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Why I stayed in Buffalo

BuffaloGeek posts today on a New York Magazine article about why people might leave New York City and move to Buffalo. He then asked:

Over the next couple of days, I’d like to discuss our collective reasons for staying, our reasons for leaving, and ask you to help me define the “Buffalo Experience” and tell me why it is that you stay.

For me, staying was almost an accident. While in college I frequently warned my parents that there weren’t any jobs here and that I wouldn’t be back. When I started interviewing for jobs, only one of them was for a position in Buffalo. After a few rejections from other companies, the Buffalo job was the first offer to come in and I jumped on it, even cancelling a few interviews to come after it.

One of the enticing things about the job I took was that it offered an immediate 0pportunity to move to Boston for 9 months, which was fine with me. It was a great experience and Boston is a fantastic city, but I realized that I didn’t like city living. Looking long term, I would never have been able to afford the apartment that the company was paying for, so I would have been relegated to either a tiny apartment in the city, or someplace out in the burbs which would mean a few hours of lost commuting time each day. Second, it never really felt like I had my own space. Apartment – rented. Transportation? Subway or walking was always crowded with other people. Greenspace? Sure, for you and everyone else to share.

The realization that I liked living in Buffalo happened when I moved back home, walked into my parent’s back yard, looked up at the changing trees and fall sky and let out a big sigh. I could feel the speed of life dial crank down a few notches. It wasn’t even something I noticed while living the fast paced city life, but being out of it changed my perspective.

This is a far better place to buy a house, settle down with a family, and actually enjoy life. I have a job that lets me travel around the world, a place to call my own, and control over the speed of my life. Am I missing opportunities afforded by bigger cities? I don’t think so. Opportunities are made by the individual, not by the place they live in.

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  1. I’m just coming across your blog, after stumbling upon it months ago and bookmarking it without ever reading anything. As a Buffalo native, and current resident of Boston, MA, I can totally connect with your ‘dial cranking down a few notches’ comment. My SO and I are moving to Buffalo as soon as I can find a job out there (IT jobs are few but they do exist!) for that, and a couple other reasons. Thanks for reminding me why!

  2. Glad to hear you’re thinking about returning! What’s your expertise? As part of the Buffalo IT community, I can certainly pass along any openings I hear about.

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