A little bit of this near the airport, and that's about all. Otherwise, most of the scenery along Rochester's expresways looks like this, this, or this.

Meanwhile, in and around Buffalo ...

https://goo.gl/maps/fkMAK9MPZUPGCWKu7
https://goo.gl/maps/4ekL7GEFEoLFT8ya8
https://goo.gl/maps/4J7MmiC25q7Y5Y4H9
https://goo.gl/maps/iVM6oYLquerQi54P9
https://goo.gl/maps/R6cfgn2o1UUCLnJN8
https://goo.gl/maps/soRdMovuXDdtyUdu7
https://goo.gl/maps/nmvg6jwaXXTu5xZk6
https://goo.gl/maps/1n1QJWxWbbsdvtk18
https://goo.gl/maps/RJ5joaxRxrrumhAn6 (a well-off neighborhood, believe it or not)
https://goo.gl/maps/5fpHh168TUt2Mw6J8
https://goo.gl/maps/xRg1gtk7SnKMGmtBA
https://goo.gl/maps/MUWrUWHjAEQEyQ226
https://goo.gl/maps/Ds1YEqzPzRhkK9yy5
https://goo.gl/maps/i1HqyKdK2ETZjoZk6 (What's the National Highway Beautification Act? I know nuttin'.)
https://goo.gl/maps/JHvXbKAQ1ie3uAwP6 (And on the other side of of the highway ...)
https://goo.gl/maps/Y3ref9MxE3YLQARu9
https://goo.gl/maps/2iRLQQebLiUrMYMc6 (The "Niagara Scenic Parkway")
https://goo.gl/maps/Rs3pYKdN1pqgSPBs5 (Yup.)
https://goo.gl/maps/eJyf5JGtfvUih8QAA (Not one, not two, but three landfills!)

Buffalo is "home home", and I'm an urban patriot of sorts when it comes to the city. However, the area really looks awful from the highway.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
And a little further down.

My childhood neighborhood from da' Tirdytree. And another view.

This is about as industrial as it gets along an expressway in Rochester -- a very short stretch of the 490 east of the 390. There's a mile or so of light industry and logistics along the 390 in Henrietta, and a short stretch of NY 390 lined by light industry south of Ridge Road. A little bit of this near the airport, and that's about all. Otherwise, most of the scenery along Rochester's expresways looks like this, this, or this.

Meanwhile, in and around Buffalo ...

https://goo.gl/maps/fkMAK9MPZUPGCWKu7
https://goo.gl/maps/4ekL7GEFEoLFT8ya8
https://goo.gl/maps/4J7MmiC25q7Y5Y4H9
https://goo.gl/maps/iVM6oYLquerQi54P9
https://goo.gl/maps/R6cfgn2o1UUCLnJN8
https://goo.gl/maps/soRdMovuXDdtyUdu7
https://goo.gl/maps/nmvg6jwaXXTu5xZk6
https://goo.gl/maps/1n1QJWxWbbsdvtk18
https://goo.gl/maps/RJ5joaxRxrrumhAn6 (a well-off neighborhood, believe it or not)
https://goo.gl/maps/5fpHh168TUt2Mw6J8
https://goo.gl/maps/xRg1gtk7SnKMGmtBA
https://goo.gl/maps/MUWrUWHjAEQEyQ226
https://goo.gl/maps/Ds1YEqzPzRhkK9yy5
https://goo.gl/maps/i1HqyKdK2ETZjoZk6 (What's the National Highway Beautification Act? I know nuttin'.)
https://goo.gl/maps/JHvXbKAQ1ie3uAwP6 (And on the other side of of the highway ...)
https://goo.gl/maps/Y3ref9MxE3YLQARu9
https://goo.gl/maps/2iRLQQebLiUrMYMc6 (The "Niagara Scenic Parkway")
https://goo.gl/maps/Rs3pYKdN1pqgSPBs5 (Yup.)
https://goo.gl/maps/eJyf5JGtfvUih8QAA (Not one, not two, but three landfills!)

Buffalo is "home home", and I'm an urban patriot of sorts when it comes to the city. However, the area really looks awful from the highway.
Maybe I've been numbed by living in Houston, but the highways in Buffalo just don't sink to their level.
Gulf Freeway (I 45)
Pasadena Freeway (TX 225)
East Loop
Sam Houston Tollway
East Freeway
And more endless miles of this
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,242
Points
71
Maybe I've been numbed by living in Houston, but the highways in Buffalo just don't sink to their level.
Just saying the word "Houston" made me know what to expect. I thought the 10 through El Paso was bad enough, especially the part where it runs along the Mexican border. Based on my experience driving on the Katy, 45, and even the 610 loop, though ... you have a point. Texas, and especially Houston, has a thing for big, tall signs and billboards along its freeways. (Killeen may be worse, with dense sign clutter that extends onto its surface roads.) Even though I worked in Texas for a year, I really don't know why that aesthetic is so prominent in the state.. Maybe the combination of frontage roads that turn freeways into suburban strips on steroids, combined with a culture of being "business friendly", I dunno.

zone_d_erotica.jpg

Based on my time in NM and the Austin area, the very rough parallels to Upstate New York's metropolitan areas in Texas could be:
  • Buffalo / NF = Houston
  • Rochester = Dallas (north of the 30, more so)
  • Ithaca = Austin (south end, mostly)
  • Syracuse = Fort Worth, maybe? (Just as some see Syracuse as the "most Upstate" of Upstate metros, many see Fort Worth as the "most Texas" of Texas cities.)
  • Utica = no idea.
  • Albany = no place. Albany is too New Englandy to be compared to anywhere in Texas.
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,523
Points
25
Did you know why there is a Dick Road in Cheektowaga? Because P@nis Drive was too obscene.


By the way: I, too, am an ex-rocket scientist.
But Chicago has three streets that rhyme with the female anatomy...
Mulva St, Delores Street...

Or possibly Melvina, Lunt and Paulina...
 
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