6/17/2008

From the Streets of Buffalo, NY...Al Jazeera

I'm fascinated how other people see and understand Buffalo - the second poorest city in the country. Late last Summer New York Times reporter Ken Belson came to town and shared that Buffalo, NY has the second highest rate of vacancy in the country - see, Vacant Houses: Scourge of a Beaten Down Buffalo. French rock star intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy was here and wrote this about Buffalo, NY two years ago.
That a city could die: for a European, that is unthinkable. And yet … Buffalo, a city that was once the glory of America, its showcase, where two presidents once lived (and where one was shot and another inaugurated), a city that on this late-July afternoon offers a landscape of desolation: long avenues without cars, stretching out to infinity...
Today I found this video, courtesy of Al Jazeera, that was just released.
The sinking US economy is perhaps the most important issue in the presidential race. On this week's inside USA, we travel to the city of Buffalo, New York to see how the city is weathering the economic storm.

While tax breaks on waterfront condo development, the lure of casino development and $194,000 residential real estate on Chenango Street seem to prevail, entire sections of the city continue to fall off the radar.

Any surprises here?

Link to Al Jazeera story - Recession Blues for Buffalo City.
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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of propaganda... at Buffalo's expense. This is the same type of junk Pravda used to do in the cold war.

Mark B said...

great find david. i'm not sure how one could call this propaganda-very real aspect of buffalo

this is the 2nd al-jazeera report in buffalo in the last year, i wonder if it has to do with bridges TV being here.

Anonymous said...

it may seem petty but, he says "turn of the 19th century" when he means (presumably) "turn of the 20th century". The story also refers to the post war boom. Problem? There was no post war boom. The war was the pinnacle. Some forty thousand jobs left almost as soon as the war ended. The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in the 50s putting the final nail in the coffin. It only took 30 or 40 years to bleed out. No real mention either of who the dominant political forces have been since the war.

STEEL said...

Focusing on an impoverished portion of a poor city is not representative of the American economy. That is why it is propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Just because something makes you uncomfortable, that does not make it untrue.
People who think this is propaganda need to step out of their protective middle-class bubbles and see what the real Buffalo is like.

east side resident said...

At least 75% of Buffalo's land mass is gravely impoverished. We all know about the East Side, but blight and poverty is well into Grant/Ferry, Lower West Side, Ken Bailey, Riverside, Lovejoy, Kaisertown, West Side, First Ward, and creeping into University Heights, Hertel Delaware, Upper West Side, and Southside.

The blinders must come off for Buffalonians to see what the statistics show.

Anonymous said...

It was balanced as a report about Buffalo and not the nation. I think this does do a good job at presenting the state of affairs here in Buffalo. A huge part of our identity to the world is poverty and loss. No amount of marketing or boosterism can hide that reality. We should not expect others to get Buffalo in the same way we do.

Anonymous said...

i beleive levi also wrote that there are parts of buffalo that haven't received mail in a week. He also couldn't find a good restaurant. In his book he would criticize someone and then say something like his pants are also too long.

Anonymous said...

Its funny that Buffalo Rising had this posted for like an hour until maybe they realized it was too balanced.

Tom G said...

Does anybody, and correct me if I'm wrong, understand that every time its stated that Buffalo is the second poorest City, the qualifier is left out of the statement, thereby skewing the fact: Buffalo is the second poorest City "OF ITS SIZE!"