Brooklyn artists move to Buffalo

Attention hip, young twentysomethings who live in Brooklyn: you don’t have to pay $3,000-$4,000 a month in rent to live in a cool ‘hood with coffee shops, art galleries and food trucks. You can discover Brooklyn-Lite, aka Buffalo, at the other end of the state, where there’s a fresh new scene with positive energy and momentum happening for a lot less cost. From Brooklyn to Buffalo? Yes.

Forbes magazine just named Buffalo–yes, Buffalo–the most affordable city in America.

Buffalo is not every person’s cup of tea, but for those tired of the rat race of ZOO YORK, and who wouldn’t mind a more laid-back vibe, much easier commute, and a much bigger apartment and/or actually OWNING a house, Buffalo’s not a bad choice. It’s not that unusual for people to make the move from Brooklyn to Buffalo because it’s cheaper to live in Western New York.

Brooklyn_to_BuffaloHaving lived in Brooklyn, I know what it’s like. I know that the tiny apartment I called home with two roommates cost $1,500 3 years ago, and that was for one of Brooklyn’s non-trendy ‘hoods where hardly anyone spoke English. Friends of mine who lived in Brooklyn’s industrial-turned-artistic Williamsburg, the epi-center of hipster coolness in the entire universe, were/are paying $3,000- $5,000 a month for a tiny apartment there. Whoa.

If you read the blogs and various websites about New York City, you’ll find that the artists used to live in the East Village/Lower East Side until rents went up. Then they migrated across the river to Williamsburg and now THAT place is getting to be too expensive. Buffalo, while not necessarily as “cool” as Brooklyn, has a lot of amenities that Brooklyn has at a fraction of the cost.

Brooklyn_to_Buffalo
Typical Buffalo houses

Think of it this way: Brooklyn is $4,000 a month average rent for a 2 bedroom while Buffalo is under $1,000 a rent for something similar. Both cities have subway/bus systems, but Buffalo’s a lot less congested. Traffic jams are not typical in the Buffalo area. Also, Buffalo has had a vibrant theater district for decades– many venues to see (or star in) plays, musicals and concerts. Bonus: tickets are always cheaper in Buffalo than in NYC. Buffalo is also known for sports, partying, tens of thousands of college kids, lots of wise senior citizens, bars that stay open late, boating, scuba diving Lake Erie, skiing, shopping and more free concerts and festivals each summer than you could ever ask for. Why not make the Brooklyn to Buffalo change in your life?

I think Brooklyn artists who are tired of paying the big bucks to live there should at least fly JetBlue or take Amtrak to Buffalo for a weekend or week-long visit and see the good stuff happening in the “City of Good Neighbors.” There are a plethora of art galleries to visit, and a lot of historic old buildings (pre-1939) that look nothing like the bland suburbia the rest of America has become.

Buffalo's Allentown art festival
Buffalo’s Allentown art festival

The hot spots for artists to live, work and play in Buffalo are “Elmwood Avenue,” “Hertel Avenue,” “Grant Street,” “Allentown,” and “Main Street.” If you want really cheap rent for a place to do your art, rent on the East Side of Buffalo along “Bailey” or “Jefferson.”

What would cost $500,000-$1million elsewhere can be had for $50,000-$100,000 in many parts of Buffalo, so now’s your chance to get a good deal before gentrification takes over. $250,000+ buys you a mansion in Buffalo.

Oh, and one more thing: Toronto is 2 hours away by car should you need to feel like you’re in New York City now and then.

Now is the time to move from Brooklyn to Buffalo. –Mark Weber, BeautifulBuffalo.com

 

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Mark Weber

Mark Weber publishes the MarkWeberMusicBlog.

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