Two remarkably divergent stories about Buffalo made national news this week.
The first, which will have to go down as a first in Bills fandemonium history, was the saga of a Bills fan high on LSD who, on game day, covered himself with the pungent contents of a Porta Potty and then fell into the 30-foot pit on the construction site for the new stadium in Orchard Park. Oh, and did we mention he was naked? https://billswire.usatoday.com/2023/09/19/naked-fan-drugs-buffalo-bills-game-charged-construction-pit-new-stadium-nfl/
On a more uplifting note, in the same week, Reader's Digest published a heartwarming article that reaffirms Buffalo's place as the City of Good Neighbors:
"Uniting in the Face of Deadly Blizzards and Tragedy, Buffalo, New York, Is the Nicest Place in America"
By the time the blizzard hit Buffalo, Craig Elston was the last barber left in his shop. Inside were warmth, safety and a well-stocked candy machine. Outside was a swirling mess of some of the worst that winter can dish out.
“It was like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Elston says. “Eighty-mile-an-hour winds. If you went outside, it would just knock you over.”
It was Dec. 23, 2022. The day had dawned mild, but by midday, temperatures had plunged, winds were blasting and snow was piling up fast. News reports grew urgent: Get off the roads. Find shelter fast.
Soon neighbors were knocking, desperate for warmth and safety. Over the course of the next five brutally cold days, Elston would help dozens stay warm, fed and alive—at least 40 people, maybe more, he figures.
It wasn’t fun or easy. “One dude flooded the toilet three times,” Elston says. But it had to be done, he adds: “Those 40 people could have died out there.”
(Barber Craig Elston opened his doors to anyone who needed shelter. Image: Reader's Digest)
It's a remarkable story about our city's resilience, optimism, and its citizens who will do anything to lend a helping hand in the face of dire events.
In 1950 the city’s population was almost 600,000 people; by 1990 it was down to just over 300,000. That was the same year that Buffalo’s beloved football team, the Bills, lost the first of four Super Bowls in a row. The one-time Great Lakes powerhouse had become best known for falling snow and falling short.
But the years since have shown that Buffalo has a way of bouncing back, and it starts with neighbors helping neighbors, says [Dwayne] Ferguson. “What we ask is ‘What can I do for you right now?’ ” he says. “I’m a human like you. I’m here with you. It’s about meeting that moment.”
It's like I always say: BUFFALO. WE RISE UP.
Read the full story here: https://www.rd.com/article/buffalo-nicest-places/