The lakefront of Buffalo is dominated by the New York Thruway, a quite insurmountable barrier with few points of crossing. Hopefully, the view from the Maple Leaf train that uses the lakefront and riverside track is pleasant. Also visited during this week was Delaware Avenue and Kleinhans Hall, a symbol of enlightenment and culture. Buffalo is definitely a city of contrasts.
Buffalo from the top of the city hall observation deck. A great way to see the city from above, and its free. The difference between the West Side and the East Side is quite stark when looking at the city from above. Quite nice to have an observation deck that has not been overly commercialized. The polarizing filter did come in handy from eliminating the reflections on the plexiglass shields. The Empire State Building is still the best observation deck for allowing people to get crystal clear photos of actual skyline.
Buffalo Place at night, a very lonely place with some great office architecture. Buffalo is old enough that there are plenty of quality office buildings constructed before the generic post-war design aesthetic crept into commercial design. Especially nice to have an office building designed by the architect of the World Trade Center. Canalside at night is a beautiful location, especially at night. It would be nice if a city like Chicago could have something like this. Brooklyn Navy Yard could take some cues from this.
A drive along the Buffalo Skyway followed by a subway ride and a visit to Buffalo Central Terminal. The abandoned central railway station’s fate is very much represented by the new skyway, a symbol of the car’s dominance over railroad transit in the latter half of the 20th Century. Buffalo at least has a relatively modern and efficient subway system, one of the fastest in the country and much faster than most other light rail systems.
Upon arriving in Buffalo, it was pleasant to see a largely functioning downtown with decent amenities. Buffalo has a lot of large and tall buildings for a city of its size, the legacy of a much larger metropolis. There was definitely a need to use portrait orientation, which is a good thing. Low-rise, low-density cities are a thing of the past.
Toronto is such a rich city with streetcars that have been discarded by almost every other North American city. High Park in Toronto is a great respite from the city, with a feel that is more intimate and less playground like Grant Park in Chicago. Christie Pitts Park is another unique park, sunk below the city so that people can have fun but feel somewhat removed from the urban landscape. Absolute World in Mississauga is high density, something suburbs need, especially Mississauga which is the textbook definition of sprawl.