Buffalo spotting

So where are the buffalos? Oh, they’re long gone. But luck was on my side and I got to sit beside one on a bench along Elmwood Street recently, and that was good enough for me.

Buffalo? This one by me was good enough.

Making it to Buffalo, aka the Queen City and the seat of the Erie County, was a treat. It was short but sweet and unbelievably fun for a place that I initially thought was a small town. Well, it was the scene I caught—few vehicles on the street, even few people on it, quaint shops lining the main street, tree-lined sidewalks by fence-less houses of various architectural influences, old, well-reserved structures standing next to new ones—and I like that it’s unhurried pace and leisurely vibe.

Saw an occasional car or two on the road….

An institution on this street– Vito, the neighborhood barbershop.

But it wasn’t that way before for Buffalo has seen its heydays. From a small trading community grew quickly to one of the largest cities in the US after the Erie Canal opened with the city as the Western terminus, then became a major railroad hub, and the largest grain-milling center in the country. Fortune was reversed in the late 20th century when shipping and trains were rerouted and heavy industries were relocated. The population declined.

The population may have declined back to the 1900 levels but Buffalo today is the second most populous city in the NY State. I wonder where the people were (I later found out the citizens were in the mall!).

And a few people enjoying the morning sun. This one is stylish.

As to how Buffalo got its name is still unclear. It’s said it was named after the creek in Niagara, a corruption of the phrase beau fleuve (beautiful river) uttered by the French explorers upon seeing the waterway, or even from the bison, which was improbable because there were no bison in the area.

Where the “beau fleuve” flows — the Niagara Falls

What is certain to me is Buffalo may be a slow-paced city but it’s filled with exciting places to dine and explore. And number one on our list is to visit the renowned bodies of water, the Great Lake Erie and Niagara Falls….

Jovic, Tenny, me & the sunset at the Great Lake Erie.

Not to be missed.
The Whirlpool is still part of the Niagara River.

…dine at the original makers of Buffalo Wings…

The house where bufallo got its wings.
The “wings” when night falls.

…see a couple of churches…

The Asbury Delaware Church
The Our Lady of Victory Basilica
Impressive interior of the basilica
Well, I saw this by chance. No Tom Cruise here though.

…drive around town to check out local architecture…

The Buffalo CIty Hall in Art Deco
That house on the corner… the Darwin D. Martin house designed by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Ka-boom! The historic Niagara Fort.

…see what the local shops had to offer, and try what the other restaurants have to offer.

A vintage shop along the main street.

aka Double “O”.

Will I revisit the place? Yes, for sure. There is much more I’d love to see and experience in this city. Perhaps, a Canadian visa will be a good idea to have since Ontario is just across the bridge. They say the Horseshoe Falls of Niagara is best viewed from that side.

Muni-muni, emote-emote sa Great Lake Erie.

For more travel & lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/

Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 23, 2013.



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