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Toni (Butera) Lambert believes that everything happens for a reason. So when her husband, Jordan, was laid off from a fire and sprinkler inspection company in 2007, she saw it as a golden opportunity. The couple, now both in their 30s, had talked about leaving Buffalo before, and they were young, just married and open to new possibilities. During his job search, Jordan fou…

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Bryan McKnight. The Goo Goo Dolls. Rick James. John & Mary. All of these legendary music acts have one, enduring thing in common: they’re from Buffalo. And one day soon, 24-year-old Nick Chiari hopes to add his name to that list. [Gallery: Grabbitz and fans in Town Ballroom] Going by Grabbitz – a stage name from high school that somehow stuck – Chiari currentl…

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There’s that old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” For Allison Mora, it’s literally true. Mora, 47, currently lives in Orlando, Fla., where the grass is most certainly greener, the weather sunnier and the snow nonexistent. But something is missing. For Mora, that “something” is the nagging feeling of not being “home.” The former Allison Tripp g…

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Sitting at a corner table in Spot Coffee on Delaware Avenue, William Fichtner is not only happy to be back in Buffalo but he’s savoring each and every moment. In town for a quick meeting with Tim Clark of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, the 60-year-old actor is getting ready to shoot a movie that he co-wrote and is starring in. He teases the plot with a knowing smi…

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Ever since he was a little kid, Emile Haynie dreamed of living in one of those sprawling, classic Victorian homes near Delaware Park. He still remembers the look and feel of the timeless architecture that has come to define Buffalo as vividly as if he were standing right in front of it. “It's truly one of the most beautifully built cities in America and the houses are s…

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As an adolescent, Jessica Smith had to write an essay when she applied for a scholarship to attend Nichols School. It was the first time she successfully pleaded a case, but it wouldn't be the last. Smith, 31, headed off to St. Lawrence University and achieved her bachelor’s degree in government in 2007. She toyed with the idea of law school, something that would allow …

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During the Blizzard of ’77, the amount of snow that fell relentlessly from the sky was more than a young, wide-eyed Jesse L. Martin could handle. His family had moved from Virginia where the weather was mild at best and the first major snowstorm of his Buffalo-winter experience was something to behold. “I was in elementary school at the time and I swear, we were out…

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Just a few short years ago, Chad Hornberger was jamming on the guitar and rocking out with his band, Crashfuse. But in early 2016, he traded in his vintage tees and worn jeans for a suit and tie, and moved to New York City to become a graphic artist for the Disney Theatrical Group. Hornberger, 25, spends his days designing branding materials and show kits at the New Amster…

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When Kim Krytus was 16 years old, she learned about the devastating famine that was crippling Ethiopia and how many children were dying of starvation. From that moment on, Krytus dreamed of traveling the world so she could help as many people as she could. But that dream was put on hold once she graduated from Depew High School. “I grew up in Depew and graduated …

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Paul and Linda Hardaway first met at the original Zionist Baptist Church on Maple Avenue when they were both starry-eyed teenagers. For 13-year-old Linda, it was love at first sight — so much so that she even bet her friend (now sister-in-law) a dollar that she was going to win Paul's heart. For 14-year-old Paul, it was only a matter of time before Linda won the bet. Th…

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Growing up in Medina, Alix Gilman and Scott Robinson often heard and repeated the phrase, “There’s nothing to do around here.” Now, Alix wonders if they were just too young and unaware to notice all of the things that Western New York had to offer. Alix and Scott, both 32, first met in sixth grade when Scott passed a note in English class, hoping Alix would go out with …

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When Jennifer Gibas graduated from LaSalle High School in Niagara Falls in 1992, she decided to move to Phoenix to live with a friend. It was the first time she'd felt the urge to travel and live elsewhere. And it wouldn’t be the last. Gibas, 43, moved back to Buffalo two years later. At the time she was unsure of what to do with her life, as many 20-somethings are, and s…

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By the 1990s, Cindy Hebert was tired of Buffalo, eager to uproot for someplace warmer. In her mid-20s, she had met her husband in New York while he served in the Coast Guard, and they agreed that Florida would be a better place to make their home. “I was young and thought the grass was greener somewhere else,” Hebert said with a laugh. “Part of me always wanted to get out…

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Tara and Ryan Erwin met in high school at Kenmore West. They were married in June 2002. Shortly thereafter, most of people in their 12-person wedding party moved away. “It was like a mass exodus,” said Tara, 37, with a laugh. “We got married in our early twenties so a lot of our friends naturally needed to get out and experience life outside of Buffalo for grad school, jo…

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After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, the region set out to recover and rebuild. The area was rife with job opportunities for young professionals, especially in the medical field. Newly married, each having earned a Ph.D., Ramon and Lizette Rivera chose to leave Philadelphia, where Ramon completed his fellowship and Lizette attended graduate school, t…