tell me wonderful things about Buffalo NY! please? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We may be moving there next summer.

We are a family of 5 currently living on a small homestead in Ithaca NY. We'd be moving to Buffalo so DH could do his PhD so we'd be living on stipend and loans while I SAH and homeschool the munchkins. So... tell me wonderful and amazing things about family on a minimal shoestring budget in Buffalo. Or PM me with horror stories if you must... I need an honest picture so I can plan.

Are there any good CSAs? (our current CSA provides all of our produce, we'd need something similar) Thrift stores? Holistic care providers that barter or offer sliding scale fees? VBAC providers? Open minded family practice drs who will take a selective/delayed vax family? Browncoat, steampunk, or maker communities that are family friendly? Affordable neighborhoods?

We're pagan (ADF druidry specifically)... though we've attended Unitarian services for years too so i'm curious about how religiously and/or socially liberal Buffalo is. Plus we cloth dipe, co-sleep, etc and I NIP all. the. time. Which has never turned heads in Ithaca but obviously isn't the US norm. Am I in for a tough transition in Buffalo? Are there Mothering, Holistic Moms, API, or ICAN groups? The websites I found seemed waaaaay out of date.

Help!

Thanks!

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Old 09-25-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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When we traveled through Buffalo, we stopped at a wonderful science museum. I think it's just called the Buffalo Science Museum. You should check it out.

Also, Buffalo is really close to Niagara, so that would be a good field trip. And it's not too far from Rochester, which has the Strong Museum of Play.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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albright-knox museum
botanical gardens
nice parks
nice universities
not anywhere NEAR as progressive as ithaca, but i am sure you will find your way! especially if you can make uni connections.

louloubean in love with bryan, mom of boo squeak and nor nor: and 7 chickens
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

Are there any particularlly good neighborhoods for families? We'd be living on a stipend and loans so I guess I'm looking for "good for families" but also "extremely inexpensive".

I grew up in the Finger Lakes, so I'm familiar with lake effect snow and looooooooong winters... are there neighborhoods that provide more walkability and "close to home" attractions than others? If we move there the kiddos will be 6yo, 4yo, and 2yo at the time so we'd be looking for age appropriate things.

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Old 10-02-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, and my family still lives there so we go back to visit every now and then.

No clue about CSAs, but you should be able to find one. I know there are a lot of farmer's markets. Have you looked at localharvest.org for CSAs? You can use the zip code 14225 (Cheektowaga).

Lots of thrift stores in the Buffalo area too. Salvation Army, AmVets, etc. Lots of garage sales too.

The Elmwood Avenue area is more crunchy. I'm not sure how the neighborhoods are around there, since in the past 10 or so years, I've spent one year, a few summers, and just visiting family/friends. Where will your dh be going to school? There are some decent areas of the city, but the rule of thumb is that if the area doesn't look so great, it most likely isn't. There's some not so great streets off of Main Street near UB South campus. (They're trying to clean up that area- there were something like 3 rapes/sexual assaults between UB South and Hertel Ave within like a month of each other last September. And a young man who had literally just graduated from UB was stabbed and killed in front of the Steer bar on Main Street. But then again, with a family and small children, I doubt you'd want to live near all of the undergrad college students with their drinking, parties, loud obnoxious behavior, etc.)

Parts of north Buffalo are nice (or at least were 10+ years ago and still looked ok when I was visiting in the spring). If your DH is going to UB, Buff State, or Canisus, that wouldn't be too far. Kenmore and Tonawanda are suburbs just outside of the city, and those are nice too. KenTon is a good school district (in case something happened and you had to put the kids in public school). Pretty much all of the suburbs are decent/nice, but it depends on how far you want to be away from DH's college, museums, etc.

The main grocery stores are Wegmans and Tops. There's a small locally owned chain of health food stores called Feel Rite. The Lexington co-op on Elmwood is pretty comparable to Green Star. Good selection of grocery and bulk items.

And like others have said, its nowhere near as progressive as Ithaca. I don't think I've been anywhere that's as progressive as Ithaca though! There are doctors in the area who are delayed/selective/non-vax friendly. (There's one in the Orchard Park area.) And there's vbac friendly midwives (the Linwood midwives, not sure what their practice is called now). And there's supposed to be a birth center opening in Buffalo within the next few years.

PM me if you have any other questions!
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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You're that much closer to me!!!
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had considered the ease of access to Canada.

And I'm a huge fan of Wegmans... I was telling DH that if we move someplace without Wegmans I wont know what to buy. I'll have to start all the budget/gluten free lists over from scratch.

CSA- I've seen the lists of CSA, but they never give you the nitty-gritty details. For example, we've used two different CSAs here in Ithaca over the years. Both cost the same, both list the same basic veggies for each month and the same basic amount per bag. And both CSAs got thumbs up from friends. But we rely on our CSA for all of our produce during the season. We found that one of the CSAs had lots of item limits and as a result we didn't have the variety/amount we needed to eat for a week while the other CSA also had item limits but them would offer unlimited amounts of another item so there was always enough and even some to put up. So I wondered if anyone had personal experience with Buffalo area CSAs... especially since the ones I found varied widely in price.

It would be UB, though I'm not sure which campus. DH does biotech/biosci... molecular bio, proteomics, and genetic "stuff" and I don't know if he's looking more at the straight up bio dept or a med center lab. University PA Pittsburgh is his other top contender so right now I'm trying to get an idea about life/options/budgeting in both cities.

I don't suppose anyone knows if there are authentic but gluten free buffalo chicken wings available? People mention the anchor bar of course, but if we can't eat there then it doesn't count.

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I don't think that the buffalo chicken wings have wheat/gluten in them directly, but I'd think that most places would use the same fryer for their fish fries, french fries, mozzarella sticks, etc.

Amy's Place is a restaurant near UB South campus that you'd want to check out. Its a pretty progressive/crunchy crowd that's in there. Not sure if they have wings or not. (We're vegan. ) The Lexington co-op may have them too. (Or you could suggest it to them.)

I want to say that he'd probably be spending more time at UB North Campus (that's the newer one that's in Amherst). The campuses are only about 10-15 minutes apart.

You'll need a car in the Buffalo area. The public transportation (the Metro) is so-so. There's a subway that goes from UB South campus to downtown near the HSBC arena (where the Sabres play) and back. There's also Metro buses, but I never thought that they ran often enough or got me places fast enough. There may be a special bus route between the UB campuses that runs more often or is more direct.

There's a potluck on Tuesday the 5th at Life Cycles, which is for natural birth minded people. Its from 6-8 pm, so maybe you can take a day trip to Buffalo, check out the city, and then talk to some people about the area and stuff.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Life-C...270?ref=search

I know that Pittsburgh does *not* have Weggies.
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