Photo by Herman Yung

As you may already know, last weekend I took a trip out of New York City and into the Rochester Subway and inside Michigan Central Station. Along the way, I also made a pitstop in Buffalo, NY where I attempted to go inside the clocktower of the partially abandoned Buffalo Central Station. Unfortunately, the portion of the complex that I really wanted to go into was completely sealed so I ended up exploring the more open part of the station perimeter. The extra time spent not exploring the clocktower was spent instead exploring along Broadway Street.

Now, I don’t know much about the history of Buffalo nor have I read much about the city as it currently stands, but from my initial impressions of the town, it’s as much a dead zone as the infamous abandoned-city-mecca we all know as Detroit. Now maybe I was just on the “abandoned side” of Buffalo (and I acknowledge that there very well could have been another side that was just as much normal as any other American city) but from what I saw there the state of the town both saddened me and made me wonder what events must have taken place for anyone to just leave this part of town to crumble.

Along Broadway Street, I’d say a majority of the businesses and stores there are boarded up or abandoned. No for rent signs, no vacancy signs, just empty shells of former businesses — some with their former store names still intact. It’s quite an unusual sight to somebody coming from a city where every inch of real estate is highly sought after.

Now that my trip has ended, my one regret is not staying in Buffalo longer. I’m sure there was so much more to explore and investigate. I don’t like leaving Buffalo thinking that it’s the “closer version of Detroit” especially given my very brief impression of the town. I’d like to go back and see it in a wider scope. Something tells me there’s much more to see than just abandoned structures.

PS: One thing I did love about Buffalo though was that it’s still very much centered around the railroad. I actually managed to smuggle myself into a CSX yard in Buffalo to watch some trains go about their business. Conductors saw me and didn’t seem to mind, but CSX security apparently did and ended up booting me out after realizing that I didn’t work for the railroad. I imagine hopping trains would be easy there.