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Places 🏙️ Buffalo New Yorkers, represent

Dan

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I don't know what made me think of this just now. I wonder if, for a city its size, Buffalo was unusual in having relatively large, busy shopping districts outside of the downtown core. I'm not talking about collections of neighborhood stores, or post-WWII shopping plazas, but rather something like a secondary downtown, having a wide range of retail and commercial services, including large full service department stores.

Buffalo's secondary downtowns didn't have skylines, but they had a level of commercial activity that might rival the downtown of a smaller city. One such district, the mere mention of which can drive local Boomers into weepy fits of nostalgia, is the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. It once has three large full-service department stores, Sattler's, Kobacker's, and Sears. The area served as Bufflao's Akihabara, with several very large furniture stores, and dozens of smaller appliance and TV/radio stores. There was also the Broadway Market, and a few hundred smaller merchants. The surrounding neighborhood had a density approaching 40,000 residents per square mile, but almost no apartment buildings. Most residents lived in worker's cottages, telescoping houses, and two-flats, on narrow lots that often had full-sized front and rear houses.

broadway_fillmore_01.jpg


broadway_fillmore_02.jpg


broadway_fillmore_03.jpg


The Broadway-Fillmore shopping district catered largely to bargain hunters, and working and lower middle class shoppers. It remained a viable shopping district into the 1970s, but the rapidly aging population (with accompanying limited incomes) in the neighborhood, racial and socioeconomic transition of East Side neighborhoods to the north, competition from suburban shopping districts (and, at the time, downtown), and a changing retail climate added up to inevitable decline.

The Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood is now Buffalo's emptiest expanse of urban prairie. The Broadway Market is still there, but attracts relatively few shoppers outside of the Christmas and Easter holidays. Very little retail remains; all the department stores, appliance and electronic stores, and clothing and jewelery stores are gone. Broadway has a few dollar stores, a Rainbow Shops location, Aldi, a beauty accessory store, a pawn shop, a furniture rental store, and a bunch of Yemeni delis -- the Buffalo equivalent to a New York bodega or Detroit party store.



Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo was once home to the flagship location of The Sample, a local upscale junior department store chain, The stiore closed in 1990. Shortly afterwards, the former Sample building was rehabbed for senior citizen apartments.

Hertel Avenue is still relatively intact as a secondary retail district, although it's gotten less "practical" and more "boutiquey" in the past few decades. The surrounding area was always middle to upper middle class, and it's been experiencing rapidly rising home prices over the past 10-15 years.



The days of getting into a good Buffalo neighborhood for under $100K are long, long gone.

north_buffalo.jpg


A few other neighborhoods had full-service department stores. Hens & Kelly had branch locations in Riverside and Kensington. I don't know where the Riverside store was, but the Kensington location was in the path of the Kensington Expressway, and torn down during that highway's construction.

A big 3-story freestanding Sears store, complete with a large parking ramp, anchored the intersection of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue. I remember going there when I was a kid; it was a lot closer to our house than the Sears at Eastern Hills Mall. My grandmother had a part-time job at the candy counter at the entrance at the north end of the store, near the location of a Deco restaurant. Sears was "uptown", but it really wasn't in a secondary downtown area. I remember a big Cresbury's men's store a couple blocks to the north, at the corner of Main and Kensington (torn down for a Metro Rail station) that Dad really liked, and some post-riot remnants of indie retail along the once-busy Jefferson Avenue corridor. (An aside: the East Side riots were tame by the standards of Rochester and Detroit, but it still affected Buffalo's psyche. It also served as a kind of final push to implement long-standing plans to integrate public schools and public safety agencies.)

buffalo_sears_main_jefferson.jpg


Some of Buffalo's pre-1970 peer cities had uptown districts, but I don't know if they were as "complete" as Broadway-Fillmore, or even North Buffalo. The University Circle area in Cleveland used to be quite busy, with national chain stores lining Euclid Avenue between East 79th and CWRU, and large apartment buildings and apartment hotels on the surrounding blocks. However, University Circle didn't have any full service department stores. Today, there's nothing left of that area's past life as a retail district. Most of the Euclid Avenue retail corridor was absorbed into the Cleveland Clinic campus.
 

Doohickie

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I wonder if, for a city its size, Buffalo was unusual in having relatively large, busy shopping districts outside of the downtown
Fort Worth, which a generation ago was smaller than Buffalo, has several shopping districts out of the CBD. It's the advent of those that killed downtown retail. The city recognizes about a dozen such "urban villages" which are essentially akin to small city CBDs.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
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The Sample Shop was a series of houses/buildings tied together with a common storefront that was demolished years ago and replaced with new senior apartments, and first floor retail. That end of Hertel has been getting a makeover in recent years, with new construction including mixed use apartments, and 2 new "urban" grocery stores (well, urban-ish, still parking lots) including the 2nd location of the Lexington Co-Op.

Broadway-Fillmore has been adding more than just "Yemeni Delis" in the last couple of years, with South Asian oriented businesses such as Buffalo Fresh (full service Halal fruit/veg/meat), Medina Pharmacy, Broadway Hardware, and a few others regularly popping up, (finally) some Bangladeshi vendors entering the Market, and the addition of the Jericho Road clinic and services in the old Sattler's Furniture Store buildings.

A flip through the Buffalo Bangla newspaper (online) shows there is a very active community in the area today, mainly relocated from NYC - large enough to support the newspaper and all of the advertisers. All within just the last few years. Looking through the paper really opened my eyes as to how large the community is, especially how below the radar it has been to most Buffalonians.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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The Sample Shop was a series of houses/buildings tied together with a common storefront that was demolished years ago and replaced with new senior apartments, and first floor retail. That end of Hertel has been getting a makeover in recent years, with new construction including mixed use apartments, and 2 new "urban" grocery stores including the 2nd location of the Lexington Co-Op.
Thanks for clarifying. I thought at least part of the original Sample building was still intact, or at least expanded upon.
 

ExRocketSci

Cyburbian
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I don't know if I mentioned it here or not, but looking through the weekly home sales listings in the Buffalo News shows that roughly 25-30% of ALL homes sold in the City of Buffalo are being sold to people with South Asian surnames, and this has been ongoing for the last few years, with the percentage continuing to slowly increase over time. Most of those purchased are for under 100k, sometimes way under 100k, and predominately on the East Side. There have been thousands of these sales in the past few years. The detailed Census will be interesting.
 

Dan

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(finally) some Bangladeshi vendors entering the Market
Finally indeed. Seems like management is recognizing that Polish-American nostalgia and loyalty to the old neighborhood won't be enough to keep the Market viable. Forty years after Sattler's closed its doors, and the neighborhood's babchas started to die off en masse.

Meanwhile, 41 years ago ... (BCE 1980-07-20)

Redevelopment - Broadway Fillmore 12 BCE 1980-07-20.png


The West Side Market in Cleveland has a multiethnic (though still Eastern European-leaning) mix of merchants, and it's thriving. Granted, the West Side Market is in a beautiful building, in a gentrifying neighborhood, just across the Cyuahoga from downtown and next to a Red Line station. I always thought that the Broadway Market should emulate the West Side Market, at least when it comes to diversifying its tenant base. It should be a true city market, not just something that caters to local Polish-American nostalgia.

When Googledriving around the East Side, I'll spot the occasional holdout.





2007.



2014.



2007.



2020.



2007.



2017.



Old storefront houses are easy to spot. In Broadway-Fillmore, they're often in the middle of the block. I wonder what businesses occupied them, and think of the population density that was needed to support them.



That had to be a bar.



Classic oops paint color schemes..



That's fresh concrete. Living in Ithaca, where the default driveway surface isn't concrete or asphalt -- it's effing gravel -- this kind of investment impresses me. The cost of a concrete driveway must be cheap in Buffalo. A driveway pad like that would cost close to $15K here. Then again, in Ithaca, that house would probably sell for over $200K.

 

Dan

Dear Leader
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TIL there was opposition to the building of the Frederick Law Olmsted park system, and especially Delaware Park.

This is from "The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted - Volume 1" Olmsted wrote the following essay in 1885, and got William McMillan, then superintendent of Buffalo city parks, to secure the signatures. The intent of the essay was to include it with a report to the Boston Parks Commission as a protest against the economic retrenchment of parks



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE RURAL PARK OF BUFFALO, WITH REFERENCE TO ITS MANAGEMENT, COST, AND VALUE.

There were at the outset many grounds of objection to the site selected for the main Park of Buffalo. Parts of it were rocky and bare of vegetation; other parts swampy and most unattractive. It was at the opposite end of the city from its populous quarter, and more than three miles from its centre. Hence the project had to encounter a strong sectional jealousy, and for this and other reasons met with determined opposition, which succeeded in reducing the area originally intended to be taken — a misfortune since deeply regretted even by those to whom it was due. After the work of construction was entered upon, repeated efforts were made to arrest it; to alter the plans; to introduce new features, and to compel the adoption of different methods of operation.

In full view of the acknowledged objections to the site, it was selected as, on the whole, the best that could be found for the purpose exclusively had in view. This was to provide recreation for the people of the city through the enjoyment of simple, rural, park-like scenery. The ground was laid out upon a plan that made everything subordinate to this purpose.

The work was organized with exclusive reference to the steady and methodical carrying out of the plan. The heads of the organization were drawn from a similar work in another city, and were at once familiar with their duties, disciplined and co-operative. No change in the staff of the superintendence has since been made, except as the work has advanced to points where permanent reduction could be afforded. The present General Superintendent has been Superintendent from the start.

In the city reform movement that first brought Grover Cleveland as mayor of the city prominently before the public, no occasion for reform or improvement was found in the park work. No change of men or methods was made or suggested to be desirable. The work has been pursued steadily and without the slightest deviation from the plan upon which it was started. As it advanced and the intentions of the plan approached realization, the park grew in favor. Opposition to it gradually died out. It is now universally popular, and with no class more so than the frugal, small house owning tax-payers, who constitute an unusual proportion of the population of the city.

The cost of the work has been much less than was predicted by the opponents of the undertaking, and even less than its promoters expected it to be. It is regarded as moderate relatively to the return already realized. It is believed that through the increased attractiveness of the city as a place of residence, the rise in the value of property adjacent to the park and its approaches, and the additional taxable capital invested in land and buildings in the vicinity of these improvements, the outlay for the park has lightened the burden of the tax-payers.
The city has recently obtained an act of the legislature authorizing a portion of the land originally thrown out to be purchased and added to the park. Its market value is now estimated to be from four to five times as much as when thrown out. Broad avenues from different directions have been opened, and a street railroad constructed expressly for the use of visitors to the park. Its value is largely increasing every year. The city is now proud of it and grateful for it.

But its promoters had ultimate results in view, which cannot be fully realized during the lifetime of the present generation or of the next. As the growth of its plantations develops, as the city extends to its borders and becomes densely settled at the centre, the attractions, the accessibility, and the benefits to the community to be derived from the park, will correspondingly increase. Its chief value lies in its ever-growing capabilities of usefulness in the future, as the city grows in wealth and population.

(Signed)
Pascal P. Pratt
S. S. Jewett
Solomon Schew
Edward Bennet
J. Mothan Scoville
John M. Farquh
Jas. Sheldon
Edgar B. Jewe
W. S. Bissell
Francis H. Root
Alex. Brush
Gibson I. Williams
James D. Warren
R. R. Hefford
Henry A. Richmond
Chas. Beckwith
Sherman S. Rogers
Wm. F. Rogers
Philip Becker
John B. Sackett
Daniel N. Lockwood
L. P. Dayton



Searching through old newspaper articles, it seems like the most opposition game from those in the German-American community. They felt parks were an unnecessary luxury, there were more pressing concerns that needed to be addressed first (the old fallacy of relative privation at work), and that German-owned private parks and groves satisfied the need for recreational spaces. Some complained about Delaware Park, because it was in a "remote" northern part of town, while more people lived on the East Side.
 

Dan

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I don't quite know what to say about this. A post-WWII "doll house" with no garage on a Military Road-adjacent block in Kenmore for $211K.

starter house for sale mang street buffalo.jpg


420 heh heh heh :mj:
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
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Yup. Similar cracker boxes in North Buffalo selling for as much as 235k. Its definitely a sellers market these days.
The real estate market is CRAZY right now and, as a potential buyer in need of a new location, I'm seriously considering if it's viable to NOT buy right now.

I did see the most amazing home in Jamestown for sale recently at $89k and was downright floored at the cheap price. Of course, Jamestown isn't the best location but $89k?!! It's almost too good to be true and, shockingly, it's pending after only 3 days on the market! https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/28-Liberty-St-Jamestown-NY-14701/29888608_zpid/ (28 Liberty St, Jamestown, NY 14701 | MLS #R1350492 | Zillow)
 

Dan

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I did see the most amazing home in Jamestown for sale recently at $89k and was downright floored at the cheap price. Of course, Jamestown isn't the best location but $89k?!! It's almost too good to be true and, shockingly, it's pending after only 3 days on the market!
That's an amazing price for a house in that kind of condition; something that would have been at the high end of the market back in its day, too.. The interior is a bit dated, but it's not nearly as "rustic" as what I see around here. That same price in Buffalo now gets you a bungalow in a really rough part of the East Side.
 

RandomPlanner

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That's an amazing price for a house in that kind of condition; something that would have been at the high end of the market back in its day, too.. The interior is a bit dated, but it's not nearly as "rustic" as what I see around here. That same price in Buffalo now gets you a bungalow in a really rough part of the East Side.
Agreed. I've been house-searching for about a month now and I couldn't believe the price and condition -- plus the garage with matching tile roof!! I thought the interior was more 'period correct' than dated but that's just my style. Even though it's not in the right city for me to live, I seriously considered the investment potential there. Thankfully for my husband, someone snagged it before I could convince him that we needed it.
 

Dan

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Weekend getaway traffic

When we were driving back to Ithaca from Philadelphia last Sunday, we both noticed both the northbound and southbound 476 were extremely busy, even more so than on the Friday we drove in. The 476 finally opened up about 20 miles north of Allentown. We've experienced the same thing on IKEA runs to Philly; the 476 is quiet on weekdays, and mobbed on weekends.

Here's the scene at the service area just outside of Allentown last Sunday. The place was absolutely mobbed; far busier than I've ever seen at the Clarence, Pembroke, or Angola service areas on the 90.

476 rest area.jpeg


I noticed the same phenomenon on the Ohio Turnpike (80/90) between Cleveland and Toledo, the 70 between Denver and Glenwood Springs, and to a lesser extent, the 90 between Rochester (490/Victor) and Waterloo.

I can't remember Buffalo having a similar "weekend getaway" traffic pattern. Sure, the 90 is absolutely jammed whenever there's a home Bills game, and there's longer waits at border crossings on summer weekends. Otherwise, traffic density on the 90 eastbound or westbound, the 219 or 400, or Garrison Road or the QEW in Fort Erie, doesn't seem any busier than on weekdays. There's a bit more traffic on the 190 over Grand Island, but that's about it. No big rush outbound on Saturday morning, no jams inbound on Sunday afternoon.

Do Buffalonians not make the same kinds of get-out-of-town weekend escapes as those in peer or larger cities?
In Rochester, day trips to Canandaigua or elsewhere in the Finger Lakes region still seem like a big deal. Here's what Canandaigua lake looked like last July, during peak lockdown.

canandaigua lake.jpg


It seems like the "cottage country" aspect of Buffalo's blue collar culture has gotten a lot weaker over the past 20-plus years. Few seem to brag anymore about having a singlewide "cottage" at Sherkston, a real cottage somewhere in the deep Southtowns, or renting a place at Long Beach for a month. Week-long vacations to Myrtle Beach and the Dominican Republic, though, seem especially popular among Buffalo's blue collar crowd, compared to Rochester or Cleveland.

So, do Buffalonians stick closer to home on weekends, compared to other Americans and Canadians? Is there something I'm not noticing?
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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Buffalonian Jonah Heim, who catches for the Texas Rangers, set a team record today by hitting walk-off home runs in consecutive games (i.e., he ended the game with a home run in the bottom of an inning).
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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It seems like the "cottage country" aspect of Buffalo's blue collar culture has gotten a lot weaker over the past 20-plus years. Few seem to brag anymore about having a singlewide "cottage" at Sherkston, a real cottage somewhere in the deep Southtowns, or renting a place at Long Beach for a month. Week-long vacations to Myrtle Beach and the Dominican Republic, though, seem especially popular among Buffalo's blue collar crowd, compared to Rochester or Cleveland.

So, do Buffalonians stick closer to home on weekends, compared to other Americans and Canadians? Is there something I'm not noticing?
I've noticed the decline of cottage country around SE Michigan as well. I think the biggest reason for the decline would be the decline of good paying blue collar jobs. Used to be the region had hundreds of thousands of high paying union jobs in the automotive industry. The unions have now been pretty much broken and most of those jobs were either replaced by automation or shipped overseas. As a consequence, there are far fewer folks with extra funds available for purchases of luxuries like bass boats, hunting cabins, or even small lake cottages.
 

Dan

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Some lost Buffalo history. 25 January 1962, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

25 Jan 1962, Page 8 - Democrat and Chronicle.jpg


A day later.

26 Jan 1962, Page 4 - Democrat and Chronicle.jpg
 

Dan

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SAY MY NAME. "Sack-agd-oo .... wait, Skuh-ya-kway-dah ... uhhh, Skay-ja-quah-eh?"

scajaquada_say_my_name.jpg
 

jsk1983

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Charming. Fort Worth gained 177,709 residents in the past ten years. Fastest growing large city in terms of percent change, and 3rd fastest growing in absolute numbers. Only NYC and Houston added more residents.
Did they annex a lot of land to get that much growth? Or was there a lot of empty land to build on already in the city limits?
 

Doohickie

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Did they annex a lot of land to get that much growth? Or was there a lot of empty land to build on already in the city limits?
Yes to both. Probably more of it was due to annexation, but there are large tracts of empty land that are being developed.
 

Dan

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Deer spotted on the East Side, crossing Jefferson Avenue just south of Riley Street. When I was a kid, wildlife in the city limits was pretty much limited to squirrels and birds. I never saw deer, even in wooded areas near railroad mainlines.

deer_near_jefferson_avenue.jpg



Also, this.

888-8888.jpg
 

Whose Yur Planner

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Deer spotted on the East Side, crossing Jefferson Avenue just south of Riley Street. When I was a kid, wildlife in the city limits was pretty much limited to squirrels and birds. I never saw deer, even in wooded areas near railroad mainlines.

View attachment 54901


Also, this.

View attachment 54902
We have a lot of deer here because of all the trees and urban/wild interface. Deer can be a problems because we've killed a lot of the predators. We've screwed up predator/prey balance.
 

ExRocketSci

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There are now deer, fox, coyote, skunks, and hawks in my North Buffalo neighborhood that weren't here when I was growing up. Neither were the wild turkeys or the Canada geese that seem to have chosen to nest everywhere these days. I also never saw a woodchuck in the city until a face-to-face encounter while walking up steps near the Food Terminal, where I also nearly hit a deer a couple of times. The only animals that I no longer see are the pheasant that lived along the RR ROW, but those disappeared in the 1970s with the help of the neighborhood dogs.

Good news for Lake Erie today is that they found evidence that Lake trout have been reproducing in the lake for the first time in over 60 years. They had been considered "exterminated" by 1965, and restoration efforts began in the 1980s.
 
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