By Karen Moon
As we travel to many different areas in the United States and world, we meet many people from all over. Often it is in an elevator that we meet and a quick greeting and conversation ensues. One of the first questions — almost predictably – a person asks me when we meet while traveling is “Where are you from?” My reply, of course, is, “From the Buffalo, New York area.” I may add “actually south of Buffalo – Orchard Park” depending on whom I am speaking with. Some people say, “Oh you’re from New York” – and what they mean is New York City. They go into a rendition of “I always wanted to go there.” So then I have to explain exactly where I live and it’s not New York City. However, the facial expressions change at that point and the comments don’t stop there: “How can you live in Buffalo? It must be so cold?” “Don’t you have a lot of snow? How do you stand it?” By the way, some of these people are from states that are also known for cold and snow.
I find myself defending my home area often. Now I must confess that I don’t like cold weather anymore the older I get and I also confess that I don’t spend full winters in the Buffalo area anymore. Most of my 70-plus years though I did live in the area. Because I don’t stay in the winter doesn’t mean I’m not proud of where I came from and know the positive points of the area.
I do know that Buffalo does not get the amount of snow people in other parts of the country think it gets and yes, it may be cold – 108 days on average with 32 degree to zero temperatures – but it also gets 133 days on average of 70 plus temperatures. It has been recorded in some reports Buffalo receives about 93 plus inches of snow a year and of course, all of that varies year by year.
Buffalo is far from the coldest place in the United States, however. As a matter of fact, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire and many other states have their share and more of cold and snow. And did I mention, Syracuse? Right here in our own state – Syracuse gets on average 120 plus inches of snow a year – but they don’t seem to get the negative comments as much as Buffalo from outsiders.
Many people in a winter climate are “tired” of it about this time of the year. I encourage you to think about the positive points instead. The more I find myself defending the Buffalo area in regards to weather (facts regarding the winter snowfall and temperatures), I continue on to talk about all the changes in the Buffalo downtown area and suburbs – the inner and outer harbors, the marina, the bicycle routes, the hotels, the tours, the landscaping, the architecture, the skiing (downhill and cross country), the ice skating – and so many other positive parts of the Buffalo area these people did not know about. I talk about the improvements continuing to be made in the downtown area, Niagara Falls and many of the outlying suburbs.
The Buffalo area is an area meant to have a variety of activities offered because of its varied climate. That is the positive characteristic of the Buffalo area – a city and area of four beautiful seasons. Many are impressed to hear about all the changes and seem sincerely and genuinely interested in visiting the area.
I hope they do visit. And if you hear about someone who is in an elevator and she won’t let someone else out of it until they listen to her speak about and defend the Buffalo area you’ll know it’s me.
Karen Moon is fan of Buffalo, weather and all.