Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tatanka Trip

Not much to add on my day off. Since I have access to an incredible computer, I thought I'd load up some pictures of my day in Buffalo. I met up with a great couchsurfing host, Paul, and he led me on a walking tour of the town. There is an unbelievable wealth of classic architecture in this town, including the world's first modern "high rise" building, some of the most classic art deco designs on the city hall, and more. Everywhere you turn, it's fantastic. This was all a result of exceptional economic activity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. With the opening of the Erie Canal and the electric power provided by Niagara Falls hydro plant, this was one of the richest cities in the nation with many millionaires building palaces during the heyday of mega-expansion in the early 1900's especially. Buffalo was the world's first electrified city, the talk of the civilized world.

Now, the town is falling apart. Many of the classic buildings are empty and decaying. There has been a rather extreme urban flight such that on a mid-day, mid-week when one would expect lots of hustle and bustle in a town this developed, the streets felt rather empty, kind of like San Francisco at 6am on a Sunday morning. Some parts of the town are being gentrified, but Buffalo needs some motivated cash to get back on its feet. As a couple folks have said, Buffalo's biggest export is educated young people--lots of great colleges, very few good jobs.

This house sold for about $240,000!

This one was recently assessed at $120,000. Anyone want to move to Buffalo?

This is Zoe, the other groovy hound keeping me up with my doggie fix.


pam b said...

Ah Scott,
I am truly enjoying reading your accounts of your travels. It is quite unlike these first few days of classes. Keep pedaling, stay dry, and keep posting!

Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Pam! Thanks for the note. I'm on a slow, restricted library computer, so I'm not going to post today. Made to Ohio! I'm over 1,000 miles into it. Hard to believe. Did almost 80 mi. yesterday, and I'll be over 70 today. The flat riding goes quickly!

Have fun with your classes. Miss you all.