Buffalo takes a pretty serious amount of criticism nationally. Some of it is accurate, but some of it is way off the mark. For some reason the pessimistic view of Western New York seems to dominate. We didn’t go to four straight Super Bowls; we LOST four straight Super Bowls. We don’t have great local skiing/snowboarding sites, we have awful weather. We don’t live somewhere where natural disasters rarely happen, we live somewhere with high taxes.

When the cold hearted bastard old man winter makes his presence felt it is very easy to hop on the Buffalo slander bandwagon. Here are some reminders of why this city is the greatest place on earth:

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    Traffic? Yeah Right

    After a recent trip to Toronto and getting stuck in “rush hour” traffic at 7 PM, it was reinforced in my impatient brain how lucky we have it here. I avoid areas like Niagara Falls Blvd and stretches of Transit road because I perceive these areas to be heavily trafficked and thus heavily annoying. Of course comparatively these areas exemplified awful driving times until I drove in major urban metropolises. Take a cruise around Los Angeles or even Boston between 2-8 and you will want to rip your face off. When I am told to be at Thanksgiving dinner at 4 PM in West Seneca I leave my house at 3:40 and I have a nice relaxing ride all the way to suburbia.

    Flickr by zigazou76
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    Sure Texas has great ribs and Maryland lobster is the cat’s pajama’s, but Buffalo just nails it across the board. Take a leisurely drive through Buffalo and the surrounding area and here is what you will see: Bar – Pizzeria – Bar – Pizzeria – Pizzeria- Bar – Bar- Pizzeria. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty fantastic combo. From La Nova’s char-b-q wings to Ulrich’s Sausage platter you can throw a dart at a map and it will hit a great restaurant. It never ceases to amaze me the number of fantastic places to get a great meal around the area, and every place has a personality all its own. [More on Buffalo restaurants]

    Flickr by andynash
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    Price of Living Large

    Name another city where you can make $50K a year and live in a beautiful Victorian home and drive a nice car. I pay $500 a month for an apartment overlooking Elmwood strip with off street parking and heat included. If my apartment was in any major city it would be five times more expensive at least. Young professionals can pony up enough for a down payment on a house and have a very manageable mortgage here that would not even be feasible in more populated cities. You can have the spontaneity and excitement of urban living without the price tag or extreme inconvenience of “real” city living. We take being able to go out from 12-4am and not blowing our entire paycheck for granted. [Median home price in Buffalo, NY]

    Flickr by Dana Moos
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    What is there not to love about our professional franchises? Especially right now. Buffalo is home to one of the greatest owners in professional sports – Terry Pegula, who spontaneously spun the attitude of an organization from “just do good enough to sell tickets” to “win a Stanley cup or die trying”. This city WILL get a Stanley cup, I truly believe that..and when it happens we are going to see the hardest partying since the Berlin wall fell. Oh and the Bills. The Bills somehow put together the football version of the cast of Major League. Even though it seemed like Ralph Wilson was doing everything in his power to run this franchise out of town he just happened to put together an oddly dynamic crew of players who respect each other and know how to win. Buffalo gets better every day. [Buffalo Bills] - [Buffalo Sabres]

    Getty Images
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    The People

    Another benefit to the small city community feel is the “everybody knows everybody” vibe of Buffalonians. On countless occasions I have walked into social situations not knowing a single person, and left 3 hours later feeling like I gained several good friends. When people move away from Buffalo they quickly learn that the rest of the country isn’t so quick to offer a helping hand when you need it. Last year on Thanksgiving Day the engine on my car decided to cease up in the middle of on off ramp getting off the thruway. Within five minutes I had multiple people pulling over, getting out of their cars asking me if I needed help. With the help of 3 other men we pushed my car to a safe area and avoided a catastrophe. I would do the same if I saw someone in need, but I am not sure outside of Buffalo any other city would extend such humanity without a second thought. This is a great city to live in and I am proud to call it home.

    Flickr by michaelcardus