During the last several years, Buffalo has seen plenty of change. Entire vibrant, diverse neighborhoods have sprung up from vacant lands. Breweries and distilleries have boomed to a level not seen since before Prohibition. Several architectural gems have been given some much needed TLC, returned to their former glory. And the waterfront – oh, the waterfront. Less than a decade ago, large swaths of waterfront land sat underutilized. Today, much of this Lake Erie and Buffalo River real estate has been re-energized as the city’s playground.
Just a couple weeks ago, Susan Glaser, travel editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was able to witness and experience Buffalo’s waterfront revival firsthand, as she notes in this new feature. A quick three hour drive from Cleveland, Glaser found that Buffalo could teach her city a thing or two about how to embrace its bygone industrial position on Lake Erie.
At places like Canalside, the historic western terminus of the 200 year old Erie Canal has been reawakened. A popular gathering place for families, concert-goers, fitness freaks, kayakers and sightseers, Canalside could be called the catalyst of this revitalization. Comparing views from just about a decade ago, the area is nearly unrecognizable.
A quick jaunt down the Buffalo River puts you within a stone’s throw of the city’s grain silo complexes. But today, hotspots like Buffalo RiverWorks and Silo City aren’t buzzing with industrial activity; they’re buzzing with the sounds of pint glasses clanking, live music and laughter. Utilizing the architecture of the massive grain elevators that line the river, these venues have created a recreational backdrop unlike any other place in the world.
“This is Buffalo history up close. The view outside a window atop the 160-foot-high elevator provides another perspective. To the north, RiverWorks and Canalside; to the west, the Lake Erie shore. In one scene, it’s all there: Buffalo’s past and, even better, its future,” Glaser concludes.
You can read the entire Cleveland Plain Dealer article here.