Sometimes being a Buffalonian requires that you to be defensive about your city. Outsiders often pass us off as living in a dead, uncultured, broken place, and question our reasons for living here. And while we understand that we’re on the rise economically, there’s a great deal of beauty and culture and delicious food here that makes Buffalo a truly wonderful place to live.
If you ever need to direct a misguided outsider to an assortment of reasons why Buffalo isn’t exactly the place they believe it is, show them I Heart Buffalo. The site is for people to put their love for our city into words to be seen by other like-minded current and former citizens.
I Heart Buffalo is the brainchild of Chris Buryta and Nicholas Barone, former employees of Hyperlocal Media, the company that once owned Buffalo Rising. Obviously, we are exposed to quite a bit of “Buffalo” here, and often it’s both positive and negative. After a few years of working here and getting an inside look, the pair got curious about why people are so attached to Buffalo. “We wanted to see what makes Buffalo a special place for so many people. If you watch the news most nights, or look back at the last 50 years, things appear to be very negative. And yet there are over a million people living in the metro area, and recently it looks like things can pick up if the right steps are taken,” Barone told me. “I wanted to see what it is that keeps people here, or if they’ve left, what they miss about it and why they’re proud to be from Buffalo.”
The site is unique in that content is completely by user-generated comments. Buryta and Barone won’t be writing on it daily like other blogs, they’ll simply be maintaining the site. As the site matures, they will study the comments and create content based on common themes discussed by the users. And somewhere down the road, they envision an “I Heart Buffalo” coffee table book with pictures submitted by Buffalo photographers and top-rated user comments.
What do you love about Buffalo?