Visiting Buffalo was such a no brainer. I was at the Niagara Falls and on my way to New York City. Stopping in the second most populous city in the state of New York.
Of course, I had to check it out and I had high expectations knowing this fact. But then I was wildly underwhelmed. Where were all the people? The city seemed to be deserted. Cue the tumbleweed image.
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Modern Day ghost Town
It was a Sunday in Buffalo but was that the reason for the city having been abandoned? I really don’t know. So I roamed the streets looking for proof of life.
I found a lone plastic bag floating by. And yes, there were cars. I was in the US after all. Why walk if you can drive 100 metres, am I right? Ok, joke aside what was the deal?
If not on the streets, then could the local population be hiding in malls and restaurants? A quick google check later and I was munching on a giant chocolate sundae (because it was Sunday, get it?).
And yes, there were people there as well but I was momentarily distracted and then they were gone. Nope, I wasn’t hallucinating from my chocolate high. The search continued outside.
When the whole town has closed shop
Everything seemed closed. Theatre lights blinked in vain. Sorry to break it to ya, no one was coming. So naturally, I was leaving, too. Out to the sea I went (or the lake more like, Erie Lake).
And guess what I found? Actual human beings. And a shark human hybrid statue. But that is another story entirely. (See me small talk with it in the video below – and subscribe for more deep insights from my travels.)
While walking around by myself in a big city was both parts eerie and fantastic (I’m a travelling introvert, what can I say?), I regretted my mission soon enough.
Photo opportunities were lining up left and right. No one photobombing. No one standing in my picture, idly tapping away on their smartphone screens. But now, BOOM. People in my pictures as soon as I set my camera up and put on the timer. Plus, they. Would. Not. Stop. Better be careful what you wish for…
You gotta make the best of every situation
I took a few selfies and then left grumbling. No use. I photoshopped a half decent one later to make it look cool. (And put a metaphorical bandaid on my hurt travel photographer soul.) There were definitely plenty more things to do in Niagara Falls than here in Buffalo.
But when you travel you have to adjust to any situation at any given time. So I did. I grabbed my notebook, watched people (procrastination all the way) and then scribbled down some more blog/vlog ideas.
Watch this space. (Because the streets were still empty when I walked back. No but seriously, watch this space. Subscribe to the newsletter and all the socials, facebook, twitter and instagram. You know the drill.)
How to Get to Buffalo
There are various ways of reaching Buffalo in Upstate New York. My chosen means of transport was by bus. You can choose between Megabus (I wrote my experience on that down here) and Greyhound.
If you really want to plan a thorough roadtrip, you can of course hire a car. To have the convenience of not having to search for hotels and dingy motels along the way, you can rent an RV.
Another alternative for getting to Buffalo is taking the train. Amtrak reaches the US city as well. Within Buffalo, you can take the public bus or the transit metro rail system, called NFTA.