Buffalo isn’t the worst winter city
blog by The Buffalo State Record • December 09, 2011 @ 1:25pm
If you’ve never experienced it first-hand, you may know a Buffalo winter by adjectives such as grueling, bitter or unbearable.
Soon, the majority of you who don’t call Buffalo home will pack up for the holidays. Upon your return, you will almost certainly find yourself in the midst of Buffalo’s harshest month.
But even that weather is not all that bad.
According to Forbes’ latest list of “Top 10 Worst Winter Cities,” it turns out Buffalo is actually left off the list while cities like Cleveland and Boston can be found at the top.
While we have yet to see that fluffy, white stuff, I’m sure you’re all dreading January and wondering exactly how it is you’ll be able to survive here until April rolls around.
As a Buffalo boy born and raised, take it from me that a winter spent here in the Queen City isn’t at all like the picture many national pundits paint of it.
Contrary to what you might believe, there’s actually an overwhelming amount of activities to take part in around the city to make those weekends when the thermometer shows 10 degrees and the wind-chill dips well below zero much more enjoyable.
For starters, Buffalo features a sports scene that, collectively, is second to none when it comes to having a good time and makes for a great way to take your mind off the cold (sorry Jets fans).
While their play may not always warm your hearts, teams like the Bills and Sabres offer an atmosphere that is an essential experience for anyone who has never seen either team play.
Even if you don’t like sports or your allegiance lies with another city’s franchise, with games on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays and promotional deals geared towards college students (the Sabres frequently offer “student night” discounts), there’s no reason you shouldn’t take in a game or two while you’re here.
So you’re not much of a sports junkie? Don’t worry. Buffalo offers an endless list of great destinations away from the First Niagara Center as well.
If you attend Buffalo State, there’s a good chance you’re a big fan of the arts. If you’d like to spend an afternoon at an art gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center and Albright Knox Art Gallery are each within a stone’s throw of Rockwell Hall.
Speaking of Rockwell, maybe the world of performing arts is more your thing. Buffalo has been home to one of the region’s most renowned theaters since 1926 in the Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Main Street. There you can sit and watch an array of different plays and musicals among the same seats where thousands of visitors before you once sat while taking in performances by icons like Frank Sinatra.
Of course, if you’ve been in Buffalo for any period of time, you’d better have eaten your fair share of chicken wings by now. If not, before the game be sure to make your way over to one of the countless wing venues scattered throughout the city that are essential destinations for fans of the fiery treats.
While the more notable wing behemoths like the Anchor Bar on Main Street or La Nova on Ferry Street are great, the tastiest wings typically come from the smaller, less-familiar locations you’d only hear about if you’re from the area. My personal favorite? Head on over to Gabriel’s Gate on Allen Street and it won’t be long before you agree.
Of course, there is much more to Buffalo’s food than just chicken wings. If you’re looking for some great date destinations, the city is home to hundreds of great restaurants from cafes and pubs like Founding Fathers on Edward Street to five-star restaurants like the Buffalo Chophouse on Franklin Street.
If you’re looking to impress a girl after the meal, many of the aforementioned locations are just minutes away from the Rotary Rink in Fountain Plaza. The free ice skating provides a great opportunity to score some points while saving a little cash. You can thank me for the tip later.
For those who like to get out, there are even great destinations outside city limits. Places like the Seneca Niagara Casino and outdoor parks like Kissing Bridge and Holiday Valley are only a short ride away and great places to spend a Saturday.
So come January if you find yourself with nothing to do, don’t let the cold keep you from having a good time. Instead, remember all the great things Buffalo has to offer, grab a coat and scarf, and suck it up.
After all, it could be worse: You could live in Boston.
Associate Sports Editor
Image courtesy of flickr/ice skate